SSD in the 2nd optical drive, pics? hard?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rafalski24, Oct 27, 2009.

  1. Rafalski24 macrumors regular

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    #1
    So how hard would it be to install an SSD in the second optical drive? is it easier then trying to put it in a tray/ at least more beneficial? Does anyone have pictures of how they did either of these things? I am looking to do this cheap/free i know I will probably need to buy an sata and power cable, but is there a safe way to secure the drive for free or very cheap, ie not buying a specific adapter tray or bracket?
    thanks everyone!

    -Rafalski
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #2
    There are two different model ranges.

    2006-2008 Mac Pros boot ODDs from IDE and have a second IDE connector in the ODD bay. They have two spare ODD SATA ports on the logic board to use. To fit an SSD in the ODD bay you need to thread a SATA cable with 90° connector from the ODD bay through the bulk head hole to one ODD SATA port. You also need a Molex -> SATA power adapter.

    The 2009 model boots the 1st ODD from SATA and has only one spare SATA connection which is already in the ODD bay. It has no IDE. You can simply attach the SSD and you are done.

    Mechanically you can use primitive solutions like double sided sticky tape or velcro but you can also use elaborate adapters. It is up to you. I used an Addonics 5,25" enclosure in the 2nd ODD bay to fit three SSDs. It can hold up to four 2,5" drives.
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #3
    There's also the option of using an old optical drive's metal housing. Disassemble it, and use one of the plates as a mount. Just drill some holes.

    Another member has also used Zip Ties to attach it to the bottom of one of the HDD drives (presumably HDD #1).

    Both ways work, and are inexpensive (nearly free if the OP is a Pack Rat Computer Junkie with an old CD/DVD unit lying around + tools). This is assuming the screws need to be purchased. :p
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #4
    I chose the easy way to mount the SSD in the lower optical bay.

    Two old 5.25" mounting brackets and a Kingston SSD carrier. Fits perfectly and doesn't cost a fortune. Time to mount it in the Pro was less than 5 minutes and it is really dead easy.

    Here are some pics. As already said, the cables in the 2009 Mac Pro are already in place.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  5. KP Nuts macrumors newbie

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    Cornwall England
    #5
    mine's just hanging in the second optical drive space attached to the cable. just dangling. works fine. get into it. man up.
     
  6. rtrt, Oct 28, 2009
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  7. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #7
    Yeah, nothing wrong with simple solutions. I like Transporteur's version but the space can be used more efficiently for multiple drives.
     
  8. Rafalski24 thread starter macrumors regular

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    #8
    I assume in the 09' you would need a raid controller to support more than one more drive, right?
     
  9. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #9
    Thats true. Unfortunately there are no spare SATA ports like other main boards in that price class have them.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    If you don't need to boot from it, you could use an inexpensive PCIe SATA card that uses the SIL3132 chip ($20 - 25USD).

    The need to boot OS X complicates matters, and adds cost. Quite a bit, unfortunately. The least expensive bootable I'm aware of is the ARC-1210 (gugucom uses one), goes for $290USD. Newegg's offering some as open box specials, for about $220USD IIRC.
     
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #11

    It is this one, right? -> http://www.addonics.com/products/raid_system/ae4rcs25nsa.asp

    How loud are the two fans?

    I'm considering such a device because I have only one 3,5" drive sled left and it would be nice to boot Windows from another 2,5" drive instead of wasting a 3,5" sled for it.

    How did you manage to get the power up there for four additional drives? Is there a SATA to Molex adapter on the market, so that I could use the power of the lower ODD bay port?
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #12
    You'd need to make one, but it's not hard.

    Use a Backplane Extension Cable, and splice the Molex connector to the power leads, and you're done. Really cheap, and no mods of the original wiring (saves the warranty). :D
     
  13. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #13
    [​IMG]

    Yes, that is the one. I have set the fans to "low" and I cannot hear them.
    I have actually found a SATA to Molex adapter which fitted with a little modification. I just had to cut a piece of plastic away on one side. For the SATA signal I have unplugged the "B" cable from the logic board and fitted a separate SATA cable in order to utilize the port.

    I'm using three Intel 2nd Gen SSDs for booting. One 180 GB from the 2nd ODD for Windows and two 80 GB from the Areca 1210 card for OS X. The Windows SSD is running in AHCI mode. Unfortunately Windows will not boot from the 1210.

    The two other ports on the 1210 are one for eSATA with a PCIe bracket and the other one reserve.

    The superdrive I have replaced with an LG made GGC-H20L Blu-Ray ROM drive.
     
  14. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #14
    So the shopping list for adding four 2,5" drives in the '09 Pro would be:

    - Addonics 5,25" enclosure (which I consider better than the Macupgrades SSD mounting kit, because only one Molex connector is needed instead of 4 more SATA power adapters)
    - SATA backplane extension + Molex connector
    - ARC-1210 / 1212
    - Male to female SATA cable for connecting one 2,5" drive with the lower ODD bay cable (for booting windows)

    gugucom, could you please make a picture of your ODD bay? I would like to see how exactly you have done it.
     
  15. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #15
    I will make a picture later when my GF is gone. Right now I do not have the time.

