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Discussion Starter #1
Sorry if this has been answered, all my searching leads to nvme vs sata or hdd threads. I am building a new system soon and I see many top motherboards have multiple M.2 sockets. I presume these are via pcie (but I am aware they can be sata). Is there any benefit of using pcie x4 socket over M.2 (nvme)?

Also I watched a few videos and understand there is no difference between regular sata ssd's and nvme when it comes to gaming or even load times. Is this correct? as there are many different opinions out there. M.2 doesn't seem to make much sense to me, tiny hot running chips vs a much larger cooler pcie board, or am I missing something?
 

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There is no reason to use a PCIe board if the motherboard has m.2 pcie slots. Heat is really not going to be a factor at all.

Some boards will have different combinations of pcie and SATA m.2 slots. My board has one of each. I have a Samsung 960 NVMe in the m.2 pcie slot and that runs at 3200 MB/s read. In my bottom m.2 slot which is limited to SATA, is an Adata m.2 which runs at 520 MB/s.

I know you asked about game load times. You definitely want the NVMe. The drives are not that much more than the m.2 SATA versions, but run 6 times faster. How much that boosts game load times, I'm not sure. But there's no reason to get the SATA version unless your board simply doesn't support NVMe or only supports it in one m.2 slot like my board.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for that. Looks like a NVMe M.2 is a good idea for my next windows drive. I would like a 1gb drive to put steam on so I guess I will choose the cheapest out of sata 2.5" and m.2 of both kinds depending on the motherboard I end up with.
 

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No problem. I only know the deal because I accidentally bought two NVMe Samsung 960 only to find out my second m.2 slot only supported Sata speeds. So I had to return one of them for a SATA m.2. You learn best from your mistakes.

If you did an NVMe for your boot drive and then found a Sata m2 cheap enough and large enough for your game drive, it is quite pleasant not having to have a drive cage and not having to run Sata and power cables to drives.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
In the end I ended up getting a 960 evo 250gb for windows and a 1tb 850 evo for steam. Should arrive today. I am looking forward to seeing any improvement over the regular sata ssd i currently have windows on.
 

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The biggest benefit is not having to run Sata and power cables. Unfortunately, if your previous ssd that you had Windows on was competent, the NVME drive to me does not feel much different. In sequential reads and writes, it blows away sata ssd. But most people are not writing such large files. Don’t expect that feeling of when you jumped from hdd to ssd again.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Well I finally got it working however I now can't use it with my wifi adapter card which sits in the PCIEx1 slot. M.2 takes this bandwidth when enabled.
Could I use the third PCIe 2.0x16 slot? I think if the second 3.0x16 slot is still empty it won't halve the graphics card bandwidth having something in the third slot?

Maybe this z370 8700K upgrade needs to happen sooner.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by tw2 View Post

Well I finally got it working however I now can't use it with my wifi adapter card which sits in the PCIEx1 slot. M.2 takes this bandwidth when enabled.
Could I use the third PCIe 2.0x16 slot? I think if the second 3.0x16 slot is still empty it won't halve the graphics card bandwidth having something in the third slot?

Maybe this z370 8700K upgrade needs to happen sooner.
You will probably find that once you populate the bottom 4x PCI-E slot that it disables all 3 1x PCI-E slots. The second 16x Slot would be from the CPU not the chipset so whilst you can use it it may not be bootable, also will reduce first 16x slot down to 8x instead of 16x if you do that, wont have an impact on graphics performance though. Not so much of an issue with Z170/270/370 since you have 20-24 PCI-E lanes from chipset via DMI 3.0
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Thanks for the reply. I haven't really had this issue before so I made a crappy picture with my board. I believe the x1 wifi expansion card will work fine in a x16 slot? I think the manual says this bottom x16 slot has two lanes dedicated to it which are separate from the four that the M.2 card steals when enabled. And also separate from the top two x16 slots...

 
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