NVMe on 2017 MacBook Pro?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Dave410, Jun 9, 2017.

  1. Dave410 macrumors regular

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    #1
    I think I saw that Apple claims the SSDs on the new 2017 MacBook Pros are 50% faster than previous machines. Did they finally switch to NVMe?
     
  2. cmeisenzahl macrumors 6502

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  3. Jimios macrumors member

    Jimios

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    #4
    Macbook Pros have had NVMe SSDs for a long time.
    The 50% faster claim is for iMacs, who also had NVMe SSDs, but the speed increase likely comes from either the switch to PCIe 3.0 interface or the allocation of more lanes. Or perhaps a newer SSD controller.
     
  4. PBG4 Dude macrumors 68020

    PBG4 Dude

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    #5
    Black magic speed test says 2GB/sec both read and write on my 512GB SSD.
     
  5. jerryk macrumors 68040

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    #6
    Blackmagic upper end of it's reporting range is 2 GB/sec
     
  6. treekram macrumors 65816

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    #7
    From what I can gather, the Mac SSD's using the proprietary M2 interface were AHCI, those with soldered SSD's or the non-standard connector found in the nTB 2016 MBP are NVMe. So 2016 MBP's use NVMe and I would guess the same is true of the new MBP's.
     
  7. Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    Thanks, guys. I finally made it to an Apple store and checked the System Report on a new 2017 MacBook Pro. I discovered the SSD is now using the NVMe interface in contrast to the 2016 MacBook Pro which used the older PCIe interface. That explains the advertised SSD speed increase. Cheers.
     
  8. Super Xander macrumors regular

    Super Xander

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    #9
    You know that there is no speed difference between 2016 and 2017 MacBook, right?
     
  9. duffyanneal macrumors 6502a

    duffyanneal

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    #10
    The Macbooks are 50% faster. Listen to the keynote to hear the subtle detail. I have a 2016 MBP and the system profiler shows NVMe being utilized. There isn't a SSD speed difference between the 2016 and 2017 MBP.
     
  10. leman macrumors G3

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    #11
    The 2016 MBP uses NVME.
     
  11. Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #12
    My bad. I was thinking 2015 MacBook Pro when I said 2016 MacBook Pro. I purchased a 2015 model for my girlfriend because the 2016 wasn't ready for prime time, and the 2015 MBP is PCIe.

    So, how is the 2017 MBP 50% faster than the 2016 MBP if both are using NVMe?
     
  12. New_Mac_Smell macrumors 68000

    New_Mac_Smell

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    #13
    ? It's not, everyone has said it's not, there is no difference between the 2016/2017 MBP in SSD speeds, Apple have never said there is a difference in speeds. There is no difference in speed. Again, just to be clear incase you haven't understood anything anyone has written in this thread. No difference, no speed increase, no transfer rate, it is the same hard drive on the same controller using the same interface, same as last year. No difference.

    Clear?
     
  13. Dave410, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #14
    Ah, yes. MacBooks, not MacBook Pros. I see that now.
     
  14. Shamgar macrumors regular

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    #15
    just to clarify, PCIe is the physical connection while NVMe is the protocol. The MacBook Pros still use PCIe as the connection. NVMe is a replacement for the legacy AHCI protocol, which was used on earlier PCIe SSDs.
     
  15. HiRez macrumors 603

    HiRez

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    #16
    Anyway, they're very fast. Suffice it to say that disk read/write speeds are likely no longer the main bottleneck they used to always be. I'll never buy another machine with a spinning disk in it again (just had 2 die on me in the last 6 months: iMac and a TiVo).
     
  16. Dave410, Jun 19, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2017

    Dave410 thread starter macrumors regular

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  17. majonex macrumors member

    majonex

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    #18
    I have succesfully now with OS X High Sierra installed and tested various M.2 NVMe drives in both MacBook Pros and Airs. I wonder if anyone here has answers to my questions. I got an adapter from Sintech for about $9 that works great. I have now tested these drives that work. They are all PCI 3.0 or 3.1 and are 4-lane. The advertised (up to) read/write speeds in parentheses.

