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Blackmagic Design said:
Blackmagic MultiDock 10G
  • [SATA III] SSDs are so incredibly fast it's no longer necessary to use RAID arrays to get enough speed for editing.
  • 10 Gb/s with a single cable connection! That’s more than enough bandwidth to handle the highest resolution video formats including 8K in H.265
Is Blackmagic Design wrong to say a SATA III SSD connected at 10 Gb/s is "more than enough?"

Is the highest-end software and hardware used in video bottlenecked by SATA III SSD speeds over a 10 Gb/s connection?

Re external NVMe drives:
ThinkComputers said:
ThinkComputers said:
Patriot EVLVR Thunderbolt 3 Portable Solid State Drive Review
... it is the fastest portable solid state drive that we’ve ever tested!
Then if you want speed...
FanlessTech said:
Passively Cooled SSDs
Two of the first Gen4 PCIe SSDs available are from Sabrent (1TB / 2TB) and Corsair (1TB / 2TB). These speed demons deliver up to 5000MB/sec sequential read, that's ten times the performance of many SATA SSDs, and fifty times faster than most hard disk drives, but do require extra cooling.
You'll have to wait until July 7 when AMD releases its new Ryzen 3000 series CPUs and X570 motherboards with PCIe 4.0.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Is Blackmagic Design wrong to say a SATA III SSD connected at 10 Gb/s is "more than enough?"
Note the H.265 caveat there - in other words, highly compressed video. That's the opposite of what Apple touted in its 2019 Mac Pro launch, power to handle native raw (uncompressed) video, which is extremely large and demanding by comparison.
Is the highest-end software and hardware used in video bottlenecked by SATA III SSD speeds over a 10 Gb/s connection?
Not just the "highest-end” but normal Mac operations (everything from backup to photo/video/audio editing), since SATA halves the potential performance of the 10Gbps port, as I demonstrated in a previous post (SATA is 6Gbps vs. 5Gbps USB 3.0, neither close to 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2).
 


In the Mac Pro 2019 thread, I had earlier brought up the possibility of adding a 4-NVMe Thunderbolt 3 external box to my Mac Mini. There were a few replies regarding the inadvisability of such an addition, citing the throttling of potential speed due to Thunderbolt 3. It seems that users are happy with the performance of these enclosures, however.

I have a 2012 Thunderbolt Display, which is working fine at this point. When it dies, I doubt that I'll get a 4K monitor, let alone a 5K. Any video I produce does not need to be such high resolution, and my other main endeavors are audio production, photo manipulation, page design, and normal web/email reading and writing. I suspect something like one of the 4-slot NVMe enclosures mentioned here (thank you, Ric!) will work for me.
 



Ric Ford

MacInTouch
Howard Oakley has posted some useful information and advice about Thunderbolt external storage and thermal throttling, as well as some annoying Samsung software/support issues that I also experienced myself.
Eclectic Light Co. said:
Should you pay the high price of a high-speed external SSD?

... Like hard drives, SSDs get hot, mainly when writing. Inside your Mac, there’s a complex active cooling system which ducts blown air over its internal SSD to keep it cool, and sub-systems in macOS which spend much of their time monitoring the temperatures in many sensors and managing fans and even processor speed and loading. A compact external SSD has none of those facilities, and they do get hot. So hot that if they didn’t do something, they’d fail altogether.

When you’re relying on passive cooling, the only action to be taken when the SSD starts getting too warm is to slow it down, so that its write speed drops from 1955 MB/s to 700 or less: thermal throttling, which effectively turns your X5 into a very expensive T5, but does at least prevent it from self-destructing. It doesn’t affect read speed, though.
A few observations:

The less portable the external enclosure, the easier it should be to get decent cooling - so this will be a trade-off. I'd love to get more hard data about performance vs. heat in bus-powered SSDs (e.g. OWC Envoy Pro EX and any other competitors to the Samsung X5).

It's not clear whether or not a given NVMe SSD would run cooler at 5 or 10Gbps in a USB enclosure vs. 20 or 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 enclosures. (My Samsung T5's seem to stay pretty cool.) Macs Fan Control shows me temperatures for both internal and external drives, so one can keep tabs on temps with that and with SMART data apps (e.g. DriveDX).

The article cites simple benchmarks, rather than comprehensive real-world application tests, so it's probably worthwhile for individuals to do their own tests for various systems, devices, and workflows.
 


