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nvm.e m2 ssd via pci-e adapter

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Hello, I am considering to upgrade my Hackintosh with a fast nvm.e SSD plugged into the PCI-e adapter.
My motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD7 doesn't have an m2 slot, so, it looks like a PCI-e adapter is the only way to go.
I am considering to buy something like Samsung Evo 970 and PCI-e adapter like M.2 Silver Stone SST-ECM23 or M.2 Silver Stone SST-ECM24

If anyone can recommend specific hardware for my motherboard I would really appreciate this.
Wanted to hear some feedback before I purchase actual hardware.

Thank you
 

Jamesbond007

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Hello, I am considering to upgrade my Hackintosh with a fast nvm.e SSD plugged into the PCI-e adapter.
My motherboard GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD7 doesn't have an m2 slot, so, it looks like a PCI-e adapter is the only way to go.
I am considering to buy something like Samsung Evo 970 and PCI-e adapter like M.2 Silver Stone SST-ECM23 or M.2 Silver Stone SST-ECM24

If anyone can recommend specific hardware for my motherboard I would really appreciate this.
Wanted to hear some feedback before I purchase actual hardware.

Thank you

This is your motherboard, correct?

I bought a Silverstone ECM20 sometime before. It supports 2 M.2 SSDs, one SATA and one NVMe. I have only tested the SATA part but it seems to work well for me. It works in several motherboards including a X99 and a B365. I believe It should also work for you. But there is no heatsink unlike the ECM23 and ECM24 you mentioned.

Also, note that if you install the card into the PCIe x4 or x8 slot on your motherboard (your PCIe x16 slot is occupied by the RX 580, right?), then the x16 slot will only operate at x8 mode meaning the available bandwidth for your graphics card will be reduced. Graphics performance may be slightly affected.
 
Joined
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Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD7
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i7-4790K
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SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 580
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Thank you for the feedback, yes this is my motherboard.
I want to clarify which ssd you have used, what is the write / read speed in a sata mode in your setup?
 

Jamesbond007

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Thank you for the feedback, yes this is my motherboard.
I want to clarify which ssd you have used, what is the write / read speed in a sata mode in your setup?

Sorry but I did not test read/write speeds. I used a Plextor M7V 128GB (rather old) M.2 SATA SSD with it. The card needs a SATA cable to connect a SATA port on the motherboard to the card when you use a SATA M.2 SSD, just like a 2.5" SATA SSD.
 
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I see, I was thinking about this upgrade with the goal to improve disk access speed, but in your case it seems to be not so different from the regular SATA connected SSD.
 
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I've 2 nvme drives - their fastest benchmarks are at between 1500-2000 write and 2000-2500 read and Im guessing that in use they seem (its just a feeling) to be about 50% faster in use with longer read/writes (say booting) but with my i5 4440 being a bit old, I only just notice that the machine is a bit faster in normal use.

In one machine is a slowish WD sata ssd as the bootdrive and a Adata 512GB v70(?) Nvme drive, both on a pci card. I like the setup because its quiet and the difference in price between standard ssd/nvme drives wasnt very significant to me. If you are on a tight budget you might think twice.

I wouldnt try an expensive SSD over the nvme, a cheap nvme drive will easily beat the fastest sata. Im happy with how mine turned out, a bit faster and virtually silent and probably about £30-50 more expensive than going for the cheapest options. What is it that your doing when the writes feels slow?

I have a heatsink with very small fan on the ADATA nvme which reduces the temps quite significantly - down to 20 degrees C at idle and never reaching 60 (30C-80C before).
 
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Just had a look to see if I could find mine, and came across this which has 3 ssd connectors; the two we have already discussed and interestingly a (B key - in pic) mSATA drive - mSata is oldish tech and come in tiny sizes which are very cheap but will work perfectly well as sata boot drives to hold Clover, with OSX on the nvme.

The pic shows a 16 lane pci card - most are 4 which I don't think makes any difference because the nvme drives only use 4 lanes but Im not sure.
s-l1600.jpg
Examples. NOT recommendations - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-in-1-M...720339?hash=item3b3e71de53:g:MugAAOSwm5Nd8UWL

and mSata drive for £9
 
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Just had a look to see if I could find mine, and came across this which has 3 ssd connectors; the two we have already discussed and interestingly a (B key - in pic) mSATA drive - mSata is oldish tech and come in tiny sizes which are very cheap but will work perfectly well as sata boot drives to hold Clover, with OSX on the nvme.

The pic shows a 16 lane pci card - most are 4 which I don't think makes any difference because the nvme drives only use 4 lanes but Im not sure.

One of my favorite solutions, I'm fairly certain NVMe uses just 4 lanes.
 
Joined
Jun 13, 2014
Messages
25
Motherboard
GIGABYTE GA-Z97X-UD7
CPU
i7-4790K
Graphics
SAPPHIRE PULSE RX 580
Mac
  1. MacBook Pro
Mobile Phone
  1. Android
Just had a look to see if I could find mine, and came across this which has 3 ssd connectors; the two we have already discussed and interestingly a (B key - in pic) mSATA drive - mSata is oldish tech and come in tiny sizes which are very cheap but will work perfectly well as sata boot drives to hold Clover, with OSX on the nvme.

The pic shows a 16 lane pci card - most are 4 which I don't think makes any difference because the nvme drives only use 4 lanes but Im not sure.
View attachment 479435
Examples. NOT recommendations - https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/3-in-1-M...720339?hash=item3b3e71de53:g:MugAAOSwm5Nd8UWL

and mSata drive for £9
This looks like exactly what I need. Thank you for the reference.

Do you have any suggestions for a specific nvm.e drive? Just curious if there preferred option for the Hackintosh and macOS in general.
 
Joined
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GA H110MSTX HD3
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i7-7700T
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  1. iMac
  2. MacBook Pro
  3. Mac mini
Classic Mac
  1. Power Mac
Mobile Phone
  1. iOS
This looks like exactly what I need. Thank you for the reference.

Do you have any suggestions for a specific nvm.e drive? Just curious if there preferred option for the Hackintosh and macOS in general.

It depends on what your prepared to spend. I have owned HP EX900 250GB and HP EX920 256GB NVMe, they were at the cheaper end of the scale and they didn’t last that long. But HP did replace them both. I currently have the EX 920 installed on my Skylake build and at just shy if 3GB/s read and 1GB/s write, not bad for a $40 NVMe. At the opposite end of the scale is the Samsung EVO Plus, super fast and expensive!, I purchased a 500GB version and it’s expected to arrive Friday. I’m hoping it has the updated firmware or, I’ll install the firmware just because I’d like to see how fast macOS can run. I also own a Kingspec 128GB which I purchased from AliExpress over a year ago, it still works flawlessly and is clearly more reliable than HP but the read write speeds are slower. I have also read Crucial NVMe can be a bit tortoise like too. It’s probably better to spend a little more for reliability and speed.
 
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