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Archive for the ‘SSD’ Category

M.2 SSD PCIe 3.0×4 vs 2.0×4 | Tom’s Hardware Forum

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/10/27

I wanted to know the influence of PCIe versions to NVMe support, and found [] M.2 SSD PCIE 3.0×4 vs 2.0×4 | Tom’s Hardware Forum answering:

You already know that the Z97 motherboard has one M.2 port. The problem is there are several M.2 variations. Here are the current possibilities:

M.2 3.0 x4 – State of the art M.2 SSD that uses 4 PCIe 3.0 channels for proper operation. The M.2 port on the motherboard is sometimes referred to as an Ultra M.2 port. It is the appropriate port for the Samsung 950 Pro SSD.

There are other M.2 SSDs that either use PCIe 2.0 or use fewer PCIe channels:

  • M.2 2.0 x4
  • M.2 2.0 x2
  • M.2 SATA 3

You will need to check your motherboard manual or the company web site to determine if the M.2 port can support an M.2 3.0 x4 SSD like the 950 Pro. A lot of the Z87 and Z97 motherboards had M.2 ports for M.2 2.0 x2 SSDs that would not fully support an M.2 3.0 x4 SSD. With the exception of ASRock, the other motherboard manufacturers did not do a very good job of fully identifying the M.2 ports. You will have to find a little more information about the M.2 port on your motherboard. Hopefully the information is in the owner’s manual or the manufacturer’s web site.

The addition of M.2 ports on the the motherboard required the use of additional PCIe channels. Unfortunately Intel resisted adding chipset support for additional PCIe channels until recently. The lack of a sufficient number of PCIe channels resulted in some awkward solutions:

  • Some motherboards reduced the number of channels available to graphic cards. The cards might be reduced from PCIe 3.0 x16 down to PCIe 3.0 x8. Graphic card performance is reduced by about 5%. That is not a terrible hit in performance.
  • Some motherboards reduce the number of SATA 3 ports that are available. For example,the MSI Z107 Titanium motherboard has two M.2 3.0 x4 ports. If I install a 950 Pro in each port, then all of the standard SATA ports are disabled except for two ports. The M.2 ports do not reduce the performance of graphic cards
  • Some high end motherboards add an expensive PLX chip to handle M.2 SSDs. An example would be the ASRock Z97 Extreme9 motherboard. The PLX provides direct data transmission between the M.2 SSDs and the cpu. It is actually possible to run two graphic cards in SLI at PCIe 3.0 x16 each and still be able to run two M.2 SSDs.

The Samsung 950 Pro uses the new NVMe protocol instead of AHCI. A motherboard would have to have a UEFI BIOS, an Intel chipset, and a Microsoft Windows operating system that support the NVMe protocol. You would have to do the following:

  • Check for any BIOS updates. Sometimes the updates include new and improved support for the NVMe protocol.
  • Check for any Intel chipset updates. Sometimes the updates include new and improved support for the NVMe protocol.
  • Windows 7, 8, and 10 can support the NVMe protocol. Again you will have to check for updates or fixes that can improve NVMe support. NVMe is new so things could get a little complicated.
  • Finally Samsung has issued their own NVMe driver for the 950 Pro. Reviews and articles indicate the Samsung NVMe driver is better than the Windows NVme drivers.

Some modern motherboards still provide a PCIe 2.0 slot. That does not mean you should purchase a PCIE 2.0 SSD or an M.2 SSD with an adapter card. M.2 3.0 x4 SSDs are backwards compatible.

It might be confusing but for all practical purposes it is just a matter of checking requirements and specifications.

Note I have bulleted some entries for readability and bolded some text relevant to some motherboards I still have running and fixed some typos.

On connectors and B/M keying:

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Posted in Hardware, NVMe, Power User, SSD | Leave a Comment »

SSDs: favour TLC over QLC when they usage pattern is to have them relatively full

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/10/18

Some interesting observations at [WayBack] Intel brengt 665p-ssd van 1TB met 96-laags qlc-nandgeheugen uit – Computer – Nieuws – Tweakers.


Posted in LifeHacker, Power User, SSD | Leave a Comment »

Be sure to apply (SSD) storage firmware updates before it breaks

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/10/15

Various storage providers have had overflow issues in their storage firmware , so be sure to apply firmware updates.

Example (that includes HPE and Intel failures): [WayBack] Bepaalde HPE-sas-ssd’s gaan kapot na 32.768 uur – Computer – Nieuws – Tweakers.


Posted in Hardware, Power User, SSD | Leave a Comment »

Windows and the current state of S.M.A.R.T. tooling that understands NVMe

Posted by jpluimers on 2021/09/16

I had trouble with two Intel 600p NVMe SSD devices: read-errors.

It appeared only few tools understand how to get S.M.A.R.T. health information from them, and even then they did not explain the read errors.

I’m going to RMA them, but in case anyone else needs to get health information from NVMe SSD devices, here is which tools do what:

So basically, CrystalDiskInfo and HD Tune are my first line of checking for drive issues, followed by smartmontools to get text output, then by vendor specific tools to assist with the RMA.

In the past, I used another smartmontools wrapper, but it was discontinued and had an even older version than GSmartControl: Source: Closed: HDD Guardian – Home.

On Intel 600p becoming locked in read-only mode after failure:

Start of Intel RMA procedure via [Wayback] Warranty Information.

My case looks remarkably similar to [Wayback] Full Diagnostic Scan always fails during Read Scan on my SSD 600p Series 256GB – Intel Community.

A few screenshots of the tools I used for health information:

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Posted in Hardware, NVMe, Power User, SSD, WayBack machine | Leave a Comment »

ICY DOCK SATA/SAS Hot Swap Wechselrahmen für 16x: AmazonSmile: Computer & Zubehör

Posted by jpluimers on 2020/02/07

Want: [Archive.isICY DOCK SATA/SAS Hot Swap Wechselrahmen für 16x: AmazonSmile: Computer & Zubehör.


  • 80 mm fan
  • 16 slots for SSD
  • 4x SFF-8643 MiniSAS connector to minimise cabling


Posted in Power User, SSD | Leave a Comment »

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