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JayBCTTech
Token Ring
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎05-14-2014
Location: CA
Views: 1,083
Message 1 of 6

Putting 2 x NVMe drives in an M710s for drive mirroring...

Hey Lenovo Community,

 

I hope you all had a great holiday season. I have a question regarding an M710s (10M7000RUS) and putting in two NVMe SSD drives for mirroring (set up as RAID1). We were wondering if this is possible and if we were to add a second NVMe drive, we were thinking of using a startech.com x4 PCI Express to M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter (low profile). Or is there a Lenovo part that will allow you to add a second NVMe drive?

 

Thanks in advance!

SeniorGuru
Posts: 2,320
Registered: ‎06-13-2013
Location: US
Views: 1,068
Message 2 of 6

Re: Putting 2 x NVMe drives in an M710s for drive mirroring...

I know nothing about your RAID issue.

 

However I do believe that your choice of low-profile StarTech PCIe-to-M.2 adapter card will not physically fit in the M710s SFF case.  According to the manufacturer's specs it is 7" (177mm) in length, which makes it too LONG to fit.  It's not the height of the low-profile card that is the problem, it's the length.

 

According to the PSREF document for the M710s SFF product, the maximum length PCIe expansion card which can be used is <150mm (5.9").  Maximum height is 68mm (2.7").

 

M710s-mechanical-specs.jpg

 

The new current generation Lenovo cases (both SFF and tower) for latest desktop machines are much smaller than the previous generation of cases.  In particular in the SFF case the front-to-rear dimension (which affects the maximum length of a usable expansion card) is actually 3" shorter than it used to be.  And there is a swing-up/down drive bay assembly on the side of the chassis whose location is directly impacted by this 3" front-to-rear shorter case situation (which affects the width of the motherboard, and in turn the maximum length of expansion cards installed in expansion slots).

 

So when you open the case and swing up the drive bay assembly in order to install your PCIe expansion card (e.g. graphics, StarTech adapter, etc.), everything looks fine so far.  But when you then try to swing down the drive bay assembly to close up the machine, the leading edge of the drive bay metal actually now comes in contact with the outer (lengthwise) edge of the PCIe card you just installed if it is greater than 5.9" in length.

 

This is a HORRIBLE mistake by Lenovo in their shrinkage of the newest SFF cases, making it virtually impossible to install a reasonable modern low-profile PCIe x16 graphics card which is typically about 6.5" in length.  You are forced to go much smaller (and less powerful), simply because of this 150mm (5.9") maximum card length limit.

 

And you can't even install a low-profile card like this StarTech PCIe-to-M.2 card.

 

Note that this awful SFF case shrinkage is not only the case for the new M710s of yours, but also for the M910s which is a machine I was building out for a friend and like you wanted to add this identical StarTech adapter to it.  When I discovered that the new SFF case was so small (i.e. in that particular front-to-rear dimension where it is now 3" less "deep" than it used to be) and I couldn't install both the low-profile graphics card I had purchased as well as the StarTech adapter, I returned the M910s which my friend had really wanted (for its overall small size) and had to buy an M910t (which is again smaller front-to-rear than previous model ThinkCentre tower cases by over 4.5") just to be able to install the two cards.

 

Check out my own thread from earlier this year on the M910s story

 

For comparison, the ThinkCentre machine tower cases are as follows, new vs. old:

 

Current model:

M910t - 6.5" W x 16.2" H x 12.7" D

 

Older models:

M93p - 6.9" W x 16.3" H x 17.4" D

M92p - 6.9" W x 16.3" H x 17.4" D

M900 - 6.9" W x 16.1" H x 16.3" D

 

 

And the SFF case dimension comparison is as follows:

 

Current model:

M910s SFF - 3.6"W x 13.5"H x 11.4"D

 

Older models:

M93p SFF - 4"W x 13.3"H x 14.7"D

M800 SFF - 3.7"W x 13.5"H x 14.3"D

 

 

Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 3,559
Registered: ‎12-31-2011
Location: US
Views: 1,045
Message 3 of 6

Re: Putting 2 x NVMe drives in an M710s for drive mirroring...

A couple of other questions within your question.   1.  Whether there are PCI channels for a second NVMe drive.  The M710 uses a low-end Intel Chipset, one of the key differentiators is the number of PCI channels   2. Whether RAID is supported on a low-end Chipset.   2a.  if yes, then does it extend to NVMe drivers or is SATA only.   I'll research this as I have time.  

__________________________________________________________________________
I do not work for Lenovo. I do not respond to Private Messages for help, your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where the information exchange may help others. If I helped you, click the 'Kudos' button, if solved, the 'Accept as Solution'.
Community SeniorMod
Community SeniorMod
Posts: 3,559
Registered: ‎12-31-2011
Location: US
Views: 1,042
Message 4 of 6

Re: Putting 2 x NVMe drives in an M710s for drive mirroring...

M710s and t uses the Intel B250 Chipet, which states:   RAID Configuration = N/A

 

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

M910s and t uses the Q270 Chipset, which does support RAID:   PCIe* 0,1,5 / SATA 0,1,5,10

 

The Lenovo spec sheet says RAID is supported for 0 & 1, nothing on 5 or 10. 

__________________________________________________________________________
I do not work for Lenovo. I do not respond to Private Messages for help, your questions should be posted in the appropriate forum where the information exchange may help others. If I helped you, click the 'Kudos' button, if solved, the 'Accept as Solution'.
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JayBCTTech
Token Ring
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎05-14-2014
Location: CA
Views: 1,021
Message 5 of 6

Re: Putting 2 x NVMe drives in an M710s for drive mirroring...

Thanks for the tips, Al. We're likely going to just do a software RAID array in Windows, so hopefully we can still do that.

JayBCTTech
Token Ring
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎05-14-2014
Location: CA
Views: 1,019
Message 6 of 6

Re: Putting 2 x NVMe drives in an M710s for drive mirroring...

Thank you so much for the detailed information. That clears things up a lot!

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