SATA Express meets the '09 Mac Pro - Bootable NGFF PCIE SSD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by handheldgames, Dec 18, 2013.

  1. TzunamiOSX, Apr 28, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014

    TzunamiOSX macrumors 6502

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    #26
    Hi handheldgames,

    i want to buy near the same config (XP941 256 GB + Adaptercard) but i have some questions before ordering.

    It is bootable right? but is the drive also visible in the EFI boot menu?

    I see TRIM support in one of your pictures. Is it out of the box or with TRIM Enabler?

    Your Mac Pro is a 4,1 with 5,1 Firmware?

    Thx for answer :)
     
  2. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #27
    Initial 512GB XP941 SSD test results

    Just got a sneak preview from Rob-ART at barefeats.com and he reports transfer speeds of 1200MB/s read & 1000MB/s write with a single 512GB XP941 in the Bplus card on a Mac Pro.

    He's about to hook up the second slot on the card and setup two of these SSD's in RAID and see how that goes. Expect a full review in a few days.

    The Bplus M.2 adapter card is a little different to the Lycom card as it has two sockets for SSD's and also requires an additional accessory cable. Picture below for those interested.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  3. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

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    #28
    Very interesting! Mind if I ask a few questions just for clarification for myself, a rather simple-minded computer user who still loves speed.

    If I understand you correctly...

    1) The Lycom DT-120 PCIe card provides a way to connect a Samsung XP941 NGFF M.2 directly to a cMP?

    2) This setup connects at nearly 1 GB/s (3 times faster than the standard SATA 2)?

    3) It does so without a RAID setup, and the OS can be directly installed to the drive. As such, it can be used as the boot drive?

    4) The price of the Lycom DT-120 ($15 or so) is much lower than the Sonnet Tempo Pro or the Accelsior, but the price of the XP941 is expensive ($700/512 GB) if it can be obtained?

    By the way, does anyone know where a supply of the Samsung XP941 can be found in the United States?
     
  4. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #29
    Correct on all points.

    if you don't mind buying from us aussies, we (RamCity) export the XP941's world wide. :)

    cheers, Rod
     
  5. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    #30
    This solution is definitely bootable and is the fatest boot drive I've ever worked with. And yes, it's available from all boot menus.

    While I'm using the lyCom card, there is a 2nd generation card from bplus on amazon for aroun 50 that features a heat sync.

    Trim enabler is definitely required

    Hope this helps
     
  6. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #31
    Can you elaborate on the second cable's usage. It looks to me like it requires another PCIe slot, making this card a 2 slot solution. I'm nearly ready to move into the SSD realm and would like a similar solution, but taking up 2 slots is out of the question for me.
     
  7. RamCity, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014

    RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #32
    The dual slot Bplus card can be used as either a single or dual PCIe slot solution. If you don't hook up the cable to the 2nd PCIe slot, then only the primary M.2 socket is active. Bplus also have a single socket card which works out a bit cheaper and has a heatsink, like handheldgames mentioned.

    If you want to use just a single PCIe slot, then around 1200/1000MB/s read/write is the best performance you will get with a single card (in a Mac Pro at least). If you want additional performance by utilising 2x XP941's in RAID, you are going to have go to with using 2 slots. From the initial tests that barefeats.com have run, it's looking like the 2 SSD's in RAID on the dual-port Bplus card maxes out around 1570/1375MB/s. Still great performance though!

    Baerfeats.com are also going to test the same setup with individual cards in the next couple of days to see if the bottleneck is the card itself.
     
  8. TzunamiOSX, Apr 29, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 29, 2014

    TzunamiOSX macrumors 6502

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    #33
    Yes this will help, thx. Parts are ordered :D

    Edit: No Bplus hardware dealer in Germany
     
  9. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

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    Québec
    #34
    Hello,

    I'm also following this thread and found out about Adonic's PCIe dual mSATA adapter.

