Accelerate Your Mac! Performance News, Reviews, DIY Articles and Tips
Mac SSD, NVMe, HDD and Controller Articles, Tips and Reviews
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SSD and HDD Related Articles and Tips
I/O Crest Syba Dual M.2 NVMe SSD PCIe card in Mac Pro 5,1 with Mojave
Review with benchmark speed tests of a bootable Dual NVMe SSD PCIe Card using Samsung 970 EVO M.2 500GB Blades in a Mac Pro 5,1 running macOS Mojave. Includes Amorphous Disk Mark, Blackmagic and AJA Disk Speed test results, notes on RAID 0 performance, and other overall System benchmark scores.
Tip to Prevent Kernel Panics with SSD PCI Card
in 2019 Mac Pro
(OWC comment) "We determined that the kernel panic occurs when the 2019 Mac Pro sleeps. More importantly, we figured out that the problem only occurs when the OWC Accelsior 4M2 is installed in slots 4 or 5, and only if those slots are configured to use pool B of the PCIe lanes. If OWC Accelsior 4M2 is in any other slot, or if it is configured to use pool A, no kernel panics occur. The teams also found other cards, which, when installed, result in a kernel panic. One example is the Highpoint SSD7101A."
Sleep Wake failure in EFI
Failure code
0xffffffff 0x0000001f

Tip for NVMe SSD
Standby Mode Issue
Crash Report shows "Sleep Wake failure in EFI. Failure code: 0xffffffff 0x0000001f" (macOS Catalina)
Reports on some Macs with NVMe SSDs Crash on Wake from Sleep/Standby Mode in macOS Catalina. Linked OWC support article has a workaround for Kernel Panics seen when waking from deep sleep "Standby Mode". (Some Macs after sleeping for 3 hours or more go into Hibernate mode, where the macOS system state is written to the drive.) The workaround noted is to enter this command in the Terminal App:
- sudo pmset -a standby 0
then press return and quit Terminal app. (There's a post/note below from 2013 on "Why Mac Powers Off after Hours of Sleep - Hibernates/Turns Off", where even later desktop Mac models go into Hibernate after hours of sleep. Hibernate was originally designed as a safety feature for Laptops on battery power.)
Analysis of APFS Performance on Rotational Hard Drives
A Carbon Copy Cloner article with a detailed analysis of APFS enumeration performance on rotational hard drives (vs SSDs) that explains the much slower performance of APFS formatted HDDs vs SSDs, and how that performance degrades quickly. A must read for anyone using an APFS format boot Hard Disk Drive.
Disk Benchmarks with NVMe SSD Upgrade vs SATA III SSD
Bill sent Disk Benchmark scores of an NVMe Samsung 970 PRO 500GB SSD Upgrade vs previous Crucial M500 SSD in his mini-ITX Hackintosh. (He includes a summary list of hardware components and software used, as he did with his previous video and system benchmarks.)
SSD Service Program
for 13-inch MacBook Pro
(non Touch Bar)
(Nov 2018) "Apple has determined that a limited number of 128GB and 256GB solid-state drives (SSD) used in 13-inch MacBook Pro (non Touch Bar) units have an issue that may result in data loss and failure of the drive. 13-inch MacBook Pro units with affected drives were sold between June 2017 and June 2018. Apple recommends having your drive serviced as soon as possible. Apple will also send an email to customers who registered their device with Apple to let them know about this program..." (Linked page includes a serial number checker.)
Why Mac Powers Off after Hours of Sleep (Hibernates/Turns Off)
Info and Tips on why 2012 and later mac mini, iMacs, (and notebooks) shut down after hours in sleep mode. Includes reason why (a 'feature' first added in OS X 10.8.2 supplemental update 2.0, for compliance with EU Energy standards) and includes some PMSET mod tips that have worked (at least for some users - ymmv). Originally written after what i saw with a new 2012 Mac mini, but the linked apple article notes specific late 2012 and later models affected. (The listed PMSET mods to avoid hibernate mode were used with a desktop mac then - not a notebook that needs to hibernate when its battery runs low.)
Reminder on SATA2 Macs that Run SATA3 (6Gbps) Drives at SATA1 Speed
Mentioned several times over the years (including a note on my 2nd SSD swap in a 2012 Mac Mini) but after seeing a recent post in Apple's forums from a 2009 Mac Mini (mini3,1) owner that his new Samsung 840 EVO SSD shows a 1.5Gbps link rate (despite having a SATA2/3Gbps interface), wanted to post a reminder on the Mac models that have this problem.
DIY OS X Fusion Drives in Mac Pros, MacBook Pros, iMacs & Mac Minis
Reader reports on Do-It-Yourself OS X Fusion drives in Mac Minis, MacBook Pros, Mac Pros and iMacs. Includes tips on partitions, warnings on Fusion Drive repairs as well as links to DIY OS X Fusion drive Guides.
Late 2012 Mac Mini SSD swap (Intel 520) & Drive Cloning Notes
Notes on swapping my SATA2 Toshiba 512GB SSD in a Late 2012 Mini (2.3GHz core i7, ram upgraded to 16GB) for a SATA3 480GB Intel 520 series. It turned out fine with a significant performance increase.
Jumper Settings for SATA3 Drives in older Macs with SATA1 (1.5Gb/s)
Jumper Setting Tips for Seagate and Western Digital SATA3 drives in Macs with SATA I interfaces, such as the early Intel-Based Macs and PowerMac G5 models. Without forced SATA mode reduction, the drives were not usable/recognized. SATA3 drives usually will auto-sense SATA2 interfaces but not SATA1. (FYI: There are also some SATA2 Mac models that run SATA3 Drives at SATA1 speed.)
2010 Mac Mini Server Drive Temperature Sensors Info/Pix
A past news page had some comments on special drive cables/thermal sensors in the new 2010 Mac Minis (and reminders on HD brand specific/temp sensor cables for late 09 iMacs). The takeaparts of the new 2010 Minis didn't include any info on that (but I suspect may be revised later). However a reader with a 2010 Mini server sent notes/pix on the cables/termal sensors during his dual SSD upgrade/drive swap.

