12 Replies Latest reply: Dec 21, 2011 6:31 AM by Nachhaltig
Penhorwo88 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Hello,

I've recently installed some additional RAM in my Mac Pro3,1 (early 2008). I want to keep the optimization ball rolling with a dedicated SSD for OS X.

I know that most SSDs are smaller than the mounting brackets for the drive bays. Is there are a way around this? Can anyone recommend a good SSD to use? I don't want anything too expensive, 64GB max.

Thanks so much!

8-Core Mac Pro3,1, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • 1. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    NullUnit Level 1 Level 1 (110 points)
    You need an adapter.

    Otherworldcomputing.com has a couple. Their Mount Pro is designed to use the HDD sled of the Mac Pro. And IcyDock has an enclosure for a 2.5" HDD/SDD for which mimics the size and screw positions of a standard 3.5" drive. Either one is under $25 at OWC.
  • 2. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)
    I just 'craddle' mine, it is so light it doesn't take a lot to hold it in place.
  • 3. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    Smokerz Level 6 Level 6 (9,220 points)
    I have the 2008 Mac Pro also.
    Inexpensive way to use SSD in a Mac Pro 2008.
    lower optical bay: I use a Nexstar SE dual 2.5 for SSD and its a 5.25 enclosure. Has two sata connectors so use the two on the motherboard. Use sata cable 21 inch minimum. Easy to place one or two 2.5 inch drives in it.
    Upper optical bay, I use a Mabhatten sata to edie bridge, cost about $15 enables me to use 6 sata hard drives and that Manhatten bridge works great under Snow Leopard.

    bay two I have my boot SSD OCZ plugged in but supported by an 11 inch tie strap. Inexpensive. Package is $1.76 To make it easy to "loop" that tie strap thru the front two "holes" take one tie strap and four the first 4 or 5 inches, bend into shape so when you go right to left the leading tip slides and finds its way thru that second slot hole. Piece of rice cake.
  • 4. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    Biltan-Wales Level 2 Level 2 (340 points)
    Hi Penhorwo88,

    I bought an OCZ 60GB SSD a couple of months before OWC started selling their Mercury Extreme Pro range, but towards the end of last year I succumbed to temptation and purchased an OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE 100GB SSD.

    For Mac users OWC is the logical choice, not least of all because it is a Mac friendly/orientated company.
    That is something which cannot be said about any other SSD manufacturer, because they are all PC orientated, and Mac users are just an afterthought to them.

    Also, the OWC Mercury Pro range is the number one SSD choice of many, and probably the majority, of the contributors to this forum, and is also the first choice of Lloyd Chambers' Mac Performance Guide:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/SSD-RealWorld-Conclusions.html

    The OWC Mercury Pro 60GB SSD would be ideal for your purpose:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/internalstorage/Mercury_Extreme_SSD_Sandforce/Solid_StatePro

    I installed my SSD system boot drive in the lower optical drive bay of my Mac Pro, because I use all four of its drive bays for a RAID 0 configuration of WD VelociRaptor HDDs. It is exceptionally easy to do this in 2009 and later Mac Pros, and it it is not necessary, nor indeed advantageous, to install the SSD in any case or caddy when it is installed there. It is more complicated to install an SSD in the lower optical drive bay of older Mac Pros (2006-2008), but not too daunting:
    http://macperformanceguide.com/Mac-InstallingSSD.html

    Another option is to place the SSD inside an Icy Dock MB882SP-1S-2B 2.5" to 3.5" SSD & SATA HDD Converter Case, which can then be installed in one of the Mac Pro's drive bays in the normal manner:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IcyDock/MB882SP1S2B/

    There is also an Icy Dock Full Metal 2.5" to 3.5" SAS & SATA HDD & SSD Converter Case, but I have no personal experience of using that one:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IcyDock/MB982IP1S/

    Best of luck with your purchase. You will certainly notice the difference once you start using an SSD!

    Regards,

    Bill
  • 5. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (58,880 points)
    OWC switched to Sand Force controllers, what they have to offer that might be unique is the quality and source of memory chips used I guess.
  • 6. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    darshie76 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I've purchased an OCZ 90 Gb Vertex2 and works great for me.

    Not sure what imply to buy OCW brand; these are like HDD in the end so they are independent from the OS where they run...kinda like buying a mouse or a keyboard In the end is a controller plus some flash memory in a nice box; some has better controller and better flash memory than others (Intel seems to be the most reliable, at least reading the reviews); I spent 3 days reading reviews and researching, and in the end i've figured out that the differences are not noticeable for my needs (mainly managing 3d contents, modeling and rendering; occasionally playing games, watching movies and such), so i went for the OCZ since has 3 years warranty and is a size that fits my needs (60 is too small, 120 too expensive).

