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First post, by Sphere478

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It’s rather underwelming. But it’s working.

Benchmarks that I was able to look up show this M.2 doing around 100mb/sec

I suspect the bridge chip may be to blame

(Not booted from, but just recognized in windows and benchmarked I’ll get to that later if it turns out that sata isn’t faster option.)

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Last edited by Sphere478 on 2021-03-12, 19:39. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 1 of 36, by Sphere478

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More screens

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Reply 2 of 36, by megatron-uk

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In my P4 retro Linux box (the oldest Linux box that I run which has ISA slots and does my 5.25" disk copying) I have a Promise SATA 300 TX2plus PCI card (it's an IBASE MB800 industrial motherboard - Intel 845 chipset, so only UDMA IDE as standard).

I have a basic 'Patriot Blast' 120GB SSD hanging off it, for the OS. Excluding overheads, it runs at pretty much the full bandwidth of the PCI bus:

sudo hdparm -i -t /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:

Model=Patriot Blast, FwRev=SAFM12.0, SerialNo=FEB4075B090803069349
Config={ Fixed }
RawCHS=16383/16/63, TrkSize=0, SectSize=0, ECCbytes=0
BuffType=unknown, BuffSize=unknown, MaxMultSect=16, MultSect=16
CurCHS=16383/16/63, CurSects=16514064, LBA=yes, LBAsects=234441648
IORDY=on/off, tPIO={min:120,w/IORDY:120}, tDMA={min:120,rec:120}
PIO modes: pio0 pio3 pio4
DMA modes: mdma0 mdma1 mdma2
UDMA modes: udma0 udma1 udma2 udma3 udma4 udma5 *udma6
AdvancedPM=yes: unknown setting WriteCache=enabled
Drive conforms to: Unspecified: ATA/ATAPI-3,4,5,6,7

* signifies the current active mode

Timing buffered disk reads: 334 MB in 3.00 seconds = 111.29 MB/sec

That's only ~20MB/s less than the theoretical peak PCI transfer rate. I suspect that's near as damnit the best possible result for an SSD hanging off 32bit/33MHz PCI.

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Reply 3 of 36, by Sphere478

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I have a promise tx4 but windows fails boot whenever a hard drive is plugged into it on this computer so was unable to test

Last edited by Sphere478 on 2021-03-12, 19:40. Edited 1 time in total.

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Reply 6 of 36, by Sphere478

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swaaye wrote on 2021-01-26, 22:00:

What's the motherboard chipset?

This is on my core 2 quad. Bearlake? Is that right?

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Reply 7 of 36, by Sphere478

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-01-26, 20:38:

It may have lackluster transfer rates but I'd expect the access times to be quite low and that would make program and file access times feel quite snappy.

quite possibly. Something is definitely up though, maybe this chipset’s pci isn’t native? I can try it on other motherboards later

Maybe it’s a driver thing? Like it’s running in pio or soemthing like that? Maybe it would be faster if the os was booting on it native.

I have yet to get clover figured out. It’s supposed to have m.2 nvme support

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Reply 8 of 36, by Sphere478

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This may be the first m.2 nvme ever on a pentium 1 era socket 7 motherboard 😂🤣 (it’s the highlighted one.)

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Reply 9 of 36, by feipoa

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I was considering getting some sort of NVMe SSD solution for my ageing socket 939 system with an FX-60. I see that there are complete PCIe package from Intel DC P3608 and there are a large variety of PCIe-to-M.2 adapters which have various conditions on which M.2 devices will work on them. The PCIe-to-M.2 adapters appear to only use 4-lanes, even if they are slotted for x16. The Intel DC devices look to be x8 by the slot, but I'm not sure if they use 4- or 8-lanes for data. Anyone know?

Are there any x16 NVMe devices which use all 16 lanes? This would be of great benefit for any motherboard that uses PCIe spec 1.0, 1.0a, or 1.1.