OS X Notebook HD Load Cycle Counts (from SMART Utility)

(Feb. 2009) Page on using SMART Utility for OS X (shareware) to check notebook drive "Load Cycle Counts" as well as notes on other drive SMART attributes/failing warnings, etc. (Page posted after the topic came up again recently on some drives frequently parking heads/cycling at a rate that would exceed the mfr's max cycle rating within a few months. Includes feedback from OS X users on their drive model readings with various models of Fujitsu, Hitachi, Samsung, Seagate and Toshiba 2.5in hard drives.)

Installing a SSD
in a 2008 Mac Pro

Guide with Photos on installing a SSD drive in a 2008 Mac Pro system. (Also includes link to benchmark tests vs three 1TB SATA Hard Drives.)
Mac SSD/HDD Controller Card Reviews and Related Articles
Review of I/O Crest Dual M.2 NVMe SSD PCIe card in a Mac Pro (Tower)
(Jan 2019) Review with benchmark tests of Dual NVMe SSD I/O Crest PCIe Card with 2 Samsung 970 EVO M.2 500GB SSDs in a Mac Pro 5,1 running macOS Mojave 10.14.2. Includes Amorphous, Blackmagic and AJA Disk Benchmarks and note on RAID 0 performance. (Some Benchmark rates over 2000 MB/sec, much higher than earlier PCIe SSD cards and many times the performance of the onboard SATA 2.) Card is bootable with Mac Pro 5,1 bootrom version 140.0.0.0.0 (from macOS Mojave update).
Review of NewerTech
eSATA 6G PCIe Controller

(No Drivers Reqd/Low-Cost)
Tests of low-cost NewerTech 6Gbps eSATA PCIe controller card with native support, no drivers required in OS X 10.5 & later (including 64-bit support). Per OWC card is bootable with OS X 10.6.8 & Later.
Review has benchmarks with 1TB WD Caviar Black hard drives in single-drive & dual-drive RAID 0, with comparison to my previous eSATA Sil3132 PCIe card that requires a driver install. (NewerTech 6G card also supported in Windows/Bootcamp.) If you don't need PM support, the NewerTech 6G eSATA card is worth a look.
(OK) Reports from OS X users of eSATA cards w/Port Multipler cases
After getting another mail from an eSATA card owner that didn't notice data corruption until months later I posted a request for reports from readers with reliable eSATA card/Port Multiplier cases.
Combo USB 3.0 + eSATA 3
Card with OS X 10.7.5
(& 10.8 w/driver update)
Reader feedback on Caldigit's Combo eSATA III (6Gb/sec) + USB 3.0 PCI express card compatible with OS X 10.7 (10.7.5 used) and info on USB 3.0 driver update for OS X 10.8/Mountain Lion. He noted Native eSATA support but a driver install required for USB 3.0 use. (We also had several reports with Feedback on PCIe USB 3.0 Cards with Macs/OS X)
iMac eSATA Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)


iMac (intel-based) notes and pictures on swapping out the Airport card with the same 2-port SATA card for eSATA used earlier by Mini owners. (See article link below.) Another iMac owner sent a Photo Gallery/Guide to iMac eSATA Card Install/Mod
2006-2007 Mac Mini
eSATA Card Mod
(using Mini-PCIe Card)


