How to mount SSD in 2006 Mac Pro without using the drive sleds

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nightfly13, Jul 9, 2009.

  1. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #1
    Right I'm running 5x hard drives in my Mac Pro - 4x SATA drives in the sleds and an old IDE in the second optical bay for Time Machine.

    I want to add an SSD and would prefer to not pull any drive out - but it's not the end of the world if I pull the IDE drive and use something else for Time Machine backup. I hear there are 2x sata ports on the logic board - not sure where they are, how long can I fish a SATA cable up, and where do I get power from. I don't mind a cheesy solution - I'm the only one who sees the inside of my case anyway.

    I searched for forums and most of this conversation seems to be about newer Mac Pros that has a Sata port in the optical - links or advice appreciated!
     
  2. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #3
    Velco is cheesy and as such, totally acceptable to me! What about the cables?
     
  3. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #4
    All Mac Pros have the ODD-SATA ports. The sweet spot of the market is definitely at 2,5". So there is no problem to run one 3,5" ODD with PATA and use the other bay for two 2,5" SSDs run from the two ODD-SATA ports. The SATA cables will have to have one straight and one 90° connector to fit under the fan unit. For power you just have to add a y-4pin Molex and two Molex to SATA power adapters. The whole cabeling will probably set you back 20$.
     
  4. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #5
    gugucom's idea is totally feasible. However, it means having no internal optical drives. But, if this isn't a problem for you, just get an external optical.
     
  5. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #6
    I use the optical drive very seldom, but probably don't want to toss it out yet - especially just to save an ancient 120gb IDE drive I yanked from an old DVR 2 years ago.

    I think the main help I need is thinking through how to get power and sata cables (I'm not sure where the spare ports are - I've scanned the logic board casually and not noticed them - installed my own BlueTooth module) up to the one spare optical bay. I was thinking there because there's already power up there. If there's another way to get power, I don't even mind just leaving the SSD 'on the floor' near the sata port and not changing anything in the optical bays.
     
  6. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #7
    The SATA ports are to the left of the bluetooth area, partially covered by the front fan assembly. You should be able to get some molex->SATA power adaptors from newegg. They're cheap and easy to find. This would allow you to use the power for the optical drives to power your SSDs
     
  7. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #8
    Nice thanks, that makes sense. No other options for power other than disconnecting a drive from one of the optical bays and adapting it from there from molex to sata?
     
  8. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

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    #9
    Hope you have a real nice ups. If you ever have a strong power surge, not only will it fry the mobo, you will loose all that data when those disks go up too. Would suggest a firewire external enclosure that handle multiple disks. Would be curious to know how much power draw with all those disks running.
     
  9. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #10
    As I live in India, I do happen to have an awesome 1.4kva UPS with two 180AH batteries. SSDs draw very little power and create next to no heat.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #11
    Just get an external 5.25" drive enclosure for the ODD (USB/FWxxx wouldn't require any cards to operate; eSATA would, as you plan to use the ODD_SATA ports for other drives).
     
  11. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #12
    Do you only have one optical drive? there are two power leads in the ODD bay, so you should be able to just connect a molex->SATA power adaptor to the unused moles power connection.

    edit: wait, you said you have one optical drive and an IDE hard drive in the optical bays, don't you? I'm pretty sure that you'd still be fine. I don't see why a molex splitter with one end going to the ODD and the other connected to the molex->SATA power lead would work perfectly well. Even so, I'd still suggest removing the IDE drive from the optical bay and at least putting it in an external enclosure. Better yet, get rid of it completely and buy a new, bigger, better external drive for time machine.
     
  12. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #13
    Actually there is no need for an external drive. One of the 3,5" ODD drive bays gets the regular PATA Superdrive. The other gets two 2,5" SSDs. Thats why you need the Molex y-cable. To split the power to two drives. There should be plenty of place in a 3,5" bay for two 2,5" drives. Mechanical adaptors for this do exist.
     
  13. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #14
    gugucom, he currently has one optical bay filled with the optical drive, and the other filled with an ATA hard drive.
     
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #15
    He said that that could be dropped, I understand. I would do that. I believe that you can also fit HDs to PCIe bays but then another Sata card would neded as well.

    Edit: I read that again and he needs only one SSD. So there are SATA points enough. The existing IDE Hard drive can be replaced by a 2,5 SATA or IDE drive drive if the capacity fits. I believe they go to 500 GB now which is probably as much as an old 3,5 IDE drive does.
     