    By using two of Crucial's M550 256GB mSATA in a RAID0 we'd get nearly (a RAID0 of 2 500MB/s drives) the same performance as that XP941, but for a LOT less money. This set-up costs about 400$ (in canadian shops, at least), compared to the XP941 with adapter at ~800$.

    Am I missing something important in this comparison?

    Loa
     
  10. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    #35
    Ive been looking at the 4 port version of that card as a replacement for my velocity x2. Can you post some benchmarks of what you are seeing performance wise? It would be good to see what the Marvell 2x chipset is capable of.

    The numbers I posted for the 128gb version are fat below what the 256 or 512 packages can accomplish. I was forced to purchase it from China as RamCity was the only vendor stocking. the 128 and 256 versions and in December, they refused to sell me a one.

     
  11. crjackson2134 macrumors 68040

    crjackson2134

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    #36
    Do you know of a place where I can order one of these Lycom DT-120 in the USA, or at least someone that will ship to the USA?
     
  12. RamCity, Apr 30, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 30, 2014

    RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #37
    That's the second comment you've made on this thread regarding being refused sale of this item, and I can appreciate that must have been disappointing for you. However, as the owner of RamCity, I'm offended because you haven't provided the proper context to other readers of this thread, and request that you also provide the reason WHY we couldn't sell you the drive in your posts. Your negative comments make it sound like an outright refusal of sale for no reason, which is certainly not the case.

    Late last year Samsung disallowed us from selling the XP941 to anyone that might review it due to existing NDA's with other OEM's to the point where they had to approve every sale we made. That restriction has since been lifted.

    We specifically advised you of this restriction via email, and I quote we wrote:

    I assure all reading this thread that we have all sizes of the XP941 product, sourced from proper Samsung distributions channels, and the associated DT-120 and Bplus adapters, available for sale worldwide, no restrictions.
     
  13. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #38
    Once barefeats.com post their review you'll see sequential read performance well in excess of 1000MB/s from the single 512GB XP941 SSD with adapter, plus it's a fully bootable solution (for OSX at least) straight out of the box.
     
  14. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

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    #39
    I don't have it myself, only trying to figure out which would be best.

    For my needs, 1000MB/s is more than enough (which the RAID0 mSATA drives should be able to do). For only 400$, it's a bargain I can't pass up.

    The bootable part is the only thing I'm concerned about and addonics can't really help. If I already had a couple of mSATA drives I'd buy the 55$ to try... (But at 400$, it's a costly experiment!)

    Loa
     
  15. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

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    #40
    Good to know. Now to save up a bit... :rolleyes:
     
  16. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    #41
    While I posted my experience here, I can assure it wasn't for a "review". I'm an enthusiast,/power user, not a reviewer, not a Vendor, like you. I don't post reviews to gain advertising revenue. My hobby is my technology. As a consumer, your actions of refusing to sell me a product I wanted to upgrade my 2009 Mac Peo with waa a. Insult.

    If you were so concerned, perhaps you should have had your customers execute a non disclosure. Although you had no problems supplying thessdreview.com who has on many occasions sent business your way. Hmmmmm..

    Am I a happy consumer? No. Far from it.

    I purchased my products from vendors in Taiwan off of ebay and had excellent service. Product arrived as advertised and there have been no problems. And I encourage everyone here to do the same.
     
  17. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #42
    In your message to us you stated:

    How else were we supposed to interpret your intentions, other than that you planned to review it?

    Samsung requested no more reviews AFTER thessdreview.com posted their review.

    We were just as unhappy about not being able to supply the product to whomever we wanted, and it's easy to be wise in hindsight regarding having customers execute a non-disclosure agreement. Even so, why not provide the full context for your negative comments for other readers here?
     
  18. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

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    #43
    Bit of advice: settle this in PMs before mods lock this thread.
     
