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Can this old system have an NVMe SSD through a PCIe 2.0 adapter for the OS?

HunterAP
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I got this horribly old i7-970 CPU on a SuperMicro C7X58 motherboard. It only has SATA Gen 2 ports (300mbps) and PCIe Gen2 lanes.
I'm planning on using it for an archive NAS and don;t really care much for the HDD speeds through the Sata Gen2 ports.

 

The thing is that I don't want to put in a 2.5" SATA SSD for the OS and have it's speed cut in half because of the SATA Gen2 ports. I figured the next best option would be to put an M.2 SSD in it through a PCIe x16 to M.2 adapter.

My main concerns are:

  • Would it even boot? I have no idea if older motherboards like this one support booting from devices connected from the PCIe lanes.
  • Is it even worth getting a PCIe adapter just to boot off of an SSD at the near-full speeds? The SSD would only be for the OS but faster speed on that is prefered
  • Should I instead try to find a PCIe SSD that can support PCIe Gen2 x16?
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Sata ssds are still plenty fast on sata II, I have tested it and for things like boot time, app load times and file compressions speeds, its all within about 5%. Id just use the sata ii ports

 

You can boot from pcie, but you need supporte cards, nvme won't work, but more pcie raid cards will work and older pcie(ahci mostly) ssds will work fine.

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You could probably get a m.2 ssd with sata speeds to work but a nvme one would be bottle necked and I dont think the i7 970 supports nvme. I would recommend you get a pcie adapter for sata 3 and connect a 2.5 inch ssd to that.

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You can but it will not be bootable, only available as a storage device, and at half speed.

NVMe boot support was not added until Z97, and proper 3.0 4x lnks not added until the 100 series chipsets (not including HEDT)

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16 minutes ago, Electronics Wizardy said:

Sata ssds are still plenty fast on sata II, I have tested it and for things like boot time, app load times and file compressions speeds, its all within about 5%. Id just use the sata ii ports

 

You can boot from pcie, but you need supporte cards, nvme won't work, but more pcie raid cards will work and older pcie(ahci mostly) ssds will work fine.

7 minutes ago, om puri said:

You could probably get a m.2 ssd with sata speeds to work but a nvme one would be bottle necked and I dont think the i7 970 supports nvme. I would recommend you get a pcie adapter for sata 3 and connect a 2.5 inch ssd to that.

So if I do decide to go with a PCIe adapter, I'd have to use a SATA-based drive and it'll run at SATA Gen3 speeds?? The PCIe x16 slot operates at 8gbps, so if I find a compatible PCIe 3.0 x8 adapter it should work properly, right?

I'd rather get the fastest speeds on in if possible, but if it comes to it I'll just plug it into the SATA 2 port.

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4 minutes ago, HunterAP said:

So if I do decide to go with a PCIe adapter, I'd have to use a SATA-based drive and it'll run at SATA Gen3 speeds?? The PCIe x16 slot operates at 8gbps, so if I find a compatible PCIe 3.0 x8 adapter it should work properly, right?

I'd rather get the fastest speeds on in if possible, but if it comes to it I'll just plug it into the SATA 2 port.

Why do you need this speed? If this is a nas boot drive, it will be read from when booted, then there will be almost no io going to it, the extra speed won't affect anything.

 

You can boot from ssds, like this, and they will be pretty fast.  https://www.ebay.com/itm/Sun-Oracle-F40-400GB-Flash-7026993-LSI-Nytro-WarpDrive-6203-x8-PCIe-2/113484227474?epid=661031624&hash=item1a6c2fe392:g:EqEAAOSwCWNcIIgw:rk:2:pf:0

 

Or just get the sas hba and use your own drives.

 

https://www.ebay.com/itm/TESTED-Dell-047MCV-8-Port-PERC-H200-6Gb-s-SAS-SATA-PCI-e-x8-RAID-Card-HIGH-PRO/232894442665?epid=12011529674&hash=item3639972ca9:g:EK8AAOSwn2dbdDVq:rk:3:pf:0

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1 minute ago, HunterAP said:

So if I do decide to go with a PCIe adapter, I'd have to use a SATA-based drive and it'll run at SATA Gen3 speeds?? The PCIe x16 slot operates at 8gbps, so if I find a compatible PCIe 3.0 x8 adapter it should work properly, right?

I'd rather get the fastest speeds on in if possible, but if it comes to it I'll just plug it into the SATA 2 port.

Yeah its up to you if you want m.2 or 2.5 inch on sata 3 speed but i would go with the 2.5 inch to be safer and test if it works with the pcie adapter and if it doesn't, return the card and plug into sata 2. Also most adapters are pcie x4 not x16 thou a x4 2.0 should be fine as it is 2000 mbs and a sata 3 is 750 mbs.

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  • 1 year later...
On 12/29/2018 at 5:53 AM, Electronics Wizardy said:

You can boot from ssds, like this, and they will be pretty fast.

Do you use one?

From AT. :x

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Do you use them with the "hacked" FW who Raid 0 is enabled?

I need a damn fast ssd for my "tile export server":

Can you recommend that?

I found a F80 for: US $64,95 + US $17,32 + US $22,08  Import Tax.

Are other SSDs with a huge write speed?

Can you put then into an ESXi Server?

From AT. :x

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On 12/29/2018 at 5:27 AM, HunterAP said:

I got this horribly old i7-970 CPU on a SuperMicro C7X58 motherboard. It only has SATA Gen 2 ports (300mbps) and PCIe Gen2 lanes.
I'm planning on using it for an archive NAS and don;t really care much for the HDD speeds through the Sata Gen2 ports.

 

The thing is that I don't want to put in a 2.5" SATA SSD for the OS and have it's speed cut in half because of the SATA Gen2 ports. I figured the next best option would be to put an M.2 SSD in it through a PCIe x16 to M.2 adapter.

My main concerns are:

  • Would it even boot? I have no idea if older motherboards like this one support booting from devices connected from the PCIe lanes.
  • Is it even worth getting a PCIe adapter just to boot off of an SSD at the near-full speeds? The SSD would only be for the OS but faster speed on that is prefered
  • Should I instead try to find a PCIe SSD that can support PCIe Gen2 x16?

1) No. Your bios needs to support nvme-boot, the oldest I know of is a B85m with bios-update

2) No, not if you're using it for the system or other usual loads; here's the IOPS and 4K r/w more important, and the low latency compared to conventional drives gives you a good boost even at 'only' Sata II (3G). You wouldn't even feel much of a difference compared to Sata 3/nvme, unless you enjoy benchmarking the most.

3) Not worth it.

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