[SOLVED] Dual NVM3 PCIe SSD's on ASUS Z370 Motherboard

Aug 17, 2019
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Hi guys from Ontario Canada. My first post here. I've been a fan of Tom's Hardware from it's beginning when they were the best of only a few such sites on line so keep up the good work!

I'm building my fist PC in my retirement years and looking forward to a successful result.

I have a NVMe question.

I've purchased an Intel i7-8700K CPU, Asus Prime Z370-A MB, Gforce GTX 1660Ti and two Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe 1TB drives as part of this system. I hope I'll be able to get max performance (3BG/s +/-) out of these two SSD drives? My main concern is performance and not setting this up in such a way that I've wasted money on my second NVM3 drive purchase without getting the most bang for the bucks. For what it's worth I have not yet opened the box on my second ssd.

Based on some research of my own, I understand I may have to give up 1 or more SATA ports but I'm fine with that. This MB has 6. I'm only going to use external HDD's for storage and hope to run these two SSD's in this new system.

Is this going to work as anticipated or did I already screw up?
 
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rgd1101

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1 x M.2 Socket 3, , with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)*1
1 x M.2 Socket 3, , with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)*2
*1. The M.2_1 socket shares SATA_1 port when use M.2 SATA mode device. Adjust BIOS settings to use a SATA device.
*2. The M.2_2 socket shares SATA_56 ports when use M.2 PCIE mode device in X4 mode. Adjust BIOS settings to use M.2 PCIE devices in X4 mode.

yes both m.2 can run x4
 

rgd1101

Titan
Moderator
1 x M.2 Socket 3, , with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)*1
1 x M.2 Socket 3, , with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE mode only)*2
*1. The M.2_1 socket shares SATA_1 port when use M.2 SATA mode device. Adjust BIOS settings to use a SATA device.
*2. The M.2_2 socket shares SATA_56 ports when use M.2 PCIE mode device in X4 mode. Adjust BIOS settings to use M.2 PCIE devices in X4 mode.

yes both m.2 can run x4
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Thanks for the quick reply. I do find this helpful but I still have some dumb questions. I was under the impression (which may be false) that one NVMe SSD would run under PCIE x16. I may be totally wrong but based on this would it be possible to have both SSD's run x16? Again I'm assuming that x16 is 3GBps performance?

If running in this dual configuration cripples both SSD's to x4 then it might be better to run in single mode to obtain the 3GBps +/- speed. Forgive me if I'm totally lost here.

Another way of looking at this is this question... Would I be better off running a single Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe 1TB drive and then spend much less for a 1 or 2TB SATA SSD as the second drive?

I'd like to end up with two SSD's with at least one being maxed out but I don't want to use have the second SSD affect the performance of the main NVMe (C:\) drive.

Does this make sense?
 

rgd1101

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Aug 17, 2019
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Thanks for the link. I'll keep that for reference.

Regarding use of this pc... I do a lot of video editing on HD files and move files I take for sports and I save a lot of sports videos for later reference in the coaching I do. I'm not saying that this is a good case for 2 ssd's but I like to keep all data files off the program files only drive. So if your thinking I don't NEED two SSD's your probably right.

The problem I have is this is my first PC build and I'm falling into the usual trap of over kill because I'm saving a lot of money doing it myself. (I should have done this many years ago.)

So I thought it would be a good idea to do at this time given I have the two NVMe slots. The other problem I have is the deep desire to have a finely tuned well running system that performs the best it can for the money invested in it.

I don't do gaming so it's not FPS that concerns me. I still appreciate high performance for video conversion and editing. I appreciate very fast file reads and wrights. I hope this makes sense.

I'm still wondering if I'm doing the right thing by pursuing a dual SSD NVMe setup? I could easily return one of the sealed SSD's if that is the most sensible thing to do. I'm looking for some guidance from the more techie people here for this dilemma.
 
Aug 17, 2019
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Good advice guys, I'm an experienced user.

I'm still wondering if I'm doing the right thing by pursuing a dual SSD NVMe setup? I could easily return one of the sealed NVMe SSD's and opt for a less expensive higher capacity SATA SSD. The case supports two Sata SSD's if that is the most sensible thing to do. Which scenario would perform the best? This is the real question I'm struggling with.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Good advice guys, I'm an experienced user.

I'm still wondering if I'm doing the right thing by pursuing a dual SSD NVMe setup? I could easily return one of the sealed NVMe SSD's and opt for a less expensive higher capacity SATA SSD. The case supports two Sata SSD's if that is the most sensible thing to do. Which scenario would perform the best? This is the real question I'm struggling with.
Neither is "best". Either config will work admirably.
Mostly depends on your budget and space needs.

As you might tell from the drive list in my sig...I'm full up on SSD's. (mostly SATA III)
My next system will almost certainly have 2x NVMe drives, and a smattering of SATA III drives.
 

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