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Old Nov 9, 2012, 12:29 PM   #1
Concorde Rules
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**GUIDE: Bootable Mac Pro 2009-10 SATA III + eSATA Guide + TRIM **

I thought I'd put together a little guide for people who wish to get SATA III on their 2009 or 2010 Mac Pro 4,1 or 5,1 which is also, crucially, bootable, with the option of having eSATA ports too.

I will include how to get the power to these additional drives. I will be soldering the connections, but you could use term blocks instead.

For the purpose of this guide, I will be placing a 3.5" HDD and two 2.5" SSDs in the second Optical Drive bay.



What you will need
Host card: Highpoint Rocket 640L Lite (£60) or Highpoint RocketRAID 640L Lite (£100)
SATA III cables 100cm (£5 ea)
Silverstone 5.25" to 3.5" & 2.5" Bay Converter £13
Power and Data extension cable (~£7)
SATA Power Splitter (~£3)
2-Port SATA to eSATA Adapter Plate (£3)





Booting & TRIM
Now, the following screenshots shows the card in System Profiler when my Intel 320 300GB SSD is connected to it. It comes up as a AHCI Serial-ATA card running at 5GT/s Link Speed at x2 Link Width (I.e. 2x PCI-E v2), which theoretically gives us 1GB/sec bandwidth across all four drives. Actually, it is a theoretical max of 800MB/sec due to 8/10b encoding. This is still a damn site better than the 660MB/sec TOTAL MAX THROUGHPUT that the onboard ports can achieve. I.e. Even if you have 4 500MB/sec SSDs in RAID 0, you still only get 660MB/sec. I've never personally tested this limit, but have a search for this.

Please also note that OS X says that TRIM IS ENABLED. IF it is or not is another question altogether...










Performance
I currently haven't received my new SSD (A Samsung 830 256GB), so these benchmarks show my Intel SSD using onboard SATA II and the Highpoint cards SATA III. Please note I ran the benchmark at different settings as the blocks written for a 4K frame against a NTSC frame are alot larger and hence you get better sustained speeds.

Intel 320 300GB (Rocket 640L @ SATA II speeds)



Intel 320 300GB (Internal SATA II)



Samsung 830 256GB (Rocket 640L @ SATA III speeds)
SATA 3 performance figures:



Samsung 830 256GB (Internal SATA II)




Transferring from Intel on SATA II to Samsung on SATA III:






Installation Photos
Two wires running along to the card.
Thumb resize.


Fit perfectly through the hole here. It is like Apple wanted us to do this.
Thumb resize.
Thumb resize.


Put the backplate on and the wires come out with the ODD power and data. Simples!
Thumb resize.


5.25" to 3.5" and 2x2.5" adapter full:
Thumb resize.
Thumb resize.



All working perfectly!!!

Last edited by grapes911; Jan 19, 2013 at 03:53 PM. Reason: changed img of large images to timg
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Old Nov 9, 2012, 01:04 PM   #2
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I got miniSAS to 4xSATA in optical bay There exactly 1m of cable I needed to put the cable on top of the fan.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:11 PM   #3
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Small update after I have been running this config for a week. Works perfectly, including sleep, no fan run up, etc.


Suggestion that trim is indeed enabled:

Thumb resize.

5.25" to 3.5" and 2x2.5" adapter full:
Thumb resize.



System Profiler:




Samsung 830 256GB (Rocket 640L @ SATA III speeds)
SATA 3 performance figures:



Samsung 830 256GB (Internal SATA II)




Transferring from Intel on SATA II to Samsung on SATA III:



Still waiting for the eSATA adapter plate and the solder!! Currently using a term block to split the power...

Last edited by grapes911; Jan 19, 2013 at 03:54 PM. Reason: changed img of large images to timg
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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Great and very useful post.

Thanks !
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 04:06 PM   #5
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Thanks for the post.

I've just obtained a pair of Intel 520 series 180GB SSDs that I plan to run in RAID 0. I already have a Plextor M3 series 512GB SSD that I'm booting from in my 2010 MP.

I'm considering the various options to get the 3 SSDs running at SATA III speeds. I'm particularly curious to see if anyone's rewired the existing hard drive sleds to work with a PCI card. I'd like to keep the internal cabling as clean as possible. I'll continue to dig around here, but if this has been conquered I'd greatly appreciate a point in the right direction.
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Old Nov 27, 2012, 06:16 PM   #6
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Here is a great OS X hacintosh benchmark on the controller: http://www.tonymacx86.com/231-review...0l/index2.html

Looks like another great option in addition to the ASM1061 cards out there.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 08:30 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brentsg View Post
Thanks for the post.

I've just obtained a pair of Intel 520 series 180GB SSDs that I plan to run in RAID 0. I already have a Plextor M3 series 512GB SSD that I'm booting from in my 2010 MP.

I'm considering the various options to get the 3 SSDs running at SATA III speeds. I'm particularly curious to see if anyone's rewired the existing hard drive sleds to work with a PCI card. I'd like to keep the internal cabling as clean as possible. I'll continue to dig around here, but if this has been conquered I'd greatly appreciate a point in the right direction.
You can't re-wire the backplane unfortunately.

