Considerations when buying new SSD

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  1. Posts : 4,091
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #21

    M.2 slot can be used to have different kind of devices, from WiFi cards to MVMe drives. Some accept M-key" drives while others "B-Key" drives. Some accept both. And there is also the length. Standard cards are 22 mm wide, with varying lengths of 30, 42, 60, 80 and 110 mm.
    M.2 - Wikipedia

    There are also two kinds of M.2 SSD's: SATA and MVME. SATA type is limited to 600MB/s. MVMe uses PCIe lanes and can be very, very fast / expensive (5000 MB/s).
    NVM Express - Wikipedia

    In my opinion, if you need more space, buy two large HDD (>2T). One for use as data storage and the other for backup. Use the MVMe SSD for Windows and programs only.
      My Computers


  2. Posts : 54
    Win 10 Home x64 Ver 1909 Build 18363.900
    Thread Starter
       #22

    bobkn said: I believe that if you inserted a 4 lane (X4) M.2 drive, the PC would use 4 lanes.
    Funny you mention that. Started researching that when I got up this morn. Seems a few others owning HP products (found 1 Dell) expected 4 lane capability in their SSD slot. They bought PCIE/NVMe gen 3x4 SSD's to improve their speed, and it didn't happen. They later, like me, used a third party app to find only 2 lanes. But, at least, sticking a 4 lane SSD in gave them 2 lanes instead of black smoke and flames LOL.

    In one case, I found this statement that, to me, implies HP downgraded the 4 lane capability on some H370 chipsets (my chipset) to 2 lanes. Maybe I'm wrong, but an interesting statement: "Intel's H370 chipset specs can be reviewed here (Link). HP modifies the chipset. This motherboard does not utilize all possible Intel PCI Express Lanes (20)."
    Statement ref:
    https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Deskto...p/td-p/6839061
    My H370 specs (which shows x1, x2, x4 capability, but maybe HP dialed back to x2?:
    Intel(R) H370 Chipset Product Specifications

    So I don't get a warm and fuzzy about it pumping up to 4 lanes as the H370 may be restricted to 2 lanes, but worth a try. Especially at $50 for verified 4 lane from Crucial (thanks for that link). I'm willing to experiment for $50.

    For what it's worth, this current 2 lane operation is fine for me. I'm not a PC gamer (have PS4 for that) and don't do heavy work on here. Besides the fast boot, once it gets booted, it's quick and snappy but not much different than my last HDD comp.

    Here's a chuckle for y'all. I contacted HP first when I wanted the extra SSD. They quoted a price of $319 (and change) for mine. Figured it was a mistake as I'd already been finding close equivalents from $50 to $125. Had them doublecheck, and still $319. I knew they'd put in a markup, but this was, in my opinion, robbery. Another reason I started this thread. And NOW I find I'd only get 2 lane usage for $319. Charming...

    Steve C said: When you have shortlist, I always total the Amazon poor 1 and 2 star reviews and look for any common problems.
    Yes, sir, have been doing that since my wife, a long-time and avid Amazon shopper, taught me that LOL. Rejected many an item with that method.

    ignatzatsonic said: You'll see "M-key" drives and "B-Key" drives and I think some that are both.
    Haven't looked hard on that subject, but am aware. Pics of my SSD online, and on the Crucial site compatibility page, show a single notch in the SSD connector. Thanks for nudging me to get a little smarter on this.

    Will be contacting HP about this, see if there's a way to get 4 lanes back to SSD connector. I see a massive fail in this, so the Crucial site is bookmarked LOL.

    Thanks for everyone's input and time.
      My Computer


  3. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #23

    Limited to 2 lanes? That would suck. I suppose that you could use an adapter (PCI-E X4) to use the M.2 card in the PCI-E X16 slot, as one poster at HP did. They're not expensive.

    The absurd price offered by HP may be for new old stock. No one would pay that, except for a corporate procurement person with no technical knowledge.
      My Computers


  4. Posts : 54
    Win 10 Home x64 Ver 1909 Build 18363.900
    Thread Starter
       #24

    bobkn said: Limited to 2 lanes? That would suck.
    Yeah, that seems to be the case. For both sentences LOL.

    Spent a few hours in the HP forum last night. Put in some key search words, sorted by date, stopped searching after going backward two years. HP does restrict the SSD M.2 slot to 2 lanes (x2), not allowing 4 lanes (x4). Too many stories, starting as recent as this month. I'm led to believe it's just the consumer level models.

    What's misleading is that spec sheets on their comp, mine too, say the SSD slot is M.2 PCIe/NVMe Gen3x4. One assumes it would make full use of x4 cards. They don't.

    HP never explained why they do this. I say that because by this time, someone in that forum would have gotten a direct answer back from HP and spread the word in the forum, considering how many complaints there are. Nor has their been a direct solution, as that, too, would have been spread in that forum.

    I've gathered there is really no way to alter the PCIe lane assignments. There is nothing in the Service Manual indicating if the M.2 slot is an x2 or an x4 slot. BIOS function to do this seems to have been disabled or isn't there.

