m.2 cards

Discussion in 'UDOO X86' started by Geir Eivind Mork, Apr 21, 2017.

  1. Geir Eivind Mork

    Geir Eivind Mork New Member

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    I'm not too familiar with m.2 ssd, but could i put a typical m.2 drive or is it non standard or are there multiple standards? I thought 32GB would be enough, but it seems like my needs extend that.
     
  2. Kilrah

    Kilrah Member

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    You just need to check the key and length are compatible.
     
  3. milaremi

    milaremi New Member

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    And make sure you're not plugging in an NVME SSD M.2 drive. Regrettably they are not compatible with the UdooX86 M.2 slot and are as yet pretty expensive.
     
  4. Geir Eivind Mork

    Geir Eivind Mork New Member

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    milaremi likes this.
  5. Laura

    Laura UDOOer

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    M.2 has a type and key.
    The type (size) is a four digit number consisting of width and length in millimetres, for example 2260 would be 22mm x 60mm.
    On UDOO X86, the M.2 socket for storage is key B
    Most of the currently available M.2 SATA drives are key B or duel keyed B/M. Both of these will work.
    NVMe drives are Key M, and will not fit.

    If you search Amazon or Google for "M.2 2260", it will list a range of drives.
     
    Geir Eivind Mork likes this.
  6. mkopack

    mkopack Member

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    Yeah, this is exactly why I didn't bother with the eMMC upgrade to 32GB... Even that would feel incredibly tight to me... So I did the 128 performance kit and passed on the eMMC. If I do anything with the eMMC it'll be as a scratch drive or maybe a recovery partition...
     
  7. Zitt

    Zitt UDOOer

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    Not sure but I think the drive has to be an SATA SSD.
    I wasn't able to find any drives that were PCIe compliant that were not NVMe drives.

    In my case; I outfitted an 80mm 256GB SSD into my Udoo using a 3D printed bracket. I figured there was interest in this forum so posted a link a few minutes ago.
     
  8. ccs_hello

    ccs_hello UDOOer

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    When I searched the PCIe based NGFF (M.2) SSD access method, the only one that comes out as the standard is NVMe.
    NVMe as far as I can tell (thanks Google) is using PCIe x4 (which is a 4-lane PCIe bus spec.)
    UDOO x86's M.2 has up to socket 2 (which is "B" key) and has max of 2 PCIe lanes, So I guess it is out of luck.

    I envision in the future UDOO offer, a socket 3 ("M" key) will be considered.
    This type of socket can also accommodate the commonly seen mSATA SSD, which is B+M key, as well.

    ccs_hello
     
  9. Kilrah

    Kilrah Member

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    I highly doubt going to PCIe SSDs makes any sense at all, the CPUs we have on these boards are too slow to be used to run things that need to chug through the sheer amount of data needed to saturate SATA3.
     
  10. Zitt

    Zitt UDOOer

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    Very much disagree.
    The issue of PCIe vs SATA is about having multiple transactions in flight at the same time; not about the speed of the CPU.
    -- http://www.pcworld.com/article/2899351/everything-you-need-to-know-about-nvme.html

    While the current udoo x86 does not support NVMe drives... I'd wager that the system would see much improved response times with the parallel capability of NVMe drives.
    This might be useful for computer vision projects; video transcoding, or any other io intensive process.
     
  11. Kilrah

    Kilrah Member

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    I'm fully aware of the advantages of NVMe, just saying that while they're awesome and certainly make a difference on a powerful system they would't matter on such a low-power board for most applications.
    From my short experience with the board so far pretty much every standard task you do on it is CPU-bound, not IO-bound. So all your faster drive would do is boringly wait for the processor to need new data - which the current SATA drives are already doing.
     
  12. ccs_hello

    ccs_hello UDOOer

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    Two perspectives:
    One:
    Recent NUCs, Brix, Asus equivalent type of mini-PCs are all going for key-M (socket 3) M.2 slot(s). Some use one A+E for WiFi card and some simply use soldered WiFi card (1216 format.)
    Socket-3 offers 4-lane PCIe (for many future growth cards as well as NVMe SSD) or mSATA (for currently lower cost key-B mSATA SSD.)

    Two:
    NVMe SSD put the "storage processing" offloading to the other side of PCIe bus, the SSD card side.
    For IO-bound tasks, it will have benefit for overall performance. Many of the home server type of work falls into this category.
    Please note recent Braswell and the newer Apollo Lake ATOM processors are rather powerful processors.
    Granted they are not for everything (such as AVX intensive) such as Photoshop, etc. But who is using this class of USFF boxes for that?

    ccs_hello
     
  13. ccs_hello

    ccs_hello UDOOer

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    Look, switching fro socket 2 to socket 3 costs the board manufacturer close to nothing (in future UDOO x86 generations.)
    You just swap out NGFF socket from type-2 to type-3 (even swap, same price), bring all 4-lane PCIe bus out of the SoC's (it already has these 4) with circuit re-layout.

    End user who like the current mature price of mSATA SSD can plug it in (since they are B+M keyed) and when in the near future NVMe SSD's price delta isn't that much a difference, use that.

    Today, it's just the additional PCIe 2 lanes are not brought out. They are there in SoC, just not simply wasted.

    ccs_hello
     
  14. Markus Laire

    Markus Laire Active Member

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    ccs_hello - the other two PCIe lanes are not unused - they are used for M.2 Key E slot and onboard gigabit ethernet.

    So it is not possible to just change from PCIe B-key to M-key since there are only 2 lanes available. Changing to M-key would require changing also SoC to something which has 6 lanes total.
     
  15. ccs_hello

    ccs_hello UDOOer

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    Thanks Markus. N3160 only has 4.
    I got confused since in recent days I am looking into N4200 / J3455 Apollo Lake based mini-PCs.
    They have 6 lanes: 1x4 + 1x2 or 4x1 or 2x1+1x2 + 1x2

    ccs_hello
     

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