M.2 SSD on Z97 Motherboard

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Jul 18, 2001
I'm getting ready to purchase the components for a new i7-4790k system with a Z97 Motherboard. And I would like to use a M.2 SSD

I was almost set to order the Asus Z97-E/USB3.1 board but I read that it is only compatible with PCIe M.2 cards such as the Samsung 950 PRO Series, which are twice the cost of other M.2 cards. Now I'm very confused as to which M.2 SSDs work with what motherboards. There seems to be several standards to the M.2 SSDs.

Could someone please recommend a Z97 motherboard and appropriate compatible M.2 SSD? I don't want to spend more than I need to, I'm not a gamer, just want a speedy everyday system for CAD work.

Also, does anyone think that I should just stick with a SATA SSD instead to save $. Ideally I like to be spending around $140 for the MOBO and $170 for a 500gb SSD.





Agreed with the previous posters, except i would look no further than the 850 evo as you will be hard pressed to see a diffence woth the price between the evo and the pro in 2.5" format. Bencmarks, yes. Real word usage? Not su much.

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!

Theres really 2 common M.2 SATA and M.2 PCIe. To be honest the M.2 SATA isn't worth it, if you aren't going to go 950 PRO, you might as well just get yourself a regular SATA Samsung 850 PRO it will be just as fast as the M.2 drive and it will be cheaper.
I agree, stick with a standard 2.5" SATA SSD. It will save you money and from what you stated you are looking for "speedy every day system" I think you will more than accomplish that without needing to get a $300 M.2 PCI drive. M.2 SATA isn't any different than a regular 2.5" SATA drive, just different physical format.


Yeah I agree with the others, go ahead and buy a speedy sata SSD like the 850 Pro.

The thing with the 9 series chipsets is that it came during a time when M.2 was in it's infancy. Because of this, the M.2 slots on Z97 motherboards have only half the bandwidth of the new Z170 and X99 chipset motherboards. Z97 only has 2 PCIE lanes going to M.2 while the newer slots have 4. This will create a big bottleneck for speedy M.2 SSDs like the 950 Pro which use all 4 lanes. The maximum amount of speed you'll get is "only" 1GBps on a x2 slot.


May 29, 2014
I would like to add to this older post that I agree with all the members who dissuaded you from buying an M.2 SSD. I also agree that you only needed a 500GB 850 EVO by Samsung.

The other reason is to own a SATA SSD is portability. You can easily move it from one machine to another, plug it into a USB3.0/3.1 Adapter and clone a system or backup files without having to plug the SSD into the SATA Headers on the motherboard. A SATA SSD is far more diversified than an M.2 SSD.

I hope what you assembled last year has held-up well for you.

This is my system and it's four years old.


Rogue Leader

It's a trap!

With this post being a year and a half old, the OP is not coming back to it, please stick to replying to current threads.
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