It does not matter if the slots have the same configuration. It will support the same speed for a drive. It will support the drive having the same key.
M 2 is known as Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF). It is internally mounted connectors and expansion cards and is popular for its small size. It is a replacement for SATA SSD.
How Does It Matter Which M 2 Slot I Use Explained Thoroughly
Here are some scenarios to guide you in the right direction.
1. M 2 Length & Keys
All the M 2 slots are suitable for only 22 mm wide M 2 drives. But the length of the drives can vary. It is expressed in the following format:
- M.2 2230: 22 millimeters wide by 30 millimeters long
- M.2 2242: 22 millimeters wide by 42 millimeters long
- M.2 2260: 22 millimeters wide by 60 millimeters long
- M.2 2280: 22 millimeters wide by 80 millimeters long
- M.2 2210: 22 millimeters wide by 110 millimeters long
There are three types of keys. B key, M key, and B+M key. The ‘B + M key’ can be inserted in any of the slots.
2. Are Both M 2 Slots The Same
It depends on the key type of the M 2 slots. The B key is 6 pins wide and the M key is 5 pins wide. The SATA SSDs build up with ‘B + M’ type of keys,
And NVMe (Non-Volatile Memory Express) has an M type of key.
The ‘B+M’ drives can be inserted into any kind of M 2 slot, whereas the ‘M key’ and ‘B key’ can only go into their own appropriate socket.
3. Fastest M 2 Slot
The specifications for each M 2 slot can be different or the same. If the specifications are the same then their speed will be the same. Your motherboard can have one M.2 slots that can run at NVMe or PCIe bandwidth and may be restricted to SATA bandwidth. Others can support only SATA bandwidth.
You can use NVMe, PCIe, and SATA-based SSDs depending on the M 2 slots on your motherboard. If you want to use an M 2 NVMe SSD, you have to use a matching NVMe compatible M 2 slot to get the full performance of the SSD.
But if you want to use a SATA-based M 2 SSD, the choice of an M 2 slot will not give you any benefit. You have to disable some SATA ports for that.
4. Compatibility of M 2 Slots
Not all the M 2 slots are compatible with all M 2 SSDs. You can not just insert any of the M 2 SSDs in an M 2 slot. There are three types of keys or notches on the slots or SSDs.
They are ‘B key’, ‘M key’, and ‘B+M key.’ Though the ‘B+M’ key may be inserted in any slot, it is not going to be the same for the other two types of key drives. Also, any slots can not provide you with the speed you desire.
Suppose you are using an NVMe 3 Gen in an M 2 slot that supports a 2 Gen drive, it can not provide you the speed. You need to prioritize using M 2 slots that enable the NVMe speed. But if you’re using a SATA M.2 SSD, your choice of an M 2 slot should not matter.
Can Any M 2 Fit In Any M 2 Slot?
No, not all M 2 drives can fit in all M 2 slots. It depends on the M.2 key of the drive and slot.
B key: In this type of connecter, there is a gap on the right side of the card (the left side on the host controller). The gap is six pins wide. A PCIe M.2 SSD has this type of key.
M key: It has a gap on the left side of the card (right side of the host controller). The gap is six pins wide. An NVMe M.2 SSD provides this type of connection.
B+M key: It has a gap on the both right and left sides. The gap on the left side is 5 pins wide and the right side is 6 pins wide. The SATA SSDs build up with (B + M) type of keys.
In this article, we have discussed M 2 slots and M 2 drives. If the slots have the same configuration, it does not matter which M.2 slot you use. If your motherboard has multiple M.2 slots, they can be the same or have different speeds and keys. The compatibility depends on the keys of the M.2 drives and the M.2 slots.