Become a MacRumors Supporter for $50/year with no ads, ability to filter front page stories, and private forums.

MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 17, 2018
188
33
Hello,

I got a Mac Pro 2013 and have read all about the "SSD upgrade"-process. I got the small SSD (250GB) and was wondering if it could be used in some kind of USB/Thunderbolt enclosure instead of lying in the closet?

I have searched everywhere and it seems the SSD from apple is 'PCIe AHCI SSD' connecting through M-key and NOT 'SATA SSD' through B-key or B/M-key. Which from what I have found makes it really hard to find a proper solution.

I have only found this specific example:


Do I just have to accept the fact that when upgrading the SSD to Nvme via the adapter from Sintech the original old 'AHCI' drive from Apple becomes pretty much useless?
 

tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,147
13,338
Hello,

I got a Mac Pro 2013 and have read all about the "SSD upgrade"-process. I got the small SSD (250GB) and was wondering if it could be used in some kind of USB/Thunderbolt enclosure instead of lying in the closet?

I have searched everywhere and it seems the SSD from apple is 'PCIe AHCI SSD' connecting through M-key and NOT 'SATA SSD' through B-key or B/M-key. Which from what I have found makes it really hard to find a proper solution.

I have only found this specific example:


Do I just have to accept the fact that when upgrading the SSD to Nvme via the adapter from Sintech the original old 'AHCI' drive from Apple becomes pretty much useless?
Apple MP6,1 SSAUX/SSUBX blades are not M key, it's not even an M.2 blade, it's 12+16 proprietary Apple format.

AHCI/NVMe protocol has nothing to do to the 12+16 connector, Apple has PCIe AHCI and PCIe NVMe blades with 12+16 connector.

You can use it with an MP5,1/MP7,1/PC with a "2013-2014 Macbook Air SSD PCIe adapter 4X".

Don't forget that you will need to install back the Apple SSD every time Apple releases new firmware upgrades. It's a obligatory requirement for firmware upgrades that the original Apple SSD be present in the GPU SSD connector.

Edit:

Apple removed the requirement of an AppleOEM blade to be present for firmware upgrades with recent firmwares/efiflasher.

If you currently have an ancient firmware installed, like 12x.0.0.0.0, the AppleOEM blade is still required for the upgrade.
 
Last edited:

MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 17, 2018
188
33
Apple MP6,1 SSAUX/SSUBX blades are not M key, it's not even an M.2 blade, it's 12+16 proprietary Apple format.

AHCI/NVMe protocol has nothing to do to the 12+16 connector, Apple has PCIe AHCI and PCIe NVMe blades with 12+16 connector.
Arhh I forgot Apple's own ways :)

That adds to the "complexity" of storage and this comparison was leading me the wrong way:

Screen Shot 2019-12-29 at 10.43.36 AM.png

Right now it's the exact same thing with the new Mac Pro 2019 right?:


I mean those ssds are for now unknown and CAN'T be used elsewhere because of the custom connector...

Don't forget that you will need to install back the Apple SSD every time Apple releases new firmware upgrades. It's a obligatory requirement for firmware upgrades that the original Apple SSD be present in the GPU SSD connector.

I am almost positive that people more than once have managed to upgrade firmware on Samsung 970 series ?


"... I did read that some people had issues with firmware updates during OS installs. I tested mine going from High Sierra to Mojave and had absolutely no issue whatsoever. It works exactly the same as the OEM drive. Your mileage may vary but its been great for me so far!"
 
Last edited:

tsialex

Contributor
Jun 13, 2016
13,147
13,338
Arhh I forgot Apple's own ways :)

That adds to the "complexity" of storage and this comparison was leading me the wrong way:

View attachment 885363

Right now it's the exact same thing with the new Mac Pro 2019 right?:


I mean those ssds are for now unknown and CAN'T be used elsewhere because of the custom connector...



