Question Dual M.2 PCI-E Adapter Question

barbarianhorde

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Hey guys,

I posted something about this a while back but I have a couple of additional questions. I have 2, 2TB M.2 NVME SSD's, I bought a dual PCI-E adapter so I could plug both of them in and run both of them from a single PCI-E slot, unfortunately I failed to read the fine print of the adapter before I purchased it which is my own stupid fault. The adapter I got had a slot for an M-Key & a B Key, what I need is an adapter that supports 2x M Key M.2 NME SSD's it seems like all of the ones I'm finding either support a single M-Key M.2 or it supports an M-Key and a B-Key, or an M-Key and a M&B Key and or a SATA M.2. So long story short I'm wondering if anyone would be able to suggest a dual M.2 Adapter that has 2x M-Key slots? When I originally ran into this problem I was simply going to return the SSD's and buy a single standard 4TB SSD that I could put in one of the internal bays, unfortunately I exceeded the return window so I'm stuck with both of them. I'm also wondering if I would get better performance from buying 2 individual adapters? I'm still not SUPER knowledgeable about the M.2 SSD stuff so any input and advice would be GREATLY appreciated.

Thanks!
BarbarianHorde
 
Apr 4, 2021
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Not sure what sort of PCIe slot you are using. Have a look at this (just for example, you may find better): PCIe card for NVMe M.2

The dual socket ones seem pretty pricey, compared to the single socket types. Remember those prices may be in Austrlian dollars, so might only be 50c in US dollars ;)


{GoofyOne's 2c worth ... which may or may not be actually worth 2c}
 
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barbarianhorde

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By crikey, I'm on fire just when I am supposed to go and cook dinner.

You have to have certain feature on your motherboard/BIOS to use these ones, but they are quite a bit cheaper: PCIe card for NVMe M.2 x 4


{GoofyOne}
Hey Mate,

Thanks for the quick response, as far as the slots on the mobo go, the ones I'm using for this are PCI 3.0 X1's which I have 3 of those that are free. The card that I found that has two M-Key slots is this one.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08P57G1JW/ref=ox_sc_act_title_1?smid=ATXIDHHW6V9XV&psc=1

Which it's a little on the pricey side, but the reviews seem to be quite good compared to the cheaper ones that I've found that seem to be around the $15-20 mark. Though I'm still a bit curious if I would get better performance from running 2 individual adapters vs running 2 M.2 SSDs from a single adapter.
 
as far as the slots on the mobo go, the ones I'm using for this are PCI 3.0 X1's which I have 3 of those that are free.
What make/model motherboard?
What make/model M.2 drives?

For 2x M.2 drives on PCIE adapter card, x16 PCIE slot with at least PCIE x8 electrical connection is required.
Putting it into PCIE x1 slot will result in 4x reduced bandwidth for one M.2 slot and second M.2 slot will probably get disabled.

Edit: From your other topic I'm guessing board in question is ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS. Right?
This board has single PCIE x16 slot and single PCIE x4 slot (x16 physical).
If x16 slot is ocupied with graphics card, then you can not use PCIE x8 M.2 adapter. Only PCIE x4 slot is available on your board.

BTW - on your motherboard PCIE x1 slots are with closed ends. You can't put anything larger than PCIE x1 card in them.
 
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barbarianhorde

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What make/model motherboard?
What make/model M.2 drives?

For 2x M.2 drives on PCIE adapter card, x16 PCIE slot with at least PCIE x8 electrical connection is required.
Putting it into PCIE x1 slot will result in 4x reduced bandwidth for one M.2 slot and second M.2 slot will probably get disabled.

Edit: From your other topic I'm guessing board in question is ASUS TUF GAMING B550-PLUS. Right?
This board has single PCIE x16 slot and single PCIE x4 slot (x16 physical).
If x16 slot is ocupied with graphics card, then you can not use PCIE x8 M.2 adapter. Only PCIE x4 slot is available on your board.

BTW - on your motherboard PCIE x1 slots are with closed ends. You can't put anything larger than PCIE x1 card in them.
Yeah it's the Asus B550-Plus, as I mentioned I'm a bit new to the NVME M.2 stuff, I'm pretty knowledgeable about the standard SSD's and platter drives but I'm not really that familiar with all of the intricacies of the M.2's. Which yeah the 16x PCI-E slot is occupied by my graphics card, the other full size isn't being used. As mentioned I have 3x of the PCI 3.0's X1's. So in this case what would you suggest doing? As I'm pretty much stuck with the 2 NVME M.2's, which they've never been used obviously, but they're both opened so even if I were to sell them I would take a pretty big hit on them. Ideally I'd like to come up with some way of utilizing them, but with what you pointed out it seems like I'm a bit limited. So yeah if you have any suggestions I'm definitely all ears at this point.
 
