What to do about storage?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sgrutt22, Oct 22, 2018.

  1. sgrutt22, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

    sgrutt22 macrumors newbie

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    #1
    My 2009 4,1 Mac Pro arrived from ebay today and I've spent a little time playing around. I've been researching for the past couple weeks a little of everything when it comes to these older machines. I'm aware that a certain firmware that is coming soon will support nvme natively and this is something I'm very interested in. On the other hand, I see a lot of people using sata3 pcie cards to install regular 2.5in drives to avoid the dragging speed of the sata2.

    I have already flashed the firmware of my 4,1 to 5,1 and installed high sierra on the 2tb hdd it came with. It is a 8 core (2x2.26ghz). The current boot Rom version follows: MP51.0089.B00

    My question is should I stick it out and wait to buy a setup thats going to support nvme natively or just bite the bullet on a sata3 and regular ssd. If anyone could recommend a specific card for either format it would be appreciated! Also I'm not to experienced with raid setups so thats a road I'd rather not go down.
     
  2. crjackson2134, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

    crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #2
    This is just my opinion, but if you know you want SSD storage and haven’t already invested, I’d get an NVMe blade and a good PCIe adapter that fits your budget and needs.

    High Sierra already supports NVMe storage devices, and the 10.14.1 update of Mojave brings NVMe booting, so you can start using the NVMe SSD as soon as you get it.

    If however you want the fastest booting system possible for the cheapest price, get a quality 2.5” SSD and mount it in your drive bay for quick booting. It’s not as fast as a PCIe drive by a long shot, but it circumvents the PCIe boot scan and shaves off a few seconds.

    It’s all dependent on what your personal preference, or needs are. I personally boot from NVMe.

    Just my 2¢
     
  3. sgrutt22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Thanks for all the information and it will defiantly assist me in my decision making. I really just like the thought of being able to boot from from NVMe because I feel like I'm future proofing more. I'm sure it wont be too long till the 10.14.1 comes out.

    If I'm looking to go with a single NVMe as my boot drive, how much would it cost me to get into that setup. You mentioned a "NVMe blade". Is that a certain PCIe adapter?
     
  4. crjackson2134, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018

    crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #4
    Blade (m.2 form factor) refers to the shape of the device as opposed to an SATA intended for 2.5” drive mounting.

    Excellent pass-through adapters for the m.2 blade drives are Angelbird Wings PX1 and KryoM.2, if you want the fastest performance and have way too much money to spend, you can get a High Point SSD7101A. It’s probably overkill for your needs, but it’s a lot faster and holds up to 4 NVMe drives (this is what I have in my system).
     
  5. kohlson, Oct 22, 2018
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2018

    kohlson macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yeah, this was new to me, and took awhile to figure out. There's a separate name thread: https://forums.macrumors.com/threads/blade-ssds-nvme-ahci.2146725/

    ...but feel free to ask questions.

    As @crjackson2134 says, booting from a SATA is faster by a few seconds, but performance *can* be better with a nvme blade - depending on what you're doing.

    A big performance leap will happen with solid state, no matter SATA or name/pcie. If you aren't quite sure, I'd probably opt for SATA. Really easy to do, and a little cheaper. (Also, if you're in the USA, Black Friday approaches!).

    There are lots of upgrades to do:
    - solid state disk
    - CPUs
    - USB 3
    - GPU

    Stick with us, my friend. We have lots of suggestions on how to spend your money! More seriously, ask away.
     
  6. sgrutt22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Thanks for the link to that thread explaining blades and NVMe! When you recommend SATA, are you referring to the SATA2 on the logic board or using a PCIe to get SATA3 speeds?
     
  7. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #7
    SATA2 on the logic board. Don’t waste money on SATA3 on a PCIe Card. If you are going to go with a PCIe solution get the NVMe.
     
