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devhack2
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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎06-28-2016
Location: US
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Message 1 of 10

P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

This is just my experience and potential issues with 3 Samsung drives installed and functioning well in my P50 for the last 5 weeks. Due to the press of business, I'm unlikely to be able to respond to questions or requests for further information, but I'll make an attempt to do so.

 

The 3 drives (960 PRO 1TB, 960 EVO 1TB, 840 EVO 1TB) are configured per the right-hand part of the figure on page 67 of the P50 Hardware Maintenance Manual as follows:

 

P50 Samsung SSD Config.jpg

After some online research and a conversation with Samsung Tech Support, I've tentatively concluded the following:

  1. After the drives were installed, hard disk passwords showed up in the BIOS, indicating and confirmed by the conversation with Samsung that the drives are hardware encrypted following entering of passwords for each drive. (Passwords are prompted at boot-up.)
  2. Though Amy with Lenovo has indicated in another thread that Lenovo Thinkpads do not support thermal or power management for these drives, though the drives are capable of such, the conversation with Samsung Tech Support confirms that the 960 PRO/EVO drives will throttle back upon reaching certain temperatures, doing so independent of the computer/BIOS in which they are installed. I have not tested this capability, but the drives maintain temperatures between 36 and 43 degrees C under normal operating conditions.

I wanted to reconcile the physical drives with the BIOS encryption passwords, as well as determine how the drives performed and were referenced in the BIOS, Windows 10 Disk Management and Magician software. Hence, the following matrix: (Windows 10 Pro was clean-installed on the 960 PRO)

P50 Samsung SSD Parameters.jpg

 

Comments on the above matrix:

  1. Per the Magician and Crystal Disk Mark performance figures, as well as comments on various non-Lenovo forums indicating same, the 960 Pro is underperforming both its own specs and those of the 960 Evo.
  2. Although likely inconsequential, naming of the drives in Windows 10 Disk Management Properties is inconsistent; note that the 960 Evo name contains “NVME” (ok), “SCSI,” but no “Evo” or “1TB,” whereas the other 2 drive names contain “Pro” or “Evo,” and the 960 Pro drive name omits any reference to “NVME.”

It would be great if someone else with these same concerns would also call Samsung Tech Support to confirm my take-aways from the conversation that I had with them, especially apparent thermal management with drive throttling that is independent of the computer and BIOS.

 

I will also be pursuing the apparent underperforming 960 PRO 1TB with Samsung and elsewhere when I have time.

 

It would also be helpful if Lenovo (Amy?) could comment on the above, as well, especially if Lenovo anticipates better support of the 960 drives’ power and thermal management features. In addition, there are a few requests on the forums as to the 960 series compatibility with the P70; if the above configuration functions well on the P50, is it likely to do so on the P70? (I would think so, pending updated BIOS, etc.)

improwise
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Message 2 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

This post really should have more thanks than it does. Really interesting. And it is shocking that even one month later Lenovo has not bottered to comment on it, even though devhack2 has put a lot of work into this post and the work leading up to it.

 

Devhack2:

Just to confirm, you have been able to get the SED of the Samsung drives to work, have you also tried using the eDrive functionality in combination with BitLocker (if you run Windows that is)?

improwise
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Message 3 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

Deleted, forum crashed.

devhack2
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Message 4 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

Improwise,

 

Thanks for the Kudo and good thoughts.

 

No, I have not tried the eDrive functionality, as I was attempting to get full hardware encryption on all drives. On my call to Samsung Tech Support, they confirmed that if I got BIOS hard drive password options, entered passwords for the three drives, and then got prompted for those passwords upon bootup, the self-encryption was in place and operational. Also, per my original post, they also confirmed (they checked 2nd tier support to be sure) that the drives were thermal self-throttling independent of the BIOS, OS and hardware. But, there is likely more than simple throttling involved with thermal management.

 

What would still be good to hear from Lenovo is that they have plans for a BIOS update that will provide further thermal monitoring and power management for the drives. According to Samsung, the Lenovo BIOS just has to interface with the correct "ports" on the drives.

 

As you know, Lenovo's response for the last several months has been to purchase Lenovo-provided SSDs. Problem is that pricing fluctuates wildly, and Lenovo Parts Ordering can't tell you the model of the drive you're buying.

devhack2
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Message 5 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

Improwise,

 

Forgot to add an update. The Samsung 960 Pro 1TB that is my boot drive continues to underperform its own specs, as well as underperform the 960 Evo 1TB, this according to both the Samsung Magician software (Performance Benchmark tests) and CrystalDiskMark. I need to take this issue up elsewhere, including with Samsung. I may wait for the next Samsung driver update.

improwise
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Message 6 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed


@devhack2 wrote:

Improwise,

 

Forgot to add an update. The Samsung 960 Pro 1TB that is my boot drive continues to underperform its own specs, as well as underperform the 960 Evo 1TB, this according to both the Samsung Magician software (Performance Benchmark tests) and CrystalDiskMark. I need to take this issue up elsewhere, including with Samsung. I may wait for the next Samsung driver update.


What kind of speeds do you get?

improwise
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Message 7 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed


@devhack2 wrote:

No, I have not tried the eDrive functionality, as I was attempting to get full hardware encryption on all drives. On my call to Samsung Tech Support, they confirmed that if I got BIOS hard drive password options, entered passwords for the three drives, and then got prompted for those passwords upon bootup, the self-encryption was in place and operational. Also, per my original post, they also confirmed (they checked 2nd tier support to be sure) that the drives were thermal self-throttling independent of the BIOS, OS and hardware. But, there is likely more than simple throttling involved with thermal management.

Actually, it seems like Samsung never added any eDrive support to the Samsung 960 Evo/Pro so that is a no go Smiley Sad

 

Am I correct to assume that you only need to enter these passwords on boot,  but not when resuming from standby etc?

axiomoixa
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Message 8 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

Thanks for the write up.

I am using two 960 Pro myself.

However, Magician5 fails to recognise anything, and I get DRIVER_POWER_STATE_FAILURE BSOD from time to time.

Do you experience any issues like that?

devhack2
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Message 9 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

axiomoixa,

 

Have not experienced any of the issues you're having.

As an aside, I believe that Magician will not recognize any drives that are in a RAID configuration. Additionally, if IRST (Intel Rapid Storage Technology) is installed, that too can cause problems.

Make sure you've got the latest drivers and software from the Samsung site.

axiomoixa
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Message 10 of 10

Re: P50 - Samsung 960 PRO/EVO & 840 EVO Installed

What has Magician provided so far?

Would uninstalling Intel RST help?

My drives are not in RAID

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