SSD boot in lower optical / 5.25?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Macshroomer, Mar 10, 2011.

  1. Macshroomer macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    Hi gang,

    Well, I just went ahead and did it. I am moving out of my old machine into a new one.

    I am currently running a Mac Pro 1,1 2.66 with 16 GB of ram, boot off of Raptor 160GB, OS 10.6.6. I use it for full time professional photography, raw processing, large scans, files from 36-300MB.

    I have moved up to a new 6 core 3.33 with 16GB of ram ( 2x8GB OWC ) OWC 128GB SSD for boot, moving my 3 x 2TB drives into the new machine.

    One of the main reasons for not waiting for Sandy Bridge is that I don't want to take the chance at having my Nikon 9000ED not work with the next generation, being able to scan is my top priority since I actually shoot more film than ever and will continue to do so.

    So my question is this, I am thinking that I could make good use of the unused 5.25 bay for another drive, maybe a 3TB time capsule backup but wonder if I can get away with the SSD as a boot drive in that slot since cooling is not as big an issue there.

    Any thoughts?

    I know that the SSD in my Mac Book Pro has to be in the drive position to boot while the 500GB storage is in an Optibay since the computer wants to find the boot volume in the correct position. I am thinking that this will be the case for the 5.25 interface on the Mac Pro as well....
  2. Macshroomer thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
  3. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    yeah you just use preferences then startup drive any of the 4 in the bays or the optical bay can be picked.
  4. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    Nice. I have two SSD's just sitting in there, using both connectors there. Works great.

    Yeah film is good and getting decent scans these days is getting harder and harder.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008

    There's only one connector per optical bay in the 2009/10 systems, so to attach more than one disk in the empty optical bay (assumes the OEM optical disk will remain in place), there's the need for an additional controller (or try to attach a SATA connector to the logic board at one of the HDD locations, and get power from the ODD connector to power the additional drive there = custom made cable, but doable by the user via a pair of readily available cables and connect the wiring together for power).

    2006 - 2008 had 2x ODD_SATA ports that were unused on the logic board, and the 2008 would only boot OS X off of those (others have indicated they could get a Windows/Linux disk to boot in the 2006/7 systems, which is a apparently the result of the transition from EFI32 to EFI64).
  6. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    Unplug the DVD burner and you have 2 connectors.

    I leave the burner in it's position, unplugged, and the cord reaches down to the lower bay where both sit perfectly fine and dandy.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Technically speaking, the way your post reads, is that there's more than 1x connector per bay.

    What you're doing is fine if a user is willing to deal with that. But it's neccesary to spell out the details to avoid confusion (hence my previous post). ;)

    Another alternative, is take the optical drive external (but it's still 1x connector per bay). Most users in my experience however, tend to want to leave the OEM DVD burner connected in the 1st optical bay in my experience (swapping cables isn't that attractive; and can even wear out the connector, causing instability later on, as they're not meant for this type of use <contacts wear, and no longer make a solid connection> :eek:).
  8. Macshroomer thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    I am definitely leaving the OEM DVD in, but the lower slot for the SSD is a done deal, this is going to rock!
  9. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    Nee-nar nee nar post police in town! Whoa better check my spelling and grammar too.

    It's really no biggy and in my experience most people know there are only 2 connectors in the optical bays given you can only have 2 DVD burners.

    And if you don't have another connector stick a Sata Card in. Point is those drives are small and you can fit a load in there. It's useful space.

    Unplugging a connector and sticking it in another drive is not going to wear it out. It's a one time event. You buy the drive you plug it in. Crossing the road is bad too these days I hear.

    Anyway all this correcting...shesh. If the OP wants to know more I'm sure they'd ask or research it. Maybe they could email the post police!

  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Darn right you should! :eek: :D :p

    Unfortunately, that's not so much the case with Macs in my experience (there's plenty of proof here in MR, particularly those that are new to Macs or are trying to implement RAID systems).

    The particulars really do become critical, so I've found it a good idea to be careful, and try not to leave room for any misunderstanding (i.e. assumptions, particularly based on PC knowledge, as there's custom cabling in MP's, and fewer 3rd party alternatives to get around limitations than the PC market).

