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

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The first post of this thread is a WikiPost and can be edited by anyone with the appropiate permissions. Your edits will be public.

gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
200
494
Tours (France)
you will have to use bootcamp.

it is not a big problem since you don't have to pay for windows 10 just for that purpose and it takes just 5 to 10 minutes to install it :)
Please be all carefull....
as of today 1st december DON'T Upgrade samsung 960 Evo.
the new firmware 3B7QCXE7 seems to be very bogus. I'll give update as soon as possible
 
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Earl Urley

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2014
537
235
Please be all carefull....
as of today 1st december DON'T Upgrade samsung 960 Evo.
the new firmware 3B7QCXE7 seems to be very bogus. I'll give update as soon as possible

Yes a lot of people on the PC side are reporting slower speeds, system glitches with the new firmware.

If your firmware is 2B7QCXE7 you should be fine.

You can check your firmware by either going to About this Mac > System Report > System Information > Hardware > NVMExpress or installing smartmontools through Homebrew.
 
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Alpengroove

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2017
10
6
Successfully installed a Samsung 960 Evo with Sintech adapter in a MBP 13 2015 today.

First it did not recognize the SSD. The problem is, that the little feet’s of the adapter touch the metal shield housing of the MBPs SSD connector.

I then put 3 layers of “Tesa” over the “feets” of the adapter to isolate it.
After this, all went fine.

Speed is about 1300/1300.
Until now, no reboot, sleep, hibernate issues.
The 960 EVO was produced end of october 2017. I did not upgrade the firmware.

Martin
 
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tojason

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2017
2
0
This is the thread I have been looking for and really thanks all the information and experiment done by all the ppl in here.
you guys are so AWESOME !
I am having a MBR retina 15" Mid 2014 (model: A1398), and definitely I want to upgrade the SSD as it is only 256 GB
However I am struggling with a few options:
1. WD Black 512GB - WDS512G1X0C (NVMe) for CAD 229.99
2. WD Blue M.2 1TB - WDS100T1B0B (SATA) for CAD 349.99
3. Samsung PM961 - MZVLW1T0HMLH (NVMe) for CAD 430.46 + shipping
I wanna know if the SATA III will work on my model at all (after reading a lot of the post, I think it should) and is it worth to trade the speed for the 500 GB ??
Also, it seems that the PM961 is still having some issues with the mid 2014 model.
So 2 questions:
A. Which one will you guys recommend me to upgrade to or is there any more better solutions ? (I want to keep the cost around the same)
B. What do u guys do with the stock SSD ? Is there any way I can reuse them as a external drive ??

THX A LOT !!
I have the same MBP as you, and thinking to upgrade. I have no idea whether the NVMe will on Mid 2014 Retina.
[doublepost=1512381957][/doublepost]
Hi all,

Thanks for all of your contribution, especially thanks to gilles_polysoft.

Also thanks to ghifar, thank you for your information, you make me upgrade my 13" MacBook Pro 2015 retina with SM951 NVMe and Chenyang adapter without any problem,

I record the upgrade process, and share it on youtube, if you have any problems for upgrading the model I tested, please feel free to ask me, thanks a lot.

Preparation of MacBook NVMe SSD Upgrade
How to make a Bootable macOS High Sierra USB
Upgrade MacBook to NVMe SSD
This is so helpful. I own a MBP Retina 15' Mid 2014 with 256gb storage. I want to upgrade to 500gb or !Tb with NVMe drive.
 
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Gen4ig

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2017
27
1
Poland
Hi, in my hackintosh is Samsung 960 EVO, it work native in 10.13. Firmware is 2B7QCXE7
I wont to replace it in to my MacBook Pro 13 2015 early, it is possible with the adapter M.2 NGFF key?
Anybody can help me make right choice?
 
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commander.data

macrumors 65816
Nov 10, 2006
1,017
105
I have a mid-2014 retina MacBook Pro 13" with stock 512 GB PCIe x2 SSD and am looking to upgrade to a 1 TB SSD in the most reliable, hastle-free manner possible. Skimming through the previous posts in this thread from the great investigative work everyone's been doing it seems like even Apple NVMe SSDs still have residual issues with mid-2014 and earlier MacBook Pros. I've seen previous posts mention hibernation-issues and showing up as external drives under EFI likely preventing future firmware updates. So NVMe SSDs, whether Apple official or third-party still aren't trouble-free?

