PCIe SSD for Mac Pro?!?!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sngraphics, Jul 8, 2012.

  1. sngraphics macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    Just looking for recommendations/info for a PCIe SSD for our 2009 Mac Pro.
    Anyone who has tried one (or two) and their experience with it.
    Is it worth it compared to the other solutions out there?
    Also looking for any news (or rumors) of any upcoming PCIe solutions.
    So far looking at the AngelBird and OWC Accelsior products.
    Any advice, thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated seeing that we are a Non-Profit and have to watch how we spend our money.
    Thank You. God Bless.
  2. iChase macrumors member

    Oct 3, 2007
    Orlando, FL
    I have a 120GB OWC Accelsior I'm booting off of. It was fantastic for a few weeks, until the other day when it up and crashed. I'm working with tech support to hopefully figure it out. It was incredible while it lasted, though.
  3. Vapor matt macrumors regular

    Aug 8, 2010
    Hi, Iam still using this cheap SATA 3 PCIE card with a vortex 3 SATA 120g drive, and it hasn't crashed once, has been 100% reliable since installation so considering its price point, and the fact you can boot from it.

    a very good option for any mac pro wanting to use SATA 3 drives near there full speed.


    Quite a few of the PCIe integrated SSD drives have failed, new tech will take a while to sort, depends how much you cherish your data.:D
  4. ilandmac macrumors member


    Mar 25, 2012
    Remote island
    Pci ssd

    I've had this one for a month now,


    It's super fast.

    I got rid of the raid card and just kept one hard drive for backup with CCC.
    Did not get rid of the tin can raid5 box just yet...

    Way less noise, heat.

    Write 290 MB/s Read : 606/s according to Black Magic test app.
  5. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Any of you guys use Capture One? trying to get my preview rendering to go faster, the sata ssd helped a lot. Curious if this would help
  6. lastmile macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2008
    That looks like the Apricorn Velocity Solo Mac Edition which has some bandwidth limitations with SATA3 SSDs. A forum member contacted the company and they are supposed to be releasing an updated version soon (hopefully this month) so I'm waiting on that before I buy one. Otherwise it looks like a cheaper, though slower, alternative to the OWC Accelsior.
  7. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    Arrg, you guys are making want to spend more money..
  8. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    Even though I'm waiting for an owc-accelsior I could also recommend people looking into the Revodrive and Revodrive X2 from OCZ.


    They are really fast, and works well on osx. Not bootable though. I've had mine for about a year now without a hitch and I'm only switching to the accelsior because of boot and that I want more space than the 240GB provided by the revodrive.
  9. sngraphics thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    Thank you everyone for taking the time to reply to this post.

    It looks like one PCIe SSD has good specs but then one thing holding it back from being faster.
    eg. Accelsior & Velocity solo are PCIe x2 but have SATA III
    the Angelbird Wings is a PCIe x4 but only has SATA II.

    Is there a "complete' card?

    This past week got off the phone with Angelbird to see about upcoming products.
    The person on the phone said they couldn't comment but did say nothing new for at least 2-3 months and did
    get him to agree that most SSDs now have SATA III connections and hopefully that's where Wings might go right?

    Also got off the phone with Apricorn.
    So far looks like a July 25, 2012 release date for new Velocity Solo cards.
    There will 2 models at 2 price points of Velocity Solo.

    I really want/need to get a PCIe SSD seeing that it is currently the best solution for a Mac Pro but the landscape (& the prices) seems to be changing daily.

    Let's keep this thread going with any PCIe SSD news, info & experiences.

    Again thank you to all and God Bless.
  10. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601


    Sep 16, 2007
    Northeastern Ohio
    Anyone know of a bootable PCIe card that could hold 2 SSDs? Figured I'd pay $20 more for a PCIe card than 2 of the OWC sled mounts. This way I can have a OSX/windows SSD and keep my sleds open for my media and time machine backups.
  11. rshanahan macrumors regular

    Dec 24, 2007
    North East, MD
    I have this card too, 128gb version in a macro 1.1 and cannot get over 159mb/s write and 190mb/s read. Not sure if it's my pci bus or not, but still very happy with the card. It will definitely move to my new macrpro, whenever THAT comes out.
  12. DonMega macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2007
    480GB Accelsior

    This is my 2010 3.33 Hex with the 480GB Accelsior...

