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A1708 / EMC 2978 — Released October 2016, this entry-level MacBook Pro retains its traditional function keys (as opposed to the OLED Touch Bar). The function key version packs an Intel Core i5 and two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

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New SSD - Need Pinout - Working on new and cheaper SSD options

Hello everyone,

as the tital says, I am searching for the pinout of the new SSD's in the new non touchbar Macbooks. As far as I know they are PCIe NVMe drives. So in theory any M.2 NVMe SSD should work as long as the pins match. That's why I want to know the Pinouts of the new Apple SSD so I can map them on a breadboard for example so I can later make a flex cable prototype and share the results if everything works. In theory everything should work. This project could help us all so we can easily swap our drives for less expensive drives. This way we can add 1TB NVMe drives for example for really cheap compared to Apple's prices.

Would love to get some help on this to get this going :-)

Cheers

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Sorry this is a no go!

Apple uses a still newer custom interface from the older models in the newer Function Key model. You can't alter a M.2 SSD to work as the size is also very different (won't fit).

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Hello @danj

I fully understand your way of thinking but the same has been said about older generations of apple custom SSD's.

People (mostly Chinese) have brought out adapters which convert Apples pinout to match a normal PCIe SSD.

The same can be achieved with the new apple PCI'e SSD. Thanks to the NVMe protocol the machine can directly talk to the SSD rather then talking to the translating IC, so the flash storage of the SSD could be addressed only that way before NVMe.

And to the size problematics, yes I know that. But, I found new ways to mount the M.2 SSD in the shell, trust me on this.

I only need the pinout so I can set up a test bench where I test this through.

Hope you understand me now better. :)

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Well almost... The adapters that people have tried to use are all over the place in quality! In addition they only work in the first gen blade SSD's which used mSATA. The 2nd gen of blade SSD's where PCIe 2.0 but use AHCI not NVMe. Only a few systems support PCIe 3.0 which then supports NVMe. But here's the rub! Apple still uses is own driver which ID's their SSD. OWC and the others have their own drivers with their PCIe 3.0 SSD's.

So even if you are able to reverse engineer the interface you would still need to create a driver. So you still have a long way to go.

OK, Back to the pinouts: You'll either need to get a system to reverse engineer the interface by monitoring the pins with a high speed storage oscilloscope. Your other option is snagging a set of schematics. It will be awhile before they can be found.

As to making a M.2 SSD fit: Its just not going to happen without creating signaling issues with the trace lengths. Distance matters in high speed interfaces. The length of the path between all of the lines need to be the same otherwise you'll create mis-timing. But! If you create your own SSD from scratch you would have a better chance in making this work.

Sorry to be a downer here. we did a fair amount of testing when these adapters first came out we had hoped to find a cheaper solution too! In our testing we discovered the adapters just didn't offer stable connections and had quite a few errors in read & write operations.

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Musti さん、ありがとうございました!
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