How do I know if a NVMe drive can boot from my mobo before buying?

Discussion in 'SSDs & Data Storage' started by ng4ever, Dec 18, 2016.

  1. ng4ever

    ng4ever Flaccid 4Evar

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    I am thinking of getting a 960 pro NVMe drive for my next build.
     
  2. drescherjm

    drescherjm [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I would expect that an AM4 motherboard or anything for the z170 or z270 chipset will have no issue booting from a NVMe drive.
     
  3. jkw

    jkw Gawd

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    X99 is GTG
     
    drescherjm likes this.
  4. -PK-

    -PK- [H]ard|Gawd

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    Only if your motherboard has UEFI + NVMe support will you be able to use it as an operating system bootable drive (some Z97 with firmware updates, and newer motherboards like X99 or Z170).

    For an older non-UEFI bios the ssd needs to include a legacy option rom, which the 960 Pro doesn't have.
    960 Pro - No, uefi only
    950 Pro - Yes, bootable on older bios motherboards such as X58.
    850 Evo - No, uefi only
    SM951 - No, uefi only
    PM961 - No, uefi only
    Intel 750 - No, uefi only

    There are some other tricks people have used in the past, such as running a UEFI bootloader off of a usb drive to boot an intel 750.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2016
  5. Dan_D

    Dan_D [H]ardOCP Motherboard Editor

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    It's a crap shoot with Z97 and earlier motherboards. At the very least a UEFI / BIOS update will be required if it hasn't been updated since the motherboard was purchased. Motherboards based on newer chipsets such as X99 and Z170 should be good to go.
     
  6. TheSmJ

    TheSmJ 2[H]4U

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    Many Z68 motherboard BIOSes can be modded to support NVME at boot (Google it) but there is no guarantee yours will work.
     
  7. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz [H]Lite

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    I can add my ditto on the Z170 boards. I suspect the X99 boards are similar for support.
    I've recently put a 950 Pro M.2 on my Maximus viii hero and had little problem getting it to work as my boot drive.

    My advice to you:

    Choose a board that has at least one native full length m.2 slot on the mboard and plop the latest bios you can get on it.

    NVMe drives run way faster than normal sata ssds and they get damned hot! They will throttle back when they do. Think about getting a set of ramsinks to put on it. I used a set of 4 copper Enzotech BMR-C1 ramsinks on mine and have not regretted it in the least.


    Good luck!
     
  8. RedWagnum

    RedWagnum Gawd

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    Good idea! I'm hoping to build a new system in a few weeks and was thinking the same thing. You got any pics? Would like to see how it looks.
     
  9. cyberguyz

    cyberguyz [H]Lite

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    Here's a copy views of what I did:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    The sinks are a bit smaller than the controller and nand chips. the sink by itself in the middle is covering 3 small chips, but seems to hold well. The sinks are not heavy at all so the included thermal tape holds them without a problem.
    Never had heat throttling with this setup (and I tried really hard to get it to).
     
  10. daglesj

    daglesj [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've bought a lot of those type of heatsinks for many items of electrical gear where the manufacturer skimped. Routers are a good place and media player boxes. I've also used them on motherboard power sections too.
     
  11. bigdogchris

    bigdogchris Wii was a Novelty

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    I have my Asus z170 set to NVMe boot from an Intel 750 400GB. So I know that one works.