Upgrading 2013/2014 Macbook Pro SSD to M.2 NVMe

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maxthackray, Mar 1, 2017.

  1. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #26
    Hi,
    you're welcome, this is a good news after all.
    I'm in the path of testing other SSDs : Samsung 960 Evo, 960 Pro, WD Black (Sandisk). I'll keep you in touch.

    As for DriveDX, unfortunately it isn't able to read the Smart status of neither the SM951, neither the original Apple NVMe SSD from the iMac.

    Below are the screen capture of the BlackMagic disk speed test
     

    Attached Files:

  2. liudayu, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017

    liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #27
    Umm is this Mac using PCIe 2.0 x4 line speeds? SM951 shouldn't have write speeds slow like this
     
  3. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #28
    It's a small 128 GB one so it's definitely normal write performance on a 2015 MacBook Air...
    I bought it for testing only.

    I've also bought three 512 GB NVMe drives : a WD Black, a Samsung 960 Evo and a 960 Pro.
    Test will come and may be more interesting...
     
  4. liudayu, Jul 7, 2017
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2017

    liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #29
    Seeet! I was honestly 5 minutes away from spending $600+ AUD on a 512GB Apple SSD pulled from used Mac and I saw your reply! Now I only need to spend $500 AUD and I can get a 1TB PM961!!
    Unfortunately I have a mid-2014 Mac, which is only PCIe 2.0 x4 line speed, however I should have around 1.4G/s read and 1.3G/s write speed. Oh well this is better than nothing!! (Original SSD came with the Mac was only x2 speed so I get 300MB/s write and 700MB/s read)
     
  5. treekram macrumors 68000

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    #30
    Sorry about that, I did misunderstand you because of the context of the thread and the information in the sintech link you had.

    I think your finding is significant and you should start a new thread about this. Make sure to emphasize (as you did in your post) that this works with the High Sierra beta (the point that jerryk makes that Apple may change the production release of High Sierra is valid). Also, you should point out that in the sintech link, they are only talking about AHCI drives but the adapter apparently will work for a different purpose (NVMe and High Sierra beta).

    I know that NVMe drives can be used on hackintoshes using El Capitan and Sierra, maybe the similar patch used there will make it work in Macs using the sintech adapter you mention - something to investigate I guess.
     
  6. windows4ever macrumors member

    windows4ever

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    #31
    There's very little information on the net about the Sintech adapter, so thanks for updating us with your findings. The reviews on Amazon are not altogether positive and mention a problem with waking up from sleep. https://www.amazon.com/NGFF-PCIe-Card-2013-MacBook/product-reviews/B01ENG9QVA

    It's odd that the late 2013 Macbook pro is not compatible, but the mid-2014 is, because AFAIK, the PCI-e controllers are the same in those 2 machines. I could be wrong on that though?
     
  7. liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #32
    I guess the model number is different? Mid-2014 Macbook Pro is "MacBookPro11,x"
     
  8. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #33
    Hi,

    thanks for your answer, I'm OK to start a new thread but where ? this concerns not only Notebooks Mac but also Desktops (Mac mini and iMacs).

    Also I need to do further testings...

    The late testing results follows :

    First a bad news for the MacBook Pro retina 15", mid 2015 : it doesn't work... I had various results from no chimie, no boot with black display, to chimie and boot on an external drive, and the NVMe SSD was recognized, usable and writable but not bootable...
    This is bad news for this particular Mac, maybe this is because the mid-2015 MBPr 15" has 4x PCIe 3.0 lanes and the adapters are not made for such high speed signals ?


    As for the MacBook air early 2015, every NVMe SSD I tested worked !
    And with both 2 adapters I had.
    The drive who worked are : a Samsung SM961, a 960 EVO, a 960 PRO and a WD Black.
     

    Attached Files:

  9. liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #34
    Damn it!! now I don't know what should I buy :p
    I have a MacBook Pro 13 inch, mid-2014, with PCIe 2.0x4 line speed, and I was going to purchase a PM961 (same as SM961 but PM961 uses TLC), after seen your result I do not know if that SSD will work on my Mac or not :(
     
  10. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #35
    I've been using the Sintech adapter and AHCI drives on many machines for more than a year.
    On 2013 machines, there is never any problem with sleep.
    Sleep problems occurs on 2014 macs with those adapters and Lite-on NVMe drives.

