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

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

  1. maenpaa24 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2017
    #76
    You state that you have been able too boot from your non-apple nvme driver in your mpr2015 which is awesome news. But I am a bit confused because you also say that the Sintech's adapter is faulty. With which adapter did you manage to boot from the non-apple nvme drive?

    Thanks!
     
  2. Wouark macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2017
    #77

    Hi,

    Sintech adapter is working nice, however, my Toshiba drive, which is PCIE 3 4-lanes is only working is PCIE2 2-lanes mode (screenshot attached). Speed is limited to 350Mb/s writing and 780Mb/s reading, that's quite bad for a NVMe drive of this kind.

    My genuine 128Gb Apple SSD is detected as PCIE3-4lanes so the problem lies either with the drive or the adapter...[​IMG]



    EDIT : Here's the bench of the Toshiba NVMe drive

    [​IMG]
     
  3. el_mecenasso macrumors newbie

    el_mecenasso

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    Sep 13, 2017
    #78
    Why after install High Sierra on my MacBook AIR 13 2013 A1466 NVme Samsung SM951 i have 30second delay before MacBook start booting os?
     
  4. Wouark macrumors newbie

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    Sep 11, 2017
    #79
    Hello,

    Try to do a SMC reset. I had this issue too and it solved it.

    Q.
     
  5. el_mecenasso macrumors newbie

    el_mecenasso

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    Sep 13, 2017
    #80
    Didn't help on NVMe SSD...still the same, i must wait 30sec for start booting. And now i'm also curious why my NVMe (when i press "ALT" key before booting) is visible like external drive even i mount SSD inside laptop with sintech adapter.
     
  6. tetet, Sep 13, 2017
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2017

    tetet macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2017
    #81
    How did you guys manage to see the NVMe drive? I updated my boot ROM in Late 2013 MacBook Pro A1398, but booting from USB installation disk still cannot see the PM961 SSD in the machine from disk utility(SIP disabled).
     
  7. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    Tours (France)
    #82
    If you boot from an High Sierra USB installation disk, you should see the NVMe drive.
    If you boot from an El Capitan or Sierra USB installation disk, no non-Apple NVMe drive will be recognized.

    The only way to have non-Apple NVMe drive work is to use High Sierra.
    Before High Sierra, only AHCI drives (either Apple or non Apple) or Apple NVMe SSD drives do work.
    --- Post Merged, Sep 14, 2017 ---
    You have selected your SSD drive as the boot disk in the "startup" preferences pane, did you ?
     
  8. liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

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    Nov 4, 2014
    #83
    Saw your twitter, looks like the NVMe SSD will only be treated as an external drive? So it will not support Boot Camp, right? and what about the sleep issue?
     
  9. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #84
    DeepSleep has no issue, it just works fine.

    Also the drive is only presented as an external drive in EFI on the 2013-2014 MBPr. On the 2015 it appears as internal.
    On both (late 2013-2014 and early-mid 2015) the SSD appears as internal while booted.

    I'll try bootcamp (but Bootcamp worked with an Apple NVMe SSD so I'm not frightened)
     
  10. maenpaa24 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 12, 2017
    #85
    Hi! Could you update the working/not working list you made few days ago? Because from what I have read it seems that the mbpr from 2013 to 2015 now supports non-apple nvme drivers, but I would like to see confirmation.

    Thank you!
     
  11. tetet macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2017
    #86
    Thank you for the reply! I was booting on High Sierra Beta 9 installation image, but still cannot see it. The possible reason I can think about is a faulty adapter or faulty SSD. I'm replacing both right now.
     
