Multi-NVMe (m.2, u.2) adapters that do not require bifurcation

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unphased

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Jun 9, 2022
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So I finally ordered one of these things. Ended up going with a ANM24PE16 quad M.2 card from ebay, as the prices on aliexpress were higher for these.

I did find a ANU28PE16 on aliexpress for only $93, however after adding on the cost of getting 4 M.2 devices connected to it (and M.2 really is kinda the only reasonable thing to adapt SFF 8643 to it seems, I'm not spending $40 on a 8643 to pcie female slot adapter, nope...) it came out to nearly 150, and there's a huge amount more bulk with that approach, plus going beyond 4 devices to 8, although impressive, seems very questionable in utility... what they should have designed is one of those with 8 M.2 slots, 4 on each side!

I've had 3 of those for 2+ years. I like them.

Again, no worries. In SAS3 usage, the signal speed on the cable is 12Gbps (x4=48G); whereas, in PCIe3 usage, the sig spd is 8Gbps (per-lane; x4=32G)
@UhClem could you answer a question I have about these. I take it that the functionality will be full duplex. That is to say if I plug a PLX card like this into an M.2 slot connecting it to my computer with 4 lanes, and suppose I have two high end 4-lane NVMes installed on it. If I do a copy from one of those drives to the other, will it go at half speed or full speed?? My hope is that full duplex means both receive and send could saturate the 4 lanes at the interface. This should be easy to test, if we don't actually know. But somebody surely has tested it and knows.

Thanks.
 

UhClem

just another Bozo on the bus
Jun 26, 2012
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@UhClem could you answer a question I have about these. I take it that the functionality will be full duplex. That is to say if I plug a PLX card like this into an M.2 slot connecting it to my computer with 4 lanes, and suppose I have two high end 4-lane NVMes installed on it. If I do a copy from one of those drives to the other, will it go at half speed or full speed??
I've never actually installed one of my cards in an x4 (elec) slot, but I have done tests, in an x16 slot, that confirm the "full-duplex performance". In an x4 slot, there should (/will) be x4 lanes of (target) bandwidth in each direction--it's a two-way street.
 

darwkl

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Aug 6, 2023
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Does the Linkreal PCIe 3.0 X16 do Quad M.2 NVMe SSD karta adaptera do Servers-LRNV9547L-4I or these Multi NVME Adapters in general support TRIM on connected SSDs?
 

asdfh123

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Aug 6, 2023
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These cards don't support S.M.A.R.T. data from the SSDs? My TrueNAS in the GUI shows:

"These disks do not support S.M.A.R.T. tests:"
 
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thigobr

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Apr 29, 2020
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The pcie switch should be transparent to smart/trim/etc.
I am curious though if these PLX switches support ASPM? Anybody checked?
 

Docop

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Jul 19, 2016
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The Highpoint do show perfectly, but the firmware present do help to translate the info. The ssd718x work good for that and even a direct gui tool to config and see thoses smart info.
 

asdfh123

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Aug 6, 2023
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NVM it does show in the CLI using smartctl but not in the GUI of TrueNAS. TrueNAS doesn't show NVMe SMART data.
 

unphased

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Jun 9, 2022
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I've never actually installed one of my cards in an x4 (elec) slot, but I have done tests, in an x16 slot, that confirm the "full-duplex performance". In an x4 slot, there should (/will) be x4 lanes of (target) bandwidth in each direction--it's a two-way street.
Thanks for confirming!

I got my ANM24PE16 in this week. The build is quite nice, the PCB is not complex at all but crisp clean edges, good material, and perfectly clean. I feel that it is very good value for what it is. Would be very happy to keep purchasing Ceacent going forward. The heatsink is plenty hefty, a large chunk of solid aluminum.

One thing I noticed is that there is a ceramic sheet glued to the chip package, meant to mate through a thermal pad to the heatsink. I've never seen a chunk of ceramic used as TIM before.

Since most of the typical usage that I will be putting this card in will involve at least one M.2 to PCIe slot extender (e.g. to run multiple mellanox or LSI cards off a single x8 or x4) the massive heatsink will not be attached to the chip. The PLX 8748 has a typical output of 8 watts... I'll check with thermal imaging during operation but my guess is that as long as I leave this built in fan powered on blowing at it, this should be okay. Worst case I can jimmy up some kind of shroud. And failing that, strapping on a small heatsink.

Also contemplating dremeling out some channels on the side of the massive heatsink to allow probably up to two PCIe riser cables to exit while the heatsink remains seated. But would be a lot of work, and i doubt I would resort to this.
 
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TRACKER

Active Member
Jan 14, 2019
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Congratulations for the purchase :)
I have the same card and max speed i was able to achieve with 4 of 970 evo plus 2TB is around 10GB/s (with 2667 v4 on X10SRI-F).
 

EvoDyn

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Jun 23, 2021
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Does anyone know if Ceacent stopped production of their ANU24PE08 card? Their store states that it's no longer available. Or does it come in and out of stock?
 

