Some owners of the SF114-32 may already know that their laptop comes with an empty M.2 slot for upgrading the storage drive. This M.2 slot was thought to accept both SATA and PCIe NVMe drives up until recently but that just isn't the case. I'll go ahead and stop that misinformation here once and for good.
I've done a little bit of research and testing and determined that this is in fact incorrect information. The M.2 slot in the SF114-32 does NOT support PCIe NVMe drives, only SATA drives. I know, i was just as disappointed too because I was really looking forward to buying and using my first M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD. I recently verified this by purchasing and attempting to install a M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD that I thought was a perfect blend of performance and cost. The exact SSD I tested was the Intel 760p 512GB. I chose this drive because of its AES hardware encryption, good performance, low cost and software feature set.
The drive installed physically the same as any other M.2 drive. But when I actually attempted to install Windows 10 to the drive is where i noticed that it just wasn't going to work. The drive simply was not visible to the installer. I even attempted to download and use the drive drivers directly from Intel at the Windows 10 installation hoping the drive would eventually be detected and utilized. It never was. When I did some digging around I found the same situation happening with another user attempting to install the Samsung EVO 970, another fast M.2 PCIe NVMe drive. The user simply wasn't able to install the OS because the computer would not detect the drive. The solution was to replace and install a SATA drive instead. Windows installed just fine after that. That user went with a WD Blue 3D M.2 SATA SSD.
So with that said, ONLY SATA SSDs work correctly in the SF114-32's M.2 slot. I don't foresee this changing even with a BIOS update anytime soon. I can however recommend some good M.2 SATA SSDs for those looking for better performance than the onboard eMMC SSD. The following are my personal recommendations from most to least favorite. They are all good choices but I would defintely choose in this order.
1. Crucial MX500 M.2 SATA SSD (lowest cost option, fast, AES hardware encryption, 5 year warranty)
2. Samsung EVO 860 M.2 SATA SSD (most expensive but the fastest performer, 5 core controller, AES encryption, 5 year warranty)
3. WD Blue 3D M.2 SATA SSD (middle of the road performance, 5 year warranty, affordable)
I'm currently using a Micron M510 128GB SATA 6GB/s 2280 MLC MTFDDAV128MAZ-1AE1ZABHA which even though is slow and old by today's standards is still faster than the onboard eMMC SSD. But these are my top picks for best performance. Do you have any other suggestions that I didn't cover that would make a great choice?