Drives in optical bay questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by strausd, Jul 18, 2010.

  1. strausd macrumors 68030

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    #1
    So I was looking into a way to getting an SSD and a 3.5" in the empty optical bay of a 2009 MP. I found this which looked like it might work and also this with an ICY dock. However, the 2009 MP only has one other SATA port, where the other optical drive would be. What cables and or PCI controllers would I need in order to get this to work without any problems?

    Also, if there was anything else that can do this for cheaper/easier, what would that be?

    Thanks!!!!!
     
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #2
    Looks like the first option from OWC seems the best.
     
  3. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

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    #3
    My SSD just hangs from the connector, been fine for ages now.

    Don't need any adapters or anything, plugs straight in and works fine.
     
  4. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #4
    What cables would I need in order for it to work?
     
  5. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    #5
    None at all. It's all ready for your SSD. You only need cables and extra cards if you want more than 2 SATA devices in your optical bay.

    If you don't want to let your SSD hang loose, you can get a very cheap rack like this one (the one I'm using):

    http://www.xpcgear.com/scythe-2-5-to-5-25-bay-rafter.html

    Enjoy your speed!

    Loa
     
  6. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #6
    I would hope to put an SSD and a 3.5" drive in the empty optical bay. Since the 2009 MP has only one other SATA port, for the other optical drive, what would I need to get the SSD and 3.5" drive to work properly?
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #7
    The first link appears to handle bay mounting for you, and it's not bad in price.

    But as per hooking it all up, what exactly are you planning on doing?
    Are there multiple OS's involved?
    RAID?

    The details will matter, as you need at least one other port, which would have to be provided via a PCIe card (assuming the optical drive is left internally).
     
  8. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #8
    For the ODD (optical drive bay) upgrade using SSDs on the 2009 Mac Pro, follow the above poster's advice and use the OWC 2.5" to 5.25" converter. It will allow for two 2.5" drives to be installed in the optical drive port of the Mac Pro. You can find the link to the above mentioned part you need right here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other%20World%20Computing/MM352A52ST/

    For their complete list of multi-mount options, go here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/owcpages/multimount/multimount.html

    Hope this helps!
     
  9. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #9
    Maybe Multiple OS's, if possible. I would want the SSD to run OS X for sure. I will be doing bootcamp, and would like to use the 3.5" drive for bootcamp if possible. If doing that would make it cost more, then it's no big deal, still got 4 other bays. And if I can't boot off that, then I could just get the second thing I linked to in order to have more storage and put the SSD and an ICY dock in bay 1. As for RAID, I'm not entirely sure, considering one would be an SSD and the other a mechanical 3.5" drive. If I put something on RAID, it would most likely be 2 of the internals on RAID 0 for fast storage. But if the SSD in the optical bay wouldn't be bootable, then I may want to consider a RAID 0 of two 1TBs in the optical bay. Hope that was clear enough haha.

    And thanks for the links WardC! The second one seems to explain things fairly well.
     
  10. Flash SWT macrumors 6502

    Flash SWT

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    #10
    I think most of y'all are missing the question. The original poster wants to install BOTH an SSD and a regular 3.5 inch hard drive into the optical bay.

    His question is, what does he need to plug BOTH drives into the single available SATA port available.

    .
     
  11. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #11
    Or if I would get better speed with using a SATA controller in a PCI slot or something like that...

    Wondering which would be best, if controller then which controller, and what cables for power/data.
     
  12. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #12
    I just found this and this. The first one seems like it would do whatever I wanted it to do, RAID 0 or just SATA II transfer speeds for two internal drives. However, if I didn't want RAID, then I would be paying extra for something I don't really need. Now, the second one I wouldn't be paying for RAID, since it's not supported. However, its only SATA I and not SATA II.

    I don't mind the price being around $130, but if I could get it closer to $100 that'd be nice. I am wondering if there is any happy medium between these two? One that only has 2 internal ports with SATA II and no RAID that would work well.

