Motherboard Asus X470-I & M.2 SSDs HELP!

LexImatx

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Mar 31, 2019
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Apologies in advance if I've not posted this in the right place, I'm new to the forum.
I've already searched for similar posts, but I can't seem to find any...again, sorry in advance if there are any.

It's been a while since I have built a new 'cutting edge' PC, but I've finally decided to venture in to SFF to replace my Corsair 750D and update my old FX-8350.

I'm looking at buying an Asus X470-I motherboard and am having some problems understanding what storage I can use.
Ideally I'd like the following:
- 1 x 500GB/1TB M.2 NVME SSD (OS Drive)
- 1 x 1TB M.2 NVME SSD (Important programs and most played games)
- 2 x 1TB 2.5" SATA SSDs or 1 x 2TB 2.5" SATA SSD (Bulk Storage)

When I've looked online I've seen lots of posts talking about some M.2 slots being limited to sata speeds etc...
...then there's B/M/B+M key types and different lengths etc.

Can anyone offer some simplified advice on what I can and cannot do for storage on this motherboard?
 

Donut

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Mar 15, 2019
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Take a look at the Asus spec sheet: https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/ROG-STRIX-X470-I-GAMING/specifications/.

The X470-I has 2x M.2 slots. The one on the front of the board (behind one of the heatsinks) accepts NMVe and SATA M.2 drives. The one on the back only accepts NVMe M.2 drives, with a few caveats. First, the one on the back apparently does not work with APUs (2400G, 2200G, 200GE). Second, the slot on the back shares bandwidth with the PCIe slot; as a result, the PCIe slot will use 8 lanes instead of 16 (the general consensus, from what I've read, is that this doesn't make much of a difference). The X470-I also has 2 SATA ports.

If you plan to use an AMD CPU (that doesn't have integrated graphics), your planned storage setup will work. If you plan to get an APU, you'll only be able to use one NVMe drive with this motherboard.

The SATA speed thing doesn't apply to the X470-I, because both M.2 slots can use PCIe lanes. If you wanted to run a SATA M.2 drive, though, you could do so in the front M.2 slot. The X470-I M.2 slots are M key, so make sure you get M.2 drives that are M key or M + B key. Nearly all storage M.2 drives are 2280, and both M.2 slots on this board accept 2280 drives, so length shouldn't be an issue either.
 

rfarmer

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Jul 7, 2017
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For 1st and 2nd generation Ryzen processors Asus lists the folowing:

AMD Ryzen™ 2nd Generation/ Ryzen™ 1st Generation Processors :
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (SATA & PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)
1 x M.2 Socket 3, with M key, type 2242/2260/2280 storage devices support (PCIE 3.0 x 4 mode)*1

This means you can run 2 x PCI 3.0 x 4 with this condition:

*1 The M.2_2 slot shares with PCIE x16. When M.2_2 slot runs in PCIE mode, the PCIE x16 slot will run at x8 mode.

This means the 2 M.2 drives will have full PCI 3.0 x 4 but your graphics card will be limited to PCI 3.0 x 8, from everything I have read this has almost no impact on performance.
 

Arboreal

Master of Cramming
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Oct 11, 2015
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Ninja'd twice- ^ These ^.

You could make your money go further by buying a 1TB NVME drive to boot from and fit it in the bottom slot, and put a 1TB SATA drive in the top slot, as NVME vs SATA real world speeds, (not benchmarking), are hard to tell apart, especially for game loading, which can be slow whatever you have it stored on!
This arrangement may get you more storage as a SATA M.2 should be cheaper than an NVME one; ie 1 each NVME and SATA M.2 may be a bit more expensive than 1x 512 NVME + 1TB SATA, but definitely less than 2x 1TB NVME M.2
 
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LexImatx

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Mar 31, 2019
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Thank you all for the responses.
With me joining the party late when it comes to M.2. I just struggled to get my head around it all, so thanks for simplifying that for me.

The Specs will be as follows:
  • Case: Nouvolo Steck + Stack Unit
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 2700X
  • CPU Cooler: Corsair H100i (or similar 240mm AIO)
  • Motherboard: Asus ROG Strix X470-I Gaming
  • RAM: 32GB (2x16GB) 3200MHz DDR4 Kingston HyperX Fury
  • GPU: Zotac GTX 2070 Mini
  • PSU: Corsair SF600 Platinum with Custom Cables

Based on your responses I think I will make my storage:
  • 1 x 1TB NVME M.2 SSD (Samsung 970 Evo 1TB)
  • 1 x 1TB SATA M.2 SSD (TBC)
  • 2 x 1TB SATA 2.5" SSDs or 1 x 2TB SATA SSD. (TBC)
Thank you again for your responses.
 

