Mac Pro 3.1 and SSD...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Cactusface, Mar 24, 2015.

  1. Cactusface macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #1
    Hi All,
    I have just got a used Mac pro 3.1 a bit of a change from my PC (home built) and 13" Macbook. I have in the past used an iMac. So this is'ent the best with 2x 2.8GHz Xeons and 8Gb-800MHz of ram. It has the latest OSX installed, but I would like to put it on an SSD. So what's the best way of doing it?? I have an old copy of Snow Leopard, which I think could upgrade to it!!

    Sure there will be other questions soon, but please give this a try first!!

    Regards

    Mel.
     
  2. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #2
    There are lots of choices. Use the search function, and you will find them.

    One caveat, in a 3,1 Mac Pro you will need to use Slot No. 2, the only PCIe 2 slot, the other slots are PCIe 1 and will limit the speed increase.

    My personal choice is either the Apricorn Velocity Solo (or Duo) x2 and a Samsung 850 EVO or Pro SSD. This, IMHO, is the most economical. There are faster solutions out there, but they are more costly.

    Again, do a Search and you'll find them.

    Lou
     
  3. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #3
    I would like to put it on an SSD. So what's the best way of doing it??

    Carbon Copy Cloner There is one version 4.x for Mavericks and above, and version 3.x for 10.6.8 and Lion.

    Hard to see how much benefit you will actually see using a SATA III PCIe controller. You can use it in SATA II drive bay, decide then and you can move it onto a controller later. Benchmarks and max I/O differ of course, from 250MB on SATA II, to 500-550MB/sec on SATA IIII but the system benefits most from reading a lot of small file segments and the near-zero latency and seeks, plus an SSD can handle so many IO requests (the larger SSDs have more bandwidth and channels which helps. More like a built-in RAID controller handing all the channel IO.)

    So you could save on controller and go with US$210 500GB Samsung 850 EVO
     
  4. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #4
    Hi,
    Thanks both for your replies. I think I will do as I did with the PC and just use the SSD in a drive slot, but will have to get a caddy for it. Can I put Windows 7/64 on another SSD (I already have it in the PC) and then boot from either drive with the power-up option key as I did years ago?

    If I can double the ram, I think that would help speed it up a bit..

    The SSD I already have is a Samsung 120Gb 840 pro, and prices seem to be half of what they were when I brought that!! perhaps 250Gb.

    I will take a look at Carbon copy cloner's website, now!

    Thanks for the advice, but don't stop.
    Regards

    Mel.
     
  5. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #5
    I just put a SSD in my 3,1 Mac Pro, using one of the two SATA II connectors on the top left of the main board. Put the SSD on the top 'floor', in the space for the 2nd DVD drive. Didn't even use a bracket since the Mac Pro doesn't go anywhere. Used a small connector cable to tap into the molex connector that is already there.

    I could have used a HD drive bay bracket but from what I understand this is least as fast or faster and I have filled up my HD drive bays with hard disks anyway.

    This way, the SSD is 1.5 to 2 times as fast as the striped raid 0 of three hard drives that are also in this Mac Pro.
     
  6. stjames70 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2009
    #6
    I have used these ODD1 and ODD2 ports in the 3,1 as well as all the hard drive bays with an adaptor. I have the exact same computer as the OP but with 32Gb of memory and a GTX 680.

    If you move up to Yosemite, Windows 8.1 Pro x64 will work in boot camp setup. We use this particular computer that way, because we use DICOM files that are hard to manipulate in 3D unless you go native (i.e. Boot Camp). I don't know and I am not sure you can use Windows 7 in Boot Camp. I tried many times to no avail. Search form my posts and you will see a post on how I installed Windows in one of my drives.

    Needless to say, access time is extremely fast.
     
  7. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #7
    Nice. I just swapped the 8800 GT for a regular 'PC' GTX 660 so I can use a UHD monitor with it. The 880 GT isn't loud but the GTX 660 is even more silent.

    I've installed Windows 7 once, I think it was on a separate partition on a HD in one of the bays, but it might have been on an external fire wire hard drive partition. Either way, you can use start up in Windows 7 on it. It seems that Apple dropped support for W7 in Bootcamp this week, but this only counts for the new, 2015 models and the 2013 Mac Pro.
     
  8. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2011
    Location:
    The Netherlands
    #8
    I agree with Lou! The DUO-X2 in PCIe slot #2 and 2 SSD's 840 EVO in RAID0 with give you a tremendous speed boost. Be aware to have a tight backup scheme working though. In my MP 3.1 this works like a charm, great upgrade value / money.

