NVME PCI-E adapter

Hi All,

I’m looking at purchasing and pci-e NVME adapter for my motherboard and was wondering if anyone else has had experience with them. The aim is to move my windows partition from my standard sata 840 pro ssd to something like a 960 pro to improve boot times as well as load times for games and other applications.

When I read online people seem to have had mixed experiences with some saying that when using these adapters the drive is bootable while others say it depends on your BIOS.

My board is a bit of an older one (Asus Rampage Formula IV) and the last BIOS update is unfortunately in late 2014… So not sure if it would be compatible.

The reason I’m not just upgrading, is because I really have no reason to. I’m currently using a xeon 1650v2 running at 4.2GHz, paired with a gtx 1080 which is more than enough for my needs.


I am currently using a 950PRO which is connected to an Akasa NVMe->PCIe adapter as my Windows drive. No problems whatsoever. Don’t have the exact model number here because I’m not home right now.

I used the drive as my main drive in the past, when it was still in the motherboard’s slot (now using a different NVMe there for Linux), so I didn’t install my OS using the adapter. Still, I don’t see why that wouldn’t work.

My X99A Gaming 7 is probably quite a bit younger than your MoBo though.

It’s a bit of a mine field with older boards but I was successful with a gigabyte GA-Z77X-UD4 as that at least had an mSATA port on the board as well so the BIOS had some ability to boot solid state drives. Searching for references is about all you can do or suck it and see.

I’ve got several Asus PCI-E x4 adapters myself in various X99 (plus that z77 based system) systems so I tend towards those.

That’s interesting, I was just looking at random generic adapters off ebay. Is there any particular one you would recommend that you could point me in the direction of?

Running a 950 pro 2tb with the Aquacomputer PCIe waterblock currently. Works perfectly fine on x99, and keeps the drive from throttling. Any adapter with a heatsink would probably be more than enough.

Looks like you might need to mod the bios for the necessary drivers. https://rog.asus.com/forum/showthread.php?81556-RAMPAGE-IV-FORMULA-NVMe-BOOT

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Well there lots of generic at ~$15.00 so it’s hard to recommend any particular one.

I’ve stuck to the Asus or Startech adaptors myself though you pay a premium. When I bought my first 2 only the Asus Hyper was available so that decision was easy and they were a lot cheaper then.

As for cooling the early Samsung X941 drives certainly needed it but they’ve got better so you can install it without and run HWINF64 or AIDA64 to see if there’s any throttling. It’s the controller chip that generate the heat.

I’ve simply stuck RAM heatsinks on mine with thermal tape in the past as I’ve always had them to hand.

Do a quick Google search for your board and bootable nvme support. I’d imagine the rive board should support it. If nothing else, you’ll still be able to use the ssd, just not as a bootable disk.
I think it’s worth mentioning that you’ll likely see no benefit in boot times or load times. In synthetic benchmarks perhaps but in real world feel the change is nothing like going from hdd to ssd. At least if my understanding is still current :slight_smile:

Hi All,

Thanks for the input.

As an update to the original post, I’ve got in contact with Asus and they gave me a very simple “it won’t work”.

From what other information I’ve seen out on the web it is my understanding as @The_Drugs pointed out that the board won’t support booting from an NVME drive, but will support it as a secondary drive.

I’m taking a look at this, not sure if I will go ahead with it yet, but I’m considering performing a bios mod that should allow it. I’ll post the link if anyone else is interested.


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I don’t know if I should be posting in this dead thread anymore. Perhaps I should start a new one but anyway…

I’ve completed the BIOS mod which I posted the link to and my motherboard hasn’t been bricked so I’m calling this a success so far.

I’ve purchased the adapter off ebay and now am looking at purchasing the drive to go with it.

Does anyone have a preference for a specific drive.

I’m looking for a 512GB drive and don’t see much difference from the 970 evo and 970 pro in terms of read/write speeds.

I’m an Australian so I’m looking at the two links below:

970 Evo:

970 Pro:

There is also a western digital black drive that looks affordable:

Let me know your opinion?

Thanks for the updates mafflez.

I have an Asus Maximus IV Extreme-Z (with an i7-2700K) which is about the same vintage as your mobo. Back in 2017-12 I purchased a SilverStone ECM21 M.2 to PCI-E x4 Adapter Card and a Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 250GB SSD to test for myself if I could boot from NVMe. The drive simply was not recognised as a boot(able) device and there was nothing I was able to do to change that.

That combination worked perfectly fine in a different (slightly newer) system, however — so the adapter and the drive are compatible.

Back then that computer was my primary machine, and was required for “serious” stuff, so I didn’t want to risk a BIOS mod bricking it. I’ve since replaced it with a silent, passively-cooled Ryzen 5 1600 so the old system is now a non-critical gaming rig. Your success has encouraged me to give modding the BIOS a go.

My new system contains both a 1TB 960 Evo and a 1TB 860 Evo. Both are fantastic. Pro is expensive overkill and not something to even contemplate unless you really, really, really need a few more years worth of write endurance. If I were you I’d go for something like an 860 Evo — you’ll save some money and wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an 860 and a 960 in anything except benchmarks anyway.

I know this thread is old and dead, but I just wanted to let anyone interested in trying the BIOS mod that it did indeed work.

I ended up buying the Samsung 970 pro as an early xmas present for myself. The drive shows in the BIOS as PATA SM or something else generic. I think this is because I’m using the adapter.

As you can see from my screenshot I have cloned my original SATA SSD on to the NVME drive and used diskpart to clean any partitions off the original disk.

It is all working 100%. Really glad I bought in to x79 back in the day. It is still holding strong.



Thanks for the update bro!

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Sorry for spamming. But just thought I would show a performance benchmark too.


Hi mafflez,

I have the same board but cannot find a working nvme bios mod, do you mind letting me know where you found it?

Tried several modded BIOS with no success.


Have a read of this. It’s got a guide with everything laid out on how to mod the bios yourself. Make sure to flash it with the bios flashback utility, not through the update utility in your BIOS.