    So, as for AHCI PCIe drives, like the lite-on LGT-512B1P), they work in every 2013-2014-2015-2017 macs, but sleep is a concern with the 2014-2015 macs.

    As for Apple NVMe drive, (like the Apple SSD SM2024L as founded in the 2017 iMacs, or the 24GB fusion drive of the 2015 iMacs), to this date the tests I have done yet are :
    - Mac Pro late 2013 : doesn't work
    - MacBook Air early 2014 : doesn't work
    - Macmini Late 2014 : works
    - MacBook Air early 2015 : works
    - MacBook Pro 15" early 2015 : works

    As for non-Apple NVMe drive, (Samsung ), to this date the tests I have done yet are :
    - Mac Pro late 2013 : doesn't work
    - MacBook Air early 2014 : doesn't work
    - MacBook Air early 2015 : works
    - MacBook Pro 15" early 2015 : doesn't work

    There is a lot of machines to test...
    --- Post Merged, Jul 7, 2017 ---
    I will make some test as I find a mid-2014 mac. Don't forget that, as for now, non-Apple NVMe drives requires MacOs High Sierra which is a beta ! Maybe let some time to pass so that further testing will be done...
     
  11. liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #36
    I'm currently on MacOS High Sierra already, lucky me
     
  12. jerryk macrumors 601

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    SF Bay Area
    #37
    Looks like the adapter is no longer being sold on Amazon. According to the list it is "Currently unavailable.
    We don't know when or if this item will be back in stock.".

    However, there may be another supplier that is not on Amazon. "
    • Stock located in USA. Items ordered by 4:30 PM EST ship same day. Contact Micro SATA Cables for FedEx Shipping options.
    • Authentic only if sold by Micro SATA Cables
     
  13. liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #38
    You can buy it from their official website
    http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1139.html
     
  14. stylinexpat macrumors 65816

    stylinexpat

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    #39
    I have a 2014 MBPwith Retina screen. I would be quite happy if I could upgrade my internal storage with a newer one to seee or I could triple my speeds. Was looking at samsung 960/1 Pro from samsung
     
  15. edstewbob macrumors newbie

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    Jan 14, 2009
    #40
    I have an early 2015 Sierra MBA (A1466) with a 256GB SSD and tried to upgrade to a 512GB WD Black PCIe. I used an alternative adapter to the Sintech from Chenyang sold on Amazon https://www.amazon.co.uk/CHENYANG-1...coding=UTF8&psc=1&refRID=NFR7C7VBJY7DRA4XFJ0G. It fit in the machine perfectly but was not recognized when trying to boot in recovery mode. I tried to use the recovery disk utility but it could not find the WD SSD. Based on tests by @gilles_polysoft with the WD Black I was hoping for the best. Do you think it's worth trying to get a Sintech and my results may be more successful? The Chenyang appeared to be identical to the Sintech but there could be a difference and they both warn against using an NVMe device instead of AHCI.
     
  16. venom600 macrumors 6502a

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    #41
    NVMe drives use a totally different communication tech than AHCI drives, that's likely why it wasn't recognized. I question the value of these adapters since no Macs with removable storage except the Macbook and 13" Macbook Pro use NVMe drives and M.2 PCI AHCI drives are insanely rare.
     
  17. liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    #42
    In macOS 10.13 High Sierra, NVMe drive is natively supported. If you read what @gilles_polysoft posted, he tested all his SSDs in macOS 10.13.
     
  18. gilles_polysoft, Sep 2, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2017

    gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #43
    Hello,

    As Liudayu told you, to have your 2015 MBA handle non-apple NVMe SSD, you have to run macOS HighSierra (which is still a beta but will go final in a few weeks).

    There is a patch from the hackintosh world that may work with El Capitan or Sierra, but I've not tested it :
    https://www.tonymacx86.com/threads/...e-drives-released.181387/page-34#post-1282959
     
  19. gilles_polysoft, Sep 2, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2017

    gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #44
    Time to a little update.

