[SOLVED] Totally confused about adding additional disks (NVME and SSD)

fistfullofbeer

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I recently got a new PC with the ASUS ROG Strix Z390-H Gaming motherboard. The PC came standard with a 1 TB 860 Evo SSD (SATA).

This MB has 2 x M.2 ports. One allows nVME + SATA and the other one is PCIE only. It also supports 6 SATA connections.

If I choose to run 2 nVME drives in the M.2 ports and then use one of the PCIE ports (with an adapter) to run a 3rd M.2 drive will I see any downgrade in the speed/performance of those drives? The drives are most likely going to have a max of 3500/3000 MBps speeds. One of these drives is going to be used for booting with the OS and core apps (browsers, etc.) on it and the other 2 will basically be part of my Steam Library where I will be playing games off. So in theory I will/should never be using more than 2 of these drives at the same time: boot drive for browsers, explorer, etc. and the other one for playing games.

I am honestly confused about what direction to go in anymore. I can look at using 2 M.2 + just SATA drive(s) going forward but the only PCIE slot I will be using is for my RTX 2080. I don't plan on ever going the SLI route. The drives I am looking at Amazon for are pretty close in prices with the 2 TB NVME at about $250 and the the 2 TB SSD at about $230, so from a money standpoint it is not going to be that big of a deal.

Thanks.
 

PC Tailor

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1. I am probably going to sound totally ignorant but why can I not use one of the "2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)"? The other one being used for the RTX 2080.
Because it's not the same physical connection. You'd need an adapter to use it in a x16 PCIe slot. The NVME SSD simply uses the PCIe bus on the motherboard as opposed to the SATA bus. But you need an M.2 (B or M) socket to fit an M2 SSD.

2. Also, PCIE x2 mode would mean a max bandwidth of 2 GBps, correct?
In theory / specification, yes roughly.

3. Using the 2 built in M2 slots should be usable without any issue related to performance, right?
Well ultimately the NVMe are only artificially faster than their SATA counterparts, ultimately you'll likely only see a difference if you were running NVME to NVME data transfer for example, or constant intense bulk data usage in editing for example.

1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

Based on that, the M2 PCIe socket uses up to x4 mode anyway, so should be fine.
 
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Adding to the above post...
Make sure you select disk from reliable manufactures (Samsung, Intel, Crucial, etc)
I would go with a M.2 NVMe disk as boot and apps main drive.
A SATA disk ( it could be M.2) for your files and libraries.
A 4-6TB HDD as backup drive to keep an image of your system and copy of your files.
 
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fistfullofbeer

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https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-STRIX-Z390-H-GAMING/specifications/
Socket 1151 for 9th / 8th Gen Intel® Core™, Pentium® Gold and Celeron® processors
2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
Intel® Z390 Chipset
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x2 mode)
3 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x1

the pci is only running at x2 mode, it still faster than sata
but yes you can use 2 m.2 pcie type ssd
1. I am probably going to sound totally ignorant but why can I not use one of the "2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)"? The other one being used for the RTX 2080.

2. Also, PCIE x2 mode would mean a max bandwidth of 2 GBps, correct?

3. Using the 2 built in M2 slots should be usable without any issue related to performance, right?
 

PC Tailor

Judicious
Ambassador
1. I am probably going to sound totally ignorant but why can I not use one of the "2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)"? The other one being used for the RTX 2080.
Because it's not the same physical connection. You'd need an adapter to use it in a x16 PCIe slot. The NVME SSD simply uses the PCIe bus on the motherboard as opposed to the SATA bus. But you need an M.2 (B or M) socket to fit an M2 SSD.

2. Also, PCIE x2 mode would mean a max bandwidth of 2 GBps, correct?
In theory / specification, yes roughly.

3. Using the 2 built in M2 slots should be usable without any issue related to performance, right?
Well ultimately the NVMe are only artificially faster than their SATA counterparts, ultimately you'll likely only see a difference if you were running NVME to NVME data transfer for example, or constant intense bulk data usage in editing for example.

1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

Based on that, the M2 PCIe socket uses up to x4 mode anyway, so should be fine.
 
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fistfullofbeer

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Because it's not the same physical connection. You'd need an adapter to use it in a x16 PCIe slot. The NVME SSD simply uses the PCIe bus on the motherboard as opposed to the SATA bus. But you need an M.2 (B or M) socket to fit an M2 SSD.


In theory / specification, yes roughly.


Well ultimately the NVMe are only artificially faster than their SATA counterparts, ultimately you'll likely only see a difference if you were running NVME to NVME data transfer for example, or constant intense bulk data usage in editing for example.

1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280/22110 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M Key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA mode & X4 PCIE mode)

Based on that, the M2 PCIe socket uses up to x4 mode anyway, so should be fine.
Thanks!

Regarding, the bolded.

My older PC did NOT have an M.2 slot. I was using one of these adapters:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H0BC8FG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My hope is to basically continue using the same combination pulled from the older PC and plug it into the new one. I would like to plug it into the PCIE x16 slot. And in addition to that, I would have 2 NVME drives plugged into the M.2 sockets.
 

PC Tailor

Judicious
Ambassador
Thanks!

Regarding, the bolded.

My older PC did NOT have an M.2 slot. I was using one of these adapters:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01H0BC8FG/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

My hope is to basically continue using the same combination pulled from the older PC and plug it into the new one. I would like to plug it into the PCIE x16 slot. And in addition to that, I would have 2 NVME drives plugged into the M.2 sockets.
As @rgd1101 has stated, it should be fine, but would just run based on their post:
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x2 mode)

Personally I'd probably just get a standard SATA SSD as it could well be cheaper and won't make a difference for a Steam Library, but that's just me !
 
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fistfullofbeer

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As @rgd1101 has stated, it should be fine, but would just run based on their post:
1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x2 mode)

Personally I'd probably just get a standard SATA SSD as it could well be cheaper and won't make a difference for a Steam Library, but that's just me !
Makes sense. I am just trying to figure out what to move over from my older machine. In addition to that I want to buy new NVME and/or SSD drives to complete the storage.

My older/current machine has:

1 TB WD NVME drive running with the PCIE adapter. Crystal Disk gives me 2800 MBps+ speeds.
1 TB Samsung 850 EVO
1 TB Samsung 840 EVO
2 TB WD HDD

My plan is to move the NVME over (with or without adapter) and also the 850 EVO. I don't know if I should move the 840 EVO because it is an older drive. I would prefer to not install an HDD on the machine. If space becomes a problem I am hoping I can just run an external HDD (8 TB+).
 
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