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Apple has quietly introduced support for the next generation NVM Express (NVMe) interface to SSD Flash drives in their latest OS X 10.10.3 update as well as in the new Retina MacBook which was released on April 10th.

nvme1.jpg
System Report on new Retina MacBook​

The NVMe software interface replaces the AHCI software interface in Apple's previous notebooks, and offers improved latency and performance over the old protocol. Anandtech offers a good overview between the technologies:
AHCI (Advanced Host Controller Interface) dates back to 2004 and was designed with hard drives in mind. While that doesn't rule out SSDs, AHCI is more optimized for high latency rotating media than low latency non-volatile storage. As a result AHCI can't take full advantage of SSDs and since the future is in non-volatile storage (like NAND and MRAM), the industry had to develop a software interface that abolishes the limits of AHCI.

The result is NVMe, short for Non-Volatile Memory Express.
The new protocol is not to be confused with the underlying hardware that connects the SSD to Apple's notebooks. Apple has already upgraded the physical interface to the much faster PCIe connectors a number of years ago.

Going into the future, NVMe will allow Apple's hardware to take further advantage of the performance of SSDs as well as improve battery life with less time spent transferring data. Intel expects NVMe to also be coming to tablets and phones in the near future.

Thanks Jonathan

Article Link: Faster 'NVM Express' SSD Interface Arrives on Retina MacBook and OS X 10.10.3
 
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springsup

macrumors 65816
Feb 14, 2013
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Pretty sure this requires a new controller chip too. So no retrograde upgrades.

arn

You should probably clarify that in the article. It's a little misleading:

The new protocol is not to be confused with the underlying hardware that connects the SSD to Apple's notebooks. Apple has already upgraded the physical interface to the much faster PCIe connectors a number of years ago.

But it DOES require new hardware.
 
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lowercaseperson

macrumors 6502
Oct 5, 2006
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As much as so many people are hating the MB - its got some pretty sweet technology in it. Excited for gen2 and these implementations trickle down (or up?) to other Apple products.
 
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parfy

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Jul 10, 2010
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Cardiff
Screen_Shot_2015_04_11_at_21_21_43.png
Is this in the new retina MacBook Pro 13" (with force touch)

Well I've just checked mine and i get the message : "This computer doesn't contain any NVMExpress devices. If you installed NVMExpress devices, make sure they are connected properly and powered on."

I'd have hoped it would be, surely it has the hardware requirements?
 
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wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
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Pretty sure this requires a new controller chip too. So no retrograde upgrades.

arn

A firm ware upgrade to the controller chips might be possible. However I can't see Apple doing this. This makes me wonder if Apple updated the new MBP to support this interface.

Im also wondering if this support might enable third party upgrades. If Apple has settled on a specific interface for solid state storage, then maybe we will see third party upgrades become possible.
 

deviant

macrumors 65816
Oct 27, 2007
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Awesome. Faster = better

Another nail on the HDD cofin.

Not even close. HDDs are for storage, SSDs are for the system. Is it THAT hard to understand? I hate to read this stuff over and over again. HDDs are CHEAP. You couldn't possibly afford a 50TB NAS storage filled with SSDs.
 
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wizard

macrumors 68040
May 29, 2003
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Image

Well I've just checked mine and i get the message : "This computer doesn't contain any NVMExpress devices. If you installed NVMExpress devices, make sure they are connected properly and powered on."
The NVMExpress devices should be discoverable over PCI-Express. It is the target hardware that needs to support NVMEXPRESS. {interesting, iOS capitalized that for me with no input from me}
I'd have hoped it would be, surely it has the hardware requirements?

The hardware requirements would be in the storage device. It is sort of like plugging a SCSI card into a PCI slot. However the SCSI card is useless without OS support. The same thing is going on here, NVMEXPRESS support is needed in the OS to support the new hardware interface.

Now the question is has anyone actually verified that this support is actually working with NVMEXPRESS hardware in the new Mac Book? I just checked my new MBP and it doesn't support NVME with the 512 GB drive.

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Not even close. HDDs are for storage, SSDs are for the system. Is it THAT hard to understand? I hate to read this stuff over and over again. HDDs are CHEAP. You couldn't possibly afford a 50TB NAS storage filled with SSDs.
A 512 GB SSD represents a lot of storage space, for some people all the space they need! For other people the cost of 50TB of SSD storage is a drop in the hat. Facts don't support your position.
 
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