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profinite

macrumors member
Original poster
May 1, 2009
99
15
I have a Mac Pro (Late 2013) [MacPro6,1] with Intel E5-2697v2 2.7GHz 12-Core CPU, 1TB Apple SSD, D500x2, and 128GB of RAM. To speed up this Mac, I am wondering if it is possible to do the following:

(1) Find a dual NVMe enclosure with Thunderbolt 3 interface.
(2) Install two identical 1TB NVMe modules into the enclosure.
(3) Using Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter, connect the enclosure to one of the Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro.
(4) Boot the Mac Pro from the internal SSD with Catalina on.
(5) Initialize each of the two NVMe modules and configure them as RAID-0.
(6) Using Carbon Copy Cloner, create a bootable clone of the internal SSD onto the RAID-0.
(7) Boot the Mac Pro from the RAID-0.

At present, I am unable to find a dual NVMe enclosure with Thunderbolt 3 interface. Yes, there are dual NVMe enclosures with USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connection. But, USB 3.2 Gen 2 tops out at 10Gbps, which is half the speed of Thunderbolt 2 speed on the back of the Mac Pro.

I would appreciate any advice on this project. Thank you!!
 

MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2018
188
30
At present, I am unable to find a dual NVMe enclosure with Thunderbolt 3 interface

Sadly I think your project is unrealistic and can't be done.

I have a 6,1 myself with 250GB internal SSD and I spent quit some time searching for storage options.

In terms of external options it seems we just have to accept the fact that the machine is 7 years old and has it limitations. I have not been able to find any good Thunderbolt possibilities. I have more or less only seen HDD possibilities from eg. LaCie which of course is too slow and makes noise.
Quite fast I came to the conclusion that there just never was a market for Thunderbolt storage options to the Mac Pro 6,1.
USB 3.0 isn't as fast but have sort of better options. Going that route gives you the possibility to get a silent SSD with high capacity at a pretty low price.
This is the route I picked myself and I bought this one from Seagate:


R/W speed is around 350 MB/s. Because of USB 3.0. The new 'Barracuda' model is an option too and pretty much the same product in a diffrent color.

In terms of internal possibilities you can go for ordinary NVMe and maybe install a heatsink yourself. You will need one of those small adapters to get around Apple's proprietary connection though(there is other threads about this)
Then there is the most expensive option, but also the one that comes closest to your idea. There is a board from 'Amfeltec' which can carry 2 NVMe drives(there is a dedicated thread to that product) and the original SSD. That way capacity and speed are possible. As far as I remember the RAID 0 option didn't give anymore speed.

I know your machine is equipped with a 1TB drive unlike my own so you don't have that same capacity problem but I will mention the last option nevertheless. The last option is to buy a faster generation SSD taken from newer Apple products. The Mac Pro 6,1 was originally equipped with a SSUAX model and the next generation is called SSUBX. This option may be the best solution for most since this gives you capacity and the "maximal" speed of around 1500 MB/s.

The information above is what I have been able to gather through a lot searching but maybe I have overlooked other options. Nevertheless I hope this will help you in finding the optimal solution for you.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,760
6,540
In terms of external options it seems we just have to accept the fact that the machine is 7 years old nad has it limitations. I have not been able to find any good Thunderbolt possibilities. I have more or less only seen HDD possibilities from eg. LaCie which of course is too slow and makes noise.
Quite fast I came to the conclusion that there just never was a market for Thunderbolt storage options to the Mac Pro 6,1.
USB 3.0 isn't as fast but have sort of better options. Going that route gives you the possibility to get a silent SSD with high capacity at a pretty low price.
R/W speed is around 350 MB/s. Because of USB 3.0.

Why not look into TB3 NVMe options? It will cost more, but it would be 5 or 6 times faster than the USB3.
 
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MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2018
188
30
Why not look into TB3 NVMe options? It will cost more, but it would be 5 or 6 times faster than the USB3.

I don't use my Mac Pro 6,1 for professional work. I just needed a silent and external option for back-up possibilities.

I do not need and couldn't justify a really expensive solution but you are probably right. Maybe this could be an optimal option for some 🧐:

[automerge]1594309719[/automerge]
This seems to be a dual NVMe option with TB3:

 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,760
6,540
I don't use my Mac Pro 6,1 for professional work. I just needed a silent and external option for back-up possibilities.

I do not need and couldn't justify a really expensive option but you are probably right. Maybe this could be an optimal option for some 🧐:

[automerge]1594309719[/automerge]
This seems to be a dual NVMe option with TB3:


Okay, I re-read your post, you were prioritizing storage size over speed. When I first read it, I thought you wanted speed in addition to size.


I have a Mac Pro (Late 2013) [MacPro6,1] with Intel E5-2697v2 2.7GHz 12-Core CPU, 1TB Apple SSD, D500x2, and 128GB of RAM. To speed up this Mac, I am wondering if it is possible to do the following:

(1) Find a dual NVMe enclosure with Thunderbolt 3 interface.
(2) Install two identical 1TB NVMe modules into the enclosure.
(3) Using Apple’s Thunderbolt 3 to 2 adapter, connect the enclosure to one of the Thunderbolt 2 ports on the Mac Pro.
(4) Boot the Mac Pro from the internal SSD with Catalina on.
(5) Initialize each of the two NVMe modules and configure them as RAID-0.
(6) Using Carbon Copy Cloner, create a bootable clone of the internal SSD onto the RAID-0.
(7) Boot the Mac Pro from the RAID-0.

At present, I am unable to find a dual NVMe enclosure with Thunderbolt 3 interface. Yes, there are dual NVMe enclosures with USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C connection. But, USB 3.2 Gen 2 tops out at 10Gbps, which is half the speed of Thunderbolt 2 speed on the back of the Mac Pro.

I would appreciate any advice on this project. Thank you!!
There have been a few posts lately about people getting a SW RAID0 to work on APFS and Catalina. I wouldn't know why doing it with a dual NVMe enclosure wouldn't work.

It isn't a dual enclosure, but I am currently booting from an Samsung X5 NVMe TB3 drive on my Late 2012 iMac with only TB1.
 
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MikkelAD

macrumors regular
Feb 17, 2018
188
30
It isn't a dual enclosure, but I am currently booting from an Samsung X5 NVMe TB3 drive on my Late 2012 iMac with only TB1.

That drive is connected trough a Thunderbolt 1-2 cable and the original Apple adapter right? What speeds are you getting?

Thunderbolt 1 should be the same as USB 3.1 Gen 2 so 10Gbps in theoretical speed. You should be able to get 1000-1200 MB/s?

Since topic starter is planning to use Thunderbolt 2(theoretical speed of 20Gbps) speeds of around 2000 MB/s should be possible without considering RAID 0 and of course using capable NVMe drives?
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 603
Sep 23, 2014
5,760
6,540
That drive is connected trough a Thunderbolt 1-2 cable and the original Apple adapter right?
Yes, but also a TB3 dock.

The X5 doesn't have its own power and Apple's adapter doesn't provide power via the bus, so there has to be an in-between to power the device.

If the device has its own power source, then there doesn't need to be a dock.

What speeds are you getting?
I am getting almost 900MBps read speeds. I was expecting over 1000MBps, but I think the dock is adding to the overhead. Keep in mind that this is over TB1, with TB2, the read speeds would probably be close to doubled.

Write speeds are a little weird. I was getting a little over 800MBps with the original 500GB NVMe stick that came with the X5. I replaced 500GB NVMe with a 1TB Samsung 970 pro plus NVMe, and the write speeds dropped to a little over 700MBps. I am unsure of why. If anything, I though thought it might be higher.
 
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