Macbook Air 11" early 2015; Link width is only 2x after Nvme ssd upgrade

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by MacuserNo.42, Jul 16, 2019.

  1. MacuserNo.42, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019

    MacuserNo.42 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    Scratching my head here. After a Nvme m2 ssd upgrade I am not getting the full Link width of the Pcie bus which should be 4x, as I understand. System profiler reports back as only 2x. Blackmagic speed tests show read/write of 700-750 mb/s, which confirms the link width of 2x. The mac is the last of the great 11 inch MBA's , fully specced, i7, 8gb ram and (up until now 500gb ssd disc). I have upgraded the original Oem Apple Samsung 500gb ssd to a 1tb Adata sx8200 pro with an Sintech m2 adapter. The latest version of Mojave (10.14) is running. I restored from a time machine backup, on a separate hard drive, after booting from a Usb stick. The previous ssd reported via system report a Link width of 4x and this was born out with read speeds of over 1400 mb/s.
    I have reset the Pram, the Smc, and even tried another Samsung 970 evo blade; that also reports back as only a 2x link width. Any ideas as to what I can try next?
     
  2. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #2
    Which Sintech adapter is being used?

    Is it possible that the metal cover over the SSD slot is making contact with the pins on the adapter? Tried adding some Kapton tap?
     
  3. MacuserNo.42, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 16, 2019

    MacuserNo.42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Its this adapter
    https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07FYY3H5F/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o07_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

    Not sure of any tape mods? Here is a picture of the current test set up, with the Sumsung 970 mounted-Really want the Adata Ssd set up (for long term as its been suggested from other threads that it draws less power for not a lot of speed difference) but both are behaving the same at the moment, ie only 2x link width.
     

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  4. Audit13 macrumors 601

    Audit13

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    #4
    I asked about the Sintech adapter because the early revisions of the short, green Sintech adapter need Kapton tape to keep the adapter's pins from making contact with the metal cover of the logic board's SSD connector; otherwise, link width was limited to x2. Sintech remedied the situation with a revised design. Maybe there is contact between the metal code and adapter?

    I also have a short, black Sintech adapter in an early 2015 13" Air and the link width is shown as x4.
     

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  5. Macdctr, Jul 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019

    Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    #5
    Audit13 is correct. Try using some Kapton tape to insulate the pins from the adapter to the SSD slot on the logic board. I recently installed a Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe M.2 drive on my 2015 2.2GHz i7/8GB 11 inch MBA and am currently seeing close to write speeds of 1400 MB/s and read speeds of 1500MB/s using Blackmagic Speed Test. For what it's worth, I am also using a Sintech adapter with my NVMe drive.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    If you look close, I’m not using any Kapton tape on my adapter and I don’t have it jammed right up against the SSD slot either.
    [​IMG]

    If anything... try backing out your adapter just enough so you can see the pins like in my picture...
     
  6. MacuserNo.42, Jul 17, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019

    MacuserNo.42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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  7. MacuserNo.42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Thank you for the replies. Encouraged by two experiences.

    Audit13macrumors 601
    [​IMG]
    Apr 20, 2017
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #4
    I asked about the Sintech adapter because the early revisions of the short, green Sintech adapter need Kapton tape to keep the adapter's pins from making contact with the metal cover of the logic board's SSD connector; otherwise, link width was limited to x2. Sintech remedied the situation with a revised design. Maybe there is contact between the metal code and adapter?

    I also have a short, black Sintech adapter in an early 2015 13" Air and the link width is shown as x4

    Audit13 is correct. Try using some Kapton tape to insulate the pins from the adapter to the SSD slot on the logic board. I recently installed a Samsung 970 PRO 512GB NVMe M.2 drive on my 2015 2.2GHz i7/8GB 11 inch MBA and am currently seeing close to write speeds of 1400 MB/s and read speeds of 1500MB/s using Blackmagic Speed Test. For what it's worth, I am also using a Sintech adapter with my NVMe drive.

    - I have ordered the equivalent tape (in the uk) and hope to test it out on my Sintech adapter and blades as soon as..
    Just to check-placing a small amount of this tape underneath the blade or adapter at closest point of connection would do the job to check this out?
     
  8. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    #8
    This is my 2015 MBA

    [​IMG]

    I just checked my 11inch MBA link width and mine is at x4.

    [​IMG]

    Not sure why yours is at x2.
     
  9. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    MacUser, did you ever get this combo working correctly? I'm thinking of trying the same combo on my 2015 11" Air.
     
  10. MacuserNo.42, Jul 21, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2019

    MacuserNo.42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #10
    I now have a 4x width working on my 2015 MBA. I could not get the original adapter I ordered as listed before (dark pcb)to play along at all, even with the suggested tape fixes. So I ordered another sintech adapter (green pcb versioned) to try out. It works straight off without any mod for me. With both the Adata and Samsung ssd’s. Solid read/ writes at over 1400 mbits/sec; so happy with that.
     
  11. niteflyr macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Glad to hear it works now. I'm going to go for it also.
     
  12. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    #12
    I'm using a Sintech adapter and a 512GB Samsung 970 PRO NVMe M.2 storage drive with my 11 inch Air. No issues. I do have less battery life but I knew this going in. I'd say I'm at around 6hrs - 7hrs battery life. I'm okay with this. I have an AC adapter to plug in so I'm happy with the performance upgrade as well as storage capacity. I know I can go up to 2TB storage and that would be awesome to have in this 2015 11 inch Air. :)

    I have posted results of my install a few posts above this one.
     
  13. jhillier22 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2018
    #13
    Do you notice a performance difference compared to the original Apple SSD? From what I can tell modern NVMe SSD's have much better 4K Read/Write speeds but is it noticeable in daily use?
     
  14. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    #14
    My Apple SSDs averaged around 400MB/s speeds for both read and write so yes, huge improvement.
     
  15. jhillier22 macrumors newbie

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    Nov 14, 2018
    #15
    Yeah that seems like a huge jump.

    Im waiting for my sintech adaptor to arrive so I can upgrade the 128GB SSD in my 2017 MacBook Air. Im sure the speed jump won't be significant but I'm only upgrading for the extra capacity.
     
  16. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    #16
    Download the Blackmagic Disk Speed Test app and run it now while you have your original Apple drive so you can see what your current drive performance is before upgrading to NVMe M.2, then you will know how much improvement you will have in performance once you upgrade.
     
  17. Ardo macrumors newbie

    Ardo

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    Jan 2, 2019
    #17
    You have the latest Boot-Rom Boot-ROM-Version: 186.0.0.0.0?

    I'm working with a 2 TB Samsung Evo, without any problems, no heat problems or hibernation, speed approx 1.500, 4 x lane, 2015, 11', 1,6GHZ, 4 GB. It works better than my MacBook Pro 2015 with the same SSD.
     
  18. MacuserNo.42 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Yes, and all working great now with the right adapter:
     
  19. Macdctr macrumors 6502a

    Macdctr

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    #19
    Glad to hear it was an adapter issue and that everything worked out for you! Enjoy!!
     

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18 July 16, 2019