macOS High Sierra 10.13 NVMe Support
 
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macOS High Sierra 10.13 NVMe Support  

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itsage
(@itsage)
Founder Admin
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Besides eGPU, NVMe native support in High Sierra is a highly anticipated feature. This may not seem like much at first but for Thunderbolt 2 MacBooks (late 2013 to late 2015) that use Apple propriety PCIe SSD, this is a huge breakthrough. Instead of paying more than $1/GB for used Apple PCIe flash storage for these Macs we can now get brand new and faster NVMe M.2 drives for less money.

I found the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe M.2 drive was able to boot macOS High Sierra through the AKiTiO Node a couple months ago when I was trying to saturate the bandwidth on this eGPU enclosure. Earlier today, I installed this same NVMe drive inside a 2015 11" MacBook Air using a 12+16pin to M.2 NGFF M-Key adapter. This adapter makes the Samsung 960 EVO physically compatible with the connector on the logic board.

macos nvme support samsung 960 evo macbook air
macos nvme support samsung 960 evo macbook air angle

I was holding my breath at first boot after installing the NVMe M.2 drive. The MacBook Air was not able to boot. I could not get to the Boot Selector screen either by holding OPTION key. After an hour testing the 12+16pin to M.2 NGFF M-Key adapter through another PCIe adapter inside my Mac Pro to verify it's working, I determined it must be something with the firmware of the MacBook Air.

I proceeded to perform a clean installation of macOS High Sierra Beta 9 on the original drive so that the latest firmware for this MacBook Air can be applied. That did the trick. My mid-2015 11" MBA is now running Boot ROM version MBA71.0170.B00. I did another clean installation of 10.13b9. This time on the Samsung 960 EVO NVMe. Here's the final results.

 

Screen Shot 2017 09 08 at 8.48.25 PM
Screen Shot 2017 09 08 at 8.32.24 PM

If you have a Thunderbolt 2 Mac and it's running out of storage space, an upgrade to 512GB NVMe M.2 drive is now about $200 rather than $500 for Apple PCIe drive. With that much savings, might as well spend it on an eGPU enclosure. Grin

 

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ikir
 ikir
(@ikir)
Prominent Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

This is huge indeed.

BTW these PCI blade SSD were proprietary because Apple was the first to have these speed.

Now MacBook Pro have soldered SSD even faster, incredible speed of 3Gbps but you can't change them. Probably there are security, commercial, speed reasons.


MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar M1 8-core CPU 8-core GPU - 16GB unified memory - 512GB PCIe SSD
MacBook Pro 13" 2020 Touch Bar i7 quad-core 2.3Ghz - 16GB RAM - 1TB PCIe SSD

my awesome Radeon VII eGPU
my Mantiz Venus extreme mod with Sapphire Nitro+ RX Vega 64

 
2018 13" MacBook Pro [8th,4C,U] + Radeon VII @ 32Gbps-TB3 (Mantiz Venus) + macOS 10.15 [build link]  


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sark.rui
(@sark-rui)
New Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Hey, dude. Are you using the MacBook Air "Core i7" 2.2 11" (Early 2015) rather than the mid-2015 11″ MacBook Air one(Not found)? I've also noticed that 11'' Early 2015 was using a storage interface (PCIe 2.0 x2), which I suppose it can only run up to 1GB/s. How possibly you can benchmark it up to 1.4G/s  on reading! In addition, my convert board (12+16pin to M.2 NGFF)  merchant in China told me that Macs installed with 3rd party PCIe drive cannot normally wake up from sleep, did you encounter the same issue with High Sierra? I'm updating High Sierra and considering upgrading native PCIe drive to NVMe one for bigger capacity.

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Hitoshi Kudoh
(@hitoshi_kudoh)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I explain my experiences.

This is the result of trying on High Sierra beta 7, 8 or 9 with MacBook Pro 13 Late 2013, MacBook Pro 13 Early 2105, MacBook Pro 15 Mid 2014, MacBook Pro Mid 2015.

 

There are two cases when using m.2 SSD which is not Apple SSD.

1 PCIe AHCI M.2 SSD     ex. MZ-HPU256

2 PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD    ex. MZ-VPW256

 

1 : AHCI SSD is the same type as Apple genuine, so it will definitely recognize it at startup(boot), but in many case, it can not wake-up after sleep. Especially when you want to sleep SSD(HDD) it is nearly hopeless.

 

2 : NVMe SSD has no problem in wake-up after sleep, but may not recognize it at Boot. In regular Boot, it is often OK , but reboot is not recognized. Of course it can only be used with High Sierra. (But in Apple Diagnosis, even NVMe SSD can recognized normally)

 

So I was giving up using 3rd party SSD, but since I had information that I can use it at 960 EVO, I checked again  MacBook Air 13 Mid 2013 and 960 EVO 256GB with High Sierra after release.

