How Many Types Of M.2 Slots Do Motherboards Have?

Nowadays, SSDs are the new standard for storage. SSDs are the ideal component for higher performance, whether you want a speedier PC or are building a new one from the ground up.

In order to connect to your PC, a conventional SSD often needs an M.2 slot. M.2 slots are more uncommon than SATA slots, the conventional hard drive slots, raising the question of how many M.2 slots are actually present on motherboards.

Depending on the motherboard you have, the answer to that query will vary considerably. Nowadays, you can have from 1 to 6 M.2 slots on the latest motherboards.

In the upcoming sections, I’ll discuss what is M.2, how many types of M.2 slots a motherboard normally has, as well as the fundamentals of how to find out how many types of M.2 slots your motherboard contains.

What Is M.2?

M.2 is a form factor for SSDs(Solid State Drives) that comes in the shape of a gum stick. These SSDs are often more expensive but speedier than standard 2.5-inch SSDs. M.2 SSDs are increasingly being used in thin gaming laptops (opens in new tab) because they are more space-efficient than 2.5-inch SSDs or hard drives.

M.2 SSD
M.2 SSD

M.2 SSDs have storage capacities of up to 2TB. More capacity is available in other form factors(opens in new tab). You’ll need a motherboard with M.2 slots if you want to use an M.2 SSD on your gaming computer or laptop. You can run your SSDs in RAID on some motherboards(opens in new tab) that have two or more types of M.2 slots.

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SATA Vs PCIe SSDs: Key Info

First off, be aware that SATA and PCIe are the two interfaces that SSDs may utilize.

SATA SSDs

SATA SSDs have a slower SATA interface. It can transport data at a maximum rate of 550 MB/s because it uses the same interface as standard hard disc drives. SSDs come in two varieties:

  • 2.5″ SATA SSDs. 2.5-inch SATA SSDs DO NOT require an M.2 slot. They connect to a hard drive using standard SATA data and power connections.
  • M.2 SATA SSDs.They may want an M.2 slot that supports SATA. These appear to be standard M.2 sticks

M.2 PCIe/NVMe SSD

You should strive for one of these amazing SSDs. These SSDs are present in the majority of contemporary computers, so if you’re looking to upgrade, you should focus on M.2 PCIe SSDs, also known as NVMe SSDs. You can get speeds of 3500 MB/s on Gen 3 NVMe SSDs and 5500 MB/s on Gen 4 NVMe SSDs, depending on which version they adhere to.

SSD
PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
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So How Many Types Of M.2 Slots Do Motherboards Have?

That depends on the kind of motherboard you have, is what the answer to that query is. Usually, the types of M.2 slots a motherboard has is mostly determined by the chipset and CPU that are installed on it. It specifically depends on how many PCIe lanes are provided by the motherboard chipset and the CPU that is connected to it. The M.2 slot must have 4 PCIe lanes in order to install an NVMe SSD. As a result, a system can offer more M.2 slots the more PCIe lanes it has!

The number of PCIe lanes that various motherboard chipsets have is shown in the following table:

ManufacturerChipsetPCIe LanesCategory
IntelZ69028
– 12 x v4.0
– 16 x v3.0
High Performance
IntelH67024
– 12 x v4.0
– 12 x v3.0
High Performance
(Minus Overclocking Support)
IntelB66014
– 6 x v4.0
– 8 x v3.0
Mid Range
IntelH610
12
– 12 x v3.0
Budget
IntelZ59024High Performance
IntelZ49024High Performance
IntelB46016Mid Range /
Mainstream
IntelB56012Mid Range /
Mainstream
IntelX29924Workstation
IntelH5104Budget
AMDX57016High Performance
AMDB55010Mid Range
AMDA5206Budget
AMDTRX4016Workstation

Again, the lanes indicated above are only the chipset lanes; to calculate the total number of PCIe lanes in a system, you must also include the CPU lanes. The 20 PCIe lanes are found in more recent Intel and AMD CPUs. 16 PCIe lanes may be offered by older CPUs. As a result, warnings claiming that a specific M.2 slot will NOT operate unless you have a newer generation CPU may be present on an older motherboard.

There are 3 x M.2 slots on this motherboard. However, one of them is only compatible with 11th-generation Intel CPUs. What for? due to the 16 PCIe lanes used in 10th and previous generation Intel CPUs. There are 20 PCIe lanes on 11th Gen and beyond. Only the 11th or newer Gen GPUs have 4 PCIe lanes, which are connected to the CPU’s first M.2 slot.

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Form Factor Is Also Concern For M.2 Slot Count

PCIe M.2 Slot

The types of M.2 slots on a motherboard would normally decrease as it gets smaller.

Form FactorNo. of M.2 Slots (Range)Typical Number of M.2 Slots
EATX5-65
ATX2-53
Micro ATX1-32
Mini ITX1-22

EATX motherboards have the most M.2 slots because they are naturally workstation motherboards. Typically, ATX, Micro ATX, and Mini ITX contain two, two, and three slots, respectively. Here, I’ve just considered the more recent chipsets from the AMD 500 and the 400, 500, and 600 series of Intel.

Common Number Of M.2 Slots On Various Motherboard Chipsets

The table in the section below lists all of the more recent motherboard chipsets along with the number of M.2 slots available on motherboards using each chipset. A brief introduction to motherboard chipsets is necessary to understand that they differ from commercial motherboards made by AMD and Intel.

AMD Which Has A, B, and X Series:

  • A series motherboard, for example, A520, is found on budget motherboards.
  • B series motherboard, for example, B550, is found on mid-range motherboards.
  • X series motherboard, for example, X570, is found on high-end motherboards.

Intel Which Has H, B, and Z Series: H is further divided into two chipset series such that:

  • H*10, such as the H610, is for budget builds
  • B*60, such as the B660, is for mid-range builds
  • H*70, such as the H670, is for high-end builds WITHOUT overclocking support.
  • Z*90, such as the Z690, is for premium builds WITH overclocking support. 

As a result, your motherboard is more likely to have a higher number of M.2 slots if it has a more expensive chipset.

This table describes it in more detail and ought to provide you with a sense of how many M.2 slots to anticipate for a specific chipset.

MakeChipsetNo. of M.2 Slots (Range)Typical Number of M.2 Slots
IntelZ6902-54
IntelH6702-43
IntelB6601-32
IntelH6101-21
AMDX5701-62-3
AMDB5501-42
AMDA5201-21

Conclusion On How Many Types Of M.2 Slots Does Motherboard Have

Do you require such quick storage? is a crucial question that practically always occurs. The response differs from person to person, but generally speaking, you’ll be more than happy with the level of speed a conventional SATA-based SSD can offer.

The most M.2 slots, both ordinarily and in terms of the maximum number, are naturally found in the Intel Z and AMD X series. On an ATX form factor, they can often offer 3 M.2 slots, and on high-end models, they can offer 5 or 6 M.2 slots. There are numerous other elements besides the chipset and the size of the motherboard that might affect how many m.2 slots a motherboard has.

For instance, since the system only has a finite number of PCIe lanes, a motherboard with a higher number of PCIe expansion slots may have fewer M.2 slots. You need to know how many M.2 slots you have in addition to whether or not a certain SSD will work with your motherboard.

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