[SOLVED] M2 NVME Gen 4 - How to get best performance

winwacom

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Aug 30, 2016
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M.2 SSDs are the primary focus for my upcoming build.

Where i have become torn is that i MUST have full PCI-e4 to get the max performance from M.2 NVME Gen 4 drives.

I am comparing what seemed to be fairly identical boards for g11/g12 Intel CPUs, one being a z590 the other a z690. But when i come to look at the SSD controller part, they are different.

The Gigabyte Z590 AORUS PRO AX supports 4 x M.2 drives as this

CPU:
  1. 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280 PCIe 4.0 x4/x2 SSD support) (M2A_CPU) *
  2. 2 x M.2 connectors (Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280/22110 PCIe 4.0* x4/x2 SSD support) (M2B_CPU)(M2C_CPU)
    * Supported by 11th Generation processors only.
Chipset:
  1. 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe 3.0 x4/x2 SSD support) (M2P_SB)
Compared with Gigabyte Z690 AORUS ELITE AX DDR4 which has support for 4 x M.2 drives also, but in a different config

CPU:
  1. 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280/22110 PCIe 4.0 x4/x2 SSD support) (M2A_CPU)
Chipset:
  1. 1 x M.2 connector (Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280/22110 SATA and PCIe 4.0 x4/x2 SSD support) (M2M_SB)
  2. 2 x M.2 connectors (Socket 3, M key, type 2260/2280/22110 PCIe 4.0 x4/x2 SSD support) (M2Q_SB/M2P_SB)
Am i correct in assuming the CPU controlled M.2 connectors are the true Gen 4 speeds i am seeking, therefor making the Gigabyte Z590 AORUS PRO AX a better choice for me (i'm not concerned about the generation 11 CPU i'll have to have).

I'm a bit confused because i was expecting the z690 boards to be "better" and in this case the z590 seems "better" at least from my needs/wants.

Many thanks to anyone who can help me.
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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Chipset or CPU, makes no difference.
As long as the port is PCIe 4.0 x4, you will get the theoretical best speed out of a PCIe 4.0 drive.

And unless you are transferring sequential data between 2 such drives, you'll see little if any difference over a PCIe 3.0 drive.

The benchmark numbers and advertising make it sound like there is a huge difference.
Real world performance, not so much. They are ALL very very fast.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YoRKQy-UO4

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DKLA7w9eeA

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ9LyNXpsOo&t=2s
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
153,763
11,024
175,990
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Chipset or CPU, makes no difference.
As long as the port is PCIe 4.0 x4, you will get the theoretical best speed out of a PCIe 4.0 drive.

And unless you are transferring sequential data between 2 such drives, you'll see little if any difference over a PCIe 3.0 drive.

The benchmark numbers and advertising make it sound like there is a huge difference.
Real world performance, not so much. They are ALL very very fast.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4YoRKQy-UO4

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4DKLA7w9eeA

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GQ9LyNXpsOo&t=2s
 

Nighthawk117

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Sep 27, 2021
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M2A_CPU will give you the best performance because it's 4 lanes wired directly to the CPU. This will be the best configuration for when Microsoft DirectStorage is implemented in games. M2M_SB is your next best option because it's 4 PCI-E lanes wired to the chipset. Right now you won't notice any difference between the CPU and chipset x4 options but the CPU is preferable.
 

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