MacPro 2008 3.1 HD/SSD Upgrade

flyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 28, 2004
100
0
Hi Everyone,

I'm considering upgrading my HD's for SSD's just to speed things up a bit and wondered if anyone would be able to advise on the following questions based on my current specs?

My System
Processor: 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Memory: 8 GB 800 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 670 2048 MB
HD1: WD640 Caviar Black (Mac OS)
HD2: WD640 Caviar Black (Windows 7)
HD3: WD320 (Backup)
HD4: WD320 (Backup)
Software: OS X 10.9.1

  1. As I frequently use Bootcamp to run Windows 7 for some serious FPS gaming would I be ok to partition 1 larger SSD or be wiser to install the operating systems on separate SSD drives (concerned with viruses etc!) just as I've done with the HHD's?
  • Also as my Mac uses PCI 2, should I go with the faster but more expensive PCI SSD option or the slower SATA?
Many thanks in advance...
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
With a 3,1 they have major problems dual booting off an x2 with a single SSD. I only got mine working fine in slot 2 by using two SSD's, the OSX one plugged into the card and the windows SSD stuck on top of the first using thermal sticky pads plugged into the x2's second port. Does require a power extension cable and splitter off the optical ports if you haven't run one, but that frees all four sleds up for spinning disks.

Thanks go to user costabunny for the second drive tip for the x2 I will find her topic later and post the link.

Edit: dual x2 SSD link http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1675846
 
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sigmadog

macrumors 6502a
Feb 11, 2009
769
594
just west of Idaho
I recently upgraded my 3,1 with a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe card containing 2 460GB SSDs. I use it as for my boot drive (OSX 10.6.8). It has speeded up my OS and application load times considerably, and I haven't had to sacrifice any of my HD bays which were full. The cost was around $1000, so it's not cheap, but it will give me at least another year of satisfaction, allowing me to make more money off my five+ year investment before I upgrade to the nMP.

I think this is one of the best upgrades possible for the 3,1.

Edit: I don't know what the ramifications of this upgrade are for booting into Windows.

Edit2: I recommend the PCI SSD option. It's much faster.
 

Marty62

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2010
394
0
Berlin formerly London
Myself and the OP have something in common - we also need to boot windows 7 ideally with SATA3!
I don't but it IS possible to boot from this card in OSX right ??

I had the feeling that the PCI buss was looked at "during" boot but perhaps
I am thinking USB3.0 cards with attached drive boot problems.... !!!

Thanks,
Martin.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
I don't but it IS possible to boot from this card in OSX right ??



I had the feeling that the PCI buss was looked at "during" boot but perhaps

I am thinking USB3.0 cards with attached drive boot problems.... !!!



Thanks,

Martin.

Sure it will be fine - it's booting windows also that can be trickier, especially on a 3,1 with a PCIe card. Until costabunny came up with the port 2 method I couldn't boot 7 with the x2 with the bootcamp partition on the ssd alongside OSX mounted in the card, I got a white screen and a hang not black like it should be in legacy mode. With separate drives it works fine.
 

Marty62

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2010
394
0
Berlin formerly London
Sure it will be fine - it's booting windows also that can be trickier, especially on a 3,1 with a PCIe card. Until costabunny came up with the port 2 method I couldn't boot 7 with the x2 with the bootcamp partition on the ssd alongside OSX mounted in the card, I got a white screen and a hang not black like it should be in legacy mode. With separate drives it works fine.
Thanks Gav, I hope the same is true for the Highpoint card as that is what I
Have ordered so far, IIRC it got a fairly good rep and the new version is
Targetted for Macs.
Exciting times, I have a 5,1 coming but my 3,1 has and still is a real workhorse.
I have had zero issues with it and I push it extremely hard with audio/plugin
Duties !,
Cheers,
Martin.
 

flyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 28, 2004
100
0
Gav, Marty and sigmadog thank you all for the feedback.

I would love to go with the PCI option if I could get it to work but my main concern is the size of my GTX 670 graphics card which already is in slot 2 and covers slot 3!
I'm not sure if I can move it to slot 1 because there's a risk of the card over heating.:confused:

Would another option be to install the 2 separate operating systems on individual SSD's and place them in separate sledges?
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
Gav, Marty and sigmadog thank you all for the feedback.

I would love to go with the PCI option if I could get it to work but my main concern is the size of my GTX 670 graphics card which already is in slot 2 and covers slot 3!
I'm not sure if I can move it to slot 1 because there's a risk of the card over heating.:confused:

Would another option be to install the 2 separate operating systems on individual SSD's and place them in separate sledges?
That's one huge lump of cooling on that card, bigger than normal. My 680 reference leaves slot 2 clear for a PCIe card at the bracket end. Maybe a third party offers a slimmer cooling solution for the 670?

Will still be a very decent boost connecting to the sleds running SATA 2, SSD's for OSX in sled 1 and bootcamp in sled 2 fitted in NWT adaptors. Sub 30 seconds to start for both easily past the white boot screen.
 
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Marty62

macrumors 6502
Mar 11, 2010
394
0
Berlin formerly London
Gav - a question if you don't mind ?

I am not anywhere near my Mac so can't check, would you know if there's
room to fit a 2.5 drive in a 3.5 sled "backwards" and then run the SATA
pwr/data cable down to a PCI card ?
So it uses a mac Sled but faces the outside edge if that makes sense ?
( I will have a spare internal sled this is to try with the Highpoint card )

Otherwise I am using thermal tape to stick an SSD somewhere :eek:
THX,
Martin.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
Gav - a question if you don't mind ?

I am not anywhere near my Mac so can't check, would you know if there's
room to fit a 2.5 drive in a 3.5 sled "backwards" and then run the SATA
pwr/data cable down to a PCI card ?
So it uses a mac Sled but faces the outside edge if that makes sense ?
( I will have a spare internal sled this is to try with the Highpoint card )

Otherwise I am using thermal tape to stick an SSD somewhere :eek:
THX,
Martin.
Difficult to find an exact fit inside a sled leaving a big enough gap for the SATA power and data, the ends of the cables aren't normally short and the cable should not be bent. I suppose taking an hacksaw or hot soldering iron to one of the plastic icybox enclosures you could cut it down slightly so the connectors would fit! I would tape it to a sled with a couple of flat lolly sticks/bits of flat plastic as braces across the sled itself!
 
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flyman

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jan 28, 2004
100
0
That's one huge lump of cooling on that card, bigger than normal. My 680 reference leaves slot 2 clear for a PCIe card at the bracket end. Maybe a third party offers a slimmer cooling solution for the 670?

Will still be a very decent boost connecting to the sleds running SATA 2, SSD's for OSX in sled 1 and bootcamp in sled 2 fitted in NWT adaptors. Sub 30 seconds to start for both easily past the white boot screen.
Sorry for my ignorance here but what are 'NWT Adaptors'?