What do you use your internal drive bays for?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mr Ski 73, Apr 27, 2016.

  1. Mr Ski 73 macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    Many people on the forums are shifting to pci-e ssd drives with lots of benefit over the old 4 bay option. I just wondered what people are using these old drive bays for. I am running mine with 3x2tb RAID but they carry a lot of junk
  2. h9826790, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

    h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    Bay 1) 2T HDD for important photo / video storage (frequent access photos on SSD)
    Bay 2) SSD for Windows gaming
    Bay 3) 4T HDD for data storage
    Bay 4) 6T HDD which serve as a backup bootable working drive (auto clone the OSX 1T SSD, 2T and 4T HDD to this HDD every morning).

    My OSX SSD is in the lower optical bay. Until I get a PCIe slot extension cable, my slot 4 is blocked by my 2nd 7950, which makes me unable to use any PCIe SSD / PCIe SATA3 card at this moment.

    Anyway, on top of that I have 2x Time Capsules for critical data backup via Time Machine.

    And an external USB 3.0 5 bay HDD enclosure (hardware RAID) to store the games (or anything for Windows but non critical).
  3. pastrychef, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

    pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Bay 1 - Time Machine drive.
    Bay 2 - iTunes drive. I have too much music...
    Bay 3 - Data drive.
    Bay 4 - Bootcamp SSD. I don't use bootcamp enough to bother connecting it to SATA 3.

    Slot 1 - Nvidia GTX 980.
    Slot 2 - SolarFlare 10GbE card.
    Slot 3 - SSUBX - OS X boot drive.
    Slot 4 - Generic 3 port USB 3 card with 1 internal SATA 3.

    Lower optical drive - Scratch SSD drive. Currently connected to built-in SATA 2 but will soon be connected to PCI-e USB3/SATA3 card.

    I have toyed with the idea of setting up virtual machine and using the 4 hard drive bays to set up XPEnology NAS. However, I don't have any spare drives laying around for testing and I don't know how much the NAS will like the fact that this machine is set to sleep when inactive.
  4. BillyBobBongo macrumors 68020


    Jun 21, 2007
    On The Interweb Thingy!
    Bay 1 - Mac OS X
    Bay 2 - Windows 10 (used for gaming)
    Bay 3 - iTunes and Photos storage
    Bay 4 - Empty

    Each bay holds a 500GB Angelbird SSD.

    My Time Machine Backups and archived work goes to a Synology NAS. The NAS holds 4 x 2TB Western Digital Red drives.
  5. maximage77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2014
    Slot 1 - Graphics of course
    Slot 2 - PCI-e card with Samsung 1TB SSD Stick for OS etc
    Slot 3 - Apricorn SATA Card with 500GB SSD for Bootcamp
    Slot 4 - Caldigit USB3 SATA3 Card
    Bay 1 - 8TB Time Machine backup drive, also back up to remote Time Capsule
    Bay 2 - 4TB drive slice 1 of 20TB RAID
    Bay 3 - 4TB drive slice 2 of 20TB RAID (mounted in 3rd party sled and data from Solo Card in Slot 3 due to proximity)
    Bay 4 - 4TB drive slice 3 of 20TB RAID
    "Bay 5" up in lower optical bay - 4TB drive slice 4 of 20TB RAID (runs off connection on Caldigit Card in Slot 4)
    "Bay 6" up in lower optical bay - 4TB drive slice 5 of 20TB RAID (runs off connection on Caldigit Card in Slot 4)

    TBH, I have to play around with fastest setup for the RAID. At the moment I have only 2 RAID drives running off the internal SATA, 1 is off the Capricorn Card, and two off the Caldigit Card, idea being to spread the load across interfaces given the slower SATA2 on board, but no idea if the extra overhead of the RAID being run across multiple interfaces is effective or not.
  6. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    Using SATA 2 for your RAID shouldn't impact performance of your RAID since traditional platter based drivers can't come close to saturating the SATA 2 interface.
  7. maximage77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2014
    Yup, totally aware of that, but the SATA2 system as a whole on the Mac Pro has a limited max overhead. Been ages since I have looked into it, so don't remember for sure, but something like 600 or 800MB max for memory even if I was to use all SSDs. Given it's 5 drives in the "RAID", and its just striped, it ran quicker offloading some of the drives to the PCI-E cards when I first did some basic tests, but haven't bothered to test different variations of the setup, i.e., 3 on internal ports, one each on the 2 cards, etc etc.
  8. Thessman macrumors regular

