M.2 to PCIe Adapters work well even on old Mainboards!

Regarding BIOS modding of old PCIe 2.0 motherboards to work with m.2 adapters.
I’m currently using one of the mods for my Asus M5A99FX Pro R2.0 with a Sabrent adapter and a Samsung SSD (I forget the model atm might be an 850 EVO or something like that).
I use it for my Steam Games files and it works great.
Is it a waste of time, money or effort? Absolutely not

I’ve been seeing a lot of:
“Why bother, it’s a waste of money and effort”
“Spend your money on a new computer and be done with it.”
As well as a lot more crass and abusive comments.

The general negative attitude is based on the “fact” that using an m.2 adapter on a motherboard with PCIe 2.0 will not provide any appreciable increase in speed over SATA III.
That is pure hogwash, fildergarb and 100% nonsense.

Using CrystalDiskMark 8.0.4 with the same settings for both, here’s what I found on my system:
For the “rotating rust” (lol) storage device…

And for the SABRENT/SSD device…

That’s all and that’s all it should take to convince anyone that it is absolutely worth the hour or so of your time to take advantage of the many hours spent by our benefactors here, to provide you with an option to make your system a little bit better. :wink:

Begin your search here:


Edit by Fernando: Thread moved to “Interesting PC Hardware” Category and title customized

Thanks for your contribution!
Since it is not off-topic at all, I have moved it into the “Interesting PC Hardware and Software” Category and hope, that it will be found by all interested Forum visitors.

Maybe it would be a good idea to additionally mention the potential necessity of

  • a) the insertion of a specific EFI/Legacy Option ROM into the mainboard BIOS and
  • b) the installation of a matching OS driver for the in-use Storage Controller

to get the attached M.2 SSD fully supported (incl. the option to boot off it).

Hey my excellent BIOS maker!

Thank you for moving that.
The comment was more of a general / generic “Don’t Give Up - because some idiot says it won’t work.” than anything specific. Being in my late 60’s, I no longer give unbound stupidity a voice - without rebuttal.
I tried to make it “searchable” in a broad sense, for the services you provide.

Not knowing what motherboard or BIOS version someone else has, maybe add the link to here?

A question: I’m using what I believe is the latest BIOS for my motherboard that had the SSD modules form the Sabertooth BIOS added to it (glossing over the tedium and research at your end). It works great, as noted and that gets kudos for everyone involved. Was there ever a follow up for booting from an SSD on that motherboard? Or does it already do that and I missed it.
Asus M5A99FX Pro R2.0

I’d go look at the info again, but since I installed the modded BIOS, I’ve had a catastrophic hard drive failure due to a lightening strike about 200 feet away from where I sat. It ate two Backup UPS’s, shorting all the MOV’s and frying the charging circuits, my external WD backup 1.5TB drive and my WD Black 1TB internal main drive - all in a single flash that lit up my parking lot brighter than daylight. From the massive number of bad clusters on the drives, I suspect that the write current was enabled while the servo positioner randomly slammed the heads around.

Anyway, I’ll add that link and wait for your comment.
Thank you again and I will be looking into the Asus ROG Crosshair V Formula Z mod for my “new” build. I’ve already flashed the latest BIOS using the Flashback feature. Worked like a charm.

Someone was selling these motherboards on eBay for $60 that were obviously unused pulls from computers on the shelf of some distributor. Perfect for Linux and some gaming.

Thanks again

So many people are brainwashed by marketing these days, the more ignorant they become the more adamant that they are right. Simple fact; while you’re limited by the capabilities of PCI-E 2.0 specs there’s absolutely no reason why someone would not benefit from running an M.2 NVME drive via an adapter, sure things are cobbled together a bit, but thats the nature of dragging an older system kicking and screaming into modern times :smiley: Hell, I still don’t see why 95% of people “need” an NVME drive over a SATA SSD in most normal use cases the advantages are minimal at best. What we really need to complain about is SSD pricing 9 months or so ago I could pick a 2TB M.2 NVME SSD up for about £63, now you’re looking at about £100.


Thank you for the comment and well said.

As far as “needing” it. HAHAHA You should have seen my face after installing Windows 10 Pro on my wife’s computer from a USB-3 thumb drive.

OMG I nearly peed myself laughing and then, when I pressed the reset button and it took right around 4 seconds to go from POST to Username, I sat there - jaw dropped - you could have landed planes on my tongue.

Of course, that was on a virgin install. After adding another dozen-or-so gigabytes of system utilities, Discord, LibreOffice, games and all her backed up data, I think it took 6 seconds.

I kept thinking, “This is how computers are supposed to run.” 🤔

My personal experience takes me back to a time when I booted a Data General Nova 820 Mini-Mainframe using various “ancient and arcane” methods / devices.

