Question Confused By Lanes and Storage Capacity w Nve SSD


Apr 27, 2016
Hi, i am really confused by "lanes". i am trying to figure out how many HDDs i can run on my workstation.

Here is my current build:
Gigabyte Gaming 7 z170 motherboard (here is the manual, i think page 32 addresses part of my question but im not sure )
here is a pic of the layout 7-Rev10.jpg
i7 6700k CPU
RTX 2080 (in the first GPU slot)
Samsung 950 PRO Series - 512GB PCIe NVMe (in first m2 slot)
3 SATA HDDs set up, like this View:

i have a soundblaster ZXR card in the PCIEX1_3 slot ( )

my questions:
is my current configuration bottlenecking anything? apparently depending on how i hook it up it can cause things to run at x4 rather than x8 right?

can i use anymore of the onboard SATA ports (without bottlenecking anything)? seems like they are all disabled because of the M.2 drive

Is there anything i could do to add more SATA HDD support without bottlenecking anything? possibly a SAS or SATA expander card? would i need to add it to aparticular slot to prevent bottlenecking? here is how i have the ZXR and 2080 cards on the board currently View:

i really appreciate any advice/help figuring this out! i would love to add more internal storage asap but not at the expense of performance
As you are set up right now your video card and audio card don't interfere with anything in your system. Your Samsung NVMe SSD in the first M.2 slot disables 2 of your Sata ports, so you have 6 Sata ports still working, but you are using only 3 for HDD's.

If you moved your Samsung NVMe SSD to the second M.2 slot, you would get back 2 more Sata ports, but that would instead disable your 3rd PCIe x16 slot (PCIEX4).