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

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

  1. wawon macrumors member

    wawon

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Japan
    #876

    I asked to sintech about 2-version SSD, They returned as below.
    ---------
    because we have 2 versions now, one is black , another is green, but you bought black version, then we send you black version. if you want green version, you should buy it from here: http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1143.html
    ---------

    "ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1143" is containing 2 driver. They may rapidly change the adapter to Black without notify if Green sold-out.
     
  2. armoured macrumors newbie

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    ether
    #877
    You know, I wasn't paying much attention to the speed issue, as I'm mostly okay with the speed on my Macbook air and lack of space is my primary issue.

    But then while looking into this decided to run the BlackMagic disk speed program - short form is I get (max) less than 400 on read and less than 200 on write. Worse, because of lack of space, I also use a Transcend JetDrive (basically an SD card that doesn't stick out) - and it's speed ratings are outright terrible (less than 100 on read and less than 20 write).

    I am bumping this project up my urgency list.
     
  3. DrCody macrumors newbie

    DrCody

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    #878
    Hi guys. I've been reading this thread and I have a question about adapters other than sintech.

    Of cours their might be a quality difference but other than that I wouldn't expect anything else.

    The adapter I ordered:https://www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-E-x4-M-2-NGFF-to-SSD-Adapter-Card-For-Apple-MacBook-A1465-A1466-A1398-A1502/401452340989?_trkparms=aid=111001&algo=REC.SEED&ao=1&asc=20140107094819&meid=fef683e6445b4db69a80b978a8c915a8&pid=100039&rk=4&rkt=4&sd=132453725848&itm=401452340989&_trksid=p2054436.c100039.m2059

    It explicitly says it doesn't support NVMe drives but I would expect this is told because of the lack of support on Apple's side. But now under 10.13.3 this should be okay. Correct me if I'm wrong.

    NVMe is as far as I understand it now just a protocol. Not some underlying hardware thing.

    I'm planning to put it in my 2014 MBPr 13".

    I really appreciate you guys for your work you've put into this so far.
     
  4. ravic, Feb 7, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2018

    ravic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #879
    Thanks, bought one from the ebay store. Lets see what I get.
     
  5. armoured macrumors newbie

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    #880
    Thanks for this legwork - ordered from the ebay store, so there now is one less.
     
  6. flo_p macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    #881
    Hi everyone!
    First of all: Thank you all for your investigative work and valuable information! I've been following this thread for some weeks now and decided to finally upgrade the chronically crammed SSD of my Mid 2014 13" MBPr. I got a 512GB Toshiba XG3 cheap on eBay and ordered the ST-NGFF2013 adapter from sintech, which arrived yesterday and turned out to be the latest black version.
    The good thing is: The SSD works, connects with 4 lanes PCIe 2.0, is super fast and did not produce any kernel panics or crashes under macOS or Linux so far (no heavy load tests).
    The bad thing is: Reboot does not work at all - blinking folder every time, independent of OS.

    I had a look at the schematics of my logic board (820-3476) to see what effect the different connections of the black adapter in comparison to the green adapter, which does not seem to cause reboot problems, could have.
    - DEVSLP is only used for controlling the low power mode of SATA drives, so it can be ignored.
    - CLKREQ is connected to ground on the logic board side of the black adapter, so the PCIe reference clock of the system is enabled as soon as the SSD supply voltage is switched on (SSD_PWR_EN is high). This may be causing problems with low power modes, but I don't think it's responsible for the reboot problem.
    - PERST is connected directly to the supply voltage on the M.2 side of the black adapter, so the SSD is powering up as soon as the voltage is switched on and the system is not able to reset it. According to the PCIe specifications, PERST has to be low until at least 50ms after the supply voltage is present and 100µs after the reference clock is stable (https://pcisig.com/sites/default/fi...ERST_CLKREQ_Power-up-Reqts_20140918_Final.pdf).

