Storage M.2 boot ssd question

MultiDoc

Airflow Optimizer
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Feb 2, 2018
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I'd like your advise in case someone has similar setup.

I'm about to start the build today and I'll be using two ssd's. One M.2 for boot/os/games and one sata ssd for general stuff. I'll be using the Asus Strix z370-I motherboard and the question is: which slot should i use/is better to use for the M.2 drive ? The front one or the one on the back of the motherboard ?

Thanks in advance for any advice.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
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The front slot supports both PCIe 3.0 x4 mode and SATA mode while the back slot supports PCIe 3.0 x4 mode only. So, if your M.2 SSD is of SATA type, then you have to use the top one.
If it runs on PCIe 3.0 x4 mode, I suggest using the top one because the top slot has a cover which acts as a heatsink for the SSD, thus providing cooling advantage.
 

MultiDoc

Airflow Optimizer
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Thanks for the input.
Using the front slot, does it share the pci bandwith with the gpu ? I guess not but better ask i guess.
 

tinyitx

Shrink Way Wielder
Jan 25, 2018
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No, it does not share.
The physical x16 PCIe expansion slot (where your GPU will be installed) gets its x16 lanes from the CPU directly.
The front M.2 slot gets its x4 lanes from the Z370 chipset.
 
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dumplinknet

Airflow Optimizer
Jan 26, 2018
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I have a samsung 950 Pro m.2 nvme and another 1TB 960 pro m.2 nvme. Are they compatible with the one of the back of this board? Is there any disadvantage to using the one in the back?
 

MultiDoc

Airflow Optimizer
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I have a samsung 950 Pro m.2 nvme and another 1TB 960 pro m.2 nvme. Are they compatible with the one of the back of this board? Is there any disadvantage to using the one in the back?

Both will work fine. Only difference will be that the rear one will have (most probably) higher temps, the front one is sandwiched in a heatsink, but the rear one doesn't have one and air flow back there will be little.
What I'd do is get some quality thermal pads and stick them on the rear one so that when the rear side panel goes on it will be touching the pads on the M.2 and therefore will help with heat transfer.