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m.2 drive question on a Gigabyte UD5H Z97. Does it support booting from a m.2 NVME drive with the latest bios?

I am considering getting a m.2 drive. I have a 500 gb 850 Evo that is almost full. The UD5H has a m.2 slot but it is limited to pci e 2.0 x 2 speeds which is limited to 10gbs max bandwith. That is still faster than 6gb sata III but not as fast as pci e 3.0 x 4 of course. I understand and accept that. I will eventually upgrade my setup to a z270 that will have the full speed m.2 slot but for now I can use it in the Z97. I also can't use a pci e 3.0 adapter card because I am using SLI.

My question is if the UD5H can boot from a NVME drive if the latest bios (10) is installed? I can't find the answer anywhere. I imagine a AHCI drive would work but I would rather get a NVME drive so it will be more future proof.
Reply to beekermartin
10 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about drive question gigabyte ud5h z97 support booting nvme drive latest bios
  1. There doesn't appear to be much action in this category.

    I updated my bios firmware from F8 to F10. I am going to keep an eye out for a good deal on either a AHCI or NVME m.2 drive and give it a shot. Worst case scenario it doesn't work out and I'll just sell it. It appears that both will work but there isn't a lot of information I could find to support that.
    Reply to beekermartin
  2. I ordered a used Samsung MZ-HPV2560 M.2 AHCI 256gb drive on eBay. It is an OEM Samsung 951. I went with the AHCI version because it appeared to be more compatible. Also the performance difference between the AHCI and NVME version isn't drastic.

    I installed it in my UD5H Z97X with the latest bios, F10, and it is working. The speed isn't as fast as what the drive is capable of but that is a limitation of the motherboard's pci e 2.0 x 2 . The 951 really needs pci-e 3.0 x 4 to shine. I am running SLI right now so I can't use a pci-e adapter. I am debating about getting a single 1080ti. If I do I will benchmark it at 16x and 8x. If 8x doesn't hinder the 1080ti's performance much then I will run it at 8x and get a pci e adapter card for the 951.
    Reply to beekermartin
  3. You need to go into the bios and change the option of SATA Express to M.2, not sure exactly where it is for Gigabyte -- for ASUS it's advanced options, onboard devices configuration. It is something quite similar for Gigabyte though and is not in the area where you select SATA options generally.

    Good that you updated to the latest bios, important for slightly older boards.

    You should not need any particular drivers since you are not using NVMe.
    Reply to RealBeast
  4. I installed the m.2 drive and installed windows 10 via a dvd. It is working but I haven't had much time to play around with it. The first time I installed windows 10 I accidentally left my 850 Evo ssd installed. That caused an issue that now I need to select what operating system I want to boot from. I have windows 7 on the 850 evo. I should have removed it before installing the m.2 and installing windows 10. Regardless my intent is to go with windows 10 going forward but I was hoping to have a fully working windows 7 drive available for now. Oh well. Looks like I'll have to get windows 10 working on the m.2 drive now.

    Anyway, I then removed the 850 evo and did another fresh install of windows 10 on the m.2. I couldn't find any settings in the bios about m.2. It appears to just work. I do have AHCI set for sata. Using the m.2 deactivates two of the normal sata 6.0 slots. I still need to move an optical drive to another port because it isn't working now.
    Reply to beekermartin
  5. I would move the optical drive to a new port, M.2 disables some ports or other devices (like SATA Express) depending on the specific motherboard.
    Reply to RealBeast
  6. RealBeast said:
    I would move the optical drive to a new port, M.2 disables some ports or other devices (like SATA Express) depending on the specific motherboard.


    I know that and I will. I ran out of time when I first installed the m.2 drive. I have a custom water loop and access to the sata ports isn't easy. Hopefully I can switch the optical drive port without having to drain and disassemble the loop.

    Regardless of that the drive is working on my Z97 board. I did go with the AHCI version for less issues getting it to work with the Z97 chipset.
    Reply to beekermartin
  7. Unless a BIOS update says it supports NVME, it wont support it
    Reply to Paul NZ
  8. Paul NZ said:
    Unless a BIOS update says it supports NVME, it wont support it
    He has the AHCI rather than NMVe version so he is fine.

    Unfortunately, for many of our other users the AHCI/NVMe issue will be a problem that hangs around for a while for older hardware and Windows 7.
    Reply to RealBeast
  9. I went with the AHCI version just for that reason. I know the NVME version performs slightly better in some tests but it isn't a dramatic difference.

    I am hoping to finish the install tonight. I need to switch one of my optical drives over to a different sata port, install all the drivers, download some games to test, etc. After that I will run some benchmarks. I know I won't get stellar results because I am limited by the pci-e 2.0 x 2 bandwith but it should still be a bit faster than my 850 Evo.
    Reply to beekermartin
  10. Best answer
    I finally had sometime to play around with it tonight. It was a SOB getting the optical drives connected to the working sata ports without removing the video cards. I finally got it done though. I really didn't want to drain the loop just to swap the sata cables.
    Anyway that is done and both optical drives are working now. Why do I have two optical drives in 2017? Because I have them and still use them sometimes. Lol.

    I ran AS SSD benchmark and I am getting the results I expected with the limitations of my mobo's Pcie 2.0 x 2 m.2 slot.
    Reply to beekermartin
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