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I just got a new motherboard with a couple of m.2 slots. I've read about the tech and how modular it is and how it can accept so many different interfaces. That got me thinking, what can I put in there? I went to Amazon and Newegg but they dont allow browsing by "m.2". Searching just produced endless lists of SSDs. I tried Googling around and couldn't find much about the types of m.2 cards out there.

What types of device exist that can be used in a m.2 slot?

UPDATE: I was able to find a WiFi+BT m.2 card. This just makes me more intrigued.

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M.2 was designed for, and is primarily used by, flash-based mass storage. Which is to say, "SSDs". But note that M.2 SSDs are usually in more of a "circuit board / memory stick / memory card" form factor, as opposed to the way early flash SSDs were designed to fit in the same place as a laptop's 2.5" HDD so they could be drop-in replacements.

M.2 also has all the services necessary for a Wi-Fi / Bluetooth combo module, so some of those are moving to M.2 instead of their "PCIe mini" (often half-height) form factor that has been common for a few years.

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    That makes me wonder about ditching the "traditional" SSD form factor in favor of an m.2 SSD, ditching the DVD-ROM, getting a new case, and seeing how small I can get this computer. It could easily be 50% volume.
    – Jeff
    Mar 13 '17 at 21:49
  • @Jeff This is what Apple does to push towards ever thinner/smaller/lighter laptop form factors. They ditched the 2.5" HDD, they ditched lots of bulky I/O connectors for a single thin connector, they ditched cylinder-cell batteries for prismatic batteries custom-fit to the unused spaces, they even ditched separate RAM, flash storage, and wireless cards for soldering stuff onto the custom shaped MLB. They ended up with something beautiful and tiny but not hardware-upgradable, but it turns out there's a lot of market for that.
    – Spiff
    Mar 13 '17 at 22:11
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By far M.2 is only used for SSDs. (Edit: Thanks to @Jeff , M.2 isn't for SSDs only. There are also a few wireless network adapters implemented in M.2 slot.) An alias for M.2 is NGFF. There are mainly two kinds of SSDs utilizing the M.2 slot, one uses SATA bus, the other goes to PCI-e (mostly in PCI-e 3.0 x4). So if you're looking for something to put into an M.2 slot, the only thing you can find is SSD.

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  • Thanks for the comment. In my continued searching, I was able to find a WiFi m.2 card so either I am misunderstanding the item or I dont think your answer is completely accurate.
    – Jeff
    Mar 13 '17 at 21:22
  • @Jeff - Right; m.2 isn't limited to just SSDs
    – Ramhound
    Mar 13 '17 at 21:29
  • @Jeff Thank you for pointing out my mistake.
    – iBug
    Mar 14 '17 at 23:54

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