NVMe: 2.5" SFF drives working in a normal desktop

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
12,047
5,037
113
@ISRV actually, I have a 4x NVMe backplane in one of the datacenter servers so I can use the 750's without the cable. We are going to see that more soon.

One of the members on here got custom cables made so I have something like 6 incoming but we had to do a group order.

I think the majority of sales for these are going to be in servers with backplanes. In low end desktops (Haswell/ Broadwell) the market is not there yet. Low end configs will use integrated graphics and SATA SSDs. Higher end configs with PCIe graphics do not really have many lanes available for PCIe SSDs. With the Xeon E5 family, you have plenty of PCIe 3.0 lanes (80 in a 2P configuration) so you can do meaningful storage there.

Then again... I would bet 99.99% of desktop users cannot tell the difference between a NVMe SSD and a SATA SSD in terms of real world speed so I think the push for cables just is not there right now.
 

ISRV

Member
Jul 11, 2015
69
8
8
39
Last edited:

neo

Well-Known Member
Mar 18, 2015
672
362
63
instead of buying expensive $150-250 AOC why not just get few of this:
Adapter Card to PCI E x4 for M 2 NGFF SSD XP941 SM951 M6E MZHPU256HCGL SSD | eBay
plus M.2 to SFF-8643 adapter (from asus, msi etc)

much cheaper with same result, isn't?

here's 2-port ones:
2 Slot Adapter Card to PCIe x4 for M 2 NGFF SSD XP941 SM951 M6E MZHPU128HCGM SSD | eBay
2 Port NGFF M 2 B M Key SSD to PCI E PCI Express 4X 4 Lane Adapter Card ER New | eBay
I was thinking the something before, I'm just not a fan of adapters. PCIe x4 only it seems.
 

neeyuese

Member
Feb 28, 2015
35
34
18
36
instead of buying expensive $150-250 AOC why not just get few of this:
Adapter Card to PCI E x4 for M 2 NGFF SSD XP941 SM951 M6E MZHPU256HCGL SSD | eBay
plus M.2 to SFF-8643 adapter (from asus, msi etc)

much cheaper with same result, isn't?

here's 2-port ones:
2 Slot Adapter Card to PCIe x4 for M 2 NGFF SSD XP941 SM951 M6E MZHPU128HCGM SSD | eBay
2 Port NGFF M 2 B M Key SSD to PCI E PCI Express 4X 4 Lane Adapter Card ER New | eBay
1.jpg


2.jpg

3.jpg

These are not gonna work , at least ASUS Hyper Kit, I have tried them already. ( ASUS x99-Pro + kingston pcie to M.2 or ASUS Pcie to M.2 + ASUS Hyper kit ) . The ASUS Hyper Kit work on ASUS X99-Pro Motherboard M.2 slot without any problem.
 

tigweld0101

Active Member
Apr 18, 2015
113
35
28
53
I think that'd work. m.2 is just an x4 in a different form factor. But it's still paying for two adapters and you only get 1 drive per PCIe slot.
 

takao.nakagawa

New Member
Jul 10, 2015
13
6
3
39
Tokyo, Japan
d.hatena.ne.jp
  • Like
Reactions: neeyuese

Aluminum

Active Member
Sep 7, 2012
431
45
28
I have Intel 750 2.5inch x2 and ASUS Hyper Kit x2.
I’ve updated BIOS on ASUS X99-deluxe(BIOS 1702).
Hyper Kit is working on M.2 slot, but it is not working on Hyper M.2 x4 card(PCIe slot).

In x99 motherboard Hyper Kit is working only in the M2 slot specified by ASUS, so it doesnt work in PCIe.
Weird, that card has no real circuitry, its pretty much just passing PCB traces to a different connector. I wonder if putting two adapters in series gets the signals too far out of spec?
 
Jun 24, 2015
140
13
18
72
4-port.fan-out.cabling.topology.JPG

The above is the cabling topology that would work
with RAID arrays of the 2.5" Intel 750 SSD.

That drawing shows SATA "fan-out" cables, however.

To avoid running out of PCIe lanes,
a bridge chip will probably need to be
integrated onto that Add-On Card ("AOC").
 
Jun 24, 2015
140
13
18
72
ASRock U.2 Kit:

ASRock > Speed Up with ASRock's Front USB 3.1 Panel and U.2 Kit

For even faster speeds, ASRock presents the U.2 Kit. A tiny add-on card that may be installed into the onboard PCIe Gen3 x4 Ultra M.2 slots, and then support the fastest Intel® SSD 750 Series. To add icing on top, the U.2 Kit also breaks limitations allowing PCIe SSDs to create RAID 0 arrays for ludicrous speeds. ASRock's lab has demonstrated building RAID 0 with three Intel® 750 SSDs connected to U.2 Kits and without question, an ASRock motherboard. The results were insane as you could have imagined, 3561 MB/s read speed and 3245 MB/s write speed!

[end quote]
 
  • Like
Reactions: T_Minus

ggg

Member
Jul 2, 2015
35
1
8
41
@sparx

I tried all the jumper combinations on the AOC-SLG3-2E4R to various effect but to no avail.

