Sensei

Sensei is a new utility app  from Cindori AB that adds to the capabilities of the company’s previous Trim Enabler and Disk Sensei Mac apps but only runs on macOS Catalina. Features include SSD Trim support, SMART reporting, performance testing, fan control, detailed Mac information and monitoring (temperature, CPU, GPU, battery, drives), an app uninstaller, disk “cleaning” and more.

Sensei 1.0.0, whiich is compatible only with macOS 10.15 Catalina, is priced at $59 for a permanent license or $29/year as a subscription. Upgrade discounts are available for owners of Trim Enabler and Disk Sensei.

Discussions

MacInTouch Community discussions include the following topics (among others):

  • Apple Card – statement conversion hack (csv.wtf)
  • Apple security – Checkra1n/Ra1nUSB jailbreak; iCloud AI image scanning; FBI, end-to-end encryption
  • Backup – Time Machine failures (and ChronoSync contention)
  • Input devices – Logitech Triathlon vs. Microsoft Precision Mouse
  • Internet services – Verizon false advertising
  • iPhone SE – extended support in California
  • macOS Catalina – Apple update broke Canon camera connection
  • Quicken – APFS conflict with “lexicographical order”
  • SSDs – Samsung’s ultrafast PCIe 4.0 SSD previewed
  • Tax software – security/privacy and software archiving problems

Sabrent Rocket NVMe 4.0

Rocket Nvme PCIe 4.0 [Amazon link] is an NVMe M.2 SSD from Sabrent that uses the new PCIe 4.0 standard for ultra-high performance, promising read/write speeds up to 5000/4400 MB/s with computer motherboards that support PCIe 4.0.

Note: In order to take advantage of these speeds, a PCIe Gen4 motherboard is REQUIRED. Otherwise it will be at pcie gen 3 speed at max of 3500MB/s. When installing any NVMe PCIe 4.0 SSD directly onto a PCIe Gen4 Motherboard a Heatsink is required to dissipate the heat generated by the drives extreme speed levels to avoid thermal throttling and maximize performance.

The Sabrent 1TB Rocket Nvme PCIe 4.0 M.2 2280 Internal SSD is backward compatible with PCIe 3.0. Using a Gen 3 PCIe motherboard will enable the user to reach speeds of up to 3400 MB/s (read) and 3000 MB/s (write).

Other features include SMART and Trim support, upgradable firmware, power management support (“APST / ASPM / L1.2”), and support for ONFi 2.3, ONFi 3.0, ONFi 3.2 and ONFi 4.0 interfaces.

Rocket Nvme PCIe 4.0 is sold via resellers in 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities ($119.98 to $369.99 when checked at Amazon).

Sabrent Rocket Nano

Sabrent Rocket Nano [Amazon] is a compact SSD storage device that connects via 10Gbps USB-C and promises speeds up to 1,000 MB/s. Other features include upgradable firmware, Trim support, and an aluminum alloy shell, along with USB-C and USB 3 Type-A connecting cables.

Sabrent Rocket Nano is sold by resellers in 512MB, 1TB and 2TB capacities ($109.99, $159.99 and $289.99 when checked at Amazon).

USB 3.1 Aluminum Enclosure for M.2 NVMe SSD ($45.99 when checked) omits the SSD in a kit that lets you add an M.2 NVMe SSD of your choosing.

Samsung Portable SSD T7 Touch

Portable SSD T7 Touch is a newly announced successor to Samsung’s popular Portable SSD T5 [Amazon] promising even higher performance, while adding a new fingerprint scanner and data encryption hardware. (A version without fingerprint reader – “Portable SSD T7” – is planned for later release.)

The new T7 SSDs feature read/write performance up to 1,050/1000 MB/s in a similar compact aluminum enclosure (58g.) with a 10Gbps USB-C port (USB 3.1 Gen 2). Both USB-C and USB Type-A cables are included.

Portable SSD T7 Touch is list-priced at $129.99, $229.99, and $399.99 for 500GB, 1TB and 2TB capacities, due this month, while the version without fingerprint reading/encryption is due by mid-2020.

Trim Enabler

Trim Enabler is a Mac app from Oskar Groth (Cindori Software AB) that enables SSD Trim for better performance and longevity with solid-state drives. (Apple supports Trim for its own internal flash storage in modern Macs but doesn’t support third-party Trim without special overrides.) Features include Trim on/off switching, other optimization controls (Sudden Motion Sensor, Local Time Machine, Sleep Image, and Access Time logging), SMART-based information about drive health (with the option of installing a SMART driver for external drives), and a benchmarking utility.