    No, it must be a standard male/male SATA cable appr. 60 cm long for convenience. The two other cables should be 1 m at least. 1.2 m would be more comfortable but they are not usually available.
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #16
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
  18. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #18
    Here are the promised pics of my MP4,1 setup. This would probably look a lot cleaner if I had bothered to take out the logic board and place the cables under it:

    [​IMG]

    A view on the PCIe bay showing the RAID0 SATA cables and the PCIe bracket power cable

    [​IMG]

    The Areca 1210 card and the PCI eSATA & power bracket with floppy connector

    [​IMG]

    Top view of bulk head hole and logic board connections. Sata cable "B" replaced by the red dedicated cable. "B" plugged with red rubber plug.

    [​IMG]

    Top view of cables crossing the PCIe bay fan.

    [​IMG]

    View of the ODD bay with tray extracted, showing the power cable to the PCIe bay.

    [​IMG]

    Rear view of the Addonics enclosure with three SATA cables connected. The header "A" is disconnected. The header "B" is fitted with a SATA -> Molex adapter which feeds into a Molex y-cable. One Molex connector powers the Addonics enclosure. The second Molex powers the Cable to the PCIe bay.

    [​IMG]

    Front view of the Addonics enclosure with three Intel SSDs.

    [​IMG]

    Top view of the LG Blu-Ray ROM drive.
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #19
    Nice and clean, gugucom. :D

    What did you do with the 4th port off the ARC-1210?
     
  20. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #20
    At the moment I did nothing with it. My bracket was supposed to have two eSATA ports but I discovered on delivery that in fact it had only one, an USB port and a DIN 5V power port.

    If Areca ever get their ass into gear to make their card Bootcamp capable I might RAID0 two Windows SSDs and put the ODD port on the bracket. I could also use this for a fast scratch drive or another OS.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    So you've attached it to the logic board then?
    I'd thought you may have attached the ARC-1210 to it, but couldn't quite tell.

    The only card that had managed that, was CalDigit for the '06 - '08 systems, and it appears that they may have cancelled the card now (you could connect the logic board to the card as well as the HDD bays).

    It's not possible on the '09's, given the data's sent down the PCB traces, and firmware access would be needed (firmware function that shuts off 4x SATA ports on the ICH10R in order to use the traces w/o data collision = failure). Apple's not going to share their IP, and Areca wouldn't bother anyway, as it's too small a market to justify that much in development costs, provided they could get around the IP issues. It's not a simple thing to do, as they'd have to reverse engineer Apple's firmware just to see if there's another way to do it, which I don't think there is (without a mod to the logic board for a pin to disable the ICH10R's ports for example).

    Their products weren't targeted to the Mac line directly, it's more of a coincedence, resulting in the fact they did make their cards to work in Itanium systems, which require EFI firmware. AT that point, they only had to develop a driver to make it Mac compatible, and the development cost was worth it to open a new market. Otherwise, I seriously doubt it would have happened at all.
     
  22. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #22
    Two ARC-1210 ports are attached to the 80 GB Intels in the Addonics. One port is attached to the bracket. One port is unused at this time and may be used in the future as described.



    Actually I would not use the HDD headers on the logic board. If Areca ever offers Bootcamp support for the card I would run two more cables like those shown for OS X for an additional Windows RAID0. The spare ODD port would then be connected to the bracket. I would loose hot plug and swap, but would gain faster access to Windows. I use the eSATA very very seldom. I still have two empty HDD bays for mass data. My Backups are all on the 2TB TC with Gigabit Ethernet. My mass data are mainly entertainment video from my DVB-S2 receiver which I occasionally clone to an external disk when I have accumulated another TB. Some of the mass data are ripped ODDs which I own. I would not bother to backup those because I do have the originals somewhere in a box in the basement.
     
  23. justit macrumors 6502a

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    #23
  24. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #24
    You put an OS X copy on the SSD by cloning or installing and and select it in system preferences as the starting volume.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #25
    For some strange reason, I'd thought you added a 3rd Intel SSD to the array, and that was the use of the 3rd port on the RAID card. Leaving the logic board to handle the eSATA bracket. Oops. :eek:

    I was curious, as I wasn't quite certain (being all other posts in the past only indicated a 2 drive set), and wanted clarification. Thanks. :)

    The only way to use all the SATA ports on the logic board, is to use the HDD bays, as well as both of the ODD_SATA ports. Any RAID card would have to be cabled to drives located in some other location, ideally in an external enclosure, as it leaves the empty optical bay capable of using the ODD_SATA port for it, and leaving the optical drive attached as is. Again, the need for external enclosures adds funds to the overall system. :rolleyes:

    Obviously your system is constructed to keep the SATA ports on the logic board used, save perhaps the remaining ODD_SATA port for the 2nd optical bay, which contains the SSD's. You could of course, move the eSATA bracket to that port, and retain another pair of ports on the ARC-1210 for future use (a better way to go IMO). But swapping ports around can be done later, if ever needed. No need to mess about with it now, as you've got it all working the way you want. :D

    If the Maxupgrades HDD bay adapter is used, you lose the HDD bay SATA ports located on the logic board, due to the inability to use cabling (stupid PCB trace routing). This is a problem, especially in terms of cost in the '09's. :( Not a problem with your system, but others really want their RAID cards to use the HDD bays. ;)
     

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