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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

2587MB/s Thunderbolt 3 Trickery
with the 'late 2016' MacBook Pro

Posted November 22nd, 2016 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist

We followed the procedure posted on 9to5Mac. Our 2016 MacBook Pro 15-in now recognizes the AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box as a legit Thunderbolt 3 device. After installing an Amfeltec PCIe 3.0 Carrier Board with dual striped SM951 512G PCIe flash blades, we were knocking on the door of 2600MB/s.

GRAPH LEGEND
SM951*2 TB3 - AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box with Amfeltec PCIe 3.0 M.2 Carrier Board with dual striped SM951 AHCI 512G blades
SM951 TB3 - AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box with Lycom PCIe 3.0 M.2 Carrier Board with single SM951 AHCI 512G blade
USB3.1 Gen*2 - SandDisk Extreme 900 USB3.1 Gen2 480G bus-powered dual SSD RAID 0 storage device
USB3.1 Gen2 - AKiTiO Neutrino 3.1 Gen2 bus-powered enclosure with Samsung 840 EVO 1TB 2.5-inch 6Gbps SSD

AJA SYSTEM TEST - LARGE SEQUENTIAL DATA TRANSFER
(HIGHER MEGABYTES PER SECOND = FASTER)


(The above image shows the inside of the AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box with the Amfeltec PCIe 3.0 M.2 Carrier board sporting two SM951s AHCI flash blades with heatsinks.)

WHAT DID WE LEARN?
With a little help from our friends, our 'late 2016' 15-inch MacBook Pro now recognizes Thunderbolt 3 devices like the AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box. As you can see, by striping a pair of SM951 flash blades, we were able to show the potential speed of Thunderbolt 3 storage connected to a single USB-C port.

We included two examples of USB 3.1 Gen2 bus-powered storage which didn't require any shenanigans. And as you can see, to reach the 900MB/s heights, you need either two striped SSDs (as in the SanDisk Extreme 900) or some yet-to-be-released bus-powered USB 3.1 Gen2 device that uses fast PCIe flash.

CONCLUSION
Storage options are just starting to blossom for 2016 MacBook Pro owners. Can't wait to see what else pops up -- including GPU TB3 Expanders.

Comments? Suggestions? Feel free to email me,
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WHERE TO BUY MACS and OTHER APPLE products:
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OTHER SOURCES FOR MACS

WHERE TO BUY FACTORY REFURBISHED MACS
Apple Store USA has refurbished Macs with 12 month warranty.

WHERE TO BUY THUNDERBOLT 3 PCIE DEVICES* FOR THE NEW MACBOOK PRO
Order the AKiTiO Thunder3 PCIe Box we tested from B&H_Photo_Video. The "Squid" PCIe 3.0 x16 M.2 Carrier Board we used can be ordered directly from Amfeltec. (Tell them BareFeats sent you.)
The trickiest part is finding AHCI flash blades like the SM951s we used. Remember, Sierra does not recognize NVMe. You might try eBay.

The LaCie 2TB Bolt3 Thunderbolt 3 RAID 0 storage is priced at $1999 but boasts 2800MB/s (available from B&H_Photo_Video).

Sonnet Technologies 512G Fusion Thunderbolt 3 PCIe Flash Drive ($799) specifies for Windows only. If we can get our hands on one, we'll try getting it to work under macOS Sierra. Order from B&H_PHoto_Video.

Bizon Tech recently announced the BizonBOX 3 GPU Expander (pre-order direct from them empty or bundled with an NVIDIA desktop GPU).

AKiTiO will soon release their Thunderbolt 3 GPU Expander called The NODE. We plan to try it as soon as it is available.

(*Don't forget you will most likely need to execute the procedure posted on 9to5Mac for your MacBook Pro to recognize the above Thunderbolt 3 devices.)

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copyright 2016 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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