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My internal hard drive is ticking. It's gonna be dead soon. I've backed up all my data, thanks for your concern.

What I'm doubting is, I have an old computer, that I plan on replacing in a year or so. It's got only available PCIe x1 slots, after its full PCIe is occupied with graphics card.

I wanna buy an SSD and I believe the PCIe connection should be faster than the SATA port.

My question is then:

  • Are there PCIe x1 SSDs at all?
  • Is it indeed faster than SATA?
  • 2
    If you just google PCIe SSD, there are results. Do you mean SATA, not DATA? – MC10 Jul 28 '15 at 13:21
  • SATA not data. I haven't managed to find what I'm looking for. – Shimmy Jul 28 '15 at 13:23
  • 1x is a pretty limited bus for a bandwidth hungry device like a decent SSD. – Frank Thomas Jul 28 '15 at 13:28
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All PCIe SSDs support any number of PCIe lanes. Both devices and slots are intercompatible providing you can find a card that will fit. Most native PCIe SSDs are fairly expensive and require a larger slot, so you will need an open-ended x1 slot.

M.2 SSDs don't fit into PCIe directly but you can get cheap, passive adapters like this one, though obviously you would need to look for one that is x1 if you do not have an open-ended slot.

Whether PCIe x1 is faster than SATA (there is no such thing as a "DATA connection") depends on what version of PCIe you have and what version of SATA you have. The following is a brief summary of speeds:

  • PCIe v1 1x = 2.5Gbps raw = ~250MB/sec
  • PCIe v2 1x = 5.0Gbps raw = ~500MB/sec
  • PCIe v3 1x = 8.0Gbps raw = ~1000MB/sec

  • SATA 1 = 1.5Gbps raw = 150MB/sec

  • SATA 2 = 3.0Gbps raw = 300MB/sec
  • SATA "3" = 6Gbps raw = 600MB/sec

So if you have 6Gbps SATA and a PCIe v2 slot then no, it will not be faster (of note, all southbridge PCIe slots on Intel boards before Skylake are PCIe 2.0 only)

Your most important concern though should be whether your BIOS/EFI can boot from a PCIe SSD. Most older boards (>1 generation or >= 2 years) cannot boot from a native PCIe SSD so you must have a SATA SSD or HDD to boot from.

  • 3
    Nice and complete. +1 – Hennes Jul 28 '15 at 13:36
  • Thanks for the useful comment about the booting. I ended up with a SATA one. – Shimmy Jul 29 '15 at 22:30
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Are there PCIe x1 SSDs at all?

Not that I know off, but a you can use the very expensive PCIe x8 SSDs in a X1 slot and it will (should) simply work.

Is it indeed faster than SATA?

Yes, but it is probabky not worth using a extremely expensive PCI-E SSD solution in a home computers. Buying a regular SATA or SAS SSD is much cheaper.

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