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Question Sata storage vs PCIe storage for m.2 on Asus Prime z390-a


Aug 28, 2012
So there is two m.2 storage plug-ins, however one of them only allows PCIe storage while the other allows for sata storage. I'm confused to not only the difference (other than the obvious) but also what that means I need to be looking for as far as PCIe storage is. There seems to be no easy search I've found thus far and need some assistance if someone could help me out. I figure this is an easy question to be answered.

Port m.2_1 supports pcie and sata storage devices but port m.2_2 only supports pcie storage. I can't find any info on what that exactly means in the buying process for m.2 or any information in general. All I know is right now is that only one of the two m.2 drives I have work right now because the m.2 port will not work. Please let me know what fixes I can make or what drives I need to be looking at.
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Both M.2 sockets work. The one with the heatsink (M.2_2) only supports NVMe (PCIe) drives. The one up under the video card area supports either, but if you use a SATA drive, that disables the normal dark grey SATA port #2). If you have two M.2 NVMe drives and want to use both on a z390-A you are fine. If you have two SATA M.2 drives you can only use one.

edit: if you want SATA drives you can add up to 6 using 2.5" SATA drives on the standard SATA ports.
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M2 is just the form factor.
They can support either or both Sata & PCIe based drives within the one slot.

- the Sata drives are no faster then their 2.5" version and usually using one disables one or two of the normal Sata ports

-The PCIE based drives are all NVME drives these days and use the same PCIE lanes that something like your GPU uses.
These are the really fast drives but speed costs money. The good news is eve the slower/cheaper ones are usually faster then a Sata drive.
Using an NVME drive may disable Sata ports, the motherboard has limited number of 'data lanes' support and might need to disable one or two Sata ports to redirect them to the M2 slot.

thank you for reading your motherboards documentation.