    - Samsung PM961 512GB (3000 MB/S - 1700 MB/S)
    - Intel 600P 512GB (1800 MB/S - 580 MB/S)
    - WD Black 256GB (2050 MB/S - 800 MB/S)

    So I did a lot of Black Magic Disk tests and some Novabench tests. What wonders me is why some of these drives advertise greater speeds even than what I can achieve on the standard Apple SSD blades. I testet MBP 13" from late-2013 since all these drives fit in all models from late-2013->2015.

    As I understand even the 2015 MBP still does not support PCI 3.0 NVMe, only PCI 2.0 but 4-lane. Both 13" and 15" 2015 supports 4-lane. Before that only 2-lane. So the question is why I am getting these slow speeds on supposedly fast drives. On Windows 10 I can turn off Windows cache and get about the advertised speeds.

    MacBook Air 13" 1.3GHz 2013
    Apple drive 128GB - 303 MB/S - 700 MB/S
    Apple drive 500GB - 730 MB/S - 740 MB/S
    Samsung PM 961 512GB - 741 MB/S - 756 MB/S
    Intel 600P 512GB - 546 MB/S - 712 MB/S
    WD Black 256GB - 200 MB/S - 735 MB/S

    MacBook Pro 13" 2.6GHz late-2013
    Apple drive 256GB - 687 MB/S - 730 MB/S
    Samsung PM 961 512GB - 730 MB/S - 762 MB/S
    Intel 600P 512GB - 546 MB/S - 712 MB/S

    MacBook Pro 13" 2.7GHz mid-2015
    Apple drive 128GB - 655 MB/S - 1452 MB/S (!!)
    Samsung PM 961 512GB - 737 MB/S - 764 MB/S
    Intel 600P 512GB - 546 MB/S - 712 MB/S
    WD Black 256GB - 329 MB/S - 757 MB/S

    MacBook Pro 15" 2.2GHz mid-2015
    Apple drive 256GB - 1184 MB/S - 1874 MB/S (!!!)
    Samsung PM 961 512GB - will not boot!!
    Intel 600P 512GB - 553 MB/S - 1225 MB/S
    WD Black 256GB - 320 MB/S - 747 MB/S

    So the question is why these drives are performing so far from advertised, at least on write speeds. Is it the fact that they are PCI 3.1 and the MBP only runs PCI 2.0? I did not test the 500GB Apple disk on the 2015 MBPs but I guess they are even faster. Seems the Apple PCI 2.0 SSDs run faster on PCI 2.0 than on PCI 3.1.
     
  18. jerryk macrumors 68040

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    #19
    I thought the 2015 MBPs have PCIE-3.0 4 lanes with custom Apple modifications which accounts for their speed.
     
  19. majonex macrumors member

    majonex

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    #20
    No I have a MBP 2015 15" here and it uses PCIE 2.0 x4. Everymac writes "Proprietary* (PCIe 2.0 x4)".

    From the USB-C MacBook Pros they all are PCIe 3.0 x4. So you can wonder how they can achieve such great speeds in the 2015s. Seems they have done a good job with Samsung.

    In my testing it seems that even some AHCI M.2 drives are more efficient than 3rd party NVMe drives, that is of course in MBPs. It is like the iPhone beating up other phones running 8-core CPUs. It may seem the drives that are most compatible are Samsung brand. But the Intel 600P plays pretty close promised speed. I am testing Samsung SM961 also, much faster than PM961. I have tested WD Black which did not do very well on write speeds and it is unreliable in a MB Air 2013 I tested. Can it be the power usage does not fit?

    So for MacBook Air I got some very cheap ($150!) 512GB Intel 600Ps and they fall a little behind in write speed but do much better in read speed than Apple SSDs. I am really searching for a killer NVMe drive for the 2015 MBPs 512GB and 1TB upgrade. Trying to get hold of a Toshiba XG4 NVMe 1TB to test. They are often about $320 (and below) on Ebay. But I fear they will dissapoint me for not playing well withe the MBPs PCIE 2 interface.

