Will My Motherboard support a M.2 SSD?


Supreme [H]ardness
Aug 10, 2000
My motherboard says it has a "M.2 Socket 3(NVMe) PCIe x4 mode (Gen 2.0) " slot. Is this a normal NVME M.2 SSD? This is an older motherboard and I am worried about compatibility but I am wanting to upgrade to an SSD and would like to go with an NVME drive as apposed to a SATA drive.
Yes, it will work. It will be limited to PCIe 2.0, so you'll be capped at 2GB/s, though you're unlikely to notice as that's still ~4x the top speed of SATA.
Yes, a NVMe drive will work (there are some rare older boards that only support AHCI over PCIe), at the rated speed of x4 PCIe 2.0 unless you are utilizing a x2 NVMe drive. Some older NVMe drives (and even newer ones like the SN500) only use two lanes which would be limited to x2 PCIe 2.0. x4 PCIe 2.0 is 4x5Gbps * 8b/10b encoding * .9 overhead = ~1.8 GB/s. A 1TB budget NVMe drive, like the P1 or SN550, would match this socket well as they're lmited to ~2 GB/s anyway, although sequential performance is not a huge deal.
Thanks for the replies. I am looking at the Gigabyte NVMe 1.3/M.2/PCIe 3.0x4/ 1TB SSD ($120) . It's about the cheapest NVMe Drive I can find with good reviews. The SN550 use to be under $100 for the 1tb version but went out of stock on Amazon and third party sellers have really marked up there prices.
The SN550 can be gotten for less when it's in stock on WD's site (you can get 10% or 15% off promo, plus cashback) but it's roughly the same category as the drive you linked. Budget NVMe, refer to my guides (see my signature).
Nevermind, I been doing some research and it seems there's a lot of people with my motherboard that can't boot from the M.2 drive. I haven't seen any posts from people that could boot from it, so I have decided to just go with the Crucial BX500 2tb drive for $200. I could use the extra space as well.
Be aware the 2TB BX500 is DRAM-less and QLC-based. Not ideal for a boot drive.

It's possible sometimes to mod a BIOS to boot NVMe or use a loader (Clover EFI) to do so, but you'd be fine with a SATA SSD anyway. Although perhaps a better one...
Thanks Maxx, could you suggest a good 2tb SATA Drive? I know I need a TLC drive but don't know which to get. Please stay as close to $200 as possible. Did a quick search on Amazon and the Kingston 1.92TB A400 is $194 and TLC or theres the SanDisk SSD PLUS 2TB at $219 and the Crucial MX500 at $227. Any of these any good?
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Kingston apparently does a bait and switch where they "update" the drive with cheaper internals while keeping the same model name, so I would avoid them. That may or may not apply to the A400. Can't go wrong with Crucial, and I think SanDisk is pretty reputable.
A400 and SSD Plus are usually DRAM-less, too, although I think the newer 2TB SSD Plus has some DRAM these days. A good 2TB SATA SSD would be something like the WD Blue 3D which has been $209.99 recently.
Thanks Guys, WD Blue 3D it is. It's $224 on Amazon, I got $15 off of purchase $30 or more.
if its kingston for Sata if its 1 letter part numbers (like A400) its dramless if it has 2 letters then its has ram on it (like UV400) never had a kingston fail on me (yes they may change the controller, Dram and nand type but it will always come with them 3 they wont swap it out for a Dramless version, unless it was dramless to begin with)

m.2 ssds from kingston i haven't looked into much (but does not seem to follow the same way as the SATA SSDs do, as the A2000 has dram)