    So I think this hard wired PERST pin of the black adapter is what's causing the problem. On cold start this seems to go well somehow, but on reboot something goes wrong.
    Unfortunately, this connection is completely underneath the M.2 connector (see Gilles' pictures in Post #835), so there is no easy fix for that...

    Flo
     
  7. ravic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #882
    Hmm... they have a ton more added to the ebay auction. Hopefully they are shipping the green ones.
     
  8. groobert macrumors newbie

    groobert

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #883
    Based on Gilles' assessment, I am now inclined to purchase the 960 EVO for my early 2015 rMBP 13".

    However, there are still some issues I don't understand properly, I'd be grateful if someone more knowledgeable could help sort them out:

    1) In order to avoid KPs/Sleep issues with the Samsung SSDs, is it really necessary to update the firmware? ( I suppose it's a good idea to do this anyway, perhaps?)

    2) Is tweaking hibernation / sleep settings now unnecessary on 10.13.3 using APFS (+green Sintech and tape), as per Gilles' recommendations? Is not, is there any consensus on the best settings? I found at least three or four different suggestions in the forum.

    3) Does the upgrade to 10.13.3 now allow the Samsungs to be formatted in 4k blocks, or still only 512b?

    4) If the latter, does this actually make any difference wrt speed and/or durability, especially in my case where I will be limited by the PCIe 2.0 interface anyway?

    5) Incidentally, what is it with these block size issues? I thought 512b blocks had started to be phased out from modern hard drives around 2010-2011 ! Why is it that these Samsungs, and other SSDs, have (or maybe had?) this limitation, and why are the smaller block sizes only available in the more modern High Sierra?

    Thanks again to all
     
  9. Uq3yue2 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2018
    #884
    How can one get an ISO 4B6QCXP7? I have a mac, so magician is not an option. Thanks.
     
  10. armoured macrumors newbie

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    ether
    #885
    My understanding - layman's only - is that hard drives went to larger blocks to reduce overhead in tracking all those blocks. Wasted space less of an issue, and hard drives can be written to again and again with zero (or minimal) degradation; larger blocks may also reduce fragmentation (and hence physical moves of drive heads/slower seek times). SSDs degrade as they are written to, so reducing wasted space slows this, and they have no physical heads to move around (seek time penalties).

    To understand the wasted space/degradation issue: imagine a file that is one letter "a", and is written to again and again cycling through alphabet. Since minimum file size is a block, the larger blocks result in faster degradation. (If minimum block size was a single byte would be even better from degradation point of view, but obviously there are other trade-offs, as the index would be far, far larger and unmanageable - at some point it stops being an index, like a map of the world at real-life scale).

    [This is massively simplified and there are other technologies at work to deal with some of this, but at root this is it as I understand it.]
     
  11. ravic macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2007
    #886
    I do not have the sintech green adapter. I have the sintech black adapter. Same MacBook as yours , early 2015 rMBP 13".
    I am using a Samsung PM961 which is basically the same thing as Samsung 960 Evo.

    I did not update the firmware it came with.

    The only issue i had was sleep. Here are the settings i changed to make it go away.

    standbydelay 5
    disksleep 0
    sleep 5
    hibernatemode 25

    I get 1450+ reads and 1300+ writes.
     
  12. gymboy macrumors member

    gymboy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    London, UK
    #887
    If you guys can get your hands on the large green sintech adapter, it will be great as I am using the 960 Evo on my 2015 MBA with that and it works without any issues, without making any changes to the settings. Hope you guys are able to get the large green adapter :)
     
  13. Bimbashi macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2018
    #888
    Hi to all,

    final results of my work:

    MBP 15 Retina late 2013 High Sierra
    KC1000 960 GB
    Black Sintech adapter taped (original taping and once wrapped around the black body).

    Install went well, SSD was natively detected in setup. 10.13.3 write/read 1150/1350.
    Windows10 finally installed, works flawless.