 

1 was reproduced as it was.

2 did not recognize it at the time of installation and at first boot, but it became possible to activate it after registering as a boot disk (preliminary because the confirmation is still insufficient).

 

 

I think merchant in China saying is  corresponds to 1.

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eGPU_Hunter
(@egpu_hunter)
Active Member
Joined: 5 years ago
 

Hi, but the speed should be higher?

does the adapter trim speed?

I need to support NVMe but I can not find an adapter

I want to put myself in the iMac 27 5K

this bad?

ADApter

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Hitoshi Kudoh
(@hitoshi_kudoh)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

For the SSD adapter for MacBook Pro / Air, please see below

 

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

http://eshop.sintech.cn/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-p-1139.html

 

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

http://www.microsatacables.com/ngff-m2-pcie-ssd-card-as-2013-2014-2015-macbook-ssd-m2-1022-mac

 

If you prefer a cheaper one, you can also find it on ebay or Aliexpress.

 

Just be careful there. Using this adapter sometimes causes a kernel panic. The PCIe signal adapter is too close to the frame It seems that problems of insulation and shielding are probably occurring, and I think that it is caused by the fact that error checking is not performed especially in APFS. Please refer to this article.

 

Anciens Mac: High Sierra permet de booter sur des des SSD PCI-Express NVMe, Réactions à la publication du 13/09/2017

http://forum.macbidouille.com/index.php ?showtopic=404953

 

 

So I decided to coat the relevant part of the adapter with silicone resin. After this work kernel panic has never occurred so far.

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sark.rui
(@sark-rui)
New Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

Thanks, bro.

Your experience helps! 

Also, I go with your idea on what Chinese merchant's saying. He's going to test out for me.

 

Until now, have you encountered any other issues besides kernel panic and unrecognition at installation?

How are the Thermal Radiability and Disk speed?

 

 

I've noticed that storage interfaces are various on different MacBook Pros.

 

PCIe 2.0 x2 and x4 can theoretically run at 1G/s and 2G/s respectively, while 960 EVO can virtually run up to 3.2GB/s on reads and 1.9GB/s on writes, in this case, both PCIe 2.0 x2 and x4 might be a bottleneck. Therefore, would you please benchmark 960 EVO on MacBook Pro 13'' Late 2013? 

 

(FYI, SM961 and SM951  are the OEM version for 960 Pro and 960 Evo respectively, and I just realized that MZ-VPW256 referred to SM961.)

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Hitoshi Kudoh
(@hitoshi_kudoh)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

I don't have any other issues besides kernel panic, lost drive(boot), fail at wake-up.

 

High siera installation is rather difficult process because of firm update using net download. So many reboot process happen, for NVMe SSD drive, drive lost chance will be high, because NVMe drives need new firm.  But It is possible, try it step by step.

 

I don't feel any thermal Reliability issues, the fun noise is not high. MacBook Air may not have thermal sensing feature on SSD (MacBook pro has), I don't check temperature.

 

Sorry, My MacBook Pro 13 Late 2013 has been sold. I will show benchmark 960 EVO on MacBook Air 13 Mid 2013, Read 1500MB/s  Write 1300MB/s (BlackMagic PCI  (Gen2.0)  x4  5GT/s. Even in case of MacBook Pro 13” Late 2013, the values are not so different, PCIe 2x2.0 = 700 MB/s, PCIe 4x2.0 = 1400 MB/s, PCIe 4x3.0 = 3000 MB/s.

macOS High Sierra active les SSD NVMe tiers http://www.journaldulapin.com/2017/09/22/nvme-ssd-high-sierra/

 

 

 

 

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Hitoshi Kudoh
(@hitoshi_kudoh)
Active Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 

The benchmark on MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013

Read 600MB/s Write 600MB/s    MZ-JPU256 (original Apple SSD) PCIe x2 2.0

Read 1600MB/s Write 1360MB/s  MZ-VPW256(PM961) PCIe x4 2.0

 

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sark.rui
(@sark-rui)
New Member
Joined: 4 years ago
 
Posted by: Hitoshi Kudoh

The benchmark on MacBook Pro (Retina, 13-inch, Late 2013

Read 600MB/s Write 600MB/s    MZ-JPU256 (original Apple SSD) PCIe x2 2.0

Read 1600MB/s Write 1360MB/s  MZ-VPW256(PM961) PCIe x4 2.0

Impressive and thanks!

I think it would be feasible for me to wait and see if there are any firm updates for 960 Evo drives, I do not own any MacBook backup though. : ) 

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