Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

General Questions, Rumors, Real news & More
Post Reply
Message
Author
yttriumtyclief
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Location: Washington, NJ

New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#1 Post by yttriumtyclief » Wed Jan 29, 2020 4:56 pm

Hey all, I just wanted to let everyone know that there's a new ThinkPad mod that lets you use an M.2 NVMe SSD in 2008-2013 ThinkPads. I made a reddit post about it, and I'd be happy to answer any questions to have here.

The short of it:
  • Capacities up to 2TB (Sabrent Rocket 2242)
  • Speeds up to 500MB/s (roughly SATA3)
  • Hotswappable
  • Bootable without BIOS mods
Compatible ThinkPads:
  • ExpressCard 34: T400s, T410/s, T420/s, T430/s, T510, T520, T530, W510, W520, W530, W540, W700/ds, W701/ds, P50, P51, P70, P71
  • ExpressCard 54: R51e, R52, R60, R61, R400, R500, T43/p, T60/p, T61/p, T400, T500, Z60m, Z61m, W500, X200/s/t, X20/s/t, X220/t, X230/t

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2608
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:45 pm

1. Any plans to make an oversize one for M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs? M.2 2242 NVMe SSDs are kinda rare where I live.

2. How about the X61, X61s, and X61T, which don't have Expresscard but have a full-length WWAN slot with both PCIe and USB signals wired in?
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

yttriumtyclief
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Location: Washington, NJ

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#3 Post by yttriumtyclief » Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:14 pm

axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:45 pm
1. Any plans to make an oversize one for M.2 2280 NVMe SSDs? M.2 2242 NVMe SSDs are kinda rare where I live.
No, as it currently stands the chassis is completely exposed at the top. It would also protrude the outside of the case by another 40mm, which seems a bit excessive to me, sorry. I couldn't even fit 2260 due to the space constraints imposed by the EC standard.
axur-delmeria wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 9:45 pm
2. How about the X61, X61s, and X61T, which don't have Expresscard but have a full-length WWAN slot with both PCIe and USB signals wired in?
While mPCI-E to M.2 adapters exist, they're all designed for E-key modules (WLAN). I could theoretically make one for M.2, but is there even enough physical space?

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2608
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#4 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:22 am

yttriumtyclief wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:14 pm
No, as it currently stands the chassis is completely exposed at the top. It would also protrude the outside of the case by another 40mm, which seems a bit excessive to me, sorry. I couldn't even fit 2260 due to the space constraints imposed by the EC standard.
Fair enough.
yttriumtyclief wrote:
Wed Jan 29, 2020 11:14 pm
While mPCI-E to M.2 adapters exist, they're all designed for E-key modules (WLAN). I could theoretically make one for M.2, but is there even enough physical space?
How about a 2-PCB design like this one: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07KX7JZYK/ and just sacrifice the Cardbus slot.
Image


Is a compact design like this mSATA to M.2 SSD possible, but with the low-profile M.2 connector like in your proposed design: https://www.amazon.com/GODSHARK-mSATA-A ... B07QQJHXWV

Or just ditch the idea and just make an expresscard slot like these madlads from the german thinkpad forums: https://translate.google.com/translate? ... rev=search though I'm nowhere near good enough to pull it off. :oops:
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

yttriumtyclief
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Location: Washington, NJ

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#5 Post by yttriumtyclief » Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:12 am

axur-delmeria wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 3:22 am
Is a compact design like this mSATA to M.2 SSD possible, but with the low-profile M.2 connector like in your proposed design: https://www.amazon.com/GODSHARK-mSATA-A ... B07QQJHXWV
The low-profile M.2 connector is in-line, so that makes things a little harder. The connector is a lot wider and it looks like the existing adapter already *barely* fits a 2242 with the standoff at the absolute limit of the card length. It could probably be done if you were willing to tape the SSD down or something rather than using a screw.

axur-delmeria
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2608
Joined: Mon May 28, 2012 5:49 am
Location: Metro Manila, Philippines

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#6 Post by axur-delmeria » Thu Jan 30, 2020 1:47 pm

yttriumtyclief wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 11:12 am
The connector is a lot wider and it looks like the existing adapter already *barely* fits a 2242 with the standoff at the absolute limit of the card length. It could probably be done if you were willing to tape the SSD down or something rather than using a screw.
Maybe a plastic bar with a hole on each end, which correspond to the two screw points on the mPCIe slot?

