NVMe M2 SSD as storage on Amfeltec PCIe Squid Carrier

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Maxxy, Jan 17, 2017.

  1. Maxxy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Location:
    Bali, Indonesia
    #1
    My apologies if this question here has been done to death here. I need to get an answer quickly. I have spent some time trying to find a definitive answer but many or most of threads get very deep ...and some verrrry long....I'm sorry I am not able to follow it all myself

    I have upgraded most of my Mac Pro 2009 flashed to 5,1 and just need now to install an SSD for project files ....mostly audio.

    Ideally I would just put a Samsung 950 or 960 NVMe M2 500g blade into a third slot of the 4-slot Squid Carrier board. The 2 x AHCI SM951s already installed on the card are running wonderfully in Raid 0 as the startup/system drive.

    But one online supplier advised me against an NVMe SSD as he felt stability could not be guaranteed. And yet there seem many here at MacRumors who are happy with their NVMe SSDs and not having problems...is that right?

    i also see that some are actually able to set it all up such that they are able to boot off it....something I thought was essentially impossible. Or maybe it is only Hackintosh users who can pull off this neat technical trick?

    I did download the Generic kext file from MacVidCards but, like others, I couldn't get the root wheel owner Terminal thing to work....i had a illegal name or something...

    TBH I'm not sure if the kext installation is even necessary if I simply want to use the new NVMe drive for storage

    I don't have access to shops or suppliers of this level of technology products here where i live....and I really need to make a decision soon so that my friend can purchase it overseas and bring it to me by hand in a few days

    Could anyone give me clear advice on this? .... i don't want to have problems that I wouldn't be able to solve if it an NVMe drive is only barely or partially compatible in my system. What do you think?

    Can i stick one in and get it working as a regular storage drive without too much difficulty?

    Thanks so much for any advice and apologies again for seeking a fast track answer on this

    kind regards

    maxxy



    Mac Pro 4,1 flashed to 5,1; 12 Core 3.33, 32 Gig RAM, Amfeltec Squid PCie M.2 SSD 4-slot Carrier board, 2 x 256G Samsung SM951 AHCI Raid 0 as system drive, OSX 11.6
     
  2. PaulB-UK macrumors newbie

    PaulB-UK

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Try again with the NVMeGeneric.kext from MacVidCards

    Copy it to /Library/Extensions

    Open up Terminal.

    cd /Library/Extensions
    sudo chown –R 0:0 NVMeGeneric.kext
    << It will ask for your password
    sudo kextload NVMeGeneric.kext << It will ask for your password again

    You can close Terminal now and the new drive should now appear when you open up Disk Utility. Partition it as normal, and it should appear as an internal drive on your desktop.

    Something to note, after installing my NGFF M.2 PCIe drive, the machine wouldn't shut down properly; it just restarts with the "Something went wrong, wait a few seconds to reboot" message.

    You will need to load the driver each time you restart the machine (last line of the Terminal commands, above).

    Good luck

    Paul B.
     
  3. Maxxy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
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    Bali, Indonesia
    #3
    Thank you very much for that Paul

    Perfectly clear... even if the news is not ideal....hmm have to think about that inconvenience

    It doesn't sound perfectly well-behaved... is its not shutting down potentially harmful to the computer somehow?...or over time? Has it continued like that without any resolution ? i mean.... to shut it down do you just pull the plug when it's at the apparent bottom of its shut down cycle before it clicks itself back on?

    Not sure if i'd be happy with that....

    Did I see someone mention the possibility of having a script that would automatically initiate that Terminal sequence?

    Does your experience reflect the general consensus about this or is your case unusual? Are any others able to integrate the drive more stably? Or is this just he way it's likely to be with an NVMe drive in a Mac Pro tower?

    Sorry to come back with so many questions....it's very interesting what you've said Paul and I thank you for that

    Interested to hear anything further of course...( :

    Thanks to all
     
  4. PaulB-UK macrumors newbie

    PaulB-UK

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2017
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    I rarely shut my machine down, so it isn't a problem for me. When I do, I just pull the plug.

    I just noticed that you already have AHCI SM951s. I very much doubt you can mix AHCI cards and NVMe cards on the same card (I'm happy to be wrong on this occasion!)

    Best of luck.

    Paul B.
     
  5. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Location:
    Croatia
    #5
    I once left a Samsung NVMe SSD in one slot along with my normal SM951 AHCI - would not boot anymore, just black screen.

    Was reproducible but not sure caused by what....
     
