Mac Pro Early 2008 upgrades

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ludacrisvp, Jan 28, 2014.

  1. Ludacrisvp macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #1
    Moved this to a new thread as it went way past scope in the other thread.

     
  2. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #2
    continued:
     
  3. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #3
    After adding the following kext with the details of the AHCI controller in them it has corrected the issue with my drives showing with Orange "External SATA" drive icons and the generic AHCI controller is gone too.
    Now I won't accidentally eject a drive from the sidebar in finder.

    [​IMG]


    NOTE:
    The kext only changes some cosmetics, it is not needed for the card to function.
     

    Attached Files:

  4. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #4
    Installed a fresh copy of Windows 7 via the SATA ODD drive for the first time since I've had the Mac Pro. ... that was a nice change!

    Installed the drivers from the website that allow a GUI configuration of the RAID card.
    This card supports Hardware RAID 1, 0, 10 and a 'hyper-duo' option. - I won't be exploring that option at this time (does something with hybrid SSD/HDD).

    The hardware RAID0 allowed me to chose from 32K and 64K block sizes. (I chose 64K ... may or may not regret that later).

    Here are the screen shots from Windows 7 as I configured the RAID array:

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  5. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    Rebooted into OSX and there was a nice new drive detected. (had to destroy my old software raid setup to make the transition to the hardware version).

    As this is seen as a single drive now OSX would let me partition it if needed (sometimes do need to when doing new installs/etc) not that I plan to for any length of time.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  6. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #6
    Photos during install:

    Plugged in my mini-SAS breakout cable and routed to the optical bay:
    [​IMG]
    Now have 4 SATA cables in the ODD area running 3x 2.5" and 1 ODD BD-RE drive. (I might have to also run the other 2 SATA cables back up there from the ESB2 ODD_SATA ports to run more 2.5" drives)
    [​IMG]

    Here is the mini-SAS extension cable run across the chassis before moving it around a bit to get the chassis fan module back in place.

    [​IMG]


    Slot-1: GTX 650 2Gb (PC)
    Slot-2: 8800GT 512MB (Apple OEM)
    Slot-3: StarTech.com SATA powered USB3.0 card
    Slot-4: StarTech.com Marvell RAID SATA-III SFF-8087 mini-SAS card

    After doing some reading I found out that slots 3 and 4 are 4x slots but they are PCIe v1.0 and slots 1 and 2 are 16x slots and are PCIe v2.0.
    So now I'm somewhat bandwidth limited still (just as much as the on-board SATA-II from the sounds of things). I am debating moving the 8800GT to Slot-4 and moving the RAID card to Slot-2 as the 8800GT is so old its really only useful for the EFI boot screens.

    Will run like this for a while now before I move the cards around.
    Need to verify stability first. (not that it isn't stable its just a lot of changes).

    Basically for $330 the old mac pro has been updated to SATA-3 and to dual quad 3.2GHz procs from dual quad 2.8GHz procs.
     
  7. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2005
    #7
    Great work with all the upgrades on your 3,1 Mac Pro! Your detailed posts helped me a lot with planning out my upgrade to SATA III.

    Did you move the 8800 card to slot 4 and make use of PCI 2.0 for your RAID card in slot 2?
     
  8. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #8
    Well yes and no...
    But I see you have a MP5,1 and I've recently learned that Apple changed the approach on the SATA backplane so you won't be able to upgrade like I did. You could route the SATA3 card cables into the optical bay instead though.


    Anyways...

    I did move things around a bit for the PCIe cards.

    I dropped out the USB 3.0 card since I honestly just don't use anything that is USB 3 so its no longer in the Mac.
    I added another card in place of it:
    http://www.addonics.com/products/ad4mspx2.php
    This holds 4 mSATA drives and uses the same controller as the other SATA3 card I have so they are both configured via the same Windows based WebUI tool.

    Slot 1: GTX650 16x card
    Slot 2: 4 port mSATA SATA-3 card 4x card
    Slot 3: miniSAS SFF SATA-3 card 4x card
    Slot 4: 8800GT 16x card

    I'm currently using a 240GB mSATA drive as my boot drive for Yosemite on the card in slot 2.
     
  9. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2005
    #9
    You are right. My 5,1 is more challenging to upgrade the backplane ports to SATA III. I run individual SATA cables to the PCIe cards and use a 1-4 SATA power adapter for the SSDs.

