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Samsung 950 PRO bogged down by PCIe x2 M.2 port

950pro

My fault for not checking carefully. The Samsung 950 PRO on my motherboard (ASUS Z97I-PLUS) while faster than conventional SATA SSD, is far from running at its full capability. (The numbers should be doubled this)

950pro_diskmark

The board indeed support PCIe M.2, but the gotcha is it only runs on 2 lanes, rather than the 4 lanes that NVMe can use. This using PCIe x2 on M.2 is apparently quite common, e.g. MSI Z97I GAMING ACK, ASRock Z97E-ITX/ac.

The only LGA 1150 ITX board I have found that support PCIe x4 on M.2 port is the ASUS MAXIMUS VII IMPACT. It costs a pretty penny, but I might have gone with it had I realize the difference before buying the Z97I-PLUS.

The situation is better with Skylake boards, which I am now kicking myself for not going for it. In the end, the only part I actually salvaged from the old build is a pair of 8GB DDR3 RAM (instead of CPU and RAM) so I could have gone Skylake without making much of a difference to the cost.

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