m.2 Adapter Card Final Thoughts
Benchmark Reviews expects that m.2 form factor, NVMe SSDs will be the next phase of the solid state storage revolution. While AHCI SATA SSDs will dominate sales for the next year or two, enthusiasts who want the very best performance will gravitate towards m.2 devices. The SilverStone ECM20 adapter provides a path for users whose motherboards lack native m.2 ports to take advantage of this.
While the product itself is very simple and requires no drivers or configuration, it’s left to the user to determine the suitability of their system and the best way to configure it to use the card. And this is the source of my only complaint about the product: there is virtually no documentation provided either with the product or online to educate and advise the user about PCI-E lane use and allocation. Depending on the motherboard and system configuration, performance of a PCI-E SSD on this adapter can potentially vary dramatically. While I recognize it’s a complex subject, I wish SilverStone had at least tried to address this.
ECM20 m.2 Adapter Conclusion
The SilverStone ECM20 m.2 adapter provides an m.2 SSD upgrade path for users whose motherboards lack native m.2 ports. It’s a very simple adapter that requires no drivers or configuration, but the onus is on the user to determine the suitability of their system and the best way to configure their motherboards.
As far as appearance goes, this is a very plain and functional board, but it’s going to be inside your computer and not readily visible even in a windowed case. Functionally, the board performs perfectly (not that there’s really much to go wrong, what with no active electronics) and the construction seems solid. Value-wise, at only $17.99 (Amazon), this adapter board is a no-brainer if you want to dive into the m.2 waters now with an older system.
+ Provides inexpensive upgrade path to m.2 for older systems
+ Accommodates both SATA and PCI-E SSDs
+ No drivers or configuration required
– Fiddly SSD mounting screws require a steady hand and tiny tools
– No documentation provided on PCI-E lane allocation
– Removing sticky labels leaves messy residue