[SOLVED] Do motherboards with M.2 slots support both M.2 NVME and M.2 SATA?

Iver Hicarte

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May 7, 2016
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Apologies for the ludicrous question, I am new to M.2 drives I know little to nothing about them, and I am planning to upgrade to these types of drives specifically NVME. My question is, if a motherboard has/supports M.2 drive slots, are both NVME and SATA M.2 SSD drives supported in the slots? They are basically the same form factor but with different storage technology, I am planning to buy one, but before I do I just wanna make sure that whether the technology is SATA or NVME, as long as the motherboard supports a slot for them, then it is compatible??? Because from what I've seen, the form factor is the same but what worries me are the "notches", SATA M.2's have two notches and NVME M.2's only have one (correct me if I'm wrong), and that be an issue when it comes to slot compatibility and I don't wanna waste money buying an M.2 that turns out to be not supported by my motherboard. BTW, my motherboard is this: https://rog.asus.com/ph/motherboards/rog-strix/rog-strix-b550-f-gaming-wi-fi-model/
And lastly, is it backwards compatible? If I stick in a GEN 3 drive when my motherboard support GEN 4 will it work?

THANKS!
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Not all motherboards support both types, it depends on the age of the motherboard in most cases.

ON your board, the m.2 slots support both SATA & NVME but not at all speeds.

this means top slot likely supports PCIe 4 and bottom supports PCIe 3.


1 x M.2_1 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support(SATA & PCIe 4.0 x4 mode)
AMD B550 Chipset :
1 x M.2_2 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*


above in italics is from your mb site, top m.2 slot supports 4 and is from CPU, 2nd slot supports 3.0 and is from the motherboard.

X570 motherboards have 2 PCIe 4.0 slots.

Yes, they are backwards compatible. you can run a 3 in a 4 slot, it just won't run as fast as a 4.0 will.

I would buy NVME as its faster. SATA m.2 are no faster than normal ssd, and not worth it if you can get nvme m,2
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
Not all motherboards support both types, it depends on the age of the motherboard in most cases.

ON your board, the m.2 slots support both SATA & NVME but not at all speeds.

this means top slot likely supports PCIe 4 and bottom supports PCIe 3.


1 x M.2_1 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support(SATA & PCIe 4.0 x4 mode)
AMD B550 Chipset :
1 x M.2_2 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*


above in italics is from your mb site, top m.2 slot supports 4 and is from CPU, 2nd slot supports 3.0 and is from the motherboard.

X570 motherboards have 2 PCIe 4.0 slots.

Yes, they are backwards compatible. you can run a 3 in a 4 slot, it just won't run as fast as a 4.0 will.

I would buy NVME as its faster. SATA m.2 are no faster than normal ssd, and not worth it if you can get nvme m,2
 
Last edited:

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
the key regulates how many channels it talks over, so I think most nvme would be M as they all talk over 4 channels/lanes
chart at bottom of here shows what most key types used for - https://www.atpinc.com/blog/what-is-m.2-M-B-BM-key-socket-3

M.2 type codes - "22" represents the width in millimeters (mm), while the next two digits represent the length, also in mm. The longer the drive, the more NAND flash chips can be mounted; hence, more capacity.

dell do a good job here - https://www.dell.com/support/kbdoc/en-au/000144170/how-to-distinguish-the-differences-between-m-2-cards
 
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Iver Hicarte

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May 7, 2016
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Not all motherboards support both types, it depends on the age of the motherboard in most cases.

ON your board, the m.2 slots support both SATA & NVME but not at all speeds.

this means top slot likely supports PCIe 4 and bottom supports PCIe 3.


1 x M.2_1 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support(SATA & PCIe 4.0 x4 mode)
AMD B550 Chipset :
1 x M.2_2 socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*


above in italics is from your mb site, top m.2 slot supports 4 and is from CPU, 2nd slot supports 3.0 and is from the motherboard.

X570 motherboards have 2 PCIe 4.0 slots.

Yes, they are backwards compatible. you can run a 3 in a 4 slot, it just won't run as fast as a 4.0 will.

I would buy NVME as its faster. SATA m.2 are no faster than normal ssd, and not worth it if you can get nvme m,2
Thank you so much for the very detailed answer, I got more questions that arose from your response. So that means my motherboard has two M.2 slots, the upper part being GEN 4 and the other one being GEN 3, correct? And what do you mean by " top m.2 slot supports 4 and is from CPU, 2nd slot supports 3.0 and is from the motherboard." I do get the part wherein the top slot supports GEN 4 and the 2nd slot supports GEN 3, but what do you imply by "from the cpu" and "from the motherboard."
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
So that means my motherboard has two M.2 slots, the upper part being GEN 4 and the other one being GEN 3, correct?
Yes

but what do you imply by "from the cpu" and "from the motherboard."
All Ryzen CPU can control at least 1 M.2 out of the box. Threadripper CPU can support more.
Motherboards can add support for more m.2 but they will be controlled by the motherboard. Most are supported by the chip set that is on the board

I think its to do with how many PCI lanes the CPU can support

So on your board, the top PCIe 4 slot is controlled by CPU, hence its location close to CPU, and the lower PCIe 3 slot is controlled by the chipset, if its anything like my X570 the chipset is located underneath the GPU and may have its own fan to cool it. It known as the south bridge on AMD systems, the north bridge long ago being merged with the CPU.
 
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Iver Hicarte

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Yes


All Ryzen CPU can control at least 1 M.2 out of the box. Threadripper CPU can support more.
Motherboards can add support for more m.2 but they will be controlled by the motherboard. Most are supported by the chip set that is on the board

I think its to do with how many PCI lanes the CPU can support

So on your board, the top PCIe 4 slot is controlled by CPU, hence its location close to CPU, and the lower PCIe 3 slot is controlled by the chipset, if its anything like my X570 the chipset is located underneath the GPU and may have its own fan to cool it. It known as the south bridge on AMD systems, the north bridge long ago being merged with the CPU.
Many thanks again! Your answers are so detailed and easy to comprehend! I just wanna say that you're one of those people who gives substantial and complete answers. Through my years of being a member of the Tom's hardware forums, I can say that you're really well versed.
 

Colif

Win 10 Master
Moderator
I don't know everything, i am always willing to be wrong and corrected.

most new cpu can support 20 pcie lanes, the motherboards add more for people that want more. I expect the number will grow as more m.2 slots are added to boards. Or they might think of a better solution. You can only have so many m.2 slots on a board (unless you mount them vertically)

Higher capacity drives is one answer, but its a shame they get hotter the faster they go, or you could have two m.2 stacked on top of each other in same spot to save space. Or do they start mounting them on back of motherboard?

I don't expect answers :)
 
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