Disappointed with MacPro PCIe speeds

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 6, 2013
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New York
I was expecting the PCIe SSD drives in the Pro to be faster than the macbook air/macbook retina/and iMAC. From the reviews so far it seems like it's the same. I thought atleast 1.2Gb/s would be a reality with these units. I was going to buy a base model with 256GB, but now I'm going to see what apple does with the mini.
 

Sam2lucky13

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2011
252
0
read writes into the 900s are not the same as air, pros, or iMacs. I own all three and fast but not that fast.
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
I wonder if at this point, the speed limitation isn't the interface but the drive controllers themselves.
 

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 6, 2013
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New York
read writes into the 900s are not the same as air, pros, or iMacs. I own all three and fast but not that fast.
My neighbor has a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina with 1TB SSD and it reaches into the high 900's and even touches 1GB/s at certain times. And I've seen plenty of people on the net with same scores too. Do you have 2013 models? And what size are your drives? Obviously if you have 128GB it's going to be slower.
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
My neighbor has a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina with 1TB SSD and it reaches into the high 900's and even touches 1GB/s at certain times. And I've seen plenty of people on the net with same scores too. Do you have 2013 models? And what size are your drives? Obviously if you have 128GB it's going to be slower.
That's what I'm saying. Since the entire Mac range now uses PCI-e based SSDs, it's quite possible the bottleneck is the controller itself, and unless a manufacturer comes out with a newer/better one, that could be why the nMP speeds aren't faster than others in the Mac line. They probably use the same SSDs.
 

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 6, 2013
657
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New York
I wonder if at this point, the speed limitation isn't the interface but the drive controllers themselves.
I was wondering the same thing. I believe it's the SSD controller itself rather than the interface. The SSD gurus can confirm this to be true I'm sure. At $3,000 starting price I was expecting a different drive than my Macbook Air. Let's see what the tear downs show, but I suspect all the 2013 SSD PCIe drives apple is using are exactly the same in terms of performance when the same size drives are considered.
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
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Poole, England
My neighbor has a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina with 1TB SSD and it reaches into the high 900's and even touches 1GB/s at certain times. And I've seen plenty of people on the net with same scores too. Do you have 2013 models? And what size are your drives? Obviously if you have 128GB it's going to be slower.
Interesting, since every other Blackmagic test I've seen for these models is closer to 700 MB/s reads and writes.

Engadget confirms: http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/29/macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review-13-inch-2013/

Sure enough, using the Blackmagic disk benchmark, we saw average reads of 731 MB/s and average writes of 673.5 MB/s (note: We ran the test with workloads ranging from 1GB to 5GB, and repeated the test around 10 times on each setting). Additionally, after installing Windows 7 on a separate partition, we ran ATTO, the benchmark we use to test transfer speeds on Windows machines. On that test, we actually got even higher read rates, with rates climbing as high as 823 MB/s. However, write speeds were more consistent with what we found on the Mac side, with a high of 686 MB/s.
When you run blackmagic you need to let it run through all the way for all of the results to finish. Simply grabbing the first numbers you see is pointless.

The Mac Pro PCIe SSD is faster and the 2013 MBPs and MBAs cannot get to the same speeds.
 

ybz90

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2009
609
2
I agree it's fair to expect a better SSD; the catch is that I'm not sure they really exist yet. PCI-e SSDs are still fairly new and I would imagine manufacturers have only recently begun development on faster controllers since up until now, the bottleneck was SATA.
 

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 6, 2013
657
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New York
Interesting, since every other Blackmagic test I've seen for these models is closer to 700 MB/s reads and writes.

Engadget confirms: http://www.engadget.com/2013/10/29/macbook-pro-with-retina-display-review-13-inch-2013/



When you run blackmagic you need to let it run through all the way for all of the results to finish. Simply grabbing the first numbers you see is pointless.

The Mac Pro PCIe SSD is faster and the 2013 MBPs and MBAs cannot get to the same speeds.
Ummmm... The tested they 256GB version. Are you aware that speed increases along with size? The 512 is faster and the 1TB is even faster. Like I said I personally ran blackmagic on Macbook Pro Retina 1TB drive and got high 900's and even up to 1GB/s. Not to mention the 256GB drive may have been a Sandisk Drive rather than the Samsung, so you will see variation there too. (so far all the 512/1TB drives I've checked were Samsung drives)
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Ummmm... The tested they 256GB version. Are you aware that speed increases along with size? The 512 is faster and the 1TB is even faster. Like I said I personally ran blackmagic on Macbook Pro Retina 1TB drive and got high 900's and even up to 1GB/s. Not to mention the 256GB drive may have been a Sandisk Drive rather than the Samsung, so you will see variation there too. (so far all the 512/1TB drives I've checked were Samsung drives)
I am very aware. The speed difference between 128 and 256 is relative large, but not so when you go up to 512 and 1 TB.