    Dec 8, 2005
    725 MB/sec max.
  9. tomvos, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2016

    tomvos macrumors 6502


    Jul 7, 2005
    In the Nexus.
    PCIe Slot 1: Geforce 680 GTX 2GB
    PCIe Slot 2: empty
    PCIe Slot 3: Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 -> Samsung 850 Pro 1TB (Boot)
    PCIe Slot 4: Sonnet Tango FW400/USB2.0

    Bay1 -> Samsung 850 EVO 1 TB (Storage)
    Bay2 -> Samsung 850 EV0 1 TB (Scratch)
    Bay3 -> WD Green HD 1,5 TB TimeMachine
    Bay4 -> Samsung 830 Pro 0,5 TB (iTunes- and Steam-Library)

    I don't care about the speed loss due to SATA2. Quite often the workload consists of random access to small files, so SATA2 is not such a big slow down as these large sequential access benchmarks would like to make believe.
  10. CapnDavey macrumors 6502


    Apr 11, 2015
  11. DPUser macrumors 6502a


    Jan 17, 2012
    Rancho Bohemia, California
    1: SSD Boot
    2: Empty
    3: End of Session Backup Spinner #1
    4: End of Session Backup Spinner #2

    Plus four SSDs in Optical Bay:
    Two connected to Optical Bay SATA2 Ports - Virtual Instrument Data
    Two connected to PCIe SATA3 - SSD Work Drive and Another VI Data Drive

    Pius External Time Machine USB Drive
  12. maximage77 macrumors newbie

    Nov 4, 2014
    Just wow! Snob much? The only spinners I see listed on here are all larger than SSDs, so SSDs likely wouldn't suit. And each person with spinners also has several SSDs as it is.
  13. kschendel macrumors 65816

    Dec 9, 2014
    1) 1 Tb Mushkin SSD: OSX, Linux root/home, Linux dbms data partition, and misc e.g. reFind.
    2) 1 Tb WD Black: Linux data partition, OSX secondary area, Windows virtual machine partition, linux JFS play area
    3) 1 Tb WD Black: Linux swap and 3 more data partitions for various specific purposes
    4) empty, I could have put one of the original 640 Gb drives there but I can't really use the space I have now

    At some point I plan to add a PCIe SSD, either 256 or 512 Gb, and move some of the development / work area stuff there, but even running SATA-2 the SSD is enough faster than the old 640Gb spinners that I'm not feeling any urgency.

    Backup is an external USB-3 drive through a cheapo Inateck card.
  14. MultiFinder17 macrumors 68000


    Jan 8, 2008
    Tampa, Florida
    Upper Optical Bay - Superdrive
    Lower Optical Bay - 480GB SSD for OS X

    1. 1TB Time Machine volume
    2. 2TB General Storage volume
    3. Empty
    4. 256GB SSD for Windows 10
  15. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    ^^ my budget setup, not shore about the bay numbers tho. 3.1
    bay 1 850 evo 250GB SSD os/apps
    bay 2 WD red 2TB storage and photos
    bay 3 WD black media
    bay 4 WD black media partition/scratch partition+ some extra extra osx partitions that i can boot from

    i try to keep all work on the black drives,
    all storage/backups are on pairs of external 2TB usb drives
  16. ifraaank macrumors regular


    Jun 25, 2012
    Odense C, Denmark
    OS X: PCIe SSD
    Lower optical bay: Windows SSD
    Bay 1: empty
    Bay 2: empty
    Bay 3: empty
    Bay 4: empty

    (This is because I don't want the noise of spinning HDDs', since I'm sitting right beside my Mac... I'm on the lookout for extremely silent drives, hit me up if you have any suggestions)
  17. hfg, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    Here is my current layout for 5,1 Mac Pro:

    Upper Optical Bay - BluRay Optical R/W
    Lower Optical Bay - empty

    Bay 1: empty
    Bay 2: 3 TB Archive and Junk HGST hard disk
    Bay 3: 3 TB: 1TB daily BootClone, 2TB Library, storage HGST hard disk
    Bay 4: 6 TB Time Machine (alternates with 2 remote network NAS storage) WD Red NAS hard disk