    Compatibility with AHCI PCIe drives : (ex. lite-on LGT-512B1P)
    - work in every 2013-2014-2015-2017 macs, but sleep may be a concern (past 2014)
    It is to be noted that Transcend announced some PCIe SSDs (probably AHCI) for every PCIe macs, the transcent Jetdrive 820 (but only 2 lanes and price not yet available) :
    https://www.transcend-info.com/apple/jetdrive_pcie

    Compatibility with Apple NVMe drive : (like those found in 2017 iMacs)
    - Mac Pro late 2013 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - MacBook Pro retina 13"-15" late-2013 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - MacBook Air early 2014 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - MacBook Pro retina 13"-15" mid-2014 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - Macmini Late 2014 : works
    - MacBook Air early 2015 : works
    - MacBook Pro 13"-15" early 2015 : works
    - MacBook Air early 2017 : works

    Compatibilty with non-Apple NVMe drive, (Samsung ), to this date the tests I have done yet are :
    - Mac Pro late 2013 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - MacBook Pro retina 13"-15" late-2013 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - MacBook Air early 2014 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - MacBook Pro retina 13"-15" mid-2014 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update
    - Macmini Late 2014 : works
    - MacBook Air early 2015 : works
    - MacBook Pro 13"-15" early 2015 : doesn't work [edit 2017-09] : works after bootrom update and with Kapton tape on adapter
    - MacBook Air early 2017 : works

    * : The problem with the MacBook Pro 13" and 15" early 2015 seems not to be insurmountable.
    Sometimes, the NVMe drive work, but mostly they fail to be recognized.

    To me, it's a timing or signal quality issue due to adapters (Sintech or other) between Apple 12+16 and M.2).

    Those adapters are not designed to handle PCIe 3.0 speeds I guess.
    They add a connector and complexity to the signal path, so they lower the RF integrity and compatibility with the higher speed of the PCIe 3.0 signals (8Ghz vs 5Ghz for PCIe 2.0).

    The MBA (even 2017) and MacMini 2014 being stuck to PCIe 2.0 due to their Broadwell 5xxx CPU, they don't have this problem...

    I'm still investigating on how to either downforce PCIe to 2.0, either insure better signal quality to make the SSD work with 2015 MBPr 13" and 15".
     
  20. stylinexpat macrumors 65816

    stylinexpat

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    #45
    What about MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2014?
     
  21. dlwg, Sep 4, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2017

    dlwg macrumors newbie

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    #46
    I would like to confirm that I have Kingston SHPM2280P2/960G (AHCI) running inside my MacBook Pro 13" Mid 2014 without any issues through an adapter. Sleep works perfectly. Speeds just around 1000 MB/s on writes and reads with almost 1TB of storage.

    I had an issue when I moved 128GB SSD from MacBook Air 11" 2015 to my MacBook Pro 13" 2014, since my MBP saw the drive, but couldn't boot from it. I hope this will be resolved with the release of High Sierra, maybe?
     
  22. justaviet macrumors newbie

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    #47
    I've been using these sintech adapters since they pretty much came out. A lot of the sleep issues that occur with some of the AHCI drive occurs most likely from the firmware that was installed from the factory on the SSD itself. I experienced sleep issues using this specific drive on the following MacBooks I own.

    Model: SAMSUNG MZHPU128HCGM-00000
    Revision: UXM6401Q

    - 2015 A1502 13" MBPr
    - 2014 A1502 13" MBPr
    - 2013 A1502 13" MBPr
    - 2014 A1465 11" MBA
    - 2014 A1398 15" MBPr
    - 2015 A1466 13" MBA

    Interestingly enough, when I used this same SSD with my 2014 5K iMac as a fusion drive with a Samsung 850 EVO the drive works perfectly fine without any sleep issues.


    On another note...

    I recently ordered a Toshiba 512GB THNSN5512GPU7 NVMe SSD to start experimenting with seeing if I can get these systems to recognize the drive.

    So far, none of the systems listed above are able to recognize the drive out of the box, but I've begun to try and modify the EFI on the bios chip of the logic board to see if I can insert a NVMe DXE into the EFI and get the drive to be bootable natively.

    I was able to successfully insert the NVMe drive into the EFI via the tutorials from the winraid forums on a Late 2013 MacBook Pro Retina. I then flashed the EFI chip on the logic board with the modified bios. The board boots just fine, but still does not recognize this specific drive. When I find out more information I'll post an update...
     
