An SSD (Solid State Drive) is an excellent ingredient for scaling your PC’s storage, but can more than one SSD be put in the same motherboard?
Humans have improved storage technology over the years, and the invention of SSDs came with continuous advancements.
SSDs help increase a computer’s performance, and their small size makes them ideal for use in lightweight and portable computers like laptops.
Let’s find out if we can put more than one SSD in the same motherboard. We could also discuss the different types of SSDs and their benefits.
So, Can More Than One SSD Be Put In The Same Motherboard?
Yes. You can put more than one SSD in the same motherboard. However, you must ensure that the motherboard supports it and the case has enough space to fit all the SSDs you wish to add.
For example, if you want to add an M.2 SSD, ensure your motherboard has an M.2 slot.
Types Of M.2 SSDs
M.2 is a form factor of an SSD, and it looks like chewing gum. There are two major types of M.2 SSDs, and they include:
SATA M.2 SSD
SATA M.2 SSDs use a SATA interface and can have data transfer rates of up to 6Gbps. Compared to other SSDs, SATA SSDs are the lowest grade regarding performance. SATA SSDs have both an M-key and a B-key.
SATA SSDs need two cables to operate, and they’ve been a primary storage technology for PC use for many years. One cable is for data transfer to the motherboard, and the other is for getting power to the power supply unit (PSU).
Since cable clutter is a problem in SATA SSDs and cannot properly fit small PCs, manufacturers improvised using an M.2 form factor. A SATA M.2 SSD does not require cables for connection, but it still uses the SATA-based interface technology.
Therefore, there are no significant changes to speed or performance compared to the normal SATA SSDs that need two cable connections.
NVMe M.2 SSD
This SSD only has an M-key and utilizes the NVMe protocol that manufacturers designed explicitly for SSDs. When you pair the NVMe SSD with a PCle bus, you will get the latest levels of speed and performance.
The PCle sockets offer NVMe an opportunity to directly communicate with the CPU allowing for faster operations. NVMe M.2 SSDs perform faster than SATA M.2 SSDs.
Theoretically, NVMe M.2 SSDs can provide you with transfer speeds of up to 20Gbps when you connect them to a PCle bus.
PCle buses can support multiple lanes, such as 1x, 4 x, 8 x, and 16 x, with a single lane having a transfer rate of up to 985 MB/s.
However, x2 and x4 lanes are the only accessible ones when using an M.2 form factor on a PCle but which offers a speed of 4GB/s. Generally, an NVMe SSD is faster than a SATA SSD regardless of form factor.
Things To Consider When Choosing Between SATA Or NMVe M.2 SSD
It is easy to get torn between deciding whether to get a SATA M.2 SSD or NVMe M.2 SSD, especially when building a new PC.
If you have trouble deciding, here are a few things you should consider before making up your mind:
Though NVMe is a more robust SSD solution, it may not be compatible with older devices. Older devices may lack the necessary connections to utilize an NVMe PCle socket. Therefore, before spending money on an SSD, check if your system supports it.
If you want your computer to boot up fast, you should consider installing an operating system on one of your SSDs. An NVMe SSD will provide you with more speeds than a SATA SSD.
Not all files in your computer need fast access. For that reason, you could decide to have a fast SSD storing your most resource-hungry files and a slow SSD storing your less-needed files and documents.
For instance, you could invest in an NVMe SSD to store your operating system and a SATA SSD to store your less needy files. The option is affordable, and you will not have to stretch your pocket.
If you use your PC for heavy gaming experiences, you must improve its performance. You will witness an improvement in game load times when you use an M.2 NVMe SSD.
Games that run on an NVMe SSD will have excellent overall performance due to its high transfer speeds when recalling your game. A SATA SSD is also good, but it is not the best if you want a high-end gaming experience.
Different PCle generations will provide you with varying performance levels as their bandwidth doubles with each generation. SSDs will utilize different PCle generations, and you should check if your SSD is compatible with PCle generation.
You may not find enough PCle connections to support multiple NVMe SSDs in some motherboards.
You will have to decide between an NVMe SSD and a SATA SSD using the available connections on your computer.
Additionally, your PC might have PCle lanes, but only a specific connection, such as an M.2, can use an NVMe SSD at full speed.
Benefits Of Having Multiple SSDs In Your Motherboard
Having multiple SSDs on your motherboard will benefit your PC in the following ways:
More SSDs on your motherboard means you will have more room to store all your extensive and vital files, such as large videos. Nonetheless, you will not have to keep deleting files that you would rather keep in an attempt to clear your storage.
Speed And Performance
Multiple SSDs allow for faster storage and retrieval of files. You could have your operating system on one SSD and other files on the other SSDs.
Therefore, your computer can operate faster with little to zero lag. When installing Multiple SSDs, it is essential to create a RAID array.
But What Is A RAID Array?
A RAID (Redundant Array of Independent Disks) is a technology that will allow your computer to use multiple SSDs as one unit. Though not all RAID arrays will provide backup drives, the ones that do offer excellent data redundancy.
Types Of RAID Arrays
After you have confirmed that your motherboard supports RAID, you need to determine the type of RAID array you should create.
It is not difficult to set up a RAID, but it’s crucial to understand the types of RAID arrays before creating one. The three primary types of RAID arrays include:
This array splits data between two or more SSDs to achieve a higher level of PC performance. The downside of this array is that if one SSD fails, all your data in the system will be lost.
The array types duplicate data on two or more SSDs and offer protection against data loss if one drive fails to operate. However, it performs slower than RAID 0, which does not protect your data against loss.
RAID 5 stripes data between three or more SSDs offering protection from data loss and improving a PC’s overall performance.
How Many SSDs Should You Use In Your Raid Array?
After deciding the type of array you wish to create, you must determine the number of SSDs you will use. The minimum number of SSDs for RAID 0, 1, and 5 is 2, 2, and 3, respectively.
You can use more than the minimum, but you will get better performance on your PC if you stick to the minimum. For instance, using 8 SSDs on a RAID 5 array will not give you a better performance than using three disks on the same RAID array.
However, you can perform better using four SSDs on a RAID 0 array than two SSDs on the same array.
How To Create A RAID Array
Creating a RAID array depends largely on your Operating System (OS). If you have a Windows OS, use the Disk Management Utility to create and manage RAID arrays.
For Mac users, the Disk Utility application will come in handy. Linux users can create and manage their RAID arrays using the mdadm utility.
Once you create your RAID array, you must format it and install an operating system on it, after which you can use it like any other hard drive.
Note that not all applications and games are compatible with multiple SSDs. Therefore, you must configure some applications to run on multiple SSDs for the best performance.
When creating a RAID array, ensure all the SSDs are the same size. If not, the smaller one will fill up, while the large one will not be in use.
The Desire to increase your computer’s performance can send you on a journey to figure out, can more than one SSD be put in the same motherboard? SSDs are a crucial factor in increasing the speed and performance of a PC, and they come in two types.
Before getting an SSD, ensure it is compatible with your motherboard and fits in your computer case. Create a RAID array to help your multiple SSD set up to work as a unit.