Howard Oakley has posted some useful information and advice about Thunderbolt external storage and thermal throttling, as well as some annoying Samsung software/support issues that I also experienced myself.
A few observations:

The less portable the external enclosure, the easier it should be to get decent cooling - so this will be a trade-off. I'd love to get more hard data about performance vs. heat in bus-powered SSDs (e.g. OWC Envoy Pro EX and any other competitors to the Samsung X5).

It's not clear whether or not a given NVMe SSD would run cooler at 5 or 10Gbps in a USB enclosure vs. 20 or 40Gbps Thunderbolt 3 enclosures. (My Samsung T5's seem to stay pretty cool.) Macs Fan Control shows me temperatures for both internal and external drives, so one can keep tabs on temps with that and with SMART data apps (e.g. DriveDX).

The article cites simple benchmarks, rather than comprehensive real-world application tests, so it's probably worthwhile for individuals to do their own tests for various systems, devices, and workflows.
This is good to get a handle on. Isn't it surprising we're still battling heat buildup in drive storage?

So my question, and others may have had some experience: has anyone used thermocouple cooling units on external SSD's?

They are typically found in portable coolers, with power from ~35-100W @12V. But there are low-wattage ones that might suffice for an external SSD's needs, like this one with just a 1.5W cooling capacity that shouldn't even need fans. A few of these in series off of a low voltage power supply or rechargeable battery might solve the problem silently and cheaply:
<https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32745567597.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.1.543c29f7ioJ08H&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0%2Csearchweb201602_3_10065_10130_10068_10547_319_10546_317_10548_10545_10696_10084_453_454_10083_10618_10307_537_536_10059_10884_10887_321_322_10103%2Csearchweb201603_60%2CppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=501c367d-3322-4f67-abc0-df0d0f26aeaa-0&algo_pvid=501c367d-3322-4f67-abc0-df0d0f26aeaa&transAbTest=ae803_5>​

[FWIW, I found this item and others at Amazon. Thermal paste may also be helpful/necessary. -Ric Ford]
 


So I dug deeper trying to find why Blackmagic Design is advocating a 4-bay SATA USB-C 10 Gb/s dock.

Red brand cameras seem to be real world "state of the art," though it's possible movie studios have even more expensive and powerful options. There's the DSMC2 Brain, which is a universal set of electronics and housing/chassis for components. There's a variety of sensors for the "Brain," at the maximum the $54,500 Monstro 8K VV with these specs:
  • 60 fps at 8K Full Format (8192 × 4320)
  • 75 fps at 8K 2.4:1 (8192 × 3456)
The media to which Monstro (and lesser) Reds use for recording? A proprietary 1.8" SSD, the "Mini-Mag." Price for the 120GB "Red" is $850 and rises to $2,950 for 960GB.
Red Digital Cinema said:
Red Mini-Mag
Available in multiple capacities, standard grey models provide maximum read/write speeds up to 225 MB/s—while the turbo-charged red models can achieve up to 300 MB/s for even lower Redcode compression.
Here's the $195 proprietary dock Red offers for transfer of data from its proprietary cartridges:
Red Digital Cinema said:
Red Station Red Mini-Mag-USB 3.1
Red Station Red Mini-Mag-USB 3.1 is designed exclusively for offloading data from Red Mini-Mag media to your workstation. Connect to your computer via USB 3.1 for blazing fast transfer speeds.
The Blackmagic dock does permit creating RAIDs, which should boost the SATA throughput to the maxiumum capacity of USB 10Gbps USB 3.1 Gen 2. It provides two USB-C ports that can be configured with either one port controlling all four drives, or each port controlling two, allowing simultaneous connection of two computers at a maximum of two drives each.

Have a Red? Red's proprietary storage is your transfer bottleneck, although it's "blazing fast!"

(This is fun mostly because it's about what is possible. For those of us who - and this is the extent of my own video editing - want to crop a video taken on a phone or even a decent digital camera, the real world is a wired connection - USB 2 or 3 speeds, depending on your phone - or plugging an SD Card into a card reader.)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
So I dug deeper trying to find why...
Your examples talk about highly compressed video, so, as noted before, that's radically different and radically less demanding vs. uncompressed (non-proxy) footage.

You can be sure that any normal kinds of work you do on a computer will be faster on the fastest SSD than on a slower storage device. Easy test: Boot your system off an SSD via USB 2 and see how it works (e.g. attach your SSD with a USB 2 cable). Switch it to USB 3.0 and see the difference.

