I have a Dell Precision 5820 tower that came with 2 NVMe SSD disks on the FlexBay (the front compartment). I have been talking to Technical Support in my country (Spain) to find out how to install a third NVMe SSD, but they have been so far unable to find a way. I am shocked that the 5820 is marketed as a highly upgradeable machine but no one in Tech Support seems knowledgeable on how to do it. Also, I am surprised that, despite having identified my machine through its service tag, Tech Support cannot retrieve its original configuration to suggest the necessary parts. I've been a Dell customer for 20+ years and as far as I know their customer service used to be way better than this.

Anyway, I purchased an M.2 NVMe SSD from Dell's web site, assuming that installing it would be piece of cake. I was wrong. It seems that the 5820 only admits 2 NVMe SSDs on the FlexBay. So, is there an alternative way to install it on my 5820, even if it's not on the FlexBay?

Many thanks.

2 Answers 2


The 5820 dates from 2017, and Dell were kind of late to the NVMe party (as were most mainstream enterprise servers/appliances). Even on their high-density storage servers NVMe was kind of hit and miss via the flex bays.

I'm not at all surprised if they are only two ports wired for NVMe. Remember that each NVMe port requires 4 PCIe lanes.

Your best bet for additional NVMe storage is going to be an internal NVMe storage card. There are various on the market (the official Dell one is part number 080G5N). You'll just need to double check that you have PCIe bifurcation enabled (so one PCIe slot can be broken into multiple x4 interfaces for each NVMe drive). You might have to shuck the m.2 drive out of the Dell flexbay caddy (or if you can, return it and buy a generic drive).

  • Many thanks, most useful. Do you have detailed instruction on how to check for PCI bifurcation and doing the shucking? I mean, how do I install a generic SSD on the 5820? Is there any online resource? Thanks!
    – CesarGon
    Sep 26 at 12:15
  • 1
    I do not know how to check for bifucation on that model, sorry. I have a 7920 myself which is much newer. As for how to install a generic SSD, you can just grab a regular 2.5" SSD and an appropriate Dell caddy and just slot it in the front. It'll be limited to SATA2 speeds (~700MB/sec). How to install an NVMe SSD, thats a varied question as NVMe comes in several flavours (m.2, u.2, flexbay, PCIe) and depends on what you have. Sep 26 at 12:34
  • Thank you. I'll do some research.
    – CesarGon
    Sep 26 at 13:57

After some research, yes, it seems that there is indeed an alternative way to install a third NVMe SSD on a Dell Precision 5820. By using a Dell Ultra-Speed adapter, you can install up to 4 SSDs on an x16 PCI slot.

More information, here.

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