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NVMe M.2 and Z97X Compatibility (or lack there of)

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PirateRy 15 days ago

Hey everyone,

So I recently upgraded to a 500 GB Samsung 970 Evo Plus NVMe M.2 as a boot drive for my Gigabyte Z97X-Gaming 3 motherboard system. Unbeknown to me, my old motherboard isn't exactly compatible with NVMe.

I'm unable to boot via the bios; changes to drive boot priority settings don't save and I get glitchy extra boot drive options which, when selected, show up as the NVMe drive. However, I am able to boot from the NVMe via the F12 boot menu.

If I continue to use this drive in this way will there be detrimental effects? I understand I'm not going to be getting the full potential speed performance of the NVMe, but at some point I'll be biting the bullet and upgrading to more up to date hardware, so don't want to return it.

Would it be sensible to get a M.2 PCIe Adaptor? I far as I understand, I would not be able to boot from the adaptor, but could still use it as a storage drive with less glitchyness? I could then get a small capacity 2.5 inch SSD to boot from...

Many thanks!

Comments Sorted by:

pcbldragain 2 points 15 days ago

Nvme is just a newer protocol to run ssd faster over the pcie interface is what I read. Maybe its not compatible, I would look up that m2 spec and see what it says. If it were me and it didn't/couldn't work right, I'd get it out of there if I were upgrading soon, but that just my .02. You could pick up a smaller ssd sata or slower m2 to run if you have room and still use it later. Some motherboard run the 2nd m2 slower anyway.

Another thing you can try is see if you have any options for it in your bios, or bios update. You can also see if there are driver updates for your board, the pcie drivers I would guess. Some old boards do not have capacity to run as fast as new ones, use less lanes, you could look that up but still not explaining your boot issues.

kschendel 1 Build 2 points 14 days ago

What he said, with the additional point that those m.2 PCIe adapters are basically just an m.2 socket with traces that run to the PCIe bus. There's no active circuitry to make them do anything different from the bare drive.

Get a Team Lite 3d or similar el cheapo (but decent) SATA SSD for now, and I'm sure you can find a use for it going forward.

PirateRy submitter 1 point 15 days ago

Seems the last bios update was back in early 2016 and the M.2 Support List PDF on Gigabytes page doesn't list the drive but it does list a 'M2P02 Samsung PCIE*4 2280 PCIe M XP941 MZ-HPU512T 512GB'? Seems unlikely it'll ever work as intended with this board...

Picking up a smaller SSD sata seems like a good option for the time being, until I can do a full upgrade.