SSD Upgrade Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by danqi, Jan 10, 2014.

  1. danqi macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2010
    #1
    I have a "Quad Core" 3.2 (2010/Nehalem) Mid-2010 5,1 Mac Pro, that I want to upgrade with an SSD. My 4 main drive bays are all in use, so I would like to use the optical bay for the upgrade. After doing some research, it seems like the Samsung 840 EVO (500GB) is a solid choice.

    Unfortunately, there are a few things I am confused about, since there seems to be contradicting information out there:

    1) Will I be needing an adapter to attach this SSD? I read that I can let it hang loose in the drive bay, but will I need an adapter for the cable?

    2) Will it be bootable in the optical drive bay? I plan to use it as my main system and boot-drive.

    3) When attached in the optical drive bay, it won't support TRIM. Some people seem to say, that that is a problem, while others say it is not needed anymore anyway. What's the deal?

    4) Anything else, I should look out for?

    I would greatly appreciate any input!
     
  2. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #2
  3. NOTNlCE macrumors 6502a

    NOTNlCE

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    #3
    I agree with BDM here. An SSD will fit in one of your bays with an adapter, but it's absolutely a waste. You need SATA 3 speeds to take advantage of the Read/Write speeds of an SSD. I personally own a Velocity Solo x1 which works well for me (though it caused a week's worth of problems in Windows 7) but the Solo x2 gives more performance at about twice the cost, if you need that extra speed. I'll also agree that the Samsung 840 EVOs are one of the best SSDs on the market as far as price to performance goes. I've been sticking them in everything, for both myself and for customers.

    Regardless, don't bother with the optical bay. Get a PCIe adapter, or you won't take advantage of the speed. Good luck with your upgrade!
    -N
     
  4. drewsof07, Jan 10, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2014

    drewsof07 macrumors 68000

    drewsof07

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    #4
    I just received my Velocity x2 from Amazon. There is a $25 rebate from Amazon if purchased by 1/31.
    I guess it did expire on 12/31. Whoops :(
    Read speeds on my Crucial M4 nearly doubled, from 270MB/s on SATA II to 499/500+MB/s SATA III. Write speeds took a modest boost from 150-180 to ~250MB/s

    Boot time isn't groundbreaking at 45 seconds, but well worth it for the performance boost.
     
  5. fungus macrumors regular

    fungus

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    #5
    I also got the Velocity Solo x2 from Amazon with the $25 mail-in rebate, though for me it was if purchased by 12/31/13. Maybe I'm wall-eyed from this being Friday, but I just checked and couldn't find a new rebate extended to the end of this month. But if it's still there, that's great.

    I had also ordered a 960GB Crucial M500 from B&H back on Black Friday for $439 and am getting 461MB/s read and 414MB/s write on the Velocity. I would've liked to have gone with the 1TB Evo (which is slightly faster than the M500) but they never dropped below $500 that weekend, which was my threshold for a new boot drive. I had been running 2x 512GB Crucial M4s in RAID0 on the backplane before with slightly higher speeds, but have been waiting for these 1TB SSDs to come around and drop in price a little in order to get my boot volume on one physical drive.
     
  6. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #6

    If you move that pair of Crucial M4s over to a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe card (still only 1 PCIe slot), you will get these speeds:

    .
     

    Attached Files:

  7. fungus macrumors regular

    fungus

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    #7
    I'd love to, but that's another $300 :p Funny, I was just looking at your Speed Test results in another thread.

    I didn't want to belabor the point in my last post, but I had already tried the poor man's Tempo Pro (Syba 2x caddy that I got for $40). Speed Test was 695R/495W, but I honestly can't tell the difference between that, the RAID on the backplane, or the single M500 on the Velocity (which is the slowest of the three). If I wasn't using my FASTA-6GU3 I could fit the Syba in there above the Velocity. Instead, I'll probably sell it as it's out of stock everywhere now and in demand. I'd like to keep the extra PCIe slot open in case I need it down the road. I can't justify the funds for a Tempo Pro now, but I won't rule it out as a possible future splurge.

