Which is faster - Thunderbolt or PCI SSD?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by pianoman88, Mar 31, 2015.

  1. pianoman88 macrumors regular

    Aug 20, 2010
    I sold my MacPro 5,1 a couple of years ago and purchased a 1012 mac mini server. It's served me well - especially the thunderbolt port (two 840 Pro SSDs Raid 0) - but it's starting to slow down now that I've begin working in Premiere Pro CS 6.

    I found a MacPro 5,1 locally for a good price. The only thing holding me back is the SSDs. What PCI cards would you recommend? I'm starting out with 2 SSDs with 30% free space so I anticipate adding a second card.

    What kind of speeds will I see, compared to Thunderbolt 1?

  2. MassMacMan macrumors regular

    Jul 12, 2012
    Boston MetroWest
    I have a 4.1 -> 5.1 early 2009 Mac Pro with 2 SSDs, both mounted in an Apricorn Duo sled. On sale now with rebate, they run about $100. I get about 450-500 Mb/sec R/W speeds on either SSD.

    They're not running as a RAID array, and both Thunderbolt and PCIe cards can run almost twice as fast in an array.
  3. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
    The new SSUBX Appple SSD will get you around 1,500MB/s read and write from a single disk and the $9 Sintech PCIe adaptor. As an added bonus you get Native TRIM support.
  4. Kniteman77 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2013
    Do you have a link to a relevant source or info there?

    I'm coming up blank when I google "SSUBX Apple SSD"
  5. mikeboss macrumors 65816


    Aug 13, 2009
  6. brentsg macrumors 68040

    Oct 15, 2008
    The Thunderbolt scenario will wind up being bottle necked by the drive's SATA interface.
  7. dmylrea macrumors 68020


    Sep 27, 2005
    A single SSD will perform the same in an external thunderbolt case or via a PCI-e add-in card.

    Thunderbolt is a faster "pipe", so if you were talking an array of multiple SSD's, you could get faster speed from Thunderbolt, since it has more capacity.
  8. Kniteman77 macrumors newbie

    Mar 10, 2013
    Thanks mikeboss! This is _exactly_ what I was looking for.

    Now I just have to figure out if it's worth the extra $ on top of the Samsung 850 + Velocity Duo x2 solution to this problem. Really wish Samsung would just come out with the SM1715 already.

    Still have a huge to do list for these MacPro's I'm trying to mod.

    Got working ram that isn't messing with the fan speeds, and I'll have the firmware flashed from 4,1 to 5,1 by the end of the day. Still need to get some washers to space out the heat-spreaders on the 6 core 3.33 ghz Xeons I've got, and figure out if I want to go with the R7950's I've got lying around or buy 2 GeForce 980's. Tearing resistors off the back of 300+ dollar graphics cards is a pretty big mental hurdle.


    IIRC Thunderbolt is basically a 2.0 PCI Express 4x lane wrapped in some additional stuff to allow for the daisy chaining and addressing multiple devices on the same bus.
  9. MacVidCards Suspended

    Nov 17, 2008
    Hollywood, CA
    Completely, 100% incorrect.

    TB2 limits a single SM951 to a lower speed than if placed in a 2009-12 cMP.

    You'll get 1,200-1,300 in TB2, and 1,500 in a slot.

    Barefeats found same numbers I did. The lie of TB2 is exposed.

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