Question How can I make this NVMe drive work with my old machine?

Sep 18, 2019
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A while back I bought a Dell Precision T1600 Workstation on eBay, incredibly cheap. I needed a new gaming PC after an unfortunate incident with my last one. Since the stock build is unsatisfactory for most games I'm interested in playing, I've been gradually upgrading components:

2 more 2gig RAM sticks for a total of 8GB

nVidia Quadro 600 replaced with nVidia Geforce GTX 1070

650 watt PSU added to replace the stock one which didn't have the right connector or enough juice for the 1070

Still has stock Xeon E3-1225 with stock CPU cooler, stock 500gig HDD, stock DVD writer optical drive, and stock motherboard model 6NWYK.

Obvious next upgrade is the HDD, it's consistently bottle-necking my system. There's room for me to mount a 2.5" SATA III SSD in there but NVMe chips are now surprisingly affordable and if I can I'd like to stick one of them in it for maximum read/write speed.

The motherboard has no M.2 port of course, the thing is too old and designed for work not pleasure. NBD, the PCIe x16 gen 2 slot that my graphics card is not plugged into is wired for x4. I got an x4 to M.2 adapter card, mounted a Crucial P1 1TB drive on the card and the card in the machine. Red LED lights up, indicating the adapter has power. Green LED indicating file transfer never lights up.

I've reseated it, tried in the other x16 slot, tried a different drive, updated my BIOS to version A21.

The drive is designed for PCIe gen3, which the card is spec'd to handle. Could that be my problem? Are there some motherboards that can't handle NVMe drives? Am I missing a driver or some other piece of software? Was the card itself shipped to me in a nonfunctional state? Any advice from any tech gurus would be muchly appreciated.
 
Sep 18, 2019
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Won't happen , there is no BIOS for those workstations that would support Booting OS from the NVME...Sorry.
Nah I get that, one of these days I'll swap out the motherboard for something newer and then it'll boot. All I'm trying to do is load my game library onto it, but Windows won't detect the drive at all.
 
Sep 18, 2019
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I don't think it will run on the old Workstation.
That's disappointing. Are you aware of an LGA 1155 motherboard more likely to be compatible, or a database where I can find the imformation? PCPartPicker doesn't have information on motherboards with this CPU socket. I'm not excited about the prospect of paying for another processor but if there's a motherboard that's compatible with both my CPU and my new drive I could eat that cost and upgrade now.
 
You dont. That system is too old for the bios to boot from any form of NVME in adapter or PCIe SSD.

You MAY be able to use the NVME in an adapter, but you won't be able to boot from it.

I would always opt to use a SATA 2.5in drive for older machines. While NVME>SATA in some workloads, the game loading performance is almost indistinguishable between either. The SATA 2.5in SSD will certainly work, while the NVME compatibility is questionable
 
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