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NAS and external NVMe SSDs - What about it? - Dos and Don'ts!
 

NAS and external NVMe SSDs - What about it? - Dos and Don'ts!  

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speedyconzales
(@speedyconzales)
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Joined: 3 months ago
 

I was already thinking about a setup, where I am using an external NVMe SSD to run windows on, for gaming. Is this a good idea?

I like the idea to keep my mac clean without having to partition my internal drive and still being able to game on windows.

Are there any significant performance losses due to the fact that I am running the OS on an external drive? -> That said, is it enough to just store the games data on the external drive? Does it have to be an NVMe SSD then, or does a NAS fit the needs better?!

This topic was modified 2 months ago

iMac Retina 5k, 27-inch, Late 2015; TB2>TB3; Razer Core X; Radeon VII


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Joined: 9 months ago
 

First of all I was asked which NMVe I was using. Here is the hardware. It's really not expensive and very powerful.

@eightarmedpet
For Gaming a lot of games either one (NAS or external SSD) is very important, so this is well on-topic.

iCloud is not a nice thing, when I started using NAS there was no such things like a iCloud. But you can't install a game on the iCloud an run it from there (at least not yet). Or it's not effective to backup your whole system into the Cloud.
My laptop is connected via Gigabit LAN to the NAS and this is already much faster.

For solely backup purposes a cloud is actually the safer solution against data loss. A NAS (and moreover a single SSD) can fail. It's not very likely that a RAID 5 NAS fails, but theoretically possible. In 10 years using NAS I never had data loss, but you should make additional backups of the most important  personalised data  (like e.g. private media or your work).

Perhaps this illustrate the strength/weaknesses:
Speed: NVMe SSD >> NAS >> CLOUD

Safety against data loss: NVMe SSD << NAS < CLOUD

What I am doing with my devices:

1) NMVe SSD:
a) Backup up system images from windows and restoring it. This saved so much time of you cannot believe. Instead of re-installing windows and all the programs (easily a 4 hours work) it can be restored within 2 minutes.
b) Temporary installing programs/games. (For test, trying and finally moving it onto the NAS).

2) NAS:
a) All my Data, Media, Software, Work, everything is there you name it.
b) Shared Folder that can be accessed from everyone in the household.
c) Time-Machine Backups
d) Additional backups of documents folder from each of  our computers.
e) Installing large programs on it and running it from there
f) MediaServer and Download Station
g) Virtual Machines running on it.

Posted by: speedyconzales

I was already thinking about a setup, where I am using an external NVMe SSD to run windows on, for gaming. Is this a good idea?

I like this way to keep my mac clean without having to partition my internal drive and still being able to game on windows.

Are there any significant performance losses due to the fact that I am running the OS on an external drive? -> That said, is it enough to just store the games data on the external drive? Does it have to be an NVMe SSD then, or does a NAS fit the needs better?!

I haven't installed my Windows System on a external SSD, I think it is possible, but not advisable. I think it's better to make your bootcamp partition (not too large because Mac SSD is expensive) and delegate all big programs on an SSD or a NAS.

This is how I did it, I have 1 TB SSD, 250 GB is for the Bootcamp partition, because I install all those *big* programs onto the NAS. It has the big advantage, that my second computer can access and run those, too, without even bothering to install.

This post was modified 2 months ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
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Joined: 2 years ago
 

I have Backblaze (backs up non-NAS external stuff too) + local Time Machine backup so in my case data safety is mitigated. For me, I feel my setup is "inefficient" - too many wires and no free TB3 ports (example: one port for charging, another for eGPU, another for ethernet - could all be one). NAS would eliminate having to plug in a hub of drives for me. But my biggest update would foremost be an eGPU enclosure with PD, ethernet, and dual-controller implementation. But then I am also considering a desktop/maybe new Mac Pro (all this once my MS program is over and I'm settled in somewhere for long-term finally - I shift/move every 4 months to a year haha). External SSD is good-to-have for sure (I use a 500G SATA for games). For NVMe SSD when I had last checked, it required a PCIe adapter in an enclosure (there are some posts about it on the forum - I needed it once) - @itsage would know best - I guess a lot has changed haha.

@oliverb my bootcamp partition is 60GB haha

This post was modified 2 months ago

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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itsage
(@itsage)
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Joined: 3 years ago
 

NAS is definitely a nice central hub for every tech household imo. I'm not sure about using it for gaming though even with an Ethernet connection. You limit data transfer to at most 110 MB/s. I think a M.2 NVMe USB 3.1 gen 2 like @oliverb showed is the best choice. You'd get 10Gbps for a relatively affordable NVMe external storage.

For my particular scenario I implemented both. My NAS is a Mac Pro tower (macOS server) that runs many different services. Time Machine server takes care of local backups for the entire household. I use an external USB 3.1 gen 1 SATA SSD to store all Steam games so that they can be used with any Windows computer. A Mac would typically be partitioned with a 50-100GB volume to install Windows system files only.

Paired with the right eGPU enclosure I could get everything through one Thunderbolt 3 cable. For the best performance though, you should have the eGPU on one Thunderbolt 3 controller and other peripherals on the other.

Not directly related but since iCloud was brought up it's worth a mention. Over the years of helping people and their Mac issues, I DO NOT recommend iCloud. It has always been a mess and Apple doesn't seem to be able to figure it out. It started life as .Mac then MobileMe and eventually become iCloud. Different marketing names but same insufficient solution.

