Upgrade my MP 3,1 to Sata 3.0 on all internal drives?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pullman, Jun 12, 2013.

  1. pullman macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #1
    I really like my 2008 Mac Pro and have no plans on changing to another model yet. Instead, I've been thinking of how to upgrade my computer to Sata 3 performance on all internal drives, including the boot drive. Perhaps you guys can help me think outside the box for alternatives. Here's my current thinking:

    My current boot drive is an OWC (Sata 2) Mercury Extreme in one of the internal bays. I intend to replace it by a Sata 3 SSD. In addition, I have two 3TB Seagate (Sata 3) drives for data.

    There's the Newer Tech MAXPower RAID mini-SAS 6G-1e1i PCIe card. While this would allow me to take full advantage of the Seagate drives, it won't let me boot off the SSD because it isn't a bootable card. OWC suggests one should instead put the boot drive in one of the optical bays. I could do that because I have one of those OWC kits but it would still mean Sata 2 performance on the boot drive.

    Enter mSATA SSDs and the rather coolly named Mercury Acelsior 0GB PCIe SSD card. To this I could attach the Crucial m4 mSATA SSD which Tom's Hardware gave a very good review.

    With the above setup I would get Sata 3 on all drives. The total investment to do these upgrades would be:

    250€ for the MAXPower card
    35€ for the Mercury Acelsior
    110€ for the 120GB Intel 520 // or // 100€ for the 128GB Crucial m4 mSATA

    Are there other setups? Or perhaps alternative cards for the above setup?

    I'd be very grateful for any and every suggestion.

    Cheers
    Philip
     
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #2
    Using this Newertech card with mechanical HDDs is a waste unless you want to build RAID 5 or 50. You'll see no improvement with these 3TB Seagates. These aren't even saturate SATA II bus with their maximum 210MB/s and average 163MB/s read.
     
  3. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #3
    Ok thanks for clarifying that, I appreciate it.

    Is there a way to get Sata 3 speeds on the boot drive?

    cheers
    p
     
  4. Dalton63841 macrumors 65816

    Dalton63841

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    #5
    Putting a SATA 3 hard drive in it won't make a stitch of difference in that computer. The 2008 Mac Pro uses Sata 2 controllers, so even if you put in a Sata 3 hard drive, it will be bottlenecked by the Sata 2 controller.

    EDIT: Nvm I just noticed you are putting in a RAID card. Do your thing.
     
  5. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #6
    Velocity Solo X2 with Crucial M4 in a Mac Pro 5,1:
     

    Attached Files:

  6. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #7
    pastrychef, thanks for these links, very helpful. Those results are impressive.

    Will the motherboard in my 2008 Mac Pro 3,1 support Sata 3 actually? Or is the speed of the motherboard irrelevant? I just thought of this now...
     
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #8
    When I still had my Mac Pro 3,1, I used this card in slot 2 (immediately next to the video card slot) and it worked fine and speeds were pretty much identical to when the card is plugged in to my Mac Pro 5,1.

    By the way, the card can be found for far less money than the suggested retail price. Just search around the internet.
     
  8. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #9
    That's great news, thank you. Also for the info on prices. Btw, the Sonnet card costs a lot more. Why is that? It seems quite similar to the X2.

    Perhaps I should raid 0 two smaller drives for boot and scratch volume. That would make the system fly.
     
  9. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #10
    I honestly do not know the reasoning for the Tempo's pricing.

    Yes, two SSDs in a RAID config would be extremely fast. You may also be interested in the Tempo Pro. But it is unclear from the website whether it supports booting.

    Do you use Bootcamp? The reason why I ask is because some 3,1 users with the Velocity cards have difficulty booting in to Bootcamp. I stopped using Bootcamp and relied on VMware Fusion so I do not have much experiences with this issue. I just remember testing booting in to Bootcamp and got it to work. I didn't experiment more.
     
  10. pullman thread starter macrumors 6502

    pullman

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    #11
    I just noticed the Tempo Pro. It seems bootability (also for the non-Pro) will depend on the number of the "card" - the Tempo card, I guess. They write:

    "Booting in OS X requires card with serial number starting with "B"."

    I did use Bootcamp before but not anymore (no time to game these days :( :rolleyes: ) but it's good to know the limitations if I ever get around to finishing Crysis 2 haha.

    I discovered this thread where a user posted impressive raid 0 results. I'm wondering if we're soon hitting the bottleneck of the processors? Or is that unlikely (this shows how little I know about these things...).
     
  11. pastrychef macrumors 601

    pastrychef

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    #12
    As far as I know, you will hit the limits of the PCIe bus far before the CPU's.
     

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