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  • M.2 PCIe SSD

    been looking at these for a long time now, just wondering has anyone actually used one? my existing SSD is getting to be an issue running core programs due to it's small size, but with the new Samsung 970 EVO seems a reasonable price now and I am considering getting one since my motherboard has the all important slot and spare PCIe lanes due to the Intel extream chip.

    so anyone had any experience with these? Samsung normally do good memory so I trust that side but I've never used this form factor or connection yet as they have always been extremely expensive until recently.

  • #2
    I was considering getting one earlier this year when I built a new PC. I have a motherboard that supports it but it doesn't really seem like a necessity for me.

    They look fairly simple to install, you slot it into the grove in the board and it has 1 screw that I can see to hold it in place.


    • #3
      They aren't hard to install, realistically nothing in a PC is hard to install.

      It's more how the interface actually works and if it works well, my motherboard can use them in both SSD and PCIe mode also boot from them, it's more why I'm looking at a PCIe version as it can use 4 of the spare channels built into i7e.

      But the small form factor and the interface/position of the socket in proximity to my graphics card and sound card seems like odd placing.

      As you said it is simple to install, the stand off and screw are already built into the motherboard unlike some others, the socket is even positioned neatly between PCIe sockets with a simple spring loaded socket so you can go in at an angle before pushing it flat. Then no power leads or anything. As I said it all comes down to how it works.


      • #4
        Have you looked up the difference between Evo and Pro by the way, I was reading some articles about it earlier this year and if I remember correctly Pro is slightly faster than Evo but at such a marginal difference that it's not worth the extra money since you more or less get the same with the Evo and at a cheaper price.

        Not sure how accurate what I'm saying is though since it was really early this year I was looking into this. I already bought a 1080 ti, a new board, a new cpu and new DDR4 memory and so I didn't want to invest more into something that seemed less important.

        But I'm interested to see what it's like if you do get one.


        • #5
          It's the Evo I'm looking at in the 970 it's still really fast due to the new chips and controllers, also it runs on PCIe unlike the 860 EVO that ran on SATA3 despite being a M.2 socket.

          In the 970 line the EVO is still meant to be fast due to the new memory and controller, yes the PRO is still faster but at a considerable mark up for speed that will likely shave very little off in real terms. If I remember correctly the 512gb PRO actually cost about the same as the 1tb EVO.


          • #6
            Ordered one from a different place, same price but a free copy of Assassin's creed, only problem is I'm a cheap skate and don't like paying for delivery so it will be a few days because of no prime.


            • #7
              got the drive and installed it.

              installation was easy as hell, basically undo a tiny screw on the motherboard slot in the fiddly little card in the tiny slot I couldn't see because of my shovel hands then screw back in the super tiny screw, I strongly recommend a magnetic tipped screwdriver as when I say the screw is tiny I mean grain of rice tiny. but despite my disability of having massive hands it was still a fairly simple install.

              then came swapping from the old 830 to the new 970 for my boot drive by cloning, now while places try to sell this software of silly prices so you can migrate to your new SSD, Samsung gives out the software for free to transfer onto their own SSD's in the form of Samsung Data Migration tool, not a massive amount of options and most of it is through auto detection obviously to make sure you are transferring to their drives, it still auto detected that I wanted to go from my 830 to my 970 with no prompting. the clone took a little while due to it being about 200gig of data transferring but it was still fairly fast due to being SSD to SSD.

              after that it was simply a case of go to the BIOS type thingy (so much better now you can use a mouse in these things) to change the boot order and stop it trying to boot from the old drive, at first I was getting an annoying insert bootable media prompt and couldn't work out why the hell it wasn't working then noticed in the boot list there are 2 option for boot from hard drive, one is the normal way you would expect the other is a boot from hard drive windows management or something like that, I set the boot to that option and as if by magic it went straight into windows.

              everything seems to be running faster and be more responsive, despite it being a fairly old install of windows 10 that originally was a copy of windows 7.

