I have an Optiplex 7010 Mini-Tower. It has no M.2 slots.
FYI - I am currently dual-booting Win 7 Pro 64-bit and Win 10 Pro 64-bit (now V 21H1) but using the Win 10 almost exclusively these days. A single SATA hard drive has my two OSes, and those OS partitions also carry all my apps. However, to a certain extent, and more and more over time, I am putting data files on other hard drives inside the case.
Thanks for your thoughts re my questions above.
And I need to add a fifth question:
5. If I do this, will my Optiplex 7010 MT boot successfully from this NVMe SSD plugged into one of my PCI slots? My BIOS is fully updated to version A29 (Date 6/28/2018). I ask because a post in a different thread here indicates it will NOT.
Hello @glnz , it's very easy to add an NVME SSD to your system using PCIe adapter card. Connecting the adapter to the x16 slot wired as x4. Since your system is very old, it won't give you the full advertised speed of today modern NVME but it will be very fast over the old spinning drive or SATA SSD.
Natively, your system won't boot from PCIe slot but you can use CLOVER. It's very simple method and the system can boot to windows just about 12 to 14 seconds.
Also, your system should work well with windows 11, it's a lot snappier than with windows 10.
If you install nvme ssd in 7010 Gen 2 PCIex16 slot (wired as x4), you may expect read.write speed around 1700 MB/s.
In comparison if you install a sata 2.5 ssd the speed is round 500-550 MB/s.
If you install the nvme ssd in the PCIex1 slot, speed is comparable to sata ssd.
If you install nvme ssd in 7010 Gen 2 PCIex16 slot (wired as x 16), speed is same as that in the x4 slot because the ssd can not use more than 4 lane.
you certainly can not install it in the old fashioned PCI slot.
You can use registry fix to bypass Windows 11 cpu tpm and secure boot check and install Windows 11 in 7010 (ivy bridge Intel 3rd Gen cpu), but no future MS update support provided.