For BIOSes which aren't NVMe aware, are these boards able to boot from any PCIe device, be it the Intel package or the M.2-to-PCIe adapters w/NVMe card? How are the drivers in Windows handled? Does Intel issue drivers for their product? Does the maker of M.2 cards issue drivers? Does the M.2-to-PCIe adapter manufacturer issue drivers? Did Microsoft issue W2K, XP, and W2K3 drivers that were are expected to use? I'm really confused here.

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Reply 10 of 36, by darry

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feipoa wrote on 2021-03-11, 03:55:

I was considering getting some sort of NVMe SSD solution for my ageing socket 939 system with an FX-60. I see that there are complete PCIe package from Intel DC P3608 and there are a large variety of PCIe-to-M.2 adapters which have various conditions on which M.2 devices will work on them. The PCIe-to-M.2 adapters appear to only use 4-lanes, even if they are slotted for x16. The Intel DC devices look to be x8 by the slot, but I'm not sure if they use 4- or 8-lanes for data. Anyone know?

Are there any x16 NVMe devices which use all 16 lanes? This would be of great benefit for any motherboard that uses PCIe spec 1.0, 1.0a, or 1.1.

For BIOSes which aren't NVMe aware, are these boards able to boot from any PCIe device, be it the Intel package or the M.2-to-PCIe adapters w/NVMe card? How are the drivers in Windows handled? Does Intel issue drivers for their product? Does the maker of M.2 cards issue drivers? Does the M.2-to-PCIe adapter manufacturer issue drivers? Did Microsoft issue W2K, XP, and W2K3 drivers that were are expected to use? I'm really confused here.

4 lanes of PCI Express 1.0/1.1 is 4x250MB/s=1Gigabyte per second ! I dare hope that's fast enough for an Fx-60 . 😉 I don't think you will find any NVME drives with 16 lanes (except maybe some specialized industrial ones ) as that would be overkill in modern systems and I doubt controller manufacturers would see much of an interest in optimizing for machines that are over 10 years old . Even the Intel P45 chipset that is going on its 13th birthday did PCI Express 2.0 . That being said, I remember manufacturers such as OCZ selling full size PCI Express SSD/controller combo cards that did support more than 4 lanes of PCI Express bandwidth . This is an x8 PCIEX 2.0 example : https://www.newegg.ca/ocz-revodrive-350-serie … N82E16820228113 . Not sure about modern OS support, if that is a concern .

To boot off of an NVME device, you need BIOS/UEFI support for it. There are ways around this using a bootloader on a bootable USB drive . See here for a slightly dated example example : https://web.archive.org/web/20190324115923/ht … t-se-mainboard/ and this for something more recent https://www.hamishmb.com/blog/booting-nvme-older-pc-refind/

m.2 to PCI Express adapters that are keyed for NVME devices are passive . NVME SSDs are electrically PCI Express and only require physical adaptation .

According to WIKIPedia, unofficial NVME drivers for Windows XP do exist (whatever that means) which is a bit surprising, considering NVME appeared when XP was dead/dying . I honestly doubt there ever were enough people running Windows 2K or earlier on PCI Express hardware for hardware manufacturers or Microsoft to care . Windows 7 supports NVME natively through updates . Windows 8.1 and up support it natively . There exist third party drivers from some hardware manufacturers, but TBH I have only had strange issue with some Windows 10 updates when using one of those third party (manufacturer) drivers, so I reverted to native OS drivers .

Reply 11 of 36, by Doornkaat

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feipoa wrote on 2021-03-11, 03:55:

The Intel DC P3608 uses eight PCIe lanes but it does so by having two controllers onboard that can be put into RAID0 using software.
m.2 slots and devices only support up to four PCIe lanes.
Your UEFI needs to support NVMe devices to boot from them. No BIOS can boot from NVMe afaik. (Meaning in this case it is important to differentiate between BIOS and UEFI.)

