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Kakky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I want to add an internal hard drive to my Mac Pro. Most of what I'm finding with the speed I want are now SATA6. My manual says to use SATA III. Can I use a SATA6 drive in my early 2009 Mac Pro?

Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,345 points)

    Your model cannot use SATA6 or SATA III 6.0 Gb/s drives. You can use SATA3 or SATA II 3.0 Gb/s drives. The former may or may not work. it would depend on whether the drive is capable of being used on the 3.0 Gb/s bus.

  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (53,460 points)

    Most commercially-available drives sold today will shift down to the slower SATA Bus speed. Do not pay extra for the higher Bus speed, as your model cannot take advantage of that speed.

  • Kakky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for your reply. I had read somewhere on the Internet that you could use the SATA 6 drives but they would shift down to the slower speed. So if I go with a 1 TB 7200 rpm 64 MB cache, you are sayig it won't take advantage of the 64 MB cache, right?

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,345 points)

    This is not, unfortunately, true of all such drives. Some require setting a jumper on the rear of the drive, while others require a firmware modification that usually can only be done on a Windows machine. If you are going to buy a SATA 6.0 Gb/s drive you had best do some due diligence first. You would be far better off just buying a SATA 3.0 Gb/s drive that will be fully compatible.

  • Kakky Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I definitely don't want to get into dealing with things like jumper switches. Thanks for your help.

  • BitterCreek Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)

    Kappy's posts contain bad advice.

    First, ALL SATA hard drives will work in your computer. Any SATA-III drive will simply work at SATA-II speeds.

    Second, there are extremely few drives on the market today that contain jumpers.

  • The hatter Level 9 Level 9 (60,880 points)

    Understand, there is no such thing as SATA6.


    There is SATA III / SATA3


    The channel interface on the controllers support 3.0Gbps (bit)


    Only an SSD would even show any difference.


    Vendors cannot afford to make drives that are only SATA3, they are all backward compatible.


    For speed, high density/capacity can equal faster transfer speeds.

    For lowest latency and I/Os per secord or IOPS then SSD are king.

    For a little of each and a touch of SCSI class but at t he cost of some noise (and my WD Black 1TBs "chatter" for sure just as much if not more), there are WD 10K VelociRaptors (180MB/sec read/write).


    It is almost unhead of to need to set a jumper on an SATA device. SAS/SCSI maybe.


    With SSDs there can be and usually are firmware issues with the controllers used (inside the device).


    If you MUST get 6.0Gbps (550MB/sec) people buy PCIe SATA3 controllers and get into SSDs on a card even.

  • BitterCreek Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)

    Understand, there is no such thing as SATA6.

    6gb/s SATA.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,345 points)

    SATA6 is a reference to the 6.0 Gb/s interface while SATA3 refers to the 3.0 Gb/s interface.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,345 points)

    Apparently you have not yet come across the users on these forums who are unable to get 6.0 Gb/s drives to work on their computers due to the need for jumpers or firmware modifications. For users of older Macs it can indeed be a matter of concern.

  • BitterCreek Level 1 Level 1 (100 points)

    Tell that to the 3TB SATA-III drive in my 06 MacPro, and the 2TB SATA-III drive in my G5.

  • Kappy Level 10 Level 10 (260,345 points)

    Bring them to my home, I'll be happy to discuss it with them.


    When possible I'll trust the reports of multiple users here to my personal experience unless I have reason to doubt the reported experiences here. My comments suggested one may have a problem. I did not claim anything more.

  • 200cm Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Please, what is the answer now to Kakky's original question?


    Yes, it can be done, but there might be problems?


    No, the «interface» (does that mean the connector?) is different?


    Or: does it make sense at all or will the benefit be lost, as stated (unclearly) above?


    Could an added kind of card help to fix problems?



  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 Level 9 (53,460 points)

    Can I use a [6Gbits/sec SATA-3] drive in a 2009 Mac-Pro

    Executive summary: Most regular commercially-available drives you buy new today will install and work fine. It IS worthwhile to pay extra for a drive with a bigger buffer, but do not pay EXTRA for SATA-3 alone, it is all specsmanship.


    If you buy a weird older drive, or you have a really old Mac, it may not work properly. [WD Raptors and VelociRaptors work fine.]




    RE: SATA Bus speed:


    Rotating drives available today, whatever their SATA spec, can source data off the spinning platters no faster than about 125MBytes/sec.


    SATA 3 is rated at 6G bits/sec, which theoretically is about 750 Mega Bytes/sec


    SATA 2 is rated at 3G bits/sec, which is theoretically about 375 Mega Bytes/sec


    SATA 1 is rated at 1.5G bits/sec, which is theoretically about 187.5 Meg Bytes/sec


    None of the SATA Busses is a bottleneck for consumer Rotating drives you can buy today. Trying to speed up the SATA Bus will not provide any real-world performance increases for Rotating Drives.


    Even most common SSD drives are not bottlenecked by SATA 2.




    If you put the drives on a PCIe card, they are not bottlenecked by the SATA on the card either, as it will typically be SATA 3.


    But unless you have the very fastest SATA drives available, you are in no danger of having the existing main SATA 2 Bus in your Mac Pro slow you down. The card is only needed for the fastest SSD drives available today, and will not provide much current speed improvement even in that case.

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