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Which NVME M2 Drive?


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Morning,

 

I have purchased a used Optiplex 5050MT and want to try out a NVME to run BS.

 

The machine currently works fine with a sata ssd, but have the itch to try nvme.

 

Looking online and on this forum I can see people recommend Samsung evo 970, but on the Dortania's guide I have read that there are issues with Samsung and intel drives.

 

So which nvme is best to look for that works natively OOB.

 

Thank you as always for the help and support.


@d620osx

If you want to be on the safe side you can use Samsung Evo 970 Plus nvme ssd. You can also use Samsung 980 Pro but since your mainboard doesn't support PCIe Gen4 it won't make much difference performance wise.

  • Like 1

Thank you both for the speedy reply.

I presume if I go for either of the above I can use carbon copy cloner to clone my current ssd and ensure I can add the efi to nvme to make it the boot drive without any changes to the OC config?


well that's weird, i don't remember updating my Evo 970 Plus's firmware and I don't use NVMEFix.kext and I've been using it on my Skylake rig for years, the only macOS that needed patches was Sierra but High Sierra and above support it natively.

  • Like 1

Personally, I can't recall ever buying a SSD (SATA, M2, NVME) which didn't work. I have had Crucial. Samsung, Western Digital.  Kingston, Toshiba. I think the list of incompatible drives is a lot smaller than the one with working drives.

 

1 hour ago, Cyberdevs said:

well that's weird, i don't remember updating my Evo 970 Plus's firmware and I don't use NVMEFix.kext and I've been using it on my Skylake rig for years, the only macOS that needed patches was Sierra but High Sierra and above support it natively.

 

I think it's more of a of optimzation kind of kext:

  • Autonomous Power State Transition to reduce idle power consumption of the controller.
  • Host-driver active power state management.
  • Workaround for timeout panics on certain controllers (VMware, Samsung PM981).
Edited by 5T33Z0
  • Like 2

@5T33Z0 @d620osx

Yeah me neither I've also tested KingSton, WD, Crucial, Samsung, ADATA, Plextor, SanDisk (SATA and nvme variants), the only SSD that I've heard people have issues with is the SkyHynix Gold if i recall correctly.


@d620osx before anything else and as hinted by @Cyberdevs, start by identifying the NVME specs & performance capabilities of your motherboard (PCIe generation/version + number of PCIe lanes). For instance, you'd be wasting your money buying a Gen4 x4 SSD model if your motherboard only supports 2 x Gen3 lanes. Obviously, NVME SSDs are backwards compatible but you'd never obtain the expected performance of the SSD. You'd have to get this confirmed but it looks like the Optiplex 5050MT's M.2 slots offers 4 x Gen3 lanes.

 

To give you a practical example, I bought a 250GB Samsung 960 EVO (PCIe v3.0, 4 x lanes, 3.2/1.5Gbps R/W max) when I had a Latitude 7490 laptop a couple of years ago. It had an M.2 slot that supported SATA SSDs and NVME SSDs. PCIe specs of the M.2 slot were Gen3 (PCIe v3.0) and up to 4 x lanes. I did not keep the 7490 laptop and recently acquired a Latitude E7270. Of course, I could fit the Samsung 960 EVO in the E7270 but, on checking its specs, I realised the M.2 slot only supported 2 x Gen3 lanes. So, instead, I reverted to a little 240GB Toshiba RC100 model that operates on 2 x Gen3 lanes (1.6/1.0Gbps R/W max). Both of those work perfectly Ok and with TRIM in Big Sur and Monterey.

 

To give you an idea re: performance, here are benchmarking samples with that Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD:

and here's a sample with the Toshiba RC100:

 

With regards to your reference to Dortania:

3 hours ago, d620osx said:

[...]

Looking online and on this forum I can see people recommend Samsung evo 970, but on the Dortania's guide I have read that there are issues with Samsung and intel drives.

[...]

it's a little exaggerated. The page you referred to mentions 3 x models (incl. 2 x Samsung) that are known to be unsupported and states that the Samsung 970 EVO Plus and Intel 600p are best avoided. That's about it. The link that @5T33Z0 gave you further completes this.

 

There was a good thread at MacRumors a few years ago on the matter. It's still active but I don't know if it was maintained and kept up-to-date. No harm in checkin it out though.

https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-2013-2014-macbook-pro-ssd-to-m-2-nvme.2034976/

  • Like 1

2 hours ago, 5T33Z0 said:

Personally, I can't recall ever buying a SSD (SATA, M2, NVME) which didn't work. I have had Crucial. Samsung, Western Digital.  Kingston, Toshiba. I think the list of incompatible drives is a lot smaller than the one with working drives.

I could not make Samsung PM981 or Intel P4500 drives to work with OS X, with or without NVMeFix, so there are incompatible drives.

 

Toshiba/Kioxia XG5 or XG6 M.2 drives work without issue and I now use them in my builds.

 

Toshiba/Kioxia XD5 (M.2 22110) and CM5 (U.2) drives also work well but these actually require to remove NVMeFix.kext. I guess the power management functions of this kext do not play well with data center NVMe drives which feature Power Loss Protection.

  • Like 1

[mention=979585]d620osx[/mention] before anything else and as hinted by [mention=1011040]Cyberdevs[/mention], start by identifying the NVME specs & performance capabilities of your motherboard (PCIe generation/version + number of PCIe lanes). For instance, you'd be wasting your money buying a Gen4 x4 SSD model if your motherboard only supports 2 x Gen3 lanes. Obviously, NVME SSDs are backwards compatible but you'd never obtain the expected performance of the SSD. You'd have to get this confirmed but it looks like the Optiplex 5050MT's M.2 slots offers 4 x Gen3 lanes.
 
To give you a practical example, I bought a 250GB Samsung 960 EVO (PCIe v3.0, 4 x lanes, 3.2/1.5Gbps R/W max) when I had a Latitude 7490 laptop a couple of years ago. It had an M.2 slot that supported SATA SSDs and NVME SSDs. PCIe specs of the M.2 slot were Gen3 (PCIe v3.0) and up to 4 x lanes. I did not keep the 7490 laptop and recently acquired a Latitude E7270. Of course, I could fit the Samsung 960 EVO in the E7270 but, on checking its specs, I realised the M.2 slot only supported 2 x Gen3 lanes. So, instead, I reverted to a little 240GB Toshiba RC100 model that operates on 2 x Gen3 lanes (1.6/1.0Gbps R/W max). Both of those work perfectly Ok and with TRIM in Big Sur and Monterey.
 
To give you an idea re: performance, here are benchmarking samples with that Samsung 960 EVO NVMe SSD:
and here's a sample with the Toshiba RC100:
 
With regards to your reference to Dortania:
it's a little exaggerated. The page you referred to mentions 3 x models (incl. 2 x Samsung) that are known to be unsupported and states that the Samsung 970 EVO Plus and Intel 600p are best avoided. That's about it. The link that [mention=2184100]5T33Z0[/mention] gave you further completes this.
 
There was a good thread at MacRumors a few years ago on the matter. It's still active but I don't know if it was maintained and kept up-to-date. No harm in checkin it out though.
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/upgrading-2013-2014-macbook-pro-ssd-to-m-2-nvme.2034976/

Thank you Sir for the additional information.

Looking online the machine has a PCIe 3 x 4 slot so I think either the wd black sn750 or Evo 970 plus may be ones to go for?

Of should I exclude the Samsung and just look for the WD SN750?

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