What is M.2 E-Key?

  • What is M.2 E-Key and what goes in it? The question should be self explanatory. I'm buying a Z170 motherboard that has M.2 E-Key vs either mSATA, M-Key or B-Key. I do know that both B and M key M.2 is for SSD's utilizing PCI-e 4x but E-Key is strange to me. A search on google comes to a Wikipedia link


    M.2 module keying and provided interfaces[4]:8[11]:3[15]

    Key                Notched                Provided
    ID                    Pins                  Interfaces

    A                    8–15                  PCIe ×2, USB 2.0, I2C and DP ×4
    B                    12–19                PCIe ×2, SATA, USB 2.0 and 3.0, audio, UIM, HSIC, SSIC, I2C and SMBus
    C                    16–23                Reserved for future use
    D                    20–27                Reserved for future use
    E                    24–31                  PCIe ×2, USB 2.0, I2C, SDIO, UART and PCM
    F                    28–35                Future Memory Interface (FMI)
    G                  39–46                Reserved for custom use (unused in the M.2 specification)
    H                  43–50                Reserved for future use
    J                    47–54                Reserved for future use
    K                  51–58                Reserved for future use
    L                    55–62                Reserved for future use
    M                  59–66                PCIe ×4, SATA and SMBus

    I Guess what I am after is to know if an SSD can go in this slot.

  • Well since the M.2-E does have 2 PCIe lanes it is possible to put there a PCIe based SSD.
    You just have to find an M.2-E SSD :)

    Most M.2 SSDs you can find on the market use M.2-M or M.2-B. Either the SATA lane directly or the PCIe lanes.

    A quick google doesn't really show any M.2-E SSDs so you might be out of luck.

  • Don´t buy this board or perhaps go with an adapter.

  • the Motherboard itself is an EVGA Z170 Stinger and i'm looking to build a small desktop since small platforms now have caught up speed wise with standard desktop boards.

  • The M.2 "E" key sockets are used for Wireless LAN/Bluetooth cards.
    These sockets are common with laptop motherboards.
    They are also found on some desktop motherboards (mITX, mATX, ATX).
    Gigabyte offers mITX boards with this support.

    The NGFF (now called M.2) replaced the earlier mSATA/PCI Express Mini Card sockets, with USB 2.0 support.  My current desktop mATX boards, Intel DH87RL "Round Lake", included the PCIe mini-card with USB 2.0.  I use the Intel Dual-Band Wireless / Bluetooth Card, 7260ac

    The Intel Wireless-AC 8265 is the latest model.


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