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Adding M.2 SSD's to already busy system

Discussion in 'General Hardware' started by CCISolitude, 16 Jan 2018.

  1. CCISolitude

    Associate

    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    Hi all,

    Late summer last year I put a new rig together using an Asus Z270F (i7 7700K).

    Storage for the system is currently configured with:

    2x Samsung NVMe 960 EVO's (one in each M.2 slot on the motherboard)

    4x Samsung 850 Pro 2.5" SSD (using 4 of the available 6 SATA ports on the motherboard)

    Now the problem is this, I've got a pair of 850 EVO SATA M.2 drives which I'd also like to add into the system via PCI-E risers. I'd started with a pair of Asus's Hyper M.2 riser cards - but they're not actually compatible with the M.2 850 EVO's (they are PCIe/NVMe only?) and I must confess to getting a bit confused pinning down exactly which riser I should be looking for.

    In the interest of finding a work around though, I'd tried moving one of the NVMe drives onto the riser, and fitting one of the 850's into the motherboard slot - which kind of worked in that the NVMe drive picked up - but bizarrely one of the 2.5" SATA SSD's disappeared.

    I've a horrible feeling I've maybe hit some sort of support limit due to the number of lanes otherwise in use and I'm hoping someone might have some input?

    Cheers!

    (Note, mainboard is also running a GTX 1080 Ti and 32GB (4x8GB) DDR4 - not that I suspect that's particularly relevant)

    Addendum: Yes, I realise there's both Motherboard and Storage sub categories, but I can't tell yet where the problem here is, and I didn't want to double post!
     
    Last edited: 16 Jan 2018
  2. BongoHunter

    Wise Guy

    Joined: 14 Apr 2014

    Posts: 2,091

  3. orbitalwalsh

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2015

    Posts: 18,159

    you need to look at the mobo manual! populating M.2 slots with Sata 3 SSD takes AWAY from SATA port! Z270 M.2 NVMe slots have better line wiring then Z170 which is there was a second m.2 available it would eat up sata ports


    quick google and should be able to find M.2 SATA 3 SSD converters - can either get them in dual PCI board where they get power from PCIe lane but still have sata data cables plugged in or 3.5"/5.3" PCB boards where you insert 2/3 M.2 Sata 3 into the board , sata data cables and sata power cable
     
  4. CCISolitude

    Associate

    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    Sadly I'm not that flush on the finances front - and in truth I'm only looking to fit these because they're sitting around.
     
  5. CCISolitude

    Associate

    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    *nods* it takes from 2 of the ports - those are the 2 ports that are currently empty though! (and yes, I tried moving the cables to alternative ports wondering if the labelling or guidance was misnumbered/wrong - but no joy.
     
  6. orbitalwalsh

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2015

    Posts: 18,159

    its finding the right balance - you can stick one of the SATA 3 M.2 in one of the slots, and figure out out of the 4 ports out of 6 your using wont be effected.
    you'll also have to see how the M.2 are wired, mainly the bottom one! its either pulling 4x lanes from the Bottom 3rd full length pcie 3.0 which runs at 4x lanes are from all of the smaller 1x pcie connectors.

    IF your lucky and it pulls it from these! you can get two PCIe to M.2 NVMe converters and populate the 2nd GPU slot and the bottom 3rd GPU slot !

    Use the above converter mentioned as you'll be able to hook up your sata 3 m.2 drive along with the NVMe drive and plug sata data cables into the mobo sata port!

    basically lose the purpose of m.2 slots with PCIe converter Boards but least you'll be able to house all 4 m.2s!

    again, depends on how the lanes are assigned on that board
     
  7. CCISolitude

    Associate

    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    That's the thinking that prompted the experimentation in the first place - but no dice, I can't get it to play ball properly - which leads me to think there's either some erroneous/bad info in Asus's guidance (or bad translations maybe?) or something in the UEFI that I've missed, but I can't find anything pertinent, which in keeping with Occam's razor suggests the former.

    I'm leaning towards flogging these 2 drives at this point and picking up some NVMe replacements instead. Would be less hassle!
     
  8. orbitalwalsh

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2015

    Posts: 18,159

    only problem is your running 2 NVMe at the moment, a 3rd will use the 2nd GPU slot just fine, but its all dependent on how the second m.2 slot is wired whether you can use a 2nd PCIe Converter board in the 3rd/bottom slot
     
  9. CCISolitude

    Associate

    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    OK - got some better data (I think) one of the slots is indeed wired for PCI-E only, the other is wired for PCI-E and SATA - though there seems to be some discrepancy on which is which!

    Does look though from everything I can find that ports 5&6 are the ones which are shut down, this seems to be a common thread for all 270 chipsets regardless of manufacturer (which seems logical I suppose?) - I'm thinking I might just pack it in at this point, sell these parts on and finally bite the bullet and sort out a NAS box instead.
     
  10. orbitalwalsh

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2015

    Posts: 18,159

    did you find the wiring of the bottom full length PCIe slot ? if its wired direct to the M.2 or to the smaller 1x pcie slots?
     
  11. CCISolitude

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    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    That I've not managed to pin down yet - though a bod on Asus's ROG forum has just told me it's the lower M.2 slot (m.2_1) which is the one which can support SATA mode drives - the bod reckons as long as SATA ports 5 & 6 are clear, and the NVM drive from there is in a riser, everything should work fine - going to power that box down and re-jig things again.
     
  12. orbitalwalsh

    Capodecina

    Joined: 1 Dec 2015

    Posts: 18,159


     
  13. CCISolitude

    Associate

    Joined: 16 Jan 2018

    Posts: 10

    *nods*

    It doesn't want to play ball any other way - damn me for not checking the details properly. So, anyone interested in a pair of 850 EVO M.2 drives?