How many SSD can my motherboard support?


The Solid State Drive or SSD is the next evolution of the Hard Disk Drive or HDD. On that note, how many SSDs can a motherboard hoard if a motherboard could hoard SSDs?

It’s a much more complicated piece of PC hardware, but for most casual people, they know the Solid State Drive (SSD) as the device that’s capable of making Windows load in 11 seconds as opposed to the 3-5 minutes (or more) it takes an ordinary Hard Disk Drive (HDD) to load the operating system.

So how many SSD can my motherboard support? Obviously, it depends on my motherboard. It depends on your motherboard too, if you’re curious about your PC’s maximum SSD limit.

How Many SSD Can My Motherboard Support?

I’m wondering how many SSDs my motherboard or anyone’s motherboard can support. This is besides setups like RAID or mixed SSD and HDD setups, mind you. To be more specific, the set number of SATA SSD drives on most motherboards is usually 6 SATA drives.

You can push the number up to 8 if you’d like by getting a motherboard with enough slots to fit in those SSDs. The more the merrier? Perhaps. It depends on the motherboard of your laptop/desktop PC, of course.

How many SATA ports do I have?

There are usually about four to eight SATA ports on a standard motherboard. However, the actual number depends on how big the motherboard is and what chipset it uses.

What Makes an SSD Different from an HDD?

An SSD is different from the more cumbersome HDD due to moving parts and temperatures. SSDs lack moving parts because they’re a solid state type of drive. They’re composed entirely of stationary flash memory like the memory of a USB flash disk in “HDD” form.

In contrast, HDDs use literal disks that spin in order to read its contents or in order to get files saved for storage instead of temporarily accessed by the Random Access Memory. It gives more permanence to digital files but at the cost of literal wear-down.

How Does an SSD Work?

This solid state gives the SSD the advantage in terms of speed, longevity, and performance. HDDs wear themselves down like pencil erasers due to all their moving parts, in other words.

Unlike SSDs and their flash drive nature, HDDs are more sensitive to shock or sudden, jarring movement (like falling). They generate just a little heat too but can get damaged by high temperatures.

HDDs move more with their moving parts and thusly create more heat comparatively to SSDs yet they’re slower when it comes to read/write speeds.

Temperature

SATA SSDs don’t generate even a little heat. However, SSDs from PCIe or NVMe could, particularly PCIe Gen 3 and PCIe Gen 4 NVMe SSDs.

Meanwhile, certain high-end SSDs can run at high temperatures, with some requiring heat sinks to maintain their stable performance. So if you have a laptop supporting NVMe SSD storage, make sure it has ample airflow and vents to spare.

Speed

SSDs are known for their speed. They’re so fast they push the limits of whatever bandwidth is available to them. Their read and write speeds are nothing short of extraordinary, with SATA SSDs—the slowest of the bunch—many leagues faster than any of their HDD counterparts.

They’re “flash” drives because they retrieve and write information in a flash, reaching 550MB/s of read/write speed compared to 7,200 RMP HDD peaking at only 160 MB/s read/write speed. On PCIe and NVMe, the SSD format only got faster and faster.

Q&A

Can you have 2 SSDs?

The easiest way to add storage to your PC is to attach an external drive to your PC and be done. However, if your computer case has the room and you have all the necessary components and tools, you can install a second SSD.

How many SSD hard drives can I have?

Yes, one can put more than one SSD into a motherboard in general. The only limiting factor is the number of SATA, PCIe M. 2, or PCIe U. 2 ports that are available on the motherboard.

How many drives can a motherboard support?

Most motherboards have just 4 SATA ports and can therefore be connected to 2 hard drives and 2 DVD drives, or you have 1 DVD drive and three hard drives. In modern products, however, you may have up to 5 or 6 SATA ports. This allows more hard drives to be installed in your computer.

Will my SSD fit my motherboard?

To confirm the compatibility of your motherboard with an SSD, you’ll need to check for the presence of a SATA connector. The compatibility of a motherboard with an SSD drive could also be down to the nature of the SATA port. The drive might function, but the performance will be heavily constrained.

How many SSD does a motherboard have?

Specifically, there will only be a set number of SATA drives on the motherboard. Most motherboards support at least 6 SATA drives, but some increase the number up to 8. A rare few go higher than that, but outside of server hardware, they aren’t fairly common.

How do I know how many SSD slots I have?

Press the Windows key, type Task Manager, and then press Enter. In the window that appears, click the Performance tab (A), then select Memory (B). In the lower-right corner, the number of slots is displayed in the Slots used: section (C).

How do I set up multiple SSDs?

How to Set Up Hard Drive and SSD Dual Drives

What is the maximum number of SATA ports a motherboard can have?

If you are new to building PCs, it is quite common to ask how many SATA ports do you need. An average motherboard can easily have about 4-6 SATA ports depending upon its chipset and its size.

How many NVMe slots does a motherboard have?

Recent Desktop motherboards generally have somewhere between 4 and 8 SATA ports each of which can be used for an SSD, along with 0 to 4 NVMe slots which each can be used for an SSD.

Always Remember

SSDs are lightning quick to load things while HDDs are slower but more reliable. HDDs are also cheaper than their SSD counterparts and they remain a major force when it comes to personal computing and file storage. Also, to reiterate, a motherboard can support 6 SSDs but can go all the way to 8 SSDs.

References:

  1. Christopher Harper, “How Many SSDs Can You Have?“, CGDirector.com, April 27, 2022

Andy Avery

I really enjoy helping people with their tech problems to make life easier, ​and that’s what I’ve been doing professionally for the past decade.

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