Samsung PM953 M.2 SSD (MZQLV960HCJH)

Discussion in 'Hard Drives and Solid State Drives' started by ullbeking, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. ullbeking

    ullbeking Member

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    Hey all again,

    As I was preparing to configure one of my servers with M.2 SSD's, it occurred to me that there is a bit of bad mojo surrounding them. This is disappointing because I am trying to use as much hardware as I already have and not buy any more unless it is necessary or can be financed by selling some of my other, unused hardware.

    The SSD's in questions are these: Samsung PM953 M.2 (MZQLV960HCJH). Mine are 960 GB. It's impossible to find anything about them on Samsung's site, so perhaps even Samsung have "disowned" them..? As far as I understand, there is an issue with the way these SSD's perform write caching, so that when data is written by the OS it isn't able to be confirmed as being committed to disk until some time later. And this leads to performance degradation and increased risk of data loss in case of power loss? Have I got the basic story right?

    If so, they are not really enterprise drives, and probably more suitable for a workstation or home server. No?

    Thanks for any guidance!!

    @ullbeking
     
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  2. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    I thought the 953 was the oem variant of the 950, but I may be wrong as it's been awhile since I've looked into those drives :/
     
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  3. ullbeking

    ullbeking Member

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    Googling "MZQLV960HCJH" turns up some quizzical results...
     
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  4. Spartacus

    Spartacus Active Member

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  5. ullbeking

    ullbeking Member

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    PM953 indeed. That one looks like a 2.5" SSD but mine are M.2 .

    I need to connect these to a workstation and inspect the firmware because they are a puzzle indeed. What would be a good tool for this? `hdparm`? `smartctl`? `dmidecode`? etc...

    Do you have any recommendations for an x8 PCI-e adapter that is dual M.2 ? Supermicro has a nice dual M.2 AIC that I will buy when it comes to production deployment. For lab work a store like Startech or Addtronic should have something, I will take a look.
     
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  6. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    Late to the party, but the NVME CLI should be able to give you all the info about the cards, here's one of my optane drives:
    Code:
    root@wug:~# nvme list
    Node             SN                   Model                                    Namespace Usage                      Format           FW Rev
    ---------------- -------------------- ---------------------------------------- --------- -------------------------- ---------------- --------
    /dev/nvme0n1     xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx     INTEL MEMPEK1J064GA                      1          58.98  GB /  58.98  GB    512   B +  0 B   K4110410
     
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  7. ullbeking

    ullbeking Member

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    Thank you @EffrafaxOfWug ! I had no idea this tool existed!

    I am assuming that it reads this data from the SSD controller, so if somebody has been messing around with the firmware then it might show incorrect data. Would that be right? The reason I ask this sub-question (about the firmware in the controller) is that I've started to get a get a little bit wary of the supply chain of Ebay-bought components. There are some amazing forgeries of anything and everything floating around.

    Also, I recently did some price checking and I discovered that I can get new SSD's from my officially approved Supermicro vendor, often for the same price as the second hand version from Ebay. Have you ever noticed this? This helps to alleviate my supply chain concerns.

    Andrew
     
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  8. EffrafaxOfWug

    EffrafaxOfWug Radioactive Member

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    I almost never buy anything s/h and especially from fleabay because I got so sick and tired of dealing with broken and/or counterfeited gear (that was over a decade ago so I imagine it's only got worse since then). That said from what you've described it sounds like it might just be an OEM drive with a legit firmware and it'd certainly be unusually complicated for your average scammer to knock up a custom firmware somehow.

    Yup, nvme reads stuff as reported by the hardware/firmware over the NVME/PCIe protocol.

    What's the concern over the firmware on a PM953? If it's an OEM drive (I haven't checked), it might well be using a not-publically-released firmware since a lot of OEM stuff uses slightly customised firmware even if it might be standard hardware underneath. I've got a bunch of old enterprise SSDs that are server pulls running non-standard firmware.
     
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