Can I put 2x PCIE Gen 3 and at least 1 M.2 NVME on this Motherboard?


I have an old motherboard, MSI Z270 Tomahawk.

I’ve ordered 2 NVME Samsung 970 Evo Plus for my temp drives, and wanted to order another M.2 so I can free up SATA slot for some HDD.

Question is : Can I put 2x PCIE Gen 3 and at least 1 M.2 NVME on this Motherboard?

This is what the datasheet says and I don’t exactly understand what it meant :

• 3 x PCIe 3.0 x16 slots (support x16/x4/x1 modes)
• 3 x PCIe 3.0 x1 slots

  • The PCI_E4 slot will be unavailable when an M.2 PCIe SSD module has been installed in the M.2_2 slot.
    ** The PCI_E2/ PCI_E5 slot will be unavailable when an expansion card has been installed in the PCI_E3/ PCI_E6 slot.


Thanks in advance

If you use the iGPU on your processor you could use both x16 slots for NVMe expansion boards plus use your two onboard slots. I saw an expansion board today that held 8 NVMe drives.

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Hi, thanks for the reply.

Yes I’ve been meaning to use the iGPU and take off my current GPU (an old 1080).

But I’m not going to plug in more NVME drives than needed since the bottleneck currently is the processor (i7 7700 4 Core 8 Threads)

So basically I can plug in 2x PCI Gen 3.0 M.2 NVME and another M.2 For a boot drive without doing an expansion?

Oh I get it now, nvm thank you very much @69chargr

To think that there’s so many things I don’t understand and have learned within less than a week :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

They won’t have enough lanes per chipset’s datasheet as Samsung 970 uses x4 PCIe.

So that’s three NVMe x4 storage devices given GbE and SATA are wired elsewhere on this particular board.

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Hey, thanks for the reply.

I’ve looked at the picture and downloaded the datasheet, could you probably help explain a little bit of what I’m looking for in regards to how many NVMe x4 storages can be mounted to this mother board?

When you said three, so that would me I can plug in one extension PCIe to M.2 converter and use that for the booting M.2’s holder? also did that refer to point #5 here in the datasheet?

Appreciate it

I think you’d be good with 3, two in the board and one additional converter. I haven’t tested this case, but had a similar problem with SATA where theoretically there were N, but unavailable due to being multiplexed with PCIe. On the other hand x16 GPU slots are not in this graph so maybe that was just my jerk reaction and the advice to use embedded GPU and those slots is sound. Sorry adding to the noise.

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awesome, I’ve just confirmed that my mainboard also could support M.2 booting, so I’d probably want to try these setups, thanks a lot for the input, no need to be sorry, conversations like these are what I value so much from a community like this

You could boot from USB if you want to save M.2 and SATA, it’s not like you need performance on your boot drive for this.

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