SSD Drives for Mac Pro Boot Drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by netdog, Jan 18, 2008.

  1. netdog macrumors 603


    Feb 6, 2006
    64GB would probably be more than enough for me to stash OS X and my apps. A 1.8" for the MBA is £600 here, but anybody know how much one could find a 3.5" 64GB SATA drive for? I've been poking around, and have only found 2.5's. I really don't want the noise of a Raptor, so this seems like a perfect solution if and when one can be had at a reasonable price.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    You can get a pro RAID card and 4 750gb drive for the price of one SSD drive. Think about it.
  3. gkarris macrumors 604


    Dec 31, 2004
    "No escape from Reality..."
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    I found this for £586.33 on preorder. The problem with flash drives isn't so much the space they take up but the cost of the actual flash memory, hence why 3.5" drives would cost about the same as the sub notebook sized drives in the MacBook Air. To be honest, you'd probably be better off getting a 2.5" SSD and a 2.5 to 3.5 case converter giving you the possibility to use it in a notebook down the line.
  5. tyr2 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2006
    Leeds, UK
    Super Tallent make them, no idea about pricing though, you'd have to contact one of their distributers.
  6. lancestraz macrumors 6502a


    Nov 27, 2005
    Get a 2.5 inch SSD and use an adapter.
    Like this, or this, or this. (oops! These are all PATA! My bad.)

    However, SSD are really expensive and not that fast yet. I would hold of purchasing one, for now. Wait for them to get the kinks worked out.

    You can get a 32GB SSD for $700. The RAID card for the Mac Pro cost $800. Unless you can get a third-party one cheaper...

    Wow. A 256GB SSD. Wana take bets on how much it costs? I'm going to say... $30,000.
  7. benpatient macrumors 68000

    Nov 4, 2003
    Wait a year and get back to us...

    They are prohibitively expensive. Like someone else said, you could buy the RAID card and run RAID 1+0 of 1TB drives for less than one 64GB drive.
  8. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Almost certainly not worth the price to eliminate the small amount of noise generated by a decent standard drive.

    Also 2.5" drive is going to be a kluge adapted to the MP 3.5" sled.

    Those three adapter are all PATA 2.5" -> PATA 3.5" so not compatible with MP SATA.
  9. Mr.PS macrumors 6502a

    Jan 8, 2008
    I think we're on the verge of using only SSD drives. Verge meaning a few years away. I remember 5-6 years ago manufactures boasted about only having SSD drives in systems. It would be really nice and probably a lot faster.
  10. yeroen macrumors 6502a


    Mar 8, 2007
    Cambridge, MA
    They do make 3.5" SSD SATA drives, but they're extremely $$$$$$, on the order of several grand or so.

    By the time I replace my 2006 Mac Pro in ~ 4 or 5 years, I'm hoping the technology will be mainstream.
  11. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    SSD go back a long way. Anybody remember the SCSI DART ca. 1987, a SCSI device that accepted 30 pin SIMMS and behaved as if it was a drive. Monsterously expensive w/o memory ( ~$1500.00 ) and 30 pin SIMM's weren't cheap back in those days either.
  12. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    They are just too expensive right now.

    Yeah, in a few years they will be perfect for those wanting a quiet machine (e.g., those of us working Audio). In the meantime, if noise is an issue why not just go with one of the fast throughput 7.2Krpm drives?
  13. newtech macrumors 6502

    Jun 2, 2007
    Ever wonder why recording studios seperate the control room ( booth ) from the floor?
  14. fernmeister macrumors regular

    Aug 19, 2007
    Sure, but does everyone isolate the control room/listening environment from the computer?

    No, not really.

    Moreover, a lot of people working in electronic music, or scoring, or in any of the multitude of "project" studios are still doing professional work and in close proximity to their computer.
  15. thevibesman macrumors regular

    Oct 26, 2007
    The sound at Harvard's Hydra concerts is done on a mac tower (I think G5, but maybe it is a 2006 Mac Pro, can't remember) and they keep their tower in a climate controlled box and it is silent. I'm looking into getting one of this for doing video installations with my new Mac Pro down the road. Next time I see Hans, I'll ask for the details on this climate control/sound isolation box and post it this forum.
  16. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Boston & San Jose
    SSDs are a lot cheaper now than they were a year ago when this thread was started.

    $250 buys a 128 GB SSD.

    So I've been thinking about putting one or two into my Mac Pro:

    I have a 2 1 TB RAID-1 for boot right now, but /Users is 760 GB of that--all that / really needs is about 90 GB. The other two drives in the Mac Pro are for scratch work.

    Putting the swap file onto a second SSD seems like a good idea.

    Maybe 2 x 128 GB SSDs in the 2nd optical bay and use those extra SATA ports on the motherboard:

    Anyone tried this or something similar?
  17. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    SSD's are not created equal and they are not yet the panacea folks here seem to think they are....

  18. Bwa macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Boston & San Jose
    They have come a long way though. 6 years ago my team shipped a product with a 512 MB IDE SSD for booting and it was noticeably slower than hard disks. I've messed around with IDE/CF adapters quite a bit. These new SSDs have the right I/O characteristics for certain needs and the speeds are up quite a bit. It's only going to get better.

    Just to be clear, I plan to keep /var and /tmp on a separate SSD or maybe a HD; certainly all of my VMs and other data will remain on RAID-1 or RAID-10 disks. But / and the page file can benefit from SSDs.

    Also, I am concerned about thermal issues--putting a real HD into the optical bay seems like a bad idea, much less two--but two SSDs with 2 watts of draw -> minimal heat.
  19. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    The ONLY SSD that can successfully compete with hard drives today is the Intel X-25-M and it is only noticeably faster on reads. Write performance is on par with today's hard drives. Based on the limited capacity and costs, I have no idea why the average desktop owner would even consider such an option.

  20. contoursvt macrumors 6502a

    Jul 22, 2005
    Looking at read and write speeds alone wont do the trick. Not sure if you've noticed the access times....

    At work, we swapped a 74GB Raptor with an OCZ 60GB and the system was quit a bit more responsive overall. Some write tasks were slower but as a whole, it was a good improvement. Since that series of SSD, newer faster ones have come out.

    SSDs also dont really suffer from fragmentation so much and also will deliver their read write speeds regardless of how full they get.

  21. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Because the boot drive is largely READ operations driven. I'm opening the OS and opening applications - those can be sped up signficantly by 2x the read speeds and 1000x faster latency.

    I've recently ordered a 256GB SSD for my boot drive, so you know where my bias is, and I may regret jumping quite so soon, but I would venture that in less than a year's time the majority of performance enthusiasts will be looking for an SSD as a boot drive.
  22. Mattww macrumors 6502


    Jan 11, 2008
    I'm wondering if Apple might offer a SSD as a CTO option with the next Mac Pro models. I'd been considering a velociraptor but the read speed and latency improvements have made me think about solid state instead as a boot drive. It does seem to make sense for the OS, swap files and probably your main applications which don't change often - it is just a case of how much capacity is enough for this.
  23. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    I've had about a day with my new SSD boot drive (titan 256GB)


    Boots very fast
    Applications open almost instantly

    Write speeds not -as- fast, but good
    Installation was somewhat difficult - had to clone an already existent drive
    Right now, I can't sleep the system - causes an endless spinning beach ball when it wakes back up. Not sure if this is Mac or HW induced.
  24. grue macrumors 65816

    Nov 14, 2003
    Try disabling safe sleep, if it's on for some reason.

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