PCIE M.2 NVMe on MacPro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by superparati, Feb 2, 2017.

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  1. Mad Davey, Jun 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017

    Mad Davey macrumors newbie

    Mad Davey

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    May 22, 2017
    #51
    Are there any cards that accept two m.2 blades that work with mac pro and are bootable? I'm specifically looking for two separate drives taking only one precious pcie slot, not raid. Has anyone booted bootcamp on one? Wow these things are crazy fast, nice work guys and thanks for the info! I plan to buy AHCI samsung for simplicities sake. I have a mac pro 5,1 running sierra.
     
  2. BombKilla macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2014
    #52
    The Amfeltec Squid gen 2 is a very good (although pricey) solution. It will hold 1-4 blades and is faster in a Mac Pro 5,1 than the newer gen3 card (when using AHCI blades). You can use Apple Disk Utility to create standard, bootable HFS+ volumes. Also, Samsung 950 and 951-series drives will run at full 5.0GT/s speed in slot 2, whereas many other cards only support 2.5GT/s in such an arrangement.
    I have booted bootcamp this way previously. I had to first create the bootcamp volume on my rMBP then move the blade over to my cMP, as the squid drives mount as external volumes. It booted and ran well, but VMWare within the Mac OS is better for me personally.
    If you really need 2x blades in non-raid and are going to spend a substantial amount of time in the hardware PC environment, a decent option might be a low- to mid-level hardware PC motherboard with two M.2 connectors, running nvme blades and an i7 CPU. The CPU might not need to be the latest or greatest to stack up pretty favorably against your current 5690s.

     
  3. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

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    #53
    Man, reading those results really make me wanna buy a AHCI 951 now :)
     
  4. dmylrea macrumors 68020

    dmylrea

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    #54
  5. Mad Davey, Jun 9, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2017

    Mad Davey macrumors newbie

    Mad Davey

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    May 22, 2017
    #55
    I was looking at that one for $120!! I saw a recent complaint in the reviews a buyer got the NVMe version instead. I'm not really sure if that was another seller or what.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 9, 2017 ---
    Is this it? http://amfeltec.com/products/pci-express-carrier-board-for-m-2-ssd-modules/

    Can I only buy them directly from the company?

    Wow, nevermind, he's right, they are $$$$ https://www.thedebugstore.com/squid-pcie-x16-m2-ssd-sku-086-01-fs-16-gen2.html

    This is more like my price range but I'll bet no one knows if it would work..?
    https://www.amazon.com/MF-DT125-bas...&qid=1497073838&sr=1-41&keywords=m.2+ahci+pci
     
  6. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

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    #56
  7. William_si macrumors regular

    William_si

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    Location:
    Croatia
    #58
    no.

    One is wired directly to x4, the other to the sata port on the card. It has no tech on_card aside of an LED on some.

    This allows to run one PCIe SSD (m.2 M key, x4) and one SATA SSD (m.2 B+M key).

    The squid 2.0 is 350$ at amfeltec direct, plus shipping/import.
     
  8. LAHegarty macrumors member

    LAHegarty

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    Aug 17, 2013
    Location:
    York, UK.
    #59
    I'm getting 1Gb/s write 1.6Gb/s read using PCIe SAS/SATA card and 4xSSD's raid 0, I'm thinking about adding 4 more SSD's to see what I can get out of it, plus more storage .
    [​IMG]
     
  9. Mad Davey macrumors newbie

    Mad Davey

    Joined:
    May 22, 2017
    #60
    I would actually like a card that takes standard sata ssd drives in addition to a 951 ahci M.2. Do you guys think this may fit the bill? I might be able to get rid of my SSD card and just use this.
    click for another ebay card..

    My card slots are limited and I would love to have a one card solution for sata ssd and M.2.

    Looking like the best solution is selling all my other stuff and shelling out for the squid and some m.2's$$$$ I really just want one m.2 scratch drive for photo and video editing as I doubt boot drives will see much real world gain compared to 440-490mb/s I already get...
     
  10. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #61
    That card has SATA M.2, not PCIe M.2. I don't know if there is a card that combines an M key PCIe M.2 slot along with a SATA 3 controller.
     
  11. Mad Davey macrumors newbie

    Mad Davey

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    May 22, 2017
    #62
    Would that only mean the speed is limited to 600mb/s? Thanks I'm new to blades...
     
  12. JedNZ macrumors 6502

    JedNZ

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    Deep South
    #63
    On cMP, the maximum real world speed you can expect is about 1500 MB/s on a cMP 4,1 or 5,1 because the maximum theoretical speed you can get from each PCIe 2.0 bus is 2000 MB/s on a x4 PCIe slot.

    If we look at it more closely, the cMP (I think from 3,1 to 5,1) is PCIe 2.0, which is capable of 500 MB/s per lane. cMP 1,1 and 2,1 were PCIe 1.0, so only capable of 250 MB/s. Multiple the PCIe speed by the number of lanes, and you get the theoretical speed. So for the cMP 4,1 and 5,1, a x4 lane adapter is capable of 4 x 500 MB/s = 2000 MB/s.

