MacBook Air mid2013 and Samsung's 960 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by rashka, Apr 8, 2018.

  1. rashka macrumors newbie

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    Apr 8, 2018
    #1
    Hey guys,

    My friend gave me a Macbook Air (mid 2013) and i want to update its ssd, possibly with Samsung's 960 PRO NVMe M.2 SSD. But cannot find anywhere on the net if it will work or not. I have got so many mixed reviews but none of those updates appear to be 960 pro. Has anyone got any idea what i would end up with if i buy the ssd and start doing the updates?

    PS - i have done plenty of macbook pro updates before, so familiar with the process, but definitely unclear and a bit clueless about this one in terms of compatibility, and getting a promised speed results from the ssd on my MBAmid2013.

    Thanks a lot, looking forward to yall's kind help :)
     
  2. psingh01 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    #3
    From what I have seen it will not fit. The ssd in the MacBook air needs a different connector.

    OWC has a 2TB option and if you see the picture, the gap in the connector is in a different location than the 960 Pro.
    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/S3DAPB4MB20/

    This site mentions an adapter you can buy for the 950 Pro which might be what you need.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Answers/View/271669/Will+this+new+Samsung+M.2+SSD+work

    If it were me I'd just get the one from OWC as it is known to be supported and is roughly the same price. I have the same MacBook Air and would love 2TB but not loving the prices yet :D
     
  3. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #4
    The nvme drive will fit with the right adapter.
     
  4. dollystereo macrumors 6502a

    dollystereo

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    #5
    Apple uses proprietary SSD connectors (non standard M.2), so only apple branded SSD will fit. eBay is a good source of SSDs.
    A SSD from a macbook pro fits the MBA. Apple uses the same connector all across the board.
    --- Post Merged, Apr 10, 2018 ---
    Are you thinking on something like this: http://www.microsatacables.com/m2-n...-20102011-macbook-air-apl-m2-air#product-tabs ?
     
  5. Audit13, Apr 10, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018

    Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #6
  6. Macdctr, Apr 10, 2018
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2018

    Macdctr macrumors 6502

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    #7
    I did the upgrade to NVMe drives in both my 2013 and 2015 MBA and I used the Samsung 950 PRO M.2 drive and Sintech adapter with no issues.

    Details are in this thread including Disk Speed Test results (pictures and links): https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/macbook-air-2017-ssd-compatibility-with-samsung-ssd.2099405/

    AHCI drives are limited to 2x link width so you can expect to see drive speeds somewhere in the 450MB/s write and 675MB/s read speeds.

    NVMe drives use 4x link width so you will see about 3x drive performance improvements over the AHCI drives. Typical drive speeds will be around 1375MB/s write and 1500MB/s read speeds. Huge difference if you ask me... and this is with my Samsung 950 PRO M.2 drive.
     
  7. heydante macrumors newbie

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    Apr 20, 2018
    #8
    Did you use the long sintech adapter for MBA 2015?
    Also, how's the temperature profile with the new SSD?
     
  8. Macdctr macrumors 6502

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    #9
  9. bowen1506 macrumors newbie

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    #10
  10. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #11
    Yes, the 960 Evo drains quickly so I went back to the stock ssd for now.
     
  11. bowen1506 macrumors newbie

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    May 24, 2018
    #12
    Ouch. That sucks. I've checked every thread it seems that we still haven't figured how to reliably upgrade the ssd even with highsierra nvme support and adapters...:confused:
     
  12. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #13
    We can certainly use many different nvme drives in the Macbook Pro and Air but it's really the battery drain that is the major downside with the 960 EVO. The Intel 600p, although slow, has decent battery life.
     
  13. bowen1506 macrumors newbie

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    May 24, 2018
    #14
    Yes, battery drain is the issue I am worrying about. I don't think it has much to do with "fast ssds are more power hungry". The stock drives are fast, and high end windows laptops have fast nvme ssds too. But they don't suffer battery drain. I think it's a matter of firmware compatibility. At this point I think we are once again screwed by the locked down apple products...and would be just stroke of luck if there will be a drive that's both fast and won't drain battery.
     
  14. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #15
    I don't think the speed of a drive is causing the battery drain either.

    I mentioned the 600p because it's a drive I am currently using in an early 2015 13" Air and the battery life isn't bad at around 85% of the life from an apple ssd.
     
  15. mwilson87a, May 31, 2018
    Last edited: May 31, 2018

    mwilson87a macrumors newbie

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    Michigan
    #16
    --- Post Merged, May 31, 2018 ---
    Okay, it actual IS because of the drive, not the firmware.
    The newer 3D nand actually went backwards in time in terms of storage cell size. Think of going from 14nm processors back to 24nm processors... Size of elements was getting too small for flash storage and the life of the cells was being dramatically reduced plus they could not get too much smaller easily.

