Author Topic: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds  (Read 7814 times)

Offline ssp3

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"Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« on: July 26, 2023, 11:44:34 PM »
I've made these tests some time ago. Before I forget which is which, I decided to post them.

The "Red" adapter is based on Marvell chip. Available in Europe under Delock name. Cheapest price in my neck of woods is EUR 32.00 + 5.00 shipping.
The "Green" aka "White box" adapter is based on JMicron JM20330 chip. Available everywhere. Prices do vary. I bought mine on AliExpress. Paid EUR 34.00 for 4 pieces, including shipping .

My test machine was (unsupported) 12" Al PowerBook G4 876 Mhz running 9.2.2 (with my own version of ROM).
I had top cover removed and was able to simply swap the adapters. I used the same 128GB mSATA drive in both tests. Drive formatted by FWB Hard Disk Toolkit 4.5.2 while booted from external FireWire drive.

Marvell




JMicron




A bit later, I installed another drive of the same type/brand in the same machine using JMicron adapter and then re-run the test. It gave me a slightly better read/write numbers.
EDIT. The drive might have been empty and test was probably run while booted from external FireWire drive.

JMicron, drive Nr.2




Now, decide for yourself, whether the extra ~5MB/s speed is worth the extra 20+ Euro per drive  ;)

And yes, I know about the 2 drive problems in G4 desktops.

More later ..
« Last Edit: July 28, 2023, 03:26:24 AM by ssp3 »
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #1 on: July 27, 2023, 12:17:12 AM »
Part 2.

This time without direct comparisions. Different machines, different drives, different adapters.

Same machine as in my previous post, JMicron JM20330 based adapter, Samsung SM841 128 GB.




TiBook 1GHz, Marvell, Samsung PM830 32 GB.



TiBook 667MHz, JMicron, Samsung PM851 128GB



TiBook 667MHz, JMicron, Sandisk U110 16GB



TiBook 667MHz, original mechanical HDD

;D





« Last Edit: July 27, 2023, 02:36:58 AM by ssp3 »
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Offline FBz

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #2 on: July 27, 2023, 08:35:20 AM »
Well done. And pleasantly surprised that you weren’t all “Pro-Marvell” as many often seem to be. To me, throughout all of my testing the JMicron JM20330 based adapters are most definitely the better value. Of course it also depends upon the actual JMicron based adapters themselves (as not all are created equal). BUT once you find one that works (like the 40-pin Bribges - in so many situations) the cost /performance ratio simply can’t be ignored… especially if you’ve more than one machine to convert.

However if intentions are only to convert one primary machine and cost is of no concern, opting for the more expensive (but only sometimes faster) Marvells might be the choice for some.

I plan to go back and 3-panel, comparison re-test (with QuickBench 2.0 & 4.0) the Marvell based mSATA sled and the JMicron based 44-pin AS331 V1.5 adapter again, as those tests have become misplaced here in the archives that I call the dungeon. Eventually I also hope to test the “white case” mSATA AND possibly an M.2 based adapter in a Mac mini as well.

Just for grins… here’s a rare “red group” oddity.
“One of these things is not like the other…”  ;D



Once again however, great job!

Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2023, 10:10:37 AM »
I plan to go back and 3-panel, comparison re-test (with QuickBench 2.0 & 4.0) the Marvell based mSATA sled and the JMicron based 44-pin AS331 V1.5 adapter again, as those tests have become misplaced here in the archives that I call the dungeon. Eventually I also hope to test the “white case” mSATA AND possibly an M.2 based adapter in a Mac mini as well.

I'm already doing all those + one other, not that well known, JM20330 based, mSATA->IDE adpter. In various PB G4s and in Mac Mini 1.42.
Also, I don't have v1.5, only v1.3. (I played chinese lottery, ordered AS331 v1.3 but received MCA004 v1.3 instead).

As one TV host often says - 'watch this space'  :)
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Offline FBz

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #4 on: July 27, 2023, 08:32:30 PM »
What is this that you're using for your benchmarks?

"SCSI Benchmark"?


Lately (in the last year) I have been running either QuickBench 2.0 (preferred) or 4.0... in full 3-panel comparison tests with Borgmac and V.Yakob.
Perhaps I've an aversion to graphs and prefer good ol' numbers for viewing "full spectrum" read/write performance (from 1 KByte up to 100 MByte).

Of course this requires more effort when posting results but I believe it yields a better overall performance "picture".

But by all means, do please provide the source for your benchmark program/app and I'll attempt to run same here, for comparison.

Here's an example reporting: Numeric View, Extended and Extended Plus... via all three QuickBench 2.0 panels.

Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #5 on: July 28, 2023, 02:01:39 AM »
What is this that you're using for your benchmarks?

Wow! I thought you knew what it is.

It is ATTO SCSI utility that, surprisingly, when it comes to benchmarking, works with other interfaces too.
It is called ATTO ExpressPro-Tools and I've been using it since Michael Breeden's articles about SCSI at xlr8yourmac turned my attention to it.
The year was 1998.  :)
http://web.archive.org/web/20000520002145/http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/SCSI/9600/index.html

This is the only tool that has enough test options and meaningful graphical representation of the results. When you use it extensively and learn what shape of graphs represent what (or what change in SCSI drive's mode pages), it becomes almost like an analyzer.