UhClem

just another Bozo on the bus
Jun 26, 2012
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Does anyone know if Ceacent stopped production of their ANU24PE08 card? Their store states that it's no longer available. Or does it come in and out of stock?
Most likely a temporary situation. I've noticed the ANU28PE16 be "unavailable" (ie out-of-stock) twice, and the ANM24PE16 once. They came back in 2-4 weeks.
 
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Ouroboros

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Jul 26, 2012
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Looks like Highpoint has a nice dual blower double wide host card for 8xM.2, but unfortunately currently only their NVMe RAID model currently (not clear if you can set it to pure passthru). They do usually make a basic AIC version of their models eventually, so maybe wait for that.

Highpoint SSD7749M
 
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seroton10

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Sep 7, 2023
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mrpasc

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Jan 8, 2022
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Munich, Germany

Ior X

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Oct 26, 2019
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Hi!

Searched this thread if anyone has tried a 4xNVMe in an HP Microserver gen10 plus, no hit.
Anyone? And if so, which card?
This looks promising though: Linkreal PCIe 3.0 X16 to Quad M.2 NVMe SSD Swtich Adapter Card for Servers-LRNV9547L-4I
 
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klosz007

New Member
Jul 26, 2021
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Hi,
I have recently purchased another type of PCIe 3.0 x8 to 4x M.2 x4 switch:

It uses ASM2824 chip, not PLX8748. It is PCIe x8 to 4x M.2 x4 so full bandwidth of all M.2 slots cannot be utilized in parallel (oversubscription of 8 to 4x4=16 lines).
It has a fan on chip's heatsink and entire card is covered with another big heatsink to cool down the SSDs.

I picked up this one over PLX-based ones because I'm going to use it with M.2 SATA controllers (currently with 5-port with JMB chips or later possibly with 6-port with ASM chips) so bandwith limitation is not restrictive here and M.2 slot layout is better for me with this model, especially having known that these M.2 SATA controllers need some forced cooling. It is also smaller than PLX-based cards. Note that this card supports 2280 devices only.

Unfortunately this ASM2824 chip and its internal PCIe bridges do not seem to support PCISIG ACS (PLX switches I believe support this). The result is that out of the box, under ESXi, one cannot redirect M.2 devices attached to this switch to VMs (via PCIe passthrough) because attached devices are reported as "not capable" of passthrough. I had to force-disable ACS checking in VMkernel to be able to do that.

I run these M.2 SATA 5-port controllers under ESX for my TrueNAS VM (they are redirected to VM). So far I was using passive PCIe x16 to 4x M.2 x4 adapter. But this relies on bifurcation and under Intel miniATX MB (Asus Z490-G) and I could only use 3 of 4 adapters (because it supports x8+x4+x4 layout only, Later Intel midrange CPUs are even worse here with x8+x8 bifurcation only). So I wanted to stop relying on bifurcation.

One may ask why I just didn't go with LSI 9400-16i. I used IBM M1216 controller previously which was reflashed to IT mode and effectively became LSI 9300-8i. SATA disk spindown did not work in this config. This is home setup so I save a lot of (now expensive) power by letting spinning disk sleep for most of the time. Spindown started to work for me when I moved to AHCI SATA controllers.
 
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osmanates

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Oct 10, 2023
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Again, no worries. In SAS3 usage, the signal speed on the cable is 12Gbps (x4=48G); whereas, in PCIe3 usage, the sig spd is 8Gbps (per-lane; x4=32G)
Just to confirm are you sure about this? I'm plannig to use it with NICs and some other PCIe cards instead of NVME drives. I thought the card supports 12 Gbps per output port and avoided it because it doesn't support outputting full PCIe v3 X4 speed 32 Gbps if I use an adapter like below. SFF8643 cable support 48 Gbps? All i find out is that its speed is 12 Gbps. I may be wrong ofc. If that really supports 48 Gbps, i will buy the card. Also what cable you recommend for full speed?

Delock Products 62788 Delock Adapter SFF-8643 > PCIe x4 with fixing plate
 

mattventura

Active Member
Nov 9, 2022
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Just to confirm are you sure about this? I'm plannig to use it with NICs and some other PCIe cards instead of NVME drives. I thought the card supports 12 Gbps per output port and avoided it because it doesn't support outputting full PCIe v3 X4 speed 32 Gbps if I use an adapter like below. SFF8643 cable support 48 Gbps? All i find out is that its speed is 12 Gbps. I may be wrong ofc. If that really supports 48 Gbps, i will buy the card. Also what cable you recommend for full speed?

Delock Products 62788 Delock Adapter SFF-8643 > PCIe x4 with fixing plate
When the cable says 12Gbps, that's 12Gbps per lane, so 48 total.
 

ziggygt

Member
Jul 23, 2019
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looking around I found this board listed. I thought I have seen one that claimed it did not need bifurcation and I wondered if it was fake, Seeing the OP, the technogy was explained

Seems like a low cost alternative. I have not tested it, assessing if it can fit in my X9 machine

Dual NVMe PCIe Adapter,M.2 NVMe SSD to PCI-E 3.1 X8/X16 Card Support M.2 (M Key) NVMe SSD 22110/2280/2260/2242 - AliExpress

Here is the description of the chip it uses
ASM2812|ASMedia Technology Inc. seems like an update to the ASM1812
 
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