NVMe: 2.5" SFF drives working in a normal desktop

Discussion in 'Hard Drives and Solid State Drives' started by Patrick, May 28, 2015.

  1. Paul A. Mitchell

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    > I can't see how you'd notice it at all

    I know with certainly that I would "notice it" :)

    We copy each drive image of the C: system partition
    to all other partitions -- for the sake of redundancy.

    Not only does the initial WRITE task take several minutes;
    "scattering" that newly created drive image to all other
    partitions also takes a lot of time.

    Another important speed difference will be routine
    STARTUP and SHUTDOWN. We operate on our
    12GB HTML database using a ramdisk managed
    by RamDisk Plus from SuperSpeed, LLC.

    That ramdisk is saved to permanent storage
    at each SHUTDOWN, and restored from permanent storage
    at each STARTUP.

    Right now, that saved ramdisk image is hosted on
    4 x Hitachi 2.5" 15,000 rpm HDDs, and they deliver
    about 600 MB/second.

    If/when we upgrade to 4 x Samsung 850 Pro SSDs in RAID-0,
    the speed of those drive image SAVEs and RESTOREs
    should triple to about 1,800 MB/second.

    A RAID-0 of 4 x 2.5" NVMe SSDs should make those
    tasks that much faster.

    Then, there are other performance tweaks that would
    be easy e.g. moving pagefile.sys to such a super fast RAID-0.

    Hope this helps.

    MRFS
     
    #301
  2. Davewolfs

    Davewolfs Active Member

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    Does anyone know where I can find a simple M.2 to 8643 NVME adapter that will fit a 2280 style slot. The Asus is too small, I believe the MSI is 2280 but is only sold online in the UK.
     
    #302
  3. Continuum

    Continuum Member

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    The MSI card might be coming to Newegg. Newegg shows now shows that the MSI Turbo U.2 Card is out of stock. Earlier this morning and for the past week, the MSI Turbo U.2 Host Card was a deactivated item at Newegg, indicating that Newegg might not receive any stock. I have my fingers crossed that it will be arriving soon in the US.
     
    #303
  4. Continuum

    Continuum Member

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    And . . . the MSI turbo U.2 Host Card is a deactivated item again. :-/
     
    #304
  5. CableGuy

    CableGuy New Member

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    UPDATE ON THE 2.5" Cable/Adapter Solution above:
    We have rec'd confirmation on our first units tested in a PCIe environment, and the news is that the units perform flawlessly.
    We added to our web site today......
    see here: Cable Kit for 2.5″ PCIe NVMe SSD Drives - CS Electronics

    We have limited availability currently, which will be improving in the near future.

    Current Web price will be ~$200/kit.

    Thank you for your interest.
    Chris Schwartz
    CS Electronics
    949) 475-9100
    chris@cselex.com
     
    #305
  6. Paul A. Mitchell

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    Good job, Chris! The photos help a lot.

    MRFS
     
    #306
  7. neo

    neo Well-Known Member

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    Expensive.
     
    #307
  8. iq100

    iq100 Member

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    CableGuy wrote>"... see here: Cable Kit for 2.5″ PCIe NVMe SSD Drives - CS Electronics
    We have limited availability currently, which will be improving in the near future.
    Current Web price will be ~$200/kit. ..."

    This looks like an expensive solution to a temporary problem. That is the scarcity/cost of SFF-8643 to SFF-8639 (aka U.2) cables.
    Furthermore more connections is usually worse. Your approach adds a board with two connections: SFF-8643 and SFF-8639 (aka U.2)
    These 'extra' connection is not needed if one has a direct SFF-8643 to SFF-8639 (aka U.2) cable.
    No one wants to have to purchase the Intel 750 NVME 2.5" SSD just to get its included SFF-8643 to SFF-8639 (aka U.2) cable.
    The group purchase here I think got the price for this cable to $40. The $200 you suggest for your kit would be better used to purchase five cables! And you would save introducing another connection your kit uses.

    Question: Couldn't you use your resource to provide low cost SFF-8643 to SFF-8639 (aka U.2) cables. Its just wire and two connectors. Once this temporary scarcity situation is addressed, the price for the cable will probably come down to less than $10!

    Actually, if the U.2 2.5" NVME SSDs are going to be the accepted way, rather than the M.2 NVME SSD cards, then a well designed, quiet, 5.25 inch bay form factor which provided for four 2.5 inch SSDs would be the way to go since the Intel\Supermicro NVME capable backplanes is expensive. Make a quiet fan equipped $50 5.25 inch bay accessory that allowed 4x2.5 inch NVME SSDs and people would beat a path to your door!

