Question M.2M and M.2A Question

Jul 13, 2019
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Hi all,

I have a M.2 question. According to the chart in the manual of my Gigabyte Z390 Designare, (See pic_2), if I use an M.2M drive in the MB, I lose SATA port(s).

So the question is.... I have two NVMe m.2 drives. There are two places on the MB for these drives. If I install both of the drives into the slots provided, how many STA ports do I lose? I am sure they are both M.2M SATA and not M2A SATA.

I would like to fill both drive slots with NVMe M.2 SSD's. If I fill both slots which ports would I lose. There a 6 SATA ports on this board. I am not sure if my drives are M.2M drives or M.2A. But I know they are NVMe SSD's.

Thanks much....

 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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If you install an NVMe into M.2_A, you lose no SATA ports.
If you install an NVMe into M.2_M, you lose ports SATA3_4 and SATA3_5.

So, with both occupied by NVMe drives, you lose only SATA3_4 and SATA3_5.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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Both drives are M.2, M-Key NVMe, and both M.2 connectors on your motherboard are M-keyed connectors as well (according to your motherboard manual). According to the information you presented (and there is some potential conflict with slot labeling in the manual itself), you either populate M.2_M and M.2_P, or you populate M.2_A and M.2_M; and, yes, you will lose only the use of SATA3_4 and SATA3_5.
 
Jul 13, 2019
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LOL, not sure but it's my selfishness that dictates that if it came with 6 SATA ports I want to use them all. But seriously, Movie, Photoshop Scratch disks, music files. They all add up.

I guess I could just install bigger drives then I have for the storage, in the SATA drives I have left.

Thanks much for the help and advice.....
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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I wouldn't sacrifice native M.2 port performance for enabling 2 more SATA ports.

It has 6 SATA ports. You're left with 3 or 4 (depending on which user manual you're looking at...:) )
Drive space is cheaper all the time. A couple of 1TB SATA III SSD's and a couple of large HDD's...done.
 

AllanGH

Commendable
Mar 10, 2019
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There is always a down-side to using something other than the motherboard resources to support M.2 drives. With that card, you will either run into compatibility issues with the M.2 drives , themselves, or you will have reduced access times to the drives.

Do not dodge paying for sufficiently large drives by buying a bunch of smaller drives (of potentially inferior quality).

After populating the M.2_M and M.2_P connectors, you will have 3 SATA3 connectors for an optical drive, and 2 SATA3 SDDs. Assuming competent drive capacities (1TB~4TB), that's more than enough for anything you might want to do with the system.
 
Jul 13, 2019
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Yes, I did think of the comparability and maybe the drives operating at a slower then it is suppose to, speed.

I guess I can get by with the three SATA ports. Thanks for your thoughts.
 

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