    Slot 1 - GTX 980Ti-6GB Video
    Slot 2 - PCI-e card with Apple 1TB SSD Stick for OS X boot
    Slot 3 - Apricorn Velocity-DUO SATA3 Card with 500GB SSD for Bootcamp and 960GB SSD for scratch
    Slot 4 - Caldigit FASTA-6GU3-Pro USB3 and eSATA3 Card
  18. LorenK macrumors 6502

    Dec 26, 2007
    Spin drives! But all Samsung pre-sale of spin drive business.
    Bay 1: MacOSX
    Bay 2: Photos and books
    Bay 3: iTunes
    Bay 4: iTunes
    Optical Bays :cd read/write

    Slot 1: GTX 670
    Slot 2: Apricorn Duo card with Samsung 840Pro 256
    Slot 3: eSata dual port card
    Slot 4: No name 4 port USB3 card
  19. m4v3r1ck, Apr 27, 2016
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2016

    m4v3r1ck macrumors 68020


    Nov 2, 2011
    The Netherlands
    Bay 1: Samsung 500GB HDD <- Mac OS X 10.11.4 test drive
    Bay 2: Samsung 500GB HDD <- Carbon Copy Cloner (CCC) bootable backup of Mac OS X 10.11.4
    Bay 3: WD 2TB HDD
    Bay 4: WD 2TB HDD

    Bay 3+4: Apple Software RAID0 4TB: A CCC back-up disk to be later backing-up (each night) to a cloud back-up service (without NAS accessibility)

    Slot 1 - GTX 670 FTW (PC) 4GB Video

    Slot 2 - Apricorn SATA DUO x2 Card: 1TB Ss 840 EVO SSD OS X 10.10.5 & 500GB Ss 840 EVO SSD for EFI Windows 8.1 Pro x64

    Slot 3 - ATI 2600 HD (Mac EFI) 256MB Video (just for bootscreens/maintenance)

    Slot 4 - Caldigit FASTA-6GU3-Pro USB3 and eSATA3 Card
    4a. <- eSATA bootable external 1TB (RAID1) CCC Mac OSX 10.10.5 - current OS X - back-up
    4b. <- eSATA 2x Ss 840 EVO 500GB (RAID0) external scratch disk for graphics and video applications
    4c. Both USB 3.0 connections are empty
    4d. Both USB 3.0 connections are empty

    Note: all disks are back-upped/cloned to a Synology DS1812+ (8x WD 3TB in SHR) NAS and Cloud back-up!

  20. orph macrumors 68000


    Dec 12, 2005
    wow now thats a good backup system m4v3r1ck, i dream of that kind of backup system
  21. Johnny365 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 30, 2015
    Bay 1: 120GB SSD, Bay 2: 1TB HDD.

    I had a 500/250 GB HDD in the other ones, but didn't like the constant whirring noise of the drives spinning up/down while the computer was on.
  22. jdasikainen macrumors 6502


    Mar 4, 2016
    Bald Knob Arkansas
    Mac Pro 1,1
    optical bay upper superdrive
    optical bay lower empty
    bay 1 1tb western digital blue 7200rpm OS X
    bay 2 1tb western digital blue 7200rpm Bootcamp Windows and games
    bay 3 original 250 gb drive undecided
    bay 4 empty don't even have the sled
    pie slot 1 msi gtx 650 pc 2gb
    going to upgrade to a gtx 960 or 970 next then a ssd for bay 4 os x boot 1tb will become a backup
  23. Mr Ski 73 thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 11, 2007
    Interesting post - there are some good ideas in here. I am going to try and get a Calgigit which will free up a pci-e slot for another SSD. I currently have a sata card in one slot and a USB 3 card in another.
  24. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    Bay 1: 2TB Raid0 (with Bay 2) - Data drive
    Bay 2: 2TB Raid0 (with Bay 1) - Data drive
    Bay 3: 2TB Raid0 (with Bay 4) - iTunes Library
    Bay 4: 2TB Raid0 (with Bay 3) - iTunes Library
    Bay 5: 2TB backup of Boot Disc (2x240Gb SSDs on an Apricorn Duo on Slot 2)

    The 2 4TB Raid0 (Data & iTunes Library) are backed up to separate Qx2 external enclosures.
  25. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    Upper ODD Bay: Pioneer BluRay drive
    Lower ODD Bay: Intel 335 SSD for Windows 10

    Bays 1-4: OpenZFS RAIDZ array, 4x 2Tb Seagate disks.

    PCIe Slot 1: EVGA 680 Mac Edition
    PCIe Slot 4: Samsung SM951 on a Lycom DT-120

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