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

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

  1. RamCity macrumors member

    RamCity

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2014
    Location:
    Sydney
    #76
    Hi Loa - it's definitely a debate worth having. Here's my counter-argument :)

    Could you quote your pricing source? Approx 620USD with the adapter, including worldwide shipping, is what it currently costs for the 512GB XP941 from us (RamCity).

    Please quote your source. 1169MB/s reads - 979MB/s writes is what barefeats.com reported using AJA System test with a 16GB document.

    Other things to consider:

    1. The dual mSATA solution requires configuring the two drives in a software RAID 0 stripe, unless I'm mistaken. Bit of extra setup time involved there.

    2. The work involved in getting your cMP to boot from a RAID 0 set is not as straight forward as a single drive. Not done it myself but this post gives you some idea of what's involved.
     
  2. TzunamiOSX, May 12, 2014
    Last edited: May 12, 2014

    TzunamiOSX macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Location:
    Germany
    #77
    I think there is no support for Filevault or an emegency partition on the mSATA RAID.

    RAID higher latency?

    950MB/s reads - 800MB/s is from my 256 GB module

    Here the AJA test of the 256 GB module
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #78
    Sorry for the pricing confusion: I stated both prices in CND dollars. Actually I looked up the prices at RamCity, and didn't find the kit. I added the XP941 and the BPlus adapter. If we take the cheaper lycom adapter, we end up saving a bit of money. But all in all, it's about twice as expensive to go with XP941 instead of mSATA.

    As for the speed, my source was Tzunami, but I missed the fact that his chip was the 256GB. Then again I rather favour BlackMagic instead of AJA. BlackMagic seemed to be more conservative when I tested a host of such apps last year for my SSDs.

    I've used a 4 disk RAID0 boot volume for a long while before hopping on the SSD band wagon a couple of years ago. Never had any issues, took about 2 minutes to set-up. Some people may not like it, but I don't mind.

    The speed difference may be higher than I thought, but I'd really like to see a real-world test comparing the two systems using BlackMagic. I know that some users need every bit of speed they can get, but then again, all users need every bit of cash they can get as well! :)

    Loa
     
  4. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #79
    With all due respect, BlackMagic Disk Test is nowhere near real world, unless your only usage of benched drive is storage of uncompressed video for editing.

    I had single SSD, dual SSDs in RAID 0 on internal SATA and on Highpoint SATA III card. Now I use M6e PCIe SSD for my boot and apps drive. Without benchmarks I wouldn't be able to tell which one is which when it comes to boot time, OS "snappiness", apps launch time etc.
    I bought M6e mostly out of curiosity and most likely will buy XP941 to move my data to it. That's where it should really shine.
     
  5. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #80
    That's exactly what's bugging me. I'm currently using a vertex 4 512GB on a cheap (15$) sata3 card that gives me 350MB/s R/W, far from the card's actual speed. Going to any of the systems debated here would be a great improvement "in benchmarks", but I'm not sure I'd actually see it in daily use.

    For BM, I decided to use it because it gave the most consistent and somewhat lower results than the other tools I tried. IMO as long as you keep the same benchmarking tool, you'll get significant comparisons.

    Loa
     
  6. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #81
    If it's ASM1061, card that's its chip maximum speed. These are good for eSATA drives, but not so much for SATA III SSDs, unless you're comfortable with 350MB/s.
     
  7. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #82
    I know now, but didn't know when I bought it...

    My question is: will I notice an actual user-experience difference by going to a 800+MB/s set-up as my boot volume?

    Loa
     
  8. handheldgames, May 17, 2014
    Last edited: May 17, 2014

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #83
    Nice preview of the 256GB. Here's a comparison of the 128GB running as an OS Drive using 44GB out of the 128GB available:

    • Write performance on the 256 is 56% FASTER than the 128GB. @ 443MB/S, it its less than what the 840 pro can achieve.
    • Read performance on the 128GB is almost a match of the 256GB, reaching within 98% of the larger part. Both numbers almost double the performance of the 840 pro.
    • Prices are falling. In December, the 128GB XP941 was the only M.2 to see regular limited availability on an occasional basis for around $300. Just a little cheaper than today's price of the 256GB part.





