Mac Pro Early 2008 upgrades

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
Moved this to a new thread as it went way past scope in the other thread.

I just completed an upgrade of my 2x quad 2.8 early 2008 MP3,1 to the 3.2GHz models.

I spent $190 shipped on a matched pair from eBay, to me this finally hit a price point low enough to be justifiable to breathe a little more life into this machine before I consider getting the new model Mac Pro, perhaps I will wait until it hits the next revision before picking one up.

They didn't seem to run any hotter than the 2.8GHz procs did while running a video encoding test.
The encoding showed about a 14% speed increase in the encoding operation using handbrake. I can only wonder what kinds of speeds will be seen when handbrake finally supports OpenCL on Mac so I can take advantage of the dual graphics cards I have. (GTX 650 / HD5770)
Thankfully I bought mine with 3.2's already installed, not sure if I had the 2.8 I would bother.

Which thermal compound you using - AS-5? Those temps seem a pretty good drop I may be tempted to give mine a repaste. Could you be more specific re idle and peak?

Your name rings a very loud bell - unless I am wrong I believe I'm one of many who have to thank you very much for getting the AHCI mod for bootcamp off the ground over on insanelymac. Thanks also go out to johnsock too.

Unless I've made a complete arse and got the wrong Ludacrisvp :D
I had the same experience as luda when doing my upgrade- I used quality thermal paste, made sure to apply it properly, and I'm seeing lower temps across the board with the 3.2's vs my old 2.8's on the same heatsinks.
the speedbump wasn't much, but i found the cpu's for $100 each, so I figured why not? It's helped a bit with some hefty plugins I use in logic pro, and sped up handbreak encodes, but it wasn't a major upgrade.
If you can get the procs cheap, go for it.
(for reference, I'm booting 10.9.1 off an ssd with an nvidia 680 gtx and 16 GB of ram)
Lol it is me. The whole AHCI thing really bugged me (as you can tell) I just couldn't stand not using all of the hardware I paid for. Luckily there were others that felt the same way. Glad it was able to help you and many others out as well.

I used the thermal paste the seller supplied with the processors. It was whitish so I don't think it was arctic 5 (it's been a while since I used A5).

The temp I compared was idle vs idle with no fan speed modification tool installed (it's a fresh mav install and I didn't get around to installing one).

After starting a render and running for about an hour the temp was slightly higher than I expected but the towers fans never kicked up they were still in slow mode so the Mac didn't consider the temp to be too high.

I installed the fan control prefpane and bumped the fan speed to 1,700 rpm (base) and 40/70 split for the temp sliders and the temp dropped quickly to the point where it's about the same temp at load as the stock processors were at idle, maybe +3 degrees C. That tuning of the slider keeps the actual fan speed just under/at 2k rpm which is relatively quiet for the area I'm in. Without the fan increase the temp was about 57C which is a bit higher than I'd like but is within Xeon spec. So added the fan control mod to lower the temp.

So at 100% CPU load sustained for 1+ hours with fan increased to just under 2k rpm I see CPU A - D temp diode ranging between 41-44C with both heatsinks at 26C in a room that is ambient temp of 22C/72F.
Idle CPU in the same ambient temp and stock fan speed was around 36C. The old ones ran typically at 40-42C idle for me.

I think the fresh thermal compound is likely helping keep the temps lower than they used to be when using the 2.8 procs.

Overall I am not concerned of temp of the processors after seeing it at load. The temps are very close to stock.

When I bought mine new I couldn't justify the extra cost for the 3.2GHz procs.
Using the "wayback machine" to look up costs of processors:
One 2.8GHZ Quad-Core Intel Xeon [Subtract $500.00]
Two 2.8GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Two 3.0GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon [Add $800.00]
Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon [Add $1,600.00]

These are the CTO options I went with:
500GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s [Add $50.00]
NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB [Add $150.00]
Apple Wireless Mighty Mouse [Add $20.00]
AirPort Extreme Card (Wi-Fi) [Add $50.00]


So $1,600 then to get the extra speed wasn't worth it, but now many years later a bit less than $200 is worth it.

I've since added the GTX 650, HD5770, USB3 PCIe cards, several hard drives and a BD-RE SATA optical drive and have 18GB of RAM.
Tried to add a LSI RAID controller card that I was given but the Mac doesn't POST it properly, it works in the Hackintosh quite well though.
Its been a few days and no issues seen so far.