    No issues with sleep.
    Some extended time when booting after booting from external SSD. When restarting without shutdown sometimes a folder icon with a question mark shows instead of the bootscreen. Runs well after shutdown/ restart, though.

    Thx for all the godo work in the forum.

    Bimbashi
     
  14. groobert macrumors newbie

    groobert

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2009
    #889
    Thanks ravic. Fingers crossed then

    I haven't tried it myself yet, but apparently you can do a manual update. On the Samsung support page, look under the "Firmware updates for Windows" (not mac!) tab. There you will find the .iso firware files for the 960 Evo/Pro, and also an "NVMe SSD-Firmware Installation Guide" that explains how to do it (via a bootable USB with a Linux-based tool called UNetbootin)
     
  15. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #890
    How is the battery life during regular user and hibernation? I know battery life is worse than the OEM drive for my Intel 600p.

    Thanks.
     
  16. apemaia macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2018
    #891
    With the firmware update of Samsung ssd, os 10.13.3 and some other news it would be great an update of post #767 from Gilles.
    @Gilles: Merci pour ton effort de synthèse, très apprécié. I have see you produced ssd comparison table with problems and other informations. Could you please post some updates? Thanks.
    (For me interesting is space and speed and I'm looking for 960 pro 2TB blades or equivalent (for rMBP mid 2015) but because these are not cheep I wait until it will be no more problems.)
    Have a nice day
    Andrea
     
  17. gilles_polysoft, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018

    gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2017
    Location:
    Tours (France)
    #892
    Hi Andrea,
    sorry I've been quite busy late days...

    I've updated my 2TB Samsung 960 Pro to firmware 4B6QCXP7, and I'm now using it under 10.3.3 and APFS without any issue from 1 week now, on a quite intensive daily use.

    So I've updated my comparison table... hope it will be helpfull, if anyone have any observation or correction please feel free, it takes a really long time to test everything.
    Especially I can't really estimate the battery drain on sleep with 2013-2014 macs : I miss time to measure it precisely.

    Also on a side note, I finally got an answer from sintech that tell me :"if you want green version, you must leave message for it"... and they allow me to return the black adapters !
    This make me very happy :)

    NVMe SSD Comparison - 2018-02-09.png
    --- Post Merged, Feb 8, 2018 ---
    Thanks for your report ! You can resolve the issue with rebooting (folder icon with question mark) by asking Sintech for a green adapter.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 8, 2018 ---
    There is no ISO yet available...
    The only upgrade path as of today is to install Windows, and run Samsung Magician 5.2.

    I have to tell a strange behaviour here :
    - with the black Sintech adapter, Bootcamp with Windows 10 on the 960 Pro worked perfectly...
    - with the green Sintech adapter Windows 10 failed with a BSOD
    I hadn't installed Samsung NVMe driver in those tests, also, the Samsung drive had buggy firmware 3B6QCXP7 during the tests.
    As soon I got Windows to boot reliably with the black adapter I did upgrade firmware and went back on macOS...
    --- Post Merged, Feb 8, 2018 ---
    In my experience :
    - no sleep issue with 2015 macs. There is only a sleep issue with 2013-2014 macs and ANY NVMe drive, even Apple genuine NVMe SM2048L.. And this is solved by setting standby mode to 0 : "sudo pmset -g standby 0"
    - kernel panic no more occur under 10.3.3 AND APFS boot drive...

    Not necessary at all on your early 2015 rMBP. Just verify you have the right BootRom (if you already installed 10.13 once it is) and go for a regular installation 10.13.3. Don't forget kapton tape on the adapter if there is not :)
    It doesn't change anything here... Samsung drives are limited to 512b, and, so, won't work with Sierra.

