Librem 15v4 - User Upgradability Questions


#1

I am interested in getting the 15” v4, and have a few questions regarding the hardware expansion options and general user upgradability.

  1. In general, how easy or hard is it for an end user to upgrade the internal RAM and SSD? Do we need special tools to open the case, is access to the internal slots easy, are there any difficult steps?

  2. Re. the RAM, the specs state there is only a single slot. Is there a RAM compatibility guide to help us choose after-market DIMMS that are known to work?

  3. Re. the internal SSD. The specs say “2.5-inch SATA and NVMe-capable M.2 slots’’ are provided. Anyone know how many of each, or the form factor of the M.2 socket (2242, 2260 or 2280) ? If we want to install our own NVMe M.2 SSD, what are the compatible NVMe versions? Any other restrictions?

Thanks.


#2

a simple forum search “ssd m2” here on Purism will get you what you are looking for.


#3
  1. trivial with the properly-sized screwdriver/bit

  2. any quality DDR4 sodimm will work. Go on Amazon and find the best reviewed option for the size you want

  3. 1ea m.2 2280 and 2.5" SATA (10mm height max). NVMe is PCIe 3.0 x4, so pretty much any NVMe drive will work.


#4

Technically the user asked the NVMe version.

For example, I recently slapped a Samsung 970 EVO Plus in an unrelated computer (i.e. not from Purism) and the drive is described as “NVMe 1.3” and I had no information from the computer vendor regarding NVMe version compatibility. Fortunately “it just worked”.


#5

this isn’t something I see advertised on any boards/controllers/chipsets. Based on release date, I’d assume our devices support NVMe 1.3, but I also don’t see anything in the spec that would limit the performance of a single 1.3 drive attached to a 1.2/1.1 controller


#6

It is always possible that mismatched NVMe versions negotiate down, or that compatibility is achieved in some other way. That is user-friendly protocol design. I always hope for that but it doesn’t always work out like that.

The differences may be minor. The differences may have little or no performance impact.

If we assume that basically noone is supporting 1.4 yet (ratified last month), the following document covers the differences between 1.3 and 1.2. https://nvmexpress.org/wp-content/uploads/NVMe_1_3_Changes_Overview_20170501.pdf

On top of all that is what version of NVMe the operating system supports. (When I got my first NVMe drive, booting from and using the drive worked fine, but the SMART monitoring did not recognise the drive.)

One way of furthering the investigation would be to spell out what makes/models of NVMe drive you are currently putting in a Librem 15. Then if the customer wants to install or upgrade an NVMe drive subsequently, they at least have some information to go on, although the customer always takes the integration risk.


#7

Purism publishing a component list and trying to keep that up to date would be quite cumbersome. In any case, despite the OP’s use of the term version, it seems that the NVMe version wasn’t actually what they were asking about.