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trackpointer
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎02-29-2016
Location: Alameda
Views: 6,049
Message 1 of 25

Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

I wasted a frustrating 40 minutes with Lenovo tech support trying to elicit answers to these simple questions.

 

Trackpoint

 

Historically, Linux support for Trackpoints has been hit or miss. Consider these two FRU IDs: 

40K9400 is pre-Lenovo IBM USB keyboard with Ultranav (pad and Trackpoint). It is essentially impossible to change the Trackpoint sensitivity in Linux. It just shows up as a (very stiff) PS2 mouse. 

55Y9003 (using it now) is a Lenovo USB keyboard with only Trackpoint. When plugged in, shows a "sensitivity" file on sysfs, where you can write 255 to get a good pliable mouse. On my current keyboard the path is 

/sys/devices/pci0000:00/0000:00:14.0/usb2/2-2/2-2:1.1/0003:17EF:6009.0056/sensitivity (will change after each USB plugin).

 

Without the sensitivity tweak, Trackpoints are terrible in Linux, as bad as the pathetic lookalikes on HP and Dell and Toshiba laptops. A lot of people buy Thinkpads for Trackpoint and Linux. Lenovo should publish details of Trackpoint chipset and how to reliably control sensitivity from Linux. I tested the first Trackpoint before it was released to market, and contributed code to a Linux trackpoint driver, so I feel strongly about this. Take away the Trackpoint in Linux and there's no good reason for me to choose T460 over MBP15.

 

 

Storage options

 

Apparently T460s has a full-length mSATA connector on the motherboard, but no 2.5 inch HDD/SSD bay. Lenovo gives you up to 512 GB SSD in the mSATA format, although 1 TB mSATA SSDs are readily available. The T460 case is more murky. There is a 2.5 inch HDD/SSD bay, but there is also a m.2 2242 slot that is normally used for WWAN, but some claim can fit some selected SSDs. No one knows if a mSATA SSD will work in there or not. The problem is that Lenovo is offering at most 512 GB storage, whereas in both formats, 1 TB and even 2 TB SSDs are readily available. Why not publish detailed bay/slot specs and some supported third party SSD cards/disks? Lenovo does not really need to be Apple to succeed.

 

Ideally, Lenovo should sell these units without a HDD/SSD. Many buyers do not need Windows, and can install the largest SSDs they need.

dwenfoo88
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: St. Nowhere
Views: 6,016
Message 2 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

So it is safe to assume that a Samsung 950 PRO M.2 512GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MZ-V5P512BW would work in the T460s.

Correct?

trackpointer
Fanfold Paper
Posts: 16
Registered: ‎02-29-2016
Location: Alameda
Views: 5,987
Message 3 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

No, as far as I know, no one authorized by Lenovo is issuing compatibility statements like that. Your only hope is that someone who owns a unit notes down the full model number of the laptop and the full model number of the HDD/SSD found compatible, and that you can trust that person.

 

Meanwhile, I have a 2003 IBM Thinkpad X40 which is still running fine. It has been disassembled by me to the motherboard twice, with the help of online documents.

dwenfoo88
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: St. Nowhere
Views: 5,935
Message 4 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

I think the only worry is the power usage.
The Samsung M.2 SSD uses:
Average: 5.7W
Maximum: 7.0W (Burst mode)
If Lenovo designed their M.2 interface to support a lower max wattage, then you will have problems. Plus, that is a lot of heat. If the SSD is too hot, it will run more slowly due to the "Dynamic Thermal Throttling"


Perhaps someone who owns a T460S would be so kind as to supply the details on their M.2 SSD, so we can look up the specs.

Of course 7 watts will drain the battery. I've never had good luck with Lenovo batteries. My T440s is only two years old and I can only run for about 45 minutes on a full charge (over an hour, if I turn the screen way down). It was fine when it was new. I could replace both batteries, but I don't want to spend the money. I'm rarely far from a power outlet.
PeterB3
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-08-2016
Location: UK
Views: 5,590
Message 5 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

M.2 SSD in my T460s is SM951 NVMe PCIe M.2 512GB  MZVKV512.

 

Lenovo support told me that the WWAN M.2 socket would support a Sata III SSD, so I installed Transcend MTS400 2242 (TS256GMTS400) but it is not detected by Windows or BIOS.  Lenovo support can't help.  Now I am wondering if an alternative ssd would be recognised, but reluctant to spend more.  

dwenfoo88
Paper Tape
Posts: 5
Registered: ‎01-13-2016
Location: St. Nowhere
Views: 5,566
Message 6 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

Thanks for the information. That's a good SSD.  If you can get the Transcend to work, please let us know how you did it.

