Help with SSD + M.2+ PCIe + adaptor

Hi, sorry in advance for my ignorance. I know little about computers, until I have to !!!

FS2020 on HDD is bad. With Pre-cache on HDD is impossible (12fps). Looking to buy a SSD and move FS install to that.

I have a Gigabyte Z170 K3 gaming motherboard.
I have a single M.2 slot on motherboard, but that is already taken up with Win10 OS.
So looking to install another SSD on my board.

Opened up PC. Found out the shop had installed my graphics card (1660ti) on PCIe x4 slot.
Why?? A mistake I guess? So I moved that to the x16 slot successfully.

What I’m left with is four PCIe x1 slots (these are pretty useless in terms of bandwidth, correct?)
AND one PCIe x4 slot.

So I ‘think’ the best solution is get a M.2 PCIe adaptor to put into the x4 slot and buy a M.2 SSD.

Is this right so far??

If so, looking on-line I see PCIe x4 slot has max bandwidth of 1,000MB/s (in each direction).

1- So is this quick enough to make significant improvements in FS performance?

2- and I presume I don’t need a super quick SSD either. No point getting a 3.2GB/s one if PCIex4 slot is only 1GB/s

3- AND finally, if I am running a slower SSD, will I be able to get away with no heatsink on the adaptor? I’ve read that SSD’s can run hot when in continuous use, but is that more related to high end super fast ones only ??

Sorry for any dumbness. I’ll be grateful for any guidance to help me and maybe others in this forum.


Someone more knowledgeable will chime in, but why not just get a 2.5" ssd with a SATA cable and plug that in to your motherboard? Saves the money on an adapter. I’m running the game fine on a SATA SSD.

Or you could put the money in to a bigger m.2 card and clone your windows install to it. You’d have to reinstall the game on that drive though.

Sata is slow compaired with M.2 and a quad PCI M,2 card is only about $25.

The PCI M,2 is potentially 6x faster than the Sata, so why not go M.2 PCI ?

Go for it. I did this very thing. The adapter board for the PCIE slot is less than 10$ on Amazon. A SATA SSD will get you 400-500Mbs, I have two SATA SSD’s in Raid O, that get about 1000Mbs. The 2GB Nvme SSD on the PCIE card gets about 3000Mbs.

I think it’s a good solution.

@mannierichard I also have just the single m.2 slot, so just replaced my existing 256gb m.2 card with a 1 TB m.2 card. Easy solution, works great.

How about using USB 3.1 external SSD ?
although I only have a type-A connection I see high speeds quoted:

Google quote:
USB 3.1 Type-C delivers a 10Gbps data transfer rate. This makes it more than 20 times faster than USB 2.0 and twice as fast as USB 3.0. It is also faster than the 6.0Gbps rate of the SATA III standard, allowing external hard drives to exceed the current speed of internal drives!