  12. gilles_polysoft, Sep 14, 2017
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2018

    gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #87
    Sure :
    As for Apple NVMe drives:

    • Mac Pro late 2013 : works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 3.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Air 11" & 13" mid 2013 : works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 2x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 13" late 2013 :works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 15" late 2013 : works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Air 11" & 13" early 2014 :works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 2x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 13" mid 2014 : works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 15" mid 2014 : works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Air 11" & 13" early 2015 :works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 13" early 2015 : works from 10.10.2 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 15" mid 2015 : works from 10.10.3 (PCIe 3.0 speed 4x lanes)
    As for non-Apple NVMe drives, (Samsung 960 evo/pro etc) :

    • Mac Pro late 2013 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 3.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Air 11" & 13" mid 2013 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 2x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 13" late 2013 :works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 15" late 2013 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Air 11" & 13" early 2014 :works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 2x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 13" mid 2014 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 15" mid 2014 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Air 11" & 13" early 2015 :works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 13" early 2015 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 2.0 speed 4x lanes)
    • MacBook Pro retina 15" mid 2015 : works from 10.13 (PCIe 3.0 speed 4x lanes)
    [EDIT] : corrected some speeds

    PCIe 2.0 speed is around 350 MB/sec by lane so :

    • with 2x lanes of PCIe 2.0 expect up to 700 MB/sec
    • with 4x lanes 1400 MB/sec
    PCIe 3.0 speed is around 750 MB/sec by lane so :

    • with 4x lanes of PCIe 3.0 expect nearly 3000MB/sec
    --- Post Merged, Sep 14, 2017 ---
    Have you follow the full installation of High Sierra on your internal SSD ? this is the only path to getting your BootRom upgraded at the time.
    Which is your Bootrom version ? (I'm in the process of listing them all).

    Also, you may put some kapton tape on the back of the Sintech adapter.
    To me, it helps a lot... the pins of the adapter are otherwise close to touch the shield of the Apple connector, like here :

    [​IMG]
     
  13. tetet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    #88
    Hi gilles_polysoft,

    That was some great work you did! My boot ROM version is MBP112.0142.B16 (upgraded by High Sierra Beta 9). I will try the tape today!
     
  14. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    Tours (France)
    #89
    Hello there,

    OK so I found this would be useful to make a table...
    Here it is. It may not be 100% accurate..
    Please provide feedback if you found errors, mostly I'm not quite sure about PCIe speeds on 27" iMacs... (information lacks)
    [EDIT] : corrected a little error on MBPr 2012-early 2013 which are 7+17 and not 6+12
     

    Attached Files:

  15. tetet macrumors newbie

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    Sep 13, 2017
    #90
    Wow. I am in awe. This is fantastic work! I do not know how to express my gratitude!
     
  16. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    Tours (France)
    #91
    You don't have to.. i am please to share it.
    Also it is incomplete yet : I would like to add BootRom versions needed to boot from NVMe/AFPS.
    There is a list in the beta (as stated here : http://www.insanelymac.com/forum/topic/324194-pre-release-macos-high-sierra/page-131
    But I just wait for the GM to be released.
    I have no clue if the bootrom updates will be availaible from the appstore on previous macOS (like they were by the past) ?
    If not, there may be a way to extract them during the upgrade process.
     
  17. maks25 macrumors newbie

    maks25

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    #92

    First of all, thank you so much Gilles!

    However I noticed an inconsistency between the image and what you said earlier.


    In a previous post you said:
    However in the image it says that the MBP late 13" has 4 lanes.

    Just wondering which one it is as I am looking to upgrade my MBP late 13 ssd :)
    --- Post Merged, Sep 16, 2017 ---
    I've noticed a few users mentioning the drives running super hot.

    Given that the Samsung 960 PRO active power consumption is 5.3W, less than the 960 EVO's 5.7W. Would the PRO in theory produce less heat, or not necessarily?
     
  18. gilles_polysoft, Sep 16, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

    gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #93
    You're welcome !
    You're absolutely right, and sorry for the inconsistency.

    Previous tests without the BootRom update and without the isolation with kapton tape did sometimes only show a 2x lanes PCIe 2.0 link.
    But all present tests with the upgraded BootRom and a 960 Pro show a speed of 1400 MB/sec which is coherent with a 4x PCIe 2.0 link.
    So the truth for the MBPr late 2013 is a 4x lanes PCIe 2.0 link (1400 MB/sec max).

