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I have a ThinkPad T470p and the SSD I currently have doesn't seem to perform as well as I'd like. I looked inside there is a M.2 slot (currently empty) which seems too short for most M.2 SSDs. There is also a SATA slot that currently has an adapter to PCIe NVMe (I think) which is where my current SSD lives. So it seems my options are:

  1. A short M.2 SSD (maybe 60mm?)
  2. Current adapter-based setup with a faster NVMe SSD
  3. SATA SSD

It is hard for me to believe that going through an adapter could be faster than plain SATA but I don't really understand these new interface standards.

What is my best option for performance?

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According to the ThinkPad T470p Platform Specifications document, there are two M.2 slots:

  • an "M.2 SSD / PCIe NVMe, PCIe 3.0 x 2, 16Gb/s" slot with the comment "System has one HDD slot or one M.2 2280 slot exclusively for storage",
  • and another "128GB M.2 SSD / SATA 6.0Gb/s, in WWAN slot as 2nd Storage, mutually exclusive with WWAN" slot.

So, there is a full M.2 2280 slot (which cannot be used at the same time as the 2.5" SSD/HDD slot, because they occupy the same physical space), which provides a 16Gb/s PCIe 3.0 x2 connection (way faster than a SATA3 with 6Gb/s), and a shorter WWAN M.2 slot, which can be used with smaller (2260) cards, and which provides only SATA connectivity (limited to the standard 6Gb/s speed).

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  • Thanks for the quick answer. I think the specs are wrong / confusing... When I opened up the laptop it looked like the M.2 2280 was via an adapter on the SATA slot. And if it really is via the adapter is it actually possible to take a 6Gb/s interface and make it a 16Gb/s interface? I'll try to get a picture to clarify. – James Ward Mar 16 '18 at 22:04
  • It might be an adapter on a non-standard interface. Check this: forums.lenovo.com/t5/forums/v3_1/forumtopicpage/board-id/… – Laszlo Valko Mar 18 '18 at 3:50
  • Thanks. Those cited speeds through the adapter are really bad, right? – James Ward Mar 18 '18 at 14:04
  • What do you mean? 1500MB/s is way more than SATA3, and that's near the maximum you can get from PCIe 3.0 x2. – Laszlo Valko Mar 18 '18 at 14:13
  • Ah, I missed that this was MB. So if this adapter can somehow do full speed NVMe PCIe 3.0 x 2, then it seems that I just get the fastest SSD for that. Which drives are fastest on that? – James Ward Mar 19 '18 at 15:44

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