I am almost positive that people more than once have managed to upgrade firmware on Samsung 970 series ?
iMac Pro 2017 and 2019 Mac Pro NAND modules are not SSDs.

A SSD is a basically four main components, the SSD controller, the RAM, signal buffers and banks of NAND memory chips. With iMac Pro 2017 and Mac Pro 2019, the SSD controller and RAM are inside the T2 security chip, while the removable modules have only signal buffers and banks of NAND memory chips. For all effects, iMac Pro/Mac Pro NAND modules are analogous as DIMMs, just buffers and memory chips.

The connector has nothing to do with the inability to use iMac Pro/Mac Pro modules with anything else, it's not the pinout of the connector or the format that makes it's incompatible, but the missing SSD controller and RAM. Apple 12+16 connector blades like SanDisk models or Samsung SSUAX or SSUBX are real SSDs and can be used with a PC once the connector pinout is sorted.

You are mistaken that MP6,1 can upgrade it's firmware with a 970 M.2 SSD. Efiflasher only works if one of the Apple 12+16 SSDs are present in the GPU connector, won't matter if is one of the SanDisk or Samsung models.

Edit:

Apple removed the requirement of an AppleOEM blade to be present for firmware upgrades with recent firmwares/efiflasher.

If you currently have an ancient firmware installed, like 12x.0.0.0.0, the AppleOEM blade is still required for the upgrade.
 
Last edited:

MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 17, 2018
188
33
iMac Pro 2017 and 2019 Mac Pro NAND modules are not SSDs.

A SSD is a basically four main components, the SSD controller, the RAM, signal buffers and banks of NAND memory chips. With iMac Pro 2017 and Mac Pro 2019, the SSD controller and RAM are inside the T2 security chip, while the removable modules have only signal buffers and banks of NAND memory chips. For all effects, iMac Pro/Mac Pro NAND modules are analogous as DIMMs, just buffers and memory chips.

The connector has nothing to do with the inability to use iMac Pro/Mac Pro modules with anything else, it's not the pinout of the connector or the format that makes it's incompatible, but the missing SSD controller and RAM. Apple 12+16 connector blades like SanDisk models or Samsung SSUAX or SSUBX are real SSDs and can be used with a PC once the connector pinout is sorted.

You are mistaken that MP6,1 can upgrade it's firmware with a 970 M.2 SSD. Efiflasher only works if one of the Apple 12+16 SSDs are present in the GPU connector, won't matter if is one of the SanDisk or Samsung models.

Arhhh okay. Good to know!

Thanks for the clarification ?
 

MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 17, 2018
188
33
I won't buy it because it's not worth it a that price, but it looks like one of a kind :)

 
  • Like
Reactions: dabotsonline

David_Howard

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2016
11
15
I am looking for the same thing, an external adapter for my 512gb drive that is being upgrade to 1tb in my 2013 Mac Pro. Did you find anything else?
 

MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Original poster
Feb 17, 2018
188
33
I am looking for the same thing, an external adapter for my 512gb drive that is being upgrade to 1tb in my 2013 Mac Pro. Did you find anything else?

Sadly no. I spent quite some time looking for alternatives and just had to realize, that the connector makes using Apple's "own" solid state drives pretty difficult...
[automerge]1579861137[/automerge]
Sadly no. I spent quite some time looking for alternatives and just had to realize, that the connector makes using Apple's "own" solid state drives pretty difficult...

I found one other option, which might be the best option if you absolutely want to make use of the original SSD...

 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: dabotsonline

David_Howard

macrumors newbie
May 16, 2016
11
15
I did find a guy on eBay that will have some external enclosures in a week, but they are $85 each. I just bought a 1Tb upgrade fro him, and wanted the enclosure for the 512Gb I am pulling. That price is not friendly, but like you said, Apple’s proprietary connector is the problem. In case you want to contact him, his seller name on eBay is “todBretton”.
 
  • Like
Reactions: dabotsonline
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.