    I must apologize, but the work is difficult : all the available informations are not consistent either
    for example MacTracker tells that the MBP retina 13" (early 2015) has 4x PCIe 3.0 (8GT/sec) slots...
    But this is not true : this Mac has a 5257U, 5287U or 5557U processor and neither of those Broadwell core i5 or i7 have PCIe 3.0 speeds, they only provide PCIe 2.0 according to Intel itself :
    https://ark.intel.com/en/products/84993/Intel-Core-i7-5557U-Processor-4M-Cache-up-to-3_40-GHz

    The same is true for the MacBook Air 13" early 2015. It has a PCIe 2.0 capable CPU only, so it has a 4x lanes PCIe 2.0 link to the SSD.. (and late tests show that)

    I've not noticed high temperatures with the samsung, but will survey that.
    I used for a year in a late 2013 MBPr 13" a LiteOn AHCI LGT-512B1P which is rated for 3.3V 3.5A (over 11W), so I'm not too worried about that...
     
  19. imprimis1, Sep 16, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2017

    imprimis1 macrumors newbie

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    Sep 16, 2017
    #94
    Has anyone got a Samsung PM951 (NVMe) SSD working with any of the MacBook models discussed as compatible in this thread?

    I am having no luck with basic device recognition (by the OS/Disk Utility) with several such presumed good PM951 SSD's, even after booting from a bootrom-upgraded MacBook Air and Pro (of all vintages, 2013, 2014, 2015) and a 10.13 (GM) High Sierra external drive.

    (I've tried with, and without Kapton tape, with the same negative result)

    It seems that the various-issue Samsung PM951 SSD's may be incompatible due to their TLC NAND, or 512 byte block sizing-- or perhaps an SSD-firmware related issue common to many, or even all, of these particular drives?

    I am trying to rule out faulty SSD's, but it seems quite unlikely. The sintech and compatible converter boards are working with other known compatible AHCI drives on the same machines.

    The units I am testing are all MZVLV128HCGR (MZ-VLV1280).
     
  20. tetet macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2017
    #95
    I can verify that Samsung PM series has compatibility issues.

    With a new PM961 (MZVLW1T0HMLH), I'm stuck on drive recognition as well, on latest BootROM, latest High Sierra GM external installation USB drive, System Integrity Protection disabled,Disk Utility still cannot see the drive at all. At first, I thought it was caused by a faulty adapter, but the WD Black SSD can be recognized in the old adapter. Therefore, it is definitely the SSD.

    It is not because of TLC NAND, since PM961 is MLC flash. I assume it is because of some unique Samsung firmware in this series of SSD.

    Before someone find a solution, I would advise to avoid Samsung PM series SSD for this purpose.
     
  21. gilles_polysoft macrumors regular

    gilles_polysoft

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    #96
    Hello,
    that's wierd... I've tested a used SM951(MZVPW128HEGM) in many MacBook Pro (late 2013 etc) with absolutely no issue.. (see capture, sorry for it being in french). Disabling SIP is absolutely not a requirement, I let it enable.
    I couldn't buy any PM951 because they are not made anymore for more than 1 year...

    The PM951 is TLC and is the predecessor of the 960 Evo.
    The SM951 is MLC and predecessor of the 960 Pro.

    On my SM951 I have firmware CXZ7300Q.

    Do you have by any chance access to a PC on which you could install Samsung Magician to see if a firmware upgrade is availble ?
     

    Attached Files:

  22. imprimis1, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017

    imprimis1 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2017
    #97

    I believe that Samsung Magician has been artificially limited by Samsung to maintain/grab updates only for consumer/retail (that is, non-OEM) products (such as the 960 Pro). Whereas, the PM* and SM* series, among others, are designed for OEM and refurbisher/reseller use.

