to M.2 or not

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to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:40 pm

Hey all,

I just noticed that the motherboard I'm considering (the Asus Maximus VI Impact) has an M.2 SSD slot. I price-checked the SATA & M.2 versions of the drive I'm considering (the 512GB Crucial m550), and they're within $10 of each other.

Are there any significant cons to the M.2 drives? If not, that frees up a HD bay in the Node 304, which (in theory) would allow me to put in 4 x nTB drives for a RAID5 or RAID1+0 setup.

Thanks in advance!
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 12:44 pm

You could... but what if you want to upgrade to a setup that does not take advantage of m.2? Or a laptop that does not? What if you end up wanting it in an SATA 3 enclosure? I find the 2.5" form factor to be preferable. If none of these are worries, go for it.
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 2:30 pm

I personally like the idea of an mSATA or M.2 SSD because they offer the same performance, but are tiny in comparison to 2.5" drives, reduce cable clutter, and as you mentioned, free up additional hdd slots. I really want to have one in my next PC. As Emrys pointed out, the downside being they won't be overly "recyclable" into other systems/enclosures. But that's a minor drawback in my book.
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 3:33 pm

DPete27 wrote:I personally like the idea of an mSATA or M.2 SSD because they offer the same performance....

I thought than M.2 opened up the possibility of better (even significantly so) performance from the SSD - depending on the model in question.

I haven't found definitive proof, but from what I can tell, the M550 is a SATA implementation of M.2 rather than a PCIe as found in the macbook air and I assume Mac Pro so I think that means performance should be the same between the two (m.2 and 2.5 inch sata version of the M550). However, it appears that your mobo M.2 implementation is PCIe (capable?) if this is to be believed: http://rog.asus.com/238712013/country/r ... herboards/

So... clear as mud. I personally would go for the M.2 implementation if price was comparable and building a Small form factor system (assumed from the mITX mobo). I think I would look more into whether or not there is an NFGG M.2 PCIe SSD to take full advantage of the performance available. My google-fu is failing to provide a solid recommendation right now.
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:05 pm

Hmm...not much information, but the following would seem to be saying that the bandwidth available to the M.2 slot on that board is going to be limited by PCIe version to what is essentially the same speed as the SATA version of the SSD, even if the M.2 SSD is more capable. http://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.ph ... ombo2-slot

You'll also need to be careful about length of the M.2 SSD to make sure it's not going to interfere with your CPU cooler. Maybe the the 2.5" SATA SSD would be the way to go if for no other reason than to avoid being a guinea pig for what seems to be very new tech.
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:08 pm

Last one for now - one of my open tabs was the available M.2 ssds on Newegg and checked the review for the 128GB version of the M550 and found this:

"Cons: M.2 / NGFF have specific lengths... i bought this intending to use with Maximus VI Formula Motherboard but is too long to fit. recommed more reseach for buyers"

So, I'm going to assume the 500GB version of the M.2 550 is every bit as long as the 128GB version, so I would say you're going to want to avoid at least that SSD in the M.2 configuration for your board.
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Wed Apr 23, 2014 4:16 pm

SATA-to-M.2 adapters cost about $15. Not exactly cheap but ... is it likely that you'll ever reuse this SSD?
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Thu Apr 24, 2014 9:26 am

Wirko wrote:SATA-to-M.2 adapters cost about $15. Not exactly cheap but ... is it likely that you'll ever reuse this SSD?


Nah, this would be for my new main machine, which should last me for several years. By the time I need to upgrade again, m.2 might be more common (or obsolete, lol :roll: )


frumper15 wrote:You'll also need to be careful about length of the M.2 SSD to make sure it's not going to interfere with your CPU cooler. Maybe the the 2.5" SATA SSD would be the way to go if for no other reason than to avoid being a guinea pig for what seems to be very new tech.


I downloaded the motherboard manual from the Asus site, and it said it supported m.2 drive lengths up to 100 or 110mm. I plan on doing a closed-loop cooler, so I don't think there'll be any interference space-wise.
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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Sun Apr 27, 2014 11:58 pm

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Re: to M.2 or not

Postposted on Mon Apr 28, 2014 7:28 am

i know, i was pretty happy to see TR weigh in on this board :)
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