Crazy Idea? Portable SSD on MP 5.1 for Photoshop Scratch?

JulianBoolean

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 14, 2010
132
4
Sorry for the long read, just want to be clear about the problem.

I'm a retoucher & CGI artist. My home based studio is well equipped, but when I am working off site with my Ad Agency clients I am often stuck on workstation that is less than ideal. Typical problem working big 5-10 GB Photoshop files is running out of ram. When that happens, Photoshop needs a scratch disk. If that's not available, it will look to the boot drive. When the boot drive fills up with Photoshop doing it's scratch stuff, then that's when everything just locks up.

Both my home workstation and all my agency clients are using MP 5.1 towers. As such I don't think I can utilize anything with a thunderbolt connection. Is there a portable, bus powered SSD that I can carry with me that plugs into the face of the MP 5.1, where the method of connection is allowing the full read/write speed of an SSD?

Just looking for an easy carry on solution where I don't have to freak out the company IT guy by cracking open the case on the MP.

Thanks!
 
Last edited:

yurc

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2016
158
75
inside your DSDT
Not really solution...but i think for scratch disk solution for tower :

install some SATA3 SSD adapter and install 2.5 SSD there, if you have spare PCIe slot.
install faster PCIe SSD using adapter and instal SSUBX there, fast enough to make photoshop fly for just create scratch file.
install PCIe USB3 card so it can plug 2.5 SSD with 2.5 hard drive enclosure with UASP protocol support.

Some resources for choose USB 3 card:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/usb-3-x-pcie-cards-for-classic-mac-pro.1501482/

Some resource for SSUBX:
https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/sata-express-meets-the-09-mac-pro-bootable-ngff-pcie-ssd.1685821/

All link above just for picture reference only. All of them is unleash full speed SSD.
 

mattspace

macrumors 65816
Jun 5, 2013
1,221
942
Australia
I suspect you'd be more likely to be able to put an ssd on a sled into the machine when you need to, than to permanently install a pci card. Speak to the IT guy, give him a clear description of what you need to do, and why - hell they're paying you to come work there, the IT guy's job is to facilitate that, not to reduce his workload by achieving some platonic ideal of equipment stasis. Get an SSD, and a sled adapter, then ask him to be present while you do the install, so he can see how non-invasive the task is.

The fastest connection you're going to get without opening the case at all is going to be FW800, otherwise.
 

yurc

macrumors regular
Aug 12, 2016
158
75
inside your DSDT
I suspect you'd be more likely to be able to put an ssd on a sled into the machine when you need to, than to permanently install a pci card. Speak to the IT guy, give him a clear description of what you need to do, and why - hell they're paying you to come work there, the IT guy's job is to facilitate that, not to reduce his workload by achieving some platonic ideal of equipment stasis. Get an SSD, and a sled adapter, then ask him to be present while you do the install, so he can see how non-invasive the task is.

The fastest connection you're going to get without opening the case at all is going to be FW800, otherwise.
SSD on SATA2 sled lead very bottleneck, even some high performance mechanical like WD black 6TB are faster rather than SSD placed on Mac Pro SATA2 port sled.

FW800 also is too legacy and.....to slow for SSD, make SSD more suffer. I'm consider FW800 only for audio interface (as for me as is too slow for storage connection)

I'm not offend against your opinion, but not all your suggestion can utilized maximum SSD speed can reach. OP wants "take advantages full read/write speed of an SSD" not alternative.

I think the easier route is get USB3 cards and get SSD inserted into 2.5 hard drive enclosure with UASP support. It can reach 300-550 MB/s for read write depending SSD used.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,027
322
SSD on SATA2 sled lead very bottleneck, even some high performance mechanical like WD black 6TB are faster rather than SSD placed on Mac Pro SATA2 port sled.
I very much disagree. I have WD black's and SATA SSD's in my machine and the SSD's easily outperform the spinners. I would be astonished to see any reasonably modern SATA SSD run slower than an HDD except perhaps in a very specifically targeted benchmark. Writing to real filesystems with real seek overhead, the SSD will win just about every time.

