Mac Pro 2010 SSD upgrade advice

rhbmcse

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
7
0
Yorkshire, UK
Hi folks.
Just ordered the above Mac Pro (12 core for only £700)...so I'm happy with that to replace my core 2 due iMac.
The question is around the main SSD. In my iMac I'm running a 1TB SanDisk Sata 3 SSD. The Mac Pro has 1 TB of spinning goodness I believe (SATA) along with a 2TB secondary (also SATA). Not for long...

Do I take the 1 TB SSD Sata 3 out of the imac and put it in the Mac Pro ? Is it even possible ? I'm guessing it's a straight replacement for the 1TB spinner that's already there ? However - this got me looking at NVME M.2 drives which seem to be a lot quicker.

The machine will be used heavily for music production and the software used does not like using additional drives to store the sound libraries etc. It likes them on the boot drive as do I - it's FAR less hassle. I don't understand the whole PCIe to SSD 'thing'. I'm happy to spend money to get my rig as good as it can be but don't want to do so unnecessarily.

If somebody can tell me the most sensible way forward be it either use a PCIe adapter with the 1TB from the imac or just - "Go buy a NVME m.2 and it'll slot right in" - I don't know - I just need your advice. Reliability is key! Just throw your suggestions out there please!

Thanks.

Rob.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
2,632
1,285
PCIe SSD adapters for your purposes are either SATA or NVMe. For your purposes, talking about one drive and one adapter, NVMe is about 3-4x faster than SATA. NVMe can get ~1500MB/s and SATA SSD gets ~450MB/s via PCIe adapter (at best).

You can get an NVMe PCIe adapter ($50 or less) and 1TB SSD ($250 or less) from a brand name manufacturer for ~$300 total.
You can get a SATA PCIe adapter ($50 or less) and 1TB SSD ($150 or less) from a brand name manufacturer for ~$200 total.

You can probably find cheaper USED versions or via 3rd party sellers, or less known brands.

If your budget supports either, go with NVMe. There's a full thread with compatible blades (SSDs) and adapters.

Need the 140.0.0.0.0 firmware for NVMe to be bootable. See the dedicated thread for that.
 

MarkC426

macrumors 6502a
May 14, 2008
664
148
UK
Additionally you need to be on High Sierra or newer to use nvme.
Check your audio software works on HS, sounds (pun intended) strange you can’t store libraries on another drive, which is a far better way to work.
 
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rhbmcse

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
7
0
Yorkshire, UK
So no matter which way I'll need a PCIe to either SATA or NVMe. Budget definitely allows for NVMe if it's that much better! I was guessing I could also just remove the 1TB spinner and connect up the 1TB 2.5" SATA SSD from the imac but this would be slower than PCIe -> SATA ?
 

TheIguana

macrumors 6502a
Sep 26, 2004
650
381
Canada
So no matter which way I'll need a PCIe to either SATA or NVMe. Budget definitely allows for NVMe if it's that much better! I was guessing I could also just remove the 1TB spinner and connect up the 1TB 2.5" SATA SSD from the imac but this would be slower than PCIe -> SATA ?
You do not need to as you can run a SATA SSD internally, but bear in mind that it will only run at SATAII speeds.

If you are considering investing in PCIe adapters, getting your firmware updated to 140 and then going the NVMe route will get you faster speeds. It would be advisable to turn your attention to this thread where the most common questions have already beed addressed: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/blade-ssds-nvme-ahci.2146725/
 

rhbmcse

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Mar 4, 2019
7
0
Yorkshire, UK
Very good advice there - thank you folks.
I have gone for Intel NVMe 1TB connected to a PCIe Adapter for my boot drive. I'm leaving the 2TB SATA in there for projects.

Check your audio software works on HS, sounds (pun intended) strange you can’t store libraries on another drive, which is a far better way to work.
Why is it a far better way to work? I use CUBASE, MASCHINE, NI Komplete and when I moved the libraries to a secondary drive everything went to hell. This may be because some other none NI libraries didn't want to install to the same location so I ended up with split locations for files / libraries etc. I get that some people may want their libraries to be portable on an external drive but mine is based in a studio. It goes nowhere. I run 4 keyboards and 2 guitars. Getting sounds loaded for preview / use is paramount to me hence put them on the 1TB boot device where the softwares all default to anyway. They didn't like it being elsewhere even though NI state you can do this - I had major problems and decided "never again" - I'll just buy a big SSD to stick them on!