Since my mid-2014 MacBook Pro 13 is only capable of PCIe 2.0 x4 anyways, I'm thinking trying to find a 1 TB Apple SSUBX PCIe 3.0 x4 AHCI SSD is the most reliable option? The SSUBX already seems fast enough to saturate PCIe 2.0 x4, so I won't lose much in terms of bandwidth, just some responsiveness by sticking with AHCI rather than trying NVMe.
 
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gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
200
494
Tours (France)
I own a MBP Retina 15' Mid 2014 with 256gb storage. I want to upgrade to 500gb or !Tb with NVMe drive.
I have a mid-2014 retina MacBook Pro 13" with stock 512 GB PCIe x2 SSD and am looking to upgrade to a 1 TB SSD in the most reliable, hastle-free manner possible.
[...] The SSUBX already seems fast enough to saturate PCIe 2.0 x4, so I won't lose much in terms of bandwidth, just some responsiveness by sticking with AHCI rather than trying NVMe.

Hi to both of you.

I know this thread is going huge and difficult to read all.
I tried to sum up things in post #295.
Short story : if you want to save bucks, buy an 1Tb intel 600p, a toshiba XG3, a Kingston KC1000...

Long story :

Apple SSD are the most reliable choice, period. But they're not cheap. And you can't buy new ones with serious warranty, nowhere, unless you're an AASP. You have ebay, but no warranty.
They exist in AHCI or NVMe flavours. AHCI always work. NVMe work natively with 2015 Macs and work with up to date Bootrom in 2013-2014 Macs.
You have to pay $1000 for new grey-market Apple 1TB or used ones from $700..(-no- -warranty-)

Third party SSDs, you have the choice of :
- OWC, Transcend 960 or MCE. They are all AHCI, native Apple 12+16 form factor. Not cheap, but you get a warranty.
Always prefer Transcend 960 or MCE over OWC : transcend 960 or MCE are true and native PCIe drives. OWC build their PCIe SSDs from a raid0 of 2 sata SSD, and they consume a lot of power and spread a lot of heat (and you have no smart)
- M.2 PCIe AHCI drives : they are disappearing from the shelves... Quite expensive, too. Work great with Sintech adapter. The last one you can buy new are Kingston Hyper-X predator (SHPM2280P2/960G)
- M.2 PCIe NVMe drives : Work with Sintech adapter. Huge choice of new, low price, up to 2TB.
1TB go from $350 brand new with warranty (Intel P600)

On 2015 Macs : nothing particular to do.
On 2013-2014 Macs : you have do disable hibernation (sudo pmset -g standby 0)

NVMe drives formatted in 512B require 10.13
NVMe drives formatted in 4K can work from 10.12 natively, and this is the best choice as of today (High Sierra as of 10.13.1 has still many, many bugs...)

NVMe drive that can be formatted in 4K are : Kingston KC1000, Toshiba XG3-XG4-XG5, WD Black, maybe Plextor PM8e
NVMe drives that can't be formatted in 4K are : Intel P600, all Samsung drives (PM951, SM951, SM961, 960 Evo, 960 Pro, PM981.

I use my own MBPr 2015 with a Kingston KC1000 for nearly 3 months now without any issue. (previously I've used an Apple NVMe SSD for month).

I've long tried Samsung 960 Evo - Pro : it works but I repeatedly got kernel panics on big file transfers...
[doublepost=1512516522][/doublepost]
Hi, in my hackintosh is Samsung 960 EVO, it work native in 10.13. Firmware is 2B7QCXE7
I wont to replace it in to my MacBook Pro 13 2015 early, it is possible with the adapter M.2 NGFF key?
Anybody can help me make right choice?
Hi,
you can. but you have to update the bootrom / install High Sierra on your mac before to install the new NVMe drive.
There are still instabilities with Samsungs drives as of today.
[doublepost=1512516876][/doublepost]
Successfully installed a Samsung 960 Evo with Sintech adapter in a MBP 13 2015 today.

First it did not recognize the SSD. The problem is, that the little feet’s of the adapter touch the metal shield housing of the MBPs SSD connector.

I then put 3 layers of “Tesa” over the “feets” of the adapter to isolate it.
After this, all went fine.