    WRITE: 525.7 MB/s ; READ: 662 MB/s

    The dials are basically pegged out. I'm very satisfied! :D
  13. pdxplm macrumors newbie


    Sep 29, 2006
    Portland, OR
    I just got the $60 card, it says it can also be used to run Bootcamp where as the OWC can't. I already have a Sandisk Sata III SSD so, it should be a good test of the card...can't beat $60!
  14. TableSyrup macrumors 6502

    May 29, 2012

    I also saw one a couple weeks ago when I was looking at adapters... stumbled on a thing on ebay - it's like the velocity solo, except it holds 4 drives. It's a full length card, so the drives bolt flat onto it, like the solo, and the thing only takes up one slot.

    I searched ebay again for it and can't find it
  15. derbothaus, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
    A Crucial M4 on a 3G link is a faster boot disk honestly hopefully you are using for huge media streams or space saving:D
  16. DonMega, Jul 12, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2012

    DonMega macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2007
    Space saving mainly. I do database programming as a profession and photography as a second.

    It speeds both up considerably.

    But somehow I can't believe what you say is true. How can that be?
  17. sngraphics thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2010
    Check out http://www.angelbird.com/en/products/. They have a PCIe Card that can hold 4 SSDs.

    Also the Velocity Solo has the main port on the card for one SSD but it has an auxiliary port as well for a 2nd SSD.
    Not sure about their current model but the new ones due out at end of July 2012 are able to RAID both of the connected drives.
    But, you do have to take care of the SATA & Power Cable for the SSD plugged into the auxiliary port.

    Both are Bootable into OSX. Not sure abut Bootcamp.
  18. derbothaus macrumors 601


    Jul 17, 2010
  19. lastmile macrumors regular

    Mar 10, 2008
    Apricorn also sells a four drive board. The Mac version appears to come with four Western Digital standard hard drives but the PC version is just the PCIe card so SSDs can be installed. I don't know what the difference is between the two, neither appears to be bootable in a Mac. Its PCIe 1.0 4x but SATA2.


    Did Apricorn mention whether the new version of the Velocity Solo would support Bootcamp? From what others have posted in the forum it sounds like Windows does not recognize the Mac version. But the identical looking card on ebay says it works with Bootcamp.

    I've been waiting for the updated Velocity Solo but ideally would both Windows and OS X on a single PCIe SSD. Actually a PCIe that held multiple SSDs (one for OS X and one for Windows) and was bootable would be perfect.

    I've thought about hooking SSDs to a standard SATA3 PCIe card but I can't think of a clean way to handle supplying them with power without a mess of cables. I did come across an image of a PCIe slot adapter that would allow you to take power from the slot (I think it had a SATA power connector) and still allowed a half-height card to be used in the slot. I don't want to give up a hard drive bay by using a logicboard SATA power connector and both graphics board power cable connectors are used. My optical bays are full so it looks like I have to go with either an SSD on a PCIe card or getting a standard SATA3 PCIe card, rigging up cables to pull power from the optical drives, and then buying one of the solutions that lets you mount additional drives in the Mac Pro.
  20. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    The answer to if you need/could benefit from a 6G/pci-ssd is hidden in the way you want to use the drive.

    If you want a boot drive which makes your softwares super-snappy you can go for any kind of drive with high 4K read/writes. A 6Gbps ssd in a 3Gbps connector will work fine since the 4K read/writes are so far from the bandwidth bottleneck in the 3Gbps interface. Samsung 830 would be my choice of drive here due to its good performance and amazing reliability.

    On the other hand, if it is bandwidth you are after there are several options depending on what you want to spend :) Remember that bandwidth is not super important for a boot drive, so these does not have to be bootable
    * upgrading the standard drive bays in a mac pro to sata 6Gbps, http://blog.macsales.com/12247-upgrade-your-06-08-mac-pro’s-internal-bays-to-sata-3-0
    note that this will make the drive bays "un-bootable" but you can still take one of the extra Sata ports on the motherboard and put a boot drive on that. With this you can add 4 6Gbps ssds to the standard drive bays in the mac pro and raid them.
    * accelsior SSD from owc (these can be raided as well, look at http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-SSD-OWC-Mercury-Accelsior-speed-fill-volume-stripe3.html for numbers).
    * revodrive. Not bootable, but the Revodrive and Revodrive x2 (NOT!! Revodrive 3) are usable with mac osx. They have about the same max-performance as the accelsiors but are somewhat more limited. And usually more expensive (at least here in Sweden).

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