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uaristocles
What's DOS?
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Registered: ‎03-05-2016
Location: Spain
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Message 1 of 7

M900 SFF & Tower: what's the M.2 SSD form factor?

Hi. I'm thinking on getting a Thinkcentre M900 Small Form Factor. I'm also planning on adding a Samsung PRO 950 NVMe SSD which has a M.2 2280 Form Factor.

 

From the m900 SFF specs I see that it has a m.2 slot, but I haven't found any information about what kind of m.2 slot it is. Can I connect a m.2 2280 SSD directly to the m900 SFF? Or do I have to use it with a a PCIe adapter?

 

 

Mod:  edited title for clarity

Greg950Pro
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Message 2 of 7

Re: Thinkcentre m900 SFF: what's the m.2 SSD form factor?

I have the same question and also want to buy this unit and drop in a Samsung 950 Pro, but before I buy I also want to confirm that it support PCIe and all 4 lanes. The form factor that the 950 Pro supports is m.2 2280 and the interface is "PCIe 3.0 x4 (up to 32 Gb/s) NVMe 1.1". Does the M900 Tiny support the same?

uaristocles
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Message 3 of 7

Re: Thinkcentre m900 SFF: what's the m.2 SSD form factor?

I can answer this myself, as I've finally seen the SFF version in person: it does not support m.2 2280 directly, you need an adapter. I've successfully installed a Samsung SM951 512GB NVMe SSD using this adapter. The performance is excellent, as expected. The only con of this workaround is that you lose the disk activity LED. It's not a big deal in my case.

 

I can't answer you for the Tiny version, but I've heard it includes a m.2 2280 port.

SeniorGuru
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Message 4 of 7

Re: Thinkcentre m900 SFF: what's the m.2 SSD form factor?


@uaristocles wrote:

From the m900 SFF specs I see that it has a m.2 slot, but I haven't found any information about what kind of m.2 slot it is. Can I connect a m.2 2280 SSD directly to the m900 SFF? Or do I have to use it with a a PCIe adapter?


I don't see where the M/800-SFF or M900-SFF specs show that the machine or motherboard actually includes an official M.2 slot, say for an M.2 drive that you can actually order through Lenovo?  The M900-SFF (but not the M800-SFF) spec does mention in the "drives" section as:  "some: M.2 SSD, PCIe NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x4, 32Gb/s".  But if you actually shop for this item online there is no such optional M.2 version of a drive offered for purchase which would be delivered by Lenovo.

 

The documentation does allude in the "mechanicals" section to using a PCIe->M.2 adapter just like the one you pointed to, installed in an x4 PCIe expansion slot (i.e. slot 3 on the motherboard, per the specs). This is of interest to me actually, as I just ordered an M800-SFF for my cousin and went for my own add-on purchase of a 128GB Samsung 850 Pro 2.5" SSD for $90.  Had I known this M.2 option could be worked out I might have considered going for a much faster 950 Pro PCIe NVMe instead. Of course the smallest 950 Pro is 256GB (which I don't really need) and costs $180.  And then you also need the PCIe->M.2 adapter for another $25. My cousin will be perfectly satisfied with the 850 Pro SATA3 SSD performance, as his needs are modest.

 

Here's the M800-SFF spec.  Look at the "mechanical" section.

 

And here's the M900-SFF spec.  Looks the same to me in the "mechanical" section.

 

Sounds like your "real world experience" confirms this, that a PCIe M.2 adapter is actually required if you want to go that route.  But this is good info to know, and I hadn't noticed it before your post.

uaristocles
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Message 5 of 7

Re: Thinkcentre m900 SFF: what's the m.2 SSD form factor?

The Mechanicals section of the specs sheet, as you say, does not specify a M.2 slot. Given that at the same time it states it supports "Some: M.2 SSD, PCIe NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x4, 32Gb/s", it wasn't absolutely clear to me if it was through an adapter or not. Having a look at the user guide at page 7 it indicates there is "M.2 card slot (for installing a PCI adapter card)". As this port is not listed in the Mechanicals section, I didn't know if this was a m.2 2280 port of if it was a m.2 2230 for Wi-Fi adapters. This is why I was asking for someone to confirm this.

 

In my case, even though the machine had a Wi-Fi adapter, this m.2 slot remained unused.

 

Thank you for your answer.

Greg950Pro
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Message 6 of 7

Re: Thinkcentre m900 SFF: what's the m.2 SSD form factor?

The Tiny specs are also unclear, it does mention that some units come with the m.2 slot sized to fit 2280, but am unclear as to whether it supports PCI Express Gen 3 x4 lanes. I don't want to buy the PC and find out after the fact if it only support 2 lanes.

SeniorGuru
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Location: US
Views: 5,856
Message 7 of 7

Re: Thinkcentre m900 SFF: what's the m.2 SSD form factor?

The M800-SFF which I ordered early this week has now been confirmed by email as "shipped".  I should have it in my hands by the middle of next week.

 

I have to open it up anyway, to install some other hardware upgrades.  I will look and see what's inside.  This isn't the M900-SFF (which has a slightly different "specs" and actually makes mention of "some" having M.2 "drive" storage), but I'm guessing it's just all of them which allow install of that PCIe adapter (to support plugging in an M.2 card on it) which is what Lenovo is talking about.

 

On my P70 laptop, there is officially and physically an actual M.2 bay with two PCIe connectors in it, for pushing in two M.2 drives (e.g. Samsung 950 Pro NVMe drives) which is exactly what I have done.  What the question is here is whether the M700, M800 or M900 (SFF or tower) also has an equivalent physical onboard M.2 slot with a PCIe connector, or if only adding a PCIe x4 adapter card (in the second x16 PCIe slot of the motherboard which can support x4) is what Lenovo intended.

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