How To Connect SSD To Motherboard

Want to plug your SSD into your motherboard?

Silent PC Review is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn More

Table of Contents

If you’re looking to upgrade your storage but don’t know how to connect a new SSD to your motherboard, then you’ve come to the right place. Your SSD or storage options are essential to get your operating software up and running. It’s one of the essential components of your PC that allows you to transfer, read, and write important data. 

In addition, you might run out of storage as you install more and more software and applications on your storage options, which would explain why you need to get a new SSD. But before you go about installing the latest games or software for your productivity needs, you need to know the basics of installing your SSD to your motherboard.

How To Connect An M.2 SSD To Your Motherboard

Installing M.2s is by far the easiest method to upgrade your storage. You don’t need to fiddle around with any connectors. But what you need to know is where to install it. First off, identify your M.2 SSD. It comes in a plastic clamshell case and looks like a stick of bubblegum with gold contacts at one end. Some high-end M.2 NVMe SSDs come with some fancy heat sinks, but they’re pretty discreet if you’re going for a budget-friendly M.2 drive.

  1. Pop open the front panel of your PC and move toward the motherboard.  You’ll have to set the M.2 SSD into a standoff.
  2.  About three inches to the left of the slot, you’ll spot a standoff where you’ll find a screw tightly inserted into the motherboard.
  3. This standoff keeps the NVMe SSD straight and prevents it from coming into direct contact with the motherboard. 
  4. Unscrew the standoff and insert the NVMe SSD into the appropriate slot and line it up with the standoff hole. 
  5. You’ll need to insert the M.2 SSD correctly. The side of the M.2 SSD with the sticker facing upwards is the correct orientation. The notch with the golden engraving is where the standoff screw goes. And at the other edge, you can see some gold contact points where the M.2 SSD connects to the slot.
  6. Connect the M.2 SSD to the motherboard and screw in the standoff screw, and you’re done.

Important Notes To Connect Your M.2 SSD To Your Motherboard

  1. If you can’t spot your M.2 slot, chances are, it’s hiding under an M.2 shield. In this case, there’s no standoff or screw to deal with. You’ll either have to use a screwdriver to access the M.2 slot or stick it underneath the shield and line up the SSD with its slot. 
  1. The M.2 shield also comes with a thermal pad on the underside covered with a piece of plastic to keep it from wasting away. After you’ve installed your SSD, make sure to remove the plastic piece from the thermal pad from the M.2 shield to get maximum cooling for your NVMe SSD.
  1. Some M.2 SSDs come with their very own heat sink, which means you can’t use your included M.2 shield. In such a scenario, your best bet would be to remove the M.2 shield and store it in your motherboard box for safekeeping. And if you still want to use your included M.2 motherboard shield, plan ahead and get the M.2 SSD without a heat sink.
  1. If you’re installing Windows and have any other cold storage or regular SSDs on hand, your best bet would be to unplug all other SSDs and cold storage and install your operating system on your high-performance M.2.

In Summary

That pretty much wraps up how you can connect an SSD to your motherboard. Stay tuned for more guides on Silent PCReview.

About the Author