MacPro 2008 3.1 HD/SSD Upgrade

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by flyman, Feb 19, 2014.

  1. flyman macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #1
    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...
     
  2. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #2
  3. Gav Mack, Feb 19, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #3
    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
     
  4. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Berlin formerly London
    #4
    Thanks Gav - good to know !!

    I actually have a Highpoint Raid/SATA III card coming, will see if it'sOK
    says Mac ML compatible.

    M
     
  5. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #5
    Myself and the OP have something in common - we also need to boot windows 7 ideally with SATA3!
     
  6. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    near Spokane, WA
    #6
    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.
     
  7. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Berlin formerly London
    #7
    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.
     
  8. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #8

    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.
     
  9. Marty62 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2010
    Location:
    Berlin formerly London
    #9
    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.
     
  10. flyman thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    #10
    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?
     
  11. Gav Mack, Feb 20, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #11
    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.
     
  12. Marty62 macrumors 6502

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    Berlin formerly London
    #12
    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.
     
  13. Gav Mack, Feb 20, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2014

    Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #13
    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!
     
  14. flyman thread starter macrumors member

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    Jan 28, 2004
    #14
    Sorry for my ignorance here but what are 'NWT Adaptors'?
     
  15. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #15
    http://www.newertech.com/products/adaptadrive.php

    They work in all Mac Pro sleds great unlike the plastic icydock/box things others recommend that always seem to fall to bits in my presence. Here in the uk cheapest on amazon/ballicom sites
     

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