If you have the equipment, try an NVMe SSD on Thunderbolt 1, 2 and 3, and see how your system performs and how fast you can work.

Compare it with an internal SSD - but, wait, there are lots of differences there, too. Internal SATA SSD (e.g. 2011 MacBook Pro upgrade) is slowest. AHCI SSD (e.g. 2015 MacBook Pro/Air) is faster. The biggest, latest T2-based system is fastest (e.g. 2018 Mac Mini 2TB). Does moving up the chain improve your productivity (and pleasure)?

The changes from hard drives to SSDs (then to NVMe SSDs) have had the biggest real-world performance benefits I've seen anywhere in the last decade. (Processor changes haven't produced any such leaps.) That's why I've invested a lot of time and effort (and money) into researching and testing SSD storage technologies, because there's a big performance pay-off.
 


I'm certainly not arguing against "fast" drives, I've been buying and installing NVMe SSDs since they were first introduced, but that $54,500 Red "Monstro" is writing 8K footage to a 300MB/s SSD, from which data can be retrieved only over USB 3.1.

I'm not sure how this relates the new Mac Pro and its "Afterburner" add-on for editing uncompressed (RAW) video.
HDVideoPro said:
RAW Video Formats Explained
RED brought the idea of raw recording to the masses . . . Raw data isn’t necessarily uncompressed. In fact, it’s usually compressed. The RED cameras shoot in REDCODE, which has compression options from 3:1 to 18:1.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... that $54,500 Red "Monstro" is writing 8K footage to a 300MB/s SSD...
It can only do that with the help of special Red compression:
Red said:
Product Introduction
Redcode is a visually lossless, wavelet-based compression codec that reduces R3D RAW files into a manageable size, allowing longer recording times on media. The ability to compress RAW data is one of the significant technologies that RED has brought to the industry.
There's a ton of Red information, e.g. here, where you can find out things like how slow framerates are for full 8K footage. Bottom line: there's a ton of compression making 8K possible in these workflows. In other words, if you multiply the size of an uncompressed 8K frame (think of a similar-sized raw digital photo, ~40MB) by 60 fps, it's going to be a lot more than 300MB/s, even with video subsampling.

Take a look at Blackmagic Disk Speed Test. Cinema DNG RAW 2160p60 is no go at 500 GB/sec. and 10-bit YUV 4:2:2 can't even do 30 fps. That's only 4K, so you can do the math to figure out what's possible/impossible for uncompressed 8K.
 


so you can do the math to figure out what's possible/impossible for uncompressed 8K.
Rather than fail the math test, I went to the back of the book for the answer (or an answer).
Sigiant said:
8k isn’t just twice as large as 4K.
... raw 4K footage files like those in the acquisition phase of film production are already huge, averaging about 6000 GB for 90 minutes. However, in 8K, files are nearly three times that size.
Math I can do: 6000 GB x 3 = 18000 GB or 18 TB
(and verified by the chart on the linked page)

I think I've got this one right?
18000 GB / 90 minutes = 200 GB per minute

Found a neat site with a calculator that allows granular choice of data rates, or selection by interface. (Hasn't been updated for the latest USB-C and Thunderbolt.)
Tech of the Internets said:
File Transfer Time Calculator

Time to Transfer 18TB
USB 3 @ 3.2 Gbit/s = 14 Hours 4 minutes​
SATA III at 6Gbit/s = 7 hours 30 minutes​
USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 presuming 10Gb/s = 4 hours​
Thunderbolt 3 presuming full advertised 40Gb/s = 1 Hour 7 minutes​
The proverbial fly in that ointment is that while there are cameras mentioned on the internet with either SSD packs or even built in NVMe drives and Thunderbolt 3, the ones I found seemed to be, at best, prototypes. I did find one Japanese camera mentioned that seems to be available for purchase and uses fiber for connectivity.
Ikegami USA said:
SHK-810: 8K Super Hi-Vision Camera System

World's First Hand-Held 8K Ultra High Definition Television Camera System, Developed in Collaboration with Japan Broadcasting Corporation (NHK) Main Features
  • 33 million-pixel Super 35 CMOS sensor
  • 4,000TVL horizontal
  • Dual-green SHV color arrangement
  • System Expander can be used
  • 8K Focus Assist function
  • Built-in flange back adjustment system is enabling back focus adjustment of PL-mount lenses without shims
  • The standard SMPTE fiber cable can be used
  • Lens Aberration Correction function (depend on lens)
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
200 GB per minute
And, if my math's right, that's 3.33 GB/sec ... or 3333 MB/s (or 26667 Gbps).
Is Blackmagic Design wrong to say a SATA III SSD connected at 10 Gb/s is "more than enough?"
Certainly wrong if we're talking about uncompressed 8K video or anything remotely like it...