Reply 12 of 36, by Sphere478

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feipoa wrote on 2021-03-11, 03:55:

I was considering getting some sort of NVMe SSD solution for my ageing socket 939 system with an FX-60. I see that there are complete PCIe package from Intel DC P3608 and there are a large variety of PCIe-to-M.2 adapters which have various conditions on which M.2 devices will work on them. The PCIe-to-M.2 adapters appear to only use 4-lanes, even if they are slotted for x16. The Intel DC devices look to be x8 by the slot, but I'm not sure if they use 4- or 8-lanes for data. Anyone know?

Are there any x16 NVMe devices which use all 16 lanes? This would be of great benefit for any motherboard that uses PCIe spec 1.0, 1.0a, or 1.1.

For BIOSes which aren't NVMe aware, are these boards able to boot from any PCIe device, be it the Intel package or the M.2-to-PCIe adapters w/NVMe card? How are the drivers in Windows handled? Does Intel issue drivers for their product? Does the maker of M.2 cards issue drivers? Does the M.2-to-PCIe adapter manufacturer issue drivers? Did Microsoft issue W2K, XP, and W2K3 drivers that were are expected to use? I'm really confused here.

There are non nvme storage cards that are 16 or 8x cards out there I believe as mentioned above, but I think on even the pcie 1.0 spec you will be pretty good with four lanes but if you absolutely must have max performance consider a four slot nvme card maybe I think those use all 16 lanes? If so then just put them in software raid. But I don’t think that’s a bootable configuration.

I think your best bet for booting them is a modern version of grub or lilo (do they still develop lilo?) you are probably stuck to four lanes or one of the non nvme cards

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Reply 13 of 36, by feipoa

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darry wrote on 2021-03-11, 04:55:

4 lanes of PCI Express 1.0/1.1 is 4x250MB/s=1Gigabyte per second ! I dare hope that's fast enough for an Fx-60 . ;)

I don't like waiting around to backup external HDDs. I don't even like leaving them out to transfer while I'm sleeping (kids, wife, burglars, fire, flood, earthquake, etc). The external HDD is kept in a fire safe. I'd also like to speed up the OS in general. I should mention that it isn't just the FX-60 computer I'm looking to upgrade, I also have a MacPro 1,1 (upgraded to firmware 2,1) which runs two Xeon X5365 chips at 3 GHz each. Each Xeon has 4 cores. That computer is markedly fast compared to everything else in the house, but it is crippled with PCIe 1.x. Its four full length PCIe slots are configurable, so I can have one x16, two x4, and one x1, or like one x16, one x8, and two x1 for example. The MacPro runs mainly Ubuntu, but also boots into OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) on occasion.

That OCZ looks promising, but 480 GB is too small.

Thank you for that post about booting NVMe on old systems. Method is to use a USB stick, but then said "With the right driver, Clover can then detect your new SSD and boot from it.". The phrase which stuck out to me was "with the right driver". Driver for what, the NVMe card? Who supplies this? Then goes on to say, "you’re almost done but first you need to download the NVME driver. You can search for “NvmExpressDxe.efi" So this NvmExpressDxe.efi is supposed to work for all NVME drives with Clover (the USB boot app)? Apparently there needs to be a different driver for BIOS boards instead of EFI boards, but he doesn't mention where to find the driver.

I wonder if I could use my LS-120 drive on my FX-60 system to contain Clover instead of a USB stick. Or even hook up some old IDE drive to act as the Clover/boot source.

From your response it sounds like XP needs to have drivers. So this is another unknown. Drivers for Clover and drivers for XP...

I remember reading in 2016 that quite a lot of Chinese were still using XP, so I bet there is some driver for this.

Doornkaat wrote on 2021-03-11, 05:09:
The Intel DC P3608 uses eight PCIe lanes but it does so by having two controllers onboard that can be put into RAID0 using softw […]
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feipoa wrote on 2021-03-11, 03:55:

The Intel DC P3608 uses eight PCIe lanes but it does so by having two controllers onboard that can be put into RAID0 using software.
m.2 slots and devices only support up to four PCIe lanes.
Your UEFI needs to support NVMe devices to boot from them. No BIOS can boot from NVMe afaik. (Meaning in this case it is important to differentiate between BIOS and UEFI.)

