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Using PCIe SSD with Z97 motherboard

Hi,
Will a PCIe ssd connected to the Z97 m.2 slot will still be faster than a normal SATA ssd?
If I am not mistaken, the m.2 in the Z97 is PCIe 2..x2..or something, but definitely not PCIe 3 x4.

Or should I just get a regular SATA ssd instead?
5 answers Last reply Best Answer
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  1. First, the limit of SATA right now is 6Gb/s.

    Second, the m.2 slots on Z97 boards come in 3 flavors: SATA, which is the same 6Gb/s limit, PCIe 2.0 x2 from the chipset, which has a limit of 10Gb/s, and finally PCIe 3.0 x4, which has a limit of 32GB/s.

    So, mostly, yes, the m.2 slot would be faster, if it is PCIe, but the PCIe 2.0 x2 will only be mildly better. The real speed comes from the PCIe 3.0 x4 interfaces. Check your motherboard documentation to see which type your board has.
  2. dgingeri said:
    First, the limit of SATA right now is 6Gb/s.

    Second, the m.2 slots on Z97 boards come in 3 flavors: SATA, which is the same 6Gb/s limit, PCIe 2.0 x2 from the chipset, which has a limit of 10Gb/s, and finally PCIe 3.0 x4, which has a limit of 32GB/s.

    So, mostly, yes, the m.2 slot would be faster, if it is PCIe, but the PCIe 2.0 x2 will only be mildly better. The real speed comes from the PCIe 3.0 x4 interfaces. Check your motherboard documentation to see which type your board has.


    Thanks for the reply,
    But I think that you are mistaken in the last part. The m.2 of the Z97 doesn't support PCIe 3, only 2.
    But anyway, If I can get 10Gb/s than it's better than 6.
    I don't want to get a SATA ssd and than buy another PCIe ssd when I upgrade my mobo (which could happen in the near future).
    That's why I am looking to get PCIe ssd now, so I can also use it later (and get better performance out of it).
    I just want to make sure that If I use it with my M.2 slot (in PCIe mode) it will still be beneficial comparing to SATA ssd,
  3. The chipset is only PCIe 2.0, but the processor is PCIe 3.0. I have seen Z97 motherboards with the PCIe 3.0 x4 slot available, taken from the CPU.

    Example: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_IMPACT/specifications/
  4. dgingeri said:
    The chipset is only PCIe 2.0, but the processor is PCIe 3.0. I have seen Z97 motherboards with the PCIe 3.0 x4 slot available, taken from the CPU.

    Example: https://www.asus.com/Motherboards/MAXIMUS_VII_IMPACT/specifications/


    Yes..but than you have to run your GPU at x8, which I prefer not to.
  5. Best answer
    I'm just saying it is an option, not that there aren't disadvantages to it.

    Personally, I would have use of a machine with a x8 slot and two x4 m.2 slots. A GTX 1080 wouldn't have issues with a x8 slot at all, and the two m.2 drives would be great for separate drives for OS and games.
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