Best use for 2 Hidden SATA Ports on Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TyleRomeo, Mar 15, 2009.

  1. TyleRomeo macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #1
    I have been thinking of what would be the best use of the two hidden SATA ports on the Mac Pro. The reason the hidden ports are there are if you need to hook up a SATA optical drive but of course they can be used for external Hard Drives as well.

    Option #1

    Hook both SATA ports into an ESATA external card to be able to use both ports with an external dual drive enclosure. Then use a PATA to SATA adapter if there is a need to plug in a SATA optical drive.

    Option #2

    Hook only one SATA port into an ESATA external card to be able to use one ESATA port with an external dual drive enclosure. Then use the other SATA port and plug in the SATA drive into into it without the need of using a PATA to SATA adapter.

    Option #3

    Take out the built in Superdrive and replace it with a SATA blu-ray drive and place a SATA hard drive in the second optical bay. Now both hidden SATA ports have a purpose, you have more free PCI-express slots.

    I know I plan on installing a SATA optical drive in the future and want to find a good use for both hidden SATA ports. I'm leaning towards option #3. What have you guys done with your hidden SATA ports?
     
  2. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #2
    I take it that this isn't a Nehalem Mac Pro.

    eSATA card or SATA ODD would be the best choice. You could always run two more hard drives out of the second ODD bay if you're ambitious. :D
     
  3. TyleRomeo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #3
    Nope, Mac Pro 2008. I'm kinda worried about hooking up PATA to SATA adapters for a future blu-ray drive.
     
  4. 11011001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #4
    Are the extra SATA ports on the 2009 Mac Pros crippled in anyway, or are they full 3 Gbps SATA ports?
     
  5. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #6
    There aren't any.
     
  6. 11011001 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #7
    That's too bad. I'll just look at getting an eSATA card. Thanks.
     
  7. More macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    #8
    The FirmTek SeriTek/2SE2-E is a pretty sweet card. I run this in my 2008 mac pro because it supports hot swappable drives as opposed to the 'Newer Technology' solution on OWC. It also works great with my SeriTek/2EN2 ;)

    http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-2se2-e/

    FirmTek was set up by a few ex-Apple engineers so you know it's quality stuff and designed with the mac in mind. The build quality of their enclosures is second to none.
     
  8. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #9
    I opted against a eSATA bracket since the logic board does not support hot-swapping of any HDs. To me this eliminates being able to swap external backups without the need to reboot.

    I hope I am wrong as I'd love to use it, but this is what I have read.
     
  9. More macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    #10
    Exactly! That extension bracket posted above at OWC doesn't support hot-swapping. See my post above regarding the FirmTek card.
     
  10. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #11
    I ran one of mine up to the optical bays and have a fifth sata hard drive in there. I can't tell you how much of a mission running that cable through there was though! Mind you, it wasn't nearly as bad as running a power cable through there so that I could power my PC 3870 card for Crossfire mode in Windows. That was a pain in the backside and resulted in many scraped knuckles!
     
  11. flawless1979 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2009
  12. aibo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #13
  13. AdamTro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2009
    #14
    Damn, looks like I'm gonna have to return this bracket (haven't installed it yet) and get the SeriTek/2SE2-E. Definitely want hot swapping.
     
  14. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #15
    I ran my SATA ports up to the optical bay and installed an LG GGW-H20L blu-ray burner and put a two port eSATA card in my top PCIe slot. They both work pretty well for me - I think the best use of those ports is in your optical drive bay. As others have mentioned, the utility of the logic board SATA ports is somewhat limited.
     
  15. rylin macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2006
    #16
    You mean: Since it's not explicitly stated to be Mac compatible, it's not guaranteed to work under OS X. It Will however work under Windows, Linux, *BSD.:cool:
     
  16. TyleRomeo thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    #17
    Firmtek makes great products but this card doesn't use the built in two SATA ports, it has the ports built into the card itself, the Newer Technology is cheap since its just passing the internal SATA ports over. Also can one know if the two hidden ports are SATA 150 MBps or SATA 300 MBps? Regardless anyone plugging in an extra hard drive in the optical bays should use the SATA ports since the optical bays share an ATA 100 connection.
     
  17. More macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2008
    #18
    I know it doesn't use the internal ports ;)

    I posted it because the two internal mac pro ports don't support hot swapping. The FirmTek card has two SATA ports and a controller that supports hot swapping. Yes, it doesn't use the internal ports but the info may be useful for someone about to waste their money on that internal SATA port extender from OWC.
     

Share This Page