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What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-13, 17:10 PM

Hi all,

 

I know that the P70 ships with two SSD trays, and that the part number for those trays is different for the SATA3 SSDs vs the PCIe SSDs (one tray has a thermal pad and the other does not).  If one doesn't order two SSDs initially what type of tray (SATA or PCIe) do they ship in the empty SSD slot(s)? 

 

If I order one SSD, does the type of SSD that I ordered effect what type the empty tray happens to be?  If so, will the second tray match the first?

 

Thanks!

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-----------IBM T40: XP PRO SP3, 14.1" 4:3 display, 512MB DDR RAM, 40GB HDD, ThinkLight, DVD.
Lenovo Ideacentre H215: AMD Athlon II X2 215, 500GB HDD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 64-bit Win7, AMD 760G.
P50 i7, M2000M, 1x16GB RAM, 1080p, 512GB SSD, 500GB HDD, Backlight, 7Pro.
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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-13, 21:04 PM

You're asking about the P70?  There are no "trays" involved with M.2 drives in the P70.

 

There is simply the M.2 bay, which has two "slots" with PCIe connectors at one end and a pre-installed delivered tightening screw in the screwhole at the other end.  No adapter "tray" is needed since in the P70 the M.2 bay only has a single purpose, i.e. to hold one or two M.2 PCIe drive cards.  There is no alternative use of the bay for a single 2.5" drive.  No special cables for left/right, no trays, no nothing.  The two trays are built exactly as they need to be for the insertion of one or two of these M.2 PCIe drive cards.

 

You simply remove the tightening screw(s) from the slot(s) you want to use, insert your M.2 PCIe card(s) to the connector(s) at that end, and then tighten down the other end using that pre-provided screw(s).

 

And you're done.

 

If you don't order your P70 with an M.2 PCIe or SATA3 drive card which would arrive in these slot(s), you will simply get the two screws pre-installed "empty" in the tightening screwholes.  The delivered HDD spinner will be in the primary 2.5" bay, already wrapped with its own required rubber mounting bracket which is required to secure the 2.5" drive in that primary bay.  You can swap the HDD spinner in the primary 2.5" bay with your own 2.5" SSD if you want to do your own 2.5" spinner->SSD upgrade, transferring the delivered rubber mounting bracket to the new SSD.  Fits perfectly.

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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-13, 22:51 PM

Thank you very much!  I had not realized that the P70 did not need trays, I had erroneously thought that they had trays, but those trays were pre-installed.

 

Is it necessary to add thermal pads to the slot for installing PCIe SSDs?

-----------IBM T40: XP PRO SP3, 14.1" 4:3 display, 512MB DDR RAM, 40GB HDD, ThinkLight, DVD.
Lenovo Ideacentre H215: AMD Athlon II X2 215, 500GB HDD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 64-bit Win7, AMD 760G.
P50 i7, M2000M, 1x16GB RAM, 1080p, 512GB SSD, 500GB HDD, Backlight, 7Pro.
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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-13, 23:51 PM

wrote:

Is it necessary to add thermal pads to the slot for installing PCIe SSDs?


I haven't been inside my P70 since January when I got it and installed my own two Samsung 950 Pro M.2 PCIe cards (non-RAID), but as I recall there were two thermal pads already pre-stuck onto the bottom of the each slot area in the M.2 bay.

 

So you just remove the tightening screw from the hole at that end of the bay/slot, insert the card into the PCIe connector at that connector end of the slot, and it will be slightly elevated because of underside pressure from the thermal pad on the bottom of that slot.  You simply push down the other raised end of the card (over the thermal pad) so that it's now horizontal and resting on the thermal pad, and then insert the tightening screw through the half-circle slot at the end of the card and down into the screwhole in the plastic chassis at that end of the slot.

 

Really, there's nothing to it.  And the two thermal pads are already pre-stuck in the two slots of the M.2 bay in the P70.

