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Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by knowhate, Oct 6, 2009.
'eSata' ports? are you sure?
I've ripped my '08 machine apart once or twice and i've never actually seen 'eSata' ports.
What I do see are the surface mounted Sata headers, like those you find on a PC mobo, they're labeled 'Odd_Sata' which only work on a Mac, by default.. and getting them to work in Windows is fiddly.
As for the '09, i'm not sure...
The '06 - '08 models had 6 SATA ports on the logic board. 4 of them were attached to the HDD bays, and the other 2 weren't used, as the optical drive/s were IDE.
The '09's also have 6 SATA ports, but with a couple of changes. No more IDE ports, so you have the standard 4 ports used for the HDD bays, but at least one is used for the optical drive (no second optical drive installed). That leaves one free SATA port, and it's attached to a backplane cable (includes both the SATA data and power connections in a single cable end).
It will work with any SATA drive, so don't panic over the cable.
Hope this helps.
I can confirm nanofrog's post. I run a Windows SSD from the second ODD port with AHCI enabled on my Windows drive.
If you want to run the second ODD port to an eSATA bracket you have to unplug the SATA connector from the logic board and run another cable to the bracket. But the port it not made for hot plug.
Definitely worth mentioning, but isn't really an issue for an external drive, as it's powered by a separate PSU. Internal is absolutely valid.
More important in this situation though, is the lack of hot swapping in the client edition of OS X (it is included in the Server ed., but $500USD is a bit pricey for that feature alone ).
3rd party cards sometimes support hot swapping (via its driver), so watch the specs carefully, if this route is taken.
My comment was based on using the ODD_SATA ports on the logic board, not a separate eSATA card. Power is provided by the external enclosure in such a case, and that's hot plug, not hot swap.
If it's all internal, then you need both supported by the system. The hot plug support is the power side (Inrush Current Limiter to keep the instantaneous draw from killing the PSU), and the hot swap (software side) allows the OS to mount it after it's already running (no restarts required for recognition).
The difference is that the eSATA card comes with it's own drivers, and the hot swap functionality can be included, if the vendor decided to do so. The use of external enclosures handles the power aspect for you, as power isn't drawn of the MP's PSU.
It's main advantage, is that it's much cheaper than having to buy a copy of OS X Server to be used with the ODD ports + eSATA bracket, and you get the added benefit of additional ports.
But if an eSATA bracket is used, then Leopard Server or SL Server would give the user hot swap capabilities.
Couple of questions guys,if I may hijack a bit.
Has anyone found decent thinner sata cables aftermarket,like the ones that apple uses for the internal drives?
Tiny connectors and thin wires with no extra cabling?
All I have managed to find is the heavy-duty-*****-thick-as-mofo cables that are a real pita to try to cram into the free ODD slots and route forwards.
As I now all ready have one of the ODD slots occupied all ready by one of the thick cables and the mobos 6pin molexes are feeding the 4870,there really is not that much space for a thick cable anymore..
And secondly, would it be possible to connect a possible internal blue ray drive via sata-to-ide connector to the normal superdrives ide connector?
And make it work?
I mean,the throughput speeds,would they be adequate or would they bork the speeds?
Pretty much. But to clarify, read on.
MP's do not have an ICL circuit in them at all, so no hot plug support for any drive. As you're pulling the external drive power off the optical bay Molex connector, then NO, you don't have hot plug support. So the hot swap feature is actually useless for you ATM. You'd need an external power source feeding the external drive to be able to use the hot swap functionality. Otherwise, it would technically work, but you'd run the risk of killing your PSU (particularly over time, as the damage tends to be cumulative, as the load of a single drive isn't that horrible; ~40W or so for a few milliseconds).
The XServes do have the ICL circuit/s (you can use one with a high current draw or multiples with lower current draws per), and it's OS (Server version of OS X) also supports hot swap. This was needed for an enterprise environment. Apple doesn't see the MP's as enterprise systems. Odd, given the parts used to build it, but it's the simple truth. It allows them to save a little bit of $$$ per system made, so the decision originated for financial reasons it seems, not use/functionality.
Just give it a little time to absorb.
I haven't seen them locally in the UK but I did buy some while I was in Japan, they have slimmer connectors, one angled and the other straight but short.
Look for thinner wire, such as 30AWG (if in the US). Most common are a little thicker (26AWG).
Here's an example. Not sure if it's going to be as flexible as you might want, but it should be able to do the trick.
Thanks dude, I have the thinner wires/cables, they're 50cm long, really flexible too and they're blue!
You're obviously covered, but hopefully it will help out Macinposh.
NOOOO! Not another Apple Fanboi!