Suggestions for SSD?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by machenryr, May 20, 2018.

  1. machenryr macrumors regular

    machenryr

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2016
    #1
    What suggestions are there for an SSD, probably 1 TB? Perhaps 2? Adaptor for the drive bay or PCIe?

    This? https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/DIYMP9S6P1TB/

    I have a Mac Pro 2009 I upgraded to 3.46 5,1. I have a music studio. I want to upgrade my OS/App drive to SSD. I only have SATA 2 TB drives. My configuration right now uses all four drive bays:

    Bay #1 2 TB SATA OS/APP/Docs/Itunes/Movies.
    Bay #2 is a clone of that.
    #3 bay is my audio drive. This is where I record and storage audio
    #4 Bay is a clone of that.

    Now I know how wildly inefficient this is. I'm going to JUST put my OS and applications on the SSD drive, probably Bay 1. Or get a PCIe card. Is there a preference?
    Then I'll put all my docs, iTunes, photos, movies etc on the Bay 2 drive, or other.

    Audio - maybe I should get another 1 TB SSD drive just for audio and back up to Bay 4 or external.
     
  2. TheStork macrumors 6502

    TheStork

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2008
    #2
    Samsung 850/860 EVO SSDs have auto sensing controller so it will work with the Mac Pro's SATA II interface. Should you want SATA III speeds then you'll need a Mac compatible SATA III PCIe card.
     
  3. krakman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2009
    #3
    my suggestion :

    use a cheap 500GB Samsung Ssd as you boot drive/application drive. You can fit this under your DVD drive, there is a spare SATA connector there.

    then get a PCIE adaptor and a 2TB Samsung 960 pro NVMe ssd for your audio drive for super fast performance. - you need High Sierra installed as this has native support for NVMe

    use your old HDs for backups/clones
     
  4. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #4
    My personal opinion is that budget, placement, and size are more important considerations than SSD brand name, these days. Figure out how much storage you need (be generous), figure which slots are available including PCIe (and not forgetting that NVMe will require High Sierra, as krakman mentioned), and decide how much you want to spend. Yes, the Samsung drives are in general still the speed leaders, although not as much as they had been. I doubt that you'll see the difference in most usage, though.

    The Mac Pro will run any half-decent SATA SSD either in a drive bay or the DVD drive. PCIe is only a little pickier since AHCI is hard to find, and you need HS to drive NVMe units. Don't plan on booting from an NVMe drive. I used Icy Dock drive bay mounts but a lot of people just tape or let them dangle, there's not much strain on the socket. (Beware some of the $5 "universal SSD" sled adaptors that are just a bent piece of metal with some screw holes, I've had a couple that simply don't fit in the cMP drive bays.)

    +1 for using the old HD's as backups. HDD's may be power-hungry and (comparatively) slow but you can't beat the price per gigabyte.
     
  5. machenryr thread starter macrumors regular

    machenryr

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    #5
    So I’m running Sierra, not high Sierra. I’m a little bit cautious about HS until I hear positive reports with some applications I use.
     
  6. XNorth, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

    XNorth macrumors regular

    XNorth

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    #6
    Probably best value for performance ...

    Consolidate all your media archive (music, video) to one spinning HDD, back this up to another spinning HDD. Use the highest capacity HHDs you can get. This takes up 2 bays.

    Use two 860 EVO 500 GB (or 1 TB depending on your budget) in a RAID 0 for audio editing/scratch disk. RAID 0 should be much faster than your spinning HDD for mixing audio. This takes up another two bays. For extra precaution, back up the files in this RAID set to the archive drives.

    Use a 850 EVO 250 GB or 500 TB SSD connected to the spare DVD drive bay SATA, for apps and the OS boot disk. Your Mac & apps will start faster than using a spinning HDD.

    EDIT: none of this requires High Sierra.
     
  7. machenryr thread starter macrumors regular

    machenryr

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #7
    Thanks folks! So let me get a couple of things straight. The SSD PCIe isn't really THAT much faster. And you can't boot from the PCIe anyway?

    I was planning on putting my iTunes, docs, etc. on the "spinning HDDs". Apps and OS on the SSD. So two SSD - one for OS/Apps and the other for audio - recording/mixing?