Idle temps are around 28°C with ambient air at 23°C.

Now to tackle figuring out a way to add a PCIe card and upgrade to SATAIII / 6Gbps controller.

I was hoping to do that with the LSI RAID card I have (which would allow me to continue using stock drive setup, just move the iPass cable over from the side of the logic board and plug it into the RAID card and done) but the Mac won't POST the card.

I glanced at a thread that talks about doing an upgrade to 6Gbps SATA on the 4,1/5,1 but haven't really dug into it.
I use the solo x2 in slot 2 with 840 evo, port 2 on the x2 to the bootcamp 840 evo which has optical power split to also the usb 3.0 card. The bootcamp SSD is actually stuck on top of the one installed in the solo x2 via 4 thermal sticky pads at each corner.

Gives me SATA 3 for both OSX and windows 7x64 boot and all 4 sleds for data, 2 of which I wouldn't have without your help ;)
I'm also running a 840 EVO ... really disappointed in the performance from it compared to another SSD I use in my work computer. The EVO is about 1/3rd or 1/2 the performance of the Corsair Force 3 SSD (which is a SATA-III drive like the EVO) I maybe see 100MB/s with the EVO ... read/write doesn't seem to matter.

Code:
Intel 5 Series Chipset:

  Vendor:			Intel
  Product:			5 Series Chipset
  Link Speed:			3 Gigabit
  Negotiated Link Speed:	3 Gigabit
  Physical Interconnect:	SATA
  Description:			AHCI Version 1.30 Supported

Corsair Force 3 SSD:

  Capacity:			90.03 GB (90,028,302,336 bytes)
  Model:			Corsair Force 3 SSD                     
  Revision:			1.3.3   
  Serial Number:		1203820500000712049C
  Native Command Queuing:	Yes
  Queue Depth:			32
  Removable Media:		No
  Detachable Drive:		No
  BSD Name:			disk0
  Medium Type:			Solid State
  TRIM Support:			No
  Partition Map Type:		GPT (GUID Partition Table)
  S.M.A.R.T. status:		Verified
So I'm looking to upgrade with this path:

StarTech.com PCI Express 2.0 SATA III 6Gbps Mini-SAS (SFF-8087) RAID Controller Card w/ HyperDuo SSD Tiering - PCIe SATA 6Gb RAID Card
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00BUC3NNS
Chipset: Marvell 88SE9230
Model #: PEXSAT34SFF
Newegg shows it as Mac OSX compatible http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816129107
Startech shows it as well http://www.startech.com/Cards-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/PCI-Express-SATA-III-RAID-Controller-Card-Mini-SAS-SFF-8087~PEXSAT34SFF

So I install that card in one of my PCIe slots and add this handy (expensive) cable:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00AN50E5S (14" female to male mini-SAS / iPass / SFF-8087 extension cable)
and I can plug the new card into the stock wiring of the machine so I can retain the use of the existing drive caddy structure.
Then I'll take the other mini-SAS breakout cable I have from the LSI controller that I tried to use and run that into the optical bay area which will give me 4 SATA connectors in the optical bay and since they would be the ESB2 onboard ones I would be able to boot windows from SATA ODD in IDE mode and I can remove the Apple Shipping drive superdrive and not need IDE/PATA cables in there any longer.

The only worry I have is .... is it bootable with this new card...
100mb read and write? That's very low - in the sled or a solo x2 and what size is the evo? Has it got the latest firmware?

If so that's the first slow 840 evo or pro I've known in a Mac. Kingston v drives with their SF controllers I avoid at all costs, nightmare with older kit but Samsung?? Is it still rubbish in bootcamp?