    There is a (Windows 10 executable) Lenovo SSD firmware updater, designed for the SM951 and PM951, that also works with most, if not all, other m.2 ACHI and NVMe Samsung SSD modules. To backup (capture) the existing firmware on the drive, it requires a compatible Lenovo laptop (X1 Generation 3, for instance). It will, however, flash (write) an updated (or alternate) firmware to the Samsung SSD, on PC motherboards from other manufacturers that have an m.2 AHCI/NVMe connector.

    In general, someone must rise to the task to begin the project of capturing and maintaining a library of updated, compatible firmware images, for such purposes as this thread concerns.
    .
    --- Post Merged, Sep 17, 2017 ---
    Just to clarify this response, it seems that PM961 is in fact a TLC NAND, from its data sheet. This seems to be the case with all PM9* designated SSDs, as of the present.

    That doesn't rule out, necessarily, that Samsung firmware issues are the true issue, or at least complicating the matter.

    However, some Asian and Russian forums seem to indicate that TLC NAND devices (from any manufacturer) are not compatible, absent additional Apple EFI firmware modifications and/or a converter that contains its own logic, with these MacBook Air 2013-2017 and MacBook Pro 2013-2015 models.
     
  23. liudayu, Sep 17, 2017
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2017

    liudayu macrumors newbie

    liudayu

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2014
    #98
    Yes, that is correct. all PM*** SSD are TLC and all SM*** SSD are MLC.

    I was looking for to get a PM961 1TB (back in July) because that is pretty much the cheapest 1TB SSD you can get, but I was also aware that the fact you cannot boot with NVMe SSDs until couple weeks ago when Apple updated the BootRom.

    I was being impatient so I bought the SSUBX (APPLE SSD SM0512G) for my MacBook Pro mid-2014, although it's PCIe 2.0 x4 lines, it's still better than my old SSD which was only x2 lines.


    My new SSD's speedtest:
    Screen Shot 2017-09-15 at 10.21.47 am.png

    My old SSD's speedtest:
    Screen Shot 2017-09-02 at 4.17.55 am.png
     
  24. Transfusion macrumors newbie

    Transfusion

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2017
    #99
    It can't be the case that all TLC SSDs are incompatible; Wouark's screenshot shows THNSN5256GPUK which is a Toshiba XG4 drive with TLC NAND (successor to justaviet's Toshiba XG3, which is MLC, faster, and which can actually be bought at retail as the OCZ RD400), and the WD Black drive that Gilles tested should also be SanDisk TLC with a Marvell controller.

    I can obtain the 512GB XG4 for the same price as a retail 250GB 960 EVO where I live; obviously the major caveats are that the XG4 will have many hours on it, 4K write performance of the 256GB XG4 is about 1/3-1/2 of the 250GB 960 EVO because it has no SLC cache, but it is still very tempting for my Early 2015 Air.

    PM951 not working but SM951 working can be explained by SM951 using the UBX controller but not PM. It is very strange that PM961 doesn't work as its Polaris controller is identical to SM961's and 960's.

    Something interesting: the tool that imprimis1 mentions has since been updated, known to work with SM961. It is a Linux i386 executable. I wasn't able to get it to output anything useful, even with the --help argument it printed "[ERROR] Invalid input parameters." I didn't try with the included Linux boot image, it would be very interesting if the binary only worked under that environment. Using readelf or strings there are sample commands like

    Code:
    nvmeredrive -I -D all --fwdownload [-FD]
    Downloads and Activates firmware to specific disk and Slot
    Valid firmware file format are tar,bin and enc
    In the zip file from Lenovo the firmware is encrypted, but it is interesting that the CLI tool appears to download .tar files from some update channel.

    https://support.lenovo.com/uu/en/solutions/ht503807

    It is known as Samsung NVMe Re-Drive, googling around you can find references to a Windows GUI version also, only available to system integrators.
     
  25. myst02 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2017
    #100
    I've just ordered the Adapter and an Intel 600p 1TB SSD for my Macbook Air early 2015.

    I'm curious if it will work since the 600p has TLC NAND, I'll keep you guys updated for sure!
     

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