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NVMe SSDs and MacOS boot times


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Having read all the reports about long boot times on Samsung drives due to the botched TRIM command implementation, I have been avoiding them as the OS drive for all my builds.

As of late I have been using drives with the SMI 2262 family in my hack thinking I didn't have the same Samsung problem.

Well, I noticed something odd after cloning my drive (Adata S11 pro, with an 2262ENG and Toshiba/Kioxia 64L TLC NAND) to a spare drive (Adata SX8200 Pro with 2262G and Samsung 64L TLC NAND)... Monterey appears to be booting noticeably faster with the progress bar not hanging as I was used to see. This poked my curiosity so I cloned my drive again to another one I had just bought Reletech with 2262ENG and Intel 96L TLC... the boot time was back to how it was with the Adata S11... Odd. So I ran another test on a very old Inland drive I had left in an older hack build... The boot time came to be even faster!

The boot times (from start of OC load to MacOS login screen) with completely identical EFI and macOS content:

 

SMI 2262ENG: 59s

SMI 2262G: 34s

Phison E12: 21s

 

Since I haven't found any such report on the net through my search, I figured I would post this here for posterity as it may help some people. I am not quite sure of what is going on here but there is definitely a difference. I am not observing the boot times getting longer as I have been running the Phison and the 2262ENG on hacks for years.

 

It is getting pretty difficult to know what one gets when buying an SSD these days as even Samsung swaps components (and firmwares) within the same product model. The likes of Inland, PNY, Adata, Patriot, Silicon power, Sabrent, TeamGroup etc... are just purchasing these drives out of the same few OEMs and relabeling them sometimes with a custom FW. Most notorious have been the Adata SX8200 Pro but none is immune to it. I have not yet seen completely incompatible drives but they do behave differently with MacOS.

 

Edited by rafale77
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A continuation of my test, I am happy to report that the Hynix P31 2TB works out of the box unlike what Dortania reports on github.

 

Like the Phison E12, the boot time is 21s which is the shortest I have seen. I can now only conclude that there is a minor problem occurring during boot with the Silicon Motion drives and MacOS beyond what the Samsung drives are seeing.

I can now definitely recommend the 2TB Hynix drive and someone else on github has had good experience with the 1TB drive after firmware update. MacOS would otherwise stall during boot even if the drive was merely detected by MacOS.

 

 

2099386457_ScreenShot2022-01-27at14_25_33.png.1781c5211a3bf6864cf8349e4b3aa689.png

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