My FX-60 system has a traditional BIOS, but my MacPro 2,1 system has a 32-bit UEFI, but runs 64-bit operating systems.

So to utilise all 8 lanes, I need to use two M.2 devices in stripe mode, but data throughput is still limited to x4 it sounds.

Sphere478 wrote on 2021-03-11, 05:16:

There are non nvme storage cards that are 16 or 8x cards out there I believe as mentioned above, but I think on even the pcie 1.0 spec you will be pretty good with four lanes but if you absolutely must have max performance consider a four slot nvme card maybe I think those use all 16 lanes? If so then just put them in software raid. But I don’t think that’s a bootable configuration.

I think your best bet for booting them is a modern version of grub or lilo (do they still develop lilo?) you are probably stuck to four lanes or one of the non nvme cards

Well, I definitely have GRUB installed on my FX-60 system to boot between LINUX and XP. On the MacPro, I have rEFIt installed to boot between Mac OS X Lion, El Capitan, and LINUX. GRUB runs after rEFIt if I select LINUX from the rEFIt menu. I tried to just use GRUB to boot OS X and Ubuntu, but it didn't work, thus I have the two boot managers in series.

Were you suggesting that grub can boot the NVMe drives via a floppy or USB so that I don't need a USB device to load Clover?

Dunno, I haven't used LILO in 15 years.

If x4 is as good as it gets, then that's still better than x1 SATA 3.0 cards. I cannot seem to find any traditional non-RAID SATA 3.0 cards which use more than 1-lane. Did they not exist? So I started looking at SATA 3.0 RAID controllers from LSI and Adaptec. They both make x8 RAID controllers which have either 4 or 8 ports for SATA hard drives, but I am not sure if these controllers are allocating one lane per HDD or if they are pooling the bandwidth. I have an Adaptec 6805T, but their drivers only go as low as VISTA. I have an LSI x8 RAID controller sitting at AVICC that I found XP x86 drivers for which I am anxious to try out.

I did test out the Adaptec 6805T controller briefly in Ubuntu with my Firecuda hybrid drive on the FX-60 system and benchmarks were 2.5x faster than with the noname SATA 3.0 x1 card I currently have installed. But alas, the Adaptec couldn't boot XP. Perhaps there are some unofficial XP drivers for the 6805T? Hopefully when I ship the LSI it will be as fast as the Adaptec, though I am starting to think some NVMe to PCIe solution might be the way to go. Then I saw this post and that's where I'm at. Worst case fallback is to use the 6805T in Ubuntu, then a separate HDD XP connected to the onboard SATA 2.0 port. It's not very elegant though.

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Reply 14 of 36, by The Serpent Rider

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That OCZ looks promising, but 480 GB is too small.

There were 960 versions too. I doubt it will boot though. That's essentially custom RAID 0, which require driver to properly work. And OCZ never officially released drivers for XP. I know RevoDrive 3 series had a trick to make it work, by changing XP iostore.sys from Win2k3.

But to be fair, you don't need any fancy NVME to just boot XP. Even much more slower SSD will boot it super fast. I can boot XP in a few seconds even on Apacer 4Gb SAFD251LA004GR, which is nearly UDMA33 in linear operations and ludicrously fast on a modern SSD just attached to SATAII. So instead you can use NVME SSD as a secondary device in XP to store pagefile and programs, games, etc. In other words, where faster speed would really benefit.

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Reply 15 of 36, by chrismeyer6

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This is the adapter I run in both of my Nforce 680i systems. https://www.newegg.com/silverstone-model-sst- … N82E16815256028

I have a a 500 gig WD black nvme drive in the nvme slot and a 1Tb WD blue m.2 sata drive in the m.2 sata slot and a short sata cable from the adapter to the sata port on the motherboard. The adapter works flawlessly and windows 7 and 10 boot stupid fast. The systems are both identically specd core 2 duo E8600 3.33ghz
8gigs ddr2 1066
EVGA Nforce 680i
X-Fi fatality
1.5tb WD black HD 7200rpm
GeForce GTX 1050ti

And both systems have the same nvme adapter and drives. They boot no problem and are crazy fast.

