• ×
    Need Windows 11 help?
    Check documents on compatibility, FAQs, upgrade information and available fixes.Windows 11 Support Center.
  • post a message
  • ×
    Need Windows 11 help?
    Check documents on compatibility, FAQs, upgrade information and available fixes.Windows 11 Support Center.
  • post a message
The HP Community is where owners of HP products, like you, volunteer to help each other find solutions.
HP Recommended
HP z420 Workstation

I have an hp z420 workstation. I read up on the specs and see that it doesn't have an M.2 slot. But i've read I can add a pcie ssd. Is it as easy as installing it, rebooting,choosing it for install and voila that's it?


Or is there a lot more to it? I've read a lot on here regarding drivers, bios flashes, x3, x4, etc.but haven't seen to come across an actual solution or if it can work. 


I was thinking about this one.. for 109.99





Any thoughts, suggestions or experiences would be most helpful, thank you!


HP Recommended

first of all the ssd you linked to WILL NOT WORK AS A BOOT DEVICE.....as it's a nvme based ssd.


for the z420 you should be able to use the samsung SM951 SATA SSD,


make sure it's the sata variant  and not the nvme based sm951 there is only one letter diffrent between the two models


ok now for some simple information on why, and what willl work


SSD"s come in two types,............. SATA (works with everything)  NVME,....... (requires BIOS support for nvme code)


as a rule of thumb, only motherboards made in the last 1/2 years will support nvme based ssd's


older motherboards lack the bios support for nvme based ssd's till the "x99" chipset and later


a few x79 chipsets also supported nvme through bios updates but they were rare


x58 chipsets have no bios support at all for nvme



at one time, you could buy a nvme ssd that had the missing nvme code inserted into the ssd's rom (samsung sm950)

which allowed the nvme ssd to boot on systems that lacked the nvme code in their bios, but ssd's that did this are no longer available new


bottom line, older motherboards will have to use a SATA based SSD, and for 95% of users it will be as fast as a nvme drive,.... if your motherboard does not support UEFI bios extensions then you Lack nvme support


PCI-E   SSD cards that mount M.2  SSD's are simply that nothing more, they do not care if the SSD is SATA or NVME

what does count is does the motherboard bios support nvme (read above)


PCI-E card carriers come in x2 and x4 flavors, same for M.2 ssd's  and some x4 ssd's require a pci-e x4 interface and will not work in a x2 slot ,  any x2 ssd will work in a x4 pci-e carrier


unless you require a m.2 ssd i recomend you buy a 2.5 format SATA ssd as it will be cheaper than the cost of a M.2 drive and carrier board


HP Recommended

hello, in response to this recommendation - I am having trouble locating the mentioned SM951 SATA SSD drive for purchase anywhere.    I do see references on Ebay to an AHCI model, but because it does not mention SATA I am unsure.   It does not seem to mention NVme - but I don't want to buy something that won't work.

HP Recommended

the AHCI model IS the SATA one


using google with keyword(s)  "diffrence between part numbers sm951 ahci vs nvme" would have answered your question(s)


MZ-VPV256xxxx is the NVME version for the 256GB model


MZ-HPV256xxxx is the AHCI/SATA version for the 256GB model (note the "H" in the model name vs the "V")


these drives are quite expensive, and unless you actually require the speed of this drive, i recomend a larger SATA based drive that connects directly to the motherboard SATA port like the EVO 850 1TB drive

† The opinions expressed above are the personal opinions of the authors, not of HP. By using this site, you accept the <a href="https://www8.hp.com/us/en/terms-of-use.html" class="udrlinesmall">Terms of Use</a> and <a href="/t5/custom/page/page-id/hp.rulespage" class="udrlinesmall"> Rules of Participation</a>.