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Maximus X Apex NVME causing frame time issues (Sam 960 Evo)

Level 9
Hi folks,

I've been experiencing stuttering issues since I got my 8700k and Apex board, but only on games on my NVME Samsung 960 Evo drive (500gb). I have it installed on slot 0 of the DIMM.2 addin. I was able to eliminate every possible (at least known) other causes of stutter during the last 2 weeks of investigation, but it only dawned on me to move the games to another drive today lol (namely a sata 850 evo 1tb.)

The frame time issues are gone on the 850 evo. I never had a problem with this on the Z270 rig I was running prior. Hence why I am posting here. FYI I am using afterburner to monitor the frame times.

I can't find any solid info on where the DIMM.2 slot is routed via PCI E but Crystal disk shows good read write but magician shows about half IOPS or less. I have 1 1080ti in the first slot, a wireless card in PCIX4_3 (Asus ac1900 card) and all 4 sata occupied.

Any ideas what causes this problem with the DIMM.2? I have reseated the drive, updated firmware and driver (using Sammy driver) to no avail. Load times are also much longer in the NVME despite the good reading, and he monitor is showing temperatures as good (think the highest I saw was 60c).

Level 9
Alright so now I've installed a EK heatsink and placed a Noctua NF8 Redux fan on top of it, it now struggles to get to 50c. However the frame time issue is still present, but seemingly better.

Gonna put it down to a bad drive and hope for the best with an Rma.