**GUIDE: Bootable Mac Pro 2009-10 SATA III + eSATA Guide + TRIM **

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Inconsequential, Nov 9, 2012.

  1. Inconsequential, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2013

    macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #1
    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...

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]




    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)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Intel 320 300GB (Internal SATA II)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

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

    Samsung 830 256GB (Internal SATA II)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Transferring from Intel on SATA II to Samsung on SATA III:
    [​IMG]





    Installation Photos
    Two wires running along to the card.
    [​IMG]


    Fit perfectly through the hole here. It is like Apple wanted us to do this.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Put the backplate on and the wires come out with the ODD power and data. Simples!
    [​IMG]


    5.25" to 3.5" and 2x2.5" adapter full:
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]



    All working perfectly!!!
     
  2. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #2
    I got miniSAS to 4xSATA in optical bay :) There exactly 1m of cable :D I needed to put the cable on top of the fan.
     
  3. Inconsequential, Nov 20, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #3
    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:

    [​IMG]

    5.25" to 3.5" and 2x2.5" adapter full:
    [​IMG]



    System Profiler:
    [​IMG]



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

    Samsung 830 256GB (Internal SATA II)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    Transferring from Intel on SATA II to Samsung on SATA III:
    [​IMG]


    Still waiting for the eSATA adapter plate and the solder!! Currently using a term block to split the power...
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    bax2003

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2011
    Location:
    Belgrade, Serbia
    #4
    Great and very useful post.

    Thanks !
     
  5. macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    #5
    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.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #6
  7. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #7
    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.
     
  8. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #8
    Could you post photos of the power and sata connections, also post photos after you have it all soldered? Thanks.

    mokeiko
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #9
    I will when my new card arrives, the old card suddenly stopped working which was weird.
     
  10. Inconsequential, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 19, 2013

    thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #10
    Right new card has arrived and it is now fully up and running!!!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Lovely! :D

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

    But it works...
     
  11. mokeiko, Dec 6, 2012
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2012

    macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #11
    I can no longer see any photos

    mokeiko

    *scratch that, PC at work was blocking images, figures.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Did you find out what happened with the last card?
     
  13. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #13
    Thanks for the photos, nice and clean!

    mokeiko
     
  14. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #14
    I think I plugged the eSATA connections in whilst it was on that killed it tbh.

    New one is all good tho!
     
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    Good to know, seems like a solid OS X card.
     
  16. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2006
    Location:
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #16
    A lot of good information here in one spot.

    Thanks for pulling that all together and posting it. :)




    -howard
     
  17. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #17
    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
     
  18. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #18
    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.
     
  19. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2008
    #19
    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.
     
  20. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #20
    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
     
  21. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #21
    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
     

    Attached Files:

  22. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #22
    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
     
  23. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    #23
    For clarification, I'm using an ATTO R644 PCIe.

    mokeiko
     
  24. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #24
    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!
     
  25. AjeeB, Jan 16, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2013

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2010
    #25
    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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