Asus Z390-a MB: Raid 1 with 2 x m.2 ssd on system drive + windows spaces on 2 x sata 4 tb? — Micro Center

Asus Z390-a MB: Raid 1 with 2 x m.2 ssd on system drive + windows spaces on 2 x sata 4 tb?

Im just checking whether this is possible. Asus Z390-A (Prime) Motherboard, configured to run 2 x m.2 (m key) 500gb ssd as c: drive (i.e. system), via bios / motherboard
Then have 2 x 4tb sata as software raid 1 via Windows 10 Spaces.
The z390A has 6 sata ports, but the documentation is confusing regarding how many sata ports are given up if using 2 x m.2 ssds (not pcie slots).
We will also be adding a SATA dual layer dvd burner.  So need minimum 3 operative SATA slots plus the 2 x m.2 ssd's.
Thanks in advance :) & here is the current design...


  • TSMichaelBTSMichaelB admin
    edited June 29
    Welcome to the forum, @p_james. This is a really great question. The ASUS PRIME Z390-A will support RAIDed M.2 SSD's, however let's take a closer look at the compatibility warnings you saw.
    "*4 The PCIe x16_3 slot shares bandwidth with SATA_5 and SATA_6. The PCIe x16_3 is default set at x2 mode.
    *5 The M.2_1 socket shares bandwidth with SATA_2 port when using M.2 SATA devices. Adjust BIOS settings to use a SATA device."

    I bolded the important parts above. As you can see, the bandwidth of the PCIe x16_3 slot has been reduced from x4 to x2 because the slot shares bandwidth with SATA_5 and SATA_6. This means the ports will still function if you use the PCIe x16_3 slot, but it's warning you that the slot itself is set to run at a reduced bandwidth by default.

    The next warning mentions that the M.2_1 slot shares bandwidth with SATA_2 when using M.2 SATA devices. This means that the SATA_2 port will be disabled if you occupy the first M.2 slot with a SATA based M.2 SSD. If you use a PCIE based M.2 SSD, you'll be fine.

    So to summarize, what you are wishing to accomplish can be done on this board. You can configure an M.2 RAID via BIOS and still configure your storage spaces software RAID using Windows 10 while having a SATA port left over for your DVD burner. Hope this helped clarify this pretty confusing topic. If you have any questions, let us know!
  • Thanks, I am hoping to visit the dallas store this afternoon to double check. i still get confused between an m.2 key M being PCIe based vs SATA.  We dont have any other needs for PCIe at this stage although we may decide to add more SATA in the future, although we can do usb 3 to external drives if necessary. Appreciate your answer very much - thank you!
    And for people wondering why the heck we would want raid 1 ssd for the system, this is a mission critical business computer that we do not want to take the small chance of a system ssd failure.
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