  19. handheldgames, May 3, 2014
    Last edited: May 3, 2014

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    #44
    This image is from the Apple service guide and the Wikipedia. It should shed some light on where to use single and dual flash installs. Slots 3 & 4 share 4 PCIe lanes. Slot 2 has its own allocation. I'll need to retest slot 2 as the last time I used it, the ssd would disconnect durring sleep.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #45
    Thanks for posting this. Rob-ART at barefeats was running into an apparent throughput ceiling using slots 3 & 4 in RAID and this may explain why. I've notified him of your post.
     
  21. handheldgames, May 4, 2014
    Last edited: May 4, 2014

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

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    #46
    No problem...

    I sent Rob the image in an email yesterday morning before I posted here as well. I've been searching for the '09 MP motherboard connectivity block diagram for a while and finally found it. It answered my questions on what to expect for the maximum throughput of a USB 3.0 mPCIE solution and threw a red flag relative to using multiple Flash devices on 2 PCIE slots with a shared 4x PCIE bridge.

    20 PCIE lanes that could drive slots 3 & 4 are allocated to CPU2, which in single CPU solutions, are completely unused.

    It will be good to see how the 256GB and 512GB XP941's perform. The 128GB XP941 is definitely crippled for maximum throughput in comparison.



     
  22. Durex macrumors member

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    Sep 24, 2009
    #47
    The unfortunate thing about the Bplus Dual M.2 (NGFF) SSD to PCIe 2.0 x4 adapter is that it will use two PCIe slots for both SSDs installed. Did they choose this solution because dual M.2 (NGFF) SSDs will require more bandwidth than a x4 PCIe slot? Or because its simpler to just use two PCIe slots?

    Does the Sonnet Tempo Pro use 4 lanes? If so, though both SSDs share the bandwidth available, it seems 4 lanes (4 x 500MB/s) should not be much of a bottleneck. Perhaps the Tempo Pro itself is the bottleneck, since their performance details show 500MB/s read for a single SSD. Yet I would have thought a single drive could reach 1000 MB/s if it used 2 lanes of bandwidth efficiently. So perhaps connecting more than 1 SSD through the same PCIe connector introduces a lot of overhead and overall it is more difficult to make use of the available bandwidth.

    Possible idea: From handheldgames' post, we see PCIe slot 2 with 16 lanes bandwidth. Is there any reason Bplus or any other manufacturer couldn't design a "Dual M.2 (NGFF) SSD to PCIe 2.0 x16 adapter". It seems that would be plenty of bandwidth for dual M.2 (NGFF) SSDs mounted to a single PCIe card.
     
  23. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #48
    Great question!

    I posed this to the engineers at Bplus and they responded that the reason for requiring 2x PCIe slots is because the design of the M2P4S card is a simple passive one. To make the card require only a single PCIe slot, they would have to incorporate a bridge IC chip, making it a more complex design and more expensive to manufacture.

    They say that as the M.2 market matures they will consider making a x16 card with dual M.2 SSD's using a bridge IC chip.
     
  24. Durex macrumors member

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    #49
    Thanks for the info Rod! From the photos of the Bplus card it certainly looks like nothing more than an adapter---no wonder it is fast!

    With M.2 NGFF PCIe SSD modules literally being compatible with all PCs and providing such massive performance boost over regular SATA SSDs, it's a little surprising to me that not more manufacturers (Lacie, Highpoint, Sonnet, ...) are jumping on this. But, perhaps it's early days still...

    It's good to hear that a x16 card with dual (triple? quad?) M.2 SSDs is not out of the question. I'll just have to be patient a bit :)
     
  25. RamCity, May 5, 2014
    Last edited: May 5, 2014

    RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

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    #50
    Actually both the Lycom and Bplus adapters are equally fast, and my guess is that the Addonics card (which looks like it might even be a Lycom underneath) would be the same. Barefeats.com will have some very impressive performance numbers to reveal in a couple of days once the XP941 RAID testing in a Mac Pro is complete.

    I wont spoil it though and since handheldgames was the first to figure out that the XP941 is a bootable solution and pointed to the issue with slots 3/4 sharing just 4 PCIe lanes, then its only fair that he should be the first to quote the final results here on the forum.
     

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