Reader reports on swapping out the Mini-PCIe Airport card with a 2-port SATA card used for eSATA. Includes card info and some initial real-world benchmarks. Reports are from OS X 10.6.4 and 10.5.8 mini users.
(NOTE: 2009 and Later Minis DO NOT have a Mini-PCIe Airport card and can't do this mod. PPC Macs also do not have Mini-PCIe Airport cards.)
OS X 10.6 Tests with
Cheap eSATA PCIe
& eSATA ExpressCards
Notes on testing low-cost ($20-$25) eSATA ExpressCard and PCIe cards in OS X Snow Leopard with an Early 2009 17in MacBook Pro and Early 2009 Mac Pro. (Sil3132 based ExpressCard/PCIe cards and a natively supported JMB360 based ExpressCard.) Also links to updated Sil3132 drivers for Snow Leopard - and data corruption test results w/10.6.2. (JMB360 card often fails a file integrity test with many eSATA HDs I have.)
MacBook Pro user reports
on Express/34 Cards
A collection of MacBook Pro owner reports on Express/34 cards, including eSATA controllers although many other types also reported on there. (Updated with notes/tips for later OS X versions.)
Using the Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports with an External SATA Case Kit
A Mac Pro owner's article on using the spare 2 SATA ports on the Mac Pro motherboard with Newer Tech's SATA cable kit and an external dual SATA drive case. (FYI - Includes reports on compatible (and incompatible) external cases - some ext. case bridge boards (w/multiple interfaces) are not compatible.)
RAID Software/Hardware Related Articles
(See above for newer PCIe controller card reviews)

SoftRAID 7.0

SoftRAID 7 supports macOS Ventura, Monterey & Apple M1 Macs. Latest version info in the change log.
For info on earlier versions, see SoftRAID Compatibility Notes. (A Free 14 Day Trial available.)

RAID 0 Notes using I/O Crest NVMe PCIe Card

Link to the RAID 0 notes & SSD tests of a I/O Crest Dual M.2 NVMe SSD PCIe card in a Mac Pro 5,1 with two 500GB Samsung 970 EVO SSDs. (The notes are regarding limits of the card, although SSD performance was very good.)
DVD/CDRW and Blu-Ray Drive Related Articles
A/V & Home Theater
Firmware Updates & Tips
AV/Home Theater page with Firmware Updates for UHD/Blu-Ray disc players, 4K/HDTVs, and Receivers.
Also Tips for AVR, TV or Disc Player Problems and tips for some specific movie disc playback issues.
Mac Pro Blu-Ray & DVD Burner Upgrade reports
(May 2011) Mac Pro owner reports on Blu-Ray drives (Pioneer BDR-206, LG BH10LS30, ) and Multiformat DVD burners (LG GH22NP21, Samsung SHS222LBEBSL). The Mac Pro/Pioneer BDR-206 report includes notes/screenshots on problems seen related to drive going to sleep. (Deja-Vu.) Also has info from owners of 2006-2008 Mac Pros that used one of the 2 extra onboard SATA Ports for an optical drive. (There's a previous artlcle here on Using the 2006-2008 Mac Pro's 2 extra onboard SATA Ports.)
Tests/Tips on Mac Pro/Pioneer BDR-205 "Disappearing Drive" issue
(Nov. 2009) After getting a report from a 2009 Mac Pro owner that his Pioneer BDR-205 drive was "disappearing" after appx 30min of time in OS X (but not windows), I suspected a drive sleep issue. The Nov. 25th, 2009 news page has replies from several other Mac Pro owners and an update from the original reader to report the problem (disabling allow drive sleep in Energy Saver seems to have helped, but see posts.)
Other Storage Related Tips and Troubleshooting
Tips, Troubleshooting and How-To Guides for Macs
Topic based page of Guides, Tips & Troubleshooting for Mac and macOS/OS X users.


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