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Ementec
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Posts: 11
Registered: ‎10-11-2015
Location: Baden-Baden, Germany
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Message 1 of 60

Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

Hello everybody!

 

I am interested in buying the new Gaming Laptop Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ in the TOP version with FX-8800P and 4GB R9-M385X. As I have seen, first offers come only having the 1TB WD slim hdd. So time to find out which will be the best M.2 SSD to add nearby.

 

For this need to clarify first if the M.2 port is connected to the SATA III of the FX-8800P's internal southbridge only or if it has connection to PCIe lanes. The HMM https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles_pub/ideapad_y700-15acz_hmm_201508.pdf tells on page 26 there is PCI Express Gen3 and SATA Gen3. For the hdd is written SATA III as note and for the ssd it is NGFF which means the same like you write M.2, so it is unclear. Btw - there are NO DDR4 ports on that model yet. On page 64 you find some oem M.2 ssd models that Lenovo offers to add. Those are SATA3 models like LiteOn CV-1 and Samsung PM871 with keys for "B+M". But this also doesn't mean anything more than might be badder choices.

 

Have a look at the mainboard on page 48. You can see that the M.2 connector has only key M (right side) which means PCIe 3.0 (cpu) + SATA whereas key B (left side) would mean PCIe 2.0 (southbridge) + SATA. That M key port would allow to put in ssd cards like the Samsung SM951MZ-HPV (AHCI) model which might be the fastest using AHCI+PCIe or even the newest model Samsung SSD 950 pro which uses PCIe 3.0+NVMe only. But if there exists only a SATA III connection, the key should be "B only" instead of "M only" or "B+M" to prevent mistake by the user. Or am I wrong?

 

Once we know this, let's talk about the protocol that can be used. For the hdd there is IDE and AHCI meaning the M.2 should at least support AHCI. A ssd like the Samsung SM951MZ-HPV (AHCI) which support both PCIe + AHCI would be a good or maybe better choice than just a SATA III / AHCI only model. But in case of no PCIe lanes could be used this would be wasting money and a better choice would be a ssd like the Samsung EVO 850 or other good models.

 

Dear engineers of that great Laptop (or users who already tried out): please help on this. Thanks in advance! I am sure these questions other new owners will face very soon, too. So this is important.

Ementec
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Message 2 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

In the follwoing news is written ... (up to support PCIE NGFF interface 512G SSD) http://www.hea.cn/2015/0909/230546.shtml .

 

Can someone confirm this means PCIe 3.0 with 4 lanes like the M.2 port with M key is looking?

Ementec
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Message 3 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

I own now the new Y700-15ACZ with FX-8800P and R9-M385X. Bought from Suning (currently only supplier) in Guangzhou, China.

 

About M.2 SSD upgrade:

 

I tried out the Samsung SM951 512 GB AHCI Version which has M-Key connector like the mainboard (see picture). The SSD is able to do PCIe 3.0 (northbridge) and PCIe 2.0 (southbridge). But the SSD was not recognized.

 

That means the Y700-15ACZ has no PCIe Lanes connected to its M.2 port! So be careful. You can only use SATA SSD models there. Those have normally Key M+B coding. Lenovo soldered wrong M.2 port to the mainboard (maybe to save money as it uses the same on Intel versions which support PCIe). Correct is only Key M+B port (shame Lenovo engineers).

 

After searching around I think the best SSD you can put in here is the Samsung EVO 850 512 GB. It seems to be the fastest, has best lifetime, good price, good tools and comes with 5 years warranty. You can also choose smaller versions of that but write performance will be much slower than.

 

About RAM upgrade:

 

The Y700-15ACZ has only 2 DDR3 SO-Dimm ports, not DDR4 (DDR4 is only for Intel models, another Lenovo mistake). The ram that comes with from factory is 2 x 4 GB DDR3L 1600 DualChannel but only SingleRank. That is bad as the APU gets an extra from DualRank without waitstates til 1600 MHz.

 

The actual BIOS seems not to configure faster speeds than 1600 right now whereas the FX-8800P should be able to do 2 x 8 GB in DualChannel + DualRank up to 1866 MHz or 1 x 8 GB DualRank up to 2133 MHz.

 

I tried out a pair of Corsair 2 x 4 GB 1866 MHz DualChannel + DualRank modules. The voltage was not set to 1.5 V which lead to a problem with Windows 10 login screen. Could only use safemode. There tools were showing me it was slowed down to 1600 MHz.

 

So if you want do a RAM upgrade, check that your rams can do 1600 MHz at 1.35 V (DDR3L mode) even if the are faster and that they are DualRank'd to get out maximum performance.

 

I will try the newer and faster Corsair 2 x 8 GB 2133 MHz DualChannel + DualRank modules. They should work even if slowdown to 1600 MHz (but with fastest timings). Will tell about results soon I have.

