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Asus Prime Z790-A WIFI. Selecting the appropriate M.2 slot

Panagiotis_Mela
Level 9

Good day to the community

I am in the process of building a new PC from scratch, based on an Asus Prime Z790-A WIFI motherboard, an Intel Core i9-13900KF CPU and an ADATA XPG GAMMIX S70 Blade M.2 NVMe 1TB SSD, size 2280, as the system disc. The operating system will be Windows 11 Pro 64-bit.

The hardware has just arrived to my hands and I am now studying the building steps. Regarding the motherboard and the positioning of the NVMe SSD, this motherboard offers four (4) positions (slots), where the user can install an M.2 NVMe SSD.

The first (slot "A"), is called M.2_1_SHIELDING, supported by 13th and 12th Gen Processors. The rest three, M.2_4 (SOCKET3, slot "B"), M.2_3 (SOCKET3, slot "C") and M.2_3 (SOCKET3, slot "D") are supported by Intel Z790 chipset.

All 4 slots are able to receive a 2280 size NVMe. All of them are covered by an Asus pre-installed aluminum heat sink. The manual recommends to remove the relevant pre-installed heat sink and after installation of the NVMe SSD, to put it back in place, using the supplied thermal pad.

My questions:

1. Which slot is recommended to be selected as the optimum one?

2. Should I use the pre-installed Asus aluminum heat sink and the supplied thermal pad, or should I use the heat sink and the thermal pad, that comes together with the ADATA NVMe SSD?

For your guidance, I am attaching here two pictures. The first is the motherboard picture, showing the position of the slots "A, "B, "C" and "D", covered with the aluminum heat sinks, as they come with the motherboard, out of the box.

The second is a part of the manual specifications page, which describes the above slots.

Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks in advance.NVMe slots.jpgStorage page.jpg

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
Albert Einstein
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3 ACCEPTED SOLUTIONS

Accepted Solutions

Nate152
Moderator

Hello Panagiotis_Mela

1) Use the the M.2_1 slot (slot A) as it uses the cpu pcie lanes and will be the fastest.

2) To keep everything looking nice, I'd use the motherboard M.2 heatsinks. They work well, max temp of my Seagate Firecuda 530 is around 50c. 

Be sure to remove the thin clear protective film from the thermal pads.

Drive Temp.png

 

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Nate152
Moderator

The M.2 rubber should be found in the motherboard accessories, it will install at the green square.

You don't have to trim any of the thermal pad or rubber.

There's no special trick, when installing the heatsink back on, screw the screws in snug, don't overtighten.

RUBBER PAD.png

View solution in original post

Nate152
Moderator

 

You shouldn't need any screws for the M.2 ssd, it uses a latch to secure it into place.

You can see the square piece of where to install the small rubber pad.

ROG Global on Twitter: "🤯 https://t.co/VaOz7YqG2G" / Twitter

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6 REPLIES 6

Nate152
Moderator

Hello Panagiotis_Mela

1) Use the the M.2_1 slot (slot A) as it uses the cpu pcie lanes and will be the fastest.

2) To keep everything looking nice, I'd use the motherboard M.2 heatsinks. They work well, max temp of my Seagate Firecuda 530 is around 50c. 

Be sure to remove the thin clear protective film from the thermal pads.

Drive Temp.png

 

Thank you so much, mate!

I really appreciate your advice. I will follow it!

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
Albert Einstein

Hello, again.

As I stated at the beginning of this thread, the hardware came to my hands yesterday and I am still studying it, being at a preparation stage.

Trying to check how to do what I had initially asked, I took the motherboard out of its box, and I removed the heat sink of "A" slot. I noticed that one side of the thermal pad is already stuck on the heat sink, as expected. The length of if is quite longer than the length of the M.2 NVMe SSD. Also, by reading the manual, I noticed that the steps of the M.2 NVMe installation, are the following:

A. Removal of th heat sink (steps 1. and 2. in the manual).

B. Installation of bundled rubber for M.2, if the M.2 NVMe is single-sided (which is my case), installation of the M.2 NVMe in the slot and securing it with the M.2 Q-Latch. (QUESTION: Where is this bundled rubber? Is it already fitted on the motherboard, or should I look for it in the accessories of the motherboard, inside the box?)

C. Removal of the plastic film from the thermal pad.

D. Putting the heat sink back in place.

and

E. Securing it with its screws.

It is not clear if I have to cut and crop the extra length of the thermal pad, or, at least, to cut and remove the plastic film at a length, equal to the length of the M.2, leaving the rest of the thermal pad in place, covered with the remaining plastic film.

Also, it is not clear if the thermal pad surface gets in firm contact with the M.2 and sticks well on it, when putting the heat sink back in place and securing it with the screws. For this particular last step, I am not sure if there is any trick during the assembly, to ensure that the heat sink sticks well on the M.2, via the thermal pad. Certainly, I have not yet dealt with the actual job, to see the details in action, but I feel that I must get as much information as possible, before attempting to do it. Finally, it is not clarified how the user can be sure of what he is doing, because at the end, when everything gets in place, the user is not able to see what he did, since the M.2 and its slot are totally covered with the heat sink.

Hoping to get some feedback for the above, I thank you again in advance.

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
Albert Einstein

Nate152
Moderator

The M.2 rubber should be found in the motherboard accessories, it will install at the green square.

You don't have to trim any of the thermal pad or rubber.

There's no special trick, when installing the heatsink back on, screw the screws in snug, don't overtighten.

RUBBER PAD.png

Thank you very much, again.

I checked in the box and I found a small transparent bag, containing two square rubber pads, Asus P/N: 13090-00070300. I presume that these are the ones we discuss here.

I also found - among the other accessories - another small transparent bag, P/N: 13020-01811500, containing two small metric screws, size M2 plus two more male-female extension metric screws of the same size. I presume that these are for fitting M.2 SSDs in place.

Am I correct?

I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones
Albert Einstein

Nate152
Moderator

 

You shouldn't need any screws for the M.2 ssd, it uses a latch to secure it into place.

You can see the square piece of where to install the small rubber pad.

ROG Global on Twitter: "🤯 https://t.co/VaOz7YqG2G" / Twitter