I'm trying to spec up an M15 ready for Black Friday sales (as advised by a Dell Sales rep), and just had a query on the M.2 drive options.
I'm planning on a 90Wh battery, so I'll be left with 2 M.2 slots, which if I understand the Setup and Specifications document properly are both NVMe capable slots.
I was planning on just going for the single 256gb drive option, as for SSD's, the options seem to be either a single drive, or 2 drives of the same size. I couldn't see the benefit of 2 smaller drives the same size and I wouldn't be going for the 1TB options. However, with just going for the single 256gb drive, it then left me free to be able to get a 1TB drive for the other slot later on for games/data, and just keep the OS on the original drive.
The service manual shows two slightly different physical setups for the m.2 port area. Some pictures show a 2230 size card on an adaptor, and a bare 2280 drive in the other slot, whereas other pictures seem to show two 2280 size drives covered by a copper shield.
I just wondered if this was something I needed to be concerned about due to my plan to at some point add a 1TB drive in the spare slot? Not sure if the copper shield is some kind of heat sink, or other shield, and I don't know which of the two setups I'd get by just ordering the one 256gb drive.
I do have a habit of over thinking things, and could well be doing that here!
Following are the specs for the storage configuration. The 2230 is a SATA SSD whereas the 2280 is NVME and much faster. The M.2 2280 drive will be the boot drive. The system does support 2 PCIe drives. The configuration is up to you but leaving the single 2280 boot drive in place down the road means you don't have to install Windows 10 as it will already be factory installed, and installing Windows on an NVME drive can be a snap or it can be a bit of a pain as other posts in the forum can attest to. Then you can add additional drives as need be.
Your computer supports one of the following
One 2.5-inch hard drives
One M.2 PCIe solid-state drive
One M.2 PCIe solid-state drive and one 2.5-inch hard drive
One M.2 Intel Optane and one 2.5-inch hard drive
Two M.2 PCIe solid-state drives
The primary drive of your computer varies depending on the storage
with a M.2 drive, the M.2 drive is the primary drive.
without M.2 drive, the 2.5-inch drive is the primary drive.
One 2.5-inch hard drive
SATA AHCI 6 Gbps
Up to 1 TB
One M.2 2230/2280 solid-state drive
SATA AHCI 6 Gbps/PCIex4 NVMe
Up to 1 TB
One M.2 2280 solid-state drive
PCIex4 NVMe up to 32 Gbps
Up to 118 GB
One further thought. If you are going to be gaming, and with an Alienware of course you will, then go for something larger than the 256 GB NVME drive. That is assuming you are only going for one drive for now. The 512 GB NVME will give you some decent storage space for games which can take a fair amount of space (my World of Warcraft folder is over 50 GB in size). The 1 TB option seems a bit overpriced at $650. You can buy a Samsung 1 TB NVME drive for around $400 - 450 CAD.
Thank you for the responses in both threads. As mentioned in the other one, I created one post initially and it vanished, I think marked as spam so went off for review.
Just to respond to this particular point here, yeah my plan was to pretty much immediately purchase a separate 1tb nvme drive which here in the UK is around the same price as choosing the "2x 512GB" drive option.
I figure to keep pretty much just the OS on the 256gb drive, and install any other apps and games (WoW being one of them!) on the other drive.
Unfortunately there doesn't appear to be an option here in the UK to just have one 512GB drive when ordering the M15. The 256gb is the only drive available on its own - all the other available options are pairs of drives.
Kind regards again
So my build of the m15 was stripped down. 8GB ram and 1TB HDD. Yes the battery is chopped to 60 Whr. Looking at RAM and SSD futures the prices are going to be slashed. Projections are showing 25% early 2019. I used the money to upgrade to the N1070. Later I can install the bigger battery if needed losing the HDD but saving $$$ for now. Right now Ram upgrades are 1/2 of Dells price and the same for Nvme SSDs. Wait if you can. I'm not going to need it but I'm budgeting for 64GB of ram and two 2TB Nvme SSDs. Maybe I'll configure a ram disk. ;-)