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U.2 adaptor suggestions for Z690 Extreme Glacial

Mangonz
Level 9
Has anyone tried connecting a U.2 SSD to the ROG Z690 Extreme Glacial? Specifically I'm connecting an Intel DC P5800X (PCIe 4.0) and I'm wondering the best way to go about this.

I had three thoughts:

1. M.2_2 has 4 dedicated PCIe CPU lanes designed for high performance SSDs. Performance wise this would be by far the best socket to use, but the socket is inverted on this motherboard so even if I removed the Glacial heat spreader, the only M.2 to U.2 adaptor I can find wouldn't fit. I don't really see a solution that would let me use this, but if anyone does let me know?

2. U.2 to PCIe adaptor into PCIEX16_2 slot and sharing lanes with the GPU, but I kinda need this slot and bandwidth for another device and it seems a waste of 8x PCIe 5.0 lanes. 😞

3. Use the DIMM.2 card to install the U.2 adaptor with the heat spreader removed. Sharing DMI bandwidth and added latency of going through the PCH. Wow it will be ugly. From what I can see this is the only option for me?

Anyone else done this successfully?
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6 REPLIES 6

Caudwell
Level 7
May be plan on moveing to useing the thunderbolt port on motherboard for storage by get a Thunderbolt Storage box for the future i am thinking about plan on going that way in the future two when i need more storage for my games and more files for my pc two.

Mangonz
Level 9
Good idea! I didn't think about using the Thunderbolt port for storage. It looks like enclosures are still being worked on.

I was going to use this particular drive as the boot drive and I think having it as removable storage might play havoc with Secure Boot. Last night I found a previous gen M.2 to U.2 cable on eBay that looks like it could fit, DiLinKer M.2 to U.2(SFF-8639) PCIe NVMe SSD Cable. I'm guessing it's PCIe 3.0 but I'll try it anyway once it get through logistics hell. If it works it should fit inside the M.2_2 slot even with the motherboard heat spreader on and I can just feed the cable out... somewhere?

I'll update when it arrives, might be January.

BigJohnny
Level 13
Had an issue with an adaptor on a different MOBO going to an M.2 slot. wouldnt fit. took off the bracket and trimmed it down so it would fit with a dremmel. Just have to make sure you don't hit any traces. Not much to them.

So I just went through this whole little journey trying to get P5800x working via M2 to U2 adapter, at PCIE Gen 4 x 4 speeds (albeit on a z590 motherboard and not a z690).

I tried 3 different m2-to-u2 adapter, two of which specifically stated Gen 4 compatible, but in reality a very loose definition of "compatiable" - and then the third card was the Startech PCIE Gen 3 card.

So techically the two cards that stated PCIE Gen4 compatibility did work at PCIE 4 speeds, however they threw thousands of PCIE Bus Errors, specifically WHEA-Logger Event 17 "Corrected Hardware Error". And aside from risk of data corruption, this also slightly reduced performance:

Errors after running at PCIE Gen 4:
91636

Performance of P5800x on one of these cards:
91637

All the adapters ran without error when the PCIE was manually set to PCIE Gen 3 in the bios (but obviously at Gen 3 speeds).

After a heap of research I came across an adapter solution from a company called Micro Sata Cables in USA, that includes a redriver in the adapter - which regenerates signals to boost the signal quality of high-speed interfaces. This ensured the PCIE connection met Gen4 requirements for signal loss and allowed the P5800x to power through at full PCIE Gen 4x4 and without any PCIE Bus Errors:
91638

Here's what it looks like (adapter plus cable) and link below:
91639

M.2 M-key PCIe Gen4 with ReDriver to SlimSAS 4i (SFF-8654) Adapter

Slim SAS SFF-8654 4i Straight to SFF-8639 U.2 Cable


*note: I got no association with this company whatsover, just relieved to get this working properly!

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Mangonz
Level 9
Thanks, this is an amazing help!!!

I suspected the old adaptors would have an issues and didn't realise there were gen4 redrivers.

My P5800X is still stuck at the border while they figure out if I need to pay more sales tax on it (the DiLinKer adaptor has arrived but I'll probably ditch it seeing the errors above) so I haven't tried it yet. I'll get a redriver on the way while I wait.