If you're talking about the 15" rMBP, then yes, it is, in fact, faster than Apple claims and on par with the Mac Pro thanks to the 4 channel PCIe connection it is utilising. The 13" in the test does not have this. I thought you were specifically focussing on the MBA and 13" MBP in your original post.

I don't really see the problem. We are paying the same price for these whether they are in the 15" rMBP or the Mac Pro, aren't we?

Source: 2013 15" MBP much faster than 13" MBP or MBA

http://9to5mac.com/2013/11/04/lates...ing-ssd-performance-thanks-to-4-channel-pcie/
 

Miltz

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 6, 2013
657
309
New York
I am very aware. The speed difference between 128 and 256 is relative large, but not so when you go up to 512 and 1 TB.

If you're talking about the 15" rMBP, then yes, it is, in fact, faster than Apple claims and on par with the Mac Pro thanks to the 4 channel PCIe connection it is utilising. The 13" in the test does not have this. I thought you were specifically focussing on the MBA and 13" MBP

I don't really see the problem. We are paying the same price for these whether they are in the 15" rMBP or the Mac Pro, aren't we?
Now we're talking... So the rMBP 15" has a 4 channel while the rest have only 2? I wasn't aware of this... But the actual drives are the same? I'll see what I can dig up on this. I was focusing on the entire PCIe SSD line as a whole. To my knowledge all the drives are intercompatible.
 

Sam2lucky13

macrumors 6502
May 26, 2011
252
0
My neighbor has a 2013 Macbook Pro Retina with 1TB SSD and it reaches into the high 900's and even touches 1GB/s at certain times. And I've seen plenty of people on the net with same scores too. Do you have 2013 models? And what size are your drives? Obviously if you have 128GB it's going to be slower.
yeah latest model with 1tb of flash...Im in the 730s and I'm on my air now also in the 730s both read and write.

Your neighbor must have a dynamo.
 
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JesperA

macrumors 6502a
Feb 10, 2012
676
1,035
Sweden
I agree it's fair to expect a better SSD; the catch is that I'm not sure they really exist yet. PCI-e SSDs are still fairly new and I would imagine manufacturers have only recently begun development on faster controllers since up until now, the bottleneck was SATA.
PCI-Flash isn't really new, they have been out for many years, with read speed of over 6GB/s, but those units costs about 10 times more than a fully specced nMP. Even the 3GB/s Micron P320H is about 6000USD depending on size.

Controllers is not a problem, even several years ago when the controllers where speed limited they just put more controllers on the PCB, controlling its own subset of flash units, and then used internal "raid" (or software raid like the Intel 910) between the controllers to speed up the SSD:s to several GB/s.

So in terms of the Mac Pro, i think it just is a cost factor, there is, even now alot of people bitching about the nMP price, imagine if they offered an PCI-SSD that cost as much as the rest of the nMP :p
 

theSeb

macrumors 604
Aug 10, 2010
6,963
91
Poole, England
Now we're talking... So the rMBP 15" has a 4 channel while the rest have only 2? I wasn't aware of this...
Yes, except that the 13" rMBP with the 1TB storage also seems to have this.


But the actual drives are the same? I'll see what I can dig up on this. I was focusing on the entire PCIe SSD line as a whole. To my knowledge all the drives are intercompatible.
I would assume that the "drives" (controllers and nand) are the same. It would make the most sense to me from a business point of view. I would want to standardise on components like these. The Mac Pro flash might be specially binned, but it would seem that it is using the exact same components as found in the 15" rMBP (and 13" rMBP with 1TB option).

Share any info that you happen to find.
 

VirtualRain

macrumors 603
Aug 1, 2008
6,304
115
Vancouver, BC
Black magic is not he most accurate nor does it provide the highest result. It's an extremely simplistic tool (hence free). Until we see it tested with Quickbench, I wouldn't be too concerned.
 

handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,781
1,034
Pacific NW, USA
Black magic is not he most accurate nor does it provide the highest result. It's an extremely simplistic tool (hence free). Until we see it tested with Quickbench, I wouldn't be too concerned.
I couldn't agree with you more. Where BlackMagic focuses on large files, Quickbench provides a deep dive on a drives performance.

This is from a Samsung XP941 128GB(same module used in nMP just smaller)
https://forums.macrumors.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=452280&d=1387408549

XP941 512GB part in Windows(from theSSDReview.com)


One more thing... Speed of the nMP's SSD's is always limited by the OEM manufacturer. While Samsung is preferred by power users and clearly tops the chart in terms of performance, Toshiba has also been used in the past and generally supplies a slower part.
 
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slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
read writes into the 900s are not the same as air, pros, or iMacs. I own all three and fast but not that fast.
Uh, I get in the 900's on my Macbook Pro and that's with filevault enabled.

Whatever happened with the Mac Pro having 1.4GBps?

edit:with blackmagic speed test
 

MattDSLR

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2011
326
0
Canada
I so agree
The big hype around nMP is for nothing
This is another example of big disappointment with nMP
It started as the fastest ever but now it shows that drives as well single core tasks are slower than iMac and rMBP
wonder what next will be found
 
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