    Samsung then figured out how to go vertical with their structures to make better use of the space (think highrise instead of duplex) They were also able to improve life and make things easier by going back to larger lithography. The one problem is, the larger lithography requires more charge to set the state of the cell. Also, having SLC/MLC/TLC memory structure also comes into play. SLC is a single on/off bit per cell while MLC can store 4 bits per cell by varying the charge stored. Now, add in that these drives are up to 4 times faster than the original mac SSD's (if mac PCIe si 4 lane), you are using more power to charge the gates and at a much faster rate.

    And here, you will see, the final reason why it's not your firmware or computer...(confirms the above)
    Read power requirements are below 1W for both drives.
    Apple PCIe-SSD needs 2W of power on everage to write. It can draw up to 3W in very very heavy loads.
    960 EVO (from samsung web site) requires 5.3W/5.4W/5.7W as average power requirement for 250G/500G/1TB respectively and they max out around 9W. IT'S NOT A TOOOMAAAAH

    Bummer, the 970EVO draws a couple tenths more and up to 10W worst case

    The PRO version of these cards hit 8.5W max but have a similar average.

    SUMMARY: While the 3D nand is FASTER and nice, it's power hungry and may not be your best choice. Look at the WD BLack NVME... it LOOKS to have fractional wattage requirements, so should be high performance but save power.

    Remember, the power being drawn IDLE does not vary too much from drive to drive/size to size. Its' the WRITING process the sucks it down. and the WD Black looks pretty low. It does have a 10uSec burst draw of 2.8A which is high, but for a short time.

    And another note, Intel OPTANE drive is better on power (in the m.2 form factor) So, when these are available in larger sizes with 4 lane, they will be very nice.

    EDIT
     
  16. mwilson87a macrumors newbie

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    Michigan
    #17
    Everyone does you you must enable LPM (link power management) for your NVMe drive, correct?
     
  17. caraconejo macrumors newbie

    caraconejo

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    Aug 2, 2018
    #18
    With proprietary adapters to M2 form, it is necessary to take into account that they support NVMe, some only support AHCI (limitations in speed x2) Otherwise work well, on Amazon I bought an NVMe adapter for a Samsung EVO 970 with better controller than the previous versions and it goes well in the MBA 11 of 2013, in the MBA 13 "of 2015 and in the MBP 12" of 2014 (that has gone from the original Mac unit AHCI x2 to NVMe x4 and speeds of 400 to 1400 with similar temperatures and consumptions Everything is a sum and subtraction of advantages and disadvantages, considering that the cost of the NVMe + adapter is less than half the JetDrive 85x is worth it The speed is associated with the size of the units among other factors in such a way, that it is more "slow" than 250 gigas that the one of 1 tera in any case is JetDrive or Samsung EVO
     
  18. TokMok3 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2015
    #19
    Hi caraconejo,

    What adapter did you installed in the MacBook Air 11 2013, and what is the Reading and Writing speeds?

    I have a MBA 11 & 13 (mid)2013.

    Thank you!
     
  19. Binarymix macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2007
    #20
    I'm looking to upgrade my 2013 MacBook air. I bought an adapter, that says its AHCI. Should the SATA III m.2 drives with an m and b key still work?

    I'm not looking at nvme, as they are still a lot more $$$, so it doesn't matter if that's compatible.
     
  20. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #21
    You cannot just sata drives in a mid-2013 or newer air.

    The SSD connector in the mid-2013 to 2017 will work with ahci and nvme drives. The adapter is neither ahci or nvme.
     
  21. Binarymix macrumors 65816

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    Nov 1, 2007
    #22
    That’s what I’m asking though, will say the crucial SATA m.2 drive on amazon, work with the ahci adapter which says is for my model. (This ssd specifically Crucial MX500 1TB 3D NAND SATA M.2 (2280SS) Internal SSD - CT1000MX500SSD4 https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B0784SY515/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_api_i_X8A8Bb8R6HR11 )

    Some adapters say they only support ahci and not nvme. Or is that because they were made before the bootrom didn’t support nvme, which it now does?

    The details of these adapters are confusing.
     
  22. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #23
    A m.2 sata SSD will not work in a MacBook that uses an ahci drive and Apple used ahci drives in the air from mid-2013 to 2017.

    The adapter that works with the air will accommodate ahci and nvme drives.

    If you want an adapter that will work, look at adapters from Sintech.
     
  23. Binarymix macrumors 65816

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    Nov 1, 2007
    #24
    So I have to get an nvme drive for my model then? Damn. They’re still expensive.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 18, 2018 ---
    I thought all sata ssds were AHCI.
     
  24. Audit13, Nov 18, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2018

    Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

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    #25

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