  6. Maxxy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
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    Bali, Indonesia
    #6
    I wrote to amfeltec a while back and am assured that the all circuits on the Squid board are fully independent and that the OS sees each M.2 module as an independent disk. They say that you can mix any size and any type.

    So, according to the manufacturer, it should work ...but William_si's experience contradicts that.

    William_si Did you speak to amfeltec about that? What is NGFF? Do we have the same 4-slot PCIe-2 board?

    I could live with hitting the Frankenstein switch at shutdown... and doing the Terminal dance each time.....but if it just plain breaks the computer I naturally couldn't go ahead and buy one to try

    Any other experiences very welcome at this point.... if I can't get past this point at the moment i guess I'll just use a regular EVO 850 SATA for while and see how it all develops. It would be disappointing though as I bought the card with this functionality in mind

    Again anyone with further info please chime in.. .I will make further enquiries and get back if I make any progress

    Thanks for helping out
     
  7. macuser453787, Jan 18, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2017
  8. Maxxy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Location:
    Bali, Indonesia
    #8
    That’s a good point but they have become ridiculously expensive.....plus I want to use the remaining 2 slots judiciously. I bought the Squid card about 8 months ago and when AHCI blades were already discontinued…. I had some difficulty finding a couple to use for the bootup disk (Raid 0). I was financially a bit stretched and intended to use the other two slots for higher capacity storage in the future when the capacity and prices would be more favourable


    I admit I hadn’t thought about AHCI recently as the Samsung SM951, which seems to be the gold standard in that format, has become really quite rare and prohibitively expensive…..about $1,000 atm for the 512GB! … I’m not interested in second-hand for this. You’re right to suggest RAID striping…..of perhaps a couple of non-Samsung blades … I will have a look at what’s available in AHCI


    I may just end up getting a SATA EVO 850 for now and putting it in an optical drive bay ….until hopefully I’m confident of NVMe in the Squid… if NVMe is proven to work well I can wait a while longer and get 1 or 2 TB SSDs to use for Virtual Instrument libraries


    Still got my antennae up for any further clues or info….anyone?

    I've just learned that M2 SATA drives use AHCI control and are available very economically.... would they work on the PCIe carrier card? I wonder how their performance would be? ....probably about the same as if it was just on the SATA bus I guess.....if they work at all.....hmmm


    PaulB-UK and William_si Trawling around I found a tremendous thread around this topic at tonymacx86.com called Stork's Gene Build > ASUS MAXIMUS VIII GENE - i5-6600K - Gigabyte GTX 950

    I quote: from p.53 :

    [ I have tested Rehabman's NVMe patch based upon the Pike code. It works and eliminates the shutdown/start-up error problem we've seen with the NMVeGeneric.kext. If you use RehabMan's patch, backup your NMVeGeneric.kext. ]


    If you haven’t already seen this they have an alternative driver there to the Generic one….perhaps this might solve the issues you have had with NVMe?


    Cheers for now and thank you
     
  9. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2016
    Location:
    Croatia
    #9
    NGFF is another term for M.2, the card uses a PLX chip to split PCIe lanes - this is well supported on the Mac Pro (which essentially is just another dual Xeon server), the NEW card (3.0, out some weeks) is *NOT* well supported anymore.

    We should have the same card:

    https://imgur.com/a/q1MVa

    The NVMe SSD (also a 960) i used just had the Mac not boot at all anymore, black screen. Did not try in another slot with it, i just left it in by accident at the time.

    No, they have no SATA to PCIe chip - they just wire SATA to the M.2 connector standard (same as mSATA did to mini PCIe) - they best case do not work, worst case something fries (albeit they should not the m/b key socket for PCIe m.2).

    Hackintosh things like this do not work on a Mac Pro as they have very custom EFI and initialization things (which is why you also need the patched GPU EFI/BIOS for boot screen support).
     
  10. Maxxy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2017
    Location:
    Bali, Indonesia
    #10
    hi William_si Wow....yes that is the card I have....and I was considering a Samsung 960! ( :

    So I will defer to your good advice and experience ....thank you very much... one way or the other I think I'd be foolish to pursue the NVMe option right now.....unless of course someone has something more to say about it ( : That feels like the final word for me this time

    This is a wonderful site...I feel like a newbie in here.....even though I've been on Macs doing audio for 20 years! ( :

    Step by step right? ( :

    Regards and thanks to you all
     
  11. macuser453787 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
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    Galatians 3:13-14
    #11
    Yeah my apologies, I realized that after I posted my reply, hence the "deleted" edit. :)
     

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