Speed is about 1300/1300.
Until now, no reboot, sleep, hibernate issues.
The 960 EVO was produced end of october 2017. I did not upgrade the firmware.

Martin
Thanks for your report ! Yes on 2015 macs no problem of sleep/hibernation.
 
Comment

Gen4ig

macrumors newbie
Dec 4, 2017
27
1
Poland
Hi to both of you.

I know this thread is going huge and difficult to read all.
I tried to sum up things in post #295.
Short story : if you want to save bucks, buy an 1Tb intel 600p, a toshiba XG3, a Kingston KC1000...

Long story :

Apple SSD are the most reliable choice, period. But they're not cheap. And you can't buy new ones with serious warranty, nowhere, unless you're an AASP. You have ebay, but no warranty.
They exist in AHCI or NVMe flavours. AHCI always work. NVMe work natively with 2015 Macs and work with up to date Bootrom in 2013-2014 Macs.
You have to pay $1000 for new grey-market Apple 1TB or used ones from $700..(-no- -warranty-)

Third party SSDs, you have the choice of :
- OWC, Transcend 960 or MCE. They are all AHCI, native Apple 12+16 form factor. Not cheap, but you get a warranty.
Always prefer Transcend 960 or MCE over OWC : transcend 960 or MCE are true and native PCIe drives. OWC build their PCIe SSDs from a raid0 of 2 sata SSD, and they consume a lot of power and spread a lot of heat (and you have no smart)
- M.2 PCIe AHCI drives : they are disappearing from the shelves... Quite expensive, too. Work great with Sintech adapter. The last one you can buy new are Kingston Hyper-X predator (SHPM2280P2/960G)
- M.2 PCIe NVMe drives : Work with Sintech adapter. Huge choice of new, low price, up to 2TB.
1TB go from $350 brand new with warranty (Intel P600)

On 2015 Macs : nothing particular to do.
On 2013-2014 Macs : you have do disable hibernation (sudo pmset -g standby 0)

NVMe drives formatted in 512B require 10.13
NVMe drives formatted in 4K can work from 10.12 natively, and this is the best choice as of today (High Sierra as of 10.13.1 has still many, many bugs...)

NVMe drive that can be formatted in 4K are : Kingston KC1000, Toshiba XG3-XG4-XG5, WD Black, maybe Plextor PM8e
NVMe drives that can't be formatted in 4K are : Intel P600, all Samsung drives (PM951, SM951, SM961, 960 Evo, 960 Pro, PM981.

I use my own MBPr 2015 with a Kingston KC1000 for nearly 3 months now without any issue. (previously I've used an Apple NVMe SSD for month).

I've long tried Samsung 960 Evo - Pro : it works but I repeatedly got kernel panics on big file transfers...
[doublepost=1512516522][/doublepost]
Hi,
you can. but you have to update the bootrom / install High Sierra on your mac before to install the new NVMe drive.
There are still instabilities with Samsungs drives as of today.
[doublepost=1512516876][/doublepost]
Thanks for your report ! Yes on 2015 macs no problem of sleep/hibernation.
Thank you for you answer.
what you can say about this adapter? I can use it with 960 EVO? 70efc89e49e9ace358c778eb369e.jpeg
 
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flemmingdjensen

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2017
36
16
Denmark
This has been a fantastic thread to follow and many thanks to Gilles for his efforts - much appreciated!

If the Samsung Evo 960 1TB was a rock solid solution for my Macbook Pro 15" mid 2014 I wouldn't hessitate to go ahead with the project. I was considering the OWC Aura Pro X 1TB but it seems that they are using old chips that consumes to much energy.

So I am hoping Apple will release a fix for High Sierra that deals with the Kernel Panics with the NVMe drives. And hopefully also the Sleep issues / drive recognition.

Waiting / hoping for some good news in a near future about all this :)

BR Flemming
 
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dogbertd

macrumors member
Nov 10, 2011
30
5
Dundee, Scotland, UK
I'll add my thanks to all the intrepid investigators, but a particular salut! et merci to Gilles @ Polysoft.

Before I take the plunge I'd just like to be sure that these two items will upgrade my late 2013 MBP (A1502):

Thanks again!

Screenshot2.jpg

Screenshot1.jpg
 
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flemmingdjensen

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2017
36
16
Denmark
Hi,

macOS 10.13.2 just appeared on App Store :) - and now installed

Maybe this 1,6GB update fixes things for NVMe in general? Sleep, kernel panics

It fixes the annoying blank screen at 70% while booting macOS and my old Parallels 10 is working better in fullscreen mode.

