OK How many of us are now booting from NVMeM.2 ?

MIKX

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( EDIT ) = I'm not sure about 2008 cMPs. ) ( Mainly for 4,1 & 5,1 cMPs )

This is not a thread for HELP about M.2 NVMe booting. I
It's just for people who are NOW able to boot ( eg: High Sierra 10.13.6 ) from an M.2 NMVMe blade.

It would be nice to know WHICH BRAND of M.2 NVMe & size .

Also nice to know would be any special brand-relative QUIRKS.

=========================================
( I'll go first )

Well, for a start I'm using a Samsung 250gb 960 EVO -to boot from High Sierra 10.13.6.
I used this drive as a test as I was terrified of bricking my cMP. it turns out that this is easier than flashing a GPU. ( I hope official Apple programmers and their managers are reading this )
 
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bookemdano

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I intend to do the mod but will likely wait until the official release of Mojave just in the off chance Apple releases another firmware update.

I'm not all that anxious to do it though, because all reports are that it actually increases boot time and the performance benefit isn't really appreciable in normal daily use.

I do have a question though--is there any way to get macOS to treat the NVMe drive as internal rather than external? I'd rather not have the option to eject it, lest I do so accidentally.
 

Earl Urley

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Have a 5,1 running with a 512 GB Samsung 970 Pro and Lycom DT-120, getting 1500 MB/sec reads, 1400 MB/sec writes.

Will shortly get a MyDigitalDiscount 480 GB X4 M.2 NVMe for a flashed 4,1 already running with Mojave beta and the NVMe driver applied.

Both at BootROM 0089.
 

crjackson2134

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I intend to do the mod but will likely wait until the official release of Mojave just in the off chance Apple releases another firmware update.

I'm not all that anxious to do it though, because all reports are that it actually increases boot time and the performance benefit isn't really appreciable in normal daily use.

I do have a question though--is there any way to get macOS to treat the NVMe drive as internal rather than external? I'd rather not have the option to eject it, lest I do so accidentally.
Just remove your boot drive from the finder sidebar and you won’t see it.

I don’t think you can eject the boot drive anyway.
 

MIKX

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Of course Gilles ( France ) and Per ( Sweden ) are also booting M.2 NVMe
 

MIKX

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I'm quite accustomed to slow responses in our various Mac Pro threads but the lack of response to BOOTING from Â.2 NVMe PCIe blades . .to be honest .. astounds me.

Your standard spinner 3.5" HDD yields around 110 mb / sec ( depending on the HDD's RPM / maker.

Sata II SSD's will go up to around ( in my case ) 270 mb/sec.

My current Samsung M.2 NVMe PCI 250gb blade yields upwards of 1,480 mb / sec & higher READs.

The NVMe M.2 BOOT upgrade has been working for a number of cMP users for some time now.

Let's hear why you FEAR this upgrade.
 

bookemdano

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I don't fear it (well, maybe a small amount of fear due to inherent risks in flashing modified firmware. Even if it worked for others, each person is making their own "custom" firmware to flash so you are in fact the only one to flash your specific firmware file).

It's more that for many/most of us I don't really see a tangible benefit. What good are speeds 7x higher than SATA II SSD if you don't actually perceive that difference in day-to-day usage? Furthermore, as has already been made clear, doing this mod will actually make boot time LONGER than booting from SATA!

For specific users with demanding workflows benefitting from extremely high IO, I totally understand the appeal of NVMe, but then again it's still not necessary to boot from it. For the rest of us I think a lot of it just comes down to bragging rights and having something else to tinker with (not talking about anyone in particular).

As I said before, I probably will do the mod once I'm reasonably sure that the FW situation on the cMP 5,1 has stabilized. Meanwhile I don't think I'm missing out on much keeping my NVMe drive as a secondary drive and my macOS on a SATAII SSD.
 
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MisterAndrew

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I don’t boot from an NVMe because it’s not faster than the SSUBX (or SM951 AHCI) in the Mac Pro and I don’t want to run modified firmware. There’s the potential to brick it and Apple specifically prohibits modding the firmware (in the macOS EULA).
 

ssgbryan

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I'm quite accustomed to slow responses in our various Mac Pro threads but the lack of response to BOOTING from Â.2 NVMe PCIe blades . .to be honest .. astounds me.

Your standard spinner 3.5" HDD yields around 110 mb / sec ( depending on the HDD's RPM / maker.

Sata II SSD's will go up to around ( in my case ) 270 mb/sec.

My current Samsung M.2 NVMe PCI 250gb blade yields upwards of 1,480 mb / sec & higher READs.

The NVMe M.2 BOOT upgrade has been working for a number of cMP users for some time now.

Let's hear why you FEAR this upgrade.
In my case, it isn't FEAR, it is other priorities....

I currently have an Apricorn duo with a pair of 250Gb SSDs in a Raid-0 configuration, I am getting 495Mb read/425Mb write speeds. An NVMe boot drive would be faster, but I have other things in the upgrade spiral.

In July, I replaced my video card: RX 560 and I doubled my ram - 64Gb.

Next month is a CPU upgrade - a pair of X5680 (12 cores @ 3.33Ghz)

September I'll be out of pocket for most of the month - probably until the middle of Oct, so I'll probably only add another 32Gb (96Gb). When 10.14 drops, I move onto High Sierra.

November & December will be drive replacement season - all of my 2Tb drives (8) will be traded out for a collection of 4Tb drives and 1Tb SSD drives.

And there is the final ram upgrade (to 128Gb). Yes, I do need and will use all 128Gb.

