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AngelShark internal storage expander for Mac Pro cylinder

by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

Amfeltec has created special carrier board that expands the internal PCIe-based flash storage capacity of your 'late 2013' Mac Pro. They call it AngelShark.

KEY FEATURES OF ANGELSHARK

  • Adds two outboard M.2 PCIe-based flash blades INSIDE the 2013 Mac Pro
  • Supports M.2 module sizes 2260, 2280 and 22110
  • x4 PCI Express Gen3 connection to each flash module

GRAPH LEGEND
960Pro M.2 NVMe - M.2 960 Pro NVMe 512G PCIe-based flash blade mounted in outboard slot of AngelShark
SM951 M.2 AHCI - M.2 SM951 AHCI 512G PCIe-based flash blade mounted in outboard slot of AngelShark
Super Blade - TransIntl Super Blade AHCI 512G PCIe-based flash blade with Apple style connector mounted in
center slot of AngelShark
Donor
Apple 1TB - Donor 1TB flash blade from 2014 MacBook Pro mounted in center slot of AngelShark
Original Apple 512G - Original Factory 512G flash blade mounted in center slot of AngelShark

LARGE SEQUENTIAL
We used AJA System Test to benchmark file level sequential transfer speed using a 16GB test file.
HIGHER number in megabytes per second = FASTER

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
The
AngelShark is a creative way to expand internal storage of your 'late 2013' Mac Pro by adding two M.2 PCIe-based flash storage blades to the left and right of the Apple proprietary PCIe-based flash blade. Consider the potential: You could have 2TB blades in each of the three slots for a total of 6TB internal capacity.

The graphs are designed to demonstrate the various PCIe-based flash blade options available for your Mac Pro cylinder. If your Mac Pro was manufactured in late 2013 or early 2014, it likely has the "XP941" style blade that tops out at 1100MB/s. More recent Apple PCIe-based AHCI flash blades are capable of 2000MB/s. The latest NVMe PCIe-based blades are capable of 3000MB/s.

However, newer Apple proprietary and generic M.2 blades "hit the wall" at 1500MB/s when installed inside the 2013 Mac Pro. Why? Because its Gen 2.0 PCIe 'pipeline' is rated at x4 Link Width and 5.0 GT/s Link Speed. But at least with newest compatible flash blades, you can be assured of a 50% boost over the original 2013 Apple factory "XP941" blade.

The AngelShark's main 'mission' is to increase internal capacity and to add M.2 flexibility. You can stripe or mirror the multiple blades but keep in mind that the transfer speed will never be greater than 1500MB/s. Again, that's because they are sharing the same PCIe pipeline.

The only other product that expands the internal storage of the 2013 Mac Pro is the Aura SSD by Other World Computing which has been around since 2015. It is still available. The only caveat is that the transfer speeds tops out at 724MB/s.

As we wait impatiently for the 2018 modular Mac Pro, the "rest of us" who continue to flog the 'late 2013' Mac Pro 'turbo tube' can extend its useful life with upgrades like the AngelShark.

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WHERE TO BUY THE ANGELSHARK
Contact Amfeltec for a quote on the price of the AngelShark (SKU-088-01).

WHERE TO BUY PCIE-BASED FLASH BLADES for the 'late 2013' Mac Pro

Trans International sells the Apple connector compatible Super Blade.

Other World Computing sells the Apple connector compatible Aura Pro X. They also sell the Aura SSD for Mac Pro.

B&H Photo Video sells the M.2 Samsung 960 Pro NVMe.

NewEgg sells M.2 Samsung 960 Pro and 960 Evo NVMe.

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copyright 2018 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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