    I have enough external HHD to use those for backups. I used to get those OWC enclosures everytime I got a new HD and use that for backups or archiving. I got lazy on archiving.

    I'm glad I asked here. I'm about to pull the trigger.

    Are the 1 TB SSD reliable? I seem to recall several years ago when they were hard to come by, that they were really expansive and not the most reliable? I might have that wrong.
     
  8. XNorth, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

    XNorth macrumors regular

    XNorth

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    #8
    NVMe PCIe SSDs are much faster, up to 5 times faster on the cMP. But they're pricey. IMHO they're not the best buy because for mixing audio, 2 or more 2.5" SSD RAID 0 (500-1000 MB/s) should be more than fast enough.

    EDIT: Yes, NVMe can't boot w/o a hack and needs High Sierra to work properly.

    If you must have SSDs on PCIe, something like the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro could be good solution. But there is little performance gain compared to SSDs RAID 0 connected to the SATA HDD bays. I would rather save precious PCIe slots then use the Tempo SSD Pro.

    Go with a good brand. Samsung EVOs top most brands in performance and durability.
     
  9. AidenShaw, May 20, 2018
    Last edited: May 20, 2018

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #9
    They are much faster on artificial (synthetic) benchmarks. For real world workstation performance, AHCI PCIe SSDs are more or less the same as NVMe. Both are faster than AHCI SATA drives - especially on the 3 Gbps SATA II on the cMP.

    If you are looking at boot drives, there's basically spinning drives and SSDs. Any SSD will be better than a spinner for boot drives. The difference between different SSDs is minor compared to the difference between any SSD and a spinner.

    The deal with NVMe drives is that they support much higher parallelism. Great for servers, but most workstation apps don't need the parallelism, and booting doesn't need the parallelism.

    Don't look at the AJA, Black Magic or other cute disk benchmarks - look at whether it makes your applications and workflows faster.
     
  10. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2014
    #10
    I know of no statistics showing issues with 1 Tb SSD's in general. The Mushkin 1 Tb in my own cMP has been running for 2 or 3 years now.

    I suspect you're not going to see anything like a 5x difference in most applications unless they are very sequential-read intensive. In my application (database work) the PCIe unit I have (Toshiba) is faster than the SATA SSD's, but only by maybe 50% at best -- measuring by overall time for a run.

    Indeed.
     
  11. barmann macrumors 6502a

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    Oct 25, 2010
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    Germany
    #11
    Whatever solution, you will get a very nice upgrade by switching some of your drives to SSD .

    In your case, I'd go with the most simple and affordable solutions, just plain old 2.5" SATA SSDs in the drive bays (with an adapter like this one or the Icybox ones - cheapest you can find and that works in a MP ) , and as said above there is space and connectors for an extra hard drive in the lower optical bay .

    Personally I like to keep the boot drive free of all non essential files , especially media stuff .

    Depending on your workflow and programs, you could then use 1 or two more SSDs for project files, libraries, scratch, whatever can benefit from fast storage in your particular case .
     
  12. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #12
    just grab a Samsung or crucial SSD and stick it in the optical bay, i prefer Samsung as they come with a 5 year warranty so hope there made to last most brands only give 1-3 years.

    for an OS drive sata 2v3 will not matter and the speed boost v a HD is BIG.
    for data (ie the dedicated audio SSD) sata 2 will top out about 250mb/sec (reading the ssd) which is fairly fast (i cant see you easily needing more speed than that working with audio), on a PCI card with sata 3 it will be closer to 500mb/sec (reading the ssd) with say a Samsung 850/860 EVO.

    i have two SSD's in the optical bay of my computer just hanging lose with the cables plunged in for last two years no problems.
     
  13. machenryr thread starter macrumors regular

    machenryr

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #13
    So getting the sata tray adaptor will also work in the optical DVD tray?
    --- Post Merged, May 21, 2018 ---
    OK. So you don't ever burn CDs or DVDs? You have no need for those optical bays otherwise, or am I misunderstanding? And as I just asked above, the same SATA tray adaptor works for the optical bay as the drive bays? You say they're just hanging . . .
     