    It's definitely usefull space, but they may not realize that they'd need a 3rd party card, and even if they realize that part, there's a good chance they won't know how to get power to the additional drives (especially when they do want/need to use the DATA signal on the existing connector = backplane connector they may have never seen before).

    There's no commercially made cable I've seen that addresses this, so I found cables that can be spliced together to get the job done without voiding the warranty (no mods to existing cables, get's the job done, and it's cheap). ;)

    It depends on how often this is done.

    I presume you don't work with RAID systems, but if you do, you'd see this often. Even standard SATA cables have issues from day one, as they're made so cheaply (i.e. the retaining tabs aren't fully molded, and are loose from day one).

    BTW, the price for a replacement cable for the optical bays is ~$60USD IIRC (single cable assembly that goes from the backplane board to both of the optical bays). Looks to be a bit of a PITA to replace as well.

    Maybe, but in general, MP users may not even now what to search for (don't know the terms they need to use, or what 3rd party companies/sites that cater to Mac users are). So even if they try, there's a good chance they'll come up empty.

    There also seems to be a growing trend users come here to get answers handed to them instead (don't even try to search first). :rolleyes: :(
  11. Macshroomer thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    Nah, umma lawless bastaad....:D
  12. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
    All fine and well Nans but if you want to spend your life ticking every box and turning every stone on the beach and filling in all the superfluous details there are, just in case someone takes something the wrong way, just in case someone googles in a years time and happens to read the post for two seconds, then it's only your time and life you're wasting.

    Some one who is posting about customizing their Mac by putting a OWC Solid State Disk for their Boot Drive in the Lower Optical Bay of their Mac Pro 3.33 6 core with 16GB of RAM and 3x2TB drives already knows a little about things, likes to tinker, to research and has good intelligence and I think will be able to calculate that 2 Optical Drive Bays equal 2 DVD Burners and 2 Connections.

    As for connectors it's made so you can swap or replace faulty drives. Unplugging the thing ONCE to plug it in to something else is NOT going to break the connector. And if it does, since you've just bought the machine, phone up Apple and tell them it broke. It doesn't have to be soooooooo drawn out all the time man.
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Whether they get anything out of it or not, as you say, it's my time to do with as I see fit (computer tech is both a profession and hobby for me). :p

    Those that post often usually do, but if you go back and look at posts by those that are either new to Macs, or whose previous system is old, they may not know the details (don't spend time here to keep up with the changes; only login and post when they actually need something).

    That's what who these posts are aimed at. Others may get tidbits of info here and there, which is fine too. If they don't (already know every conceivable detail), no harm done. :)

    I didn't say this is a problem on occasion. I said that it can be a problem for repeated use (moving a connector say 1x per day to connect to the DVD burner to read movies from an existing collection for HTPC use for example; any regularity, not on occasion will wear the contacts and retaining clips - I've seen this in servers and workstations, even when there's metal retaining clips due to fairly regular use as test-beds = equipment swapped out/physically reconfigured often).

    I doubt your swapping it around that often, but it was worth mentioning IMO due to the cost of a replacement cable (I don't care about standard SATA for example, as they're so cheap). Unfortunately, Apple's replacement parts tend to be expensive for what it is, and can be difficult to find (out of warranty, where the user has to cover the costs).
  14. Macshroomer, Mar 10, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2011

    Macshroomer thread starter macrumors 65816


    Dec 6, 2009
    I think you guys both have valid points, it is all good info. DeeEss, you are right, I do research well and work well within my knowledge base, i have to, I am a professional user of this equipment.

    But I don't think it is out of order for nanofrog to state the obvious when someone else who might come along and read this could have an "Aha" moment before they order two more drives to take up those slots without even thinking of it.

    I did a search on here first by the way, and as an owner of a VBulletin driven forum my self, I know the search function kind of sucks, so I actually found the Digilloyd article on Google, not here.

    Also, sometimes it is OK to have these topics come up more than once in a given period, especially with something as new / desirable as SSD in a Mac Pro as a boot not taking up a regular drive bay or being used least I think.

    SSD drives are the way of the future, I think they are actually pretty primitive considering what is possible since there are no moving parts...

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