Will the Plextor PCI-e SSD work in the new Z97 mobo without the adapter?

As the topic states:

If I remove the M.2 SSD from the adapter board, will it work in the new Z97 motherboards, in the M.2 slot?

Makes sense, but I know it will void the warranty.

Don't want to go with any of the SATA 3.2 (SATA Express) drives, as they are just 2 mSATA SSD's in RAID 0. I'd just go with 2 SSD's in RAID 0, and get better reads/writes. But I want to stay away from RAID.

I only assume that the read/write number would stay the same, as the board uses a PCI-e slot, and the M.2 slot uses a (if not 2) PCI-e channels.
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  1. Best answer
    The M6e can be removed from the PCIe adapter card and can be used with a desktop motherboard that has an M.2 header / connector. Plextor announced they will be offering the M6e without the PCIe adapter card. The release date is unknown.

    Last week Tom's Hardware published a technical review. The review recommended consumers not remove the ssd from the adapter card. You already know that removing the ssd totally voids the 5 year warranty - no rma, no replacement, and no refund! Other technical reviews indicate there "might" be other concerns but that is common with new products. One of the concerns is compatibility and performance differences with different motherboards. Currently just about all of the new motherboards with M.2 headers only use one PCIe lane instead of 2, 4, or 8 lanes. That limits the performance of the drive to just a little bit better than SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd's. A Plextor development team worked on the firmware which resulted in modifications to the Marvell controller to allow it to function as a PCIe controller. Almost no information is available about the controller and the modifications.

    I maintain the ssd database listed in a sticky at the very top of this forum section. The database includes links to technical reviews. Currently there are links to 14 technical reviews of the M6e. Here is the link to the ssd database:

    Scroll down to the Plextor section or any other brand you might be interested in and follow the links to the technical reviews.

    I've read all of the M6e reviews. The excitement about the current version of the M6e is that it is a PCIe ssd with just one ssd and one controller. Previous PCIe ssd's used multiple ssd's and multiple controllers in an array. Although the synthetic benchmarks indicate an improvement in performance, actual real world scenarios suggest it might only be about 3% faster than modern 3rd generation SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd's. In addition the initial price is higher than a SATA 3 ssd. Tom's Hardware noted that you could purchase 3 Crucial M550 ssd's for the price of a similar capacity M6e. Another review suggested the Samsung 840 Pro with the new "rapid mode" technology might be a better option, especially if cost is an issue.

    The odd thing is that Plextor has configured an M.2 ssd designed for mobile computing as a PCIe ssd for desktop computing. For all practical purpose the M6e is a hybrid that can do double duty. It makes sense when you realize that Z97 motherboards with M.2 headers / connections are just starting to hit the market. Currently consumers have older boards without M.2 headers / connectors. In that respect the PCIe conversion seems appropriate.

    There is a bit more to it. Last year the new SATA 3.2 standard was officially adopted. It marked the beginning of the transition from SATA 3 ssd's to PCIe ssd's for desktop computers and transition from mSATA to M.2 SATA for mobile computers. In addition there was a push for a new type of header for desktop motherboards that is commonly referred to as SATA Express. The header was designed to be flexible. With the right type of SATA data cable a consumer could connect just about any type of consumer oriented ssd to the new header. That also meant Intel and AMD would have to modify their motherboard chipsets to support SATA Express. Last November Intel decided their brand new Intel 9 chipsets would not support the SATA Express header. The reason for the decision is not clear. I'm guessing that is why M.2 headers instead of SATA Express headers are appearing on new motherboards.

    While Intel was delaying support for SATA Express other things were happening. Samsung headed in a completely different direction with their rapid mode technology which theoretically could boost the performance of SATA 3 6Gb/s ssd's beyond current limitations. I have a Samsung 840 EVO 256GB ssd with rapid mode enabled in my personal pc. Here are my results using the Samsung SSD magician to measure the performance:

    Sequential Read: 1,190 MB/s
    Sequential Write: 1,041 MB/s
    Random Read: 101,229 IOPS
    Random Write: 132,953 IOPS

    Essentially Samsung uses 1GB of DDR3 system memory as a cache. It reminds me a lot of the old "ramdisks" that use system memory to create a virtual disk. It might be a problem for systems with just 4GB of system memory as that would only leave 3GB for the operating system and the rest of the pc. Samsung has already announced that they will eventually release versions that could use additional system memory. It appears to be good new for consumers who installed more memory than they actually need.

    Not to be outdone, AMD partnered with DataRam to resurrect "ramdisks". It is a very old technology from the early days of hard disk drives. A portion of DDR3 memory is allocated for use as a virtual drive. With newer desktop systems the ramdisk sequential reads and writes hover around 2,000 MB/s but could exceed 4,000 MB/s under proper conditions. Random reads and writes easily exceed 100,000 IOPS.
  2. Thanks Johhny.

    I did find Tom's review of the Plextor PCI-e SSD, and here is a quote from it (page 12):

    ...The M.2-only version is still on its way. If you pop the little card off of its adapter, your warranty is voided. So, you don't want to buy the M6e for a notebook or desktop motherboard with an M.2 interface just yet. Rather, the 128 and 256 GB drives available today should live life inside a desktop machine with a spare PCI Express x4 link...

    So, the answer to my own question is NO!
  3. Well, I got a Z97 mobo (Asus Z97-Deluxe), and am currently using the Plextor PCI-e SSD in it's M.2 slot (without the adapter)!

    Obviously it works. Installed Windows without a hitch (no third party drivers or anything).

    According to my system info, it's running via PCI-e, not SATA (my mobo supports both for M.2 slot).

    Yea, I may have voided the warranty, but hey, IT DOES WORK!
  4. Johnny: I WAS using RapidMODE, but found PrimoCache (formerly FancyCache), and it blows RapidMode away! Only problem is the 90 day trial period, then have to buy it, but I will buy 2 licenses.

    Have it set to cache 12GB of RAM vs. 1GB with RapdMODE.

    I'm also using DataRAMDisk, for TEMP files and stuff.

    Installed both PrimoCache & RAMDisk right after Windows install, and all my other software installs (Office, iTunes, etc) went extremely fast!
  5. Update - Plextor just got around to announcing the new M6e M.2 NGFF ssd without the M.2 to PCIe adapater card.

    Samsung's RapidMode uses a very small portion (1GB) of motherboard memory as a virtual disk. The motherboard's DDR3 memory is a heck of a lot faster than an ssd's flash memory. PrimoCache is an application that uses a larger portion of the motherboards memory as a virtual disk. I am using DataRam's application. Samsung has hinted indirectly that they are looking at larger capacity for their version of a RamDisk.
  6. I ​​installed win pro 8.1 on a motherboard Asus Z97 -K, proc i7 4790-k, PSU Corsair VS650, RAM 8GB Kingston HiperX Beast, SSD 128GB Plextor PX- G128M6E slot m2 without any problem in UEFI mode. But in daily operation , randomly , my system hangs . After pressing the reset , ssd is no longer recognized by the BIOS . Only after a hard boot it is recognized . I mention that I made last updated BIOS and Plextor SSD has the latest firmware 1.04 .
    I tried even with M.2 PCIe SSD adapter mounted on it with the same results .
    Must we wait for update from ASUS ?
  7. Sounds like a bad SSD.

    I have had NO issues with mine in M.2.

    Installed OS in UEFI, I see, as I did.

    I also set the drive to GPT, but this should have no relevance.

    **Correction** The drive must be set up as GPT, in order to use it as a UEFI boot drive, which is how you must boot to an M.2 drive.
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