              the biggest hassle of the entire process was reformatting the old hard drive, windows decided it wanted it disabled because it matched the signature of another drive (no shit sherlock I just cloned the fucker) once I managed to get windows to enable to drive (why the hell is the control panel hidden in windows 10?) I needed to format the drive now this may seem a simple task, it isn't, windows now likes to make EFI and OS reserved partitions on your drive and the way these partitions are tagged windows protects them with it's life even if you have them on the drive you are running windows from as well. after fucking about with command prompts and other shit to get rid of them I just chose to admit defeat and downloaded a third party free partition manager to be able to get round the windows protection, so out of the entire process the hardest part was reclaiming all of my old hard drive for use.


              • #8
                tests that show the progression from a standard drive to the new PCIe drive, admittedly these numbers come from a samsung tool so how accurate they are is anyone's guess as they ain't going to make their own stuff look bad.

                anyway these are done with a Haswell extreme i7 5820K (6 core 12 thread 28 PCIe lanes) with quad channel DDR4 on an MSI X99S SLi Plus motherboard the hard drive and 830 are both on SATA while the 970 is a PCIe M.2 card (disables 2 sata ports to give the bandwidth for the PCIe 4X) anyway now to the pictures........

                Click image for larger version

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                Click image for larger version

Name:	SSD 830.jpg
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                so it is a massive advance in numbers there, but so far in general use it also seems a massive increase in speed.


                • #9
                  I've been having a look at these myself but I haven't done much research other than price. Is there anything I need to consider before buying one? I think my motherboard has the necessary slot.

                  Edit: Saying that I've read that it might not give any gaming benefit, so I might just get a regular ssd.
                  Last edited by Alm; 01-11-18, 19:19.


                  • #10
                    basically just check your motherboard, the majority are a standard length but there are different length cards out there so it's worth double checking, most come in the M2 2280 form factor, chances are your motherboard will be this size but if not it may get harder to find the right one.

                    the only other thing to check is that your M2 slot supports the connection, I believe most or universal between PCIe and SATA (SATA is slower) also it's worth checking what your motherboard may disable to use the port, since I'm running in PCIe mode it disables SATA port 7 and 8 on my motherboard, also it does use up PCIe channels in PCIe mode so if you are running multiple cards it could lower the speed of the graphics card slot, if you are running a single card you are probably fine.

                    so yeah all I would say, check the form factor, the connection type (PCIe and SATA actually have different pin setups) and any requirements/restrictions of your motherboard for using the socket.

                    also this is a biggy, check where your standoff is for the M2 socket, some motherboards don't install it as standard so you would need to find it in the original motherboard box or find a replacement, luckily mine was pre installed/soldered to the motherboard. since I know the Samsung cards don't come with the standoff and I'm willing to bet that is pretty standard.


                    • #11
                      Cheers Bel. That is what I needed to know.


                      • #12
                        been looking at the info on my old 830 in the samsung magician, it's been switched on a total of just over 2 years and 2 months (that is actual on time) that's since installing back in June 2012 (so a little over 6 years in the actual system) and about 15TB written on the 238GB drive. so I would say the drive has been fairly durable for the time I've had it when people claim the SSD's can be unreliable, but there are still no smart errors at all on the drive.

                        this new one is guaranteed for 5 years or something like 200TB written (never actually realised these drives actually tracked that) for the size I got, so hopefully it should last me as well as the previous version. but then I've always been a sucker for Samsung memory, there is a reason so many third parties use their memory chips in phones and such.


                        • #13
                          Hey Bel, you know when you installed your M.2 SSD into the motherboard, was it on an angle sort of like a slant. I even screwed it in and it still appears slightly at an angle. I'm not sure if that''s what it's meant to look like or what, videos show it looking similar when they install it.


                          • #14
                            It sits seemingly flat to the motherboard sitting on the socket and stand off, as for running parallel to the PCI slots it's a bit wonky but ultimately it is connected and working.

                            As long as you stuck it in the socket the way your motherboard says and screwed it down onto the standoff it should be fine.