    Also, I am still clueless as to what cables I would need for power and data.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #13
    If you want multiple OS's, you won't be able to do this via the ICH (SATA controller on the logic board) if you also create a RAID. Something you should be aware of. It can be gotten around however via separate controllers (i.e. BIOS based card with internal ports can be used to boot a Windows and/or Linux installation).

    If you use separate drives for OS's, you don't even need to run Boot Camp (it's just a partition tool).

    I'd go ahead and stick the SSD in the empty optical bay, and use the available cable for that. You can use the following to get power to a 3.5" disk in the same bay (using the mounting kit from OWC).
    • Backplane Extension Cable
    • Standard SATA power cable (just cut one of the SATA ends off, and keep the other for future use if you want, and it will still work as a Molex to SATA adapter if you need, just make sure the cut ends don't short out on anything if you use it this way)
    Just tie the power cable to the power wires of the Backplane extension cable (solder + heatshrink tubing, crimp connectors, or wire nuts will work - rather easy to do, as you just match up the wire colors & locations, namely for the corresponding ground, as both are black), and you get power to the 3.5" drive (data from the system's cable passes through, and attaches to the SSD). It's also cheap, and won't void your warranty, as there's no modification to any of the system's components.

    As per data, you'd need a PCIe SATA card with an internal port, such as one based on the SIL3132 chip (example - 3.0Gb/s <~270MB/s real world throughput; just as it is on the ICH in the chipset = system's SATA ports>, boots BIOS, and has drivers for OS X, and it's really cheap as well). If you want to run it under OS X, drivers can be found here. You can still use this in a RAID if you wish, via Disk Utility (it just wouldn't boot using any disk attached to this card). Any of the other ports however, will boot OS X.

    Read carefully, but this may help you understand what's possible (and why). I couldn't go into a specific setup, as there's too little information yet (you seem a bit undecided ATM, which is fine).

    Hope all of this helps. :)
     
  14. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #14
    Awesome!

    Now if I wanted to put two 3.5" drives in the optical bay using this, would I be able to get that to work with two SATA cables, this splitter, and this controller?
     
  15. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #16
    Mounting solution: TransIntl Pro Caddy (1x optical drive in top, 2x 3.5" HDD's in the lower section). Get the barebones kit for $90. Not exactly cheap, but it will do the job.

    Why do you want to use the card linked?
    It's still a BIOS based card (boots Windows or Linux, not OS X), but has drivers for OS X. But yes, it will function in the system. Personally, I'd stick with the other card linked previously, as it's much cheaper.

    Cabling would be the same as well (as far as what you'd need to buy), except you may want to attach both SATA power ends to the Backplane Extension Cable, and use 2x SATA data cables to the SATA card (assuming you won't be using the ICH port used by the original cable in the empty optical bay for either disk).
     
  17. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    #17
  18. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #18
    Ya I would like to use something like that cause it would be cheaper than transintl.

    I would prefer to use the OWC multimount because of price. As for the controller, the one I linked to would be nice because it supports RAID. Now what will happen when a new version of OS X comes out? Will it mean that the drives in the optical bay connected to the controller will no longer be discoverable? Is this true for both the controller you linked to and the RAID one I linked to?

    If I got the pro caddy 2 with nobootable PCI card, would I need to buy anything else besides the drive themselves? And if I got it with no PCI card, could I use the RAID one I talked about earlier?

    Also, which of those 2 y splitters that I posted would work? I'm still unsure about that.
     
  19. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

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    Location:
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    #19
    Don't buy this!!! It's OWC's copy of a great product (that they still sell) for 12$ more!!! Get this instead:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Noiseblocker/HDC65/

    It serves the same purpose, it's cheaper and it's been working flawlessly for me since I bought it.

