M.2 Slot is Disabled on Some B560 Motherboards with 10th Gen Intel Core Processor? Why?

by MaddOx
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More and more Z590/B560 motherboards are being launched to pair with the new 11th Gen Intel Core Processor. Compared to 10th Gen, 11th Gen Intel Core Processor supports PCIe 4.0 and offers additional 4x PCIe 4.0 lanes for storage like M.2 Slot SSD.

If you plan to upgrade to PCIe 4.0 devices, the 11th Gen Intel Core Processor is the choice to pair with Z590/B560 motherboard. However, if you don’t care that much about PCIe 4.0, the 10th Gen Intel Core Processor is still a good option.

However, some users have recently found that one of the M.2 slots on some B560 motherboards is disabled with the 10th Gen Intel Core Processor installed. The slot is only available to use with the 11th Gen Core Processor. This implies that on motherboards with two slots, only one slot is available to use.

Why is the M.2 slot disabled with 10th Gen Intel Core Processors? Let’s get into it.

Why is the slot is disabled with 10th Gen Intel Core Processor?

On Z590/B560 motherboards, the M.2 slot needs to be connected to the CPU to utilize the PCIe 4.0 x4 lanes from the 11th Gen Core Processor.

When the 10th Gen Intel Core Processor is installed, there are no PCIe 4.0 x4 lanes offered for the M.2 Slot. This is why the slot connected to the CPU is disabled with the 10th Gen Core Processor installed.

But why is the first M.2 slot still available with 10th Gen Intel Core Processor on MSI B560 models with two slots, such as the B560I GAMING EDGE WIFI, B560M MORTAR WIFI, B560M BAZOOKA, and B560M PRO-VDH?

Both M.2 slots are available on MSI B560I GAMING EDGE WIFI / B560M MORTAR / BAZOOKA / PRO-VDH


This is because MSI uses a switch for the first M.2 slot to switch the connection between the CPU and chipset. When the 11th Gen processor is installed, the first slot is connected to the CPU to utilize the PCIe 4.0 x4 bandwidth. It’s switched to the chipset and utilizes the PCIe 3.0 x4 lanes when the 10th Gen processor is installed.

There are several offerings for the MSI B560 series. Some have three M.2 slots, some have two, and some have only one. For the models with more than two slots, at least two are available with a 10th Gen Intel Core Processor.

Here is the list of M.2 slots and the max transfer mode for each slot. For more detail, please visit the MSI website or refer to the user’s manual.

The M.2 slot max supported transfer mode with 10th Gen Intel Core Processors

MSI - The M.2 slot max supported transfer mode with 10th Gen Intel Core Processors

The M2_1 slot supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 with 11th Gen Intel Core Processors

MSI - The M2_1 slot supports up to PCIe 4.0 x4 with 11th Gen Intel Core Processors

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