So, insert the M.2 SSD into the mPCIe adapter card, insert the adapter into the mPCIe slot, and use the plastic bar to push down the M.2 SSD and the adapter, then screw it in place.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

Backup: X601 Core 2 Duo T8100
Toy: X60F Core Solo U1300
On loan: X220 4291-P79 i5-2520M
In pieces: two retired but working X61Ts
RIP: 760XD 9546-U9E; X61 7676-A24; and a BOE-Hydis HV121P01-100 in failed SXGA+ mod
:cry:

Radioguy
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1122
Joined: Fri Feb 29, 2008 2:45 pm
Location: New York, New Yorrrrrk

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#7 Post by Radioguy » Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:34 pm

What's the likely uptick in price once it's funded?
240, 380ED, 760C, 760CD, 760E, 760EL, 760LD, 760LD, 760XD, 760XD, A30, E520, G40, I1300, P53, R31, R40, R51, R52, R61, T20, T30, T40, T41, T42, T43, T43P, T60, T61, T400, T410, T420, T430, T460, X1C2, X30, X40, X220, X301 and on, and on, and on...

yttriumtyclief
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Location: Washington, NJ

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#8 Post by yttriumtyclief » Thu Jan 30, 2020 10:53 pm

Radioguy wrote:
Thu Jan 30, 2020 9:34 pm
What's the likely uptick in price once it's funded?
I actually expect it to get cheaper. Keep in mind that the initial campaign is also paying for the necessary equipment to manufacture these in the first place.

I'm hoping the end price will be $30, maybe even slightly lower in the long run.

SKA
Freshman Member
Posts: 96
Joined: Fri Dec 16, 2011 9:50 pm
Location: Bangkok, Thailand

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#9 Post by SKA » Sun Feb 02, 2020 10:33 am

Hi

I am glad to support this project, wish you all success, Alex

Ska

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 21193
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Éire
Contact:

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#10 Post by RealBlackStuff » Mon Feb 03, 2020 12:40 am

Seems to have become very realistic:, and more: https://old.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/comme ... ods_recap/
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.
Covid-19: Mask it or casket.

Libre_ME
Posts: 37
Joined: Wed Aug 01, 2018 1:03 pm
Location: Columbus, OH

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#11 Post by Libre_ME » Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:31 pm

I preordered one for my x230, but I chose 34mm size because that's what was available when I'd last read this thread. Wouldn't the 54mm option be better for x230? If so, can I change my preference to 54mm?

jdrou
Senior Member
Senior Member
Posts: 667
Joined: Tue Feb 10, 2009 6:15 pm
Location: Madison Heights, MI

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#12 Post by jdrou » Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:11 pm

Some small NVMe cards not mentioned: WD/SANDISK SN520 (up to 512 GB and also available in 30mm size) and, most interesting, Toshiba/Kioxia BG4 30mm (RC100 is retail version of BG3) which supposedly supports NVMe x4 and up to 1 TB although only 512 GB seem available right now (not in retail channels but there are reviews of it). I've read suggestion that the CalDigit Tuff Nano external SSD has a BG4 inside but no confirmation. I'm going to buy one to check it.

Since the funding seems to be set for this already I hope it does get produced. I'd certainly buy 2 or more.
EDIT: In fact I went ahead and preordered one.

