Which SSD for 2008 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Genghis Khan, Jul 18, 2012.

  1. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Hey guys,

    It's been a while since I've posted here. In fact it's been a while since I've done anything to my Pro, but I'm using it for uni again. As the thread title suggests, I'm thinking about getting an SSD for my 2008 Mac Pro (2.8GHzx8).

    A few issues:

    2.5" v 3.5" - Any performance difference?

    2.5" Mounting - Do the 3.5" brackets that come with some 2.5" drives work in a Pro? If not, where do I get a mounting bracket from?

    PCI SSD - I read somewhere that you can get an SSD on a PCI card?

    SATA 3 PCI -> SSD - I also read somewhere that you can get a SATA 3 card, and then hook this up to an SSD?

    Brands/types? - From a brief look, there's a huge variety of SSD's out there, and it's quite hard to compare them within the manufacturer themselves, nevermind with other manufacturers.

    Any other recommendations/thoughts/advice?


    - Michael
  2. Boomhowler macrumors 6502

    Feb 23, 2008
    2.5" vs 3.5" - no, there is much more to choose from on the 2.5" form factor. 3.5 is a niche still.

    The mounting adaptors that usually comes with the SSDs are probably not useable with the drive trays in the mac pro. You can either buy a
    to fit the ssd in one of the dvd-bays. You have to take a sata-cable from the motherboard (there are two ports on the front-side (left when you have opened the service board)) and buy a cable to get power from one of the dvd-cables. I really like this option myself leaving you with the 4 drive bays for standard 3.5" -drives. Perfect for backup or a fat raid0-array :)
    This can be used to mount the ssd on a standard mac pro tray: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/ADPTADRV/

    Yes, if you want to boot from it there is only one alternative: the OWC Accelsior. They are really impressively fast but a bit on the expensive side. Check here: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHW2R240/
    You can get them in 120-960GB sizes.

    Yes, it is possible to use a sata3 pci card and connect a sata3 drive to that but people have had very varying results with them. Personally I do not think that it is worth the hassle anymore when the accelsior is available :)

    Regarding the brands it is a changing field. If I were to buy a 2.5"-ssd now I would not hesitate to buy a Samsung 830. Quick and ultra-reliable. I am not super confident in Intel anymore since they switched to Sandforce controllers. It "could" be good but they are too new for the statistics to have started showing anything reliable.
    I've heard a lot of good words about the Crucial m4 (512GB for a reasonable price) as well. But I would buy Samsung :)

    What are you going to do with the computer? 3D modeling? Programming? MatLab?
  3. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    I have a 2008 mac pro and I bought an owc 480gb mercury 6g ssd and one of their newertech adaptadrive brackets and it attaches to my mac pro drive sled and mounts like any other drive in the bay.
  4. keysersoze macrumors 68000


    Jan 6, 2004
    Another option is using an Icydock -- mount the 2.5 inside it and it will fit your MacPro tray.

  5. Genghis Khan thread starter macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    Thanks for the replies guys, they're much appreciated :)

    3D modelling
    3D scripting modelling
    (I'm an architecture student, lol)

    Thanks for the detailed reply as well Boomhowler, you pretty much answered all my concerns :)

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