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Best bootable pcie ssd for Mac Pro 5,1 is ? Desktop Synthesizers
Old 31st August 2016
  #1
Gear Head
 

Best bootable pcie ssd for Mac Pro 5,1 is ?

Hi ! Anyone using pcie ssds for system drive on a classic mac pro 5,1 ? I'm considering a samsung sm951 ahci with lycom dt-120, or a kingston hyper x (not sure if that one is bootable for mac though ) . Can anyone share their experiences with pcie ssd's on classic mac ? Thanks !
Old 12th September 2016
  #2
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elektrovolt's Avatar
not pcie, but the 2,5" Samsung 850evo works fine with my mac pro 5,1.
Old 13th September 2016
  #3
Lives for gear
I have several SSD's in my Mac Pro 5,1.

Two of them (boot drives for Yosemite and Win-7) are on SATA-II 3Gbps interfaces. The others are a RAID-0 array on a NewerTech MaxPower RAID controller in a PCIe slot. I made a custom-crafted mounting arrangement that allows sled-2 to have 4 SSD's, one of which is on the SATA port, and 3 of which are on the SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports from the MaxPower controller.

I'm telling you all this because the predominance of short random reads during boot time and application loading time don't really allow an SSD to 'stretch its legs' to achieve the impressive large sequential read rates that we see in synthetic benchmarks. The lion's share of the benefits for booting and application loading time can be achieved in the native SATA 3Gbps ports of the Mac Pro.

Here's a link to a fairly comprehensive 2013 study in a Windows environment that shows what I mean:
Even With SATA 3Gb/s, An SSD Makes Sense - Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD?

I'm not telling you to avoid getting the bootable PCIe SSD. I'm simply telling you that you're not missing much if you take the simpler path of using the native SATA ports. PCIe slots are precious. Mine are used for the RAID card, a UAD-2 DSP, and a USB 3.0 card (and of course the video card).
Old 13th September 2016
  #4
Gear Nut
 
Sonics's Avatar
I suggest you join the macproupgarde Facebook group...
An absolute wealth of information, and a fantastic community .
Old 13th September 2016
  #5
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KevWind's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by LukeAndListen View Post
Hi ! Anyone using pcie ssds for system drive on a classic mac pro 5,1 ? I'm considering a samsung sm951 ahci with lycom dt-120, or a kingston hyper x (not sure if that one is bootable for mac though ) . Can anyone share their experiences with pcie ssd's on classic mac ? Thanks !
Yes the Samsung SM 951 AHCI 500 GB (500GB is the fastest) with the Lycom DT 120 is exactly what I put in the number 3 Pcie slot of my Mid 2010 Mac Pro westmere 6 core. The install was very easy and took all of 5 -10 minutes and I was able to boot it no problem.
The performance increase (from the factory 1 TB HD) was significant in terms of things like booting the computer from completely shut down to desk top, and launching PT

Here are the Black Magic read/write speed test results

With the factory HD


With the Samsung 951
Old 13th September 2016
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by MediaGary View Post
I have several SSD's in my Mac Pro 5,1.

Two of them (boot drives for Yosemite and Win-7) are on SATA-II 3Gbps interfaces. The others are a RAID-0 array on a NewerTech MaxPower RAID controller in a PCIe slot. I made a custom-crafted mounting arrangement that allows sled-2 to have 4 SSD's, one of which is on the SATA port, and 3 of which are on the SAS/SATA 6Gbps ports from the MaxPower controller.

I'm telling you all this because the predominance of short random reads during boot time and application loading time don't really allow an SSD to 'stretch its legs' to achieve the impressive large sequential read rates that we see in synthetic benchmarks. The lion's share of the benefits for booting and application loading time can be achieved in the native SATA 3Gbps ports of the Mac Pro.

Here's a link to a fairly comprehensive 2013 study in a Windows environment that shows what I mean:
Even With SATA 3Gb/s, An SSD Makes Sense - Is A SATA 3Gb/s Platform Still Worth Upgrading With An SSD?

I'm not telling you to avoid getting the bootable PCIe SSD. I'm simply telling you that you're not missing much if you take the simpler path of using the native SATA ports. PCIe slots are precious. Mine are used for the RAID card, a UAD-2 DSP, and a USB 3.0 card (and of course the video card).
What an excellent post! I'm happy to read some people look beyond benchmarks and inform about what actually makes sense.
Even an old 120GB Crucial C300 SATA2 manages 1200 track recording.
The PCIe solution is a waste for boot media, it excels for realtime recording, sample loading and especially video.
Old 13th September 2016
  #7
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Yes the Samsung SM 951 AHCI 500 GB (500GB is the fastest) with the Lycom DT 120 is exactly what I put in the number 3 Pcie slot of my Mid 2010 Mac Pro westmere 6 core. The install was very easy and took all of 5 -10 minutes and I was able to boot it no problem.
The performance increase (from the factory 1 TB HD) was significant in terms of things like booting the computer from completely shut down to desk top, and launching PT

Here are the Black Magic read/write speed test results

With the factory HD


With the Samsung 951
Excellent values, but as Gary stated, it doesn't make much sense for boot drives.
Also, Samsung excels in benchmarks with a 3 GB buffer, everything larger (not tested by the BM tool) will collapse.

