NVMe Compatible Mobo Question

Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
9
After a very long time away from the technical side of computers I find myself dealing with a unfamiliar set of specs and protocols. I'm starting to spec out a new build. But as I do, I've run into a few speedbumps. I'm hoping someone here can help me with these questions.

I plan on building a Ryzen based system. Matching the CPU/Mobo/Memory is not a problem. Where I do start to stumble is understanding the NVMe spec. I hope to build this new rig with an NVMe bootable drive (1tb) that will also hold all my apps and programs.

What I'm confused with is... is NVMe it's own standalone spec? I see Mobos described as NVMe PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2 compatible. Sometimes the description will say it's NVMe compatible but then not mention it in the spec and only show PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4. I guess what I'm asking is a mobo that boasts PCIe 4.0/3.0 x 4 the same as NVMe? I'm sure it probably isn't, but the way I'm reading all the specs on various mobos it seems to be described in a somewhat blurry fashion.
 

BrotherMichigan

Limp Gawd
Joined
Apr 8, 2016
Messages
262
NVMe is just the protocol, which can be used over varying numbers of PCIe lanes of any generation. As long as the board has an M.2 slot which supports PCIe, you can use an NVMe SSD in it.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
9
Thank you! I had a feeling that was it but due to the way some sites describe the features of their mobos I wasn't 100% sure. Thanks again!
 

kirbyrj

Fully [H]
Joined
Feb 1, 2005
Messages
26,616
NVMe and AHCI are the protocols
M.2 is the form factor
PCIe and SATA III are the interfaces
NVMe goes with PCIe and AHCI goes with SATA III.

Most M.2 drives on newer boards will take any combination of PCIe or SATA III drives but definitely read the fine print, especially with older boards. Some will only take one or the other in the M.2 slots or will reroute PCIe lanes to accommodate the extra drives.
 
Joined
Feb 18, 2017
Messages
9
kirbyrj - Thank you for the further clarification. I am aware of what you've stated. My biggest concern and confusion was that I wasn't sure if an NVMe drive would run at it's full potential unless it was specifically noted in the board's specs. It is now my understanding that if my new board has the PCIe spec the drive will perform as built/expected. Since the boards I am looking at state "PCIe 4.0/3.0 x4 M.2 compatible " it looks like I'm good to go.
 
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