Stock 5.1 Quad 2.8Ghz ready to upgrade, SSD first

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by wallah, Apr 1, 2017.

  1. wallah macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Wise and generous MacRumors community, my new-to-me mid-2010 pro has a wiped 1TB HD with stock OS that I upgraded to Sierra and 8GB RAM. With no personal files on this unit yet, I want to install a SSD and have a couple of questions:
    - does it make any difference to clone the HD with Sierra on it and then copy to the new SSD, or somehow force a clean Sierra install onto the new SSD. If a clean SSD install is the way to go, how would I do it?
    - what are the benefits of separating the boot drive from regular data files? So would it be worthwhile to get just a Samsung Evo 250 GB (or smaller) and then use a couple of 1 TB HDs for extra storage? Looking for a balance of getting the SSD benefits without a big SSD spend, but also a system family members can use without getting too confused about where to save their photos and docs.
    - can you recommend a 802.11 wireless card?
    Thank you in advance for saving me hours of research. My only hardware upgrade experience is swapping out a family member's dead HD on MBP 15" for SSD and using Time Machine to restore. This cMP is a massive upgrade for me as I have been using a white MB core 2 duo with a dead screen and an external monitor as my desktop! Wow, what a difference. Always wanted to get a cMP and stumbled on one at a good price this week. Saving the RAM and CPU upgrade for a later date.
  2. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    1. If you're at all unsure as to how you'd get a Sierra on there (eg no boot media), I'd clone the HD first. At least you'll have a usable system, and then if you eventually feel the need to clean reinstall for some reason, you can figure it out later.

    2. If you need more space than you want to spend on SSD, you might want to consider setting up a Fusion drive, especially if you put a reasonable sized SSD in (unlike the twinky 24 Gb that Apple uses (used?) in its 1 Tb OEM fusion.) That way you don't have to explain anything to the rest of the family, and you get most of the SSD speed benefit in most situations. There are usage patterns that Fusion drives suck at, but they tend to involve writing long files sequentially like full-length hires videos, etc.

    3. no idea about wireless but I'm sure someone else can help.
  3. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    A last note, I assume you're installing SSD into the pro's drive bays? They "only" run SATA II speeds, which is still pretty decent, but the point is that I wouldn't be too stuck on buying the bestest-fastest SSD because it will be limited by the controller anyway. The Samsung's are great SSD's but they do tend to be priced up a bit. Mushkin, Toshiba, Crucial, Sandisk, and others all have very good product that might save you a few bucks with no real world performance loss.

    Going faster than SATA II in a pro involves spending more money for a SATA III card, or spending more money for an AHCI PCIe drive like the Kingston HyperX Predator. Unless you're really pushing things I wouldn't bother. SATA II SSD is subjectively worlds faster than SATA II spinners, from there on up it's just incremental.

    And finally, the pro only has USB-2, consider spending $50 (or less) on a USB 3 card. I put an Inateck 4004 in mine a couple years ago; check the USB thread in this sub-forum to see what people are installing these days.
  4. wallah thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 2, 2011
    Yes, it's going into a drive bay. I'm saving the second optical bay for a second optical drive to watch British DVDs (I'm in the NA zone and don't want to lock my primary optical drive to the UK zone).

    Appreciate the suggestion for USB 3 card!
  5. kwikdeth macrumors 65816

    Feb 25, 2003
    Tempe, AZ
    genuine apple wifi cards for those models can be found on ebay and amazon for 20-25 bucks. probably the easiest way to go about that. ive heard there is an asus wireless card which is in that same price range which works well but requires some text tweaking. probably easiest to just go for the legit apple card and be done with it
  6. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    A real 5,1 should come with a WiFi card. Do you mean 802.11ac or just any 802.11 wifi card?
  7. Wiltonian macrumors member


    Sep 25, 2016
    Nottingham, UK
    In a similar situation, I use a 250Mb SSD for OS, Apps and 60Gb of photos. Almost all my data is in a Dropbox folder on an HD, and two low energy HDs are used for Time Machine.


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6 April 1, 2017