    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

     

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  9. Loa macrumors 68000

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #84
    Hello,

    Anyone know how these Samsung drives compare or relate to the micron P420M or the newly announced Intel P3x00 series (or the latest revodrive for windows users)? Those drives are a LOT faster, but they may have limitations on Mac.

    Loa
     
  10. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #85
    bump - I'm not sure, but if someone wants to send me $3 grand, I'd be happy to test the P420M out. :)

    ... still trying to figure out a way to justify the Samsung drive - getting closer as my drives are by far the biggest bottleneck in FCPX right now.
     
  11. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #86
    Well, I finally pulled the trigger and ordered the XP941 with the Lycom adapter. Can't wait to try this baby out. I'll try some disk speed tests when I get it set up.

    I ended up going with the XP941 because I didn't want to mess with RAID 0 using other SSDs. Also, the bootable feature is a big deal to me.
     
  12. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #87
    Congrats! Make sure to use it in slot 3 or 4. I've verified, with the help of Rob Art over at BareFeats that resuming out of deep Sleep when using slot #2, the system can hang. This occurs on with the Bplus and Lycom adapters.

    Congrats!
     
  13. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #88
    Thanks for the heads' up. RamCity actually has a little blurb on their website warning against using slot #2. Oddly, they specify that deep sleep more than '7 hours' causes it to hang when slot #2 is used. Why 7 hours? And who figured out that 6 hours was OK, but 8 wasn't?
     
  14. Jack40 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2011
    #89
    Is xp941 bootable on Hackintosh?

    Hello evgeryone:)

    Is xp941 bootable on Hackintosh?
    Thanks in advance for your reply
     
  15. mikeboss macrumors 65816

    mikeboss

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2009
    Location:
    switzerland
    #90
    AFAIK, no. only a hand full of PC main logic boards support booting from the XP941. better luck with the PLEXTOR m6E though because it has its own BIOS for the boot procedure.
     
  16. Jack40 macrumors newbie

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    Jul 26, 2011
  17. Jack40 macrumors newbie

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  18. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #93
    Not quite a No....

    Z97 mobo's have EFI settings allowing users to boot the XP941 from onboard NGFF/M.2 slots.

    Chipsets prior to Z97 is a definite no.
     
  19. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #94
    Well, I'm up and running with the XP941 512 GB on a Lycom adapter in slot #3 (no trouble getting it from RamCity). I am running a MP 5,1. For better or for worse, I ended up with only 220 GB of free space on it after copying my entire HD to disk. I'll be moving my photo and movie library off of the drive to free up more space, but I attached my initial result with Quickbench. For comparison, I have included my 7200 rpm drive performance.

    For what it's worth, I used Carbon Copy Cloner to copy my old HD to the SSD, and really didn't have any difficulty with disk drive recognition, etc.

    I haven't done much testing between the hard drives yet in real world usage. In general, the SSD seems 'snappier' navigating the finder, and opening some programs is a bit quicker. Startup time to sign in screen went from 93 to 29 seconds, although I generally only restart my computer once a week or so.

    Interestingly, when I load 'Civ 5', my spinning drive took 55 seconds. The XP941 was exactly 55 seconds as well. Furthermore, loading a saved game also took 53 seconds, exactly the same as when it was on a spinning drive. Game performance is not surprisingly unchanged. I thought it odd that while some programs seem noticeably faster to load, Civ 5 did not change. I might have to upgrade my processor next. Although Civ 5 is fun, I really got the disk to try it out on FCPX, where my disk speed seems to be the most significant limitation. I'll post back my impressions re: FCPX later.
     

    Attached Files:

  20. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #95
    Thanks for posting your quick bench numbers. You must be enjoying th boost in speed. Adding the XP941 to my cMP was the biggest boost in performance I've achieved thus far in day to day usage.

