Installing Windows isn’t exactly rocket science. Most of us have probably gone through this process more than once in our lifetime. But M.2 is a relatively new technology after all so it’s normal that some questions will arise. If you’re planning to use this new form factor, I’ve put together a list of the most commonly asked questions.
Just a quick note. The tests in this FAQ were done on the Plextor M6e PX-AG256M6e 256GB which comes with its own OPROM. There are a few drives out there that lack an OPROM so you might need to modify additional settings to make it bootable. Unfortunately, I do not own one of those drives so I can’t tell you what to change. But if I happened to get my hands on one later on, I’ll update this post.What types of M.2 SSD does the ASUS Rampage V Extreme support?
The ASUS Rampage V Extreme only supports M.2 PCI-Express SSDs
. Before you go out and make your purchase, you should first verify that the SSD that you are considering is PCIe based.What settings do I need to change in the BIOS?
There is only one setting that needs changing. If you were previously fiddling with other settings in the Boot tab, press F5 to load the optimized defaults. Then navigate to the Advanced
tab and look under the Onboard Devices Configuration
. Change the PCIEx8_4 and M.2 Configuration
. Should I install Windows from an USB flash drive or a DVD?
It’s up to you. Personally, I prefer to do my installations from an USB flash drive because it’s quicker. Windows 8.1 PRO took just 7 minutes to install.Should I install Windows in UEFI mode or legacy mode?
For Plextor M6e owners, you can go with either install. Nevertheless a UEFI installation would be ideal since you get faster boot up times, better integration with hardware and a few extra features.
For Samsung XP941 owners, you're stucked with UEFI. Since the UEFI driver is embedded into the firmware itself, you will have no problems installing in this mode. The problem arises when you want to do a legacy installation because it requires a driver to be loaded during the installation process. With the XP941 being an OEM product, there are no drivers available to install in legacy mode. How do I install Windows in UEFI mode?
As soon as the ASUS logo pops up during post, spam the F8 key. You will then be presented with a window to choose your boot device. Select your installation media that has the UEFI prefix.Do I need any additional drivers during the Windows installation process?
No, you do not. I’ve installed the 64 Bit versions of Windows 8.1 Pro and Windows 7 Ultimate onto the Plextor M6e 256GB without the need to introduce any additional drivers during the installation process.What kind of performance should I be expecting?
Here's a few benchmarks I ran with the Plextor M6e on a fresh Windows 8.1 PRO install.