If so I would stick it in another machine and if it's still bad there get an rma!
It's running off the odd sata port I think it's the 128GB no idea on firmware I'd have to check into that.
So I moved it into my laptop

Write of a 5GB file:
Code:
osx:~ ludacrisvp$ time dd if=/dev/zero of=/Volumes/Mavericks\ SSD/Users/ludacrisvp/Desktop/testing_file bs=1024k count=5120
5120+0 records in
5120+0 records out
5368709120 bytes transferred in 41.608282 secs (129029820 bytes/sec)

real	0m41.623s
user	0m0.007s
sys	0m5.106s
Read of the same 5GB file:
Code:
osx:~ ludacrisvp$ ls -lh /Volumes/Mavericks\ SSD/Users/ludacrisvp/Desktop/testing_file
-rw-r--r--+ 1 ludacrisvp  staff   5.0G Jan 16 07:37 /Volumes/Mavericks SSD/Users/ludacrisvp/Desktop/testing_file
osx:~ ludacrisvp$ time dd of=/dev/null if=/Volumes/Mavericks\ SSD/Users/ludacrisvp/Desktop/testing_file bs=1024k
5120+0 records in
5120+0 records out
5368709120 bytes transferred in 20.500763 secs (261878500 bytes/sec)

real	0m20.509s
user	0m0.007s
sys	0m3.392s
Code:
Intel ICH8-M AHCI:

  Vendor:			Intel
  Product:			ICH8-M AHCI
  Link Speed:		3 Gigabit
  Negotiated Link Speed:	3 Gigabit
  Physical Interconnect:	SATA
  Description:			AHCI Version 1.10 Supported

Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB:

  Capacity:			120.03 GB (120,034,123,776 bytes)
  Model:			Samsung SSD 840 EVO 120GB               
  Revision:			EXT0AB0Q
  Serial Number:		S1D5NEAD826744X     
  Native Command Queuing:	Yes
  Queue Depth:			32
  Removable Media:		No
  Detachable Drive:		No
  BSD Name:			disk1
  Medium Type:			Solid State
  TRIM Support:			Yes
  Partition Map Type:		GPT (GUID Partition Table)
  S.M.A.R.T. status:		Verified
Looks like a firmware update was released very recently:
Dec, 2013 - EXT0BB6Q ... my FW is EXT0AB0Q
Changes: Optimizing TurboWrite algorithm

According to samsung's whitepaper I should be able to get 410MB/s write and 540MB/s read if using SATA-III, I don't see why on SATA-II I'm unable to get anywhere near half of those speeds.
Maybe the firmware update will help.
Update the SSD on the laptop using the Windows magician software, it's also got a good diagnostic in the program too. I must have installed over 25 840 evo's in Macs, though only 250Gb upwards, most before that firmware update. I know the speeds are slightly slower with the 120 over the larger models but that's ridiculous, but you're getting barely faster than a WD black, not right..

SATA 2 on both my 750 and 250 Evo in the sleds was about 260 read and 240 write. I've got all the sleds loaded up migrating 3TB > 4TB drives for the next few days so can't double check.
Updated firmware...

Write of a new 5GB file (removed the old one first):
Code:
osx:~ ludacrisvp$ time dd if=/dev/zero of=/Volumes/Mavericks\ SSD/Users/ludacrisvp/Desktop/testing_file bs=1024k count=5120
5120+0 records in
5120+0 records out
5368709120 bytes transferred in 28.255890 secs (190003185 bytes/sec)

real	0m28.264s
user	0m0.006s
sys	0m4.828s
Read of the new 5GB file:
Code:
osx:~ ludacrisvp$ time dd of=/dev/null if=/Volumes/Mavericks\ SSD/Users/ludacrisvp/Desktop/testing_file bs=1024k
5120+0 records in
5120+0 records out
5368709120 bytes transferred in 19.253143 secs (278848451 bytes/sec)

real	0m19.257s
user	0m0.005s
sys	0m2.732s
Write OLD:
5368709120 bytes transferred in 41.608282 secs (129029820 bytes/sec)
Write NEW:
5368709120 bytes transferred in 28.255890 secs (190003185 bytes/sec)
So a 32% write speed bump.
1.41563404 gigabits / second on 3Gb/s SATA-II ... so 47% of theoretical Max for SATA-II.

Read OLD:
5368709120 bytes transferred in 20.500763 secs (261878500 bytes/sec)
Read NEW:
5368709120 bytes transferred in 19.253143 secs (278848451 bytes/sec)
And a 6% read speed bump.
2.07758286 gigabits / second on 3Gb/s SATA-II ... so 69% of theoretical Max for SATA-II.

I'd have to put it back in the Mac Pro to know for sure at this point but I think that it may perform even better in the Mac Pro compared to this older laptop even on SATA-II for both machines as we are comparing a laptop SATA controller to a workstation class controller.

