Is there a combination pcie SSD and USB3 card ?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gjarold, Feb 15, 2018.

  1. gjarold macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    I am short on pcie slots in my mac pro 4,1 and I would like to add a second predator hyperX m.2 pcie SSD card ... but I *ALSO* would like to add some USB3 ports ...

    Does there exist a card that can do both ?

    I saw this:

    (SIIG Legacy and Beyond Series USB 3.0 Type-C and Type-A 3 Port PCIe Card With SATA SSD Adapter)

    But this is not what I am looking for - this little card carries the m.2 SSD, but you connect it with a sata cable to the motherboard which means I'm getting the same old, slow, on-board SATA.

    Does there exist a proper pcie SSD card (that I can insert a m.2 SSD into) that also has two or three USB3 ports on it ?
  2. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    What are you trying to achieve with a 2nd HyperX M.2 SSD? More space? RAID 0 speed?

    And what PCIe card is your existing HyperX M.2 SSD currently mounted on?

    If your current PCIe card only allows one M.2 SSD to be mounted on it, the solution may be to replace your current PCIe card with one that will mount more than one M.2 SSD, thereby allowing your other PCIe slot to be occupied by a USB3 card -- eliminating the need for a combo USB3/M.2 SSD PCIe card.

    BUT if your goal is to RAID 0 two M.2's for speed, an appropriate M.2 SSD PCIe card needs to be able to handle that speed and therefore such a card may need more than x4 bandwidth.

    In which case, Amfeltec's Squid x16 card might be something to look at...?
  3. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    I want my OS to be installed on one very fast (bootable) SSD and my vmware VMs to be on a different, very fast SSD.

    I bought the "kit" that has the kingston SSD and the card already together - the "Kingston Digital HyperX Predator 240 GB PCIe Gen2 x4 Solid State Drive 8-Inch SHPM2280P2H/240G". So it's a PCIe card with one m.2 slot on it.

    OK, fair enough - but are those Ameltec cards bootable ? I bought the kingston "kit" because it was well known by the community to be bootable.

    ALSO, even though I am NOT trying to do RAID 0, it's sort of the same thing - I want the OS and VMWare to run on their own IOPS while the actual virtual machines have totally separate IOPS. (or perhaps have two hungry VMs, one on each SSD) ... so its sort of the same thing as the RAID 0 requirement.

  4. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    I want to say the Amfeltecs are bootable. Seems like I read that somewhere, but don't take my word for it. Research it and be sure before committing.

    However the Amfeltec card is expensive. IIRC it was somewhere between $300 and $400 last time I checked. Though that might be worth it if you plan on using more than 2 slots at some point.

    Surely there are other bootable cards with more than one M.2 slot...?

    Anyone else want to chime in here and offer other suggestions (besides Amfeltec) for a bootable PCIe card with 2 or more M.2 slots?
  5. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a


    Aug 15, 2006
    A400M Base

    There is one hidden champion out there nobody knows about...

    I have the PX1 and its great for what it does. Now since they introduced the blue x2 card, i think it has two M.2 card slots in it. (my guess) How ever, it looks this card can only be bought with already installed SSD modules, not like PX1 as an adapter solution.
  6. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007
    I don't think that angelbird x2 has m.2 slots - I think those are full size 2.5 SSD slots ...
    --- Post Merged, Feb 21, 2018 ---
    I could be wrong, but I think the reason I got the predator hyperX was because it was one of the very few cards that booted just fine from the m.2 device.

    That's why I think a m.2 carrier + USB3 ports is an easier direction for me to go than try to find a dual m.2 card that boots ...

    The only problem is that I don't know if a m.2 carrier + USB3 card exists, hence the point of this thread ...
  7. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I will be very surprised if you find a proper PCIe M.2 adapter card with USB 3.0 on it. It is an odd combo. Almost always if USB is combined with something, it's other external interfaces like eSATA or Firewire.

    If you don't need Wi-Fi, as an alternate path you might consider plopping a miniPCIe to USB 3.0 adapter in the Airport slot. A couple of people here have done something like that. Here is one example:

    However, I wish he would benchmark it. I am skeptical that he's getting good speeds out of that miniPCIe slot.
  8. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Yes I have the PX1 too, with an SM951 mounted on it. Works very well. :)
    --- Post Merged, Feb 22, 2018 ---
    Yep, this.

    Hence one possible solution: A multi-M.2 carrier board (like Amfeltec or comparable) so the other PCIe slot can be freed up for a USB3 card.
  9. gjarold thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 14, 2007

    That's a fine solution - but I haven't gotten any feedback on whether those are bootable ... are they ?
  10. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    I'm not 100% certain. I suggest doing a search for that question and see what comes up, or going to their website and see if the specs indicate it. If not, maybe send them an email and ask...

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9 February 15, 2018