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Alienware 15 m.2 ssd : PCIE or SATA?


I tried to do some research but couldnt find a clear answer on this. Is the m.2 slots in the new Alienware 15 compatible with pcie m.2 ssds? or just sata m.2 ssds?

Example: Can i use the new Samsung XP941 m.2 ssd?

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in the R2 both are pcie x4... pcie/sata means that you can use a sata m.2 ssd if you want 

Thanks for answering the question concerning the m.2 slots. I've been trying to confirm what type for a couple of days now. 

Any thoughts on possibly adding a Samsung 950 PRO?


juda17837's answer is not quite correct.  The alienware 15 R2, as well as the alienware 17 R3 which both have the same motherboards, have two m.2 slots.  One of the two slots supports both Pcie X4 and SATA III as the m.2 interface can support either sata or Pcie.

The second m.2 slot supports ONLY sata III and/or Pcie x2.  

To repeat, one of the slots supports 4 lanes of Pcie, the other supports only 2 lanes of Pcie.  Both slots support Sata III.

This means you can use the 850 EVO sata drive in either slot, or the 950 pro in either slot, however, in one slot the 950 pro will ONLY have 2 Pcie lanes available to it so it will not work at its top speed.  In the other slot it will have 4 Pcie lanes available to it and will work at its top performance.

The above has been confirmed time and again on the Notebookreview forums under the alienware 13/15/17 threads.  You can find the details about which slot is which there.  

The m.2 slot labeled 1 is the 4 lane Pcie m.2 slot, the slot labeled 2 is the 2 lane Pcie slot.  Either slot will support SATA III.

As far as I am aware, no one on the Notebookreview forums has yet tried out the new 1 TB m.2 drives offered by Sandisk (the X400) or the one offered by Transcend, both being SATA III drives, but very likely either of those will also work in either m.2 slot.

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For anyon interested, on this post you can find my benchmark for an Alienware 15 R2 with Samsung SSD 950 PRO NVMe M.2 256GB

Hope not too late, for who, like me was interested to the argument!

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However, I have heard that the Samsung 950 Pro NVMe come with Samsung Magician software that allow the drive to use computer's RAM to be rapid cache and boost the drive performance. I am looking for information about the Alienware 15 R2 native support for PCI-E 3.0 x4 interface in M.2 port and NVMe storage protocol support. :(


alienware 15 r2 support 2 nvme pcie drives (m.2) + 1hdd 2,5". 1 of the 2 m.2 drives are going to run at full speed and the second one is going to run at 90% of speed. its fully compatible with the 950 pro, i saw raids 0 of them on your system :). you should go for 960 evo

Can you share the link from Noteboookreview Forum, please? I have searched and could not find any. There is someone mentioned about 4 lanes in slot 1 and 2 lanes in slot 2, but he/she was asking if someone can confirm/deny that information.

I am researching for a M.2 SSD. The Intel 600p with 256GB is PCI-E 3.0 x4 while Crucial MX300 is 275GB, $5 cheaper and use SATA 3 (I believe). Write speed is the same around 500Mbps while Intel has a higher read speed of 1500s (Crucial's read is about 510s). However, do you know if there is any difference in real life performance? I do not know if 19GB storage and less 5 bucks worth it? I probably play games, sometimes do AutoCAD/Inventor/SolidWorks stuffs and begin to learn basic photo editing.

2 Bronze

Msata is only supported. I learned that the hard way.

Msata is only supported. I learned that the hard way.


Can someone confirm it's only SATA III speed and we'll not get PCIe x4 Gen 3.0 speed. I thought I'll get one SM951, to get 2 GB/s with that for C drive.

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