Intech's QuickBench is good, but, IMO, those numbers are hard to navigate when you have many results to compare. I was always wondering why are you sticking to it.


* Garden probably has it + there's my "installed, but not yet personalized" version floating around that I uploaded to some HL server many moons ago. ATTO used strange "drag and drop install" interface, that did not work on all, especially upgraded machines, back in the day, hence the naked app.
The last version was 2.8.2, but I remember using older version (2.3?) for some tasks that 2.8.2 did not allow anymore. I have 2.5, 2.6 and 2.7 too.
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Offline IIO

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #6 on: July 28, 2023, 02:34:12 AM »
does any of these tools output the results in whatever textformat so  that we can make us a proper toosl to create graphical representations of them?
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #7 on: July 28, 2023, 03:21:03 AM »
QuickBench 2 does, but it does not have enough data points to create the graph like this.



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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #8 on: July 28, 2023, 04:15:56 AM »
To be honest, I personally don't sweat much about it.  ;)
I know that, given the decent SSD, I can get around 60MB/s on machines with ATA-66 bus and around 90MB/s on machines with ATA-100 bus. Plus or minus. I'm fine with that.

Factors that affect drive speeds / speed tests in OS9 are:
1. Drives themselves, obviously.
2. Whether the drives are empty or have some files on them.
3. Drivers, i.e. formatting tools used.
4. SATA to ATA controllers (Marvell, JMicron or some other)
5. Controller implementation by manufacturer.
6. Interface type - SATA, mSATA or M.2 SATA (in case of JM20330 chip based adapters).
7. ATA controller on Mac motherboard.
8. Bus speed.
9. Processor speed. To some extent.
10. Drive size. Not always, but some earlier models had obvious write speed relation to their size. If it's over 100MB/s, it's not important for OS9 machines anymore.

SIDE NOTE.
My observation so far is that modern SSD drives with huge caches and Turbo Write functions are not much faster (if at all) than drives without them on native ATA buses in OS9.
« Last Edit: July 28, 2023, 04:40:16 AM by ssp3 »
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Offline IIO

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #9 on: July 28, 2023, 09:48:58 PM »
the main subject is that there are cheapo adapters which give you only 50-70 on a 100 bus.
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #10 on: July 28, 2023, 11:15:31 PM »
the main subject is that there are cheapo adapters which give you only 50-70 on a 100 bus.

Such as? Got any evidence?  ;) I only have met JMicron from the cheap department. Are there any others out there?

Btw, I got slow speeds with red board on 100 bus in one of my experiments when using Drive Setup 1.9.2. As soon as I switched to HTD 4.5.2 (and later to DS 2.1 to verify), the numbers went up.
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #11 on: July 28, 2023, 11:37:40 PM »
Mac Mini time!

Mac Mini 1.42 GHz, 1GB RAM, OS 9.2.2. ROM v.9.6.1 and other relevant parts from Ross' v.9 installer. Drive initialized by HTD 4.5.2, unless noted otherwise.

The same Samsung drive moved between 3 adapters - Delock Marvell based, "White box" JMicron 20330 based and small form factor, "naked", also JMicron 20330 based. The latter seems to be identical to "White box", except everything is squeezed closer together. Sold by everyone and his brother in China and by Delock (!) in Europe. Surprise, surprise  ;D

Marvell




Hmm.. what's that drop in read speeds? Let's check what happens after 2MB.




As can be seen, there is a drop in performance between ~1MB and 5MB file transfer size, but after 5MB speed returns to normal.


JMicron, "White box", 2MB file transfer size




JMicron, "White box", 8MB file transfer size




JMicron, "Naked", 2MB file transfer size




JMicron, "Naked", 8MB file transfer size




The drop is still there.  :(  Let's try Drive Setup 2.1 and another, same model drive.

JMicron, "White box", Drive Setup 2.1. 2MB file transfer size




JMicron, "White box", Drive Setup 2.1. 8MB file transfer size




Same picture. No change.
I don't remember ever seeing this kind of drop in reads with this drive model, when testing it with 66 and 100 bus G4 portables (Ti and Al), I would have spotted it immediately. See the same drive tested in my post Nr.2.

The only difference between those portables and this Mini is that portables had 10.2.1 ROM, but Mini has 9.6.1. Could that be the culprit? Any ideas?


EDIT. Here are the test results by Quick Bench 2.0. IMHO, the numbers produced by it do not represent the whole picture of what's going on in the region between 512kB and 6MB.






More testing to follow..


« Last Edit: July 29, 2023, 09:49:40 AM by ssp3 »
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #12 on: July 30, 2023, 10:49:48 AM »
Here's another test that I've conducted, but this time in OSX 10.5.8. I think, it was 12" 1.5Ghz PowerBook G4, but might also have been either 1GHz 12" or 1.33GHz 15" . Same PM851 mSATA drive as in Mini tests above. "Red" Marvell based and "green" JM20330 "White box" adapters.