Bink
Punch Card
Posts: 9
Registered: ‎12-05-2008
Location: Denver, CO
Views: 5,516
Message 7 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s


@dwenfoo88 wrote:

So it is safe to assume that a Samsung 950 PRO M.2 512GB PCI-Express 3.0 x4 MZ-V5P512BW would work in the T460s.


I use this exact SSD in my T460s.  Zero issues.

fcozapata
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-13-2016
Location: El Paso, TX
Views: 5,314
Message 8 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

You silly, the WWAN socket is a miniPCIe socket not compatible with M.2

They look the same but they are wired and function differently.

Plug the Transcend MTS400 2242 (TS256GMTS400) SSD in the M.2 socket and it will work, but perhaps you might

want to save that socket for a much bigger drive like the Samsung 850 EVO M.2 SSD.

For the miniPCIe socket you can use an mSata drive like Samsung 850 EVO mSATA 2-Inch SSD.

 

PeterB3
Paper Tape
Posts: 3
Registered: ‎03-08-2016
Location: UK
Views: 5,267
Message 9 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

Hmm, the WWAN socket in my T460s is M.2 with 75 pins, and will fit a 2242 card. .  There is another M.2 socket that contains the 2280 Samsung SSD (see previous post for spec).

 

My understanding of "miniPCIe" socket is 30mm width and 52 pins,

fcozapata
What's DOS?
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎03-13-2016
Location: El Paso, TX
Views: 5,258
Message 10 of 25

Re: Trackpoint in Linux; mSATA and SATA in T460 T460s

Port references taken from the Wikipedia...

 

The SSD M.2 Port in the Thinkpad T460s:

M.2, formerly known as the Next Generation Form Factor (NGFF), is a specification for internally mounted computer expansion cards and associated connectors. It replaces the mSATA standard, which uses thePCI Express Mini Card physical card layout and connectors. Computer bus interfaces provided through the M.2 connector are PCI Express 3.0 (up to four lanes), Serial ATA 3.0, and USB 3.0 (a single logical port for each of the latter two). It is up to the manufacturer of the M.2 host or device to select which interfaces are to be supported, depending on the desired level of host support and device type. The M.2 connector has different keying notches that denote various purposes and capabilities of M.2 hosts and modules, preventing plugging of M.2 modules into feature-incompatible host connectors.

 

I have personally verified that the Thinkpad T460s supports the following two types of M.2 SSDs:

- Samsung 950 PRO PCIe NVMe M.2 2280 Form Factor

- Samsung 850 EVO SATA6 M.2 2280 Form Factor

It should also support:

- Any other SATA6 / NMVE M.2 2280 Form Factor

- Any M.2 2230/2242/2260 with the proper extender board to 2280 (Transcend MTS400 2242 for example).

 

The PCI Express Mini Card Port (WWAN) in the Thinkpad T460s:

PCI Express Mini Card (also known as Mini PCI Express, Mini PCIe, Mini PCI-E, mPCIe, and PEM), based on PCI Express, is a replacement for the Mini PCI form factor. It is developed by the PCI-SIG. The host device supports both PCI Express and USB 2.0 connectivity, and each card may use either standard. Most laptop computers built after 2005 use PCI Express for expansion cards; however, as of 2015, many vendors are moving toward using the newer M.2 form factor for this purpose.

Physical dimensions
Dimensions of PCI Express Mini Cards are 30 × 50.95 mm (width × length) for a Full Mini Card. There is a 52-pin edge connector, consisting of two staggered rows on a 0.8 mm pitch. Each row has eight contacts, a gap equivalent to four contacts, then a further 18 contacts. Boards have a thickness of 1.0 mm, excluding the components. A "Half Mini Card" (sometimes abbreviated as HMC) is also specified, having approximately half the physical length of 26.8 mm.

Mini-SATA (mSATA) variant
Despite sharing the Mini PCI Express form factor, an mSATA slot is not necessarily electrically compatible with Mini PCI Express. For this reason, only certain notebooks are compatible with mSATA drives. Most compatible systems are based on Intel's Sandy Bridge processor architecture, using the Huron River platform. Notebooks like Lenovo's ThinkPad T, W and X series, released in March–April 2011, have support for an mSATA SSD card in their WWAN card slot. The ThinkPad Edge E220s/E420s, and the Lenovo IdeaPad Y460/Y560 also support mSATA.

 

I am currently in the process of verifying if the following mSata drive works in the WWAN port:

- Samsung 850 EVO 500 GB mSATA 2-Inch SSD (MZ-M5E500BW)

 

Will post back once I get it in my hands and I am able to confirm this.

I am also in the process of benchmarking these drives and preliminary real life usage tests show a 3-5% performance difference between the Samsung 950 PRO PCIe NVMe and the Samsung 850 EVO SATA6.

My advice go with the cheapest one, possibly an mSata if my findings are succesful next Wednesday...

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