pkfox
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M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:53 am

Hi all, is it possible use an M2 SSD as external storage on a pi3b+/4 ? I don't want to boot from it - only store music on it for my Logitechmedia server setup . Links to any suitable devices greatly appreciated

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RaTTuS
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:14 pm

How To ask Questions :- http://www.catb.org/esr/faqs/smart-questions.html
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HawaiianPi
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 12:34 pm

pkfox wrote:
Fri Nov 15, 2019 11:53 am
Hi all, is it possible use an M2 SSD as external storage on a pi3b+/4 ?
You can't attach an M.2 SSD directly, but you could put it into a USB enclosure or use a USB adapter, and then it should work like any USB drive. That X855 shield posted above is just an overpriced USB adapter, and it's for the wrong type of drive (mSATA). M.2 version is X860.

Also note that there are different types of M.2 drives, and enclosures are usually only for a specific type, so make sure you get the correct one. Do you know what kind of M.2 SSD you have (SATA, AHCI, NVMe)?

I have a few Pi computer using SSD storage (some even boot from them).
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pkfox
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:03 pm

Hi there thanks for replying I have one of these - I should add I can't use a hat as I have a hifiberry DAC already fitted and in a case - no room for anything else internally

https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B07 ... UTF8&psc=1

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RaTTuS
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:10 pm

one of these will work OK
https://www.aliexpress.com/item/32915406103.html
... it depends on how you want to do things
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pkfox
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 1:47 pm

Hi and thanks for the link but I don't want to wait 40 days for delivery

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RaTTuS
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Nov 15, 2019 2:01 pm

you're looking for an m-key
https://www.amazon.co.uk/ELUTENT-M2-NVM ... B07YXZ2DMN possibly
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pkfox
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Sat Nov 16, 2019 3:09 pm

Ordered - thanks for your time

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HawaiianPi
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:15 am

Why do people get NVMe SSD for a Pi?

It's such a waste, since the SSD costs more, and the enclosures cost a lot more, and the Pi cannot even use a fraction of the available performance. It's like paying for a V12 engine and disabling 9 of the cylinders.

A cheaper SATA SSD in a $10 enclosure will perform the same on a Pi (2.5" SSD doesn't even need enclosure, just an adapter cable).
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Lewis-H
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:45 am

If you attach an external M2 SSD to your Raspberry Pi 4 B, you will get significantly faster app opens and file transfers. One of the most important improvements in Pi 4 is its USB 3.0 interface. Where previous Raspberry Pi models were limited to a USB 2’s theoretical 480 Mbps / 60 MBps maximum speed when connecting to an external storage or cloud storage such as onedrive for business, the new model has an interface that can theoretically hit 5 Gbps / 620 MBps. In the real world, you’d be lucky to get half of that, but you still attain speeds that are three or four times faster on tasks that matter. By way of comparison, the microSD card reader on the Raspberry Pi 4 can only manage a theoretical maximum of around 50 MBps, which is double the bandwidth available on the Pi 3 B+. But just exactly how much faster is an SSD than using a high-quality microSD card? To find out, I attached an M2 NVMe SSD in a USB enclosure to my Raspberry Pi 4 and ran a few tests.

Hope this helps you!
Regards,
Lewis

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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:59 pm

Lewis-H wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:45 am
If you attach an external M2 SSD to your Raspberry Pi 4 B, you will get significantly faster app opens and file transfers. One of the most important improvements in Pi 4 is its USB 3.0 interface. Where previous Raspberry Pi models were limited to a USB 2’s theoretical 480 Mbps / 60 MBps maximum speed when connecting to an external storage or cloud storage such as onedrive for business, the new model has an interface that can theoretically hit 5 Gbps / 620 MBps. In the real world, you’d be lucky to get half of that, but you still attain speeds that are three or four times faster on tasks that matter. By way of comparison, the microSD card reader on the Raspberry Pi 4 can only manage a theoretical maximum of around 50 MBps, which is double the bandwidth available on the Pi 3 B+. But just exactly how much faster is an SSD than using a high-quality microSD card? To find out, I attached an M2 NVMe SSD in a USB enclosure to my Raspberry Pi 4 and ran a few tests.

Hope this helps you!
Regards,
Lewis
You're missing HawaiianPi's point.

SATA 2.5" SSD are faster than SD cards, M2 SSD may well be faster than a SATA SSD but both the SATA SSD and M2 SSD (which is probably interfacing by SATA too) are limited by available bandwidth on the USB 3 bus and the bandwidth between the USB 3 controller and the SoC (which is less than the full USB 3 speed).

Because of that limitation I'd expect close to identical performance with a 2.5" SSD and an M2 SSD. Given the additional cost for M2 format and the high probability the PCIe based M2 devices can't interface directly to a Pi either, there is no advantage to M2 over SSD. At least not one that I can see.
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:00 pm

I bought a cheap M.2 to USB adapter/housing and I have to warn you if it doesn't have proper cooling it can get hot enough to burn you with a casual touch. I was actually afraid it was going to melt the plastic housing on the USB cable and or ignite the cushion I had it sitting on.

Or at least cheap ones can I don't have another to test if it's just the adapter.
Last edited by bomblord on Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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RaTTuS
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:31 pm

Exactly - a 2.5" SSD will be just fine -
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HawaiianPi
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:21 am

Lewis-H wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:45 am
If you attach an external M2 SSD to your Raspberry Pi 4 B, you will get significantly faster app opens and file transfers.
Compared to what? SD card, sure, but compared to any USB 3.0 SSD, nope, it won't make any difference.

2.5" SATA, mSATA, M.2 SATA, AHCI, NVMe will all perform the same in a USB 3.0 enclosure. They all exceed the bandwidth the Pi4 is capable of, so it doesn't matter what the internal SSD form-factor or interface is. An expensive NVMe SSD in an expensive USB 3.0 enclosure will not offer a perceivable performance difference over a less expensive 2.5" SATA-III SSD in a less expensive USB 3.0 enclosure.

Lewis-H wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 10:45 am
One of the most important improvements in Pi 4 is its USB 3.0 interface. ...the new model has an interface that can theoretically hit 5 Gbps...
Nope, sorry but you are wrong. All 4 USB ports on the Pi4 are connected to a single PCIe lane with 4Gbps bandwidth. So yes, it's USB 3.0, but not full-speed (and shared between the 4 USB ports).

Regardless, even full speed 5Gbps USB 3.0 is slower than a SATA-III SSD (6Gbps), so an NVMe SSD isn't going to go any faster. It will just cost more and run hotter with no perceivable benefit.

You are correct that a USB 3.0 SSD will be faster, but wrong about it needing to be M.2 or NVMe.

NVMe drives are awesome in computers with an NVMe interface (like my Win10 laptop which boots in under 10 seconds),
Image
but they are massively bottlenecked on USB 3.0 and have little to no benefit over a good SATA-III SSD.
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