A peek at the future:
postPerspective said:
A Closer Look: Why 8K?
... The hardware to process those files in realtime is a much greater challenge, but we are just seeing the release of Intel’s next generation of high-end computing chips. The existing gear is just at the edge of functional at 8K, so I expect the new systems to make 8K editing and playback a reality at the upper end. Blackmagic has announced the DeckLink 8K Pro, a PCIe card with quad 12G SDI ports. I suspect that AJA’s new Io 4K Plus may support 8K at some point in the future, with quad bidirectional 12G SDI ports. Thunderbolt 3 is the main bandwidth limitation there, but it should do 4:2:2 at 24p or 30p. I am unaware of any display that can take that yet, but I am sure they are coming.

In regards to displays, the only one commercially available is Dell’s UP3218K monitor running on dual DisplayPort 1.4 cables. It looks amazing, but you won’t be able to hook it up to your 8K camera for live preview very easily.
And a simple comparison of raw vs. compressed 1080p footage:
 


I just purchased/received a Netstor NA622TB3 enclosure, which holds four NVMe SSD cards. It sports a PCIe switch, which allows for multiple drive options, and very fast read/write times. It is a little pricier that the OWC but appears to be the best option for highest performance.
Where did you get the Netstor? I've got bunch of Intel 660p 2TB SSDs that I was planning on putting into the OWC 4M2 enclosure but would love to have a second option. Thanks.
 


I have a friend who acquired a Mac with a fusion drive system. He wants to change out both the SSD blade and hard drive. He'll be putting in a higher-capacity SSD blade and an SSD to replace the hard drive. However, he found out that he needs to enter Terminal commands to separate the fusion drive into separate storage devices. The link provided by MacWorld to separate the fusion drive (How to split up a Fusion Drive) doesn't discuss macOS Mojave. In Terminal under Mojave (10.14.5), what commands should he use to separate the fusion drive so that the Mac can see the separate drives? What would be the easiest option to re-form the drives and install the macOS system? Thank you.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
... In Terminal under Mojave (10.14.5), what commands should he use to separate the fusion drive so that the Mac can see the separate drives? What would be the easiest option to re-form the drives and install the macOS system?
What your friend needs to do is backup/clone the entire Fusion drive to a separate (external) drive... (or two). Then switch in the new SSDs and set up the new fusion drive. Here's an Apple help document:
Apple Support said:
Use Terminal to create a Fusion Drive again
... These steps permanently delete all data stored on the drives that make up your fusion Drive. Make sure that you have a backup before continuing.
Once that's done, boot from the external backup drive and clone back to the new fusion drive. Then repurpose the old drives, after everything is working and he has a new backup clone drive (or three).
 


I have a friend who acquired a Mac with a fusion drive system. He wants to change out both the SSD blade and hard drive. He'll be putting in a higher-capacity SSD blade and an SSD to replace the hard drive. ... What would be the easiest option to re-form the drives and install the macOS system?
When you say "re-form the drives" are referring to reforming a fusion system? Or simply having the two new SSDs mount as (separate) drives?

The point of the fusion system was to combine the speed of SSD and the high-capacity-at-a-low-price of hard disk drives. If your friend is replacing the hard disk drive with an SSD, then why bother with the fusion system, which is no longer relevant in today's storage market? Apple's fusion system worked well (I still use it in old Macs with their original hardware), but its time has now passed.

If I replaced a fusion hard disk drive with an SSD, I would just use the two SSDs as two volumes, a much simpler setup for the disk subsystem. But maybe that's what you meant in the first place.
 


I replaced the Fusion setup in my Late 2012 iMac with a 1TB SSD. Never went back to the Fusion setup; the solitary SSD is faster all around.
 


The very highly reviewed WD Black NVMe 500GB with heatsink is on offer through Amazon Prime Day. The heatsink encapsulates the drive's electronics, and is (apparently) removable using T4 screwdriver. Though if the drive doesn't fit space available because of the heatsink, it would seem better to return it than remove the shroud.


A couple of other related Prime Day Deals.

I purchased for $700 Black Friday, 2018​
This NAS accepts NVMe drives for cache. We have a very similar 5 bay 1019+ at work with two 1TB NVMe drives.​
 


For Ric, Eric S, and Doug-C, my friend doesn't want to recreate the fusion drive, just wants to have two separate drives: everything except the Users folder on the blade SSD, and the Users folder on the separate SSD. Great advice here.
 


For Ric, Eric S, and Doug-C, my friend doesn't want to recreate the fusion drive, just wants to have two separate drives: everything except the Users folder on the blade SSD, and the Users folder on the separate SSD. Great advice here.
The Fusion Drive applies its fusing at the logical volume level, not at the physical or controller level, so there is no need to split the Fusion Drive that is in there, if you intend on replacing both of the drives. Also, as an aside, splitting the Fusion Drive will destroy all the data on there.

Based on your description of what you what to accomplish, I would suggest this procedure (you didn't specify what computer you have — I'm going to assume it's an iMac):
  1. Attach the large SSD via USB. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the entire current system volume (Fusion Drive, probably called Macintosh HD) to the SSD.
  2. Remove the two internal drives that comprise the Fusion Drive. Install the large SSD and the blade SSD internally.
  3. Use Disk Utility to format the blade SSD.
  4. Use Carbon Copy Cloner to clone the large SSD to the blade SSD, excluding the Users folder.
  5. Do whatever the procedure is these days to link Users from the new system volume to another volume (I'm not up-to-date on that, having not done it in a long time).
  6. Delete everything except the Users folder from the large SSD (this can also be done later after you're sure everything is working correctly).
  7. Use Startup Disk to specify the blade SSD as the startup volume. Reboot. All should be as you requested.
If you run into any problems or make any mistakes, just take everything out, put your two Fusion Drive devices back in, and start over at Step 1. None of the steps at any point disturbs the data on the Fusion Drive, so that is your "master" copy of the data to start over from, if necessary.

Once you're sure everything has been copied and is running correctly on the new drives, you can format the old Fusion drives individually (as you would format any other drive), and then dispose of them as you wish.
 


Thanks, Todd. Great information there. I'll let my friend know your plan. Your plan makes it seem a lot easier to do. I would help him to remove the display section, but since it's glued, he'll be going to a Mac repair shop in town. I've opened a magnetically held iMac display, and it was easy. But I am feeling the new type is beyond my level to help him.
 


Thanks, Todd. Great information there. I'll let my friend know your plan. Your plan makes it seem a lot easier to do. I would help him to remove the display section, but since it's glued, he'll be going to a Mac repair shop in town. I've opened a magnetically held iMac display, and it was easy. But I am feeling the new type is beyond my level to help him.
The new ones are actually really easy, as the whole assembly comes off (so no dust will get behind the glass). Just get the kit from iFixit with the rotary tool that is sized just right. I was actually surprised how easy it was to do the first time and now can swap a drive in about 30 minutes. RAM takes longer but may be worth doing — I’m assuming it’s a 21” iMac — if you have the unit open, given falling costs. If you’ve cracked open a magnetic iMac, this isn’t any harder.
 


Thanks, Todd. Great information there. I'll let my friend know your plan. Your plan makes it seem a lot easier to do. I would help him to remove the display section, but since it's glued, he'll be going to a Mac repair shop in town. I've opened a magnetically held iMac display, and it was easy. But I am feeling the new type is beyond my level to help him.
The new ones are actually really easy, as the whole assembly comes off (so no dust will get behind the glass). Just get the kit from iFixit with the rotary tool that is sized just right.
And just to add: it’s not glued per se, it’s double-sided adhesive tape. So don’t think of it as cracking epoxy but closer to opening a tightly wrapped present.
 


... This article may answer some of your questions:
This is a field I have little knowledge of, but I was wondering if Apple and maybe others use software like Samsung Magician to improve SSD performance. I have a homebuilt PC with Windows 8 with a Samsung 860 SSD, and after installing their Magician software, it said I had an effective read/write speed about 50% higher than advertised for the 860. Subjectively, the machine looked like it was performing better.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I have a homebuilt PC with Windows 8 with a Samsung 860 SSD, and after installing their Magician software, it said I had an effective read/write speed about 50% higher than advertised for the 860. Subjectively, the machine looked like it was performing better.
I believe that what you're seeing there is Samsung using RAM in your computer as a cache for the SSD. In other words, the SSD itself hasn't sped up at all. This is similar to the trick Apple uses with its Fusion drives: caching "hot" data in a faster medium. For Fusion drives, the faster medium is an SSD (vs. the hard drive); for Samsung Magician, the faster medium is RAM in your PC (vs. SSD).
Samsung said:
Samsung Magician

RAPID Mode*
Achieve over 2X faster performance through intelligent DRAM caching of data, for read acceleration and write optimization.


