SATA 3 on 2008/2009 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xmichaelp, Mar 14, 2015.

  1. xmichaelp macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #1
    I am looking to pick up an old used 2008 or 2009 8 core Mac Pro and I was wondering if they are able to upgrade to SATA 3 so I can install an SSD.

    Anyone? Thanks in advance.
     
  2. IowaLynn macrumors 6502a

    IowaLynn

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    #2
    Even on the native drive bays which are SATA II an SSD will make a big improvement. All you need is an adapter to fit SSD to the drive sled.

    I would advise to not buy a 2008, you should be able to find a 2009 for $495 and up.

    You can add SATA III PCIe cards designed for SSDs. Or there are PCIe adapters, not controllers, that let you install even faster (~2x+ what SATA III offers, faster than a pair of SSDs in RAID) using an M.2 blade SSD.

    So for $75 + sled adapter you can have 128GB for the system and enjoy SSD.

    For $500+ you can get an Apple or Samsung blade. And for $300 you could get a pair of 250GB SSDs and controller.

    So at least 3 or 4 different options.
     
  3. xmichaelp thread starter macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the quick response. I would probably just go with sata drive as I'm looking for a cheapish machine.

    Any specific reason why not to go for the 2008? I did notice that they are a bit cheaper for 8 core models than 2009 ones... I assume there is a reason for it as the CPU benchmarks aren't that different.
     
  4. kschendel macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #4
    If you might want to do a CPU upgrade, you want the 2009 model (4,1) as a minimum. If you are sure you're OK with the stock CPU's, then the 2008 is usually cheaper to buy.
     
  5. xmichaelp thread starter macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #5
    Thanks for the reply.

    The only reason I'm hesitant on the 2008 is lack of a mini displayport as i plan to get a 27 inch cinema display also. I would have to upgrade the gpu and then cheaper price of the 2008 model will not be as enticing if I need to buy another part.

    Edit: Also see the RAM is faster on the 2009... 1066 vs 800... Hmm, another reason to go with it.
     
  6. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #6
    Another big issue imho is the fact that only PCIE slots 1 and 2 are PCIE 2.0. Slots 3 and 4 are only 1.0 so you will end up playing PCIE slot sudoku trying to figure out which cards you could/should put where to maximize performance. On a 2009 or 2010 model all slots are 2.0. 2008 models are less likely to reliably boot from a PCIE-based SSD, although some people are able to do it without incident.

    Also, the RAM on a 2008 is not only slower, it is also more expensive and requires special heat sinks.

    Just so you have some numbers to consider - the stock 5400rpm hard drives on my 2008 were doing around 150-180 read/write. I now run two Apple/Samsung 2.5" SSDs in drive sleds 1 and 2 and they do about 250-260 read/write. I was very pleased with the improvement. You can expect PCIE-based SSD blades (discussed extensively in other threads) to deliver anywhere from 500-1500 read/write depending on what you are willing to pay and how well you do your research.
     
  7. nigelbb macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2012
    #7
    The units you are quoting appear to be MB/s as the numbers are correct for the SSDs but I wouldn't expect any better than 60-70 MB/s read/write from a 5400rpm HDD . You will get up to 150-160 MB/s with a modern 7200rpm & 100-120 MB/s with an older 7200rpm.
     
  8. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #8
    Yeah I meant MB/s. Tried to type out too much info too fast. And now that you mention it, one of the traditional HDD I had purchased a year or two ago was 7200rpm so I just generalized. Sloppy describing on my part. Regardless, doing nothing else but slapping a SSD in the stock SATA-2 drive bays will yield you a significant speed increase.

    Back to the main topic - one other big difference between the 2008 and the 2009/10 Mac Pros is the processors. You can get up to 12 cores in the 2009/10 and those CPUs recognize virtual cores. You will see it said in other threads - ALOT of technology changed from the 2008 to the 2009 MP. The 2008 kind of bridges the gap between the 2006-2007 MP and the 2009-10 MP - it introduced some new features like 64-bit EFI but lacks some major advances in the 2009-10.
     
  9. xmichaelp thread starter macrumors 68000

    xmichaelp

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2012
    #9
    Thanks for making the decision easier guys. :)

    2009 machine is a no brainer now. 12 core upgrade down the line, faster ram, pci-e, etc.
     

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