EDIT2: Unfortunately the Tuff Nano I got only had a Toshiba BG3 card, i.e. pretty mediocre performance for NVMe. At least it's a very nice case. Maybe the 1 TB drives being benchmarked are the only ones with BG4; I doubt they got those results from the BG3 version.
Last edited by jdrou on Tue Feb 11, 2020 11:35 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Current Thinkpads:
X31, X40, X61T, X61, X201, X220 (i7 IPS), W520 (FHD), T440p (FHD),
T480 (QHD)
Dells: Latitude C840, Precision M70, Precision M4400, M6400 (WUXGA), M6600, M6700, 7730, XPS 13
Daily driver: MS Surface Pro 7 (i7)

yttriumtyclief
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Location: Washington, NJ

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#13 Post by yttriumtyclief » Sat Feb 08, 2020 2:59 am

Libre_ME wrote:
Wed Feb 05, 2020 9:31 pm
I preordered one for my x230, but I chose 34mm size because that's what was available when I'd last read this thread. Wouldn't the 54mm option be better for x230? If so, can I change my preference to 54mm?
Yes, just reach out to me via email (support@thinkmods.store) if you haven't already, along with either the email, name, or address used for your order, and I'll be happy to change it internally.
jdrou wrote:
Thu Feb 06, 2020 6:11 pm
Some small NVMe cards not mentioned: WD/SANDISK SN520 (up to 512 GB and also available in 30mm size) and, most interesting, Toshiba/Kioxia BG4 30mm (RC100 is retail version of BG3) which supposedly supports NVMe x4 and up to 1 TB although only 512 GB seem available right now (not in retail channels but there are reviews of it). I've read suggestion that the CalDigit Tuff Nano external SSD has a BG4 inside but no confirmation. I'm going to buy one to check it.

Since the funding seems to be set for this already I hope it does get produced. I'd certainly buy 2 or more.
EDIT: In fact I went ahead and preordered one.
It will definitely get produced! I hadn't mentioned the SN520 at first because I was having trouble finding it in the US, but I've since found a few sources and also discovered it's one of the only NVMe 2242 drives easily available in Europe. It will definitely work. The RC100 and its variants also works; after all, the mod was developed using an RC100.

wujstefan
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1258
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:38 am
Location: Tarnow, Poland

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#14 Post by wujstefan » Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:41 am

Available on December 2020. Yikes! That's a heckuva lots of time :S

Other than that, the general idea is great.
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

yttriumtyclief
Posts: 7
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2020 1:57 pm
Location: Washington, NJ

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#15 Post by yttriumtyclief » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:23 pm

wujstefan wrote:
Mon Feb 10, 2020 6:41 am
Available on December 2020. Yikes! That's a heckuva lots of time :S

Other than that, the general idea is great.
If you order today you'll get it before then. I just set Dec 2020 so that worst case scenario, I would have a time to fall back to. Underpromise overdeliver.

wujstefan
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder
Posts: 1258
Joined: Fri Mar 04, 2011 8:38 am
Location: Tarnow, Poland

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#16 Post by wujstefan » Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:34 pm

yttriumtyclief wrote:
Sun Feb 16, 2020 4:23 pm
If you order today you'll get it before then. I just set Dec 2020 so that worst case scenario, I would have a time to fall back to. Underpromise overdeliver.
Well I like this strategy ;)
ordering via website?
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

ACTIVEDIGI
Posts: 1
Joined: Sun Feb 16, 2020 5:01 am
Location: Baltimore, MD

Re: New ThinkPad Mod: ExpressCard to NVMe SSD Adapter

#17 Post by ACTIVEDIGI » Sat Feb 22, 2020 3:49 pm

New member here, so glad I joined finally. And so glad I stumbled onto this post! First and foremost CONGRATS and KUDOS for being inspired with this AWESOME idea and even moreso for following through, creating the prototype and even taking it further and getting it to be able to be created! Wow!

Also great that you are continuing along with great other inspired ideas, all the best!

I'm on hunt for Cardbus memory card adapters at the moment and thought I was among only a few who see the possibilities with the older hardware and think how awesome it is to keep stuff alive and keep pushing forward and making great use of great machines. I see the TP community seems to have many who share this credo/perspective. And especially evident with this great Expresscard adapter, way to go and all the best with future endeavors with Thinkmods! I'm an HP dothan M guy and just only can dream of any such inspired work to make it's way to hardware I love. I run an MSATA to PATA and am excited to couple with a CF and/or SD/multicard to 32-bit cardbus mem card adapter. I'd flip my lid to have access to an Expresscard let alone a NV to Express o baby! Nice!

Cheers and congrats, doing great work

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “GENERAL ThinkPad News/Comments & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests