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Think Engineering has identified an issue where Samsung 950 Pro NVMe SSDs do not perform as expected in some Lenovo ThinkPads, such as not allowing HDD passwords to be set or removed.


The reason for this is ThinkPad BIOS for Intel SkyLake products are designed to support NVMe devices which conform to UEFI Spec v2.4 or later. Unfortunately, the Samsung 950 Pro is designed with UEFI Spec. v2.3.1. This conflict in design specification prevents the ThinkPad BIOS from recognizing the Samsung 950 Pro as a NVMe storage device as well as denying the BIOS control of the HDD password, encryption, and NVMe device power management.


Lenovo has also reviewed the Samsung 960 PRO 1TB. While the Samsung 960 Pro 1 TB meets UEFI v.2.4 specifications and supports HDD passwords, NVMe device power management and NVMe device thermal management are unsupported in ThinkPads. 


As result, Lenovo recommend purchasing a ThinkPad M.2 PCIe-NVMe SSD to guarantee support of HDD passwords, device power management, encryption, and device thermal management on ThinkPads.

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I've been using a 950 pro nvme on my P70 for several months under a Linux distribution, using the nvme kernel module on kernels from ~4.5 to 4.8. A couple of questions for you, if you please:


–Does your post truly refer to both the P70 and P50? The tag and information seem consistent with this; the title however only mentions the P50.

–Am I doing active damage to my 950 pro, and under what circumstances? My drive seems to be working well at the moment.


Also used two Samsung 950 Pro SSD's in my P70. They work fine. (Windows 10 x64, Samsung Magicioan 4.7.8)


Please note that Bitlocker gives a degradation in performance.TheSamsung 950 Pro does not support hardware encryption on SSD itself (FDE) but relies on the CPU instead. If you need full disk encryption woth maximum performance than I wouild recommend to wait for the 960 Pro, which will be avilable this month. You also will need to upgrade Ssamsung Magician to version 5.0. I will buy them when available and also wilkl post the RAID and JBOD performance.


For the time being, for max performance you can try out latest Samsung drivers and compare them with Microsoft drivers, that gave a small improvement for me.


Is this incompatibility expected to be resolved? These are probably the most popular drives available today in the performance segment.


I use a Samsung 950 Nvme (with no passwords) under win 10 and it worked flawlessly (hope that's not the reason of my current strange fan problem, but it shouldn't be) from install of OS. Only minor issue is that name of SSD isn't displayed correctly in BIOS but shows fine under device manager. I am using latest samsung nvme controller.


It is very unlikely  that this has any relation with your fan problem. I would recommend to contact your local Lenovo support.


Any updates on this issue? Specifically with regards to the Evo 960 compatibility with the P70.


@Amy_Lenovo wrote:

Lenovo has also reviewed the Samsung 960 PRO 1TB. While the Samsung 960 Pro 1 TB meets UEFI v.2.4 specifications and supports HDD passwords, NVMe device power management and NVMe device thermal management are unsupported in ThinkPads. 



What about the Samsung 960 EVO?  Is that the retail equivalent of the OEM PM961 Lenovo uses in thinkPads?  Specifically, are power and thermal management supported in ThinkPads for the 960 EVO?



same question here. just thinking about getting 960 evo or pro. chances to have thermal management seems to be better with the evo?! anyone knows if 00up414 oem ssd is performance wise so much different to 960 evo?


This article describes the basic differences between Samsung SSD models:


The advertised sequential write speeds are quite a bit different between the PM961 and the 960 EVO.  However, unless you are running some really strenuous software, the real-world performance difference may be negligible.


My real concern is still regarding NVMe device power and thermal management, which will affect the overall performance and life of the SSD.  The EVO has been shown to work in the ThinkPad, but how can we tell if the power/thermal features are working?  How can we test for this?  If there is a problem, it is with the ThinkPad implementation of NVMe.


For average usage, it might be better to stick with the PM961 if you can find one at a reasonable price.  Interestingly, I don't see the 1TB model on Lenovo's site.  Amy's link above is dead.  Not that I would pay the ridiculous inflated price Lenovo was charging.



It's strange that "UEFI v2.4" is not backward compatible with "UEFI v2.3.1" ?

Is there any chance to let thinkpad's BIOS backward support "UEFI v2.3.1" ?


What is the current status of this issue please?  This thread starts out saying:


"ThinkPad BIOS for Intel SkyLake products are designed to support NVMe devices which conform to UEFI Spec v2.4 or later"


... but then goes on ...


"NVMe device power management and NVMe device thermal management are unsupported in ThinkPads"


Followed by:


"Lenovo recommend purchasing a ThinkPad M.2 PCIe-NVMe SSD to guarantee support of HDD passwords, device power management, encryption, and device thermal management on ThinkPads."


1. If NVMe device power management and NVMe device thermal management are not supported in Thinkpads, then why would Lenovo recommend their own NVMe devices; surely they also are without full NVMe power/thermal support?


2. What can we expect if we put NVMe devices into our workstations?


3. Does Lenovo have a plan to remedy issues with the NVMe power/thermal management support?


4. If users choose to use M.2 SATA devices are these fully supported (e.g. do the M.2 slots in the P50/P70 support both M.2 SATA and M.2 PCIe-NVMe?  (Even then, why would you want the slower option?)


I suspect nearly every user who specs. up a workstation will be looking to put in the highest capacity and fastest storage they can find at the time.  Full support for standardised OEM options should be available.







I'm also looking for the status and compatibility of the Samsung 960  M.2 PCIe-NVMe in two capacities:


1 TB and 2 TB


I'm waiting to order my P70 subject to being able to use the Samsung 960  M.2 PCIe-NVMe drives.  Hopefully can get the 2 TB model, but will go for 1 Tb if that's my only option.  I'm certainly not buying Lenovo's 1TB drive at twice the cost.  Please advise. Thanks.


Additional questions:

.. I'm assuming that I will be able to boot off of the  M.2 PCIe-NVMe drive? I'll copy the Windows 7 OS partition and supporting boot system info from the drive that will ship with my new P70.  My goal is to have the Samsung 960 drive as the boot drive. The 512GB SATA SSD drive that ships with my unit will become a data drive. 

.. Eventually, I'll install Windows 10 Pro on a separate partition in a dual boot scenario.  I like to have separate OS access in case my primary OS gets corrupted.


Hoping the above will be workable? Thx.


Also waiting to purchase the P70 subject to answers to this thread.  Is there no response from Lenovo since the end of last year?


Need to know if the Samsung 960 PRO 2 TB PCIe-NVMe drive will work in the P70 please?  

Clarification on Lenovo's support for Power and Thermal Management is available for the most popular SSD devices?



@Amy_Lenovo So, Lenovo is just ignoring this issue then?


Does my P50 compatable with Samsung 960 pro/evo ssd? I know that laptop supports NVMe, but what about thermal and power management?


P.S. added new question -


I'm trying to swap out the internal 512GB M.2 SSD that Lenovo puts in the P51S for the boot drive to a 1TB Samsung 960 EVO M.2. I made a USB Recovery USB (Lenovo Recovery) from the original 512, put in the new 1TB and Recovery fails. It starts but then spits back "Recovery failed" in the dialogue after I accept the agreement. Any ideas why the EVO 960 would fail or Lenovo Recovery won't see the drive? Recovery sees it fine with the 512, but swap it out for the EVO, and no joy. Could really use some advice if anyone has experience with this.


I always order my Lenovo Thinkpads with a minimal spining disk, then upgrade to the SSD of my choice. With my P70, and others Thinkpads over the years, I use Paragon Software's Hard Disk Manager to first clone the entire disk that ships with the Thinkpad, then set up any additional partitions that I might want. For example a data partition that will be drive D:, leaving the boot partition as C: and I retain the recovery partitions from the original Lenovo provided disk.


In addition, I usually setup a dual boot scenario. For instance, my P70 came with Windows 7 Pro, so I created a new partition to install Windows 10 Pro on.  Paragon's HD Manager Pro version is under $99 and also a great backup solution.  I also use Samsung SSDs.  On the P series Thinkpads, why not install the Samsung PCIe super high speed SSDs?  Your P51s will love you for it.


Hi podehnal thanks for the reply.