Trim Enabler 4.1.3 is priced at $14.99 for OS X 10.9 and up, with a 14-day trial period and older versions available with support for earlier Macs. The latest version brings full support for macOS 10.14 and 10.15.

Sensei is a pending product for macOS Catalina that expands on the company’s previous Disk Sensei app (a more advanced alternative to Trim Enabler with a number of additional capabilities).

Discussions

Storage discussions talk about defragmenting hard drives via clone-erase-restore, along with related Time Machine issues, plus SSD vs. hard drive differences, techniques for mounting/securing external SSDs (e.g. for iMacs), USB vs. SATA performance, and a year-end review of current SSD technologies.

MacInTouch Community discussions also include the following current topics (among others):

Discussions

Storage discussion talks about fusion drive SSD upgrades, an important Samsung EVO 970 Plus firmware fix, Intel’s fusion-type Rapid Storage Technology, and APFS performance issues.

MacInTouch Community discussions also touch on the following topics (among others):

  • 2019 Mac Pro – rack-mount model/peripherals; SSD cost/performance
  • Adobe – security update misinformation
  • Hackintoshes – inexpensive HP Elite-based systems
  • Help please – iPhone XR vs. iPhone Plus for big fingers?
  • iMessage – audio alert problems
  • Input devices – Splashtop for Mac control via iPhone
  • iOS 13 – app crashing, battery drain, GPS bugs
  • macOS Catalina – Catalyst apps, Fusion drives, Apple Books issues, etc.
  • Printers/scanners – VueScan OCR; Epson all-in-one kudos
  • Security – Wyze personal information breach

Sonnet M.2 4×4 PCIe card

Sonnet M.2 4×4 is a full-length, full-height PCIe card that can host up to four M.2 SSDs, which can be combined for extremely high performance. The card offers an X16 interface to the PCIe 3.0 bus with x4 bandwidth for each M.2 2280 NVMe SSD, promising extremely high performance via software RAID configurations in appropriate host systems, such as the 2019 Mac Pro. A single (non-RAID) SSD can function as a boot drive. The card is compatible with Thunderbolt PCIe expansion chassis, though maximum performance is restricted by Thunderbolt’s bandwidth limits, and similar restrictions apply to PCIe 2 slots.

Sonnet M.2 4×4 [Amazon link] is due to ship Jan. 2, 2020, list-priced at $399.99 (sans SSDs) for host computers with appropriate PCIe slots running macOS 10.13 and later, Linux Kernel 5 and later, or Windows 10.

OWC Accelsior 4M2

OWC Accelsior 4M2 is a PCIe card from Other World Computing Inc. (macsales.com) that hosts four M.2 NVMe SSDs. Each SSD socket offers full x4 speed for maximum performance, and the full-height, half-length card handles PCI 3.0 at x8 speed in a 2019 Mac Pro or other computers (including slower PCIe 2.0 systems, such as classic Mac Pros).

You can boot off a single M.2 SSD, while the bundled SoftRAID app can create RAID 0, 1, 4, 5, 1+0 (10) volumes (sans support for FileVault encryption) for speeds “over 6,000 MB/s” (RAID-0, SoftRAID, two cards) with up to 8TB per card. Other features include “silent cooling via a finned heat sink cover”, an ASMedia ASM2824 controller, 380TBW endurance, and Trim support (OS-dependent).

OWC Accelsior 4M2 is priced from $479.99 with 1TB (Toshiba TLC flash) to $1,599.99 with 8 TB.  (Apple charges $2,600 for 8TB storage in a 2019 Mac Pro.)

HighPoint NVMe SSD PCIe cards

HighPoint SSD7101A-1 is a PCIe card from HighPoint Technologies Inc. that hosts four NVMe SSDs for ultra-fast storage. Features include PCIe 3.0 x16 bus bandwidth and x4 bandwidth for each of the NVMe M.2 SSD slots, plus a built-in RAID controller (for RAID 0, 1, 5 and 10) with management software and SMART support and the ability to pair two of the cards for astonishing speeds. (See resources section for more details.)
  HighPoint SSD7101A-1, for macOS 10.13 and later, Windows and Linux, is sold via resellers, including Amazon ($387.99 when checked).
  HighPoint SSD7103 is a bootable version ($449 when checked).

“The latest generation of high-performance CPU’s and motherboards can provide the PCIe 3.0 lanes required to power dual PCIe 3.0 x16 NVMe RAID controllers. Ultra-HD video projects, such as those working with raw 8K footage, require transfer performance exceeding 17,900 MB/s. Media professionals working with such hardware can now link two SSD7101A-1 NVMe RAID controllers to function as a single array, and configure RAID arrays of up to eight M.2 NVMe SSD’s to deliver over 25,000 MB/s of transfer performance!”