nMP PCIe SSD Drive Help

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by StrawberryX, Sep 20, 2017.

  1. StrawberryX, Sep 20, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

    StrawberryX macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013

    I read a lot of info on this forum for PCIe drives and MP's.
    But Most info is for the cMP.

    As I have a nMP.
    It is harder to find info on compatible TB PCIe SSD's.

    I'm looking for and PCIe SSD to put in an TB2/TB3 PCIe enclosure.
    ( From what I read a TB3 enclosure with an adapter cable should be compatible with TB2 ports ).
    ( Most TB3 PCIe enclosures have a faster PCIe lane ... this would make it more future proof,
    for when you upgrade to a Mac with TB3 also ).

    I researched a Sonnet, they list PCIe drives that are compatible
    ( they should be TB compatible too, for boot and TRIM? )

    I was thinking about the Intel 750, but seems that drive is not very Mac compatible?
    They are very fast, and the 400gb and 800gb are not crazy expensive.
    ( For a pciE drive ).

    Also I live in Europe. It is harder to get some stuff here like Sonnet than in the US.

    Does anyone knows a good working alternative, for TB PCIe use that works in Sierra or High Sierra.
    I'm looking for something between 400gb and 800gb ( around 500 euro's for the intels ).
    Bootable is a plus, as the nMP drives, seems to be very hard to find.

    Kind Regards.

    ( A sata raid enclosure is also on my list.
    But finding a compatible PCIe drive, seem to be a lot harder. )
  2. StrawberryX, Sep 20, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2017

    StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    I also see that Sonnet is coming with a Fusion PCIe housing.
    That would hold a PCIe M.2 drive.

    I would only need one. That is bootable/has PCIe Read and Write speeds.

    For larger storage options I don't mind a SataIII enclosure ... raid0 or otherwise.
    To mount more storage. One with SSD drives, one with larger spinners for back up.

    The cMP's that I have are also nice for back up/storage options when consistant speed is not really needed.
    ( On the cable LAN or Firewire 800 )
    PCIe would be used more for just the curent working projects.

    I would prefer 3 TB enclosures.
    ( One PCIe, and 2 Sata III that house 4 drives each, or one with 2 and one with 4 ).
    One more for scratch drives, recent projects ... the other one for back up a lot of storage,
    than even more external HDD's. I already have over 20TB on external HDD's.
    I don't mind one on my desk, but 6 or more all needing an external power supply and more power sockets ...

    The drive in the nMP is only 256GB, enough for the OS + Apps.
    I'm very happy with it, 64GB ram is on the way.
    I only need to buy some external storage options, so I can use it for work.
    Preferably before the 30 days return period is over.

    On the cMP I always had 2 bootable drives, just in case one fales.
    And never put my working projects on the boot drive.
    Having an external back up of everything important, and a second back up at home,
    incase of theft, fire, etc ... in the studio.

    Kind Regards
  3. StrawberryX, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017

    StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    OWC Mercury Accelsior E2
    OWC Mercury Helios

    Seems like a combo that should work.

    The E2 is pretty slow, slower than the card in the nMP.
    Speed would be the purpose of spending much more, than some Sata III SSD ...
    There is a faster
    OWC Mercury Pro Q but seems less available
    not compatible with the Helios TB3.

    Not a super fan of OWC if It comes to more expensive upgrades.
    Nice for cheaper add ons or legacy stuff.

    Advice would much be appreciated
    Take a sonnet with a kingston card ...
    The E2 is pretty expensive for the speed.
    The helios is cheaper than most sonnets.
    But the sonnets can be upgraded to TB3.
    Seems better quality.

    Tons of info for cMP and PCIe ... but for TB PCIe SSD on the nMP.

    Does A TB3 enclosure work with the Apple cable as stated on the Apple site work on a TB2 nMP.
    Going for a TB3 enclosure would give a faster PCIe slot or slots, practical for future use.
    But It would be nice to know if It works and everything.
    Most info I find is about solution that are not working, like the Intel 750.

    Any things I should be warry off,
    I was planning on waiting for High Sierra to really set the machine up.

    Kind Regards
  4. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    My recommendation is to get an AKiTiO Node Lite. It's a Thunderbolt 3 enclosure with a decent footprint and ample of power and space for a PCIe NVMe M.2 drive. Make sure the Thunderbolt 3 enclosure you end up buying has a macOS compatible USB-C controller, TI83. Older Thunderbolt 3 enclosures have TI82 controller which works with older Macs via the Apple Thunderbolt 3/USB-C to Thunderbolt adapter. They don't work with Thunderbolt 3 Macs however.

    I've tested one with a Samsung 960 EVO. Paired with a Thunderbolt 3 host such as the new MacBook Pro, the read speed can saturate the current Thunderbolt 3 bandwidth at 2,7XX MiB/s. It is also bootable in macOS High Sierra with the nMP.


    There's a 12+16pin to M.2 NGFF M-Key adapter that maybe of interest to you if you plan on upgrading the internal drive as well. I've used one of these to upgrade the drive inside a MacBook Air.

    3404-macos-nvme-support-samsung-960-evo-macbook-air.jpg 3405-macos-nvme-support-samsung-960-evo-macbook-air-angle.jpg
  5. StrawberryX, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017

    StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    Thank you very much!

    I found out that M.2 SM951 will do the trick on most Macs.
    I ordered both a AHCI version aswel as the NVMe version.
    The first one should be easier to use as a boot drive also on older versions then High Siera.
    I went for the SM951 as there are a lot of good deals, incase It doesn't work ( especially on the NVMe version ).

