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CaliforniaDreamin

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2019
75
5
Bay Area
As I continue the build-out of the cMP 5,1, I need to optimize my current data. I have the following that I want to consolidate on the new machine:
- 450GB from Mac Mini 2010 hard drive
- 450GB from Mac Mini 2010 server drive
- 245GB (of 250GB) SATA startup drive
- 377GB (of 1TB) SATA hard drive
- 375GB (of 500GB) MBP 2015 Flash drive
- About 500GB of external hard drive storage from a 2012 MBP I no longer have

The 5,1 has a 250GB SSD and a 1TB SATA in it currently, both in the upper drive bays. Those drives are empty aside from the boot files on the SSD. I'll likely go to a PCIe for the 5,1 boot drive once I figure out which to get. Upon that, I plan to put the 250GB SSD tray in my previous cMP 2,1 to use as the boot drive on that machine which I am gifting to my brother.

I'm looking to start using the 5,1 and seeing what it's capable of. However, I'm not quite able to do that until I get more organized here initially. Until I get the PCIe SSD, I plan to go with 3 of the 1TB SATA drives plus the 250GB SSD tray in the 4 upper trays on the 5,1. I want to have my files centralized on the 5,1 drives for now. My questions are:
  • I plan to install USB 3 and Thunderbolt 3 slots on the back of the 5,1. Hopefully, I can get these on the same slot. Any ideas for products to do that?
  • What's the best method (before I go USB3 and TB3) to get all these files on the 5,1 drives for now? Keep in mind, they're coming from a 2010 MM, 2015 MBP, and existing SATA HDs in MP trays.
  • Some content on both the Mini and MP trays is redundant, thanks to Time Machine backups. How should I handle the transfer and current storage of this considering I'll have a Time Machine backup of its own on the 5,1 once storage is settled in? I'd imagine I don't want to get too redundant in a disorganized fashion.
  • One of my end goals is a shared server for all my files so I can access them on the MBP, the MP, and a 2012 Mini Server that I recently bought. Should I be planning for that later virtual access now, and how so?
  • When using an SSD boot drive of around 250GB in size, should I limit storage on that drive to applications and startup software? Is the goal to only use that for apps and booting, as to maximize speed of it? It seems that on a number of my drives mentioned above, I have both startup storage and other data files (graphic design, large PDFs, video). I want to get away from that and be more organized. Never a better time than now with the switchover in machines.
 

CaliforniaDreamin

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2019
75
5
Bay Area
Thanks. I just read a few articles and several forum threads all about how cMP and TB aren’t a thing.

What would you suggest for me in lieu of that?
 

MarkC426

macrumors 68040
May 14, 2008
3,555
1,987
UK
If you transfer your data with Firewire, it would be approx 2-3 hours for 450gb.
Usb3 would be quicker, but depends if your other devices have usb3.

You may not need pcie ssd for boot drive, these are actually slower booting than sata ssd.
Depending on your proposed apps/usage, you may not notice any difference with a pcie.

I would put as much data on other drives as possible, keep boot drive sleek.
 

krakman

macrumors 6502
Dec 3, 2009
419
446
Personaly i would buy a two 5TB WD external usb drives and copy everything to one of those drives.

Then you can then pop open the plastic cases and install the drives into your mac pro. Use back up software to make a regular copy of your data to the second hard drive.

Use an SSD for you Boot and applications and kep your data on the 5TB

Search Google about 'Shucking' Hard drives for more info
 

defjam

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
795
735
The 5,1 has a 250GB SSD and a 1TB SATA in it currently, both in the upper drive bays. Those drives are empty aside from the boot files on the SSD. I'll likely go to a PCIe for the 5,1 boot drive once I figure out which to get. Upon that, I plan to put the 250GB SSD tray in my previous cMP 2,1 to use as the boot drive on that machine which I am gifting to my brother.
I think the 1,1 - 1,3 trays are a different size than the 4,1 - 5,1 models.
 
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bsbeamer

macrumors 601
Sep 19, 2012
4,306
2,702
You cannot get Thunderbolt on a cMP.

