2019 Mac Pro with M.2 PCIe-based Flash RAID Carrier Boards
December 31st, 2019 by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist
With 16 lane PCIe 3.0 slots, the 2019 Mac Pro accepts advanced PCIe- based flash RAID cards. How fast can they transfer data compared to the 2010 Mac Pro?
Amfeltec 6x6 in 2019 MP = Amfeltec Squid PCIe 3.0 Carrier Board with six M.2 Samsung 970 Pro 512GB modules in RAID 0 config in the 2019 Mac Pro's x16 PCIe 3.0 slot
Sonnet 4x4 in 2019 MP = Sonnet Technologies M.2 4x4 PCIe 3.0 Carrier Board with four 970 Pro 512GB modules in RAID 0 config in the 2019 Mac Pro's x16 PCIe 3.0 slot
Amfeltec 6x6 in 2010 MP = Amfeltec Squid PCIe 3.0 Carrier Board with six M.2 Samsung 970 Pro 512GB modules in RAID 0 config in the 2010 Mac Pro's x16 PCIe 2.0 slot
Sonnet 4x4 in 2010 MP = Sonnet Technologies M.2 4x4 PCIe 3.0 Carrier Board with four 970 Pro 512GB modules in RAID 0 config in the 2010 Mac Pro's x16 PCIe 2.0 slot
Internal 1TB Flash = Apple Factory PCIe-based flash dual 512GB volume inside the 2019 Mac Pro running macOS 10.15.2 Catalina
TEST MULES: 2019 Mac Pro 12-core 3.30GHz W-3235 CPU, 96GB of 2933 MHz DDR4 ECC memory, 1TB PCIe-based flash boot drive; 2010 Mac Pro 12-core 3.33GHz X5680 CPU, 96GB of 1333MHz DDR4 ECC memory, 1TB PCIe based flash boot drive
ATTO Large Sequential READ
Using 16 GiB test file size and I/O size range from 16 GiB to 64 GiB. (HIGHER Megabytes per Second = FASTER)
ATTO Large Sequential WRITE
(HIGHER Megabytes per Second = FASTER))
WHAT DID WE LEARN?
The 2019 Mac Pro with its 16 lane PCIe 3.0 slots takes full advantage of the speed that PCIe 3.0 M.2 RAID cards offer.
We included the test results for the Amfeltec and Sonnet boards installed in the 2010 Mac Pro's 16 lane PCIe 2.0 slot to emphasize how the 16 lane PCIe 3.0 slots in the 2019 Mac Pro unleash the full potential of the M.2 PCIe 3.0 RAID boards with fast PCIe-based flash modules.
Some readers have asked about using the RAID volume as a macOS boot drive. I am not a proponent of using a RAID set for that purpose. Apparently neither is Apple since the macOS installer refused to continue.
You could stripe all but one of the M.2 modules and use the remaining one for a System volume but then that degrades your transfer speed since the two volumes are competing for bandwidth.
Finally, for those unfamiliar with ATTO Disk Benchmark, here's what the resulting bar graph looks like.
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OTHER GOOD SOURCES
Trans International sells memory and storage for Macs.
Other World Computing sells memory, eGPUs, storage, and used Macs.
B&H Photo Video sells Apple products, GPUs, eGPUs, displays, storage, etc.
MacVidCards modifies GPUs to provide Apple Startup and Boot screens.
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copyright 2019 Rob Art Morgan
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