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  1.    01 Aug 2016 #1
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Philadelphia
    Posts : 1,159
    Windows 10 Pro x64

    Easy SSD Question


    I should know the answer to this, as I feel like it should be a common sense question, but here goes. I haven't dealt with newer SSD interfaces yet, beyond the traditional SATA. My motherboard has an mSATA slot. Currently, the system volume is a 500 GB Samsung Evo 850 SATA drive. I was toying around with adding a second SSD to run my Steam games from. If I bought an mSATA drive, would it be as simple as just installing it to the mSATA slot and then booting up to assign it a drive letter (after formatting)?

    Mainly, what I'm asking is, am I correct in assuming that I don't need to change my boot order in the BIOS to have the system still boot from the SATA drive? I'm thinking no, since it is currently using UEFI, but I just wanted to check. According to my manual, I will lose access to the 6th SATA port, but that's no an issue for me.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  2.    01 Aug 2016 #2
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,039
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    The answer is yes, it it the same as if you install another SSD. However, check the manual if your mSata slot is running with 4 lanes. If not, you might want to get an adapter for it:
    Amazon.com: Lycom DT-120 M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter (Support M.2 PCIe 2280, 2260, 2242): Computers Accessories

    P.S. Read the review about this adapter to get more explanation.

    Here's an example of the difference between 2 and 4 lanes of a sm851:
    Click image for larger version. 

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      My ComputerSystem Spec
  3.    01 Aug 2016 #3
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,141
    Windows 10 Pro

    There are 3 kinds of mSATA. Original mSATA, m.2 and m.2 x4. There are also two protocols used, AHCI and NVME. There are also several different form factors (based on the length and width). The most recent is 2280 (22mm x 80mm) (but there is also 2230, 2260, and several others. Finally, there are 4 different "key" types (A, B, E and M). There is also NGFF which is sort of the old name for m.2.

    I know it's confusing. Read this article.

    Understanding M.2, the interface that will speed up your next SSD | Ars Technica

    Also read the Wikipedia article.

    M.2 - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  4.    01 Aug 2016 #4
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Philadelphia
    Posts : 1,159
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    It's definitely an mSATA port, but I don't see anything in the manual to describe how many lanes it has. Either way, this won't be the OS drive. It's a Samsung PM871 256 GB that I plan to use for my Steam Library. I'll have to do some research, or maybe just benchmarking, to figure out the lanes. Here's a link to my board:

    GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1155 - GA-Z77X-UD3H (rev. 1.1)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  5.    01 Aug 2016 #5
    Join Date : May 2015
    Posts : 1,608
    Win 10 X64 Pro 15063

    Quote Originally Posted by topgundcp View Post
    The answer is yes, it it the same as if you install another SSD. However, check the manual if your mSata slot is running with 4 lanes. If not, you might want to get an adapter for it:
    Amazon.com: Lycom DT-120 M.2 PCIe to PCIe 3.0 x4 Adapter (Support M.2 PCIe 2280, 2260, 2242): Computers Accessories

    P.S. Read the review about this adapter to get more explanation.
    Is this an issue for a SATA M.2 drive?

    It clearly is important for a PCI-E M2 device. I'm unfamiliar with a Samsung "sm851" drive. The SM951 is PCI-E.

    I'm unaware of any issue with the number of PCI-E lanes assigned to the M2 port if a SATA 6Gb drives is used. (The specs in post #4 show that one of the standard SATA ports is disabled if a SATA m.2 drive is used. It appears that particular M.2 port may not support PCI-E drives at all.)
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  6.    01 Aug 2016 #6
    Join Date : Sep 2014
    Nashville, TN
    Posts : 3,141
    Windows 10 Pro

    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
    It's definitely an mSATA port, but I don't see anything in the manual to describe how many lanes it has. Either way, this won't be the OS drive. It's a Samsung PM871 256 GB that I plan to use for my Steam Library. I'll have to do some research, or maybe just benchmarking, to figure out the lanes. Here's a link to my board:

    GIGABYTE - Motherboard - Socket 1155 - GA-Z77X-UD3H (rev. 1.1)
    Yeah, the Gigabyte Z77X-UD3H only has a standard (version1) mSATA. I had that board, was pretty good. I think using the mSATA disables one SATA port though.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  7.    01 Aug 2016 #7
    Join Date : Mar 2015
    Philadelphia
    Posts : 1,159
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter

    Quote Originally Posted by Mystere View Post
    I think using the mSATA disables one SATA port though.
    Your memory serves you well. It disables the last SATA port (5). Currently, I have a Blu-Ray writer plugged in to that port, so I'll have to move it up one.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  8.    01 Aug 2016 #8
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 1,931
    Windows 10 Pro X64

    Hi,

    That drive will perform and install just like any other SSD. It's not the fastest on the block but other than that...
    Nothing mysterious about it .

    Cheers,
      My ComputersSystem Spec
  9.    01 Aug 2016 #9
    Join Date : Jul 2014
    San Jose, California
    Posts : 2,039
    Ubuntu14.04x64 MintMate17x64 Win10Prox64

    Quote Originally Posted by DeaconFrost View Post
    Your memory serves you well. It disables the last SATA port (5). Currently, I have a Blu-Ray writer plugged in to that port, so I'll have to move it up one.
    FYI, The benefit of having a PCIeX adapter is running the M.2 at 4x instead of 2x. In addition, it'll free up the Sata port.
      My ComputerSystem Spec
  10.    01 Aug 2016 #10
    Join Date : Oct 2015
    Posts : 1,931
    Windows 10 Pro X64

    Hi,

    It's a Samsung PM871 256 GB that I plan to use for my Steam Library
    That is a Samsung OEM drive. Are you sure the company you buy it from is going to honor the warranty ?

    Cheers,
      My ComputersSystem Spec

 
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