    I guess what I was thinking about the M4s was where I should use them now, whether in my MP and/or another machine(s).
     
  8. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #8

    I don't really notice a speed difference in normal OS X operation between the RAID-0 SSDs and a single SSD, even in the SATA-II backplane tray, either. However, I do notice the RAID-0 advantage when working with my photo library of very large files, which is why I have the Tempo Pro in my system.

    I needed the tray that SSD was in for another disk drive (for a RAID-0 hard disk), and since there was enough excess room on the Tempo Pro for the OS X and user files, I moved them there with my photo library and made that my boot drive freeing up a drive bay (and a SSD previously used for booting).

    -howard
     
  9. danqi thread starter macrumors member

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    Sep 14, 2010
    #9
    Thank you for your input so far!

    You all seem to favor the PCIe approach. I must admit that I do not really feel comfortable with that. I used to have a lot of problems with an eSATA port PCIe card: Driver problems at first and then - when everything seemed to be working fine - data corruption. Ever since then my approach - especially in regards to I/O - has been to keep everything as simple as possible and avoid using complicated solutions and 3rd party products. In the end, reliability is more important to me than speed.
     
  10. DPUser macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 17, 2012
    #10
    For boot SSD, I would favor putting the drive in the optical bay and connecting it to the stock SATA port. It is my understanding that for boot drive use there is nominal (if any) difference in perceived speed from SATA2 to SATA3 due to the nature of the i/o required for OSX. (I also have a data SSD connected via a SATA3 PCIe card in my 2009 4,1.)

    I put my optical drive in the lower bay, then placed SSDs on top, held in place with double sided foam tape. No adaptor required or desired unless you move your MP around.

    Yes.

    I don't think that is true, but am not using TRIM on my Sandforce Intel 330 boot SSD so cannot verify. Based on my reading, I would recommend using TRIM with your Samsung SSD.

    Carnies.
     
  11. Morriss macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #11
    I have also heard this was an issue with optical bay SSD's, but haven't gotten a definitive answer. I plan on adding an SSD boot drive to my 2008 Mac Pro and would like to use the optical bay. I've already ordered the parts, so will see how things go with this approach. If I'm not happy with the results, I'll try the Velocity Solo. I also had concerns that, along with my GTX 570, the power draw would be too close to the limits for my Mac Pro, if I added more PCIe cards.
     
  12. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #12
    No adapter needed at all.
    Yes, it will be bootable.
    It WILL support TRIM.
    I'd use Samsung or Crucial SSDs.

    I have two SSDs up in the optical bay of my 2009 Mac Pro with 5,1 firmware... a Samsung 830 256GB SSD, and a Crucial M4 256GB as my backup clone. The 830 is my boot drive, and TRIM is enabled. Both are powered from a splitter, so I can have my BD-R burner and both SSDs in the optical bay.

    Thus, I can absolutely confirm it all works perfectly.
     
  13. pprior macrumors 65816

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    Aug 1, 2007
    #13
    I guess I don't understand all the slots and speeds involved with PCI / mac pro expansion.

    I have a 3.1 (2008) mac pro. AFAIK this year had a limit on slot speeds in that only the first 2 slots are maximum speed.

    I have (of course) graphics card (gtx680 flashed) in slot 1, and I have an Areca 1880ix-16 card in slot 2.

    So here's my question: would a card like the velocity solo x2 allow an attached SSD to be faster than if I attached the same SSD to my Areca controller? Or is it just a cheaper way than the areca to get faster speed from the PCI bus?
     
  14. wonderspark, Jan 11, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2014

    wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #14
    If you already have the 1880ix-16 and one spare 8087 port left on it, you can get this $9 cable and hook up four SSDs at full speed via your Areca card. All you need at that point is SATA power splitters to power the SSD(s) you hooked up to it.

    My second SSD in the optical port is connected to my Areca card with that 8087 -> quad SATA data splitter.

    PCIe slots 3 & 4 on your 3,1 Mac Pro will still get 250MB/sec x4 for 1000MB/sec max theoretical, so they can handle an SSD just fine, but the only reason you should do that is if you've used all the internal ports on your Areca card by connecting 16 disks to it.
     
