Easy SSD Question

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  1. DeaconFrost's Avatar
    Posts : 1,363
    Windows 10 Pro x64
       #1

    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.
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  2. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,762
    MintMate19x64 Win10Prox64
       #2

    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:
    Easy SSD Question-sm851x2.jpgEasy SSD Question-sm851x4.jpg
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  3. Mystere's Avatar
    Posts : 3,257
    Windows 10 Pro
       #3

    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
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  4. DeaconFrost's Avatar
    Posts : 1,363
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #4

    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)
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  5. bobkn's Avatar
    Posts : 3,603
    Win 10 X64 Pro 20H2 19042.685
       #5

    topgundcp said:
    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.)
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  6. Mystere's Avatar
    Posts : 3,257
    Windows 10 Pro
       #6

    DeaconFrost said:
    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.
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  7. DeaconFrost's Avatar
    Posts : 1,363
    Windows 10 Pro x64
    Thread Starter
       #7

    Mystere said:
    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.
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  8. Posts : 2,764
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #8

    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,
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  9. topgundcp's Avatar
    Posts : 2,762
    MintMate19x64 Win10Prox64
       #9

    DeaconFrost said:
    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.
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  10. Posts : 2,764
    Windows 10 Pro X64
       #10

    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 Computers


 
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