    Loa
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #20
    The change from 1x 2.5" + 1x 3.5" to 2x 3.5" drives is what changed things, as 2x 3.5" disks won't fit a standard 5.25" bay height stacked (haven't tried this in a MP optical bay). They need to be set one front and back. The Pro Caddy fits this particular configuration.

    But you can DIY a solution as well. For example, find an old optical drive, and dissassemble it for the metal plates. Take one and figure out where to mount them, then drill the necessary holes. It's really that simple. And there's others you could figure out as well, using either items on hand, or inexpensive materials (way less than the cost of the Pro Caddy).

    I took a closer look at that card again, and it WILL NOT WORK in a 2009 MP, as the card is PCI, and the system is PCIe (different slot).

    Even if it did, it's just a SATA controller chip and ROM. RAID is done via software, just as Disk Utility does.

    The card I linked (PCIe interface) and drives will remain reconized and usable, unless the OS X Update is rather messed up (it can and does happen). The RAID is better setup via Disk Utility BTW, especially if it's combined with other disks on the ICH.

    The splitter doesn't really matter so long as you have 2x SATA female ends, as you're cutting the wiring up and making your own harness out of the linked cables (get tied to the power wiring on the Backplane Extension Cable).
     
  21. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #21
    If I were to get the pro caddy 2 and that cheap controller on ebay, I wouldn't need to buy any cables, correct? And what are the chances that a software update would render the drives in the pro caddy 2 useless because of the PCIe controller?

    Now, if I used one of OWCs mounts for just putting a single SSD in the empty optical bay (or a 3.5" drive), would I need any cables at all? Or would the cables that would originally plug into the second optical drive provide power and data for the SSD? And yes, I am aware that I wouldn't need the mount at all, I could just let the SSD sit there.

    As for the splitter, is there any in which I wouldn't have to cut the cables? One that would plug into the cable for the second optical bay fine and provide power to 2 drives?
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #22
    You'd still need cables for both data and power.

    As per OS Updates, it happens, even with the ICH (10.6.3 IIRC caused instability in RAID's, both software and hardware implementations). All you can do in such cases, is roll the system back to the previous state, and wait for another update.

    If you attach a single disk to the cable meant for the empty optical bay, No (contains power and data, which is sent to the system's ICH).

    If you don't ever mean to connect the Backplane cable that's meant for the empty optical drive, you can use this one to pull power (your link). You'd loose the ability to just plug it into a drive though (power and data won't mate to the connector properly).

    The cables I linked will allow you to do that once they've been modded together, and it won't void your warranty. There's no modifications to the original system at all, not even cables. You're making a custom cable out of readily available 3rd party gear for your needs, is rather inexpensive, and really easy to do. No need to panic over it.
     
  23. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #23
    I was just looking over the pro caddy 2 and saw this:

    "Ships with custom designed Power Cable, Second Generation Halogen Free Signal cables."

    So with that, would I need cables for power and/or data?

    The main options I am going through right now are the pro caddy 2 and a cheap PCIe controller, probably no RAID, considering a cheap one would probably still use some CPU power. The other option is just a single SSD in the optical bay, since it would be bootable, no need for buying anything else, and the other 4 bays should suffice, but having the ability for more drives is always nice :)
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #24
    That would make things easy. But I'd recommend calling to get the particulars to be on the safe side.

    A couple of % of a single core for a stripe set (software implementation). Not much at all.
     
  25. strausd thread starter macrumors 68030

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    #25
    Alright, I will contact them to make sure. Also to see if they include SATA cables. I also noticed that for only $10 more, they will include a PCIe controller. They have a bootable one available too but that brings the price up a bit.

    So a software RAID wouldn't make a big difference in performance at all? I am an Arts and Technology major and will be doing a lot of 3D rendering and don't want a software RAID to slow things down, especially when there is a deadline for a project.

    So just to make sure, if I were to just put the SSD in the optical bay, no other drives, I wouldn't need any other cables or anything, and it would be bootable? If so, would booting from the optical bay reduce speeds at all when compared to if it were in bay 1?
     

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