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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-14, 5:47 AM
Thank you very much!
And if I later installed a SATA3 SSD, I could (if necessary) easily remove said thermal pad to make the SSD level.
-----------IBM T40: XP PRO SP3, 14.1" 4:3 display, 512MB DDR RAM, 40GB HDD, ThinkLight, DVD.
Lenovo Ideacentre H215: AMD Athlon II X2 215, 500GB HDD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 64-bit Win7, AMD 760G.
P50 i7, M2000M, 1x16GB RAM, 1080p, 512GB SSD, 500GB HDD, Backlight, 7Pro.
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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-14, 6:55 AM

wrote:

And if I later installed a SATA3 SSD, I could (if necessary) easily remove said thermal pad to make the SSD level.

I can't answer this, because I only have NVMe cards, not SATA3 cards.  I thought the only real physical difference was the single-notch PCIe connector for NVMe, and the double-notch PCIe connecter for SATA3.

 

But otherwise, I thought the physical dimension specs were identical: 3.16 x 0.09 x 0.87 inches for both the 950 Pro NVMe as well as for the 850 EVO SATA3.

 

So I don't know why you would think you have to remove said thermal pad in order to use the less expensive but slower SATA3 card.  But again, I don't have firsthand knowledge here because I installed two NVMe cards myself.

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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-14, 22:30 PM
I was thinking that because of the info elsewhere* that basically said that if the thermal pad was in place, it would damage the PCIe SSD. But that was referring to the trays, so hopefully it wouldn't apply to the P70, which doesn't have said trays.

I am afraid my pockets aren't deep enough at present to order PCIe SSDs if I order a m3000m. :( But it seems that (comparatively) the m3000m (vs m600m) is a much better (return on dollar) upgrade than PCIe SSDs (vs SATA3 SSDs).

(*https://forums.lenovo.com/t5/ThinkPad-P-and-W-Series-Mobile/P50-buyer-remorse/m-p/3380641#M61572)
-----------IBM T40: XP PRO SP3, 14.1" 4:3 display, 512MB DDR RAM, 40GB HDD, ThinkLight, DVD.
Lenovo Ideacentre H215: AMD Athlon II X2 215, 500GB HDD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 64-bit Win7, AMD 760G.
P50 i7, M2000M, 1x16GB RAM, 1080p, 512GB SSD, 500GB HDD, Backlight, 7Pro.
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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-14, 23:57 PM

I too was concerned about cost for my P70 configuration, and made some purchasing decisions based on my own realistic needs.  I opted to buy things from Lenovo when that was "required", but to buy things 3rd-party retail myself and install them myself in order to save money and yet still get everything I really needed and wanted.  

 

Obviously, do-it-yourself is not an option everyone wants to pursue, especially since there is no Lenovo warranty for these items.  But if you have experience in these matters, and if cost concerns are real, this might be an alternative for you to consider.  Think of each item in your potential machine configuration if purchased from Lenovo or not, and what that means in the overall plan.

 

For example, like you I decided I wanted to go with an M3000M graphics.  That's a $290 upgrade today over the M600M.  I went with the M3000M, although when I bought my P70 it was a $600 decision.

 

I had no interest in a touch screen, but did consider a 4K non-touch screen.  The 4K non-touch screen is a $260 upgrade today over the standard 1920x1080 FHD non-touch (although when I bought my P70 it was a $500 alternative), plus another $70 for the mandatory color-sensor (which my advice is that you should save your money on this if you can, and instead invest a bit more money on a "real" external calibration unit such as X-Rite i1Display Pro which you'll be able to use for other computers and monitors).  I went with the standard FHD non-touch screen, and am totally satisfied for my own needs.  I actually did go with the built-in color sensor in my P70, but was dissatisfied with its performance and shortly after discovering this did, in fact, buy an X-Rite i1Display Pro which I'm completely happy with.

 

I would have liked a much faster CPU if the cost were not prohibitive, but in the end decided that I certainly had no need for an expensive Xeon processor (originally only 1505 and now the 1575 is available).  I further decided that for my own needs I didn't even need the performance of the 6820, and in the end decided just to stay with the stock 6700 and apply the savings to other items I really needed.  

 

I wanted 16GB (2x8GB, for dual-mode memory operation) of memory for my pre-installed Win7 ($30).  Initially Lenovo was charging $120 for the 16GB configuration (1x16GB) vs. the standard 8GB (1x8GB) configuration, both of which are single-card Samsung memory options that produce single-mode memory operation. Today that 1x16GB Samsung price is down to $75 but it's still single-mode memory operation.  I decided to go with another 8GB card from Crucial for $45, and install it myself to produce 2x8GB=16GB in dual-mode memory mode.