Yes, mostly. There are some hacks that involve booting into Windows to force very specific TB hardware to work, but I would not consider that ready for prime-time or rely on it for daily storage setups. Absolutely would not suggest the OP uses this method.
[automerge]1571400659[/automerge]
A cable like this may solve most of your needs for copy/transfer:

And a housing like this may solve for the rest:

Or just tether between them and transfer via USB or ethernet, if those devices still work.
 

defjam

macrumors 6502a
Sep 15, 2019
795
735
Probably the fastest way to copy the information from the various drives is to obtain a target drive large enough to consume all of the information, install it into the 5,1, and then individually install each of the various drives and copy the information over to the target drive. The trays will natively accept most 3'5" SATA drives and it sounds as if you have a 2.5" adapter which will allow you to install the Mini drives.

I'm unsure what the logistics would be of removing the drives from the Mini's in order to accomplish this. If physically moving the drives is unappealing then dust use ethernet and file sharing. Just set aside time to allow for the copying.
 

CaliforniaDreamin

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2019
75
5
Bay Area
Personaly i would buy a two 5TB WD external usb drives and copy everything to one of those drives.

Then you can then pop open the plastic cases and install the drives into your mac pro. Use back up software to make a regular copy of your data to the second hard drive.

Use an SSD for you Boot and applications and kep your data on the 5TB

Search Google about 'Shucking' Hard drives for more info

This is very interesting and could be a great cost saver. Thanks for sharing. I watched a few videos on the shucking process and it looks great.

Here’s a 5TB WD external USB drive:
Here
It looks way slim like other externals I have. Am I able to shuck this one? What’s inside, SSD? Seems wishful thinking to get SSD for that price even with shucking.
 

thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,438
5,251
known but velocity indeterminate
This is very interesting and could be a great cost saver. Thanks for sharing. I watched a few videos on the shucking process and it looks great.

Here’s a 5TB WD external USB drive:
Here
It looks way slim like other externals I have. Am I able to shuck this one? What’s inside, SSD? Seems wishful thinking to get SSD for that price even with shucking.

Stats on that page say HDD (you'd never get an SSD of that size at that price).

Keep in mind that "shucking" doesn't guarantee any particular drive type in any particular shell. Just because a couple YouTube videos resulted in a WD Red out of a cheap external drive doesn't mean yours will as they've also found junk archive drives in those same shells. WD (and others) probably just shove in the drives that don't bin as well so they can still sell them but at a cheaper price.
 

CaliforniaDreamin

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2019
75
5
Bay Area
Stats on that page say HDD (you'd never get an SSD of that size at that price).

Keep in mind that "shucking" doesn't guarantee any particular drive type in any particular shell. Just because a couple YouTube videos resulted in a WD Red out of a cheap external drive doesn't mean yours will as they've also found junk archive drives in those same shells. WD (and others) probably just shove in the drives that don't bin as well so they can still sell them but at a cheaper price.

I did see that upon further review they state it is HDD. But then I see this:
  • Product Height
    0.8 inches
  • Product Width
    3.2 inches
  • Product Weight
    8.1 ounces

A spinning drive is only 3.2 inches wide? I thought it was 4 inches. The weight sounds about right. Just want to be sure when I break this thing open it is what I'm expecting.

When you say "junk archive", what do you mean by that? Thank you for your help.
 

CaliforniaDreamin

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2019
75
5
Bay Area
Probably the fastest way to copy the information from the various drives is to obtain a target drive large enough to consume all of the information, install it into the 5,1, and then individually install each of the various drives and copy the information over to the target drive. The trays will natively accept most 3'5" SATA drives and it sounds as if you have a 2.5" adapter which will allow you to install the Mini drives.

I'm unsure what the logistics would be of removing the drives from the Mini's in order to accomplish this. If physically moving the drives is unappealing then dust use ethernet and file sharing. Just set aside time to allow for the copying.

