What do I need to run 2x X25-M SSDs in 2nd optical bay?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by AppleWorking, May 27, 2009.

  1. AppleWorking macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #1
    I want to install two X25-M SSD's in my second optical bay. I have already modified an old, empty drive case to mount both SSDs so I just need to know what cables I would need. Links would be appreciated so I can see exactly what I should get. Thanks :)

    Are there any other precautions or advice in regard to this? Will OSX see both without a hitch?
     
  2. snouter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 26, 2009
    #2
    cash! ;)
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #3
    Just get a pair of SATA cables for the data, and you'd need a Y splitter for power. Single Molex 4 pin on one end, and 2 SATA power connectors on the others. Example of power cable.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  4. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #4
    How do you run 2 drives from one SATA data connector?
     
  5. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    Well, you can do that. but I think Nano meant 2 cables - guessing from his sentence "pair of SATA cables". The two unused ports are on the MB so you have to run them up to the ODB if that's where you intend to place the SSDs. Two will fit there very nicely.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    Pair = 2 ;) :p

    2 cables for the 2 ODD_SATA ports on the logic board (one per port), as there was no mention of a separate card. :)
     
  8. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    I guess you guys are talking a 2008 machine? I was thinking a 2009 which only has 1 free SATA port.
     
  9. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #9
    Wait a sec... :) I'm getting confused???

    This is for a 2009 MacPro... I thought it was possible, but now I'm not so sure...

    I thought I read somewhere (forget where exactly) that it's possible to do this...to hook up two SSD's in the second optical bay. I would assume the second bay has it's own dedicated sata cable and power cable. So hooking up one would be no problem. But I also heard (at least I think I did) the second one can be hooked up just as easily? I suppose with a Y splitter for the power, and using some sort of sata port on the mother board??? I really don't know, but I figured someone could easily tell me when the time comes, so I already mounted both of them in an enclosure I made for the second bay (idiot/laughing). Now you guys are saying it may not be possible, or I may have to split a sata cable where I might lose speed or something?

    Someone who knows what they're looking at please check these out... it might give you some info that you need to help me... :D

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0JWEHrgK_k&feature=channel_page

    What port are they using? Is that the port for the second optical?

    And take a look at this... It looks like the 09 already has all the cables for the second optical in place (not that this matters lol)

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uJXauV30zP4&feature=channel_page

    How would you go about doing what I want to do? Or should I just scap the whole thing?
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #10
    Sorry about the confusion, as there's no specific system you were asking about. :eek: VirtualRain's correct, as there is a difference between the '08 and '09's, and should have mentioned it in the earlier post. Both have 6 SATA ports, but the lack of the PATA ports on the '09 means one is used by the stock optical drive, assuming the second wasn't ordered.

    So you've got a couple of choices.
    1 a. Get an internal SATA card. Syba makes a couple that are Mac compatible, and fairly inexpensive as well. ~$20USD or so, last I looked. You'd need a long enough SATA cable to go from the card to the open optical bay. Power would be a little more difficult, as the connector used is a backplane part (power + data in one connector). If you're comfortable doing it, you could tie into the power cabling that goes into the connector with a SATA power cable. You might want to use a DMM to make sure you get the correct wires connected. Wiki has the pin-outs for the power connectors BTW.

    1 b. Again, use the SATA card, but use some hacked 3rd party cables (power). Use one of these (Backplane exention cables). Get a standard Molex to SATA power connector as well. Cut the Molex end off the power cable. Tie the power wires with the corresponding color to the backplane cable's power leads. Crimp connections or solder + heat shrink would work rather well, and make routing/tucking easier than wire nuts. Much easier than directly hacking the original wiring in the MP as well. (Better if it ever had to go back for warranty repair or replacement). It's downside is, you now have more of a cable rat's nest to deal with. Either method would be less expensive than option #2 though. ;)

    2. Move the optical drive into an external enclosure (USB/FW800). This would cost more, but might be the easiest way to go.

    A third option exists, via one of the HDD bays. It's a particular sled that uses a Port Multiplier chip, which allows 2 drives to use a single port. But there is a speed penalty for doing this. It would be noticed with SSD's, particularly those capable of ~250MB/s. Absolutely the case if you plan to do RAID 0 with them.