This post was modified 2 months ago

Best ultrabooks for eGPU use

eGPU enclosure buying guide

109 external GPU build guides


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Ningauble77
(@ningauble77)
Estimable Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

On a tangential note, I've had issues with the current crop of usb 3.1 gen 2 to nvme adapters and my Macbook Pro in bootcamp.  I've tried the qnine, mydigitalssd, and Sabrent models.  As far as I can tell they all use the same jmicron controller, and while they are detected normally in windows 10, they would disappear from the system/device manager after a few minutes of inactivity.  I'm guessing this is related to power states, but disabling "spin down hard disks" in the power control panel didn't fix the issue, nor did unchecking allowing windows to power the device down for the usb controller it was attached to.  In MacOS results were better, and I didn't try using them behind a hub or connected to a usb 3.1 gen 1 controller like on my core v2.  I purchased yet another usb->nvme adapter today (the tool-free plugable branded one) and a 2tb intel 660p for doing backups (winclone takes all night now for incrementally backing up my boocamp partition to a normal HD), will update here with the results when I get it.

2018 13 Macbook Pro + Core v2 + Radeon VII Win10 1809/MacOS 10.14.5 Beta
ASUS X99 Deluxe+Core v2 + Radeon VII Win10 1809


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OliverB
(@oliverb)
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Joined: 9 months ago
 
Posted by: Ningauble77

On a tangential note, I've had issues with the current crop of usb 3.1 gen 2 to nvme adapters and my Macbook Pro in bootcamp.  I've tried the qnine, mydigitalssd, and Sabrent models.  As far as I can tell they all use the same jmicron controller, and while they are detected normally in windows 10, they would disappear from the system/device manager after a few minutes of inactivity.  I'm guessing this is related to power states, but disabling "spin down hard disks" in the power control panel didn't fix the issue, nor did unchecking allowing windows to power the device down for the usb controller it was attached to.  In MacOS results were better, and I didn't try using them behind a hub or connected to a usb 3.1 gen 1 controller like on my core v2.  I purchased yet another usb->nvme adapter today (the tool-free plugable branded one) and a 2tb intel 660p for doing backups (winclone takes all night now for incrementally backing up my boocamp partition to a normal HD), will update here with the results when I get it.

@ningauble77
Actually I am having this problem, too. I almost forget it because my primary use for Bootcamp is backup and restore, temporary install and there are no issues in those activities. But If I let it idling for a long time, it will automatically disconnect.

Further it happens only on Bootcamp and only on the 15-inch MBP 2018. With the USB-A Port of my 13-inch 2015 it won't happen and neither with any MacOSX.

This post was modified 2 months ago

2018 15" MBP & 2015 13" MBP connected to RTX2080Ti GTX1080Ti GTX1080 Vega56 RX580 R9-290 GTX680


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Eightarmedpet
(@eightarmedpet)
Noble Member
Joined: 2 years ago
 

Super interesting posts from everyone, but... I'm still not seeing the need for a NAS (even though I kinda want one).

@itsage I actually like iCloud now, I have used the free version since the .Mac days (well, as much as you could back then) and still use my .me email, the killer feature for me was os managed smart sync. I have 10 years worth of Design work totally somewhere north of 1TB which I used to have in Dropbox on an external, but as soon as I selective sync'ed anything I'd forget it was there, whereas with iCloud it always looks like its there but the os manages your storage space for you. I'm also a sucker for keeping things native.

Sure you can't run games but I dont think I would want to run them off anything that isn't directly connected. 

It also serves as a cloud based back up - on site backups are worthless IMO, as I found out when my place was broken into and ALL my computer equipment stolen.

I totally see everyone else's use case but I'm cloud/streaming centric so large amounts of onsite storage are just not needed.

Now, NVMe drives are a Dif matter - I'm all ears for suggestions for them, my Windows games are all on a normal SSD in a cheap caddy stuck to the back of my monitor, interested in upgrade suggestions for that or as a stand alone rio daisy chain with my mini eGPU for macOS coach gaming (if I ever end up happy with controller support).

(WAYYYYY off topic - Intel GPU's - finally a GPU Wirth TB3 and all my problems solved for ever? I'm not putting money on it but...)

2017 13" MacBook Pro Touch Bar
GTX1060 + AKiTiO Thunder3 + Win10
GTX1070 + Sonnet Breakaway Box + Win10
GTX1070 + Razer Core V1 + Win10
Vega 56 + Razer Core V1 + macOS + Win10
Vega 56 + Mantiz Venus + macOS + W10

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LG 5K Ultrafine flickering issue fix


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mac_editor
(@mac_editor)
Noble Member Moderator
Joined: 2 years ago
 
Posted by: Eightarmedpet

It also serves as a cloud based back up - on site backups are worthless IMO, as I found out when my place was broken into and ALL my computer equipment stolen.

Shit. This is quite true - and local storage (non-NAS non-RAID config) such as spinning hard drives failing is a well-known problem. I only recently started online backup of all my data (iCloud is nowhere near enough and limited in terms of what I can push up there - think external storage).

About external SSDs, since I already have a SATA one that works fine with games, I just don't feel the need to switch. The USB-C aspect of the newer case/enclosures for NVMe is tempting - but then I don't have enough ports and still have multiple pre-USB-C devices - have long-term plans to do something about that.

purge-wrangler.shpurge-nvda.shset-eGPU.shautomate-eGPU EFI Installer
----
Troubleshooting eGPUs on macOS
Command Line Swiss Knife
eGPU Hardware Chart
Multiple Build Guides
----
Current: MacBook Pro RP560X + 480/R9 Fury/Vega 64 | GTX 780/1070
Previous: 2014 MacBook Pro 750M + 480/R9 Fury | GTX 780/980 Ti/1070


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