 

Let's hope that Lenovo will expand the BIOS to support the faster speeds 1866 and 2133 MHz in the near future. Come on guys, the hardware can do it and people want it!

 

About HDD upgrade:

 

The Y700 has a 1 TB WD Slim (7 mm) either with 8 GB SSD (Intel models) or without (AMD model). This HDD can be replaced by bigger models such as the 2 TB Samsung / Seagate Spinpoint M9T which has 9.5 mm (up to 12.5 mm might fit, too but not comfortable).

 

If you want do, pick the HDD from the 2 TB Seagate Backup Plus Slim so you can put in the WD Slim to use it as external HDD after. It is also cheaper than buying the M9T as single.

 

About Windows 10 upgrade:

 

If you want use the newer Windows 10 you will recognize there are still drivers missing. For WiFi, Bluetooth and Camera pick those from the Lenovo Yoga 500-14ACL they are the same (shame Lenovo, shame).

 

About WiFi Bluetooth combo upgrade:

 

The WiFi Bluetooth combo card is unfortunately a M.2 card. I tried to find a 3 x 3 Model with WiFi a/b/g/n/ac and Bluetooth 4.0 allowing 450 MBits on WiFi n and 1300 MBits on WiFi ac. The Azurewave AW-CB160H would have been perfect but is a Mini-PCIe card so connector is wrong. If someone has an idea, please tell me.

nathan22thom
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Message 4 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

Sorry, I am not very good with computers and I'm trying to figure out if I will be able to upgrade the SSD on the Intel model of the y700. I just need a little clarification. I looked at the insides of the laptop and it appears to have an M-key. Is an M+B key SSD compatible with an M-key slot? More specifically will I be able to put the this Samsung 850 EVO in the y700? Thanks, I really appreciate your help.

Ementec
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Message 5 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

The Intel version seems to have a doubbled connection to its M.2 port:

 

  • SATA-3
  • PCIe 3.0 with 4 Lanes

 

So you can use all M.2 SSD cards with SATA-3 like the Samsung EVO 850 AND you can use PCIe 3.0 M.2 SSD cards like the Samsung SM951 AHCI. Both seem to be the fastest and best equipped cards available according to their connection.

 

But: it is not clear if the NVMe protocol is supported. I think it is not. So you can only use AHCI and IDE modes (but don't use IDE). So don't buy Samsung SM951 NVMe or Samsung 950 Pro yet. They may not work. But Samsung SM951 AHCI is almost same fast. So no real losses.

 

If you want use the Samsung 850 EVO, keep in mind it is just SATA-3. It will work but PCIe cards like the Samsung SM951 AHCI will be up to 4 times faster. So it is up to you: save money or save speed.

 

I'd be very happy to use PCIe speed but it seems the Y700-15ACZ had not enough free PCIe lanes left. Very sad ...

Rico724
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Message 6 of 60

Re: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

At this time, NVMe drives won't work for sure. Been there done that ~ BIOS can't see them to start with and drivers can't be configured to support (tried Intel RST 14.6 and Samsung NVMe) as a work around on a Windows 10 fresh install. Not even sure if a future BIOS revision can address it as it could be a hardware issue on the board (i.e. Wiring pcie lanes fail)?
Ementec
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Message 7 of 60

Re: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

Thanks for sharing. This completes our view on the M.2 SSD's for the Y700 Series.

joe1272
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Message 8 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

Check this link: https://download.lenovo.com/consumer/mobiles_pub/ideapad_y700-15_17isk_15acz_touch-15isk_hmm_201510....
As you can see from the document on page 79 the last 3 SSDs listed are all PCIe NVMe SSDS (PM951) and only on Intel variants. I'm not sure but does this mean NVMe is supported?

Thanks
Ementec
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Message 9 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

No. These models are AHCI models. You can check by numbers in Google than follow the links.

 

Those are slower OEM models without extra warranty. I'd never suggest buying these extra.

 

Best models are Samsung SM951 AHCI for Y700 with Intel cpu and Samsung 850 Evo with AMD apu. I'd suggest to get always the biggest of those (512 GB) for fastest write speed and longest life.

 

NVMe is not yet supported on any Y700 model. Don't buy these. Will not work.

joe1272
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Message 10 of 60

Betreff: Lenovo ideapad Y700-15ACZ - M.2 SSD Upgrade

I don't understand, even samsung's website says that PM951 (MZVLV256HCHP) is an NVMe SSD. This is a cropped image: http://imgur.com/h6L5mBY

 

The last 3 SSDs in the HMM refer to PM951 like the serial model number MZVLV256HCHP (same as the above one). I know PM951 is very slow compared to SM951. But what I'm trying to reason about is that, if PM951 is NVMe capable, and it is listed in Lenovo's y700 HMM then SM951-NVMe should work,right??!

 

Sorry for insisting on this, but i just want to understand the relation. Thanks.

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