As far as I can see, there is no performance drop in writes between 1MB and 6MB file transfer sizes as it is the case with my Mac Mini.
(Something strange is going on with the Mini.  :( It needs to be investigated further. I already spent several hours yesterday troubleshooting it, but can't report any success.)

Marvell







JMicron






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Offline FBz

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #13 on: July 30, 2023, 11:03:11 AM »
So now you’re using QuickBench 4.0?
And not running the Extended Tests / 20-100 MB?
AND opting to display the graphs as Bar instead of Line?
 ::)

Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #14 on: July 30, 2023, 12:28:37 PM »
So now you’re using QuickBench 4.0?
a) Not now. These are older tests.
b) There are no better tools available in OSX on PPC. AJA is only so-so.
c) Posted these especially for QuickBench fans.  ;D

Quote
And not running the Extended Tests / 20-100 MB?

No. There's nothing meaningful going on past 8MB or so on ATA66/100 bus. Waste of time.

Quote
AND opting to display the graphs as Bar instead of Line?
 ::)

So what?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2023, 07:13:50 PM by ssp3 »
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Offline IIO

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #15 on: July 30, 2023, 01:35:40 PM »
No. There's nothing meaningful going on past 8MB or so on ATA66/100 bus. Waste of time

there are SSDs which get slower after 3 minutes and similar puzzles.

you already mentioned disk size above, then there is the buffer size, the question how many free space is left on the disk, or how many files are present (aka size of catalog)

so many factors... that also explains why each of us has different numbers in his biological memory, because experiences are so different.
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #16 on: August 01, 2023, 11:32:22 PM »
there are SSDs which get slower after 3 minutes and similar puzzles.

The fact that SSD drives get slower (on modern OSes) after their RAM buffer is full is nothing new.

Speaking of puzzles - do you guys realize that many of you are running drives that draw a lot of current on adapters, whose voltage regulators are spec'ed only for 1A @25C ambient and have internal overcurrent protection? When that kicks in, all kind of strange things can happen.

Also, with "white box" adapters the drive sits in confined space and gets constantly "pressure-cooked" by the heat, produced by 3,3V regulator, bridge chip and the drive itself. And there is no way for that heat to escape, because the box is plastic! PCB copper area on the bottom is not sufficient.. (Did they teach physics at school in china?)
Many SSDs have onboard thermal protection. If that kicks in, the results also might be unpredictable.

Ant then there's G4 PB and Mini motherboard capabilities to supply current to HDD or SSD. Did anyone ever noticed that original rotating platter drives on those draw less than 1A?

Puzzles, you say? Sure, sure..  ;)
« Last Edit: August 02, 2023, 02:31:20 AM by ssp3 »
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Offline IIO

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #17 on: August 02, 2023, 02:39:48 AM »
some people suggested - or asked - in the past if it could be a good idea to install the "white case" adapters in a macmini without the white case.

similar to how fury suggests to use vertical PCB adapters and then connect a 2,5" SSD without its 2,5" enclosure.

i am not sure if that will help inside a macmini. i am all but an expert in these things, but i do not see that there would be much airflow happening around the HD slot anyway, so why bother about a plastic case?

moving a macmini board (without its case) into a 19" rack is on my to do list. of course i have to learn more about airflow and measuring temperature before i do. :)

btw. where does the heat come from in a SSD? keep in mind that we are only using 15% of its maximum read and write speed with OS9/IDE100
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #18 on: August 02, 2023, 06:06:24 AM »
The problem is not the SSD, it's the 3,3V regulator on mSATA and M.2 adapter boards that gets hot if one is not careful choosing his/her SSD.
P = U x I
5V - 3,3V = 1,7V drop across the regulator
1,7V x drive's current in A = P in Watts converted into pure heat.

btw. where does the heat come from in a SSD?

As far as I know, major part of it comes from the controller, operating at several hundred MHz, but flash chips also contribute.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hq8DjQWYqOk

Quote
keep in mind that we are only using 15% of its maximum read and write speed with OS9/IDE100

It does not matter how fast the transfer speeds are on the G4 bus. The SSD drives operate internally at their own speeds (300-400MHz). If over-current condition occurs even for a couple of nanoseconds, the current limiting by voltage regulator will take place. No need for the SSD drive to be hot.

Re. choosing drives - if someone thinks that choosing drive of smaller size is safe bet, think again. Picture of current production Transcend mSATA 32GB drive is attached. The whole line is like that.
When it comes to everyone's darling "El Cheapo King of the Specs" aka KingSpec, they don't even publish the specs, but this video should give you a clue:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewZDgkmUCwE
« Last Edit: August 02, 2023, 10:42:09 AM by ssp3 »
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Offline ssp3

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Re: "Green" vs. "Red" mSATA adapter speeds
« Reply #19 on: August 02, 2023, 06:38:10 PM »
And here's another horror video (in russian). This time about Transcend M.2 SATA drive. I had someone who helped me with translation.
The guy in the video said he saw the temperature rising to 95 deg Celsius for a brief moment. He returned the drive because of that.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uDwabiqW6AU
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