  23. dlwg, Sep 5, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017

    dlwg macrumors newbie

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    #48
    Does anyone know if Toshiba-based SSD used in MacBook Air 11" 2015 is NVMe? It is an Apple 128GB blade with a model code: 656-0021A. I tried this drive in MacBook Pro 13" 2014 and it can see it in Sierra, but doesn't boot. Same with MacPro 5.1, where the drive is seen in Sierra, but doesn't show up at boot screen.

    P.S. I looked at NVMExpress info in my System Profile and it looks like it is indeed NVMe with the model listed as APPLE SSD AP0128H.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 5, 2017 ---
    So you are saying early Samsung XP941 have sleep problems depending on a revision? I wonder if Samsung SM951 have same problems... At least @gilles_polysoft says that it is usually post-2014 models that experience it. It is interesting to know more.
     
  24. justaviet macrumors newbie

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    #49
    What version of sierra are you using on the MacPro and MBPr 2014? I would try to use a compatible SSD and then upgrade to the latest version of OS X to see if the EFI automatically gets updated with the necessary EFI drivers to boot from the newer Apple NVMe drive.

    Electrically speaking, both AHCI and NVMe are based on the PCIe interface meaning hardware wise that they should be compatible and the only limitation is software. On the winraid forums, they have dedicated threads on ways to modify the bios of older machines to get the newer drives to become bootable. There's also other workarounds that allow even older machines to load an EFI shell that loads the NVMe DXE module, thus allowing the computer to load the OS which is NVMe capable.

    I've done several upgrades on nearly a decade old hardware and gotten them to boot from the latest drives like the Samsung SM961. The fact that we have an adapter available to us, with the dependency that it is compliant with the PCIe 3.0 x 4 specifications, meaning it has all 4 differential signal pairs connected + the supporting signals, then it should be theoretically capable of booting a NVMe drive. The only limitation is in the EFI firmware that is keeping the system from recognizing or booting from the drive.

    I'll be starting a thread in the winraid forum pretty soon to see if any of the more experienced bios modders like CodeRush can help me insert the NVMe DXE into the Mac EFI firmware to allow us this upgrade which Apple is clearly deprecating in order to promote sales of the newer generation of hardware.

    Clearly some of the older hardware is capable of booting from the official Apple NVMe drives which tells me that select models that were produced later contain the necessary EFI firmware that allows them to boot from the NVMe drive. If someone is able to or has the necessary tools to make a complete firmware dump of a newer Mac that is either able to boot an aftermarket or official Apple NVMe drive, I can do some analysis and compare it with the EFI of other Macs.

    As for the compatibility of the AHCI drives available from manufacturers like Samsung, it is definitely a matter of firmware that causes the sleep issues. The SSD I have boots perfectly fine on all models of the Macs I own without any problems, but fails to hibernate properly. Since the bias is clearly in the drive itself and not dependent on the machine, the drive being an OEM model has no firmware updates available for me to flash with some known methods to test whether or not a firmware update would fix this issue.
    There's a website that used to sell the exact same model SSD, but with a newer firmware revision which was claimed to be free of the sleep/hibernate issue.

    The only way to fix such an issue is to potentially update the firmware of the drive itself via a firmware dump from an updated model, avoiding that specific revision all together, or modifying the ACPI tables to correct the missing sleep operations.

    I'm currently working on another type of adapter that allows these Macs with the proprietary PCIe slot to use an older MSATA drive using a chipset like the ASM1061.
     
  25. dlwg macrumors newbie

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    #50
    I used the latest version of Sierra (10.12.6) to see this NVMe drive. I used installation USB and then saw the drive in Disk Utility. I also used something called FireWolf OS X PE V7.0, which is a bootable swiss-knife tool based on Yosemite 10.10.4 (14E46), and I think I saw the drive there as well in Disk Utility. I could never boot from it. So I had to rely on USB booting to see it.

    NVMe definitely works even with PowerMac G5:

    Getting it bootable is a very tricky task. I wonder if new firmware will be provided with the release of High Sierra to make it bootable even on old machines going back to Mac Pro 5.1. But I doubt it. I really hope you will succeed in your experiments!
     

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