What should I know when getting an NVMe M.2 SSD?

I have a Samsung EVO 850 (250GB) and am in need for more working space.
I also have an HDD but use it for storing data, not work/gaming related.

I'm planning on buying the Samsung EVO 960 NVMe M.2 SSD. Since this will be my first M.2 SSD (and with that an NVMe) I thought it would be a good idea to make sure I know what I'm doing.
I have an ASRock Z270 extreme4 mobo and it supports NVMe SSDs with PCIe x4 connection. Is there anything else I should check? Or is that all one needs to know as far as compatibility is concerned?

My plan is to buy the 960 and use it as my boot drive. Make a clean win install on it and put all the SW I'm using on it. The 850 would then be used for my gaming needs.

Any advice/tip/suggestion is more than welcome!
5 answers Last reply
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  1. I just installed a 960 evo in my Z270F strix the other day. Your board is also compatible with the 960 evo.

    Some things I had to do.

    1) Clone your old OS to the 960 evo if you want to do that, I used the samsung migration software very easy and worked great. Or just do a clean install of the OS.

    2) My motherboard only gave the ssd 2 lanes by default, I had to go into the bios and set it to x4 manually. Not sure if your mobo will do the same.

    3) You likely need to install a standoff on the mobo under the M.2 drive were you mount the drive, your motherboard should have come with the screw and standoff for the M.2 drive. I forgot to install the standoff at first and just screwed it down, i'm lucky I didn't short anything before I noticed.

    Other than that it was straight forward, just like installing a sata drive.
  2. Dunlop0078 said:
    I just installed a 960 evo in my Z270F strix the other day. Your board is also compatible with the 960 evo.

    Some things I had to do.

    1) Clone your old OS to the 960 evo if you want to do that, I used the samsung migration software very easy and worked great. Or just do a clean install of the OS.

    2) My motherboard only gave the ssd 2 lanes by default, I had to go into the bios and set it to x4 manually. Not sure if your mobo will do the same.

    3) You likely need to install a standoff on the mobo under the M.2 drive were you mount the drive, your motherboard should have come with the screw and standoff for the M.2 drive. I forgot to install the standoff at first and just screwed it down, i'm lucky I didn't short anything before I noticed.

    Other than that it was straight forward, just like installing a sata drive.


    Thank you!
    This pretty much cleares my major concernes.
    Just to make sure, in 1), you're saying I don't have to make a fresh install? I can just migrate the OS (and SW?) from my current ssd to the new one?
  3. anschluss11 said:
    Dunlop0078 said:
    I just installed a 960 evo in my Z270F strix the other day. Your board is also compatible with the 960 evo.

    Some things I had to do.

    1) Clone your old OS to the 960 evo if you want to do that, I used the samsung migration software very easy and worked great. Or just do a clean install of the OS.

    2) My motherboard only gave the ssd 2 lanes by default, I had to go into the bios and set it to x4 manually. Not sure if your mobo will do the same.

    3) You likely need to install a standoff on the mobo under the M.2 drive were you mount the drive, your motherboard should have come with the screw and standoff for the M.2 drive. I forgot to install the standoff at first and just screwed it down, i'm lucky I didn't short anything before I noticed.

    Other than that it was straight forward, just like installing a sata drive.


    Thank you!
    This pretty much cleares my major concernes.
    Just to make sure, in 1), you're saying I don't have to make a fresh install? I can just migrate the OS (and SW?) from my current ssd to the new one?


    Yes it copies the contents of you old drive to your new drive bit for bit. It should work exactly as it did before just with the new faster drive. The software is free and you can get it in the link below, samsung migration software. Worked great for me. Also there is an NVME driver you may want to install after your migrate your OS or do a clean install, it is on the page I linked below as well, samsung claims it offers better performance than the default windows NVME driver that is installed automatically.

    http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/download/tools.html
  4. Dunlop0078 said:
    anschluss11 said:
    Dunlop0078 said:
    I just installed a 960 evo in my Z270F strix the other day. Your board is also compatible with the 960 evo.

    Some things I had to do.

    1) Clone your old OS to the 960 evo if you want to do that, I used the samsung migration software very easy and worked great. Or just do a clean install of the OS.

    2) My motherboard only gave the ssd 2 lanes by default, I had to go into the bios and set it to x4 manually. Not sure if your mobo will do the same.

    3) You likely need to install a standoff on the mobo under the M.2 drive were you mount the drive, your motherboard should have come with the screw and standoff for the M.2 drive. I forgot to install the standoff at first and just screwed it down, i'm lucky I didn't short anything before I noticed.

    Other than that it was straight forward, just like installing a sata drive.


    Thank you!
    This pretty much cleares my major concernes.
    Just to make sure, in 1), you're saying I don't have to make a fresh install? I can just migrate the OS (and SW?) from my current ssd to the new one?


    Yes it copies the contents of you old drive to your new drive bit for bit. It should work exactly as it did before just with the new faster drive. The software is free and you can get it in the link below, samsung migration software. Worked great for me. Also there is an NVME driver you may want to install after your migrate your OS or do a clean install, it is on the page I linked below as well, samsung claims it offers better performance than the default windows NVME driver that is installed automatically.

    http://www.samsung.com/semiconductor/minisite/ssd/download/tools.html


    Cheers mate!
    You helped me a lot
  5. No problem.
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