    I hope this isn't too confusing. :)
     
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #11
    Oh, IC circuitry is needed? I thought just a Y-cable would do it? No? Dang.

    Well, do you have a link to these sleds?
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    Only on the power side. ;)
    Pro Drive. Apparently, they don't make it either, from a couple of members who made it to NAB this year.
     
  13. AppleWorking thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2009
    #13
    Hey thanks nano, your information is very helpful! :)
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    No problem. :)

    It's not the cleanest solution (1 b), but the mods don't involve the original wiring. :D BTW, if you do this, you should have the extension backplane cable with an extra SATA power connector hanging off of it. That gives you power x2, with the original Mac's backplane data going to one of the drives. The added SATA data cable to the SATA card handles the second disk. ;)

    Just in case there might be any remaining confusion. :D
    Good luck. :)
     
  15. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #15
    Hello,

    Thanks for this info: I was thinking of adding 2 HD in that second optical bay, but now I think I'm going to wait until I'm forced to do it (when/if I ever buy a SSD as boot drive).

    Additional question: are all the HD slots (including that 2nd optical bay) identical (in terms of speed)? I'll be ordering my four HD soon: would their position make any difference? My plan: put my back-up drive in the 2nd optical bay and use all 4 sleds for the RAID.

    (If I get the SSD I'll either use 2 drives in optical bay, or push the back-up out in external enclosure.)

    Thanks

    Loa
     
  16. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #16
    I bought one of these last week, it should be delivered tomorrow along with 2 x X25-M, after I get them installed I'll do some benchmarks and let you know how it turns out.

    Personally I didn't want to have them just sitting around inside the case and this is the perfect solution!
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    Yes, please share. The problem I see with this device and a pair of X25M's is that your STR will be bottlenecked by the fact that this aggregates two drives to use a single SATA connection which has a max theoretical throughput of 3Gbps (375MB/s). A pair of X25-M's in RAID0 are capable of 400+ MB/s so you will be hitting the cap on the SATA throughput (in some instances)... that's assuming the RAID controller on this little device isn't limiting you further. However, the amount of time you will actually hit this bottleneck is arguably small.
     
  18. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #18
    Is the PATA connector which used to be on the 2006 Mac Pro Logic board removed from the 2009 version?

    If not it should also be possible to put in a ribbon cable and an adapter for the ODD to run from PATA. Then both ODD-SATA connectors should be available again. The ODD seldomly makes use of the speed anyway.

    When planning to use the ODD-SATA one should get cables with one right angle connector as there is very little height under the fan unit. At least that was a problem with the original 2006 design.
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #19
    Recent ICH chipsets from Intel do not support PATA. The 2009 Mac Pro doesn't offer any I/O connectivity beyond what is supported by the ICH10... so no PATA connector.
     
  20. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #20
    That explains why Apple changed the ODD to SATA. Having no BR-drive they certainly did not need the higher bandwidth.
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #21
    Unfortunately, the Port Multiplier chip will slow it down. The one's I've seen have a max STR of 250MB/s. So it's effectively only capable of handling one SSD without bottlenecking it.

    It's a good solution for extremely limited space (drive locations), to increase capacity. Performance also improves with mechanical drives, as the pair isn't likely to exceed the PM's throughput limit. But the performance would be limited with SSD's. At some SSD's capable of running @ ~250MB/s (read), the performance would be cut in half if used with the Pro Drive. Just knowing this fact might really bother some users, as they'd know they aren't getting the full potential. Even if it's not actually affecting their throughputs due to thier usage pattern. ;)
     
  22. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #22
    Well, I emailed the company, and they assured me that it is capable of 400 MB/s, so we will find out, if it's not up to par I will be sending it back, I just wanted it because I have 3 x 1tb WD Caviar Black drives in the other bays, and this is a "clean" install compared to other options, so I'm really hoping that it's as good as they say it is, as I said, I'll let you know tomorrow night.
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #23
    The following is directly off their site.

    I read this as 4 of the Pro Drives were used in a stripe to accomplish 400MB/s of throughput. That translates to 100MB/s per unit. Not wonderful.

    So we await your results. ;) :D :p
     
  24. dekka007 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2009
  25. Andrew Henry macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2008
    #25
    And that's how I took it also but that is supposedly pertaining to mechanical drives, so I'm really hoping it does what I need it to do. But like you said we await the actual results! :)
     

Share This Page