PCI Express X16 Gen 2 - Compatible SSD

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miketurn
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PCI Express X16 Gen 2 - Compatible SSD

Postby miketurn » Thu Oct 12, 2017 10:06 pm

Please Help!
I am looking for some advice on PCIe SSD cards, I tried researching them but can see that they have become yet another very confusing topic of discussion.
I have one slot available on my motherboard and it is a PCI Express X16 Gen 2 and I have some questions about it that I was hoping someone out there can very very simply just answer them.
To be honest I am hoping that the answer is to just stick to SATA based SSD (which I already have). :D

I believe I would be using such a device more in a Windows 7 64Bit Environment, but maybe Linux as well.

1.) I always looked at PCI Express X16 Gen 2 as just a graphics card slot, can PCIe SSD be used in this slot?
I have seen card adapters that can convert one type of slot to another.

2.) Are there any compatible PCIe SSDs that can work with this slot (PCI Express X16 Gen 2) and still generate the type of performance noticeable to out perform a good quality SATA based SSD (which I already currently own)?

3.) The PCIe SSD that started this whole thought process in my brain is the Samsung 960 series, the specs on these seem amazing. However I can see that these drives contain all types of new technologies in order to achieve these speeds that I do not currently have on my motherboard. Just wondering how backwards compatible these technologies are, if at all?

4.) Not sure if PC would have any problems booting an OS from this slot?

5.) In my Intel motherboard BIOS, I can see that it shows up that I have this slot and that it is not being used, if I can install a PCIe SSD into it, I at times would like to be able to disable the use of this slot (with the PCIe SSD in it)
Without getting into specific specs, in general can something like this be done?
My BIOS currently does not allow me to change anything with it because there is nothing installed in the slot.
Just wondering if I could disable the slot and boot to a SATA drive OS, if needed?

6.) I am sure someone might ask my uses for the drive.
I am not doing anything crazy, such as 4K video editing or intense video games, but I am always interested in performance gains if they make my day to day operations quicker.

From my research I don't really think any products would be worth the effort due to the age / intended use of the slot available on my motherboard. If anyone has any specific product recommendations for the PCIe SSD and also for slot adapters that prove my assumption wrong, they would be more than welcome.

Anyways, sorry if some of the questions get redundant, if anyone has any information they could share please do so.
Thank You to anyone who took the time to read this and respond.

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catweazel
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Re: PCI Express X16 Gen 2 - Compatible SSD

Postby catweazel » Sat Oct 14, 2017 7:22 pm

You need an PCIe M.2 expansion card and an M.2 device to plug into it. It is possible to put an M.2 expansion card that supports PCIe 3.0 into a PCIe 2.0 slot. The down side is that, in a PCIe 2.0 slot, you'll only get half the speed that the M.2 device is capable of if it were in a PCIe 3.0 slot.

Use your googlefu to find an expansion card. Once you've found the expansion card, you need to find an M.2 device to plug into it. I highly recommend the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB SSD. It's capable of 32Gb/s (3.2GB/s) in a PCIe 3.0 slot and you should be able to take it with you when you upgrade your machine. In a PCIe 2.0 slot you can expect 16Gb/s (1.6GB/s) read speed.

Here is a video on a Samsung 950 Pro M.2 Drive running Windows 10 from a PCIe 2.0 slot. The basic difference between the PRO and EVO is that the PRO is 512GB, while the EVO is 250GB and therefore somewhat cheaper. Also, this link to a blog post may help clear up some of the confusion for you.

1.) I always looked at PCI Express X16 Gen 2 as just a graphics card slot, can PCIe SSD be used in this slot?

With an adaptor, yes.

2.) Are there any compatible PCIe SSDs that can work with this slot (PCI Express X16 Gen 2) and still generate the type of performance noticeable to out perform a good quality SATA based SSD (which I already currently own)?

Yes, see above.

3.) The PCIe SSD that started this whole thought process in my brain is the Samsung 960 series, the specs on these seem amazing. However I can see that these drives contain all types of new technologies in order to achieve these speeds that I do not currently have on my motherboard. Just wondering how backwards compatible these technologies are, if at all?

See above. You'll get half the speed.

4.) Not sure if PC would have any problems booting an OS from this slot?

It will boot fine if the drive has GrUB installed to it.

5.) In my Intel motherboard BIOS, I can see that it shows up that I have this slot and that it is not being used, if I can install a PCIe SSD into it, I at times would like to be able to disable the use of this slot (with the PCIe SSD in it)
Without getting into specific specs, in general can something like this be done?

In general, yes. You can also use your BIOS boot override function key, often F8, F11, F12. See your motherboard manual.

6.) I am sure someone might ask my uses for the drive.

My view is that people who ask what you want to do with some piece of hardware is that they are nosy. What you use it for is often irrelevant.

From my research I don't really think any products would be worth the effort due to the age / intended use of the slot available on my motherboard.

I disagree. You can get a major performance increase out of an NVMe device in a PCIe 2.0 slot via an adaptor/expansion card.
If your problem is fixed, please mark your thread as [SOLVED] by editing the title of the first message in the thread.

Citizen229
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Re: PCI Express X16 Gen 2 - Compatible SSD

Postby Citizen229 » Sun Oct 15, 2017 11:52 am

Honestly, if you are using average computer use, a standard SSD is more speed than you will ever need.
For light video editing,mass file copying etc, sure you may need a bit more if those tasks are slightly done. 2-SSD's in raid stripe is a good boost for that. And cost effective.
Anything faster you will never notice. Unless you hit the territory of professional use, then the stupidly fast speeds may be required.
FPS gamers may scream they need speed for better FPS for CoD or whatever shooter they are playing. But lets face reality, a crappy player with super hardware, is still a crappy player.
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miketurn
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Re: PCI Express X16 Gen 2 - Compatible SSD

Postby miketurn » Mon Oct 16, 2017 11:43 am

@catweazel
Thank you for your response, that is crazy, because the next day after posting I found that exact video you reference.
Was glad to see that he was pluging into the same kind of slot that I have on my motherboard.
Also crazy that the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB SSD was my product of choice as well.
The EVO series has a 500GB as well but personally don't need the extra space at the moment.

Had never heard of "GrUB", that is good to know, quick quick search calls up many results about conflicts with Windows 7 which I will have to look into. Would probably be using this SSD more with Windows 7, seems Linux Mint / Linux software is designed to be generally faster as is so may not need the performance boost as much.

Thank you also for taking the time to break everything down the way you did, that was very helpful.

@Citizen229
Thank you for your response also, touches upon my question as well if the speeds will be worth it.


Not saying this math means anything, or is even correct, but this is how I am looking at it....
SATA III = 600 MB/s
SATA SSD = 550 MB/s
If the most I will be able to get out of my PCIe X16 Gen 2 slot is
PCIe 2 = 1.6 GB/s
Then "in theory" I will be able to get about 3 times the performance in a PCIe SSD
Again, I know all of this is not as cut and dry and there are probably many factors to this.

Something I will have to think about.
Again thank you both for your help


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