The announcement of the Framework Laptop 16 having just one instead of two M.2 2280 connectors has been bugging me, because my SSD of choice is only avaible in the 2280 form factor. Those of you interested in my choice can read about it in the backstory provided here as a detail:
Backstory of my choice of SSD
I’ve had my bad experiences with WD drives in the past, so I’m avoiding them ever since. Thus, I had to search for a replacement. As I value energy efficiency and don’t need bleeding edge read/write performance, these tests convinced me of purchasing SK Hynix Gold P31 2TB NVMe SSDs:
- SK hynix Gold P31 M.2 NVMe SSD Review: High-Performance, Unprecedented Efficiency (Updated) | Tom's Hardware
- The Best NVMe SSD for Laptops and Notebooks: SK hynix Gold P31 1TB SSD Reviewed
Gladly I managed to acquire a bunch of them at a sale last month (for ~100€ each).
So, I had to find a way to be able to use that 2280 drive in that 2230 slot. The idea of using a riser card to achieve that came to my mind immediately, but unfortunately a quick research revealed that there are only two types of NVMe riser cards available:
2230 to 2280 M.2 WiFi A.E Key To M.2 for NVME M Key SSD Riser Cards, e.g.:
ADT-link R54SF M.2 WiFi A.E Key To M.2 for NVME M Key SSD Riser Card PCIE 4.0x1 | eBay
2280 to 2280 M.2 NVMe SSD Extension Cable Solid Drive Riser Cards, e.g.:
M.2 NVMe SSD SSD Extension Cable M2 Supports PCI-E 3.0 x4 Full Speed 32G\bps | eBay
The first type would fit size-wise but not key-wise, the second vice versa. But looking closer at the latter, there didn’t seem to be any electronics left on the connector card behind the cable, hence it should be possible to just shorten it to make it fit the 2230 form factor.
So I ordered one from ebay to give it a try. I also ordered a safety adapter for security reasons and to be able to fasten shorter formats than a 2280, e.g.: NGFF NVME AHCI Male To Female Extension Board Adapter Card Test Protection Card | eBay
I have to apologize to the taiwanese people. To my dismay, I wasn’t able to find any offerings for any of the parts involved, that were not ‘Made in China’.
First things first, I benchmarked the drive as-is, inside the safety adapter and with the unmodified extender inside the safety adapter. The test system is an ASRock DeskMini X300 featuring a Ryzen 5 5600G processor:
Gladly, everything went smoothly and the benchmark results stayed within error margin. I did have to remove the hardware protection of the extender cable though, but expected having to do so anyway, due to the height limitations mentioned in this knowledgebase article: Height limitations when using double-sided SSD for Primary Storage
With all the preps done, I could finally start to shorten the extender plug to the 2230 format. Before being able to do so, I had to reposition the adhesive tape covering the 2230 mounting hole though.
I secured the soldering joints with clamps and the extender cable with a sellotape. At last, I shortened the extender connector by using pincers and a jigsaw.
You can assure yourself via the evidence photos of the cut-out part, that no electrical circuits have been harmed during this operation.
Following this, some finishing touch with a file was necessary, before the reassembling of the SSD and the final test. The position of the fastening screw in the photo below reveals, that the connector of the extender is now in the 2230 format.
The final result:
The final benchmark:
Now all that’s left for me to do is to find a cozy place for my 2280 SSD inside the Framework Laptop 16, once it has been shipped to me. If there really is no other place inside available, I’ll just place it inside the Expansion Bay Shell until further notice.
Disclaimer: I am no hardware professional and did not consult with one, before attempting this project, either. This has been my first project of this kind, so I am sure, there are better ways to come to a similar or even better result. I call out to all knowledgeable people reading this message, to provide tips in their replies for those, who would like to attempt to replicate this project.