*RAPID Mode fully supported with proper system requirements like below.
  • 1) Windows 7 OS and later
  • 2) 2GB RAM System memory or more
  • 3) Samsung SATA Interface SSD supporting only.
 


I believe that what you're seeing there is Samsung using RAM in your computer as a cache for the SSD. In other words, the SSD itself hasn't sped up at all. This is similar to the trick Apple uses with its Fusion drives: caching "hot" data in a faster medium. For Fusion drives, the faster medium is an SSD (vs. the hard drive); for Samsung Magician, the faster medium is RAM in your PC (vs. SSD).
That had sort of occurred to me, in that the only way they could increase speed was through some sort of optimization with other components on the motherboard.
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
I was wondering about heat sinks for NVMe SSDs...
TweakTown said:
Investigation: m.2 Heatsinks, are they worth it?
... In conclusion, we see that heat sinks do work with m.2 SSDs and aide in lengthening the temperature curve when drives are put under heavy write workloads. At the top end, we seen an 8c drop on the Samsung drive, 20c drop on the MyDigitalSSD and 6c on the Plextor. The Intel Optane Memory saw a decrease, going from 56c to 46c in testing. With this testing, it is also important to note, that none of these drives ever throttled performance even at peak temps without heat sinks.
Here's an interesting one - it has a tiny fan built in, with a SATA power connector:
 


I was wondering about heat sinks for NVMe SSDs...
Interesting - thanks, Ric.

My iMac 18.3 (2017) has 2 USB-C ports. One port is being used to drive an external 4K monitor, the other has an external USB-C/NVMe SSD drive. The drive can achieve about 1GB/s (and yes it gets warm if that is sustained).

I want to add another drive but am limited to only 500MB/s from one of the remaining type-A USB ports on the machine. Ideally I would like a USB-C hub that could drive both SSDs at rated throughput, or alternatively drive the 4K monitor in addition to an SSD.

I have been unable to find anything suitable. I bought a Kingston Nucleum ($89NZD) which does provide both USB-C data and 4K HDMI, but the USB-C data doesn't seem to work very well at all, with the machine mostly hanging (pizza-of-death) whenever it accesses that drive.

Do you know of any hub that would fulfill my needs?
 





Does anyone know of a recent article that shows real-world test data comparing the power consumption of traditional 2.5" hard drives with their SSD counterparts? What I'm looking for is measured data, not just quoting manufacturer specs, which make an apples-to-apples comparison difficult.
 


Interesting - thanks, Ric.
My iMac 18.3 (2017) has 2 USB-C ports. One port is being used to drive an external 4K monitor, the other has an external USB-C/NVMe SSD drive. The drive can achieve about 1GB/s (and yes it gets warm if that is sustained).
I want to add another drive but am limited to only 500MB/s from one of the remaining type-A USB ports on the machine. Ideally I would like a USB-C hub that could drive both SSDs at rated throughput, or alternatively drive the 4K monitor in addition to an SSD.
I have been unable to find anything suitable. I bought a Kingston Nucleum ($89NZD) which does provide both USB-C data and 4K HDMI, but the USB-C data doesn't seem to work very well at all, with the machine mostly hanging (pizza-of-death) whenever it accesses that drive. Do you know of any hub that would fulfill my needs?
I bought the Glyph ThunderBolt 3 dock (GTB3D), which has an open NVME slot.

Might be overkill for your needs (I have a laptop), but Glyph products have been very reliable for me over the years.

You can also connect your display through the GTB3D as well as other peripherals.
 


I was wondering about heat sinks for NVMe SSDs...
Many PC motherboards provide integrated M.2 heatsinks. Adding heat sinks to an NVMe drive seems to have limited market, since NVMe drives with heat sinks may not fit into laptops because of space constraints, and if they run hot enough to need a heat sink, the laptop thermal system probably isn't able to cope with the heat such a drive emits.