You still haven't shared with us model names of your NVME drives.

Your motherboard has 2 onboard NVME slots. So 2 nvme drives can go there.
For third NVME drive use PCIE M.2 adapter (with single M.2 slot) and put into PCIE x4 slot.
 

barbarianhorde

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They're both Samsung 970's (2280's) the two onboard M.2 slots that actually fit these specific SSD's are already occupied, which is why I'm looking for an alternative.
 
Apr 4, 2021
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Sorry for your pain.

Yes, the ones I linked would require a x8 slot for the dual socket one, and a x16 slot for the quad M.2 socket adapter. That would require you to be using onboard graphics (igpu) and then have the adapter plugged into the x16 socket where the graphics card would normally be. (which would seem like an unusual thing to do on a gaming board)

A x1 slot would only do around 8Gbps maximum I think, you may get away with putting 2 SATA type SSDs in a x1 socket, but NVMe's would only work at something like SATA3 speed.

You could put a single NVMe SSD in the PCIe x4 expansion socket, and it should work at full speed.



{GoofyOne's 2c worth .... whilst he grumbles into his coffee mug about manufacturers putting misleading labels on things and calling them PCIE x16 slots)
 

barbarianhorde

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So you have 4x 2TB nvme drives total? All Samsung 970 ?
Nope,

Two are Samsung 970's, and two are Sabrent 2TB Rocket NVMe's the Sabrents were the original two. Purchased a single Samsung 970 without doing my due diligence and realizing that the last open M.2 slot didn't support the 2280's. At which point I pondered and executed buying a second 970 and figured I could go the adapter route and utilize them that way since returning the original one wasn't an option at that point. In the end it's my own fault for not reading into it sufficiently, as previously mentioned I'm a bit new (understatement) to the M.2 tech.
 
Using 4 nvme drives is a bit tricky.

1st option. This will cause slightly lowered graphics performance.
putting graphics card in PCIE x4 slot (x16 physical),​
putting PCIE M.2 adapter (with 2 or 4 M.2 slots) in PCIE 16 slot.​
2nd option. Graphics performance wouldn't be too significantly impacted.
getting a different motherboard with 2 PCIE x16 slots, that can switch into x8/x8 operation mode. Like Asus ProArt B550-CREATOR, ROG STRIX B550-XE GAMING WIFI.​
graphics goes into one slot,​
pcie M.2 adapter (with 2 M.2 slots) goes into other slot.​
 

barbarianhorde

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Using 4 nvme drives is a bit tricky.

1st option. This will cause slightly lowered graphics performance.
putting graphics card in PCIE x4 slot (x16 physical),​
putting PCIE M.2 adapter (with 2 or 4 M.2 slots) in PCIE 16 slot.​
2nd option. Graphics performance wouldn't be too significantly impacted.
getting a different motherboard with 2 PCIE x16 slots, that can switch into x8/x8 operation mode. Like Asus ProArt B550-CREATOR, ROG STRIX B550-XE GAMING WIFI.​
graphics goes into one slot,​
pcie M.2 adapter (with 2 M.2 slots) goes into other slot.​
So I take it I don't have an option of plugging a dual NVME adapter into the other full size 16/8x PCI-E slot? As far moving the GPU to the other slot, seeing as I'm a pretty dedicated gamer that wouldn't be ideal. Are there any adapters that'll fit into the 3.5" bay where you'd run them with a standard power/SATA connection to the board more or less like a standard drive? Obviously IF that were a possibility you'd lose some performance.. At this point changing out the motherboard really isn't worth it at this point, so if possible I'd like to try to utilize these, if not I can always sell them and break close to even on them.
 
Other full size x16 slot is x4 electrical (not x8). Dual NVME pcie adapter will not work there (only one of M.2 slots on the adapter will be operational).
You have no way for connecting 4 nvme drives to this board (other than moving graphics card to PCIE x4 slot).

BTW - what graphics card are you using? If it is not too high end, then move from x16 to x4 might not be very performance detrimental.
 

barbarianhorde

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The Graphics card is a RTX 2080TI so it's fairly high end, the whole rig is pretty high end, or it was at least when I built it a few months ago, it's more or less dedicated to gaming.
 

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