Question Can the Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite boot from an M.2 drive?

Mar 12, 2019
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I'm fairly certain that my mechanical hard drive is going bad and I want to just bite the bullet and finally make the upgrade to SSDs. A friend of mine suggested getting an M.2 drive to load my OS onto to increase boot times and all that good stuff, but I don't want to spend all the money on a good drive if my motherboard won't even boot from it. I know my mobo (Gigabyte B450 Aorus Elite) has a couple M.2 slots, but does anyone know if it will boot from it if I were to move my Windows 10 onto the drive?

Also, if anyone has any relevant device, should I shoot for a really high-capacity M.2 drive to store some games on as well, or would I be better off having an M.2 JUST for the OS, and then also get a SATA-connected SSD for game storage?

Many thanks,
Tucker
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Yes, you can boot from an M.2 drive.

Remember, M.2 is just a form-factor. They can be either NVMe (PCIE) or SATA based.

For the average user, the additional cost typically associated with the M.2 form-factor, and the added cost of NVMe over SATa is rarely 'worth it'.

In the US right now, you're roughly $60 for a decent ~500GB range SATA SSD. You have to jump up to ~$75-$80 for a similar sized M.2 NVMe drive.
Once you push to the 1TB mark, it makes it much easier. $100-$120 for a 1TB SATA SSD right now...... whereas you can have a 1TB Intel 660p NVMe SSD for $110
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/9nhKHx/intel-660p-series-1tb-m2-2280-solid-state-drive-ssdpeknw010t8x1
 

WildCard999

Titan
Herald
It will boot from the M.2 SSD, just make sure that Windows is installed onto it and that it's the first boot priority in the BIOS. For a M.2 I would take speed over capacity, if possible I would go with the 970 EVO 250gb or 500gb (depending on budget) then go with a Crucial MX500 1+TB for storage or a 2TB HDD for basic file/music/etc storage.
 
Mar 12, 2019
3
0
10
0
Yes, you can boot from an M.2 drive.

Remember, M.2 is just a form-factor. They can be either NVMe (PCIE) or SATA based.

For the average user, the additional cost typically associated with the M.2 form-factor, and the added cost of NVMe over SATa is rarely 'worth it'.

In the US right now, you're roughly $60 for a decent ~500GB range SATA SSD. You have to jump up to ~$75-$80 for a similar sized M.2 NVMe drive.
Once you push to the 1TB mark, it makes it much easier. $100-$120 for a 1TB SATA SSD right now...... whereas you can have a 1TB Intel 660p NVMe SSD for $110
https://pcpartpicker.com/product/9nhKHx/intel-660p-series-1tb-m2-2280-solid-state-drive-ssdpeknw010t8x1
Thank you for the swift reply, Barty! Much appreciated.
Assuming budget issues aren't in the way, is there a significant difference in the performance of an M.2 drive and a SATA SSD? Is an M.2 gonna be significantly faster, or is it only a small difference?
 
Mar 12, 2019
3
0
10
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It will boot from the M.2 SSD, just make sure that Windows is installed onto it and that it's the first boot priority in the BIOS. For a M.2 I would take speed over capacity, if possible I would go with the 970 EVO 250gb or 500gb (depending on budget) then go with a Crucial MX500 1+TB for storage or a 2TB HDD for basic file/music/etc storage.
Thank you for your advice! I'll definitely take it into consideration before making a purchase.
 

Barty1884

Titan
Moderator
Thank you for the swift reply, Barty! Much appreciated.
Assuming budget issues aren't in the way, is there a significant difference in the performance of an M.2 drive and a SATA SSD? Is an M.2 gonna be significantly faster, or is it only a small difference?
Yes... and no.
Remember, M.2 is the form-factor only. So you're asking NVMe vs SATA here - and SATA can be in M.2 or 2.5" form-factors..

While things like boot or install times are faster on NVMe, in day to day operations, I would hardly say they're noticeable. It's like a 6 second boot vs 7 seconds. Does it really matter? Sure, if you want bragging rights.
Similarly, benchmarks. If you just want to have the fastest SSD possible, NVMe is the way to go. If you just want something snappy, responsive and affordable, SATA is more than adequate.

The NVMe drives are considerably faster. Installed Win10 via SATA 860 EVO was about 5mins while a buddy of mine did the install in like a min if not less via 970 EVO NVMe.
A minute?? :ROFLMAO:

Curious when they started the timer? I've installed Windows on my 950 Pro a few times over the years I've had it. While ok, it's a few years old at this point, I would say it's a little faster than a SATA drive and not much else. Certainly not 1/5th of the time. Surely the 'bottleneck' at that stage, is the flash drive you're installing from?
 

WildCard999

Titan
Herald
A minute?? :ROFLMAO:

Curious when they started the timer? I've installed Windows on my 950 Pro a few times over the years I've had it. While ok, it's a few years old at this point, I would say it's a little faster than a SATA drive and not much else. Certainly not 1/5th of the time. Surely the 'bottleneck' at that stage, is the flash drive you're installing from?
Installed from the same flash drive, while 1 & 5min might be a stretch it was noticeably faster, at least by 3 mins. We had issues with the initial install so it had to be done a few times so it wasn't just a fluke. Post doing that I've been convinced of NVMe speeds, at least on higher end units such as the 970 EVO or Adata XPG SX8200 Pro.

And FWIW the 970 EVO NVMe is faster then your 950 Pro NVMe.
https://ssd.userbenchmark.com/Compare/Samsung-970-Evo-NVMe-PCIe-M2-250GB-vs-Samsung-950-NVMe-PCIe-M2-256GB/m494033vsm38570
 

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