MP 7,1 Suggestions for best bootable PCI NVMe card for 2019 nCMP 7,1 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ZombiePhysicist, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #1
  2. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    #2
    Why do you need/want a boot drive that large? For best performance/practice you only keep your OS and apps on a boot drive, maybe user folders. Everything else goes on other drives, especially on an expandable system such as a Mac Pro.
     
  3. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #3
    Because it always ends up messing things up. When you have your photos library or music library on an external drive, and then that drive doesnt mount on some boot, and all the pointers get messed up. It's a pain. I've tried it several times. And in theory it works. In practice it inevitably fails and causes trouble. If it works for you, that's great. YMMV and all that.

    Also, I see no downside. The 15TB is fast and spacious. I can put my entire world on it. Get a 2nd one to be a bootable recovery clone. Maybe throw in a 16TB spinner for a time machine archive of everything.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 11, 2019 ---
    https://forums.macrumors.com/thread...-pro-15-36-tb-nvme-ssd.2179713/#post-27323732

    So from another thread, the Highpoint SSD7120 http://highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series-ssd7120-overview.htm seems to be a good choice for the 5,1 Mac Pro. I wonder if it's also a good choice for the 7,1?
     
  4. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #4
    I could swear there was a slide from one of the WWDC presentations that showed at least one company was going to offer PCI cards for SSDs. Does anyone know of the company or recall/have a link to that slide?
     
  5. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #5
    The card pictured on the keynote was the Sonnet M.2 4x4 PCIe Card FUS-SSD-4X4-E3 and it's not a particular good card, several restrictions like the size and format of the blades.

    I wrote about it on the Blade thread:

    • Sonnet M.2 4x4 PCIe Card FUS-SSD-4X4-E3: Supports four single side 80mm M.2 blades. Uses PLX PEX8747 switch. Heatsink with a fan over the blades and PCIe switch. Needs a GPU with pre-boot configuration support. Do not buy it if you need to boot Windows from the blades or will upgrade to a PC later, this card can't boot Windows.
     
  6. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #6
    Thank you so much. You dont happen to have a direct link to the post where you talk about it?
     
  7. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #7
    Start here #771, we discussed it for some time.
     
  8. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #8
    Thank you!
     
  9. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #9
    Hmmm. So reading on the HighPoint site regarding the SSD7120, looks like it's not bootable. So that makes it a no-go. Bummer... I wonder if this might change for the 2019 Mac Pro?

    Q: Can I use this card to boot from an NVMe drive or RAID array?
    A: The SSD7101A-1 and SSD7120 cannot be used to boot. However, the SSD7102 and SSD7110 do support bootable NVMe drives or RAID arrays.​
     
  10. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #10
    All Highpoint cards are bootable with a MP5,1. It's not the card firmware that makes it boot, but the Mac Pro BootROM infrastructure. This has some particularities.

    My SSD7101-A boots from day one, but RAID booting is software dependent. Mojave don't have any official support from booting from an APFS array. Apple started to change things with Catalina DP3 and seems Catalina will finally have official support to boot from an APFS array.

    With High Sierra you just need to use HFS+ and you can use a bootable 4-blade HFS+ array - use startosinstall to install.

    With Mojave, to have correct support you boot from one blade and use the other three as a data array. If you make a 4-blade APFS array, you can't update macOS - software updates don't work at all.
     
  11. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502a

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #11
    This is really interesting. So even though their FAQ says it's not bootable, it will be bootable with a single drive? So for example, I could have a single 15TB boot SSD drive, and then use the other 3 ports to do a software raid with 3 additional drives?

    That's great news then! I wonder why they don't update their FAQs...
     
  12. tsialex macrumors 601

    tsialex

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    #12
    It's bootable, every macOS release has it's quirks and limitations - only High Sierra supports everything.

    Since it's a very complex subject, they play safe.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 13, 2019 ---
    Yes, you can. No one tested with drives bigger than 4TB that I know of.
     
  13. rxs0, Jul 16, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2019

    rxs0 macrumors member

    rxs0

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    Apr 4, 2019
    #13
    I recently received the SQUID Carrier Board™ PCI Express Gen 3 Carrier Board for 6 M.2 or NGSFF (NF1)
    PCIe SSD modules, with x16 PCI Express upstream Adapter.

    I am currently running this board in a windows box.

    http://amfeltec.com/pci-express-gen-3-carrier-board-for-6-m2-or-ngsff-nf1-pcie-ssd-modules

    I intend to test this system (with 6 Samsung 970 EVO 2TB NVMe SSD drives) in the 2019 Mac Pro computer when available. I will order the new Mac Pro as soon as it is available. I don't know if this will be bootable in RAID 0 on the new Mac Pro. I will update you with the results.

    Thanks.
     

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12 July 11, 2019