  8. Chrisf1977 macrumors newbie

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    Oct 16, 2018
    #8
    If i have understood that right the Angelbird and Kryo Adapter should not be able to use the maximum speed of actual NVME SSD (Samsung 970 Pro 3 3500Mb/s read) because on this two adapters are no PCIe switches who are needed to use the Maximum speed. Only the 7101a and a Syba Card* has this bifurcation chip and can use the maximum speed. Please correct me if i am wrong.

    * http://www..com/index.php?route=product/product&path=64_188_148&product_id=992
     
  9. Le_Cactus macrumors member

    Le_Cactus

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    #9
    Yes, you're stucked to 1500Mb/s, but you can boot with the last firmware.
     
  10. kohlson macrumors 68000

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    Apr 23, 2010
    #10
    The SATA 2 / SATA 3 thing can seem confusing. While the 5,1 MP only has SATA 2, some may ask why shouldn't I get a SATA 3 PCIe board and "double" the disk performance. This has been discussed on a few MR threads. It seems few workflows actually take advantage of the extra throughput speed offered by SATA 3. But, what makes a day-to-day difference is IOPS. And whether connected to a SATA 2 or SATA 3 bus doesn't matter. For some workflows, even very fast throughput speeds offered by nvme don't seem to make as much difference as IOPS. Note that IOPS is not always an easy number to find.

    As with all systems, how it's configured for your workflow is all that matters. There are lots of respected contributors to these MP threads who have agreed to disagree over what's "best" for disk performance. But each seems to have found the best for what they do. I, for one, am happy they are sharing their knowledge.
     
  11. fatespawn macrumors regular

    fatespawn

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    #11
    Do you have an old SATA 3 SSD you can use? If so, just buy this for $20:

    https://www.ebay.com/itm/Apricorn-V...112876&hash=item214a67d244:g:qigAAOSw0rBby09i

    Then when you save up some more $$$, you can buy the NVME+PCIe card you want. Just a thought if you happen to have an unused SSD.
     
  12. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #12
  13. fatespawn macrumors regular

    fatespawn

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    #13
    No - sorry.. not you. I mean for the OP. Just throwing out a cheap stop-gap solution.
     
  14. sgrutt22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Just got my ssd in the mail and am planning to use it through the logic board as my boot drive. I'm aware that I have to reformat this drive in order to install High Sierra. Should I do that in recovery mode? Pretty sure I can just install High Sierra right over the app store with the current 2TB HDD in my system. After that just clear off the 2TB and I'm done? If you couldn't tell its my first time multiple hard drive setups.
     
  15. bjar macrumors regular

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    Sugar land, tx
    #15
    You could use carbon copy cloned to clone your current hdd to the ssd. It would be bootable. May be faster to just install a fresh HS to it but if there are things you are going to transfer from the hdd anyway then I would clone it. Assuming your used data on the hdd is not more than the capacity of the ssd. Use disk utility to format ssd first. Does not need to be done in recovery.
     
  16. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #16
    Initialize the disk using Disk Utility from your current install. Create a GUID partition and format (Erase) to APFS.

    After that's done, you can install a clean copy by launching the installer from within the current macOS and just target the new SSD for the install.

    Alternatively, you can clone your current drive (after initializing the new SSD) to the new one. I personally use Carbon Copy Cloner. It has a free trial period, so no purchase is needed.
     
  17. Zeke D macrumors 65816

    Zeke D

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    #17
    Be careful with the Apricorn SOLO X1. Myself and others have had issues with it playing nice with AHCI blades.
     
  18. sgrutt22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #18
    Sounds good thanks for the detailed description! After I am done with everything you suggested would the last step be to set the SDD as the target boot disk in my preferences? In addition, I would like to completely wipe the hdd and use it for bulk storage. Would I just erase the disk just how I did for the ssd?
     
  19. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #19
    Set it as Startup Disk in preference pane.
     
  20. sgrutt22 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #20
    Mission success thanks for all your help! A lot less intimidating than I thought. Currently waiting for WIFI/BT card from china so thats next on the list!
     
  21. crjackson2134 macrumors 601

    crjackson2134

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    #21

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20 October 22, 2018