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SSD upgrades - What does the P2 Max support? Is it worth splurging on a top end or is there a bottleneck?

The included BIWin SSD isn’t the greatest, so when my unit finally arrives I intend to buy a replacement - probably 1 Tb. What SSD should I get? Samsung has Evo, and Pro models which are nearly double the price. Then there are Crucial, Team, Western Digital, AData, V-Gen, etc. For desktop use, many of these are middling at best while others fly.

This will be my first mini, and I don’t know what the throughput limits are with these UMPCs. Is heat generation an issue? What’s the optimal choice for the P2Max?

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I replaced mine with a Corsair SSD 1920GB Force MP510. The original SSD I put in an external USB3.0 casing. Then I used clonezilla to copy the original SSD over to the Corsair. Et voila, Windows booted as normal. After that of course I installed Kubuntu Linux on it.

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Did you notice a difference in performance, or did you ditch the original drive almost immediately when it arrived?

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I don’t have any relevant info, but just as a general observation - I’d take into account not only performance, but power consumption as well. I have several NVME drives and even with a heatsink some of them can get so hot - they will burn your fingers. In such a small case, so close to the battery, it’s not a good idea to use drives that are power hungry. As with GPU memory, Samsung usually has an edge over stuff like Hynix.

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@MutableLambda That’s a good point. It hadn’t even occurred to me that there were differences in power draw between SSD variants!

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I have no experience with the original SSD but I get standby power consumption in the range of 4.5W with Ubuntu Linux.

It has been years since I purchased any type of drive. I don’t even know what form factor the P2 Max uses. What criteria should I look for when shopping?

@FortressP2Maximus I’m currently looking at the Samsung 970 Evo 2Gb M.2 but I haven’t done any further research as my P2Max hasn’t arrived yet. So far this thread has alerted me to a potential power draw issue - I was unaware there were differences.

I opened this thread to see what the P2Max supports, and whether or not I’d be wasting my money (and introducing heat issues) unnecessarily on a drive that’s too fast for the P2Max.

FYI the drive that comes with the P2Max is the one in the pic below, taken from this YouTube video.

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Don’t have anything more current, but generally Samsung SSDs are a safe bet:

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Good info, there. I’m already leaning towards Samsung (I’ve got 3 Pros and 1 Evo inside my PC) but the 2Tb ones are a tad pricey.

Now that I actually have my P2 Max, I’ve done some more homework. I’ve always been a Samsung SSD fanboi, but looking at the graphs on TomsHardware I’m now more inclined towards the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro. It’s cheaper than the 970 Evo and it’s got vastly superior power efficiency.



Those were taken from Tomshardware’s Samsung 970 EVO Plus SSD Review. Their review of the Adata XPG SX8200 Pro is here.

However. The SX8200 Pro uses both sides - it’s not a single sided M.2 like the stock BiWin or the Samsung Evos. Will that be a problem for the P2 Max, considering the plastic covering over the SSD? I’m thinking no for fit, but maybe yes for heat?

480Gb version

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RAM consumes anywhere from 0.3W to 0.7W, CPU - 1.5-2W in idle.
I’d say that benefits of having SSD idle consumption of 0.01 instead of 0.07 are negligible. SX8200 Pro uses Micron memory chips, it’s good and efficient. I’d check sustained write speeds as well, they are probably much lower than Samsung’s. Once the cache is full write speeds will drop significantly. But processing gigabytes of video data on P2 is an unlikely use-case, and even USB3 will cap your transfer speeds at 1GB/s, so I’d say it’s a good alternative.

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That’s a very good point, @MutableLambda, thanks. The odds that the lower power consumption will result in lower heat are probably equally negligible.

So, before I make my final decision, please have a look at one more chart.

Here’s Average Power Consumption during use. I’ve already posted the max above.

You’re definitely right about the negligible difference for idle, but honestly, I’m not one for relying on sleep a lot anyway. I prefer a full shutdown and have even disabled fast startup.

During actual use is the important part, and the chart clearly shows a 2 watt difference. Yes, the XPG lacks in write performance according to the Anvil test, but it does very well in all other tests. The USB bottlenecks make the whole thing moot anyway.

Does anyone know what the BiWin SSD specs are?

Pretty much like @cattin, I upgraded ssd with MP510 960GB then installed debian buster + kde. I’m using LVM on LUKS.

$ lvcreate -L256G -nbench cp2maxvg
Logical volume “bench” created.
$ dd if=/dev/zero of=/dev/cp2maxvg/bench bs=4096k
65537+0 records in
65536+0 records out
274877906944 bytes (275 GB, 256 GiB) copied, 430.138 s, 639 MB/s

Fan is whining, but writing to disk a bunch of zeros as fast as possible is not something I need to do in reality. If you want to use LUKS, then there is no need to get an ssd faster than 650MB/s, because CPU is the limiting factor.

Thanks. Yeah, I agree. My personal logic is that if it can go fast, then it’s less likely to freak out and overheat at lower speeds. I went ahead and got the XPG 1Tb yesterday, cloned my BiWin and installed it. It fit well enough; we’ll see how that plastic covering fares. I’ve now got two partitions of 200Gb and 700Gb, with 58Gb unallocated for provisioning and because I like neat numbers.

How are you getting on with the XPG? Is the plastic covering okay? And is it a significant speed improvement over the Biwin?


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So far so good. Honestly it’s going to be hard to quantify, as I’ve made so many tweaks and modifications to the OS (removing Cortana was just the start) AND I’ve undervolted.

I also haven’t done any large file transfers, yet.

I HAVE noticed a drop in temperature when I hold it in my hand after a go at GTA V, but that may have been due to the tweaks.

Okay. Today after work I cloned my current system back to the BiWIN (Pro upgrade, lots of tweaks, undervolt) and ran Anvil Storage Utilities. I didn’t realize Anvil’s built-in screenshot tool was wonky so I had to do it twice.

The ADATA test was run twice without reboot, just to see what happened to the temps. The screenshots are from the second run.

Before running the tests for each drive, I waited until the case felt cool to the touch.

All tests were done with the GPD charger connected, maximum performance profile in battery settings, BIOS TDP Policy Performance, BIOS FAN Policy Standard.


  • ADATA SSG has better Write and Overall scores, lower temps, and lower power consumption.
  • The BiWIN peaked at 51 degrees C after a single run, while the ADATA peaked at 44 after running twice.
  • There’s also a 1W difference in CPU Package Power.

The Anvil results.

BiWIN 512Gb

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1Tb (Run TWICE)

The HWiNFO screenshots.

BiWIN 512Gb

ADATA XPG SX8200 Pro 1Tb (Run TWICE, no reset between runs)


Very interesting although the SX8200 does not yield significantly faster reading/writing speeds (which is what I am interested in). Do you think the Samsung 970 Pro would be much better?