3x SSD's in 2008 MP advice on setup please

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by yezza, Jul 15, 2010.

  1. yezza macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #1
    I have had a large run of extra after hours work recently, and am ready to throw some cash at a few SSD's.

    I need to occasionally boot into windows natively, so plan on using 1x SSD for this (using one of my four HD bays). I will then mount the other 2x SSD's in the optical drive bay for OSX in RAID 0.

    I'm ready to pull the trigger on 3x OWC 50GB Mercury Extreme Pro RE drives along with an Icy Dock and an OWC Multi-Mount kit for the optical drive bay. Before I do though, I would greatly appreciate any advice or comments on my purchase plan, such as things to look out for etc.

    Also, once I have these drives, what is the best method of getting OSX up and running again? Should I do a new install of Snow Leopard, then restore my data files from my Time Machine drive? It would be nice to not have to re-install all of my apps - is this possible? I currently have two 1TB drives for OSX and data.
     
  2. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    Answers

    Those drive look pretty nice here is a link to drive performance and they are pretty sweet, raid them and they will be amazing

    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/SSD/65

    I have just added one to my 2008 mac pro read this thread i made, it will give you a few tips about the Sata cables to put the drives in the dvd caddy, problems and what to do to solve them. I would buy a 5.25"-3.5"-2.5" converter to secure the drives and make sure they do not verberate through the case.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=962856

    For your problem with your applications, you could just clone your current drive, using Carbon Copy Cloner which is free. Or you could install a fresh which is what i would do then use then transfer your apps over using the migration assistant which appears when you install a fresh, or it can be loaded through utilities.

    Hope this helps! these things are flying machines!
    :apple:
     
  3. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #3
    Thanks tomscott I'd already read your thread. I checked out your anandtech link and am now having second thoughts about the OWC SSD's! The OCZ's are a little faster and a little cheaper...

    Good tip on the migration assistant etc. I will do a clean install for sure.
     
  4. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #4
    yezza, sounds like you have everything covered. An Icy Dock for your drive bay, and the OWC mount bracket converter 2.5" to 5.25" for your 2 ODD SSD drives in your DVD drive bay. The OWC drives are what I am looking at, not sure if I will get one or two, then RAID 0 them with Disk Utility. That would be lightning fast!! I may get 2 Icy Docks and install them in my regular drive bays, then install a 2TB hard drive in the other bay (leaving my stock 640GB - haven't bought my Mac Pro yet). I'm looking at the stock 2.66GHz quad, which I plan to upgrade to a 3.33GHz W3580, and I plan to add 16GB of OWC RAM. With 2 SSDs in RAID 0 with Snow Leopard and Apps, the system should absolutely scream!!
     
  5. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #5
    Yeah WardC, these OWC drives look good, I can't wait!
     
  6. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #6
    To answer your last question:
    Yes, install SL from scratch on the RAID, update it via Software Update and migrate (with Migration Assistant) your data from the TimeMachine backup or simply from your current drive; if your TimeMachine backup is on a FireWire drive, restoring from your current internal drive will be substantially faster.
    This way you won't have to reinstall every single application.

    Note 1: This won't work for your home folder if you have it on a separate drive. I've been there...

    Note 2: Make sure you create a temporary user account in the initial install process. Else you won't be able to migrate your old user account (account name conflict). Been there, too...
     
  7. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Ye, well i like the OCZ, but i was looking at the intel x25 m 160gb cheaper not as fast but better technology for the mac. These drives apparently last longer without using trim or garbage disposal.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829

    Ye generally it is a good idea to do a fresh install, then all your data is written to the disc incrementally, when using the disc and moving large data around the drive starts to get holes and fragments. So with a fresh install it keeps the drive as fast as it should without copying the data with the fragmentation, as would happen in a clone. This way you know your data will be written in a linear fashion and should be the same speed as if it had nothing on it, that is until you start to move data around.
     
  8. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #8
    There are two types of fragmentation:
    File fragmentation is not much of a problem in OS X since the OS takes care of file defragmentation.
    Free space fragmentation usually only becomes a problem when you're running low on disk space since the more fragmented the free space, the harder it is for the OS to keep your files defragmented. That's because the free chunks become smaller and smaller until (usually larger) files don't fit into one anymore and have to be fragmented.

    Personally, I don't use defragmentation tools at all because you always risk that something gets messed up in the defragmentation process. In my opinion it's not necessary as long as I keep my RAIDs/disks large enough. ;)
     
  9. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #9
    Cheers for the info on defragging and re-installation tips. I have my TM drive in one of my 4 HD bays - restoring should be fast enough.

    tomscott, I originally looked at spending less on the SSD's, but eventually though fCck it, if I'm going to do it I might as well do it good. And another especially important factor was that the drives retain their performance as much as possible.

    I've placed my order with OWC, and am now eagerly awaiting a potentially long delivery time to NZ :)
     
  10. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

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    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
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    #10

    Yes defragmentation is not so much of a problem on a mac, but still happens hence why your drive gets slower over time, recently i ran Drive Genius 3 on my macbook's 500gb hdd and 30% of it was fragmented and i only re-installed the os on it 6 months ago. So i defraged it and it was fine, I re-install everything once a year because with the amount of work i do with big files i find the disc slows down to a noticeable rate and by formatting the drive and re-installing solves this problem.
    On your note of keeping the raid a big as possible, that is exactly the problem. If he is buying 3x50gb SSD's then uses 2 for a raid and one for windows, the maximum raid is going to be 100gbs. So i dont know when the last time he installed the OS on his main drive but say its a year old there will be areas of the disc that are fragmented and by cloning over to the ssd, it will copy the fragmentation straight over to the new disc meaning the disc will be slower than it should. So by reinstalling you have no worries of the disc being slow right from the off.
     