    No noticeable difference. Only issue with 512b blocs is that you can't run OS older than High Sierra.
    It's only a limitation of the Apple NVMe driver.
    Starting from macOS 10.10.2, Apple did integrated a NVMe driver for the NVMe SSD of the macBook Retina 12" (early 2015). This NVMe driver was not aimed at supporting tiers NVMe SSDs and didn't support 512b blocs SSD.
    Neither did the 10.11 and 10.12 NVMe drivers.
    In the Hackintosh world, some patches were made so that 10.11 and 10.12 could run on 512b blocs SSD though.
    The 10.12 NVMe driver natively works with any 4K non-Apple SSD (e.g Thoshiba XG3-XG4, Kingston KC1000, WD Black...).
    And finally, the 10.13 NVMe driver natively works with literally any NVMe SSD.
     
  18. wawon, Feb 8, 2018
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018

    wawon macrumors member

    wawon

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Japan
    #893
    Today when I saw sintech 's HP, I found that three SSD adapters are being sold in parallel.
    http://eshop.sintech.cn/storage-adapter-20132017-mac-ssd-c-130_132.html


    NGFF M.2 PCIe SSD Card as 2013 2014 2015 MacBook SSD

    Model: ST-NGFF2013 $8.99 (small Black V3)
    http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1139.html

    Model: ST-NGFF2013-B $14.99 (large Green V2)
    http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1143.html

    Model: ST-NGFF2013-C $15.99 (very large unknown V4?)
    http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1229.html

    Please let me know the result if someone has been confirmed by ST-NGFF 2013-C. I do not understand the meaning of making it expensive and bigger than the size of SSD.



    --- Post Merged, Feb 8, 2018 ---
    I have 3 Green V3 adapter. One Green V3 adapter has 2x PCIe lanes link, others have 4x PCIe lanes link.
    They are applied insulation on the back of the adapter using Epoxy resin in the same way.
    So I did not know why there would be only one 2x PCIe lanes link.
    Looking at your advice, reinforcing the insulation thoroughly again, the remaining one also became 4x PCIe lanes link. Thank you.
     
  19. tetet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    #894
    Hi wawon, they are making the long version for stock stability. Since the short version might shift upon shock, especially after dropping on the ground, the machine would easily lose data or even corrupted the system. @Gilles and others have mentioned to attach a small pad behind the SSD, but this long adapter is the permanent solution for this issue.

    I hope that information helps.
     
  20. wawon macrumors member

    wawon

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2017
    Location:
    Japan
    #895
    Thanks. I hope this adapter works like Green V2.
     
  21. gymboy macrumors member

    gymboy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    London, UK
    #896
    I will do a proper usage and testing when I can. But as far as I'm aware of, it is better than the Intel 600p in terms for battery life, but not the level of the Apple drive
    --- Post Merged, Feb 9, 2018 ---
    Certainly the Type C one actually looks good. But am not sure if they are using the Green Version or Black Version as the main connector...
     
  22. sandrvoxon macrumors newbie

    sandrvoxon

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    Dubai
    #897
    Hi to all !!!
    Guys, should I disconnect battery while installing the adapter with ssd ? Or it’s not necessary ?
     
  23. gymboy macrumors member

    gymboy

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2018
    Location:
    London, UK
    #898
    I would say it is not necessary but it will be a good thing to do. But if u do not disconnect the battery, just make sure the MacBook is powered off and removed from any power source.
     
  24. sandrvoxon macrumors newbie

    sandrvoxon

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2018
    Location:
    Dubai
    #899
    Got it ! Thanks ))))
     
  25. Bassbadger macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2018
    Location:
    UK
    #900
    Hello Guys,

    I have installed a PM961 256GB in a green adapter into my rMBP 2015 and with many thanks to this forum I have it running High Sierra very happily. However, when I run Disk Speed Test I get Read of 1500MB/s but Write speed of only 400MB/s. Does anyone have any idea why? The System Profiler shows the SSD under NVMExpress with Link width x4 and Link Speed 5.0 GT/s. I have Kapton tape everywhere!

    Any ideas?

    Thanks.
     

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