SSD in Mac Pro 5,1 6-Core worth it?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by 3282868, Oct 25, 2010.

  1. 3282868 macrumors 603

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    #1
    Got a Westmere 6-core with all 4 SATA bays stacked and am curious is replacing the main HDD with a SSD would be beneficial given the rest of the drives will be standard 7200RPM HDDs. The other three bays are 1TB SATA drives as follows : 1) Time Machine 2) Media (music/software) 3) Scratch disk/excess

    Is it worth throwing down $250+ for a 120GB SSD given this configuration?
     
  2. dissolve macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 23, 2009
    #2
    Absolutely. Using a SSD as a boot drive is one of the best upgrades you can do. You'll notice the difference immediately. You don't need to replace any of your HDDs unless you're using the second optical bay. You can simply plug it in and let it hang in there (no moving parts) or buy a 5.25->2.5 adapter such as the IcyDock or the several sold by OWC.
     
  3. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #3
    Thanks mate! I have both optical bays filled, if anything I'll replace my HDD in Bay 1 with a SSD and move the HDD into an external enclosure attached via FireWire.

    OWC is the best way to go? I'll need a 100+GB SSD (120GB most likely), runs for about $250? Thanks for the advice!
     
  4. neckarb macrumors regular

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    #4
    Hi Dude, sorry for butting in but I thought I'd just add, I love my SSD's in my Mac Pro, they make such a huge difference, I can't bear to use a HDD as a boot drive any more, I've got mine in the optical drive bay, behind two optical drives! So no HDD bay used up, and no optical drive bay used up, I just ran a SATA cable from the ODD ports on the motherboard, assuming that all Mac Pro's have these, and not just my old 2006 model :)
     
  5. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Same as everyone else says. SSD will definitely improve performance. Hooked up an 80GB as soon as I got the Mac Pro and OS and App load times are extremely short. Makes it feel like iPhone apps. I used the optical drive as well.
     
  6. 10k300 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 10, 2010
    #6
    Hello

    After having the 8 core machine now for 2-3 weeks, I can tell you that these systems (2010/2009) are WAY too powerful for mechanical hard disks to keep up (even remotely)

    SSD is required to get the full performance out of the machine. I tried building all kinds of complex mechanical disk solutions (4 x RE4 RAID 10, 4 x RE4 RAID 0, separate disks, etc), but always the disks were holding the machine back.

    I put a 256G SSD in it, and it's INSANELY fast, you can't even compare it in any way to a mechanical disk's performance. Again, the 2009/2010 systems (E5500/E5600) are way too fast for mechanical disks to keep up.

    ps - same goes for the MacBook Pro w/i7
     
  7. jamiemcd macrumors newbie

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    Oct 13, 2010
    #7
    I just saw that NewEgg has the OCZ Vertex 2 240GB 2.5" SSD on sale for $399 after rebate. Model #OCZSSD2-2VTXE240G
     
  8. C. Alan macrumors 6502

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    Jan 23, 2009
    #8
    SSD's are even getting down enough in price that us cheap folks are picking them up. I put a 40g SSD from OWC in my '09 Mac Pro last week. It only has OSX and all my apps on it, so the total install was only 22g. All that for under $140, shipped with a 3.5" drive adapter.

    It definalty made a difference in the performace of my machine.
     
  9. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #9
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    Ok so would you go for an Intel SSD or are Kensington SSDs good? I saw an 80GB intel SSD at bestbuy for 200 or so but never buy from there, usually OWC or NewEgg.
     
  10. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #10
    Although I've got an Intel (160GB G2) in my Pro and can highly recommend them, they are not state of the art any more.
    You can get a OWC or OCZ Vertex 2 (which both perform considerably better than the G2) for less.

    Personally, I wouldn't touch Kensington drives, simply because they are not widely used. Most people settle with OCZ, Intel or OWC drives.
     
  11. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Oh also are there two extra SATA ports on the 2010 Pros? I know I my old 08 the system still used IDE for it's boot but the boardhad two SATA connections. On the 09-10 models the optical drives are all SATA based so are they using those two ports?
     
  12. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    Aug 6, 2007
    #12
    That is a great price.
     
  13. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

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    #13

    Only go for a sandforce controller based SSD or you will sacrifice performance. OCZ vertex 2, OWC or Corsair Force.
     
  14. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #14
    All models newer than 2008 use SATA ODD drives, considering that the systems come with only 6 SATA ports, no additional ports are left. However, if you chose only one Superdrive you can use the second bay for another hard disc, which means that you end up with one optical drive and five hard drives.

    What you have to keep in mind is the limited bandwidth of the internal SATA controller (~660MB/s), though. This bandwidth can easily be saturated with two SSDs and a single mechanical hard drive (assuming that you access all of them at at once).
    If you won't access them simultaneously, you're fine with more hard drives.
     
  15. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #15
    the reviews don't look so good on this SSD.
     
  16. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    Jan 8, 2009
    #16
    Thanks everyone for your help!

    So based on what I've learned, I'll most likely be replacing my HDD in Bay 1 for the SSD. I have two optical drives, added an LG Blu-Ray Burner for backing up media in OS X and Blu-Ray in Windows 7. I suppose I could lose the DVD+DL that came with the Pro, but having two drives to burn media when needed is convenient. Hmmmm...

    From the recommendations, OWC's SSD's are the way to go. I know they're relatively new and expensive, any opinions on what the market may hold for future pricing (I know, no one is Ms Cleo lol)?
     
  17. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #17
    you can pull one or both optical drives out and use em' externally by placing them in an enclosure, which can also be purchased from OWC.
     
  18. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #18
    Ah, which would make more sense than removing one of my internal SATA drives... good idea, thanks!

    Looking into a OCZ Technology 240 GB Vertex 2 Series SSD as my main 1TB drive has ~130GB used (I only keep the OS and applications on the main drive and my home folder is pretty small). Right now the best price I can find is about $594. It's not a huge need so I think I might wait, or strip down my main drive and try for the 128GB SSD.

    Thanks again everyone! :)
     
  19. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #19
    hey, don't mention it :)

    i'm looking to buy an SSD myself. i've been leaning toward OWC cause i get confused when i go to New Egg and see so many different kinds of OCZ SSDs. for example, there are two or three different 240GB ones. how do you know which one to buy, which is the fastest Vertex, etc?
     
  20. 3282868 thread starter macrumors 603

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    #20
    You're asking the wrong guy lol. Any one? Bueller?...
     
  21. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #21
    haha!!!
     
  22. GoCubsGo macrumors Nehalem

    GoCubsGo

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    Feb 19, 2005
    #22
    I have a 160 gb drive and I wouldn't know if I could go back to anything else. Perhaps the 10,000 rpm drives, but still it'd be tough. It was intended to be a drive for a future mbp purchase that I never bothered with and now I couldn't see myself without it. I think about buying another often.
     
  23. bluesteel macrumors 6502

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    #23
    this is what i'm afraid of. i haven't tried SSD yet, and i'm not 100% sure i want to be addicted to that drug while prices are still up there. hmmm...
     
  24. seek3r macrumors 6502

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    Aug 16, 2010
    #24
    Unless things have changed since the last time i glanced at SSD benchmarks intel's controller was comparable to a sandforce based controller, anything else from those two were awful.
     
  25. lbeck macrumors 6502

    lbeck

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    Dec 5, 2009
    #25
    My SSD is the best money I ever spent for my mac pro. They truly are as good as everyone says. I'm planning on never using a standard drive again. I just hope the prices go down soon
     

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