I do now have the non-'R' version working well it seems in a Z97-WS and previously in a Z97-A.
 

sparx

Active Member
Jul 16, 2015
227
70
28
Sweden
@sparx

I tried all the jumper combinations on the AOC-SLG3-2E4R to various effect but to no avail.

I do now have the non-'R' version working well it seems in a Z97-WS and previously in a Z97-A.

I wonder if its just the bifurcation of the PCIe lanes, or if its something more. The redrivers/retimers on the R-version shouldnt mess up the PCIe. Its a bit strange...
 
Jun 24, 2015
140
13
18
72
It does NOT appear as if this "RAID 0 array for ludicrous speed"
is bootable, however.

I don't find verification one way or the other, but
we already know that a Windows software RAID
is NOT bootable.

These vendors need to understand that a Windows C: partition
is where all the action is by default e.g. launching programs, pagefile.sys,
Internet browser caches, etc.

MRFS
 
Last edited:

zer0gravity

Active Member
Feb 15, 2013
370
52
28
@Patrick
When do you think they will have backplanes for 8x NVME drives? Are you just using the intel 4x or supermicro? I'm looking to do a test with vSAN and see how 4-8 NVME drives and was looking for some ideas.
 
Jun 24, 2015
140
13
18
72
That's a good question to ask Supermicro.

Also, try to confirm whether or not their NVMe support
is currently available only with PCIe 2.0 chipsets.

The raw upstream bandwidth of PCIe 3.0
just about doubled i.e. by increasing the clock to 8G
and switching from the 8b/10b "legacy frame"
to the 128b/130b "jumbo frame" (16 bytes per frame):

130 bits / 16 bytes = 8.125 bits per byte

8G / 8.125 bits per byte ~= 1GB/second per PCIe lane

This says to me that an add-on NVMe RAID controller
should be built with an x16 edge connector instead of x8, because
an x8 edge connector tops out at 8 GB/second MAX HEADROOM
(roughly 1GB per PCIe lane).

If four 2.5" Intel 750 SSDs are members of a RAID array,
my calculations say that 8 GB/sec are not enough upstream bandwidth
(i.e. across an x8 edge connect0r). See the wiring topology graphic above.

Also, PCIe 4.0 anticipates a 16G clock, so some vendors
may be planning to build future NVMe RAID controllers
with an x8 edge connector, because the upstream bandwidth
increases to about 16GB/sec (16G / 8.125): that should be
enough for four (4) current 2.5" Intel 750 SSDs in a RAID array.

x8 lanes @ ~2GB/sec = 16GB/sec

p.s. If you think my calculations are incorrect, PLEASE ADVISE.


MRFS
 

Patrick

Administrator
Staff member
Dec 21, 2010
12,047
5,037
113
@Patrick
When do you think they will have backplanes for 8x NVME drives? Are you just using the intel 4x or supermicro? I'm looking to do a test with vSAN and see how 4-8 NVME drives and was looking for some ideas.
I have asked a few vendors... not much. The Intel solution might work but the x16 card does not work in other motherboards. You need the custom Intel riser, motherboard and chassis so you are basically spending $400+ for a backplane.
 

ISRV

Member
Jul 11, 2015
69
8
8
39
I just noticed one thing about my p3700
It is labeled by fujitsu



I'm still not able to connect it and check everything, but i hope this is not going to be the same story as with one of my s3700, which is labeled by HP and has their firmware that doesn't show in SMART such important value like hostwrites :(
 

takao.nakagawa

New Member
Jul 10, 2015
13
6
3
39
Tokyo, Japan
d.hatena.ne.jp
Asus X99-deluxe & Intel Core i7 5930k & Supermicro AOC-SLG3-2E4 & Intel SSD 750 400GB 2.5inch x 2 & Win 8.1 Software RAID(Stripe) ;-)

-----------------------------------------------------------------------
CrystalDiskMark 5.0.0 Alpha2 x64 (C) 2007-2015 hiyohiyo
Crystal Dew World : Crystal Dew World
-----------------------------------------------------------------------
* MB/s = 1,000,000 bytes/s [SATA/600 = 600,000,000 bytes/s]
* KB = 1000 bytes, KiB = 1024 bytes

Sequential Read (Q= 32,T= 1) : 4722.350 MB/s
Sequential Write (Q= 32,T= 1) : 2096.670 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 32,T=12) : 2525.201 MB/s [616504.2 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 32,T=12) : 1720.629 MB/s [420075.4 IOPS]
Sequential Read (T= 1) : 2156.061 MB/s
Sequential Write (T= 1) : 1947.736 MB/s
Random Read 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 47.867 MB/s [ 11686.3 IOPS]
Random Write 4KiB (Q= 1,T= 1) : 290.613 MB/s [ 70950.4 IOPS]

Test : 4096 MiB [F: 0.0% (0.2/745.0 GiB)] (x5) [Interval=5 sec]
Date : 2015/07/22 23:11:26
OS : Windows 8.1 Enterprise [6.3 Build 9600] (x64)
Intel SSD 750 2.5inch x2 Win8.1(stripe)
 

Attachments