I have been wondering... Isn't it possible to configure timing and parameters for the "IONVMeFamily.kext" somewhere?
 
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Alpengroove

macrumors newbie
Jun 28, 2017
10
6
Did anyone with a Samsung 960 NVMe already install the 10.13.2 update?

Are there any problems with the SSD? Speed decrease? Sleep/ hibernate issues?

Martin
 
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Earl Urley

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2014
537
235
I have a 960 NVMe, 500 GB, Late 2013 rMBP. I ran the combo update, no real speed changes. Boot time's the same, haven't seen any sleep/hibernation issues but I did the pmset that giles recommended. BootROM is unchanged.
 
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MacIsHard

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2017
11
3
My Mac 15" 2014 won't recognise my evo 960 with the chenyan adapter- do I have to format it with an ubuntu key?
 
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Earl Urley

macrumors 6502a
Nov 10, 2014
537
235
Did you upgrade your rMBP to High Sierra BEFORE putting in the new SSD/adapter?

If booting from a High Sierra USB key, did you run Disk Utility, View All Devices, quit, run DU again, view all devices again?

Could also be a bum adapter, get the Sintech if you can't get a replacement for the ChenYang.
 
Comment

MacIsHard

macrumors newbie
Oct 24, 2017
11
3
Did you upgrade your rMBP to High Sierra BEFORE putting in the new SSD/adapter?

If booting from a High Sierra USB key, did you run Disk Utility, View All Devices, quit, run DU again, view all devices again?

Could also be a bum adapter, get the Sintech if you can't get a replacement for the ChenYang.

Yes I upgraded it and tried the trick with Disk Utility - I think I might need to get a new adaptor :(
 
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flemmingdjensen

macrumors member
Nov 30, 2017
36
16
Denmark
So did anybody conclude any thing regarding the 10.13.2 update?? Did this update fix some things regarding NVMe - kernel panic with large files copying and sleep issues??
 
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gilles_polysoft

macrumors regular
Jul 7, 2017
200
494
Tours (France)
So did anybody conclude any thing regarding the 10.13.2 update?? Did this update fix some things regarding NVMe - kernel panic with large files copying and sleep issues??
Hi,

As for kernel panics with Samsung drives : 10.13.2 update changes nothing and I'm not surprised of that because the version of IONVMeFamily.kext is still v2.1.0 which is the same since the early betas of High Sierra.

As those kernel panic only occurs barely on a normal use (and are only reproductibles when copying really big folders on really fast external drives), there may not be a lot of people experimenting those kernel panics, and even less submitting feedback to Apple...
I did submitted feedback to Apple with the feedback assistant app but I may be quite alone doing this...
Maybe don't expect anything new on this until a while...

As a side note here : I did a lot of tries with Intel 600P which can only be 512B formatted, and I have used it for 2 weeks without having any KP, even with doing numerous CarbonCopy clones of SSD to an external USB 3.0 samsung SSD.
Also, I did tried the Samsung PM981 which I did recently received, and used it under Linux on a rMBP 13" late 2013 : it works without any issue (in opposite to High sierra which doesn't handle this drive on the same machine).
It doesn't go in the sense of a hardware nor SSD firmware issue here, but I'm almost certain that there is an issue between IONVMeFamily.kext of macOS HighSierra and NVMe samsung drives...
When will it be fixed ? no one knows..


As for sleep issue on 2013-2014 macs, it may never ever be fixed by a macOS update because it's more on the EFI side.
And again we can live with it : on any 2013-2014 macs I've tested with NVMe drives, I get totaly rid of sleep issues by simply setting "standby mode" to 0
(and of course, I use good sintech adapter with proper kapton insulation).



A question I ask here : in the present case of upgrading MBPr with NVMe SSDs, why do so many of you buy samsung drives ?
This was also my first choice (because samsung based Apple PCIe SSD are the best, maybe...) but the results of late months show clearly that Samsung drives are the only drives which have unresolved problems under macOS 10.13...

Why don't you buy Kingston or Thoshiba NVMe drives instead ?(or even WD or intel)
They have the same warranties, performances and price and they do work without issues and even on Sierra once formatted in 4K.
 
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