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Asus Z170-E mobo and Samsung 960 EVO SSD

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#1 nice_shoes



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Posted 07 February 2018 - 02:03 PM

I've been considering upgrading my current SATA SSD to a Samsung EVO 960 M.2, but not sure if my mobo will work properly with it. I don't have a good understanding of the NVMe protocol, so please be patient if I ask dumb questions.

  1. I checked the user manual for my current mobo, Asus Z170-E, which has an M.2 socket, but it looks like the socket needs to be configured in the BIOS setup........there are 2 choices of modes:
      a) M.2
      b) SATA EXpress

    The Asus manual states the following about the 2 modes:
      [M.2] SATA mode will be switched to M.2. SATA EXpress can only support PCIE devices
      [SATA EXpress] SATA mode will be switched to SATA EXpress. M.2 can only support PCIE devices

    This is confusing to me, there is no mention of NVMe, unless that is implicit for M.2 mode.

    SO............will a Samsung EVO 960 work, or will I need to get an 860 which uses the M.2 socket but I think uses SATA protocol?
  2. I don't have anything to use to install my copy of Windows 10 onto the new SSD because Microsoft upgraded my Windows 7 and turned it into Windows 10 a couple years ago.
    But, it is my understanding that Samsung includes some software with the 960 EVO that will copy the current c: drive onto the 960 EVO, which will then become the new c: drive. Is that correct? If correct, does that transfer happen smoothly or do people regularly incur difficulties?


Anyone out there running the Z170-E who has some experience with configuring the M.2 socket?

CPU....................... Intel i5-6500
MOBO................... Asus Z170-E
RAM....................... 16 GB DDR4-2400
HARD DRIVES........ [C:] Micron C400 128GB SATA III.......[D:] Seagate 160 GB SATA (150) with 8 MB cache
PSU....................... generic 550W PSU
VIDEO CARD.......... XFX GeForce 9600 GSO...........running dual LCD monitors, 27 inch and 24 inch
OS......................... Windows 10  64-bit

#2 athman8


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Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:50 AM

Hi,I have a Asus Z170-a motherboard, with my OS currently installed on an older Seagate 2TB SSHD hybrid. I recently purchased the Samsung 960 Evo (still on its way) and was planning on using it as my new boot drive. I have a TON of files and programs that I would like to keep on that old Seagate drive, however I would like my Win 10 to be moved to the new SSD.1) Is this even possible with the Asus z170-a? I have read a couple forums on here saying it's troublesome, and some say it didn't work. If it is possible, how would I go about doing this properly?2) Did I make a mistake in getting this drive over a regular 850 Evo, would it be easier to move the OS to a Sata III based 850 Evo, and if so how would I do it?My initial intent was to get this new NVME drive for my video editing, but if it is too much of a hastle for someone inexperienced with these drives like me, then I am willing to return it and just get the 850 Evo if that is simpler to migrate the OS to, or if you recommend it just do a fresh install. Any instructions on how I should go about doing this is greatly appreciated, thanks! ShowBox Kodi Lucky Patcher

Edited by athman8, 16 April 2018 - 11:18 AM.

#3 ir_cow


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Posted 26 March 2018 - 01:45 PM

I believe NVME is only a software protocol (drivers) on the drive itself (can't convert SATA to NVME). So if it used as a boot device for windows you will need to load the appropriate drivers during windows install or it won't run correctly (maybe not even show up). SATA Express is dead tech, but backwards compatible with SATA. Its completely phased out now and replaced with M.2 and U.2* (*same thing, different ports). You can buy M.2 drives that are SATA protocols. Usually a lot cheaper to buy, so make sure you are buying the right thing.


Seems like the SATA Express mode allows for SATA and M.2 to work at the same time.

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