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Will M.2 NVMe SSD PCIe 4.0 work on my GA-Z270X-Gaming 7 motherboard?

I have a setup I built in 2017, which includes the following:

- Gigabyte AORUS GA-Z270X Gaming 7 1151 7th Gen DDR4RGB Fusion motherboard.
- Intel Core i7-7700K 4.2 Ghz Quad Core 8mb Cache (Kaby Lake)
- 32GB (4 x 8GB) G.SKILL Ripjaws V Series F4-3200C14Q-32GVR DDR4 3200MHz CL14 memory
- Samsung 250GB 960 Evo M.2 SSD NVMe (for Windows 10 OS)
- 2 x Seagate ST3500418AS 500GB SATA II 7200rpm drives in Raid 1 configuration (mirroring)

I don't have a PCI Express graphics card installed as I use the onboard Intel HD Graphics 730.

The NVMe SSD drive is plugged into the M2P_32G M.2 socket (the lower one, furthest from the memory).  This socket doesn't appear to share any channels so was the obvious socket to use for a single NVMe drive.

The 2 Seagate SATA drives are plugged into the SATA3 "quad" socket (nearest to the memory).  I believe this includes 4 SATA connectors labelled SATA3-5, SATA3-4, SATA3-1 and SATA3-0.  My drives are plugged into the top two connectors and I'm guessing these are 5 and 4.

My 250GB NVMe is nearly full so I'm looking to replace it with a 500GB NVMe and will clone the existing and replace it in the same M2P_32G M.2 socket. 

Now to my questions:

1. I was considering purchasing a 990 PRO PCIe 4.0 NVMe M.2 SSD, but I'm not sure if this is compatible with my motherboard.  Is PCIe 4.0 the same as PCIe x4, which is the description shown in the manual.  I believe PCIe 4.0 is 4th generation, but I suspect PCIe x4 is 4 times speed, so they may be different things?

2. I will format my old 250GB NVMe and place this in the second M2M_32G M.2 socket, which appears to share channels with SATA3-4 and SATA3-5 connectors, so if I'm correct and the two Seagate drives are plugged into these I can simply plug them into the lower connectors, which I think are SATA3-1 and SATA3-0?

There also seems to be a lot of PCI Express slot sharing going on with the M.2 connectors and also with the SATA3 connectors, but given I haven't got anything plugged into the PCI Express slots, this shouldn't be an issue for me, but it will potentially cause me issues if I do want to install a graphics card at any time in the future!

Thanks for your help.
Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7.  Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor.  G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR4 3200 C14 4 x 8GB. NZXT Phantom 630 (Gunmetal) ATX Full Tower Case. NZXT Kraken X62 Rev 2 98.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler. EVGA SuperNOVA P2 850W 80+ Platinum ATX PSU.  Samsung 950 PRO 256GB M.2-2280 SSD.

A disappointing lack of response from this forum, yet again.  Clearly it isn't used by many people these days.

In the end I chose not to purchase the latest Samsung 990 Pro PCIe 4.0 NVMe drive.  Having researched PCIe I determined that only recently have PCIe 4.0 SSD drives become supported by motherboards, so I'm pretty sure my Gigabyte isn't compatible.  The drive will work, but won't provide the additional performance benefits of PCIe 4.0, so there's no point paying a premium.  My existing Samsung 960 EVO drive is PCIe 3.0, so I have purchased another drive that also uses PCIe 3.0.

Just in case someone wants to do the same and add a 2nd NVMe drive to their machine I will update with my findings.

I purchased a new Samsung 1TB 970 Evo Plus NVMe PCIe 3.0 drive and installed it into the free M.2 socket (M2M_32G).  I then tried using a couple of pieces of software to clone my existing NVMe to the new NVMe, but unfortunately although the cloning process appeared to work, my PC wouldn't boot from the new NVMe, regardless of which slot it was in, and it reported missing OS files!!!

I then installed a free trial copy of Macrium Reflect.  This took much longer to run the cloning process, but "it just worked".

After cloning with Macrium ReflectI restarted and went into the boot menu and selected the new NVMe drive and it booted first time.  I then shutdown the machine, removed the old NVMe and installed the new NVMe in it's place.

I will run with this setup for a week or so and will then reformat the old NVMe and install it in the second NVMe socket and use it to store installed programs.  I try to keep my installed programs on a different partition to my Windows OS partition and data on yet another partition.  Ideally each partition would also be on a separate drive for maximum performance.

With both NVMe slots used I didn't witness any potential issues with the SATA3 sockets being used, so either I'm not using the relevant SATA3 ports, I don't fully understand what the manual is saying, or the manual info is nonsense!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2023, 08:52:27 pm by milleniumaire »
Aorus GA-Z270X-Gaming 7.  Intel Core i7-6700K 4.0GHz Quad-Core Processor.  G.SKILL Ripjaws DDR4 3200 C14 4 x 8GB. NZXT Phantom 630 (Gunmetal) ATX Full Tower Case. NZXT Kraken X62 Rev 2 98.2 CFM Liquid CPU Cooler. EVGA SuperNOVA P2 850W 80+ Platinum ATX PSU.  Samsung 950 PRO 256GB M.2-2280 SSD.

dmdilks

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Yes is a ghost town here. I use to check this a few times a day. Now I check maybe 1 or 2 times a week. But the thing is with everything new coming down the pike. Do people really see a difference on anything they try new.

I have been doing this for over 40yrs. Been building computers for almost 30yrs. Yes thing do run faster today vs 30yrs ago. But in the real world do people really seen much in changes. NO

With all the new stuff coming out what are we going to use it on. I have a mother board that supports 5.0 video cards. What out there even supports 4.0 video cards not to much if anything.

Yes you can buy that nice 4.0 NMVe M.2 drive. You really going to a big performance boost. Between the 3.0 vs the 4.0. Maybe or maybe not. Most people will not. 
X299X Aorus Master, i9-9940x-3.30Ghz, 64gb G-Skill DDR4-2400, MSI RTX-3070 8GB, Cooler Master case, Thermal-take PSU 850w, 1-M2-NMVe SSD-512gb, 3-Pny 1TB SSD, 2-WD Raptors 1TB, Win 10 pro 64bit, Asus 35" 144Mhz Monitor.