Good suggestion. Do I have to partition the destination drive if I'm putting copies of multiple hard drives on it? Do I want to keep these copies intact if I no longer have the machine? Some of them are from much earlier OSX versions. Also, some of these machines had Time Machine on it and the data I'm copying would include backups. Should I not copy the backup portion as it would make little sense being on the same drive?
 

jscipione

macrumors 6502
Mar 27, 2017
426
240
Buy an 8TB or larger drive and a USB3 docking station and copy the data over from your other drives that way. Toss the 1TB drive and continue to use the SSD boot drive. You can buy an external WD EasyStore from Best Buy and shuck it to save a few bucks. Thunderbolt 3 will not help you and you don't need it, you just need a regular USB3 card. There are two options for TB3: a Sonnet TB3 card and a Gigabyte one, both based on Titan Ridge. However you don't need that, all you need is a cheap Inateck KT4004.
 

CaliforniaDreamin

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 4, 2019
75
5
Bay Area
Buy an 8TB or larger drive and a USB3 docking station and copy the data over from your other drives that way. Toss the 1TB drive and continue to use the SSD boot drive. You can buy an external WD EasyStore from Best Buy and shuck it to save a few bucks. Thunderbolt 3 will not help you and you don't need it, you just need a regular USB3 card. There are two options for TB3: a Sonnet TB3 card and a Gigabyte one, both based on Titan Ridge. However you don't need that, all you need is a cheap Inateck KT4004.

I just bought this USB3 card here tonight and it's arriving on Monday:

So your vote is for shucking the WD EasyStore from Best Buy? I'm putting that in an upper hard drive tray in the cMP, correct?
 

thisisnotmyname

macrumors 68020
Oct 22, 2014
2,438
5,251
known but velocity indeterminate
I did see that upon further review they state it is HDD. But then I see this:
  • Product Height
    0.8 inches
  • Product Width
    3.2 inches
  • Product Weight
    8.1 ounces

A spinning drive is only 3.2 inches wide? I thought it was 4 inches. The weight sounds about right. Just want to be sure when I break this thing open it is what I'm expecting.

When you say "junk archive", what do you mean by that? Thank you for your help.

Those dimensions are external including the case around the drive. It will contain a 2.5" (width) drive. Most (non-M.2) drives are either 3.5" (classic HDD size) or 2.5" (originally targeted at laptops but now used in many applications) widths (there are other less common sizes but the industry has pretty much standardized on those two form factors now). 3.5" will all be spinning disks. 2.5" are often (these days) SSD but sometimes (as in this case) spinners. You can mount 2.5" drives in a 3.5" bays with a very simple adapter.

All spinning drives are slow, in a rough sense they work like a record player, you have to physically spin a platter and read data with a head (like the needle). So the head has to seek to a specific location and then physically traverse a distance to read. Because of this the speed at which the platters spin effect the speed at which you can read and write (as well as seek time to get to the correct spot if you are reading/writing many small files vs one big file) is dependent on the RPM (rotations per minute, rotational speed) of the drive. Consumer drives are generally either 5400 RPM or 7200 RPM (with a couple 10k drives out there). When I say "junk archive" I'm talking about 5400 RPM drives. Drive manufacturers sell those at a lower price point. They can be fine if you want "big and slow" storage for archiving data you don't care about speed or and want a low priced solution but given how slow HDDs are to begin with that's just getting painful. A good consumer HDD (leaving out 15k SAS enterprise solutions that consumer solutions generally can't support anyway) will do around 210-230MB/s sustained (bursts can be higher due to caching), junk archive drives can be down around 100MB/s. SSDs can be much faster than both as they don't need to physically move, they just need an electrical signal to traverse a signal path.

M.2 drives are very different looking from either 3.5" or 2.5" inch, they are not enclosed so you see the bare logic board and chips and slot into an M.2 port. Some people refer to them as blade drives. They have various lengths but most applications will support any length (some restrict the longest types which aren't commonly available anyway). M.2 drives are all SSD but can come in either SATA or NVMe interfaces. SATA III is relatively slow so you'll get something over 500MB/s typically. NVMe is considerably faster and with a decent drive you'll get ~3.5GB/s.
 
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