  15. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

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    #16
    agreed. getting rid of that hard drive is the way to go. moving your time machine to an external is the cheapest and easiest option.
     
  16. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #17
    Thanks for all the thoughts guys. I ordered 2x 1meter long sata cables and a Molex Y cable to SATA for power. I'm only gonna run a single SSD in there, but this'll enable me to grow easily. I'll yank the IDE hard drive - after 2 weeks with an SSD laptop (not on desktop this month) I've become totally converted into an elitist SSD snob. Now noisy, spinning, overheating, clicking, fragile hard drives feel like 8tracks to me, archaic and, unfortunately, 12x cheaper per gig :) IDE seems ridiculous.

    Kinda off topic, but thinking about backup - I have an older Airport Extreme - not super old - it's N and Gigabit (so second generation N - not sure if there's a new one that's 'dual band' ?) and I'm wondering if I can use the USB for an enclosure? Anyone know offhand?

    I really need to delete some archival HD movies that I'll likely never watch and free up some more space. In the mean time, I'll probably use my stock 250GB system drive as a time machine drive. According to xbench, it's shockingly slow, like a disk score of 28 or something appalling. 225 on my SSDs will be a nice upgrade!
     
  17. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #18
    BTW I ordered the cables from monoprice, not newegg. If they have it in stock, Monoprices can't be beaten, especially good for AV cables, even high end stuff. For almost everything else I use newegg, but cables, adapters and mounts (projectors, LCD monitors) Monoprice is king. No, don't work for them :)
     
  18. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 4, 2008
    #19
    Although you've already got all the information you need, I just figured I'd tell you that I mounted both of my SSDs in the optical bay.. okay I set them in there, and ran the SATA cables up through the little tiny hole, they work great and are SUPER fast!

    Enjoy!

    Might I inquire as to what time of SSDs you acquired?

    Andrew
     
  19. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #20
    Aren't there SSD sized (2.5") adaptors for our sleds?

    If there aren't then how about some wide adhesive velcro strips?

    The connectors are in the same orientation and arrangement right?

    Or is that not the concern here?
     
  20. Harry322 macrumors member

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    Oct 11, 2005
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    Los Angeles
    #21
    Andrew, how did you mount them in the optical bay? I am thinking about buying a maxupgrades sled for the optical bay and putting a pair of Velociraptors in there.

    There is a power source that would power the second optical drive, right? I can use that to power the drives and then run 2 SATA cables down to the spare ports.

    Thanks.
     
  21. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #22
    You are correct on both points Tess, but I already have 5 HDDs installed, trying to add an SSD on top of that.

    I chose Intel x25-m, although I'm watching for an Intel announcements if there's something bigger/comparibly sized as I can unload the 80gb Intel on my mom pretty easily. She presently has it installed on her MacBook (first gen) after it failed and is shocked and very pleased by the performance benefit if offers. Glad to have some options.
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #23
    Yes, but the cabling is different on the '06 -'08's than the '09's. ;)

    The '08's are a little easier (Molex to 2x SATA power Y cable), but I found a way to do it via 3rd party cables on the '09's (backplane extension spliced into a Y with another SATA power cable). No splicing into the factory wiring, and would be rather handy for warranty work if ever needed. :D
    Which model?

    If an '08, you can use the last ODD_SATA port. On an '09, you'd either have to remove the optical drive, or install a SATA card, and make a backplane Y splitter (see above) to get power. Data via a standard SATA cable. :)
     
  23. nightfly13 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    nightfly13

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    #24
    I have a 1,1 '06 Mac Pro. I've ordered my cables, but haven't been able to test 'em yet - won't be back with my Pro for another two weeks.

    Got the Molex --> 2x sata power Y connector (from monoprice) and 2x 1meter sata cables (right angle). Hope those'll work. I'll just run 1 SSD in the optical bay, but figured I'd get the cables to run two, as that's certainly where I'll wanna go - probably in RAID 0 for size and speed.

    On a side note, when I clicked my email updating me on this thread, it said my subscription had been removed and redirected me back to the main forum page. Weirdo.
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #25
    :cool: You've got the cables, and appear ready to go. :)

    I'm glad it's not me though, as the waiting would drive me nutz. :D :p
     

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