    GL choosing and congrats on your new MP 3.1.

    Cheers
     
  9. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

    Joined:
    May 30, 2006
    Location:
    Denmark
    #9
    I would just grab an Apple PCIe SSD (Late 2013 and newer) and get the $9 adaptor from eBay.

    Way faster performance, native TRIM support with none of the hassle with 3rd party SATA III boards and hacking TRIM support.
     
  10. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a

    OS6-OSX

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Years ago I did the same as snipper but used an HD/SSD "holder" from OWC.
    The R3D cable in the photo is connected to the logic board for power. If you have PCie slots open then the DUO-X2 is the way to go.
     

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  11. Snjper macrumors newbie

    Snjper

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    Mar 5, 2015
    Location:
    Italy
  12. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #12
    Hi StJames & Snipper.

    That sounds like a good idea, but where are these ODD connectors, I can see something just under the fan housing! But I think if a have OSX on one SSD (256Gb) and Win-7/64bit on it's current 120gb SDD, hope that will work OK. If not then plant B.... See picture!


    I have just got a new Samsung 256Gb 840 pro off eBay for £89 so brought a couple of caddies, will have to wait till mid next week, before I get to play some more.
    But most things are OK, it does seem slower then I hoped.

    How do I use Carbon Copy cloner? does it run within the OS to clone what's on my HDD to a SSD? or is it CD you run at boot-up! any ideas.


    Regards

    Mel.
     

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  13. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #13
    I never use CCC, I rather use Time Machine or do a clean install, so I can't help you with that, but undoubtably there's plenty info about that online.

    The ODD connectors, or whatever they are called, are just out of sight, behind the big gray plastic fan case. I made a picture for you. In fact, I thought I might as well put a page online about connecting an SSD to a Mac Pro 2008 via the optical drive connector.
     
  14. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #14
    Mac and SDD etc.

    Hi Snipper,
    Thanks for your reply and advice, very useful. I have not used a Mac for years and many things have changed!! This one I have only had a few days and still discovering things.

    I thought Time Machine only did file backing up? Not set it up yet to do anything.

    I still have my old Snow Leopard CD, so if I do a clean install with this can I still get a free up grade to OSX 10.10.xx??

    Noted a few Apps when set to full screen with the Green button, then lose their buttons, so how or what key gets me back to normal?

    I may well try what you did as I am a drive space short (4), due to a 4x USB-3 card that gets it's power from that connector and obstructs it.

    The old CD drive sounds noisey so I could upgrade that too!

    Regards

    Mel.
     
  15. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #15
    Mac pro 3.1 and SSD, Fan housing removal

    Hi Snipper,
    Thanks that link was very useful, but having removed the said screw, I still find the fan housing very hard to move, and I don't want to go too heavy! I have built lots of PC's but Mac's are something else. Does it just slide out? or does it need lifting, etc. I think you have it right they must be ODC connectors!

    Can you clarify any more? or anyone. :confused:

    Has I have now ordered 2 caddies I suppose using one in the CD drive space will do no harm and I can still use the USB-3 card.

    Did I mention that I found the Machine very slow? (running OSX 10.10.xx) from what I remember. So I re-installed a version of Lion much better now, this I can remember, perhaps better with only 8GB.

    Regards

    Mel
     
  16. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #17
    Another approach that is more "plug and play" friendly in a 2008 MP is to buy an Apple OEM SSD of the 2.5" variety off eBay. There are usually some Samsung or Toshiba drives out there.

    The plus to this approach is that you are guaranteed TRIM support in Yosemite without resorting to nuking all kext signing, and you can plug the drives right into the stock SATA II drive bays with a simple adapter bracket such as the Newertech Adaptadrive. You will see read/write speeds of about 260 MB/s and the drive is easily bootable.

    The minus to this approach is that the 2.5" drives in question can be pretty expensive on Fleabay, and the performance is inferior to a PCIE-based solution. If you are looking for bootability, however, PCIE-based solutions are less reliable for booting a 2008 MP. The 2009 and 2010 MPs seem to fare better on the PCIE front. To be fair, many 2008 users do successfully boot from PCIE-based flash storage without any issues, but those issues do crop up more frequently on the 2008 models.

    For my everyday use, I use a Samsung /Apple OEM 2.5" SSD as my boot drive. I do not notice the performance hit of the SATA II in everyday use and I like the reliability (I have a 2008 MP). I have a PCIE SSD for long jobs where the extra I/O can make a difference, but it isn't set up as bootable.
     