  15. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

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    Nov 23, 2012
    #15
    TRIM is not supported when using non-Apple SSDs unless the utility Trim Enabler is in use. It is available here:

    http://www.groths.org/software/trimenabler/

    I use it along with my Apricorn Velocity x2 SATA Card & my Samsung Series 840 500GB SSD.

    Lou
     
  16. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #16
    Right, thanks for filling in that gap I left. It works with both Trim Enabler and the other tool... I think it's called Chameleon. I had it, but prefer Trim Enabler.
     
  17. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    #17
    That's 3 SATA connections in the optical drive, are you using an aftermarket controller?
     
  18. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #18
    Yes, an Areca 1880ix-12 in PCIe slot 2 has this cable coming off one of the internal 8087 ports, and runs into the optical bay. I had been planning to expand up to 5 SSDs in the optical bay, but for now it's just the two in there.

    I have another special splitter that takes the second wide SATA data/power plug and breaks it into two power and the one internal data connection. That way, I use the same internal data plug from the splitter for the boot SSD, and the other 1-4 SSD(s) plug into the Areca RAID card. Right now, I have the second SSD set as a pass-through. If I put in three more, I may RAID some of them, or not. It's just a future expansion option for now.
     
  19. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #19
    So the simple version for non hardware folks like me is that the SSD hooked to the areca card is just as fast as it would be plugged into a velocity solo or any other device.

    so until/unless I run out of card spots (which I won't), I can just add SSDs to the areca and they're as fast as they're going to get.
     
  20. wonderspark, Jan 12, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2014

    wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #20
    Yes on all counts.

    The 1880ix-12 (such as mine) was tested up to 3.6GB/second, and the 1882 at 4.7GB/second, should you ever get one of those! (Not that you'd set them up like that, but it's a neat test.)
     
  21. Morriss macrumors member

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #21
    Thanks for the confirmation!
     
  22. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

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    #22
    SATA Express SSD's are finally showing up in small numbers on Ebay and other online markets, along with the necessary adapter cards from the Manufacturer bPlus.

    single NGFF/M.2 4X Adapter card: $50
    Samsung XP941 SSD: 128GB - $240, 256 - $540 and 512 for $1000

    Prices are still high on the SSD's until they hit general market availability. An upgrade to one of these bring's nMP class storage speed to the cMP. It's the fastest (non-raid) SSD option available.
     
  23. Coyote2006 macrumors regular

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    Apr 16, 2006
    #23
    Do you have more information about this card? Where can I buy it? Is it bootable?
     
  24. m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020

    m4v3r1ck

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    #24
    GOOD extra info Lou, I use it also with the same combi you have! Great value :)
     
  25. by23 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2014
    #25
    SSD Upgrade Questions

    I have just registered so please excuse if this is not the way to do it.

    I noticed that DPUser mentioned that they had put several SSD's mounted on top of their optical drive. I currently have a Samsung SSD mounted there and want to put in an additional drive connected to an Apricorn Velocity x2. Is it possible for someone to give me a parts list? I essentially want to keep my optical drive and install 3 SSD's ... #1 as a User drive attached directly to the Apricorn, #2 as a Scratch drive connected from the additional sata port on the Apricorn and #3 as a Boot drive in the optical bay and connected to the motherboard. I'd not particularly concerned about boot time.

    So ...

    1. Do I need a male to female sata cable from the Apricorn to the SSD?
    2. How do I split the power supply from the molex connector in the Mac optical bay so that I can supply power for 2 SSD's? The other supply will be connected the the optical drive.
    3. I assume I can just buy a short (50cm) sata (data) cable to connect the SSD boot drive to the original mac molex connector. I know this should be male to female although from what I understand I may need to shave it down so I can plug it in beside the cable I'll presumably use to split the power.

    I hope that makes sense. I already have the Boot and separate User drive configured and working. I just want to add a Scratch drive attached the the Apricorn.

    My Mac Pro is a 6 core 3.33GHz machine.

    Please let me know if this question should be asked in another forum.
     

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