The WD Black line offers drives with and without heatsinks.
TweakTown said:
Western Digital Black SN 750 with Heatsink SSD Review
The heat sink version of the WD Black SN750 can be a better option for some users, and for many others, it's just a way to spend more money to get similar performance.
Does anyone know of a recent article that shows real-world test data comparing the power consumption of traditional 2.5" hard drives with their SSD counterparts?
It's complicated. On a Mac how you've set "Put the Hard Disk to Sleep" matters.
The Revisionist said:
Does an SSD or hard disk drive Consume More Power for Your Computer?
... depending on the way you use your laptop or desktop machine, an SSD can save you more than 225% in power, having a significant effect on battery-life if you use a mobile machine. Other sources, namely Anandtech, reveal that SSDs usually consume less power. Specifically, they show that the Intel X25-M G2, which used to be the “gold standard” among SSDs, uses less than half of the power of the Western Digital VelociRaptor hard disk drive at load and about 1/8 of the power at idle.
 



Umm... someone is definitely math-challenged.
Definitely. It looks like he took the hard disk drive's power (1.875W) and divided it by the SSD's power (0.833W). 1.875/0.833 = 2.25. That number implied an English statement like "the hard disk drive consumes 2.25x as much power as the SSD" or (if you divide the SSD by the hard disk drive) "the SSD consumes 44% of the hard disk drive's power".

If you want to write "x saves y% over z", then you need to compute the difference between the two (z - x) and divide that by the baseline (what you're saving over, in this case z). With the numbers from the article, that means (1.875 - 0.833)/1.875 = 1.042/1.875 = 0.556. The SSD saves more than 55% over the hard disk drive, not "more than 225%".
 


Ric Ford

MacInTouch
A trap to beware when ordering M.2 SSD's:

The M.2 format accomodates both slow SATA and fast NVMe SSDs, which look virtually identical with confusingly similar connectors, such that a SATA M.2 SSD may fit into an NVMe slot but not work.

But let's add to the confusion even more:

WD "Blue" M.2 SSDs come in both NVMe and SATA versions that are very easily mixed up, given their identical names and appearance. In addition, the capacities appear to be different, where 1TB and 2TB models are available in SATA versions but not NVMe versions, at least at Amazon, where it is easy to confuse the two.

After making this mistake with a Sabrent USB-C NVMe enclosure, the SSD never appeared as a storage volume (for formatting, etc.), but the enclosure's internal JMicron controller did appear in System Information under the USB section.
 


The M.2 format accomodates both slow SATA and fast NVMe SSDs, which look virtually identical with confusingly similar connectors, such that a SATA M.2 SSD may fit into an NVMe slot but not work.
It's worse than that. If it was just a matter of the different "keyings" on the connector, it would be easy to spot mismatches because they wouldn't physically fit into the connector.

Within each keying, the connector supports multiple interfaces (e.g. an M-keyed device may be PCIe x4, SATA or SMBUS). Looking at the pinouts, it appears that there is no conflict - PCIe, SATA and SMBUS use different pins. This was probably designed to allow a host to support multiple types of devices on one connector (with a few "config" pins so a device can identify its capabilities to the host).

Unfortunately, it is clear that hosts that support multiple interfaces on the port are few and far between. So you need to be careful (as you pointed out) to get a device that matches what the host expects. And even if you have a host that supports multiple interfaces, that would only ensure that the device runs - you'd still have a serious performance problem if you were shopping for a PCIe device and bought a SATA one by mistake.
 


A trap to beware when ordering M.2 SSD's
Add this one: I delegated ordering two new Samsung NVMe 1TB SSDs as cache drives for our new Synology to my co-worker, who handles the business Amazon account. I thought I'd been clear, NVMe, Samsung, !TB, but Amazon search for those phrases tossed her a set of SATA M.2 SSDs, which don't meet the Synology specification. Fortunately, I was able to "blame" Amazon search results for the incorrect purchase, and return shipping was free.

I once called Amazon to complain about how fuzzy their results often are, no matter how carefully they're narrowed down by detailed model numbers, etc., and was told, in corporate speak, it's intentional, to show customers options...
The M.2 format accomodates both slow SATA and fast NVMe
Mentioned before, when I bought the first three 2015 NUCs, I bought the fastest M.2 SSDs, which were the new NVMe type. They do work in the NUCs, but not at NVMe speeds. SATA M.2 SSDS also work. That both types work in these NUCs in the same connector doesn't imply compatibility beyond those particular computers....
 


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