  17. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #18
    Hi OS6-OSX,
    Thanks for that link, just what I needed!! So there is another screw to undo? I'll have to take a look at it later today.

    @flehman Don't really want to go that way, as you say it could be expensive, but TRIM as been mentioned and on the PC I think Samsung Magician takes care of that! But what will happen under Lion on this machine, do I need a plug-in? or utility for this??

    Any help very welcome, regards. :eek:

    Mel
     
  18. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #19
    XP941 boot any Mac and are fast and only 10.10 is an issue with TRIM.

    Magician is I my needed to update firmware.
     
  19. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #20
    Hi IowaLynn,
    Sorry but what is XP491? I'm a newbie when it comes to Macs more so with older Mac's like this. So does Lion deal with all the TRIM functions? It looks like I will be putting one or both SSD's on the top floor, just need to sort the cabling out. In that way I can still have 3 HHD's and my USB-3 card.

    Regards

    Mel.
     
  20. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #21
    TRIM and TRIM Enabler works fine with 3rd party SSDs until Yosemite. On Yosemite you have to disable ALL kext signing in order for TRIM Enabler to do its work, which presents some risks that are manageable but require extra attention to detail on the part of the user.
     
  21. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #22
    XP941 PCIE card use M.2 SSD See this thread.
     
  22. snipper, Mar 29, 2015
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015

    snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #23
    You're welcome :) I have to thank a lot of others myself for all kinds of online info, so I feel I should give something back if I can.

    1) Time Machine 'only' does file backups, yes, but files make up most of what is stored on a computer ;) When you make a backup, you typically don't need to back up the OS and applications, but user data and the passwords in the OS X Key Chain etc.

    2) OS X 10.10.x aka Yosemite is free (as in free beer). It will run on your Mac Pro 3,1 but I don't know by heart the easiest way to install it when it's on an older version. I do know that you can download OS X 10.10 as an installer package, make a bootable USB stick and use it as a temporary start-up disk, that will install the package on your hard drive. Use Google, I'm sure you'll find it. Oh, and if you have two hard drives or even just two partitions you can use the 2nd drive or partition instead of the USB drive.

    3) You can use the ESC key and often CMD-CTRL-F (you may also want to check what shortcuts are available in the application's menu bar > View menu. The shortcuts are on the right end of the submenus and if they are not, you can set your own shortcuts in the System Preferences, even system wide).

    5) The original CD/DVD drive was not the most quiet one I've had. If you replace it though, you might want to consider buying a Blu-Ray burner. I noticed not all internal models worked, so I tried to figure out what was a good Mac Pro compatible blu-ray burner.

    ----------

    I'm sorry that I put you on the wrong foot with the 2nd screw. I have removed both and never put them back because the machine works fine without them. I've also corrected the page on my site about this.

    I'm using it with 16 GB since day one. 8 GB RAM is a bit on the low side, that would be the first thing I would upgrade.
     
  23. Cactusface thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2015
    Location:
    Leicester. UK
    #24
    Hi All,
    Well have I had a busy day! My bargain Samsung 250GB SSD arrived this morning, so I set about getting it connected and running.

    Well I finally got that fan housing out, the bottom screw was a pig to move! I also discovered lots of dust and fluff clogging the CPU heatsinks. But I soon discovered the extra SATA headers and got my cable connected, from an old PC PSU I found a Molex to SATA power adaptor to tap power from the CD drive.

    Downloaded Carbon copy cloner and cloned my current boot HDD to the SDD, that took a bit of time (Very easy to use), so time for a cup of tea! Returned all done, powered down and removed the HDD. Powered it up and Oh dear what's wrong it's taking a long time!! over a minute my HDD only took about 45 seconds...

    In my haste I had not refitted the fan housing and things were getting hot (but at this time I still did'nt notice this) I then looked for something to use TRIM, etc. And found Chameleon SSD Optimizer, so ran that..... Again very easy to use.

    Put things back together and all is well, boot up time 27 secs. I collect my caddies tomorrow and will have to put Win-7/64 on my old Samsung 840 pro 120GB SSD.

    Heres a few pictures that I hope might help.

    Regards

    Mel.

    PS. Anybody know what that small PCB/sensor is above the CD drive cage??
     

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  24. snipper macrumors regular

    snipper

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2004
    #25
    that sensor is for temperature monitoring.

    Speaking of which… I really wouldn't dare using the Mac without the fan case! Not when I wouldn't know for how long anyway.
     

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