Reply 16 of 36, by Sphere478

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feipoa wrote on 2021-03-11, 09:23:
I don't like waiting around to backup external HDDs. I don't even like leaving them out to transfer while I'm sleeping (kids, wi […]
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darry wrote on 2021-03-11, 04:55:

4 lanes of PCI Express 1.0/1.1 is 4x250MB/s=1Gigabyte per second ! I dare hope that's fast enough for an Fx-60 . 😉

I don't like waiting around to backup external HDDs. I don't even like leaving them out to transfer while I'm sleeping (kids, wife, burglars, fire, flood, earthquake, etc). The external HDD is kept in a fire safe. I'd also like to speed up the OS in general. I should mention that it isn't just the FX-60 computer I'm looking to upgrade, I also have a MacPro 1,1 (upgraded to firmware 2,1) which runs two Xeon X5365 chips at 3 GHz each. Each Xeon has 4 cores. That computer is markedly fast compared to everything else in the house, but it is crippled with PCIe 1.x. Its four full length PCIe slots are configurable, so I can have one x16, two x4, and one x1, or like one x16, one x8, and two x1 for example. The MacPro runs mainly Ubuntu, but also boots into OS X 10.11 (El Capitan) on occasion.

That OCZ looks promising, but 480 GB is too small.

Thank you for that post about booting NVMe on old systems. Method is to use a USB stick, but then said "With the right driver, Clover can then detect your new SSD and boot from it.". The phrase which stuck out to me was "with the right driver". Driver for what, the NVMe card? Who supplies this? Then goes on to say, "you’re almost done but first you need to download the NVME driver. You can search for “NvmExpressDxe.efi" So this NvmExpressDxe.efi is supposed to work for all NVME drives with Clover (the USB boot app)? Apparently there needs to be a different driver for BIOS boards instead of EFI boards, but he doesn't mention where to find the driver.

I wonder if I could use my LS-120 drive on my FX-60 system to contain Clover instead of a USB stick. Or even hook up some old IDE drive to act as the Clover/boot source.

From your response it sounds like XP needs to have drivers. So this is another unknown. Drivers for Clover and drivers for XP...

I remember reading in 2016 that quite a lot of Chinese were still using XP, so I bet there is some driver for this.

Doornkaat wrote on 2021-03-11, 05:09:
The Intel DC P3608 uses eight PCIe lanes but it does so by having two controllers onboard that can be put into RAID0 using softw […]
Show full quote
feipoa wrote on 2021-03-11, 03:55:

The Intel DC P3608 uses eight PCIe lanes but it does so by having two controllers onboard that can be put into RAID0 using software.
m.2 slots and devices only support up to four PCIe lanes.
Your UEFI needs to support NVMe devices to boot from them. No BIOS can boot from NVMe afaik. (Meaning in this case it is important to differentiate between BIOS and UEFI.)

My FX-60 system has a traditional BIOS, but my MacPro 2,1 system has a 32-bit UEFI, but runs 64-bit operating systems.

So to utilise all 8 lanes, I need to use two M.2 devices in stripe mode, but data throughput is still limited to x4 it sounds.

Sphere478 wrote on 2021-03-11, 05:16:

There are non nvme storage cards that are 16 or 8x cards out there I believe as mentioned above, but I think on even the pcie 1.0 spec you will be pretty good with four lanes but if you absolutely must have max performance consider a four slot nvme card maybe I think those use all 16 lanes? If so then just put them in software raid. But I don’t think that’s a bootable configuration.

