I have an older ASUS P8Z77-V Intel motherboard in my tower. My enclosed HDD is failing, so I'm looking at replacing it with an SSD for the OS using the PCIe 3.0 x16 slot on the board. If I understand how PCIe channels work, I should be able to use an x4 SSD in that slot, with the only difference being that the throughput will be gated by the 4 channels on the card. However, from the board specs, it says "PCI Express 3.0 x16: 2 slots (x16/0 or x8/x8)" which makes me think I need an x16 or x8 SSD instead. Is that correct? x8 SSDs are less easy to find and much more expensive.
Thanks for any advice.
It's x16 with a single GPU, for Crossfire/SLI with two cards it's x8/x8. This is because from memory Ivy Bridge had 16 PCIe lanes. Either you're using them all for the a single GPU, or you're splitting them between two.
You can connect any lane width PCIe card to a socket, so long as it fits. You can install an x1 card into an x16. It's physically connected at x1 width and that's the speed you'll get.
Now, looking up the ASUS P8Z77-V online it appears it has no native NVME support. It would require a BIOS mod to add that support, but there is a risk of bricking your board in the process. Check out WIN-RAID at your own risk for more information. Might be safer to stick to a SATA SSD. 500-600MB/s is still a big step up from an HDD.
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