    This statement kinda sums it up:
    "I can tell you (from helping other folks in this forum) most HP consumer PCs only support PCIe NVME storage devices on the newer motherboards. And, HP throttles data throughput by limiting the device to PCIe 3.0x2 instead of PCIe 3.0x4. This means HP provides two PCIe lanes to the M.2 socket instead of four lanes."
    Ref: https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Deskto...ed/m-p/7153605

    There seem to be two conjectures as to why the restriction is there, one is the statement I posted earlier that HP puts the restriction in at the chipset (reasons unkown). The other conjecture is a sharing thing:
    "Yes you can use that Samsung Evo 970 but, it wont run at full speed on your system. Your Pavilion is compatible with both NVMe and Sata M.2 drives on the same port. Because of this, some of the PCIe lanes were used for Sata and you will only get about half the speed from that Evo 970."
    Ref: https://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Gaming...PA/m-p/6855052

    For me, x2 is no concern, I'm not a PC gamer, don't run big databases, etc. Even at x2, it's a noticeable improvement for me over HDD's, so I'm quite happy with my comp as is. My PRIME concern was getting a replacement SSD if this one failed. It seems now I can use a commonly available x4 and it will run quite cheerily on my comp, so I'm a happy camper.

    What's irritating is the principle of the thing. In my opinion, HP is shady by not revealing the actual lane numbers. No issue for me, but for all the gamers and power users that wrote in the HP forum, it's a huge issue.
      My Computer


  5. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #25

    Figfig said:

    Haven't looked hard on that subject, but am aware. Pics of my SSD online, and on the Crucial site compatibility page, show a single notch in the SSD connector. Thanks for nudging me to get a little smarter on this.
    Haven't read the details in the last few months, but as I recall the single notch isn't enough to mean M key compatibility by itself.

    I think the number of copper contacts adjacent to the notch is also pertinent.

    You can dig out the details with a Google search---I'm not sure of the practical difference. All I recall is that "single notch" does not guarantee compatibility, so I'd instead rely on an outright declaration of "M key" in the specs for the board and the drive.
      My Computer


  6. Posts : 4,091
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #26

    Megahertz said:
    M.2 slot can be used to have different kind of devices, from WiFi cards to MVMe drives. Some accept M-key" drives while others "B-Key" drives. Some accept both. And there is also the length. Standard cards are 22 mm wide, with varying lengths of 30, 42, 60, 80 and 110 mm.
    M.2 - Wikipedia

    There are also two kinds of M.2 SSD's: SATA and MVME. SATA type is limited to 600MB/s. MVMe uses PCIe lanes and can be very, very fast / expensive (5000 MB/s).
    NVM Express - Wikipedia

    In my opinion, if you need more space, buy two large HDD (>2T). One for use as data storage and the other for backup. Use the MVMe SSD for Windows and programs only.
    All specs are above on the links
      My Computers


  7. Posts : 2,487
    Windows 10 Home, 64-bit
       #27

    Figfig:

    This should be pretty close:

    B Key: uses a gap in the right side of the card (left side of the host controller), with six pins to the right of the gap. This configuration supports PCIe x2 bus connections.

    M Key: uses a gap in the left side of the card (right side of the host controller), with five pins to the left of the gap. This configuration supports PCIe x4 bus connections for twice the data throughput.

    B+M Key: uses both of the above gaps, with five pins on the left side of the card and six on the right. Because of the physical design, B+M Key cards are limited to PCIe x2 speeds.

    M.2 cards with a B Key interface can only fit into a B Key host slot, and likewise for M Key. But cards with a B+M Key design can fit in either a B or an M host slot, since they have gaps for both.

    Look here also:

    The M.2 interface
      My Computer


  8. Posts : 54
    Win 10 Home x64 Ver 1909 Build 18363.900
    Thread Starter
       #28

    ignatzatsonic:

    I have M key. Your post verified what I learned last night from Megahertz's links (thanks, Megahertz) and various searches. I appreciate that and thanks for the link.

    During the course of this thread I sent my own thread off-topic (derp LOL) when I learned my 4 lane capable M key connector is running only 2 lanes and seems intentionally set that way by HP. Details in post #22 and #24. Needs it's own thread, will start later.

    So, I've learned what I needed regarding the original intent of this thread. I can consider this thread resolved.
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    TO YE WHO SHALL WITNESS THIS PROCLAMATION, GREETINGS:

    WHEREAS, registered TenForum Junior Member Figfig, neophyte in the realm of all things SSD, reposing trust and confidence in the fidelity and abilities of forum members more accomplished and adept than himself, has come to increase his understanding of the SSD

    WHEREAS, senior and capable Tenforum members have truly and openly increased the understanding of, and familiarity with, the SSD domain for Junior Member Figfig to his satisfaction

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, Junior Member Figfig, having the confidence instilled for purchasing SSD components, do hereby declare this thread resolved!
    -------------------------------------------------

    Was that over the top? I can never tell...



    Thanks to all for your time.
      My Computer


  9. Posts : 4,457
    Win 11 Pro 22000.708
       #29

    Figfig said:
    (snip)

    Was that over the top? I can never tell...

    (snip)
    Was that a Batman Forever (1995) quotation?
      My Computers


  10. Posts : 25,076
    10 Home x64 (21H2) (10 Pro on 2nd pc)
       #30

    Figfig said:
    Was that over the top? I can never tell...
    bobkn said:
    Was that a Batman Forever (1995) quotation?
      My Computers


 

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