    PS: I sent you a PM message, but you never answered. You need to click on your profile and look at "COMMUNICATIONS".
     
    #308
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  9. RchGrav

    RchGrav Member

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    Microsatacables.com had 25 cables on order to come in on the 15th.. I spoke with them and a few of them have been reserved by people in advance.. I would think they still have a few available for purchase and that's only a few days away.

    ‌SFF-8639 68P Straight + PWR to SFF-8643 36P HD Mini SAS U.2 Cable

    Not sure if this info helps anyone, in might be worth reaching out to them if you need a cable soon.

    Rich
     
    #309
  10. RchGrav

    RchGrav Member

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    I ordered one of these from NewEgg on 9/24 received 9/29 from them in the US so they WERE available..

    Is that a PEX chip on the card... or something else.. I can;t read the numbers they are so small.. I even tried taking a picture of the chip with my iphone and blowing it up to read the numbers.

    [​IMG]

    [EDIT]
    According to the specs of the adapter the chip is some kind of "redriver" circuit meant to increase signal integrity of the data over the cable.. not sure of how much of a difference the addition of this chip provides... here is the best picture of the chip I could get.

    [​IMG]
     
    #310
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2015
  11. Davewolfs

    Davewolfs Active Member

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    Regarding the MSI board, I noticed that it is available from Provantage via Special Order. Says 3 business day turn around. Will order and see if it shows up.
     
    #311
  12. RchGrav

    RchGrav Member

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    I had the same problem as you with the shorter ASUS converter card... I ordered it for the supermicro D-1540 motherboard, but the M.2 connection doesn't have a standoff close enough to securely mount the M.2 to U.2 ASUS card. The MSI version is definitely longer and I'm sure it will line up with the will do the trick for me once I have a moment to give it a shot. :)
     
    #312
  13. Paul A. Mitchell

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    Update: ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme has an integrated U.2 port @ 32 Gb/s
    right next to the standard on-board SATA and SATA-Express ports:

    http://supremelaw.org/systems/asus/maximus.viii.extreme.jpg (I added the red circle)

    [​IMG]

    Here's a brief review:

    ASUS Maximus VIII Extreme Motherboard Pictured | techPowerUp

    "Storage connectivity includes an SFF-8639 U.2 32 Gb/s connector"

    Now, if tier one vendors like ASUS will just bite the bullet
    and give us at least 4 x U.2 ports with full RAID support,
    we Enthusiasts should really have something to brag about! :)

    MRFS
     
    #313
  14. Davewolfs

    Davewolfs Active Member

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    Perhaps Cable Guy can make us an M.2 to U.2 adapter with multiple ports. If we are lucky he will sell it for under $200 :)
     
    #314
  15. Paul A. Mitchell

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    See: "Expansion slots include four PCI-Express 3.0 x16, from which three are wired to the CPU"

    Thus, I'm honestly "stuck" on an NVMe RAID controller with a full x16 edge connector,
    particularly if motherboard vendors are NOT going to be integrating 4 x U.2 ports
    with full RAID support in the near future.

    If three such x16 slots are wired directly to the CPU (as reported above),
    then there is a certain engineering elegance that results from:

    x16 PCIe 3.0 lanes "fanning out" to four x4 NVMe ports (4 x 4 = 16)
    like this (please forgive the repetition):

    http://supremelaw.org/systems/intel/4-port.fan-out.cabling.topology.JPG
    [​IMG]

    MRFS
     
    #315
  16. Paul A. Mitchell

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    Re: "a well designed, quiet, 5.25 inch bay form factor which provided for four 2.5 inch SSDs would be the way to go since the Intel\Supermicro NVME capable backplanes are expensive."

    EXACTLY!

    FYI: I asked Icy Dock if they were planning to manufacture such an enclosure,
    but their initial answer was NO.

    It would come very close to this popular Icy Dock product:

    ICY DOCK MB994SP-4SB-1 HDD Accessory - Newegg.com

    ... but with a compatible integrated backplane and connectors.


    MRFS
     
    #316
  17. Paul A. Mitchell

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  18. Paul A. Mitchell

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  19. Paul A. Mitchell

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  20. Davewolfs

    Davewolfs Active Member

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    I believe the Gigabyte uses key size 2260. I need 2242 or 2280.
     
    #320
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