  11. tomscott1988 macrumors regular

    tomscott1988

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #11
    Ye your right, might as well go all out! hope you enjoy the drives and keep us posted on how they perform in raid. 2x of the drives raided should be twice as fast so youl be looking at nearly 550mbps read times awesome. boot times in less than 10 secs.

    Check out this insane vid of 25 Samsung discs raided and producing like 2gb/s awesome

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=26enkCzkJHQ
     
  12. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #12
    LOL holy crap that's crazy!!

    Will definitely post some benchmarks and boot times etc once up and running.
     
  13. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    #13
    If you had read my previous posts you would have noticed that I, too, suggested that he reinstall the OS instead of cloning.

    BTW: It's disk when you're talking about HDDs. Discs are CDs, DVD, BDs…
     
  14. cured.not.dried macrumors member

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    Nov 23, 2008
    #14
    although this isn't particularly germane to the topic at hand, if you want to do this in a 2007 or 2006 mac pro it's a bit more difficult since there are no sata connectors in the optical drive bay.

    you'll have to find a sata 15+7 pin male to female cable and connect the ssd to one of the sata connectors on the logic board. kind of an annoying cabling job, since you hafta pull it behind the optical bay into the i/o area, but it's definitely possible.

    oh, and i found a 5.25" to 3x 2.5" adapter for the optical bay at microcenter

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0315119

    it says two drives, but the packaging says 3, and there are screw holes for 3.
     
  15. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #15
    What do you mean?

    You simply need two ordinary internal SATA cables and one 4-pin-molex to 2xSATA-power adaptor.
    But yes, you have to route the SATA cables up there but the most difficult job about that is getting the front fan assembly out. And that's not too hard either.
    Done that a few times.
     
  16. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #16
    What do you mean?

    You simply need two ordinary internal SATA cables and one 4-pin-molex to 2xSATA-power adaptor.
    But yes, you have to route the SATA cables up there but the most difficult job about that is getting the front fan assembly out. And that's not too hard either.
    Done that a few times.

    BTW: Nice 2.5"-mount! And at a sensible price compared to others.
     
  17. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #17
    I am about to do the same; I have a MP (early 2008), running OS/Apps off a pair of F1s in Raid0. To migrate do I simply;

    1) Install SSD in MP,
    2) Run OSX disc on MP, install OS on new SSD,
    3) When asked, use migration assistant to copy user files etc. from Raid0 array onto SSD.

    It would be great not having to use TC, or Disc Utility to "copy" from "old" array to SSD.

    KB
     
  18. Whaditis macrumors regular

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    May 18, 2010
    #18
    Good way to make use of the optical drive for sure.
     
  19. flatfoot macrumors 65816

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    Aug 11, 2009
    #19
    That's going to work; no need to use your TC for the migration.

    It is very likely, however, that your TC is going to make a completely new backup of the new drives because it doesn't "know" the SSD-RAID has actually the same content as the old RAID. I'm quite sure it's going to see them as a different drive, even if the SSD-RAID has the same name as the old RAID.
     
  20. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #20
    KB, i have the same - 2x Samsung F1's in soft raid0 for OS and data (+ 1TB green fot TM + 500GB Windows drive). What you've descibed above is what I'll be attempting unless I learn otherwise in the meantime.
     
  21. cured.not.dried macrumors member

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    Nov 23, 2008
    #21
    thanks, lucky find, i'm sure. the packaging is pretty funny, "Utilize the un-used 5.25" bay!!" it says, with exclamation points, which is awesome.

    what i meant was that the ordinary 7 pin sata cables (i can only find female to female here in town) wouldn't work here since the logic board has a female connection. also, a 7 pin female to male wouldn't work unless you break off the clip on the male end. (this is on a 2007 mac pro)

    the cabling job wouldn't necessarily be as complicated as your prior experience, though. i was able to snake a regular 7 pin cable through the spot where all the other cables are without taking the fans out, and then i figured out i couldn't connect it and raged a bit.
     
  22. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #22
    Ok, so I have my 3x OWC SSD's installed. I have a fresh install of Snow Leopard on two of them (raid 0). This install seemed to take ages (~45mins), which has left me with a slightly uneasy feeling...

    Anyway, I now need some advice on getting my data etc set up. I have my original SL install along with data on 2x F1's in raid 0. I have a TM disk with fully current backups. Now I have my 2x 50GB SSD's with a clean install of SL. During the install I opted to migrate all applications over from the TM drive. Considering that I have rather limited space on my boot drive now, what I'd like to do is end up with my data only on the F1's.

    I am also hoping to have everything still reference correctly ie iTunes music collection and Aperture files etc. I have read about a little trickery to move your home folder to another drive, but it sounds like you need it on the OS drive to start with.

    It would also be nice to have all of my old settings back, such as dock layout, wallpaper, etc.

    I would really appreciate some help here!! :)
     
  23. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #23
    Xbench Scores

    I just ran Xbench and got these crappy scores (for 2x SSD's in raid0). What gives? :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  24. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #24
    Those are actually not bad disk scores! I get;

    MacBook Pro, 2.66GHz i7, 250GB SSD;

    Sequential - 210.79
    Random - 566.27

    Mac Pro, 2x2.8GHz, 2xF1s (Raid0);

    Sequential - 180.48
    Random - 176.88

    KB
     
  25. yezza thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 12, 2008
    #25
    Am I wrong to expect more considering that these OWC SSD's are supposed to each do ~270+ MB's read and write? I was hoping for 440+ :(
     

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