In addition to all of that, somewhere between now and Xmas, I'll be converting my 1,1 to a media server:
1. Replace the Woodcrests with a pair of low-power Clovertowns. (L5335 @ 2.33Ghz, 8 cores drawing only 100 watts total at a cost of $10.)
2. Moving the Blu-ray player from the flashed 4,1,
3. Stuffing the chassis with 4Tb drives (see above). I have a large iTunes library (1,200 movies, 4,000 Albums, and Cthulhu only knows how many TV shows. Yes I need all of it. No, I have no interest in either clouds or streams - those are TCO fails. Apple sold me on the idea of Making your mac the hub of your digital lifestyle.
4. Adding an Apricorn Solo & a 120Gb SSD for OSX ($80).
5. Settling on a video card for the 1,1. Does anyone know if the Nvidia drivers for 10.11.6 support the 10 series? I have a GT 1030 here and I would like to use it, since it can drive a 4K panel.

Then there is the Steam game boxen - The HP 8200 Elite - yet another SSD (120Gb for $28), 2TB hard drive for games & a low-profile video card. If the 1030 won't go with the 1,1, then it will go here. If it does work with the 1,1, I'll get a low profile RX 560. They are reasonably priced and are better for gaming. From what I understand, this also makes a great Hackintosh, so I'll probably experiment here a bit.

After this is done, I'll certainly look at it.
 
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pl1984

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I don't have an SSD in any of my Mac Pros but I do have both a 256GB M.2 AHCI (Z-Turbo) and 512GB M.2 NVMe (Z-Turbo G2) drive in my HP-Z620 system. This system also has a 2TB 7,200 RPM SATA spinner. The Z-Turbo drive is my boot drive where as the Z-Turbo G2 is the drive where my virtual machines are stored. The 2TB drive is my archive drive for any number of things where its performance is secondary to capacity.

The Z-Turbo G2 replaced a 850 EVO SATA SSD which previously acted as the VM drive. Despite the vastly superior speed of the NVMe drive I am unable to ascertain any difference between it and the 850 EVO.

IME there is little to be gained over a SATA based SSD let alone an M.2 AHCI SSD for booting purposes. The boot process primarily consists of many smaller, random reads which can be satisfactorily met with SATA based SSD solutions. I see no reason to risk damage to my Mac Pro to boot from an M.2 NVMe solution. The gains over an M.2 AHCI solution (which I believe can be used for booting a Mac Pro without firmware modification) are, IMO, for all intents and purposes non-existent.

Quick Benchmarks:

pl1984@Z620:~$ sudo hdparm -t /dev/sda

/dev/sda:
Timing buffered disk reads: 378 MB in 3.01 seconds = 125.56 MB/sec

pl1984@Z620:~$ sudo hdparm -t /dev/sdb

/dev/sdb:
Timing buffered disk reads: 3942 MB in 3.00 seconds = 1313.49 MB/sec

pl1984@Z620:~$ sudo hdparm -t /dev/nvme0n1p1

/dev/nvme0n1p1:
Timing buffered disk reads: 8010 MB in 3.00 seconds = 2669.66 MB/sec​

/dev/sda is the 2TB spinner, /dev/sdb is the M.2 AHCI, and /dev/nvme0n1p1 is the M.2 NVMe drive.
 
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crjackson2134

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Okay, so the 1701A arrived today, took about 10 Min to install, 15 min to clone primary drive.

Boots well, runs fast.

Not really crazy happy with fan noise. Otherwise it's a nice upgrade...
 
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MIKX

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crjackson2134

What write speeds are you getting with the 970 PRO ?
 

crjackson2134

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crjackson2134

What write speeds are you getting with the 970 PRO ?
2200+ Right now

I plan to try the PCI Tools mod Tomorrow or soon. May be a few days, wife has a long weekend this week so I may have a bunch of other things on the plate.

DiskSpeedTest.png
 
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handheldgames

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Slot 2 x16 for the 1701A

Slot 3 on the 1701A for the 970 Pro

Having a look at the capture below, does it appear I would stand to gain anything at this point by doing the PCI Tools script?

View attachment 775205
I have not see any performance gains using the script with a single 970 pro SSD. The SSD7101a delivers PCIe 3.0 speeds without having to use the script.

The only time performance jumped with the script was with 2 970 pros in a RAID 0 array.
 
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crjackson2134

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I have not see any performance gains using the script with a single 970 pro SSD. The SSD7101a delivers PCIe 3.0 speeds without having to use the script.

The only time performance jumped with the script was with 2 970 pros in a RAID 0 array.
Okay, that makes it simpler for me. I don’t plan to do raid, I just don’t need it.
 
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W1SS

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2200+ Right now

I plan to try the PCI Tools mod Tomorrow or soon. May be a few days, wife has a long weekend this week so I may have a bunch of other things on the plate.

View attachment 775236
Different disk bench-marking apps will report different max speeds. With your setup, you should easily hit 3350'ish MB/s reads and 2250'ish MB/s writes

Edit: Corrected speeds for a 512GB and not 1TB which I have.
 
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MIKX

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It's only been two weeks since I was able to boot from my Samsung M.2 960 EVO.
I cloned 10.13.6 from a SSD SATA II APFS installation to the 960 EVO in HFS+.

I am extremely happy with the 960 EVO's performance. Cold boot to desktop is 25 - 30 seconds.

I have removed ALL of my SATA II bay spinner HDD's but have two SSDs in the disk drive bay and because my flashed HIS 7950's cooling system extracts hot air to the outside of the cMP . . the result is that the internal case it considerably cooler now despite the heatwave here in Japan.

( Plus I recently removed and thoroughly de-dusted my PSU and the cMP's innards. )

My current bootrom is MP51.0089.B00.

Everything just works faster, cooler, quietly.

I will not be downloading Mojave until it goes GM, waiting for High Sierra GM was enough of a hassle
 
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