    With the TB3 enclosure, is It that USB controler that makes some TB3 hardware,
    released prior to the TB3 Macbook Pro that makes them incompatable with TB3 Macs.
    I read about that but a reason why was not mentioned.

    If I can upgrade the internal with an adapter I would not mind, the 256 is enough but not as fast as the newer 512.
    512 would be a little more comfortable.
    But It looks like I can put the nMP into a Macbook but not a normal M.2 into a nMP.
    It lists only all macbook pro's and Air's 2013/2014/2015
    Not the nMP.

    I read good stuff about Akitio, It's rare in Europe.
    The normal Note with more power can be imported from the states.
    Price is half the price of a model in Europe.
    I prefer a good enclosure with a fan and PSU.
    Most Lacie hard drives, the quadra's etc ... the enclosures died.
    Price is cheaper than the OWC one, maybe the same with import tax.
    Sonnet costs a lot more here in the EU.

    The only part I need to buy yet is the TB Enclosure and cable.
    I bought 2 different cards that both should work with the mac.

    Thank you for the info.
    Just a little more research on enclosures. And It would probably work.
    Going for an M.2 makes It easier to swap one in the future when they become faster cheaper.
    As my next tower will probaly be a windows system.
  6. StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    Would that adapter just work putting in an AHCI M.2 drive in It,
    or even NVMe with high sierra.
    and that in the nMP?

    Or is there a space issue, heat, other stuff.

    Everyone would upgrade using that adapter, but there is hardly any info on it.
    I did see the Mac Pro listed after the Air 2015 on compatible drives.
  7. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68040


    Sep 23, 2005
    Could you post a link to the adapter?
  8. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    Would be interesting to know if the 2013 Mac Pro could boot from an NVMe volume.
  9. theitsage Suspended

    Aug 28, 2005
    It can boot with NVMe M.2 drive in High Sierra. The adapter is what's needed to use it internally. Otherwise, Thunderbolt enclosure is another option.
  10. StrawberryX, Sep 21, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2017

    StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    Would be cool if that worked
    AHCI M.2 drive for pre-High Sierra Max 500 gig

    Some AHCI drives that should work from a sellers info page.
    ( NVMe in High Sierra, a lot more drives I suppose, like the 960 and 960 Pro wich runs cooler I think )
    ( Much faster/cheaper than the OWC solution )

    The Kingston SHPM2280P2H with 960GB is also AHCI I suppose.
    There are some pics from the XP941 with adapter in the nMP ( At a seller that sells the card + adapter on ebay the 512GB from France ... )
    So maybe It works.

    Heat could be a problem with those super fast cards ... like a 2TB 960 Pro in the nMP.
    In a ventilated enclosure I don't see the problem. Some cards come with heatsinks ...

    Kingston SHPM2280P2/ 240G/ 480G
  11. Awgd8 macrumors member


    Sep 23, 2014
    I’m looking also for a thunderbolt 3 SSD enclosure for my mid 2017 base iMac. I’m having a hard time deciding if I go for Thunderbolt 3 to SATA III SSD enclosure or PCIe SSD enclosure.

    I’m sure the SATA III enclosure will work, but not as fast as the PCIe.
    Most PCIe SSD enclosure only accept regular size PCIe card and not M.2 .
    I’m looking at AKiTiO and the SATA enclosure is more expensive than the PCIe. If I have to invest with enclosure , I want at least to have a sense of future proofing my investment. PCIe is the future.... but how do I get this to work on my IMac High Seirra ?

    If I go PCIe, is NVME card compatible with MacOS? Also what adapter works for M.2 PCIe to fit into the external enclosure?

    Any help are greatly appreciated.
  12. StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    Sata III is a waste on TB unless you go raid.
    Use 4 drives not one.

    It al depends.
    Many adapter cards for M.2 ...

    I ordered three, I did have to format the drive on a El Capitan machine,
    high sierra saw nothing.

    The Akito makes a lot of noise ... mine does.
    I do have the TB2 version, atm ...
    But has the a cooling system, a lot of the cheaper cards don't.
    And you will only know if it will work after trying.

    I have multiple M2 drives.
    And multiple adapter cards.
    I have not yet tested any NVME card.

    The downpoint is, most take only one M.2 card/PCIe.
    So it is really expensive, compared to a 4 drive sata III solution.
    Sata III drives are a lot cheaper too, become mainstream, SSD Sata III.

    Enlosures that take multiple cards etc ...
    I think, there will be a litte more options in a year.
    And for the moment, I would have taken a 4 drive Sata III enclosure ...
    Not 1 PCI Express slot. Speed is impressive,
    but when more compatible gear reaches the market.
    It's a pretty expensive now.

    But I have the PCI now.
  13. jclmavg macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2014
    Just spotted this thread. Is this adapter working in the nMP 2013 too?
  14. itdk92 macrumors 6502


    Nov 14, 2016
    Copenhagen, Denmark
    Interesting post.

    I have a few questions:

    If your evo can do 27xx MB/s, why does it do only about 1600 MB/s in the cMP?
    What do you think?

    The other question is about the MacBook with the EVO. Can the EVO be used in MacBooks? Any model? Bootable?? :)
  15. StrawberryX thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2013
    PCIe II and III I dno ...

    I had to "format" mine in El Capitan ... to get it working with High Sierra.
    And that is the compatible non NVME version.
    High Sierra did not know what to make of it ...
  16. jclmavg macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2014
    So is this setup with the adapter stable with the nMP or not?

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17 September 20, 2017