[SOLVED] M2 SATA - is it a dead-end? Does 2.5" SATA actually make somewhat more sense?

King_V

Judicious
Ambassador
So, my son needs more storage. Currently he has a 1TB Intel 660p drive for most use, and a small, 120GB 2.5" SATA for Windows updates files, small and/or retro games, etc.

He's running low on space, and is not fond of deleting and re-downloading.

The motherboard is an ASRock B450M Steel Legend, having 1 M2 NVMe slot (the 660p), 1 M2 SATA slot (empty), and a few SATA ports.

What we're considering:
  • Option 1 - replace the 1TB NVMe with a 2TB NVMe. Initially a hassle, and more expensive, but more convenient for game libraries to stay on one drive.
  • Option 2 - supplement the system with a 500GB or maybe 1TB SATA drive. Cheaper (if 500GB), and quick and easy to set up, but a little bit of a hassle managing two drives for game libraries.
Option 2 is where I have some questions... namely, is there any purpose to getting an M2 SATA drive? I understand that there's less cable clutter, but, I suspect that M2 SATA is a bit of a conundrum. Older systems can only use the 2.5" drives, and not all motherboards bother with an M2 SATA... ie: my A300W Deskmini has 2 SATA ports for 2.5" drives, but both M2 slots are NVMe.

Basically - would going with an M2 SATA drive mean that the drive might be of limited, or possibly no use, down the road, outside of his current system?
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
147,519
9,366
175,390
23,029
2.5", M.2 SATA, M.2 NVMe.....all depends on the motherboard.

An M.2 SATA is exactly the same performance as the 2.5" version of the same drive.
ex. 860 EVO == 860 EVO.

For that motherboard, either will work no problem.


Later on, that same drive could still be used with a PCIe slot adapter....$15.
 

Bob.B

Respectable
So, my son needs more storage. Currently he has a 1TB Intel 660p drive for most use, and a small, 120GB 2.5" SATA for Windows updates files, small and/or retro games, etc.

He's running low on space, and is not fond of deleting and re-downloading.

The motherboard is an ASRock B450M Steel Legend, having 1 M2 NVMe slot (the 660p), 1 M2 SATA slot (empty), and a few SATA ports.

What we're considering:
  • Option 1 - replace the 1TB NVMe with a 2TB NVMe. Initially a hassle, and more expensive, but more convenient for game libraries to stay on one drive.
  • Option 2 - supplement the system with a 500GB or maybe 1TB SATA drive. Cheaper (if 500GB), and quick and easy to set up, but a little bit of a hassle managing two drives for game libraries.
Option 2 is where I have some questions... namely, is there any purpose to getting an M2 SATA drive? I understand that there's less cable clutter, but, I suspect that M2 SATA is a bit of a conundrum. Older systems can only use the 2.5" drives, and not all motherboards bother with an M2 SATA... ie: my A300W Deskmini has 2 SATA ports for 2.5" drives, but both M2 slots are NVMe.

Basically - would going with an M2 SATA drive mean that the drive might be of limited, or possibly no use, down the road, outside of his current system?
Just a thought.
Get a 1TB/2TB ext hdd use it as an archive.
Move seldom used games from the nvme to the hdd freeing up space on the nvme for new games.

If son ever wants to play one of the old games move it back to the nvme no download needed.

No fussin with any of the internals.
 

USAFRet

Titan
Moderator
Mar 16, 2013
147,519
9,366
175,390
23,029
Quick question on this - if later using an M2 SATA with a PCIe slot adapter, I've noticed that some use a PCIe x4 slot, and some use a PCIe x16 slot.

Any idea why some of those adapters are using x16? That seems . . uh . . excessive.
  1. They are mostly slot agnostic. x4/x16...just text in the ad.
  2. Bigger numbers are better, doncha know.
 

King_V

Judicious
Ambassador
  1. They are mostly slot agnostic. x4/x16...just text in the ad.
  2. Bigger numbers are better, doncha know.
Ah, the x16 adapters I'd seen, they physically would require a x16 slot. It's like "why the hell would you take up the video card slot?!"

Since the 1TB drive on the computer at his mom's house (a Dell XPS 8910) is also approaching the limit, something I hadn't thought about earlier, the plan of action is altered somewhat. That the 2TB MX500 2.5" is available for $170 as @mdd1963 mentioned helps nudge things in this direction.

So, our plan of action is going to be this:
  • Buy aCrucial MX500 2.5" 2TB
  • Put it in the Dell machine he has at mom's house.
  • Remove the Crucial MX500 2.5" 1TB that is currently in the Dell
  • Install that Crucial 1TB into his machine at my place (the one with the Steel Legend mobo) as the D drive.
  • Clone the existing D drive (that 120GB 2.5" SSD mentioned in my original post) to it
  • Remove the 120GB SSD, and keep it around for some silly project that's sure to come up at some point.
He'll just have to live with the minor inconvenience of two Steam libraries on the computer at home.
 

King_V

Judicious
Ambassador
Ah, in the case of the motherboards in the Dell OEM systems, I guess it will come as no surprise that there's only a single PCIe x16.

Weirdly, the Haswell era Dell server machines I have seem to have 2 PCIe x16 slots . . and a standard, old-school PCI slot wedged in there. Bizarre.
 
Thread starter Similar threads Forum Replies Date
Danvic Storage 9

ASK THE COMMUNITY