Mobo compatibility for PCI-e NVMe (Intel 750)

rastaban

Gawd
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Jul 30, 2011
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I'll be building a system soon using the Intel 750 (PCIe add-in card version). Ideally I would go with the Gigabyte Z170 UD5 with Thunderbolt, but I haven't found any compatibility information on Gigabyte's site.

Does anyone know if all boards this generation support NVMe over PCI-e? Is this implied if the manufacturer states "NVMe compatible over M.2 PCI-e x4" ?

I noticed MSI words it the same way in their spec tables, but at least they have a storage device compatibility list that has the 750 on it. *note, I'm not looking for alternate board suggestions, I'm really only interested in the UD5.

Thanks.
 

rastaban

Gawd
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Jul 30, 2011
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update:

I just submitted this question to Gigabyte support. Hopefully they will have a response.
 

Blue Fox

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It should work in pretty much any motherboard with a PCIe slot. You will generally need Z97/X99 or newer to support booting off the card however (some older boards support it too). You should be fine.
 

rastaban

Gawd
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What makes you think it won't work?

So Gigabyte's wording is this:
  • PCIe Gen3 x4 M.2 Connector with up to 32Gb/s Data Transfer (PCIe NVMe & SATA SSD support)

I'm thinking, why not just state "NVMe support" as an umbrella feature?
I'm concerned that they only mention NVMe when speaking of their M.2 Connector because that's the only port that is compatible.

I don't know how NVMe is implemented so just being cautious before pulling the trigger.
 

Blue Fox

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They only need to mention it for the M.2 slot because not all of those will support PCIe devices. Nothing special needs to be done to support NVMe devices when they're using a normal PCIe slot (booting aside). It's just like any other PCIe card.
 

rastaban

Gawd
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They only need to mention it for the M.2 slot because not all of those will support PCIe devices. Nothing special needs to be done to support NVMe devices when they're using a normal PCIe slot (booting aside). It's just like any other PCIe card.

I see. I should have clarified that I was looking for booting from an NVMe device over PCIe slot.
So what is it about Z97 and Z170 that allows them to support NVMe booting while Z87 does not? (even if Z87 runs Win10)
The availability of BIOS updates for Z87 compatibility suggests it's a board feature and not a CPU feature correct? can I also assume that it's not a chipset feature because the 750 is typically run off the CPU PCIe lanes?
 

Blue Fox

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The board needs to have UEFI (so older BIOS only boards are out) and the NVMe driver (UEFI driver that is). It's not dependent on anything else really. Older boards often don't support it because manufacturers seldom bother releasing updates for old boards. If you don't mind tinkering with things a bit, you can actually add the driver yourself. I can post a link on that if you'd like.
 

rastaban

Gawd
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Thanks for the clarification. I actually came across the DIY driver thread the other day while I was trying to read up.
So in the case of my Z87 (in sig), it clearly already uses a UEFI BIOS...is it out of ignorance that owners are asking MSI for a BIOS update to support NVMe boot, because it is only a driver that is required?
I just updated the drivers on this board yesterday and it seems MSI has kept up with them pretty well for existing components.
 

CopyRunStart

Limp Gawd
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Apr 3, 2014
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Don't waste a PCI-E Slot if the motherboard has a M.2 slot.

Get the Intel 750 in 2.5 inch form factor. It has a U2 connector which you can connect to the M.2 slot with a U2 to M2 adapter.


 

rastaban

Gawd
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The thing is I'd rather have the 750 in a PCIe slot so it connects directly to the CPU PCIe lanes. A U.2 version will connect through the chipset. It will also end up costing more to buy a Hyper Kit which is incredibly inelegant imo.
 

ST3F

Limp Gawd
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Oct 19, 2011
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Don't waste a PCI-E Slot if the motherboard has a M.2 slot.

Get the Intel 750 in 2.5 inch form factor. It has a U2 connector which you can connect to the M.2 slot with a U2 to M2 adapter.
We're using Supermicro X11SSL-nF with Intel 750 in 2.5 inch to send about 1 million email in 3 minutes ...
 

chillstatus

Weaksauce
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Oct 7, 2009
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I was lucky to win the NVMe SSD you are referring to in a raffle at PAX Prime last year, but what everyone is saying is correct that it should work fine in a mobo with PCIe slot. I finally just installed mine in a new rig a few days ago and it's working fine.
 
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