    Anyone else tested this? Would be interesting to hear. I just returned a WD Black 256GB i got really cheap at a local dealer. The MB Air randomly reboots, speeds are so so. The Intel 600P works fine.
     
  20. leman macrumors G3

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    #21
    So much confusion... First of all, NVMe is a protocol for accessing PCIe SSD storage, so all NVMe drives are also PCIe drives and are attached via the PCIe. Second, Apple has been using NVMe for some time now. The 2016 models use NMVe, and I think some of the earlier MacBooks (or maybe even the 13" MBP?) do too.
     
  21. majonex macrumors member

    majonex

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    #22
    Sorry for the confusion about PCIe. If you you look at System Profile on MacBooks you will find the drive under SATA/SATA Express. When you put in a NVME drive you will find it under NVMExpress. All Apple drives are under SATA/SATA Express meaning they are not NVMe (?). So PCIe is the link speed and 2.0 has max speed of 5 GT/s while 3.0 goes to 8 GT/s.
    Here is an explanation of GT/s. Then there is the LANE part. How many lanes. 4 lanes can transfer simultaneously the same amount of data. But when the interface only supports 2 lanes it goes to half the total speed. Then It is like putting a 6GB/s in an old mac that runs it at 3GB/s. I am confused about the PCIe versions. I guess if the 2015 mac (the last one we can swap drives on) runs PCIe 2.0 it will never utilize a PCI3 3.0 drive.

    This confusion also resulted in me returning the WD Black 256GB NVMe drive (advertised 2050/800) that performed terribly and unreliable (540/185) in a MacBook Air. At the same time an Intel P600 with much lower advertised speed ran almost twice as fast. The P600 has advertised speeds of R/W - 1775/560 and runs on a MBA 2013 at 1440/610.
     
  22. jerryk macrumors 68040

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    #23
    Not according to ComputerWorld. Here is an few lines from this article, https://www.computerworld.com/artic...e-new-macbook-literally-is-twice-as-fast.html, discussing the drive speed up of the 2015 MBP.

    "While both the previous model MacBook Pro and the latest model sport leading-edge PCIe flash memory cards, versus 2.5-in SATA drives used in most other laptops today, the 2015 MacBook Pro's mass storage device doubles bandwidth.

    Apple's Samsung-made PCIe 3.0 flash card in the 2015 MacBook Pro, which comes with 128GB, 256GB and 512GB and 1TB capacities, went from a PCIe 2.0 x2 (or two I/O lanes) in the previous model to a PCIe 3.0 x4 (four I/O lanes)."

    And based on the performance gains, and knowing the specs for PCIe 2.0 versus PCIe 3.0, I believe ComputerWorld's explanation.
     
  23. majonex, Dec 22, 2017
    Last edited: Dec 22, 2017

    majonex macrumors member

    majonex

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    #24
    @jerryk I read that article before posting and I could not understand how Apple can achieve such speeds with PCIe2.0, yes it is 3.0. It is strange that the SSD in System Profiler shows under SATA/SATAExpress and not under NVMExpress. And yes it must be PCIe 3.0 because it says Link Speed: 8.0 GT/s. I was confused because when I put in an Intel P600 (with adapter) the ssd displays under NVMExpress. The Intel P600 is PCIe 3.0 but shows as only 3-lane in System Profiler. Still not so very fra from advertised speed! So I am still confused why the Apple ssd shows as SATAExpress while it is NVMe. Also some NVMe drives with PCIe 3.0 x4 show as 5.0 GT/s (PCIe 2.0) and even as 2.75 GT/s. And does not utilize (negotiate) 4-lane. The worst drive I tested was WD Black 256GB, under 200 MB/s write.

    See attached screenshots.
     

    Attached Files:

  24. jerryk macrumors 68040

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    SF Bay Area
    #25
    Perhaps the Apple developer did not get around to updating the display in the utility. As a developer on OSes and other projects, you always have more things to do then you can get done. So somethings don't rise to level of doing them instead of something more important. In this case I can see that especially since the code would have a very limited life span since they knew the 2016 design was coming out in a few months.
     

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