 

I initially believed I wanted to go with PCIe NVMe SSD (in one M.2 slot) to be my boot drive, but didn't want to pay the prices Lenovo was asking.  When I placed my order the Lenovo price was from $400 to $1000 depending on type and size SSD.  I believe that even the SATA3 SSD's come installed in the M.2 bay if I'm not mistaken, rather than the SATA3 SSD coming in the 2.5" form in the primary bay.  I didn't know that at the time (but I think that's true), but it was mostly the price which concerned me.

 

So instead, I opted to just accept the standard 2.5" 500GB HDD spinner in the primary bay, not even upgrading to the 2.5" 1TB version ($40 upgrade over 500GB).  That meant Win7 would come pre-installed on this HDD spinner.  I separately purchased a 512GB Samsung Pro PCIe-NVMe M.2 drive (currently $340 on Amazon) and installed it myself in the NVMe0 M.2 slot of the P70.  I used Macrium Reflect to "clone" Win7 over from the Lenovo-delivered factory 500GB HDD spinner to the 512GB 950 Pro, and re-purposed the HDD spinner for use as a second "data" drive.  So I now had 1TB total storage on two drives, one PCIe-NVMe and one 2.5" HDD spinner.

 

Remember that by going with an HDD spinner as a pre-installed hard drive, this will also automatically give you the required rubber mounting bracket for 2.5" drives in the primary bay, which can then be removed and used to install a replacement 2.5" SSD in the primary bay down the road, if you want to make that upgrade eventually (as I did).  Otherwise, if you want to put a 2.5" SSD into the empty primary bay later you'll need to also purchase the "mounting kit" from Lenovo ($15) to get that required rubber adapter bracket part.

 

My do-it-yourself P70 project went so well that I eventually installed a second 512GB 950 Pro PCIe-NVMe drive for additional "data" (non-RAID) in the second M.2 slot, and eventually replaced the Lenovo-provided 2.5" 500GB HDD spinner in the primary bay with a 2.5" Samsung SATA3 850 Pro SSD.  So I'm now all solid state with three physical drives (one 2.5" and two M.2).  I also installed Win10 (also booting from NVMe) as a second bootable Windows option, although Win7 is still my "production" environment.

 

I've had experience building computers myself and upgrading vendor-bought computers to add graphics cards, additional hard drives and memory, etc., so purchasing exactly the hardware upgrade items I wanted and doing whatever hardware/surgery is required is of no concern.  I realize I have taken responsibility for non-Lenovo diagnosis and problem solving should any be required, but so far nothing's happened requiring Lenovo support for the Lenovo-purchased items (which I did opt for the 3yr extended warranty, for the P70 itself).

 

I only relate my story to suggest that while many want to buy a fully-integrated full-tested and fully-warrantied finished product from Lenovo, there is a price for these guarantees. At least to some degree do-it-yourself is a genuine alternative option.

 

Just a thought.

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Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-15, 4:00 AM

thank you very much for your wisdom and advice.  Thank you also for not being one who says that you must have the best, regardless of price, unlike some people I know.  Indeed, I catch myself falling into that trap from time to time.

 

My confidence is such that I would prefer to have lenovo install some of the trickier items, just so that they are covered by the accidental damage warranty.

 

My goal is to buy a cheap-ish top-of-the-line laptop that will, when compared to your run-of-the-mill office store's shelf product, still be competent in 3-4 years, relevant in 5-6 years, and still in the conversation in 7+ years (albeit only moderate compared to the average models of that time). 

 

If I go with the P70, I am expecting to go with the i7-6700hq, as I do not see the need for my purposes for anything faster at the present time.  Even if I did, the faster ones are too pricey for me.  Even the i7-6700hq scores a respectable 10 out of 10 on game-debate.com's review of it compared to other modern processors.

 

Because I do not care for Win10, I would pay $30 for Win7 Pro (free upgrade to 10 later, plus Win7 now).

 

I myself see no need for a 4k screen at present.  If i do eventually need one, my dad recommends buying an external monitor as that way I could get a 22"+ screen for less money than lenovo wants for a 4K screen.  The price of such a monitor would continue to fall between now and when I would need it, thus saving money in the long run.  Also, there are so many complaints about the 4K screen, and it is such new technology, that I would be more comfortable with the older, tested 1080p screen.

