SSD on cMP 4,1 is a PCIE adaptor worth the cost?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by prvt.donut, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. prvt.donut macrumors 6502a

    prvt.donut

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    Jan 1, 2008
    #1
    Currently I have a 480Gb OWC Mucury Electra 3G in bay one of my SATA 2 sleds.

    I know that limits the SSD to 300MB/s, so I am weighing up the decision to buy a PCIE SSD card adaptor. If I get one, I want to get one that fits 2 SSDs for dual booting into Windows, which is about $140 for the Apricorn Velocity Duo.

    The trouble is the new m.2 cards are dropping in price all the time and have far greater performance, so it might be more worthwhile to hold off and go that route.

    I guess at this point it is a crystal ball question.

    Sorry.
     
  2. PurdueRPh macrumors newbie

    PurdueRPh

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    Oct 24, 2012
    #2
    Good questions, I have had the same ones. Still not decided how or when to take plunge on SSD for my Mac Pro.
     
  3. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Although it won't take much if any difference for a boot drive (due to small size of reads and writes), SATA3 card could speed up some operations. That said, there is no reason to hold off on getting an SSD... the greatest performance increase comes with the move to SSD, regardless of whether using SATA2 or SATA3 interface. SSDs are cheap now. Just do it.
     
  4. Machines macrumors 6502

    Machines

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    #4
    What do you want to do with the solid state drive ? If you want to run an OS or an application from the drive , the metrics you need to look at are reduced latency and high IOPS . If you want to transfer workflow data (e.g. media files) the metric you need to look at is high throughput (MB/s transfers) .

    If you have the money and want to do both on a single drive , grab a decent PCIe adapter and a Samsung SM951 AHCI drive . With the 256GB + capacity drives , you'll get high throughput (maybe 1500 MB/s) . You might want to put low profile heatsinks on the drive's chips if you do heavy duty rendering .
     
  5. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #5
    IMO, no, not worth the money now (unless the card only cost something like $20).

    Don't get me wrong, I am not saying the card is bad. I have a Tempo SSD card. It does give me ~500MB/s read / write performance. But TBH, I can't feel any difference between SATA 2 and SATA 3.

    The 840 Evo is the only SSD I have. So, I won't benefit from it when copying files (to / from other HDD). I do some video / photo editing, but just some simple stuff, can't feel any difference.

    As DPUser pointed out, the biggest jump is from HDD to SSD, because it greatly reduce the latency. SSD is good for OS operation because most of the time we are actually dealing with many many small files. For normal users, we may rarely benefit from that high sequential read / write speed.

    Anyway, I believe that it's more cost efficient now to go direct to the PCIe SSD. The advantage of the SATA SSD is it's relatively good cost to volume ratio. If you add the SATA 3 adaptor into the equation. It won't be much cheaper than the PCIe SSD. but much worse performance. It's a bit too late to do it now (roughly the same price, but years old technology). Unless you really need high sequential read /write speed for your current SSD, otherwise, better save yourself $140 for something else.
     
  6. prvt.donut thread starter macrumors 6502a

    prvt.donut

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    #6
    Ok, I was having the exact same thoughts on the matter. The PCIe M.2 adaptor cards are cheap and the media itself is dropping in price all the time. Ideally I want to have at least 0.5TB on the boot drive. I would like to have the same on the Windows drive too.

    Ok thanks, I will hold off for now. The SSD on SATA2 is snappy enough for now.
     
  7. Squuiid macrumors 6502a

    Squuiid

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    #7
  8. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #8
    Yes, I did the update almost right after they released it to the public. And that's one of the reason why my SSD now just plug into the SATA 2 port in the lower optical bay (even I have the SATA 3 card).

    1) I can't feel the difference.
    2) I can boot into Windows without any trouble
    3) I can only update the firmware via the native SATA 2 port
    4) leave the PCIe slot for something else (e.g. A 2nd GPU which can really speed up my job)
    5) it won't cause slow boot
    6) it won't break the boot manager (Tempo SSD card on a 5,1 may break it)

    Anyway, my 840 Evo did affected by the bug. I didn't do any test after the final firmware update. May be its time to get an old file to test the read speed again. This bug won't affect day to day operation. I had to find a large old file to reproduce the bug. Otherwise, I can't feel anything. I have lots of HDD space for large old files storage, may be that's why this bug virtually won't cause me any issue.
     
  9. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #9
    Just ran some test on my 840Evo, it seems the "slow old file reading bug" is not affecting me anymore. I pick few > 6 months large old files, and copy them to the RAM disk, saturate the SATA 2 bandwidth straight away. If the bug still there, the copying speed will be something like 30MB/s (or lower).
     
  10. radus macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2009
    #10
    I gave two of my MacPros the pcie-card with 512 GB sm951 ahci and it is worth every penny!!!

    Every Programm opens much faster, every picture open much faster. A lot of time and frustration is saved.
    Boot time I don't know - I have a lot of memory and memory is tested at boot time -- the more mem the longer the boot time.
     
  11. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #11
    You mean... compare to SATA SSD?
     
  12. radus macrumors 6502

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    Jan 12, 2009
    #12
    much faster then sata ssd and much faster then the "new" cylinder Macpro's ssd

    don't forget the sata connection of the macpro 5.1 is sata II (3GB) not 6GB
     
  13. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    #13
    I know that. TBH, your report surprise me a bit, because I can't feel any difference between SATA 2 and SATA 3 connection. And I never know any consumer SSD has random read / write performance that can saturate a SATA connection. So, I didn't expect there is any measurable difference (in loading apps, pictures, etc) by giving more bandwidth to the SSD.



    I made this video not long ago. The apps loading is not lightning fast, but sure not considered slow. And it's just from an old 840 Evo plugged into the native SATA 2 port. I am sure the SM951 is faster, but if to a level that the users can feel "much faster", I doubt if that's the hardware difference, or because just migrated to a new hard drive, so the files are now in a better order, or no fragmentation etc. (Software difference).

    Anyway, it's good to hear that you happy with the upgrade, and it work as expected.
     
  14. radus macrumors 6502

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    #14
    I support medical Doctors ( radiologists ). They have to load a lot of images (more than 100 per patient) and they love the short load times. The images are nearly instantly on the screen, nothing is more important then time you can save.
     
  15. frou, Oct 15, 2016
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2016

    frou macrumors regular

    frou

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    Mar 14, 2009
    #15
    Stuff like loading applications and other files might not even touch the drive at all. If you have a lot of RAM and low memory pressure, I think the OS makes use of it by caching large parts of the filesystem in RAM. Pretty much an automatic transient RAMDisk.

    [​IMG]
     
  16. prvt.donut thread starter macrumors 6502a

    prvt.donut

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    Jan 1, 2008
    #16
    That is interesting. Is there anyway of configuring that? I have 64GB of RAM (far too much for what I currently do with it, but i bought it with the RAM installed) and had thought about dropping down to 48GB or even 32GB because booting is so slow as it takes time to check all that RAM.
     

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