Using the extra 2 SATA ports on 2008 MP

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by SDAVE, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #1
    Anyone using the 2 sata ports on the motherboard? I want to put in 2 SSD's (2x80GB) and RAID 0 them in the second optical bay (I will take the second drive out, it's already broken anyway). I know OWC Sells these, but was wondering if I will have issues with booting to OS X by raiding these two SSD's? Also I read somewhere that it doesn't work for Windows booting via Bootcamp, is this correct?

    I pretty much don't want to use up the 2 bays because SSD's are so tiny, so why not utilize the 2 ports?

    Thank you

    P.S. Is there a cheaper solution than the OWC? I guess Duct tape? :D
     
  2. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    #2
    Hello,

    Find a plastic bracket on eBay for much cheaper. Since SSDs don't move, they don't need fancy mounts. Then buy 2 sata3 cables and youre done.

    Loa
     
  3. macrumors 68020

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    #3
    You don't need the brackets as SSDs have no moving parts. You can just lay them in there. You will need a molex to SATA power adapter cable(s), and the SATA data cables. 2008s don't use SATA optical drives. There are several good write-ups in this forum and elsewhere, perhaps one in the stickies. The hardest part was getting access to the spare ports for connecting cables.

    Drives connected to the the two spare ports act just like any internal drive, you can do the same with them as any other. Don't think you can software RAID two drives and then boot regardless.

    I have two SATA drives in the bottom optical bay connected to the SATA ports on my 2008, one SSD and one rotational (I used an OWC bracket because of the rotational). I boot from the SSD.
     
  4. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #4
    Thank you guys!

    Ok so I'm just going to get a fairly cheap Dual 2.5 to 3.5 adapter. Already have right angled SATA cables and molex to SATA power...so this won't be costly, then :)

    I did some research and it seems that you can definitely boot from a RAID0 for OS X.

    Was just wondering if those two ports are any different than the available bays. Seems they're just normal ones.
     
  5. macrumors 68020

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    #5
    Yeah, your right, many used to use a software RAID0 set as the boot disk, but I dunno if there is much of a benefit using current SSDs. Some have experienced issues on the first boot, but works fine thereafter. Dunno about Windows and bootcamp.
     
  6. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    #6
    Hello,

    They're normal ports, and you can indeed boot from RAID0, but I wouldn't see the point with recent SSDs.

    Also, remember that the optical bays are 5.25", not 3.5"...

    Loa
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #7
    I wanted to do RAID 0 because I just bought Intel 80GB SSD's for super cheap (they were on sale, couldn't pass up)...Write on these are 70MB/sec, with reads up to 250MB/sec, so I assumed if I do RAID 0 I would get the benefit of double the space on a single volume and max out the SATA 2 speeds at least.

    Anyone think I will have issues going this route?

    Ah yes, you are right about the 5.25...so I need to go 5.25 > 3.5 > Dual 2.5
     
  8. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

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    #8
    I am using the motherboard SATA ports to drive a pair of OWC 240GB SSDs in RAID-0 in the optical bay using the OWC brackets. It boots OS X fine and is wicked fast even though it is SATA-II. You will need a cheap molex-dual_sata power adapter cable. This is in a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 computer.

    Absolutely no problems! :cool:


    -howard
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #9
    Cheers! Going to do this once I get the SSD's.

    2x80GB Intel SSD's for $80, couldn't pass them up.

    All my bays are filled up with HDD's, might toss some of them out as they're pretty old.

    Do you know if Windows installs fine on those 2 ports? I keep reading windows doesn't work on those ports. Oh well, not a huge loss, I'll probably install it on one of the older bay drives.
     
  10. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

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    #10
    Windows will not work on those 2 ports (I don't know why???). I have a separate 128GB SSD in one of the trays for Windows boot.
     
  11. macrumors member

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    #11
    I've got a couple Samsung 840 250Gb units coming for this very purpose. I'm currently booting from a 256Gb 830 and these two new ones will be striped for max throughput!
     
  12. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    #12
    Hello,

    If you RAID0 for 160GB, then fine, but IMO you won't see significant speed benefits for a boot volume. For instance, boot time won't be cut in half, nor will app load times, etc...

    Loa
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #13
    The biggest reason for raiding was to get double the space on a single volume. I got super cheap and got really small SSD's :D

    I wonder if I can just use the single 80GB for the OS and the rest on the internal HDD's (I have 4).
     
  14. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    #14
    Yep. I had that set-up for a while. I switched to get a bigger SSD and a sata3 PCIe card for higher speed as well. That faster SSD is also my boot drive, but the speed is for my raw files on it, not the system. If I still had slots left in my mac, I'd probably put the 80gb ssd back in for the OS, but my Mac is full!

    Loa
     
  15. hfg
    macrumors 68030

    hfg

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    #15
    I get essentially the same speed with a pair of SATA-II OWC 240GB SSDs in RAID-0 on the motherboard ports as I get with a SATA-III Crucial M4 on a Solo x2 PCIe card. One big improvement with the RAID-0 is faster write times. The PCIe card boots a bit slower because it seems to be the last interface to be recognized (appears as an external drive) in the boot-up sequence. But once it starts, it too boots very quickly.



    -howard
     
  16. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #16
    Do you think if I upgrade the SSD (single) in the future, I can just use a cloner app to copy the OS over without reinstalling?

    I keep hearing people having issues from HDD to SSD clones, but never read about people going from SSD to SSD.

    I think SSD's are such speed boosters where they can race as fast as the CPU. It's amazing to me that I can put in a device into a almost 6 year old machine which makes the whole system fast in day to day operations.
     
  17. Loa
    macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    #17
    Yep.

    Don't think I've heard such issues. A drive is a drive: as long as your computer is able to mount them, a clone should work.

    Loa
     
  18. hfg
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    hfg

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    #18
    With all the testing and playing around I have done lately, I have used CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) numerous times to make HD-->SSD, SSD-->SSD, and SSD-->HD clones. I haven't experienced any problems doing so (at least that I know of ;) ), compared to doing a re-install and migration.


    -howard
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 68030

    SDAVE

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    #19
    Just an update, I RAID 0'd 2x80GB Intel X25M's and it is a fantastic upgrade! I put them both in the second bay (removed an old DVD burner) and left the top one intact.

    I used this and a Molex to dual SATA power and of course 2x SATA connectors from the motherboard to the SSD's.

    Some of you mentioned that if I RAID0 I won't really gain much performance, but check out the screenshot. I also did a test with a single drive and it was half of that. Theoretically if I used a SATAIII SSD (these SSD's that I have are an old model, but was cheap and couldn't pass up) I would definitely hit the SATAII wall.

    One downside to this is that Mountain Lion will not install the recovery partition on a RAID 0/1, so you have to make a boot disc/usb if you need to go into recovery.

    I plan to upgrade to a larger single SSD in the future so I will just copy this partition over and work from a single SSD and use the other 2 for something else.

    Thanks guys for all the help!
     

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