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batpot
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Posts: 10
Registered: ‎12-05-2012
Location: US
Views: 20,481
Message 1 of 5

mSata vs mini PCIe

I think I have this right...mini PCIe is for periphery cards (e.g. wifi) but sometimes can be used for SSDs, while mSATA is used for SSDs, and nothing else, right?

The T430s has both a mSATA (for a boot/storage SSD) and a mini PCIe (populated by the wifi module), yes?

 

Tangentaly related...

On eBay, I see there is a 4gb intel "turbo cache" memory module that fits mini PCIe; says it's for Thinkpads T400 and X200. For example:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-4G-4GB-Turbo-Cache-Memory-Half-Size-Mini-PCI-E-Card-For-Thinkpad-T400-...

I assume this module could not be used as a storage or boot drive? Since it says it's for cache, it would get erased upon powering down or restting, yes?

 

I'm scheming on using a small PCIe-based SSD coupled with a full size PCIe adapter card for a simple boot drive on a FreeNAS server.

batpot
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Location: US
Views: 20,471
Message 2 of 5

Re: mSata vs mini PCIe

Now I'm really confused...

http://www.lenovo.com/shop/americas/content/user_guides/t430s_ug_en.pdf

 

"PCI Express Mini Card slot for wireless WAN or mSATA solid state drive
Your computer might have a wireless wide area network (WAN) card installed in the PCI Express Mini
Card slot for wireless WAN connections.
For some models, an mSATA solid state drive might be installed instead of the wireless WAN card for
data storage."

 

I thought mSATA and mini PCIe were different standards!?

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batpot
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Registered: ‎12-05-2012
Location: US
Views: 20,468
Message 3 of 5

Re: mSata vs mini PCIe

wiki comes through...

mSATA


An mSATA SSD on top of a 2.5 inch SATA drive
Mini-SATA, which is distinct from the micro connector, was announced by the Serial ATA International Organization on September 21, 2009.[29] Applications include netbooks and other devices that require a smaller solid-state drive. The connector is similar in appearance to a PCI Express Mini Card interface,[30] and is electrically compatible; however, the data signals (TX±/RX± SATA, PETn0 PETp0 PERn0 PERp0 PCI-express) need connection to the SATA host controller instead of the PCI-express host controller. Due to the absence of a standard for quite some time, there is still some confusion around this subject. For host devices which support either an mSATA SSD or mini-PCIe card interchangeably, this application note from NXP explains how to use a PCI-express/SATA router chip. This chip is essentially a four-channel bi-directional multiplexer. The vast majority of computer motherboards however have single-purpose headers which may support one of either an mSATA SSD or mini-PCIe card, but not both interchangeably.

 

So I'm guessing the Lenovo is interchangable?

jpou
Token Ring
Posts: 80
Registered: ‎07-10-2012
Location: Germany
Views: 20,442
Message 4 of 5

Re: mSata vs mini PCIe

This is bit confusing, but I will try to explain. A computer has sub-system that is responsible for storage and sub-system that is responsible for expansion cards. You can access *both* these systems via single mPCI socket in a computer. If you add WWAN to that socket, it will be accessing expansion card sub-system. If, instead of WWAN card, you will add flash based storage, it will be accessing storage sub-system. This is basically done to allow two kinds of devices use single physical connector.

 

So in T430s you can attach either SSD mSATA drive or WWAN mPCI card into same physical socket.

---
T430s (i7 / HD+ / Intel 520 SSD / 16 GB Ram)
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batpot
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Message 5 of 5

Re: mSata vs mini PCIe

yes, and the confusion is compounded because the physical interface is identical, while the functional/electrical interface is different. But thank you for confirming my suspicion that the lenovo can handle BOTH.

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