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M900 Tower & SFF: Samsung M.2 NVMe SSD 960 970 - how to install, check throughput (PCIe card)

2017-02-07, 15:33 PM

Hello,

 

I have a M900 and an Samsung NVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2. On the Aminboard is a slot for a M.2 device. This is not the right one for the Samsung SSD. So I have bought an adapter (aqua computer - kyroM.2 PCIe 3.0 x4 NGFF PCIe SSD, M-Key mit Passivkühler). After installing (PCIeSlot 4x) and booting the SSD is not recognized in the BIOS and in Windows (10 Prof. 64Bit).

Where is the problem? Is the adapter wrong?

 

Mod:  edited the Subject line with a problem description

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-07, 16:26 PM

That card you ordered definitely is not right.

 

I think this StarTech PCIe card is more what you need.

 

Supports PCIe M.2 SSDs

The adapter supports PCIe 3.0 x4 NVMe (M Key) and PCIe-AHCI M.2 SSDs including 2242, 2260, 2280, and 22110 drives. The expansion slot adapter supports the most common drive sizes including 110 mm, 80 mm, 60 mm and 42 mm.

 

 

Here's another card that is also acceptable.

 

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-07, 16:33 PM

OK, thanks.

 

I buy the adapter. After the test I will post the result.

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-07, 16:34 PM

This thread may help getting it operational:   M900: how to boot from M.2 SSD (NVMe)

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 13:32 PM

OK. I've get the adapter.

 

The good news:

the ssd works fine.I had cloned my SATA-SSD with Windows with the Samsung migration tool to the M.2-SSD. The system is booting without any problem. Thanks for that.

 

But is there something to optimize (?):

The adapter is for the PCIe 1x Slot. In the 16x Slot is the graphic-card, the 4x-Slot is free.

Now IO have rum the perfomance Benchmark in the samsung Magican software:

Seq. read MB/s: 898 / write: 768

random (IOPS): read: 211,896 / write: 170,293

 

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 13:44 PM


The adapter is for the PCIe 1x Slot. In the 16x Slot is the graphic-card, the 4x-Slot is free.

 


It can use 4 channels.   Suggest moving it to the x4 slot.  

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 13:49 PM

Yes, that's my plan. But the Adapter dosen't fit to the 4x-Slot.

 

If anyone has a link to the Plan of the mainboard, it will helps me.

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 14:05 PM

Some questions can be answered with the 'Hardware Maintenance Manual' for your system, such as:   What expansion slots do I have?  And what ports, on the back and inside?   Installing memory.   Replacing the CMOS battery.   Adding a second drive.   How to recover from a failed BIOS update?   Go to the Lenovo Support page for your system, select the 'Documentation' tab, and 'Hardware Maintenance Manuals' on the left side. 

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  • Message 9 of 27

Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 14:58 PM

OK. In the manual I find for the slot in which the m.2-ssd is (page 34, No. 24):

PCI Express card slot (physical link width x16, negotiable link width x4, x1

 

This means, that the full speed must be able?

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 15:19 PM

Yes.   Capable, but not must, it is negotiable.   From Wiki:

 

"The PCI Express link between two devices can consist of anywhere from one to 32 lanes. In a multi-lane link, the packet data is striped across lanes, and peak data throughput scales with the overall link width. The lane count is automatically negotiated during device initialization, and can be restricted by either endpoint. For example, a single-lane PCI Express (×1) card can be inserted into a multi-lane slot (×4, ×8, etc.), and the initialization cycle auto-negotiates the highest mutually supported lane count. The link can dynamically down-configure itself to use fewer lanes, providing a failure tolerance in case bad or unreliable lanes are present. The PCI Express standard defines slots and connectors for multiple widths: ×1, ×4, ×8, ×12, ×16 and ×32.[4]:4,5 This allows the PCI Express bus to serve both cost-sensitive applications where high throughput is not needed, as well as performance-critical applications such as 3D graphics, networking (10 Gigabit Ethernet or multiport Gigabit Ethernet), and enterprise storage (SAS or Fibre Channel)."

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  • Message 11 of 27

Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 15:49 PM

I can't remember the specifics, but it may be a cloning issue, and that a fresh OS install would resolve it.  You might contact Samsung to see if they have any information.  

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-09, 18:12 PM

wrote:

Yes, that's my plan. But the Adapter dosen't fit to the 4x-Slot.



I'm sure the second x16 slot in the M900 works exactly the same way it does in other boards, e.g. same as it does in my own new ASUS Z170-Deluxe. These are both Skylake chipset boards.  Even though the PCIe card can physically fit in a shorter X1 slot (from a gold pins point of view), it can also physically fit in the front portion of the longer x16 slot.  And no doubt it can negotiate its x4  speed from there.

 

The PCIe-M.2 daughtercard you bought is really exactly the same as the "Hyper M.2 X4 Mini Card" that came with my ASUS board, and which also can fit into an available x16 negotiable-speed slot.  In fact I did just that when I built my own ASUS-based desktop machine recently, into which I installed a new M.2 Samsung 960 Pro NVMe card for use as my system drive.

 

The expansion slots of my Z170-Deluxe board are described as (there are THREE x16-length slots, potentially two used for dual-graphics SLI at dual x8 configuration, and the third maxed at x4 mode e.g. for this PCIe-M.2 daughtercard):

 

  • Expansion Slots
    2 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (x16 or dual x8)
    1 x PCIe 3.0/2.0 x16 (max at x4 mode)
    4 x PCIe x1

 

I'm sure the M900 motherboard works the same way.  You should install your new daughtercard in the second x16 slot, from which it should negotiate its x4 speed correctly.

