Can I use a single NVMe in an Amfeltec Squid?

matthewpomar

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
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I just acquired an Amfeltec Squid x16, with 4 x 128GB SM951 Samsung SSDs. I bought this card hoping that I could speed up my software build times, which is highly disk dependent and deals with lots of small, temporary files. However, I was getting far better 4K performance using a 4x card and a single Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe.

Until I need more storage than the single Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe can provide, could I install the single SSD in the Amfeltec and get better performance than the 4x adapter?

It's my understanding that the Amfeltec will try to use all 16 PCIe lanes to transfer data regardless of how many SSDs are installed, thus taping into the full potential of the Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe.
 
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tsialex

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Jun 13, 2016
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I just acquired an Amfeltec Squid x16, with 4 x 128GB SM951 Samsung SSDs. I bought this card hoping that I could speed up my software build times, which is highly disk dependent and deals with lots of small, temporary files. However, I was getting far better 4K performance using a 4x card and a single Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe.

Until I need more storage than the single Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe can provide, could I install the single SSD in the Amfeltec and get better performance than the 4x adapter?

It's my understanding that the Amfeltec will try to use all 16 PCIe lanes to transfer data regardless of how many SSDs are installed, thus taping into the full potential of the Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe.
Yes, you can use just one, but maybe you will have better compile time with a RAMDISK? It’s what I do when I have to do big projects.
 
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matthewpomar

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
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Yes, you can use just one, but maybe you will have better compile time with a RAMDISK? It’s what I do when I have to do big projects.
Brilliant! I didn't even think of that. I am running Windows in Parallels, so not sure I'll get the full benefit of a RAM disk, but it's worth testing out.

Any suggestions on methods for creating a RAM disk in macOS?

If I wanted to give the single SSD a try, does Squid care which slot I install it in?
 

tsialex

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Brilliant! I didn't even think of that. I am running Windows in Parallels, so not sure I'll get the full benefit of a RAM disk, but it's worth testing out.

Any suggestions on methods for creating a RAM disk in macOS?

If I wanted to give the single SSD a try, does Squid care which slot I install it in?
Yes, I run my VM from a RAMDISK when I have to use Windows/VMware Fusion - speeds things a lot.

You can adapt this answer to whatever you need.
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/46224103/create-apfs-ram-disk-on-macos-high-sierra

Last time I installed one disk into a Squid I used the front one, near the slot. Since Squid have various versions, consult your documentation.
 
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startergo

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Sep 20, 2018
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Yes, I run my VM from a RAMDISK when I have to use Windows/VMware Fusion - speeds things a lot.

You can adapt this answer to whatever you need.
https://stackoverflow.com/questions/46224103/create-apfs-ram-disk-on-macos-high-sierra

Last time I installed one disk into a Squid I used the front one, near the slot. Since Squid have various versions, consult your documentation.
Did you automate the virtual disk swap from RAMDISK to hard drive /vice versa on shutdown/restart?
 

tsialex

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Did you automate the virtual disk swap from RAMDISK to hard drive /vice versa on shutdown/restart?
I just have a dumb shell script to create the RAMDISK and copy the VM, some hard core users have a lot better solutions than mine, creating the RAMDISK, opening the VM and copying back, removing the VM at the end.
 

matthewpomar

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
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As it turns out, I get nearly the exact same performance with the Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe in the Squid alone as I do with the SSD in a 4x PCIe adapter. The Squid does not increase the performance of a single SSD at all. In fact, it performed slightly slower in the Squid than it did in the 4x PCIe adapter.

My guess is it simply gives 4x lanes to each SSD.
 

tsialex

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As it turns out, I get nearly the exact same performance with the Samsung Pro 970 Pro NVMe in the Squid alone as I do with the SSD in a 4x PCIe adapter. The Squid does not increase the performance of a single SSD at all. In fact, it performed slightly slower in the Squid than it did in the 4x PCIe adapter.

My guess is it simply gives 4x lanes to each SSD.
What version you have? The first one or the 3.0 one?
 

matthewpomar

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Original poster
Oct 27, 2010
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This is the original one, this one don't have a PCIe 3.0 switch…

This one gets you over 1500MB/s with just one blade PCI Express Gen 3 Carrier Board for 4 M.2 SSD modules
Ah, I must have this one, then:

http://amfeltec.com/products/pci-express-carrier-board-for-m-2-ssd-modules/

With either card (the original or 3.0 version), once I load 4 blades and install in a Mac Pro, I'm only going to get up to a theoretical ~8GB/s (more like ~6GB/s with overhead) due to PCIe 2.0 spec on Mac, correct?

Is the only advantage the newer 3.0 version offers is the ability to achieve higher speeds with less than 4 blades installed?
 

tsialex

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Ah, I must have this one, then:

http://amfeltec.com/products/pci-express-carrier-board-for-m-2-ssd-modules/

With either card (the original or 3.0 version), once I load 4 blades and install in a Mac Pro, I'm only going to get up to a theoretical ~8GB/s (more like ~6GB/s with overhead) due to PCIe 2.0 spec on Mac, correct?
Yes, the PCIe 2.0 16x total bandwidth is the limiting factor.

Is the only advantage the newer 3.0 version offers is the ability to achieve higher speeds with less than 4 blades installed?
Yes, you can get a little less than 3200MB/s with one 970PRO.
 

ydeng

macrumors newbie
Jul 16, 2017
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Ah, I must have this one, then:

http://amfeltec.com/products/pci-express-carrier-board-for-m-2-ssd-modules/

With either card (the original or 3.0 version), once I load 4 blades and install in a Mac Pro, I'm only going to get up to a theoretical ~8GB/s (more like ~6GB/s with overhead) due to PCIe 2.0 spec on Mac, correct?

Is the only advantage the newer 3.0 version offers is the ability to achieve higher speeds with less than 4 blades installed?
I got this. Only one port works. Support does not want to issue RMA. They charge 30% restocking fee. Don't want to deal with them.