Question adding M.2 to ASRock Z77 Extreme4

njitgrad

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Jun 13, 2012
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My son wants additional storage space in his system that I build for him a few years ago. The MB is an ASRock Z77 Extreme4 and it obviously doesn't have an M.2 port.

Any recommendations for an adapter for that MB that would work? I understand that he won't be able to boot from it but at least he will have it for mass storage.

Or should I just get a regular SSD instead?
 

kanewolf

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My son wants additional storage space in his system that I build for him a few years ago. The MB is an ASRock Z77 Extreme4 and it obviously doesn't have an M.2 port.

Any recommendations for an adapter for that MB that would work? I understand that he won't be able to boot from it but at least he will have it for mass storage.

Or should I just get a regular SSD instead?
Don't bother with M.2. Get a standard 2.5in SATA SSD.
 

Math Geek

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you won't see any advantage using an adapter card vs a good ol sata ssd.

save the expense and effort and just nab one of the good deals on a sata ssd. or if he needs a ton of speace, then a spinning disk is still a valid option for 4+ tb of space as they are dirt cheap.
 

punkncat

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You can get PCI adapters for M.2 drives if you have an open slot. Some older machines will allow booting from there, but I am not exactly sure where that line is. Z77 is 3rd gen IIRC and the ability to boot from was right around that same era. Might be worthwhile to look up the manual and see if there is mention of it.

If you are going to leave OS on a 2.5" SSD then it really isn't going to matter if you have storage on one as well. I don't think any faster speed devices would really be realized in that use case.
 

Math Geek

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oops, misread it

2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE3: single at x16 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE3) or dual at x8/x8 mode)

so using a pcie card would drop both slots to x8. hate when they call both clots x16 but the second slot never gets more than x8.

still not really worth it for no real world performance gain.
 
2 x PCI Express 3.0 x16 slots (PCIE2/PCIE3: single at x16 (PCIE2) / x8 (PCIE3) or dual at x8/x8 mode)
so using a pcie card would drop both slots to x8. hate when they call both clots x16 but the second slot never gets more than x8.
PCIE version on cpu connected slots - depends on cpu used.
With 2nd gen Intel core cpus you get PCIE 2.0.
With 3rd gen cpus you get PCIE 3.0.

Single M.2 slot PCIE M.2 adapter requires only PCIE x4.
PCIE 3.0 x8 slot is plenty.

So it is possible to get full bandwidth necessary for PCIE 3.0 M.2 drive like Sasung 970 evo.

 

Karadjgne

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There's 2x form factors and 2x types of ssd. You have 2.5" common and m.2 forms, Sata and NVMe types.

Z77 will not boot from pcie/NVMe, that was not implemented until 4th gen, it's a bios restriction as the bios as written back then does not recognise NVMe as bootable. It takes windows, which is native NVMe (raid drivers) compatible. NVMe is only found in m.2 form factor.

Sata drives can be either m.2 or 2.5" form factors and are bootable on Z77, as Sata is bios native.

So, you could use a pcie adapter with a Sata m.2, however your motherboard uses pcie x16/x4, which will essentially get chopped to x16/x2 or x16/x1 with the pcie adapter, making it realistically useless for good Sata speeds. As well as being more expensive overall.

Your best bet for boot/storage is your basic Sata 2.5" ssd. Some prefer multiple drives, using a 250-500Gb as boot/OS/essentials drive, with mass storage on a much larger HDD or SSD. Some prefer just to use a single very large C drive for everything as windows will sort by folder or you can assign another partition to such, and have a smaller C and large D on the same physical drive. Your choice.
 

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