For sample loading (5+GB libs) they are only marginally faster (20%) than SATA6G SSDs.
IMO their best value would be as video editing scratch disks.
Old 13th September 2016
  #8
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KevWind's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
Excellent values, but as Gary stated, it doesn't make much sense for boot drives.
Also, Samsung excels in benchmarks with a 3 GB buffer, everything larger (not tested by the BM tool) will collapse.

For sample loading (5+GB libs) they are only marginally faster (20%) than SATA6G SSDs.
IMO their best value would be as video editing scratch disks.
Actually BM will test (what they label "stress" and I am assuming is a buffer setting ) from 1 GB to 5 GB which is what the posted tests were set at, So if that is "collapsed" performance then I'll take it , now above that I can't say of course.



With that said a number of posters over on the Macrumors forum thread about Pcie expressed the opinion the best use for SSD Pcie in audio is arguably for things like loading and launching huge sample libraries

Last edited by KevWind; 13th September 2016 at 06:38 PM..
Old 13th September 2016
  #9
Quote:
Originally Posted by KevWind View Post
Actually BM will test (what they label "stress" and I am assuming is a buffer setting ) from 1 GB to 5 GB which is what the posted tests were set at, So if that is "collapsed" performance then I'll take it , now above that I can't say of course.



With that said a number of posters over on the Macrumors forum thread about Pcie expressed the opinion the best use for SSD Pcie in audio is arguably for things like loading and launching huge sample libraries
Ah, I see I forgot to mention that I was not sure whether the 3GB buffer still existed for these models, but you just confirmed it doesn't appear to be so, which is good.

Even though I absolutely am a fan of using the fastest possible, especially when waiting is involved, but I am a bit disappointed by the marginal boost these SSDs offer. It has more to do with loading algorithms of the software involved than of the SSDs, as far as I can judge, but this is a topic I am working on right now.
Old 14th September 2016
  #10
Gear Head
 

Thanks for all the replies, guys !
I think I'm going to install a cheaper Kingston ssd 100 series I got for cheap on eBay, as the boot drive, and install the pcie ssd for files..
Old 15th September 2016
  #11
Gear Nut
 
Sonics's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by DAW PLUS View Post
What an excellent post! I'm happy to read some people look beyond benchmarks and inform about what actually makes sense.
Even an old 120GB Crucial C300 SATA2 manages 1200 track recording.
The PCIe solution is a waste for boot media, it excels for realtime recording, sample loading and especially video.
"The PCIe solution is a waste for boot media"

Yes, we can never have enough PCI slots.. . But implementation will all depend on each users requirements...

As for our Video machine, we popped in a Sonnet Tempo Plus (with bonus eSata) and 2 x 512 Pro evo's SSD's Raided, Running the OS and also using it for a scratch disk.

It boots in seconds (well, maybe not seconds... Needs to do a ram test on 96Gb first... but faster than any mac I've used) Launching Applications literally feel like your reopening an already opened app...

As for my Own Music machine, I have only a USB3 Card, so am considering popping in an Apricorn Velocity Duo...
2 x SSD's on a single Card....Breaking the SATAII bottleneck..
Eg.. 250 average on a Pro Evo on a standard SATA bus... Double that on the PCIe card (500MBs)... Though the Apricorn isn't as good as the sonnet (960MBs) Its overall though put with raided drives is 700MBs .. Still a huge advantage.... With non raided, and two drives, Depending on operations, (OS access/Library Access) thats still more than double the sataII bus per drive on the card (theoretically) At worst, 350MBs each.

So, will do 1 x 512 SSD for the OS, and a 2Tb for my Kontact library... (With all other data & libraries on 4 x 2Tb drives in the bays)

As for Audio , as you say, Mammoth track counts on an SSD even on SATA II... So Im just going to put an SSD in the 2nd optical bay (where my OS SSD is at this point)

Fact is, If you have a spare PCI slot, and want to Speed things up like OS, (and as mentioned) Sample library or video access, its a no brainer.

It just comes down to if you can afford the PCI slot.

Last edited by Sonics; 15th September 2016 at 02:30 PM..
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