The P51S we ordered only comes M.2 SSD / PCIe NVMe, PCIe with a 512GB installed, so yes, I'm using that already. The problem is when I went to swap it out after I made a copy of the Recovery Disk to USB, then put the new 960EVO in, Recovery starts fine, then when it asks for the Agreement OK, I do so, click next and it gives an error "Recovery Failed".  I shouldn't have to use a third party disk tool, as Lenovo Recovery Disk should just re-imaged the drive in place. I've done it for years on SATA Thinkpads, swapping spinners for SATA SSD's using Recovery, however this PCIe SSD swap isn't working. So I'm stumped a bit.



Samsung has recently released new series of their NVMe SSDs - 970 EVO and 970 PRO. Both support Opal. I wonder is Thermal management supported on these? 


I would also like to know if the new Samsung NVMe SSD 970 PRO will work on my P51 - including thermal and power management support. Can Lenovo provide an opinion here?


I just bought the 1 TB NVMe Samsung 970 Pro for my P70 but am a little concerned about whether to try it or just return it -- so far, there has been no authoritative response to my questions about any compatibility, heat or other issues.


Anyone have experience with the 970 series?


If you end up giving the 970 Pro a try, I'd love to hear how it goes. I'd like to put one in the 2nd bay of my P51.


OK, I finally installed the 1 TB 970 Pro.  


The only issues I had during installation were associated with recovering a previously-recorded disk image from a Macrium Reflect USB -- apparently, the NVME drivers are not part of the WinPE boot package. 


So, I used the Lenovo Restore USB Stick -- took forever but loaded Windows 10, original 2015 version, which I then had to update manually to the April 2018 distro as Windows update wouldn't patch it automatically.


According to Crystal DiskMark, the SSD is about twice as fast as the original 512 GB Lenovo OEM 950.  While running normal Windows apps, it seems actually slower that under Windows 7 on the original drive, especially after prolonged use.  This might be a Windows issue or might be thermal throttling, I really can't tell as apps which I imagine are CPU bound start to slow down significantly (but there is not much disk activity.)


So, the jury is still out on this one.





Samsung 970 Evo 2TB in Thinkpad T580 here

Clean install of Windows 10 x64 1804 went through without a hitch, system feels snappier than with Intel 760p 512GB and generally haven't met any problem. 




Perhaps one strange thing - I get 100 % CPU usage during certain CrystalDiskMark tests, 4KiB Q8T8 for instance. The results are then heavily influenced what power profile is currently set.

Is it normal with fast NVMes? Or is it a driver issue? This reminds me past days of PIO vs UDMA access.





I could not locate the original Crystal Diskmark for my cleanly installed Win 10 on the Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB drive.  At the time of its purchase, the 2 TB 970 EVO was not available -- I would have likely chosen that one instead for the double capacity.


For reference,  I just ran Crystal again (on a well-used drive), data below.  My machine is a P70 with Xeon 1505 and 64 GB of ECC RAM.  I hope this is interesting and useful:


970 Pro Win 10.PNG


I've bought a ADATA SSD 512GB XPG SX8200 Pro. It installs fine in our P50 (20EN) - and the BIOS test passes everytime (although it only takes ~3s)... However, Windows still refuse to install on the disk. And when/if the drive list of the installer is refreshed, the drive always disappears! :-(

I struggle to find the cause of the problem. I've tried the disk in a PCIe adapter card on a desktop - and here Windows installs without any problems. So the disk is not all bad. I've thought about trying another disk (not an official Lenovo part, though, they are not inside our budget!) - but I'm quite nervous this might actually be a general Lenovo compatibility problem (deliberate or not! ;-)...


@Gnyff - Did you get your ADATA drive to work with the P50 notebook?


I am looking to add the following:


    ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1TB 3D NAND NVMe Gen3x4 PCIe M.2 2280 Solid State Drive R/W 3500/3000MB/s SSD (ASX8200PNP-1TT-C)






Nope, I ended up returning it and bought an Samsung 970 Evo Plus that worked without a hitch. (I wish I had started there - wasted A LOT of time on the Adata!)

I do suspect there's actually an incompatibility issue between Lenovo (at least the P50) and the Adata SX8200... But then again, I've only tried a single part!




PS: The original 512GB Samsung SATA type is now in the second slot. I will probably be exchanged for a larger Intel P660 if nothing better (=better longevity and similar or better price/performance) comes up before it's getting cramped... ;-)