MacPro 4.1/5.1 PCIe SATA III SSD: Random Beachball freeze

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kristolz, Mar 23, 2015.

  1. kristolz macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2015
    Greetings from Norway!

    I just bought this from Ebay:

    It´s the final touch in an interesting journey into the Mac Pro 4,1 early 2009. I´ve never worked on one before (only MacBooks etc), but after sifting through several forums, including this one, I´ve managed to:

    1. Replace the stock CPUs (2,25 ghz dual core) with the meanest ones that would fit - the x5690 3,45 6 core. Bought two, modified the fan plugs on the stock coolers, added some more thermal compound between the voltage regulators and the heat spreaders - and everything works, and the temps are fine, after applying the 5.1 firmware.

    2. Replaced the RAM with 3x 16gb 1600mhz (runs @1333).

    To top it all, I wanted my Corsair Force 240 SSD to operate at as close to max performance as possible, hence the PCIe to SATA SSD card. I´ve run the Pro for a couple of weeks, stability testing etc, off the SSD (on the ICH10) - no problems, at all.

    After installing the PCie adapter card however - the beachball made it´s apparance:( The drive is performing way better than it did on the ICH10-controller, but a minute or so after boot, the whole machine freezes for some 30s, showing off the beloved beachball. It randomly appears every now and then.

    I ran the extended hardware test in the Apple Hardware Test-software, and it all went fine - no errors (thought it might be RAM related).

    Did a clean re-install also to check, but the problem persists.

    I´m running 10.9.5.

    Does anyone have a clue about what the problem might be? Is it the card, or is it a bad kex (or a missing one..?).

    To summarize:

    The hardware:

    MacPro 4,1 with 5,1 firmware. 2x X5690 CPUs. 48gb RAM.
    1x 240 gb Corsair Force SSD 240gb (brand new). No internal drives/DVD-roms connected to the integrated SATA controller.

    1x PCIe SATA SSD-card (believe it´s a Marvell controller) off Ebay. Installed in PCIe slot 4. No other PCIe cards, except a Radeon 5770.

    The Software:

    OS X Mavericks 10.9.5

    The problem:

    Beachball randomly appears, and the entire computer freezes for 20-30s.

    Best regards,

  2. Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    Sandforce based SSD drives suffer from freezing problem, google it, it's a known issue. Once I had an OCZ SSD with exactly the same problem in my Mac Pro. I replaced it with a Crucial SSD, later with a Samsung SSD, and no problems anymore.

    Return it as DOA.
  3. kristolz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2015
    Good point! I have an 840 Pro 256 available that I´ll try tomorrow! Hadn´t thought of that, although it seems like a plausible explaination. ( Haven´t used anything but Samsung privately, but this is an office (audio production) computer, and got the SSD from the IT-department. )

    I´ll report back tomorrow:)
  4. kristolz thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 23, 2015
    Did some more testing today, with an older Samsung 840 PRO I had laying around. It works - no stutters, no hickups. So it seems you were right Synchro3 - the Sandforce was to blame!

    Thank you all very much:)
  5. DougTheImpaler macrumors 6502a

    Feb 28, 2006
    Central Illinois
    I have a Sandforce drive (which is now in my wife's PC) that would disappear on reboot in the 4,1 both before and after flashing the 5,1 firmware. That one was really aggravating to diagnose. It'd cold boot fine but not reboot. When I installed Yosemite on a different SSD I discovered it didn't even show in system profiler.

    So I'm just making a habit of avoiding Sandforce drives for Macs I look at/work on, from here on out.
  6. georgage123 macrumors newbie

    Oct 4, 2015
    From what I have read, there were some freezing problems with some sandforce controlled SSDs many years ago, but those problems were solved. No problems with mine so far.
  7. Synchro3, Oct 5, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 5, 2015

    Synchro3 macrumors 68000


    Jan 12, 2014
    I had the problems three years ago. Since them I avoid OCZ drives. Could be that they are now without issues.

    Wasn't OCZ not declared bankrupt a while ago?

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7 March 23, 2015