    While the 128gb matches READ speeds of the 512gb xp941, it's WRITE performance is about 40% SLOWER than the 512gb! :D. It's great to see performance numbers like these on a single disk SSD on the cMP!! It would be great to see where the 256gb version comes into play.

    I've been in communication with more "friends" in Taiwan. We should be seeing 4x PCIe adapters in the coming months that can use Apple Flash in the cMP from the mba, mbp and nMP. This will bring the cost of a 512 to $430 vs $600 for the Samsung version and open access to 1tb drives!

     
  21. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #96
    When I flash new cards each and every one needs to be tested.

    So I do LOTS of boots.

    Occurred to me that shaving 1 minute off each one would be a good thing.

    Went looking for an XP941 and found RAM city had raised prices ($640 for 512 GB) and not easy to find elsewhere.

    Tried looking for different things and found some guy who had a Lenovo one that was OEM. He didn't have "XP941" anywhere and in fact listed it as "SATA 3" interface.

    From the pic I knew what it was. Bidding was to start at $350 with a $450 BIN.

    I jumped and ordered the Lycom cards from RAM CITY at same time.

    Decided to get 2 so that international shipping wouldn't be as bad a deal.

    Somehow the "only $20/each" cards ended up being $100 shipped. ($50/each)

    Anyhow, order all n Friday, got here today. The idiot sent the XP941 in AN ENVELOPE. They wrote "Don't Bend" on it.....like anyone reads that and thinks "Oh, I WAS going to bend it but now I won't".

    Anyhow, luckily it still works. Quick BMD test shows nice numbers, using in a 3,1 now in slot 2. Will likely end up in 4,1 as putting in slot 4 of 3,1 strangled it to half speed. Always forget that top two slots are PCIE 1.0.

    Thank goodness for foolish people who sell things they don't actually know about.

    CCC is running now, will test boot times later today. It's moving from regular SSD to XP941....VERY fast clone.

    Fun.
     

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  22. handheldgames, Jul 26, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 30, 2014

    handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #97
    MacVidCards
    Nice upgrade! The added speed should give your cMP a breath of fresh air in the usability dept. Are the new drives living up to your expectations?

    Market Update
    While I was hoping to see the supply and pricing of NGFF/M.2 PCIE open up in 2014 for the cMP up-graders, the market is still severely constrained. There is light at the end of the tunnel:

    • A XP941 SKU has opened up on Newegg with a $499 Price + 1.99 shipping! Although it's OOS at the moment, that's $140.00 savings over the RAM City price of $634(less VAT + international shipping).
    • A new Apple PCIe FLASH PCIe adapter will be rolling off the factory floor and into my cMP in less than a month. This opens up Apple's version of the Samsung XP941 to the cMP for a BIGGER price drop: 512Gb for $399 and 1TB for $740. (every-day EBAY prices)

    Get ready to enjoy 512GB Apple branded PCIe flash SSD's in your cMP for 25% cheaper than the NewEgg and 40% cheaper than Ram City! :eek::eek::eek: While everyone complains about the "Apple Tax" it looks like the "Samsung Tax" takes a bigger bite out of your wallet.



     
  23. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #98
    What adapter are you refering to?
     
  24. handheldgames thread starter macrumors 65816

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    Location:
    Pacific NW, USA
    #99
    The adapter I'm referring to allows an Apple x4 PCIe flash to be used in a x4 PCIe adapter. It's compatible with the cMP and can be used as a boot drive just like the XP941. Although it's not yet commercially available it should be available in less than a month. This board is not coming from Lycom or Bplus. Although they may have something similar in the works that I'm not aware of.

    For the Z97 chipset PC world, or those with an extra Lycom or BPlus adapter,
    adapters available to use Apple Flash in a standard x4 NGFF/M.2 slot in 2-3 months at the most.
     
  25. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #100
    How can I find out more about this adapter and its details, release date, etc? I'm in the process of upgrading, and I'm moving the machine internationally as well, so I want to know what to wait for and what to do here and now.


    Thanks
     

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