  14. kohlson, May 21, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018

    kohlson macrumors 68000

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    #14
    In my 4/5,1, I did a few tests with a Sandisk 480GB SSD. Plugged Ito into a SATA port and timed the boot. Put it on an Accelsior PCIe card and timed the boot. Essentially no difference. That I could tell, no real difference in Geekbench, either.

    My recommendation is that if you need, or may need, the SATA bays then get a PCIe card. Otherwise just plugged it into either of the optical connectors. If you want to be "neat," then buy a mounting adapter. But there is no need - SSDs don't care about shock and vibration.
     
  15. skizzo macrumors regular

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    Apr 11, 2018
    #15
    Just because it was mentioned, I would avoid having any sort of RAID configuration for running sessions if you are Pro Tools user. It's always been a non, or at best poor supporter of that. Unless you purchase Glyph RAID HDDs for whatever RAID type you want (great company, all my external HDDs are Glyph, but I never used any of their RAID drives). I did my own research and just got SSDs for OS and audio, and HDDs for backups. Set up time machine and make manual copy backups as needed was a better cost and practical solution. I noticed better performance from using a HDD and going to a SSD in the SATA II drive bay.
     
  16. machenryr thread starter macrumors regular

    machenryr

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    #16
  17. kschendel macrumors 65816

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    Dec 9, 2014
    #17
    Yes, those. I haven't used the OWC mount adapter but it looks OK.

    Re the optical bay, there's an unused SATA cable in the lower bay unless you have 2 drives installed. You can use that one without a mount and just let the SSD sit there. As far as I know it's all the same SATA.
     
  18. machenryr thread starter macrumors regular

    machenryr

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  19. Kolvir macrumors member

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    #19
    I'll second this. I've had a SSD just laying there for a year with no problems.
     
  20. pixelatedscraps, May 21, 2018
    Last edited: May 21, 2018

    pixelatedscraps macrumors 6502

    pixelatedscraps

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    #20
    I researched the best possible speeds for boot up in cMPs when upgrading my studio and ended up going with a Kingston HyperX 480Gb PCIe. I believe they make a 960Gb version as well, and this would be very close to the maximum speed one can easily attain with an SSD as a boot drive other than going the Sonnet Tempo + third party AHCI M.2 route which was the slightly more expensive alternative I looked at.

    As others have mentioned, it’s really up to your use case and workflow to determine if you actually need that kind of setup.
     
  21. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #21
    i dont use DVD's any more i gess, a USB powered DVD/CD drive is about £20-30 on amazon and a USB blueray drive is £60 last time i looked.

    i have a USB 3 PCI card, only cost about £20 on amazon and worth it, grab a USB3 hub if you dont want to reach around the back of your mac. (i think USB 3 is needed for a external blueray drive?)

    my two SSD's are resting on the drive bay bit, you dont relay need a tray for them but it wont hurt if you like it neat, i find it simpler for swaping drives just to have them there.

    edit
    i dont uses DVD's on my 5.1, when i do need them i use a laptop to copy them. (but it's been a long time since iv done that now)
     
  22. machenryr thread starter macrumors regular

    machenryr

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    Jan 25, 2016
    #22
    That’s cool. I definitely need my DVD/CD burner. I have to burn CDs. Sometimes I need them for playback for what I’ve burned or for clients to play me what they have.
     
  23. orph macrumors 68000

    orph

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    #23
  24. AlexMaximus, May 22, 2018
    Last edited: May 22, 2018

    AlexMaximus macrumors 6502a

    AlexMaximus

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    #24
    image1.jpeg



    I have two of those Samsungs in OWC adapters and they perform absolutely superior for full two years now. Great for various bootcamp systems too. You will be very happy! The Samsung SSDs are top notch solid. How ever, if you are a speed junky and you want to press out even faster i/o times in the future, something like a PCIe card such as a HyperXPredator (941) or a Samsung 951 AHCI is highly recommended. That is, if you have not occupied those slots with other cards already!
    For those that use the HyperXPredator cards like I do, I recommend a cheap heatsink as a nice hobby upgrade for enhanced live expectancy and less failure of data loss..
     

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