    You can read more about the PCIe architecture here. And it's the reason why I only get ~1480 MB/s on my Samsung 960 EVO M.2 blade, where if it were on a PCIe 3.0 capable motherboard I could expect to realise it's full speed of 3200/1900 MB/s R/W (PCIe 3.0 maximum theoretical speed is 984.6 MB/s per lane, so x4 = 3.94 GB/s).

    SATA III has a maximum theoretical speed of 6Gbit/s - 600MB/s, regardless of whether it's connected via SATA III or PCIe. If you have a SSD in a direct connect bay of your cMP, you'll only get SATA II speeds (300 MB/s), hence why many use PCIe adapters to install or more (via RAID).
     
  13. Mad Davey macrumors newbie

    Mad Davey

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    May 22, 2017
    #64
    Thanks for the rundown, very helpful. Basically what I thought. So yes max theoretical of 600mb/s on that card if it runs the m.2 on sata, but it seems like on the last linked card it might be possible the m.2 are pcie and the sata ports are the only sata? Maybe just my wishful thinking though.
     
  14. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Hong Kong
    #65
    Correct, you CANNOT put a PCIe SSD into a SATA port regardless what the form factor is.

    It's not just limiting the PCIe SSD's performance to ~550MB/s, but doesn't work at all.
     
  15. Mad Davey, Jun 16, 2017
    Last edited: Jun 17, 2017

    Mad Davey macrumors newbie

    Mad Davey

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    May 22, 2017
    #66

    The last pcie card I linked had two M.2 slots AND 2 sata ports. Does that mean the card only supports sata m.2? I think so, whoops..
     
  16. Grumply macrumors newbie

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    Feb 24, 2017
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    Melbourne, Australia
    #67
    Hey guys,

    I'm interested in running a Amfeltec Squid Gen 2 card in my cMP 5,1 with a pair of 2TB Samsung 960s RAIDed for a work drive.

    I've already got the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus, which I'd planned to put two regular 2TB 2.5" Enterprise SSDs in, but those SSDs proved to be an expensive disaster, and now I'm thinking that (for a not unreasonable amount of extra cash) a pair of NVME M.2 SSDs would be MUCH more future proof (not to mention faster) option.

    Are there any compatibility issues I'd face with the Samsung 960s Pros and a 5,1?

    I don't need the M.2 drives to be bootable.

    Cheers,

    Mark
     
  17. JedNZ macrumors 6502

    JedNZ

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    Dec 6, 2015
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    Deep South
    #68
    I have a Samsung 960 EVO 500GB blade in a PCIe adapter in my cMP 4,1>5,1, and it causes no issues. I do have to entertain the inconvenience of curating a new NVMe kext each time macOS gets updated. However, I hear whispers that 10.13 High Sierra may bring native NVMe support, and if that's the case then the 960's (particularly the Pro version) will be stellar in your cMP 5,1.

    I don't have RAID experience to talk to, so some others may be able to give comment to your setup. Would having the NVMe blades in separate PCIe adapters (as opposed to them sitting together on the same PCIe adapter) give you better performance? Can you RAID them if they're n separate PCIe adapters? Dunno.

    The Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus should work nicely for your SATA III SSDs. Capable of 600MB/s each, I guess you should get close to that speed without saturating the theoretical PCIe speed (2000MB/s). Will be a pretty impressive array of storage when it's going. Don't forget to share your experience and include any speed benchmark tests.
     
  18. Grumply macrumors newbie

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    Feb 24, 2017
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #69
    Thanks Jed,

    I certainly will do.

    I was super excited at the prospect of 1000MB/s with RAIDed SATA III SSDs, but now that the prices have levelled out more with the M.2 drives, and given that they're clearly the future of internal workstation storage, dropping a few hundred dollars more to get the blades, seems the most sensible way to approach the already outrageous amount of money I've just invested on a 7-year-old computer!

    At least this way, something will be able to move over to whatever my next workstation becomes in a couple of years time.
     
  19. i make movies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #70
    Has anyone tried the Amflec Squid card in Slot 2 of the cMP (the x12 slot) with 2 or more NVMe blades in a RAID0 to get better than ~1500MB/sec?

    Does it work? I would assume if it works as advertised, it should get around 2800MB/sec with 2 blades, 4200MB/sec with 3 blades and 5600MB/sec with 4 blades.
     
  20. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
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    Hong Kong
    #71
    http://barefeats.com/hard210.html
     
  21. i make movies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #72
  22. h9826790 macrumors G4

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #73
    It won't affect the Amflec's performance. If it can gives ~just below 6000MB/s 2 years ago, why not now?

    However, no idea of the NVMe driver is good enough for RAID 0. But sure the PCIe card / SSD are not the limiting factor.
     
  23. i make movies macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2007
    #74
    I should have been a little more clear. You nailed it...I am more wondering if these newer revelations of NVMe kext patching will work and be stable in a RAID0. I've asked this to Rob at Barefeats about a year ago and he apparently had stability issues just using that old driver.
     
  24. Mach Disc macrumors newbie

    Mach Disc

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    Jun 23, 2017
    #75
    Do NVMe drives work with 10.12 at the moment?
     

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