Dell Optiplex 7010 no M.2 slot use existing PCIe slot for NVMe SSD?

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  1. glnz's Avatar
    Posts : 231
    Dual-boot Win 7 & 10, both Pro 64-bit, now with a Hyper-V VM of Win 11
       #1

    Dell Optiplex 7010 no M.2 slot use existing PCIe slot for NVMe SSD?


    --
    I have a Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower from maybe 2014. It has no M.2 slots.

    1. Can I plug an NVMe SSD drive into an existing PCIe slot?
    2. Maybe I need a physical converter of some kind? What would that be?
    3. If I do this, will I get the full benefits of the NVMe SSD technology (super-fast drive speeds)?
    4. Per the manual for my Dell Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower, I have four PCI slots:
      - PCI Express x16 slot (wired as x4)
      - PCI slot
      - PCIe x1 slot
      - PCI Express x16 slot
      ----- Which would I use if I do this? -----
      (The manual is available at https://downloads.dell.com/manuals/all-products/esuprt_desktop/esuprt_optiplex_desktop/optiplex-7010... )

    FYI - I am currently dual-booting Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit (now V 21H1) but using the Win 10 almost exclusively these days. A single SATA hard drive has my two OSes, and those OS partitions also carry all my apps. However, to a certain extent, and more and more over time, I am putting data files on other hard drives inside the case.

    Thanks for your thoughts re my questions above.
    --
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  2. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 4,232
    Win 11 Pro 22000.282
       #2

    You could buy an M.2 to PCI-E adapter. An NVME M.2 drive uses 4 PCI-E lanes, so the adapter would require an X4, X8, or X16 slot. Cheap example: NVMe PCIe Adapter, RIITOP M.2 PCIe (M Key) NVMe SSD to PCIe x4 Converter Card Support 2230, 2242, 2260 2280 mm M.2 NVMe SSD - Newegg.com

    Ther are also NVME add-in cards, but they are not common. Example: Intel 750 Series AIC 400GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MLC Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) SSDPEDMW400G4X1 - Newegg.com

    Unfortunately, your Optiplex 7010 (Intel 7 Series chipset) cannot boot from an NVME drive. It's supposed to be possible to hack the BIOS to allow booting from an NVME drive. I have never done anything like that. If you're interested in doing something that complex/risky, Google should find all that you need.

    Another option would be to find a non-NVME PCI-E M.2 card. They existed, but finding a new one may be difficult.

    The most practical suggestion would be to use a 2.5" SATA SSD as your boot drive. It will give a good speedup over an HD (spinner). The difference from an NVME drive would appear mainly in benchmarks, rather than real-world applications.
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  3. glnz's Avatar
    Posts : 231
    Dual-boot Win 7 & 10, both Pro 64-bit, now with a Hyper-V VM of Win 11
    Thread Starter
       #3

    bobkn - thanks - I got the same warning elsewhere that my 7010 won't boot from an NVMe drive. Bummer.

    Do you happen to know which are the first Optiplexes that can boot from an NVMe drive? I would guess they already come with M.2 slots, but who knows? I might buy one used.
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  4. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 4,232
    Win 11 Pro 22000.282
       #4

    glnz said:
    bobkn - thanks - I got the same warning elsewhere that my 7010 won't boot from an NVMe drive. Bummer.

    Do you happen to know which are the first Optiplexes that can boot from an NVMe drive? I would guess they already come with M.2 slots, but who knows? I might buy one used.
    No idea, sorry. My last Dell purchase was in 1995. The newest Dell PC that I examined was vintage 2013, at my last job.
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  5. SIW2's Avatar
    Posts : 2,513
    trying to install win10
       #5

    Maybe I need a physical converter of some kind? What would that be?
    pcie to nvme adapter. They can be as cheap as a fiver.


    You can use clover.

    It goes on a usb stick, which you leave plugged into the back of the7010.

    In bios boot order set to usb first and clover will then boot your nvme disk .

    How to boot from NVME using Clover - NVME PCIe Adapter - YouTube
    Last edited by SIW2; 26 Nov 2021 at 16:09.
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  6. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,527
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #6

    I do have a fast M.2 SSD (2000MB read). See my specs.
    You will only see the difference to a regular 2.5" SSD (550MB read) on the benchmark test.
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  7. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 4,232
    Win 11 Pro 22000.282
       #7

    SIW2 said:
    pcie to nvme adapter. They can be as cheap as a fiver.


    You can use clover.

    It goes on a usb stick, which you leave plugged into the back of the7010.

    In bios boot order set to usb first and clover will then boot your nvme disk .

    How to boot from NVME using Clover - NVME PCIe Adapter - YouTube
    Forgot about Clover.

    Not the sort of thing I'd use, but if one is desperate to use an NVME drive...

    I'd stay with a 2.5" SATA, myself.
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  8. Megahertz's Avatar
    Posts : 3,527
    Windows 7 HP 64 - Windows 10 Pro - Lubuntu
       #8

    bobkn said:
    I'd stay with a 2.5" SATA, myself.
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  9. NavyLCDR's Avatar
    Posts : 16,811
    Windows 11 Pro
       #9

    bobkn said:
    Forgot about Clover.

    Not the sort of thing I'd use, but if one is desperate to use an NVME drive...

    I'd stay with a 2.5" SATA, myself.
    Not only that, but it would be faster just to boot the computer from internal SATA drive and load the OS from the PCIe to NVMe adapter. I also agree, there is not going to be much real world performance noticed on a lower end computer between the NVMe drive in a PCIe adapter and a 2.5" SATA SSD.
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  10. glnz's Avatar
    Posts : 231
    Dual-boot Win 7 & 10, both Pro 64-bit, now with a Hyper-V VM of Win 11
    Thread Starter
       #10

    NavyLCDR - You write "it would be faster just to boot the computer from internal SATA drive and load the OS from the PCIe to NVMe adapter"

    Sounds interesting - can you point me to some links?

    As to the rest, no one says I'm wise. I find this stuff to be interesting, when I have time to play around.

    Thanks.
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