    My next plan is to use the SATA cable harness from a 3,1 to cut down the mess. Those are around $10 on eBay. The only unknown atm is how to connect power to the harness. From pictures, the power plug looks similar to a mini PCIe 6 pin.

    That mSATA PCIe looks good. If I didn't have SSDs laying around, I would go that route. Can you confirm if it runs 2 or 4 channel? I read somewhere the Marvell 88SE9230 chipset can only run at 2x.
     
  10. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #10
    I own one as well. This Marvell chip is x2. Addonics doesn't mention that, but actual manufacturer of the card (Lycom) does.

     
  11. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 28, 2005
    #11
    Thank you for the clarification! I've noticed this with a lot of products' descriptions. They would mention the PCIe card is 4x. However, it's limited to 2x if the main chipset is only 2x.
     
  12. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    Poland
    #12
    It's a good card for RAID 10, 2x RAID 0 or JBOD. Only RAID 0 from 4 SSDs will be controller bus limited. I'm getting ~700MB/s from 2 120GB 840 EVOs in RAID 0.
    SSD firmware update is no go with the card. I'll need mSATA->SATA adapter to perform it.
     
  13. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #13
    Here are the details from lspci that do shed some light on this...

    Keep in mind I've got two cards in this machine that use the same controller, one is connected in slot 2 and the other is in slot 3.

    (Trimmed some of the output that is not needed to be known)
    So it is electrically / physically a 4x card but it can only use 2x speed as that is all it is capable of.
    You can see the top card (slot 2) shows both capability of 2x and effective speed of 2x and the bottom card (slot 3) shows capable of 2x but running at 1x speed).
     
  14. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #14
    Bottom line is that it is faster than stock setup..

    This is the mSATA drive (SATA3 SSD) (attached to the 2x card):
    Write of a 10G file
    Code:
    MacPro% time dd if=/dev/zero of=testing bs=1024k count=10240
    10737418240 bytes transferred in 20.987092 secs (511620106 bytes/sec)
    dd if=/dev/zero of=testing bs=1024k count=10240  0.01s user 6.21s system 29% cpu 21.008 total
    Read of the same 10G file (note I didn't read this immediately after writing so it wasn't in cache.)
    Code:
    MacPro% cd
    MacPro% time dd if=testing of=/dev/null bs=1024k
    10737418240 bytes transferred in 15.599546 secs (688316064 bytes/sec)
    dd if=testing of=/dev/null bs=1024k  0.01s user 4.91s system 31% cpu 15.606 total
    This is a 3 drive 7200RPM SATA2 RAID0 array with the 1x card:
    Write of 10G file
    Code:
    MacPro% time dd if=/dev/zero of=testing1 bs=1024k count=10240
    10737418240 bytes transferred in 60.873931 secs (176387792 bytes/sec)
    dd if=/dev/zero of=testing1 bs=1024k count=10240  0.01s user 7.28s system 11% cpu 1:00.94 total
    Read of a 7.5G file
    Code:
    MacPro% time dd if=10.5-Client.iso of=/dev/null bs=1024k
    8056201216 bytes transferred in 48.825884 secs (164998573 bytes/sec)
    dd if=10.5-Client.iso of=/dev/null bs=1024k  0.01s user 4.37s system 8% cpu 48.830 total

    This is a single 7200RPM SATA3 drive on the stock SATA 2 controller (based on numbers I think this is drive limited)
    Write of 10G file
    Code:
    MacPro% time dd if=/dev/zero of=testing2 bs=1024k count=10240
    10737418240 bytes transferred in 91.021213 secs (117966108 bytes/sec)
    dd if=/dev/zero of=testing2 bs=1024k count=10240  0.01s user 7.87s system 8% cpu 1:31.53 total
    Read of same 10G file (also wasn't cached any longer when read)
    Code:
    MacPro% time dd if=testing2 of=/dev/null bs=1024k
    10737418240 bytes transferred in 90.116574 secs (119150316 bytes/sec)
    dd if=testing2 of=/dev/null bs=1024k  0.01s user 6.13s system 6% cpu 1:30.12 total
     
  15. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #15
    I think by "electrically" Lycom meant this x2 chipset lane limit, which you see under LnkCap and LnkSta.
     
  16. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #16
    Oops ... meant to type:

    So it is electrically 2x / physically a 4x card but it can only use 2x speed as that is all it is capable of.

    ----------

    They could have put two controllers on a single card instead and made use of the 4x lanes (sending 2x to each controller) and made it able to handle 8 drives.
     
  17. jelockwood macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #17
    Clarify bootable solution?