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 11:36 AM

wrote:

OK. I've get the adapter.

 

The good news:

the ssd works fine.I had cloned my SATA-SSD with Windows with the Samsung migration tool to the M.2-SSD. The system is booting without any problem. Thanks for that.

 

But is there something to optimize (?):

The adapter is for the PCIe 1x Slot. In the 16x Slot is the graphic-card, the 4x-Slot is free.

Now IO have rum the perfomance Benchmark in the samsung Magican software:

Seq. read MB/s: 898 / write: 768

random (IOPS): read: 211,896 / write: 170,293

 


So? Did you move it to the available x16 slot, so that it can negotiate x4 and run at that performance level?

 

Success?  Much better read/write numbers?

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  • Message 14 of 27

Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 13:05 PM

No. i can't do this. The adpater-Card does not fit in the second slot.

 

Samsung magican says the ssd is in a PCIe Gen. 1 x 4 Slot

 

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 16:05 PM

Those pictures appear to show that you have the second x16 slot also occupied with another card.  In other words it looks like you have three PCIe cards installed: graphics in the top x16, StarTech in the x1, and some other full-size card in the bottom x16 (negotiable x4, x1) slot.  I don't recall you mentioned that.

 

The M900 motherboard only has three PCIe slots:

 

If that second long x16/x4/x1 slot had been available, your StarTech adapter card would have been usable there, and you would then be getting x4 speed performance from your M.2 Evo.

 

But if that slot already has something (second graphics card??) in it, obviously you can't put the StarTech card there and you're limited to x1 speed performance from your M.2 Evo in the x1 slot.  That's really a shame, but if you're forced to do that then you're forced.

 

What is that second big card you have in the lower x16/x4/x1 slot?

 

 

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  • Message 16 of 27

Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 16:16 PM

Slot 26: Graphic-Card

Slot 25: WLAN-Card ( the startec does not fit in this slot, because the slot is too short)

Slot 24: Startec m.2-Card with Samsung SSD

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 16:19 PM

It looks to me that the m.2 SSD carrier card is in the bottom slot, and a wireless card is in the middle slot.  

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 16:41 PM

Oh, well then it looks like you already DO have the StarTech card in the correct x16/x4/x1 slot (24).  I thought I was looking at it inserted in the middle x1 slot (25) and some other card in 24.  But now you say it is the WLAN card which is in the middle (25) and the StarTech card correctly placed in slot 24, which should have been x16/x4/x1.

 

And you show that Magician confirms it. And if the StarTech card is absolutely in slot 24, that IS the correct slot to have installed it in. The WLAN card in 25 is just fine, and unrelated.  The StarTech card in 24 should be giving you x4 performance out of your M.2 960 Evo.

 

And yet the performance is not full x4 performance the slot and card should have been capable of.  It appears to only be x1 performance. You might also try the CrystalMark Disk benchmark program to confirm the numbers Samsung Magician is producing, just to be double-sure it's not performing as expected.

 

I would contact StarTech support, and see if they can explain.

 

 

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 17:09 PM


I had cloned my SATA-SSD with Windows with the Samsung migration tool to the M.2-SSD. The system is booting without any problem.

 

Now IO have rum the perfomance Benchmark in the samsung Magican software:

Seq. read MB/s: 898 / write: 768

random (IOPS): read: 211,896 / write: 170,293

 


After you cloned the drive, did you disconnect the old SATA SSD (data cable - the thick flat black cable) to force the system to boot from the new M.2 drive?   If not, then please do that, you may need to boot it a couple of times to get it to come up, and then rerun the benchmark (keeping the old SATA disconnected.)  

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 17:16 PM

The old ssd is no longer installed in the PC.

 

The system has already rebooted more than 6 times.

 

An this is the benchmark with crystaldiskmark (portable):

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Re: ThinkCentre M900 Desktop SamsungNVMe SSD 960 EVO M.2

2017-02-15, 18:43 PM

For some reason, Samsung Magician is showing your card running at PCIe gen 1, rather than PCIe gen 3.  I think that is the culprit.  I don't know how to explain it, but I believe this is the explanation.  According to the product description: "The adapter is compatible with PCIe 3.0 motherboards and is also backward compatible with PCIe 2.0 and PCIe 1.0."  I can't imagine why it wouldn't be running as PCIe 3.0, but it looks like it's running as PCIe 1.0.

 

As I mentioned, I have a similar daughter card that came with my new ASUS Z170-Deluxe motherboard.  They call theirs "Hyper M.2 x4 Mini Card".  And I did exactly the same thing you did, installing this card in my second available x16/x4/x1 PCIe expansion slot.  I have my own Samsung 960 Pro M.2 NVMe card installed into this daughter card.  I did my own Win7 Pro x64 from-scratch install to my 2.5" Samsung 850 Pro SSD first, and then when I installed the Hyper M.2 x4 Mini Card with the 960 Pro mounted on it I used Macrium Reflect to "clone" the operating Win7 from the 850 Pro over to the 960 Pro.  I left the 850 Pro in my machine (for additional "data" storage), but got into the BIOS to change the boot sequence to boot from the 960 Pro.  I then re-partitioned the 850 Pro for "data", and everything is operating exactly as I wanted.

 

Note what Magician shows my own 960 Pro (installed in the Hyper M.2 x4 Mini Card) to be running as, which is "PCIe gen 3 x4":

 

 

And the performance of my 960 Pro running as PCIe 3.0 x4 is as expected:

 

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