 

I would pay the $290 for the M3000M as it is substantially better than the m600m, which is designed for a 15" laptop.  The m4000m and m5000m do not offer enough return for their price, especially since there are reports of them throttling below the m3000m's platform if they overheat.

 

Like you, I want to spend extra to get my ram into dual-channel mode.  Unlike you, however, I do not want to tackle the surgery required to remove the keyboard, so I am willing to spend the $310 to upgrade to two RAM chips, leaving the two chips on the bottom empty for future additions, as needed/wanted.

 

I will probably take the advice of you and several others and skip the color calibrator (thus saving $70), especially as some say that it is only necessary for a 4K screen, and that modifying the ICC profile will help just as much.

 

If Lenovo still offered the option of removing the camera and/or mic to save money, I would do so.

 

My goal is to have two hard drives--a 512GB SSD (probably SATA3 because of money) for the OS (Win7) and most programs, and a 500GB spinner for documents, pictures, and someday maybe even Win10.  That way I wouldn't have to mess with partitions, and if the OS drive fails, I wouldn't lose my docs.  The drive without the OS wouldn't be accessed as often, and thus it would not need to be an SSD, at least initially.  (Our newest PC at 3yrs old has a 7200rpm spinner, which is the fastest I have ever used extensively.)  This would (as you said) have the added benefit of including the 2.5" bracket.

Thus, I would spend $110 for a 512 SATA3 SSD, and $140-180 for an HDD (either 500GB@7200rpm or 1TB@5400rpm).  Lenovo has comfirmed that they always install the OS onto an SSD, if one is ordered.

Currently, the 256GB PCIe SSD is $500 (vs the no SSD configuration), and the 512GB SATA3 SSD is only $10 more.

The total cost of this config adds $250-ish over the default 256GB SATA3 SSD.

 

I use my optical drive extensively.  In fact, my secondary reason for choosing the P70 over the P50 (with the primary reason being vertical height) is the fact that the optical drive is contained, not seperate.  In the interest of future-proofing the machine, I might order the optical bay to HD adapter.

 

I am looking at the 3yr Accidental damage, NBD warranty.  I would love it if it had Keep Your Drive, but it does not.  I do not see the need for a sealed battery warranty.  For $30, however, it might be worth it.

 

I was thinking of getting Cyberlink's video editor, but they removed that option.

 

I expect to spend ~$100 for a case and sleeve, thus raising the total cost to what is for me a whopping sum: $3023.10+tax and shipping.  This would be about $880+case+warranty+tax/shipping more than the standard p70 (ram@310, GPU @290, OS@30, drives @250). 

Two weeks ago, the base price was $300 cheaper, so maybe the Labor Day sale will bring the price down to reasonable levels again.

 

For that money, I would be better off skipping the HDD, buying the $15 bracket, and installing a secondary drive myself.

-----------IBM T40: XP PRO SP3, 14.1" 4:3 display, 512MB DDR RAM, 40GB HDD, ThinkLight, DVD.
Lenovo Ideacentre H215: AMD Athlon II X2 215, 500GB HDD, 4GB DDR3 RAM, 64-bit Win7, AMD 760G.
P50 i7, M2000M, 1x16GB RAM, 1080p, 512GB SSD, 500GB HDD, Backlight, 7Pro.
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  • Message 10 of 10

Re: What type of SSD trays is the P70 shipped with?

2016-08-26, 22:34 PM

Remember too, if you are a student, you may qualify for an academic discount to make the purchase a bit easier on the wallet.

 

Check with both your college and Lenovo to see if such an accommodation is available.

______________________________________________
P70, Xeon 1505 CPU, 64 GB ECC RAM, Samsung 970 Pro 1 TB + 512 GB NVMe Drives, 1 TB HDD, DVD-RW, 4 K Display, NVIDIA Quadro M4000
W700 model 2757-CTO (8 GB RAM, Crucial MX-100 SSD + Hitachi TravelStar 1 TB 7200 RPM Drives, Bluray R/W, NVIDIA Quadro FX3700M, WUXGA); Windows 7 Ultimate SP-1, W700 Mini-Dock
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