I think your best bet for booting them is a modern version of grub or lilo (do they still develop lilo?) you are probably stuck to four lanes or one of the non nvme cards

Well, I definitely have GRUB installed on my FX-60 system to boot between LINUX and XP. On the MacPro, I have rEFIt installed to boot between Mac OS X Lion, El Capitan, and LINUX. GRUB runs after rEFIt if I select LINUX from the rEFIt menu. I tried to just use GRUB to boot OS X and Ubuntu, but it didn't work, thus I have the two boot managers in series.

Were you suggesting that grub can boot the NVMe drives via a floppy or USB so that I don't need a USB device to load Clover?

Dunno, I haven't used LILO in 15 years.

If x4 is as good as it gets, then that's still better than x1 SATA 3.0 cards. I cannot seem to find any traditional non-RAID SATA 3.0 cards which use more than 1-lane. Did they not exist? So I started looking at SATA 3.0 RAID controllers from LSI and Adaptec. They both make x8 RAID controllers which have either 4 or 8 ports for SATA hard drives, but I am not sure if these controllers are allocating one lane per HDD or if they are pooling the bandwidth. I have an Adaptec 6805T, but their drivers only go as low as VISTA. I have an LSI x8 RAID controller sitting at AVICC that I found XP x86 drivers for which I am anxious to try out.

I did test out the Adaptec 6805T controller briefly in Ubuntu with my Firecuda hybrid drive on the FX-60 system and benchmarks were 2.5x faster than with the noname SATA 3.0 x1 card I currently have installed. But alas, the Adaptec couldn't boot XP. Perhaps there are some unofficial XP drivers for the 6805T? Hopefully when I ship the LSI it will be as fast as the Adaptec, though I am starting to think some NVMe to PCIe solution might be the way to go. Then I saw this post and that's where I'm at. Worst case fallback is to use the 6805T in Ubuntu, then a separate HDD XP connected to the onboard SATA 2.0 port. It's not very elegant though.

Yeah, I’m thinking that a recent version of grub maybe after somewhere between 2012 and 2016 I think can see and boot to nvme (I’m reasonably sure of this but have not tried it myself as I abandoned my m.2 test half way through loading cause it was running in pio mode of some sort.

You could just put grub on whatever your bios can boot to and grub would hand off to the m.2

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Reply 17 of 36, by Sphere478

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-03-11, 13:27:
This is the adapter I run in both of my Nforce 680i systems. https://www.newegg.com/silverstone-model-sst- … N82E16815256028 […]
Show full quote

This is the adapter I run in both of my Nforce 680i systems. https://www.newegg.com/silverstone-model-sst- … N82E16815256028

I have a a 500 gig WD black nvme drive in the nvme slot and a 1Tb WD blue m.2 sata drive in the m.2 sata slot and a short sata cable from the adapter to the sata port on the motherboard. The adapter works flawlessly and windows 7 and 10 boot stupid fast. The systems are both identically specd core 2 duo E8600 3.33ghz
8gigs ddr2 1066
EVGA Nforce 680i
X-Fi fatality
1.5tb WD black HD 7200rpm
GeForce GTX 1050ti

And both systems have the same nvme adapter and drives. They boot no problem and are crazy fast.

That adapter doesn’t look like it has a controller on it? Is sata 6 just pcie?

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Reply 18 of 36, by chrismeyer6

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It doesn't the nvme port connects to the pcie slot and the sata m.2 connector you connect to your motherboards sata port I just used a 5 inch sata cable from the card to the motherboard port. The adapter powers both nvme and sata m.2 via the pcie slot. I've had the adapters since may and they work fantastic and the temps for both drives are good too.

Reply 19 of 36, by Sphere478

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chrismeyer6 wrote on 2021-03-11, 20:03:

It doesn't the nvme port connects to the pcie slot and the sata m.2 connector you connect to your motherboards sata port I just used a 5 inch sata cable from the card to the motherboard port. The adapter powers both nvme and sata m.2 via the pcie slot. I've had the adapters since may and they work fantastic and the temps for both drives are good too.

oh okay. That makes sense

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