    The drive mounts fine on the standard mac pro slot; of course being a piece of light plastic the screws fits a bit big, but no big deal, just slide it in and done...and you save the hassle to get a kit (otherwise if you have just 1 drive use the second bay ; that is even better so you can have 4 drives plus the ssd).

    In the end is a matter of personal preferences i think; the 0.002 seconds in response between a brand and another does not make your life better or worst; all of them will eventually become unusable since the flash memory inside the ssd has a finite number of writing cycles; and some has controllers that are more efficient, but in the end is all made in china by foxconn; so just follow the suggestions that you see from the members and pick one (avoid the cheap ones, at the same way you wanna avoid cheap memory card for your camera, unless you love to loose pictures :P)
  • 7. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    Penhorwo88 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks to everyone for their input. OWC looks great and will be the direction I go when I get around to tackling this project. Really impressed with the answers I've received, much obliged for taking the time.

    Best,
    Penhorwo88
  • 8. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    LuckySlam17 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    If your SSD drive don't have the right brackets, you can build your own SSD support.

    Look at the pictures.
    http://www.macdigger.net/viewtopic.php?f=16&t=3&sid=7f3c1be13a1bd454b2e7d4d8b6b2 89e8

  • 9. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    Grant Bennet-Alder Level 8 Level 8 (49,250 points)
    That is very clever. I think if I were going to do that, i would use a piece of aluminum flashing instead of an old CD.

    I was preparing to drill additional holes in the top of mine when I noticed that it was not sealed, just a stamped sheet metal can. I completely removed the tiny circuit card-with-connecter, and mounted the card, bare, onto the backplane connector in bay 2 (where I could get my hand in). It is not attached to the sled, but since it does not vibrate, it has been trouble-free.
  • 10. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    Robert Farthing Level 1 Level 1 (65 points)
    After much research, I too have installed the OCZ Vertex2 in my Mac Pro. I went for the 120GB model, in 3.5", so I don't need an adaptor, it just screws straight in.
    I've got to say, the difference is staggering......so fast and quiet. It's like a completely different machine.
    I configured mine so that everything except iTunes, iPhoto and iMovies library's were on the SSD, and then configured these applications to point to the library's on a 2TB drive.
    Works like a dream, and any OS updates etc. just work fine.
    It all gets backed up on another 2TB Time Machine drive, and I also back it up to another 2TB SuperDuper! drive, for a bootable backup.

    Best performance increase for the money, IMHO.

    Bob.
  • 11. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    icecruncher Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    This is for you and anyone else looking to install SSD drives in a Mac Pro.

     

    I got tired of all the research I had to do to be able to mount SSD drives cleanly in my Mac Pro without sacrificing the other 3.5 sled drives or anything else. I wanted bootable and I wanted fast.

     

    These two options are bootable and very fast and don't sacrifice anything. They can't be beat (Other than price) but if you are looking at SSD drives then price isn't the issue. Installing and speed are!

     

    First is the DX4 from Trans Intl - it gives you 4 hard drive locations for 2.5 SSD drives. Comes with the SATA cables and a special power cable for powering all four drives plus instructions on connecting them.

     

    You will still need either a SATA card or if you have the 2008 mac pro, use the two SATA ports that are on the motherboard that are also bootable and are each separate SATA II ports. It is pricey but very cool.

     

    I am using this with two SSD 40gb OWC drives in a RAID 0 for my boot drive and apps. I average between 400-500 MB/s! My boot time is less than 15 secs, I love it!

     

     

    Second is the Velocity Solo from Apricorn. I used to use Apricorn stuff on my old Apple II systems, they are a great company.

     

    I ordered this tonight, but it is a SATA III PCI-e 2.0 slot card with a mount for an SSD drive on the card and an extra connection for data to another SSD drive. They told me it will work with PCI-e 1.1 but there is a speed hit obviously. It was only $49.00 without shipping and obviously without the SSD drive. BUT it is SATA III. They also told me they have a Velocity Solo 2 in the works. Only thing I didn't like is they max out on this at 400MB/s but for $49.00 it's not bad.

     

    I'll know more about this in a week when I get it.

     

    Regarding getting an SSD drive for them. I recommend having TRIM support and overprovisioning. Plus a long warranty. I personally went with OWC because they are a great company. OCZ appears to make good drives also and I've heard some good things about Intel SSD drives, but don't quote me.

  • 12. Re: How to install an SSD in the Mac Pro3,1?
    Nachhaltig Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    The AdaptaDrive from Newer Technology seems to be a very attractive mounting solution for the Mac Pro (tested with 1,1):

    http://www.newertech.com/products/adaptadrive.php.

    It looks like there are no electronic parts on the board, so SSDs should work exactly as they would if they were plugged in directly. The adapter is made of die cast aluminum (painted).

     

    Luc