NVMe on MAC PRO Late 2013 & Sierra 10.12.6

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
Hi guys,

Can you please let me know if any NVMe driver will work with MAC PRO Late 2013 on Sierra 10.12.6? I want to connect Sonnet external thunderbolt chassis populated with Intel P3600 NVMe SSD. Don't need a boot. Just a working storage.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

T
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
405
Honolulu HI
I was waiting to see if someone with definitive information could help you but since nobody has stepped forward, I can offer my advice, which is based, at least in part, on hunches.

I wasn't aware that if you had the correct NVMe driver that the Thunderbolt driver would just pick that up and it would work. However, in looking and the Sonnet and AKiTiO websites, that may indeed be the case. So ...

Is there any reason why you can't use High Sierra? It has a NVMe driver that may work in your case.

If you can't use High Sierra, prior to High Sierra, OSX has had a NVMe driver since late Yosemite, but it wasn't plug-and-play so that it wouldn't recognize most (all?) non-Apple SSD's. People who have Hackintoshes have been able to use a patch called "HackrNVMeFamily" and a configuration file customized to the specific SSD being used to make it work. The issue is that the work required is not trivial and a cursory search on the Internet turned up two cases where people who had the P3600 weren't able to get it to work (or they didn't report back if it did).

I would try installing High Sierra to an external disk and see if it can recognize the P3600. Even if you don't want to use High Sierra you still might want to do this - if it can't recognize the P3600, my guess is that going the arduous route of trying HackrNVMeFamily won't work as well.
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
I have tried many hacks... closest I get was with NVMeGeneric but unfortunately, it doesn't work on Sierra. The reason I cant go to High Sierra is pro audio and half of my stuff still doesn't work on it. So I guess the only option for me is to wait.
 

gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
198
482
Tours (France)
Hi guys,

Can you please let me know if any NVMe driver will work with MAC PRO Late 2013 on Sierra 10.12.6? I want to connect Sonnet external thunderbolt chassis populated with Intel P3600 NVMe SSD. Don't need a boot. Just a working storage.

Any help is appreciated.

Thanks

T
Hi,
In Sierra, every 4K formatted NVMe drive work natively.
I tested and confirm that the Apple SM2048L and also the 24GB from a fusion drive (both are NVMe) do work on a 2013 Mac Pro from 10.10.2.
Also I tested, with a Sintech adapter, a Kingston KC1000, a Toshiba XG3 and WD Black (the later being quite slow)
The P3600 being a datacenter SSD it will support 4K bloc size.

You can format it in 4K bloc size with the command "nvme format -l 1 /dev/nvme0" under linux.
(you may also install nvme-cli under macOS with homebrew, but I have not tested)
 

wawon

macrumors member
Oct 2, 2017
61
15
Japan
you may also install nvme-cli under macOS with homebrew

I struggled to install nvme-cli and tried variously, but I could not find a way to install nvme-cli with homeberew. Please tell me how to install.

I attempted to install apt-get using fink, but it failed. So I installed nvme-cli with ubuntu's bash using docker.

docker - ubuntu - nvme-cli

1 docker install
https://docs.docker.com/docker-for-mac/install/
Get Docker for Mac (Stable) download and install.

using Terminal
$ docker --version

2 ubuntu install

$ docker run -it ubuntu bash

# cat /etc/lsb-release
# arch
# uname -a

bash: wget: command not found
https://askubuntu.com/questions/883669/how-to-install-wget-on-ubuntu-14-04

# apt install wget
# apt-get update
# apt-get install wget
# wget --version

bash: add-apt-repository: command not found
https://loumo.jp/wp/archive/20150626000042/

# apt-get install apt-file
# apt-file update
# apt-file search add-apt-repository
# apt-get install software-properties-common

3 nvme-cli install
https://github.com/linux-nvme/nvme-cli

# add-apt-repository ppa:sbates
# apt-get update
# apt-get install nvme-cli
# nvme list

bash: man: command not found
#apt-get install man
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
Ok so I guess if I lets say boot ubutu on my PC and format my P3600 in 4K it will be visible later on MAC PRO Sierra connected via Sonnet External chassis?

Hi,
In Sierra, every 4K formatted NVMe drive work natively.
I tested and confirm that the Apple SM2048L and also the 24GB from a fusion drive (both are NVMe) do work on a 2013 Mac Pro from 10.10.2.
Also I tested, with a Sintech adapter, a Kingston KC1000, a Toshiba XG3 and WD Black (the later being quite slow)
The P3600 being a datacenter SSD it will support 4K bloc size.

You can format it in 4K bloc size with the command "nvme format -l 1 /dev/nvme0" under linux.
(you may also install nvme-cli under macOS with homebrew, but I have not tested)
 

gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
198
482
Tours (France)
Ok so I guess if I lets say boot ubutu on my PC and format my P3600 in 4K it will be visible later on MAC PRO Sierra connected via Sonnet External chassis?
Hi,
Yes it should... I can't be sure at 100% because I never got a P3600 in my hands but it should : every NVMe I've tested so far that support 4K block size work natively with macOS 10.12 once formatted in 4K (Apple NVMe SSD all have a 4K block size)

The same SSDs formatted in 512B were only recognised by High Sierra.
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
@gilles_polysoft is there a software that can format SSD in HFS+ 4k on PC-Windows? I found NTFS to HFS+ converter and it works but not sure if it did in 4k. Would help a lot. tx
 

gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
198
482
Tours (France)
@gilles_polysoft is there a software that can format SSD in HFS+ 4k on PC-Windows? I found NTFS to HFS+ converter and it works but not sure if it did in 4k. Would help a lot. tx

Hi,
sorry I have not been clear enough on formatting..
when I speak about 512B or 4K block size I mean the logical bloc size, which is at a lower level than the os format.

