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
WARNING - some parts of this post may be erroneous YMMV

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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 athe 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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thagrol
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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 ashe 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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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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Aardappeltaart
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:17 am

HawaiianPi wrote:
Tue Nov 19, 2019 11:21 am

2.5" SATA, mSATA, M.2 SATA, AHCI, NVMe will all perform the same in a USB 3.0 enclosure.
Not sure abut that. There are differences.

Another relevant issue: does the interface support UAS(P),
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_Attached_SCSI

I have a cheap USB3 SATA enclosure that does not support UAS(P), it falls back to mass-storage.
To check:

Code: Select all

lsusb -t
/:  Bus 02.Port 1: Dev 1, Class=root_hub, Driver=xhci_hcd/4p, 5000M
    |__ Port 2: Dev 2, If 0, Class=Mass Storage, Driver=usb-storage, 5000M
And look for `Driver=usb-storage` <> `Driver=uas`

Apparently that can make a speed difference up to 50%.
https://www.jeffgeerling.com/blog/2020/ ... -50-faster

For my use case it's fast enough, but be aware when buying cheap interfaces.

Another thing is thermals. A SSD running hot will have lower performance
https://github.com/geerlingguy/raspberr ... issues/183

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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:39 am

Aardappeltaart wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:17 am
Not sure about that. There are differences.
Differences that will result in increased performance after being severely gimped by a USB enclosure connected to a Pi4B? :?

Got any evidence? Because I have actually tested this stuff, so I'm not just talking out my okole here.

Aardappeltaart wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:17 am
Another relevant issue: does the interface support UAS(P)
Which has absolutely nothing to do with drive form-factor or SSD interface. It's a problem with the USB enclosure or adapter (chipset and firmware).

Aardappeltaart wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:17 am
Another thing is thermals. A SSD running hot will have lower performance
Yup, and that's another reason not to use NVMe drives on a Pi (they run hotter, which could reduce performance).
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:26 pm

M.2 SSD
I've bought and tested
made no difference

....bad investment for my RPi system....
....now collecting dust.....somewhere.....

end of story.
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Aardappeltaart
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:22 pm

HawaiianPi wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 11:39 am
Aardappeltaart wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:17 am
Not sure about that. There are differences.
Differences that will result in increased performance after being severely gimped by a USB enclosure connected to a Pi4B? :?

Got any evidence? Because I have actually tested this stuff, so I'm not just talking out my okole here.

Aardappeltaart wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:17 am
Another relevant issue: does the interface support UAS(P)
It's a problem with the USB enclosure or adapter (chipset and firmware).
And that's exactly why they will not all perform the same in a USB 3.0 enclosure.

See links in my post.

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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Aug 28, 2020 8:58 am

Aardappeltaart wrote:
Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:22 pm
And that's exactly why they will not all perform the same in a USB 3.0 enclosure.
Yes they will, on a Pi4B.

If you are talking about comparing a drive in a UASP enclosure to another drive in a non-UASP enclosure, then you are comparing apples to oranges, and of course they're different. But what you're really comparing are the enclosures, not the drives. Whichever drive is in the crap enclosure will lose.

Like I said, I have actually tested this stuff. I compared a Samsung SATA-III SSD with a USB 3.0 adapter cable (which supports UASP) to a Samsung NVMe SSD in a USB 3.1 Gen2 enclosure (which also supports UASP) and on the Pi4B the SATA SSD actually scored slightly higher, although the difference was small enough that in terms of real world use you probably wouldn't notice it.

I have also tested several other makes and models of SSD, and while some are faster than others, even a cheap budget SSD will clobber the performance of an SD card or USB flash drive (that isn't an SSD itself).

BTW: the 2 fastest SSDs I have tested on a Pi4B were the aforementioned Samsung drives (they were also the most expensive). Third fastest was a Crucial MX500, and it's probably the best bang for the buck.
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Aardappeltaart
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Sat Aug 29, 2020 8:50 am

@HawaiianPi

Relax. :D

!I'm only saying that not all USB3-enclosures are alike, so for a buyer it's valuable to choose the right interface (anything that sits between, encloses or connects the SSD) and the Pi4.

It's important to choose one that supports UASP and not one that supports only bulkmode/usb-storage.

There is a huge performance difference!

Although like a said before, usb-storage is still fast enough in my use-case.

suomynona
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:22 pm

Sorry for the late reply, I was searching for the answer to this. But I do have a question to add: is it possible to connect an M.2 or maybe even Thunderbolt 3 NVMe drive with a faster connection than if I would do this through a USB3.0 adapter?

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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Thu Sep 17, 2020 7:21 pm

suomynona wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:22 pm
Sorry for the late reply, I was searching for the answer to this. But I do have a question to add: is it possible to connect an M.2 or maybe even Thunderbolt 3 NVMe drive with a faster connection than if I would do this through a USB3.0 adapter?
The fastest connection is the two USB 3.0 jacks on the Pi4B. So, the functional answer to your question is: No. An alternative answer is to keep an eye out to see what future Pis have. If you wait long enough, something faster will come along. I waited 7 years for USB 3.

fanoush
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Sep 18, 2020 5:49 am

suomynona wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 6:22 pm
is it possible to connect an M.2 or maybe even Thunderbolt 3 NVMe drive with a faster connection than if I would do this through a USB3.0 adapter?
with some effort you can remove via usb 3.0 chip from the board and connect nvme directly to pci-express bus :-) this can be slightly faster as you remove two chips and two data translations(pci-e<=>usb3.0<=>pci-e) but the underlying connection speed would be similar as the limitation is the 1x pci-e 2.0 link

suomynona
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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:44 pm

so what about the Rock Pi4B with Raspberry pi OS?

I've heard it has support issues. Does that also count for Raspberry Pi OS (NOOBS) if you were going to use Docker anyway?

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Re: M2 SSD for Pi4

Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:54 pm

suomynona wrote:
Fri Sep 18, 2020 7:44 pm
so what about the Rock Pi4B with Raspberry pi OS?

I've heard it has support issues. Does that also count for Raspberry Pi OS (NOOBS) if you were going to use Docker anyway?

Raspberry Pi OS only runs natively on Raspberry Pi SBC & Compute Module.

This is not a Rock SBC Forum, try their support site https://rockpi.org
The information is out there....you just have to let it in.

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