It's true that SATA II can't drive today's SSD's at full speed, but they are definitely faster than spinning disks.

I think the easier route is get USB3 cards and get SSD inserted into 2.5 hard drive enclosure with UASP support. It can reach 300-550 MB/s for read write depending SSD used.
This is in fact what I would suggest as well. I wouldn't be very enthusiastic about the notion of repeated insert / removal from the drive bays, SATA connectors are not designed with high cycles in mind. It might be perfectly OK but it's not how I would do it. If you install USB3 cards as needed, it's only one case opening and then you're done.

How much RAM do the problem machines have? Maybe it would be simpler to add RAM instead?
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,251
Is there a portable, bus powered SSD that I can carry with me that plugs into the face of the MP 5.1, where the method of connection is allowing the full read/write speed of an SSD?

Just looking for an easy carry on solution where I don't have to freak out the company IT guy by cracking open the case on the MP.
No, the fastest external storage connection on the MP 5,1 is FW800 and that is nowhere near SSD speed.

I concur that the least intrusive solution is a USB 3 card. This is a quick and tool-less installation. It can go in any free slot. If you get the right card there are no internal cables to hook up, no software that needs to be installed, and it will be inexpensive.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,086
4,147
The Peninsula
No, the fastest external storage connection on the MP 5,1 is FW800 and that is nowhere near SSD speed.

I concur that the least intrusive solution is a USB 3 card. This is a quick and tool-less installation. It can go in any free slot. If you get the right card there are no internal cables to hook up, no software that needs to be installed, and it will be inexpensive.
If a contractor wanted to install a PCIe card in one of my systems - contract cancelled. Period. Not even a discussion.

If 1394b is the fastest non-intrusive option - go with it. If you can use a network drive over GbE - then put the scratch on your laptop.
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,251
If a contractor wanted to install a PCIe card in one of my systems - contract cancelled. Period. Not even a discussion.
I'm pretty sure you work in a James Bond type evil lair, with your thousands of Gigaflops plotting to take over the world. :rolleyes:

My IT department lets me change my computer on the condition that I then have to maintain it myself (which is actually what I prefer anyway). Granted, I'm not a contractor, I'm a long time employee.
 

AidenShaw

macrumors P6
Feb 8, 2003
18,086
4,147
The Peninsula
I'm pretty sure you work in a James Bond type evil lair, with your thousands of Gigaflops plotting to take over the world. :rolleyes:

My IT department lets me change my computer on the condition that I then have to maintain it myself (which is actually what I prefer anyway). Granted, I'm not a contractor, I'm a long time employee.
And you'd let a contractor on his first day add a PCIe card and install drivers on your system?

If I were your manager, if you tried to explain your failure to meet your goals because "a contractor hosed my system installing a USB 3.0 card" you'd be job hunting.
 

kschendel

macrumors 65816
Dec 9, 2014
1,027
322
If a contractor wanted to install a PCIe card in one of my systems - contract cancelled. Period. Not even a discussion.
Maybe if he just walked in and started taking the sides off. I was sort of assuming that there would be a prior agreement between the OP and whoever owns the machines in question. Let's be reasonable here!
 

ActionableMango

macrumors G3
Sep 21, 2010
9,267
6,251
And you'd let a contractor on his first day add a PCIe card and install drivers on your system?
I would think it would be normal to have a discussion on the first day about the equipment needed for a contractor to do his work well. So I definitely wouldn't fire an artist like OP just for asking. Having installed my own hardware before (with permission), and having written the USB 3.0 recommended thread in my signature, it would be super hypocritical of me to do so.

I can certainly imagine such a scenario where I might, such as handling classified material where the work is extraordinarily sensitive and the very idea of installing personal equipment would indicate that the person was a risk.

I could also see middle grounds. When I was an IT Desktop Support guy I would have said no, but then found a solution to help him myself, perhaps installing our own USB 3.0 card.

So I guess it depends.

FWIW, you don't have to install drivers on the system.
 

thornslack

macrumors 6502
Nov 16, 2013
409
159
Out of curiosity, would an esata card and capable enclosure with an ssd offer anything over USB3?