I am a lucky owner of an Area 51-R2 and am trying to expand my storage with an SSD. However, I would prefer to purchase one of the latest generation PCIe or M.2 SSDs. I've tried to do some research but haven't found much out there about this motherboard in the Area 51-R2 that I can understand. Please help walk me through my upgrade options / limitations.
Can I use a PCIe SSD?
Will it work if I move the operating system to the SSD?
Can I use the M.2 form factor or only a PCIe form factor?
Can I use an M.2 SSD with a PCIe adapter?
I'm at a bit of a loss for information so if there's technical information that clearly highlights this, feel free to direct me to that.
Can I use a PCIe SSD? - Yes, you can assuming you do not have a 3-way SLI
Will it work if I move the operating system to the SSD? This is generally not recommended, but it may be required since you own an OEM license of Windows.
Can I use the M.2 form factor or only a PCIe form factor? I doubt the A51 supports M.2, however it has PCI 3.0 so you could buy a PCI card that has M.2 on it, or just buy a PCI SSD card.
Can I use an M.2 SSD with a PCIe adapter? Yes, you could. But some PCIe SSD's are just as fast, however it would be cheaper to buy M.2 and you could do that if you would like.
It might be easier to go with the PCIe SSD, but it would be cheaper to buy an add on card that allows you to place an M.2 SSD on it. You would see similar speeds, however it would be more challenging. Replying to your post, I'm struggling to understand all the different types of M.2, but I think I have figured out what you could do.
I have found out that you could purchase this adapter below and pick an M-Key M.2 SSD. To be sure its going to work, let me look at the exact M.2 SSD you want to buy to make sure it is the correct key. Also, I would highly recommend not buying a different PCI lane add on card, this one works at the speed the SSD will work at, others do not. If you go with one of the $10 add on cards, then you will be capped at 600MB/s or so when you're buying an SSD that can do three times that.
Holy cow Meowland, the support you offered is amazing and yes the Samsung 950 Pro was the exact model I originally was planning for due to the price/performance target I was hoping to hit. I was hoping this would be cheaper and equally fast than buying the PCIe SSD and you've made that very clear.
In theory I'd like to put all of my large games that I play frequently on the SSD so that my load times will be drastically reduced. I would also like to load all the media that I own their because I stream access to other video interfaces in my house.
From your response I gather all this will be as simple as purchasing a cheap adapter and installing it in my 3rd PCIe slot. Thank you very much for the details and the effort put in.