So, you only need to run linux once to set the logical block size of the P3600 to 4K with the nvme-cli command.
Once it is done you simply can reboot under macOS and partition and format the SSD with GPT partition scheme and journalized macOS Extended format.
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
sure but I tried to do this on my Dell XPS 13 with Thunderbolt 3 (this laptop has nvme ssd factory installed). I connected Sonnet Echo TB3 enclosure populated with P3600 NVMe to my Dell and booted via live USB that has newest Ubuntu on. It didn't recognize it. Managed to install nvme-cli but when i wanted to list my devices there were zero devices seen so I couldn't pick my Intel SSD. I guess I shall be able to pick between nvme on laptop and nvme in my enclosure that I want to set to 4k. Just in case that i dont screw up my boot drive. Not an expert in linux but google helps a lot.. More of a PC guy but figured out that i might need to do this on PC with this SSD inside without using enclosure. Or maybe there is a way to do this via MAC PRO late 2013?
[doublepost=1514145845][/doublepost]There is https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...6238/memory-and-storage/data-center-ssds.html Intels Tool which can be used in Windows to set things on SSD. But now I am confused as there are these options. Which One from 4k i shall pick?

"Some Data Center NVM Express* (NMVe*) SSDs use Variable Sector Size technology as an alternative to Physical Sector Size, which is used by SATA SSDs.

The NVMe drives support 512, 520, 528, 4096, 4104, 4160, and 4224 bytes Variable Sector Size. The default value is 512 bytes."
 

gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
198
482
Tours (France)
sure but I tried to do this on my Dell XPS 13 with Thunderbolt 3 (this laptop has nvme ssd factory installed). I connected Sonnet Echo TB3 enclosure populated with P3600 NVMe to my Dell and booted via live USB that has newest Ubuntu on. It didn't recognize it. Managed to install nvme-cli but when i wanted to list my devices there were zero devices seen so I couldn't pick my Intel SSD.
Are you sure your XPS 13 has a NVMe drive ? it may be a M.2 sata, not NVMe ? in which case it would be normal that ubuntu doesn't see any nvme drive.
And maybe the nvme-cli don't work through the Sonnet tb3 enclosure....


More of a PC guy but figured out that i might need to do this on PC with this SSD inside without using enclosure.
Or maybe there is a way to do this via MAC PRO late 2013 ?
[...]
There is https://www.intel.com/content/www/u...6238/memory-and-storage/data-center-ssds.html Intels Tool which can be used in Windows to set things on SSD.
I can't say here if the intel tool will work with the SSD being in the thunderbolt enclosure... you may try... Of course if you have a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot, go with it and with the Intel tool it will be easier...


But now I am confused as there are these options. Which One from 4k i shall pick?
[...]
The NVMe drives support 512, 520, 528, 4096, 4104, 4160, and 4224 bytes Variable Sector Size. The default value is 512 bytes."
4096 should be fine, it's the default value for Apple NVMe SSDs.
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
Gilles thank you so much.
So what I did was to set it with Intel Data Center SSD tool on PC to 4k and now it works like a charm on my MAC! So definitely this is a solution. So easy that there is no need for any kext magic nor any hacking.

Thank you so much!

Are you sure your XPS 13 has a NVMe drive ? it may be a M.2 sata, not NVMe ? in which case it would be normal that ubuntu doesn't see any nvme drive.
And maybe the nvme-cli don't work through the Sonnet tb3 enclosure....



I can't say here if the intel tool will work with the SSD being in the thunderbolt enclosure... you may try... Of course if you have a desktop PC with a free PCIe slot, go with it and with the Intel tool it will be easier...



4096 should be fine, it's the default value for Apple NVMe SSDs.
 

treekram

macrumors 68000
Nov 9, 2015
1,849
405
Honolulu HI
Gilles thank you so much.
So what I did was to set it with Intel Data Center SSD tool on PC to 4k and now it works like a charm on my MAC! So definitely this is a solution. So easy that there is no need for any kext magic nor any hacking.

Thank you so much!

Thanks for reporting back. As I mentioned earlier, when I did a search, I did not find anybody who had success in using the P3600 in a Mac or even a hackintosh. This will be helpful for others that have the P3600 or have similar issues with the sector size.
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
Yes man, this was so simple to do. Wasted 2 weeks of my life on solutions provided online. Wondering why the hell Apple didn't post about it. Also warmly recommending usage of Intel Data Center SSD tool (there is pc, linux etc) version to set virtual block size to 4096.
 

gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
198
482
Tours (France)
Gilles thank you so much.
So what I did was to set it with Intel Data Center SSD tool on PC to 4k and now it works like a charm on my MAC! So definitely this is a solution. So easy that there is no need for any kext magic nor any hacking.

Thank you so much!
Hi
I'm really happy that it works and thanks for your report ! How much speed do you have in the thunderbolt enclosure ?
 

Tompa

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Nov 21, 2017
9
0
didnt tested yet, was too excited that it works haha. also it is TB3 enclosure connected to MAC PRO 2013 TB2 so i need to check full speed specs on PC. But i was copying some huge audio files and window that shows progress didnt even open haha.



Hi
I'm really happy that it works and thanks for your report ! How much speed do you have in the thunderbolt enclosure ?
 

mikehalloran

macrumors 68000
Oct 14, 2018
1,880
508
The Sillie Con Valley
The Intel being sold by OWC works fine. Takes about 5 minutes to install. Not cheap.

The The Samsung 970 EVO with the adapter is available up to 2TB. On the plus side, a lot less expensive. The down side is that it requires High Sierra or later.
 
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