    Thanks to Ludacrisvp for this thread. It was particularly useful to understand that the Mac Pro 2008 had a Mini-SAS connector, but the Mac Pro 2009 does not. This therefore also clarified the need for the 2009 model to use replacement drive sleds.

    It would therefore seem that for a Mac Pro 2009 model you need the following -

    • A PCI-e card of some description, presumably with a Mini-SAS connector,
    • A Mini-SAS fan out cable
    • Alternative drive sleds

    The later two would be I believe covered by this kit - http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cfm?fuseaction=product.display&product_id=189

    What I am still uncertain about is the best option to get a PCI-e card which is bootable in a Mac Pro 2009 with the above cable/sled kit.

    I get the impression the Areca ARC-1214-4I might be Mac bootable but their data sheet merely says it supports Mac EFI and does not clearly state this means it can be booted from.

    Note: I do not want or need RAID support, I merely want the cheapest SATA III card that allows booting in to OS X. I would also like to be able to use Boot Camp and possibly even VMware ESXi.

    Would the StarTech SFF-8087 work with boot support? See http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapt...Controller-Card-Mini-SAS-SFF-8087~PEXSAT34SFF

    As mentioned by Ludacrisvp officially the StarTech card does not support Port-Multiplier use, although also as mentioned apparently it did work.

    On a related topic, is there any advantage either way between a MacPro4,1 2009 and MacPro5,1 2010? I believe both would need the drive sled/cable kit.
     
  18. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    #18
  19. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    The Netherlands
    #19
  20. Jimbo17821 macrumors newbie

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    Apr 27, 2015
    #20
    Has anyone fitted a 8gb AMD graphics card to a Mac Pro 3.1?

    Has anyone fitted a 8gb AMD graphics card to a Mac Pro Quad core 2.8ghz 3.1?
     
  21. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #21

    Not sure what you mean.
    I used the ATI / AMD HD5770 card with no issues. As long as the card you are talking about (which you provided no details about) supports being used on PCI express 2.0 or 1.1 version slots then it should work.
    However you will need to have an apple card to have boot graphics.
     
  22. worldburger macrumors newbie

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    Jan 27, 2008
    #22
    This is GREAT! Well done! I'm a little confused...where do these kext files go?

    I have the Lycom board and the SM951 PCIe SSD but it is showing up as an external drive as well. My controller is showing up as "Generic SATA Express Controller".

    Do I need to put in my controllers information or just paste the two kext files as is (Marvell) like yours?

    Thanks!

    EDIT: Corrections.

     
  23. thechris.prince macrumors newbie

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    Jan 21, 2008
    Location:
    Nashvegas
    #23
    I know this is a super old tread, but I have the same question as worldburger. I just installed a samsung 850 evo in my 2010 mac pro in the PCIe 2 slot and am getting speeds around 380 r/w. Wish this was faster, but it's definitely an improvement from 250 I was getting on the sataII speeds.

    I have the same orange ejectable drive and have no idea what i'm supposed to do with kext files to have them displayed as internal non-ejectable drives. Do I just copy the two files you provided into the system/library/extensions folder or is there something else I need to do.

    Thanks for your help!
    Chris.
     
  24. jelockwood macrumors newbie

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    Mar 5, 2015
    #24
    There is probably more than one way to do this but I used the free Kext Utility which you can download from here - http://cvad-mac.narod.ru/index/0-4

    Just run Kext Utilty, give it a minute or two to check things, then drag each .kext file in to the Kext Utility window.

    Note: You may also need to disable SIP support in El Capitan and Sierra.
     
  25. Ludacrisvp thread starter macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #25
    If your drive controller device ID matches the one that is in the AHCI_3rdParty_SATA.kext then you can simply install the kext using the tool mentioned above or install the kext manually if you know how and then reboot.

    If it does not then you will need to edit the Info.plist file inside of it and rename / change device IDs accordingly.

    If you need some assistance with that let me know.

    The bootability of the card I am using is sometimes hit or miss. Once I've been able to boot into OSX I can bless the drive on the card to boot from and it will reliably boot every time. I have on occasion made the mistake of telling the computer to boot into windows which changes the blessed drive and then it is very difficult to get back into OSX. BUT if I do want to use an alternate OS all I need to do is option/alt boot and then it doesn't mess with the drive blessing and it works without issues.

    I am now running Sierra and the GTX650 is now my only graphics card and it has been flashed with a custom EFI ROM to provide boot displays.
     

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