10 Replies Latest reply: Nov 20, 2010 8:08 PM by Penn-Ohio
Penn-Ohio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I have a MacPro that I purchased new in 2008 with 2.8 GHz Xeons and GeForce 8800 video cards with SATA hard drives BUT with IDE optical drives and I want them to be SATA also for my BluRay burner rather than have to put the BRD in my Windows machine which I want to sell.

So can someone give me advice on the quick and easy way to convert my MacPro from IDE optical drives (two bays) to SATA?

Thanks in advance to those who respond.

MacPro 2.8 GHz x 2, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    <http://www.tomorrowland.com/guides/mac-pro-optical-drive-install-part-1/>

    On the 2008 Mac Pro,the fan cover is held by magnet, so is easier to remove.

    Some SATA drives have both SATA and IDE power connectors. If yours don't, you will need IDE to SATA power adapters. Most computer stores have them.

    If you are installing two drives, the second SATA cable will need its connector facing the other way since the SATA ports on the main logic board are very close, and two connectors facing the same way won't fit.
  • Penn-Ohio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Just a thought, could I also just put a PCI Xpress card in and run the two optical drives off that? I have like three or four open slots. I know that's what I would do on our PC for hard drives but will that work for optical drives on Mac's ??

    If so, anyone have a recommended controller card that will work with Mac's? I've been looking on NewEgg and there aren't a lot of them qualified for Mac OSX let alone I've never heard of most of the names.

    Message was edited by: Penn-Ohio

    Message was edited by: Penn-Ohio
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    PCI-X cards won't work. The Mac Pro uses PCI-Express (PCI-e). There are Mac Pto compatible SATA PCI-e cards, such as:
    <http://www.sonnettech.com/product/temposatae4p.html>
    but most need driver software installed, so are not bootable. This means the optical drives couldn't be used for OSX installation.

    Also it will not be easy to connect the drives to the external SATA ports.
  • mooblie Level 4 Level 4 (1,925 points)
    Penn-Ohio wrote:
    .......I have like three or four open slots.......

    What are you referring to here? You don't have three/four open optical drive slots, and the hard drives slots (if open) won't take 5.25" optical drives???
  • Penn-Ohio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i want this for "internal" drive slots as in the two slots that are presently IDE drives, in fact i was shocked that in 2008 apple would even make a high end computer with IDE for anything since for all practical purposes all hi tech gear has been SATA for some time.

    i have two drive bay slots that i want to be SATA drive slots and looking for the easiest and quickest solution with minimal hardware removing and replacing etc. and the drive has to be mac osx bootable in the event there is a need to reboot my mac.

    if the pci-e card will work then will this card be acceptable?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115072

    btw, thanks to all for this valuable input. i want to get blu ray running on my mac as soon as possible so that i can get some high def projects out on blu ray disc.

    Message was edited by: Penn-Ohio
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,565 points)
    Look for Mac cards, MaxUpgrades and MacSales

    MaxUpgrades has kits and support for hard drives and SSDs in optical drive bay for you.
  • Matthew Bergsma Level 3 Level 3 (600 points)
    On the 2008 model, there are 2 spare sata ports on the mother board near the optical bay meant to be used exactly for this task. You just need the sata cables and to do some work running the cables.
  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,565 points)
    PCI-X is an old PCI specification
    PCIe or PCI Express is what you have to have.

    Most people use PCIe cards for external drives, not internal. There are exceptions like SSD drives people often put in that lower optical bay, and go with external BR.

    My PC, I use Intel RAID Storage Manager for the hard drives. The Mac Pro uses the basic Intel Skulltrail platform reference design motherboard wtih its support for dual Xeon and such. Wouldn't be impossible to have RAID via motherboard, though software RAID0 is fine anyway as it is.

    OWC is the best place to find your way around. That way takes the worry out and they have install videos for most major items. They have your BR and SATA optical drives and most (but not all) hard drive controllers.

    Why not SATA? Did they provide better performance in late 2007, when the system was being engineered? had IDE hit a roadblock and DVDs needed more bandwidth than available?

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/superdrive/MacProXeon
    http://eshop.macsales.com/search/PCIExpressSATA

    Internal Blu-Ray
    http://eshop.macsales.com/Search/Search.cfm?Ntk=Primary&Ns=P_Popularity%7c1&Ne=5 000&N=6875&Ntt=Blu-Ray
  • Malcolm Rayfield Level 7 Level 7 (28,070 points)
    i have two drive bay slots that i want to be SATA drive slots and looking for the easiest and quickest solution with minimal hardware removing and replacing etc. and the drive has to be mac osx bootable in the event there is a need to reboot my mac.

    if the PCI-e card will work then will this card be acceptable?

    <http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816115072>

    That card should work, but it won't be any faster than the built-in SATA ports, and it needs just as many cables and drive power adapters (if the drives don't have EDI power connectors). Since you have the 2008 Mac Pro, it's not difficult to get to the built-in SATA ports.
  • Penn-Ohio Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    i think before i open the card i will look carefully at the case and the instructions per that website and see if i can do it. ive looked inside the case already but the biggest issue is i can see how to get the cooling kit out. i thought i read it was magnetically held in but a little force doesn't budge it so im going to do some looking once the card arrives.