Entering a “hipboot” program from the front console toggle switches. About 20 minutes depending on how nimble your fingers were.
The paper tape reader on an ASR-33 Teletype. You could trill your tongue to the character rate. About 2~3 minutes.
This ran at 110 baud - just for fun (and to win a bet), we used wax-paper Dixie cups, butcher’s twine and an acoustic coupler, to transmit the data.
And it worked. 🤣
Data General High Speed Paper Tape Reader. You heard a tick, tick, zzzip and the computer was at “Filename?”. About 20 seconds.
Data General MagTape drive. About 8 seconds.
Xerox Diablo Series 30, Hard Disk Drive. About 2 seconds.

Under the guise of “efficiency”, we will always find reasons and methods to go faster, farther and higher.
This instinctive “drive” predates the invention of the wheel.

Side note: The Data General tech support group distributed an “un-official” diagnostic tape that allowed you to load one of a dozen or so programs that, when run, caused the harmonics from the switching power supply to play various songs over a nearby AM radio.


Oops, I forgot to add…

Regarding the CrystalDiskMark speed comparisons, I’ll take a nearly tenfold speed increase any day of the week and twice on Sundays…if all it takes is existing hardware, a free PCIe X4 capable slot, a BIOS mod and a $15 m.2 to PCIe adapter - I am in!

And, if there were a magic bullet BIOS update to allow SATA III hard drives to run at 60.0 GB/ps, there would not be a single person talking it down.

Trying to access this site would probably seem like it was suffering from a DDOS attack.

Just sayin’

Hah talking about tape storage is a bit before my time but I am familiar with their concept. My time began in the late 80s, early 90s, using stuff like the old BBCs and Acorns, then as I got a bit older in secondary school I studied computer history in my own time because I thought (and still believe) that to truly understand technology you need to look at the past, see the timeline of evolution, to be able to better understand and predict where it is going.

Hell, I still have a (almost) “vintage” DDR3 Phenom II X4 955BE with Win7 just stored in a box with 4GB RAM and a 1GB HD5830, due to its spec and PC history being a real thing now I bet in another 10 years there will be people willing to part with a healthy chunk of change for it. One other DDR3 system I upgraded a while ago now has 16GB 2133MHz G.Skill Sniper, an 8GB RX470 and FX6300. CPU is kinda pants I should really put an FX8320 in but yeah, it’s still a great system to use now and its perfectly capable of handling modern tasks, gaming included.

My “main” system for the last 10+ years has been:
Windows 10 Pro upgraded from original Windows 7 Ultimate OEM package
CoolerMaster HAF 912 case
All Noctua fans and associated products
Noctua NH-D15 CPU Cooler
Corsair HX750 Semi-Modular PSU
Asus M5A99FX Pro r2.0 - one of the best
Upgraded my Phenom II x4 970 Black ($180) to an FX8370 ($100) runs at 4.3GHz 24/7
Upgraded 12 GB G.Skill to 32 GB Kingston HyperX DDR3
WD Black 2TB
m.2 to PCIe adaptor Samsung EVO 850 450GB SSD (I think) lol
Upgraded my evga GTS450SC ($159 new) to evga GTX660SC (warranty replacement for a different system) to Asus TUF GTX1660S Super ($190 new - out on loan) Now using an evga GTX1060SSC ($70 eBay)

My second system - about 3 months old now
Linux Mint 21.3 - Originally Linux Mint 20
Cougar Unface S case - I really like this thing
All Noctua fans
Scythe Mungen 5b CPU cooler w/Noctua fan
Corsair HX750 Fully Modular PSU with 12V Single/Multiple bus sellect
Asus ROG Crosshair V Formula Z - unused pull from old stock machines ($70 eBay
AMD FX6300 3.7GHz - FX8320E on the shelf, too lazy to switch lol. This FX8320E shows strong signs of being seriously overclockable.
24 GB DDR3 PC1600 (total)
16 GB TeamGroup standard (2x8 GB) channel “A”
8 GB Kingston HyperX (2x4 GB) channel “B”
WD4000FYYZ 4TB Re Datacenter Drive - New from Old stock - compares to and exceeds WD Black in some operations
WD20EZBX Blue - External USB 3.1 Gen 2 to SATA - runs amazingly fast, faster than the SATA III connected WD4000FYYZ 🤯
evga RTX2070Super (on loan to me)

Planning to add m.2 support, I’ll take a 10x speed jump any time.

You know, everything computer related that we buy today is really “beta”?
Why else would we keep getting microcode updates to Intel Processors that are live in the wild doing everything from gaming to plotting galactic movements, banking, medical science and managing Cern LHC.
Why else would a motherboard manufacturer publish dozens of BIOS updates for one motherboard line? (aside from adding new technology)
Why else would my Fire TV Stick get monthly updates and after 3 years, still doesn’t work right? 🤬🤬🤬🤬🤬