You'd need a decent SATA card (the one I use wouldn't be good enough) to run three SATA III SSDs at full tilt.

You'd really need to mount them all in the 5.25" bays to enable the use of the power there.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 02:11 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concorde Rules View Post
You can't re-wire the backplane unfortunately.

You'd need a decent SATA card (the one I use wouldn't be good enough) to run three SATA III SSDs at full tilt.

You'd really need to mount them all in the 5.25" bays to enable the use of the power there.
Could you post photos of the power and sata connections, also post photos after you have it all soldered? Thanks.

mokeiko
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 03:52 AM   #9
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I will when my new card arrives, the old card suddenly stopped working which was weird.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 11:41 AM   #10
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Right new card has arrived and it is now fully up and running!!!

Thumb resize.

Thumb resize.
Thumb resize.
Thumb resize.

Lovely!

The wiring is abit of a mess, ideally need a shorter SATA to SATA connector, probably 4" rather than 8".

But it works...

Last edited by grapes911; Jan 19, 2013 at 03:54 PM. Reason: changed img to timg
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:02 PM   #11
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I can no longer see any photos

mokeiko

*scratch that, PC at work was blocking images, figures.

Last edited by mokeiko; Dec 6, 2012 at 11:55 PM.
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 12:08 PM   #12
All Taken
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Did you find out what happened with the last card?
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Old Dec 6, 2012, 11:57 PM   #13
mokeiko
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Thanks for the photos, nice and clean!

mokeiko
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 09:45 AM   #14
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Did you find out what happened with the last card?
I think I plugged the eSATA connections in whilst it was on that killed it tbh.

New one is all good tho!
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 09:58 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Concorde Rules View Post
I think I plugged the eSATA connections in whilst it was on that killed it tbh.

New one is all good tho!
Good to know, seems like a solid OS X card.
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Old Dec 7, 2012, 11:53 AM   #16
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A lot of good information here in one spot.

Thanks for pulling that all together and posting it.




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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:18 PM   #17
Loa
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Hello,

Thanks for the write-up!

One info that should be specified: 36" sata cables won't do it. It's tight enough with 39" (1m) cables. A lot of people in the USA may round up the 36" to 1m. In this case, the 3 missing inches will be very significant!

Loa
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 12:35 PM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loa View Post
Hello,

Thanks for the write-up!

One info that should be specified: 36" sata cables won't do it. It's tight enough with 39" (1m) cables. A lot of people in the USA may round up the 36" to 1m. In this case, the 3 missing inches will be very significant!

Loa
I have a fair amount of slack with my 100cm wires, so you might just about get away with 36"?

But yes, if you want to be sure 100cm, >39" wires would be required.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 03:12 PM   #19
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I have 2 36" cables ordered and delivered for a similar project i.e. running from PCIe to Optical Bay, could any point to a good set of 1mtr + Sata cables that will support Sata III and be backward compatible? seems 1mtr cables are hard to find over here or at least for me...i don't mind the price once they are not a bottleneck..cheers..and thanks for the details/pics etc..invaluable.
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 04:04 PM   #20
Loa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Concorde Rules View Post
I have a fair amount of slack with my 100cm wires, so you might just about get away with 36"?
Looking at your pics, I noticed that the card has ports that point towards the front of the Mac: maybe 36" will work. My sata3 card only has ports that face the side of the Mac, forcing the cables into a longer path. That's probably why my 1m cable is so tight.

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Old Dec 10, 2012, 04:14 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loa View Post
Looking at your pics, I noticed that the card has ports that point towards the front of the Mac: maybe 36" will work. My sata3 card only has ports that face the side of the Mac, forcing the cables into a longer path. That's probably why my 1m cable is so tight.

Loa
Mine (Highpoint 1m cable) points towards the front as well, it gives me a lot of slack that I don't really need at the optical bay, but I can't complain.

Sorry for the bad photo.

mokeiko
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 05:23 PM   #22
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Mine (Highpoint 1m cable) points towards the front as well, it gives me a lot of slack that I don't really need at the optical bay, but I can't complain.
I'm still using the ASM1061 card (as I only have 1 sata3 SSD, and I enjoy the esata port all in a single PCIe slot), and it's much shorter, in addition to the sideways port.

Good to know that 36" cables will be enough if I switch to the Highpoint in the future.

Loa
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Old Dec 10, 2012, 06:19 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loa View Post
I'm still using the ASM1061 card (as I only have 1 sata3 SSD, and I enjoy the esata port all in a single PCIe slot), and it's much shorter, in addition to the sideways port.

Good to know that 36" cables will be enough if I switch to the Highpoint in the future.

Loa
For clarification, I'm using an ATTO R644 PCIe.

mokeiko
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Old Dec 17, 2012, 12:20 PM   #24
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Been hammering it, restarting into Windows and god knows what and I hasn't missed a beat.

So 100% working, as it should do. Good times!
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Old Jan 16, 2013, 05:56 AM   #25
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hello, does the ASM1061 or any RocketRaid need any OSx modifications (kext...etc)
and does it ... boot ? combined with Fusion drive .
BR
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