Valantar

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Jan 20, 2018
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Sounds like a good setup. Depending on your location, there might be NVMe SSDs that perform as well or better for less money: the WD Black SSDs are excellent, and there are other options as well such as the HP EX900 or EX920 that perform very well - and are dramatically cheaper than Samsung on Newegg US. I'd consider reading a couple of reviews. For the SATA SSD, I'm guessing you want that as a "capacity" drive (i.e. larger than the NVMe drive) - if so, the couple of QLC SSDs that are out (Intel 660p, Crucial P1, might be more) are worth taking a look at. They're also NVMe, so faster than SATA in some respects, while competing very well on price (the 660p even beats out good price/perf SATA SSDs like Crucial's MX500 in some regions). The 660p 2TB is currently the cheapest >1TB m.2 SSD on Newegg, beating every SATA option. As long as you're not going to hammer it with writes, QLC memory shouldn't be an issue either (it has less write endurance than TLC, but not low enough to be a problem for normal consumer usage).
 

LexImatx

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Mar 31, 2019
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Sounds like a good setup. Depending on your location, there might be NVMe SSDs that perform as well or better for less money: the WD Black SSDs are excellent, and there are other options as well such as the HP EX900 or EX920 that perform very well - and are dramatically cheaper than Samsung on Newegg US. I'd consider reading a couple of reviews. For the SATA SSD, I'm guessing you want that as a "capacity" drive (i.e. larger than the NVMe drive) - if so, the couple of QLC SSDs that are out (Intel 660p, Crucial P1, might be more) are worth taking a look at. They're also NVMe, so faster than SATA in some respects, while competing very well on price (the 660p even beats out good price/perf SATA SSDs like Crucial's MX500 in some regions). The 660p 2TB is currently the cheapest >1TB m.2 SSD on Newegg, beating every SATA option. As long as you're not going to hammer it with writes, QLC memory shouldn't be an issue either (it has less write endurance than TLC, but not low enough to be a problem for normal consumer usage).
Thanks Valantar. I'm in the UK...so our prices tend to be converted like this $100 = £100 despite the actual currency conversion being along the lines of $100 = £76. haha
I've just looked in to the Western Digital options and I like what I see.
I think I've decided on the following storage:
  • 1 x WD Black 1TB NVME M.2 SSD (OS Drive - £204/$267)
  • 1 x WD Blue 3D 1TB M.2 SSD (Important programs/games - £114/$150)
  • 2 x Samsung 860 Evo 1TB 2.5" SSD (Bulk Storage for work/personal files - £103 each/$134 each)
Surprisingly, the Samsung 2.5" SSD was the cheapest 1TB I could find on pcpartpicker at the moment, but that may change.

I'll be using the SATA M.2 as my primary personal file storage device. the 2 x 2.5" SSDs will be split. I'll use one as a second bulk storage (e.g. Videos etc.) which will be shared with my GFs PC, the other will be a work storage device for Revit Models etc.
Alternatively, I could get a 2TB 2.5" SSD and partition it, but it all depends on what kind of money I have at the time.
My priority will be the other parts and the NVME M.2.
 

Donut

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Mar 15, 2019
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I think I've decided on the following storage:
  • 1 x WD Black 1TB NVME M.2 SSD (OS Drive - £204/$267)
  • 1 x WD Blue 3D 1TB M.2 SSD (Important programs/games - £114/$150)
  • 2 x Samsung 860 Evo 1TB 2.5" SSD (Bulk Storage for work/personal files - £103 each/$134 each)

1TB seems like quite a lot of storage for just the OS. What else do you plan to put on that drive?

You might consider adjusting your storage strategy (maybe store the important programs on the NVMe drive as well) or storage capacities (500GB M.2 NVMe drive and 2TB SATA M.2 drive).
 

Valantar

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Jan 20, 2018
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1TB seems like quite a lot of storage for just the OS. What else do you plan to put on that drive?

You might consider adjusting your storage strategy (maybe store the important programs on the NVMe drive as well) or storage capacities (500GB M.2 NVMe drive and 2TB SATA M.2 drive).
Agreed, 500GB ought to be plenty for an OS + any and all necessary applications. I run my OS off a 500GB 960 Evo, and the only reason it's more than 40% full is a) Onedrive with all my phone photos from the past 6-7 years, and b) that I use it for overflow game storage (I tend to have far more games installed than I'm even close to being able to play).
 
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LexImatx

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Mar 31, 2019
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1TB seems like quite a lot of storage for just the OS. What else do you plan to put on that drive?

You might consider adjusting your storage strategy (maybe store the important programs on the NVMe drive as well) or storage capacities (500GB M.2 NVMe drive and 2TB SATA M.2 drive).

The only reason I've said 1TB is because I've currently got a 500GB 2.5" SSD that's constantly at 80-90% full. Admittedly, I could be more careful with where I save things, but I don't pay attention for a while then regret it. Haha

I know I'm going a bit overboard with storage, but I'll be buying in stages, so most likely i'lI only have the nvme drive for a few months. As long as I can decide on the nvme soon, I'll pick up everything else when it's on deal.