There must have been some nasty firmware bug to eat up so much performance.
I didn't do any testing with the magic utility in windows 7 since I don't have any NTFS partitions on this drive.

You might also be surprised to know that I haven't run Win7 on the Mac Pro for a long long time, to the point where it isn't even installed on any drive in the Mac. All that AHCI work for 'nothin'. lol
So the new card is NOT bootable it was a long shot at best.
I'm running 3 laptop drives plus 1 BD-RE sata in the optical bay off of the ESB2 chipset now and using the new card to run the 4 sleds using the oem backplane wiring thanks to that extension cable.

Haven't done any testing yet as far as speed goes (it does report 6gbps connections available) and since it isn't bootable I'm not using the SSD on that card. I'm going to install windows again to see if I can do anything with the raid utility via windows or if I'll have to continue using the apple software raid.
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
continued:
Turns out that is not correct, it is bootable most of the time.
You can see the BIOS screen flash during a boot attempt to windows but it doesn't respond to the Ctrl+M to enter the card config for hardware RAID.
Doesn't seem to want to show as a boot device when there was only 1 drive attached.

StarTech.com says this card is not able to handle a port multiplier coming off of the mini-SAS port.
However System Profiler would suggest otherwise. (based on how many Generic AHCI controllers show up).
I'll probably modify the kext to fix the name.

Still haven't gotten around to installing windows ... I was able to boot from a SATA ODD coming off of the ESB2 chipset as the 4 sata cables going into the ODD bay area are now the original ESB2 bays 1-4.

Drives show as external drives too.
The Apple Software RAID is able to RAID drives across the two controllers without issue as well.



# lspci
pcilib: 0000:0d:00.0 64-bit device address ignored.
pcilib: 0000:02:00.0 64-bit device address ignored.
pcilib: 0000:02:00.0 64-bit device address ignored.
pcilib: 0000:01:00.0 64-bit device address ignored.
00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset Memory Controller Hub (rev 20)
00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset PCI Express Port 1 (rev 20)
00:05.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset PCI Express Port 5 (rev 20)
00:09.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset PCI Express Port 9 (rev 20)
00:0f.0 System peripheral: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset QuickData Technology Device (rev 20)
00:10.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FSB Registers (rev 20)
00:10.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FSB Registers (rev 20)
00:10.2 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FSB Registers (rev 20)
00:10.3 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FSB Registers (rev 20)
00:10.4 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FSB Registers (rev 20)
00:11.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset CE/SF Registers (rev 20)
00:15.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FBD Registers (rev 20)
00:15.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FBD Registers (rev 20)
00:16.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FBD Registers (rev 20)
00:16.1 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 5400 Chipset FBD Registers (rev 20)
00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB High Definition Audio Controller (rev 09)
00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev 09)
00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev 09)
00:1c.2 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset PCI Express Root Port 3 (rev 09)
00:1c.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset PCI Express Root Port 4 (rev 09)
00:1d.0 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset UHCI USB Controller #1 (rev 09)
00:1d.1 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset UHCI USB Controller #2 (rev 09)
00:1d.2 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset UHCI USB Controller #3 (rev 09)
00:1d.3 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset UHCI USB Controller #4 (rev 09)
00:1d.7 USB Controller: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset EHCI USB2 Controller (rev 09)
00:1e.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82801 PCI Bridge (rev d9)
00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset LPC Interface Controller (rev 09)
00:1f.1 IDE interface: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB IDE Controller (rev 09)
00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB SATA AHCI Controller (rev 09)
00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 631xESB/632xESB/3100 Chipset SMBus Controller (rev 09)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation G92 [GeForce 8800 GT] (rev a2)
02:00.0 VGA compatible controller: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0fc6 (rev a1)
02:00.1 Audio device: nVidia Corporation Unknown device 0e1b (rev a1)
03:00.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6311ESB/6321ESB PCI Express Upstream Port (rev 01)
03:00.3 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6311ESB/6321ESB PCI Express to PCI-X Bridge (rev 01)
04:00.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6311ESB/6321ESB PCI Express Downstream Port E1 (rev 01)
04:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6311ESB/6321ESB PCI Express Downstream Port E2 (rev 01)
04:02.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 6311ESB/6321ESB PCI Express Downstream Port E3 (rev 01)
05:00.0 SATA controller: Unknown device 1b4b:9230 (rev 10)
06:00.0 USB Controller: Texas Instruments Unknown device 8241 (rev 02)
07:00.0 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 80003ES2LAN Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper) (rev 01)
07:00.1 Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 80003ES2LAN Gigabit Ethernet Controller (Copper) (rev 01)
0b:00.0 PCI bridge: Texas Instruments XIO2213A PCI Express to PCI Bridge
0c:00.0 FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments XIO2213A 1394b OHCI with 3-Port PHY
0d:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4328 802.11a/b/g/n (rev 03)


