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shinegull

Adding m.2 drive (bays/slots?)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Just a random thought I had while working (I get a lot of free time at work).

 

I know there are pcie expansion cards for sas/sata, hence allowing someone to connect a dozen or more droves to a pc or server.

 

But what about a pcie card or equivalent item that can add more m.2 or nvme cards to a pc? Im not just saying add a extra pcie expansion card that gives and extra 4 or 8 slots like the the asus hyper card or the honey badger that ltt had a video on recently. Im thinking some more more like 30 or more m.2 or nvme deives to a pc.

 

If such a card exists, what kind of hardware would you need? Since i think an nvme card takes 4 pcie lanes? And from what i understand, a cpu only has so many lanes available.

 

Im honestly just curious, but a build with 30 m.2 drives could be interesting.

 

Would be cool, if someone more knowledgable than me have an actual answer on whether something like this could even be made.

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24 minutes ago, shinegull said:

Im not just saying add a extra pcie expansion card that gives and extra 4 or 8 slots like the the asus hyper card or the honey badger that ltt had a video on recently.

But it is exactly what you describe, isn't it?

24 minutes ago, shinegull said:

Im thinking some more more like 30 or more m.2 or nvme deives to a pc.

Well, at most you are plugging such card to an x16 PCIe slot. Hence, if you use PCIe x4 M.2 drives, going beyond 4 drives per card will introduce a bottleneck, same as with running multiple M.2 slots from the chipset, which uses an x4 connection to the CPU. It wouldn't be relevant if you are not using the full bandwidth of all drives all the time, but as the number of drives increases the probability of a congestion increases as well.

 

24 minutes ago, shinegull said:

If such a card exists, what kind of hardware would you need? Since i think an nvme card takes 4 pcie lanes? And from what i understand, a cpu only has so many lanes available.

That wouldn't be a problem in the sense that you are already suggesting to go beyond the number lanes available to any single card anyway, so you would need some sort of controller/switch/bridge just like the chipset in your motherboard. Hence, the card will only have (at most) 16 lanes to the CPU, but it could support more than 4 drives by dynamically allocating the bandwidth between them.

If you want full bandwidth for all drives, and want to use PCIe x4 drives, there really isn't any point in going beyond 4 drives per card.

 

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Posted · Original PosterOP
14 minutes ago, SpaceGhostC2C said:

 

 

But it is exactly what you describe, isn't it?

Well, at most you are plugging such card to an x16 PCIe slot. Hence, if you use PCIe x4 M.2 drives, going beyond 4 drives per card will introduce a bottleneck, same as with running multiple M.2 slots from the chipset, which uses an x4 connection to the CPU. It wouldn't be relevant if you are not using the full bandwidth of all drives all the time, but as the number of drives increases the probability of a congestion increases as well.

 

That wouldn't be a problem in the sense that you are already suggesting to go beyond the number lanes available to any single card anyway, so you would need some sort of controller/switch/bridge just like the chipset in your motherboard. Hence, the card will only have (at most) 16 lanes to the CPU, but it could support more than 4 drives by dynamically allocating the bandwidth between them.

If you want full bandwidth for all drives, and want to use PCIe x4 drives, there really isn't any point in going beyond 4 drives per card.

 

Simply put, at this time, it basically either isnt feasible or or it would be so bottlenected it would be better to just go with standard 2.5 or 3.5 inch drives?

 

I thought that m.2 sata was basically the same as 2.5 inch sata drives, aside from the change in form factor. Since there are pcie cards that allow me to attach something like 32 sas/sata drives i thought there might be something similar

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