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adampk17
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Question about a NVMe SSD and shared PCI-E lanes

Mon Jun 11, 2018 2:32 pm

Hello Gerbils,

I'm upgrading my system here in the next week or so with a new proc, MB, RAM, and my first ever NVMe SSD, a Samsung 970 1TB.

The motherboard is going to be a Gigabyte Z370 Aorus Gaming 7 and HERE is the link to the TR review where it talks about how the PCI-E lanes are divvied up.

If I'm understanding correctly, inserting a NVMe SSD in to the top-most slot, above the first PCI-E slot, you will lose two of the six regular SATA ports. I plan on having a SATA Blu-Ray drive (I rip my movies), and two 4 TB mechanical drives in a mirror installed for media backups. That's 3 SATA drives, I'd have 4 ports, so I'd be OK for my current config.

My reason for asking this question is that I'd rather avoid having two SATA ports disabled. From the review it looks like moving the NVMe SSD to the second slot would accomplish that at the expense of subjecting the NVMe SSD to heat from the graphics card. From what I've read, avoiding excess heat on NVMe SSD is important so the second slot doesn't seem like a solid idea after all.

If I'm reading the diagram correctly, it seems that the bottom-most NVMe SSD slot shares it's 4 PCI-E lanes with the bottom-most PCI-E slot. If correct that seems totally fine with me, I'm never going to be installing a second or third graphics card.


Firstly, does it seem like I'm I understanding those diagrams correctly? Secondly, does anyone with experience with NVMe SSDs see any potential issues with me installing my NVMe SSD in the bottom-most slot? Perhaps there is something I'm unaware of.

Thanks!
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Mentawl
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Re: Question about a NVMe SSD and shared PCI-E lanes

Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:41 pm

Provided there's a bit of airflow across the board, the lower most slot should be fine.

If you're concerned, consider something like an EKWB heatsink for the NVMe drive (https://www.ekwb.com/shop/catalogsearch/result/?q=nvme) or if you're really worried about it, something like the kryoM.2 adapter card (https://shop.aquacomputer.de/product_in ... ts_id=3659) so you can just pop the NVMe SSD in the bottom-most PCI-E slot (that's what I did for mine - better airflow and a nice heatsink sandwich :) ) - think both items are available in the US too.

However unless you're putting the drive under super heavy, constant load, I doubt either of those options are necessary. Most monitoring tools can monitor the temp of the NVMe drive, so you can try it in both slots and see what the difference is - for example, HWiNFO64 reads the temperature of my RD400 NVMe SSD just fine (currently showing a max of 42c drive temp while it's mounted in one of the kryoM.2 cards).
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SecretSquirrel
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Re: Question about a NVMe SSD and shared PCI-E lanes

Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:35 pm

Another option is to use one of these and install it in the bottom most PCIe slot. Keeps the SSD out of the Graphics card heat and would still use the same four PCIe lanes.

--SS
 
adampk17
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Re: Question about a NVMe SSD and shared PCI-E lanes

Mon Jun 11, 2018 6:40 pm

I don’t suppose that PCI-E slot adapter would change how the SSD was seen by the BIOS and for booting, would it?
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frumper15
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Re: Question about a NVMe SSD and shared PCI-E lanes

Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:33 am

adampk17 wrote:
I don’t suppose that PCI-E slot adapter would change how the SSD was seen by the BIOS and for booting, would it?


In my experience using a x4 pcie adapter shows the m.2 drive to the pc the same way using the m.2 slot on the board does. I had a similar issue where I needed to use 5 sata ports and my board divvied up sata ports and pci lanes in a similar way with the m.2 slot and the bottom slot.

I would probably just start with the drive in the bottom-most m.2 slot and see if thermals are an issue - I doubt they will be, but if they are you can get a heatsink or the expansion/adapter card to fix that without needing to reinstall anything.
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adampk17
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Re: Question about a NVMe SSD and shared PCI-E lanes

Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:32 pm

frumper15 wrote:
In my experience using a x4 pcie adapter shows the m.2 drive to the pc the same way using the m.2 slot on the board does. I had a similar issue where I needed to use 5 sata ports and my board divvied up sata ports and pci lanes in a similar way with the m.2 slot and the bottom slot.

I would probably just start with the drive in the bottom-most m.2 slot and see if thermals are an issue - I doubt they will be, but if they are you can get a heatsink or the expansion/adapter card to fix that without needing to reinstall anything.


I think I'l throw the SSD in the bottom slot when I build it and monitor the drive's heat. Thanks everyone for your replies.
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