Code:
lspci -v -s 05:00
05:00.0 SATA controller: Unknown device 1b4b:9230 (rev 10) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0])
	Subsystem: Unknown device 1b4b:9230
	Flags: bus master, fast devsel, latency 0, IRQ 16
	I/O ports at 2028
	I/O ports at 2034
	I/O ports at 2020
	I/O ports at 2030
	I/O ports at 2000
	Memory at a7e00000 (32-bit, non-prefetchable)
	Expansion ROM at ffff0000 [disabled]
	Capabilities: [40] Power Management version 3
	Capabilities: [50] Message Signalled Interrupts: Mask- 64bit- Queue=0/0 Enable+
	Capabilities: [70] Express Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
	Capabilities: [e0] SATA HBA <?>
	Capabilities: [100] #1b4b
	Capabilities: [923] #2001
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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.




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

Attachments

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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:







 

Attachments

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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.





 

Attachments

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
Photos during install:

Plugged in my mini-SAS breakout cable and routed to the optical bay:

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)


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.




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.
 

theitsage

Suspended
Aug 28, 2005
795
840
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?
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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.
 

theitsage

Suspended
Aug 28, 2005
795
840
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.
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
211
Poland
I own one as well. This Marvell chip is x2. Addonics doesn't mention that, but actual manufacturer of the card (Lycom) does.

Lycom said:
RAID 4Ports 6Gbps mSATA PCIe Gen2 x2 electrical and x4 physical Host Adapter
 

theitsage

Suspended
Aug 28, 2005
795
840
I own one as well. This Marvell chip is x2. Addonics doesn't mention that, but actual manufacturer of the card (Lycom) does.
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.
 

666sheep

macrumors 68040
Dec 7, 2009
3,623
211
Poland
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.
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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)
MacPro% lspci -vvvnn -d 1b4b:

This is the card in slot 2:

01:00.0 SATA controller [0106]: Unknown device [1b4b:9230] (rev 10) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0])
Subsystem: Unknown device [1b4b:9230]
Capabilities: [70] Express (v2) Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
LnkCap: Port #0, Speed 5GT/s, Width x2, ASPM L0s L1, Latency L0 <512ns, L1 <64us
LnkSta: Speed 5GT/s, Width x2, TrErr- Train- SlotClk+ DLActive- BWMgmt- ABWMgmt-


This is the card in slot 3:

06:00.0 SATA controller [0106]: Unknown device [1b4b:9230] (rev 10) (prog-if 01 [AHCI 1.0])
Subsystem: Unknown device [1b4b:9230]
Capabilities: [70] Express (v2) Legacy Endpoint, MSI 00
LnkCap: Port #0, Speed 5GT/s, Width x2, ASPM L0s L1, Latency L0 <512ns, L1 <64us
LnkSta: Speed 2.5GT/s, Width x1, TrErr- Train- SlotClk+ DLActive- BWMgmt- ABWMgmt-
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).
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
I think by "electrically" Lycom meant this x2 chipset lane limit, which you see under LnkCap and LnkSta.
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.
 

jelockwood

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2015
35
8
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-Adapters/HDD-Controllers/SATA-Cards/PCI-Express-SATA-III-RAID-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.
 

Jimbo17821

macrumors newbie
Apr 27, 2015
1
0
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?
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
Has anyone fitted a 8gb AMD graphics card to a Mac Pro Quad core 2.8ghz 3.1?

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.
 

worldburger

macrumors newbie
Jan 27, 2008
18
0
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.

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.




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

thechris.prince

macrumors newbie
Jan 21, 2008
15
5
Nashvegas
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.
 

jelockwood

macrumors member
Mar 5, 2015
35
8
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.
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.
 

Ludacrisvp

macrumors 6502
Original poster
May 14, 2008
334
121
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.
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.