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SSD recommendations
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OreoCookie
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Oct 31, 2016, 09:52 PM
 
I am looking to upgrade my 2012 Mac Pro at work with an SSD, and I would like some recommendations. I was thinking of getting a PCIe-based SSD, e. g. a Samsung 960 Pro NVMe plugged into one of the many NVMe-PCIe adapters. SSD-wise I got thinks figured out (unless you got any better recommendations), but I want to be sure to get a quality adapter and that the solution I get is actually supported by OS X (in particular that it is bootable). Any recommendations? If not, I can always go for a SATA-based SSD, although then I'd need a tray-compatible mounting bracket.
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P
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Nov 1, 2016, 05:06 AM
 
In general I would recommend that you stay with a SATA drive for the boot drive - trying to load special drivers to make an OS boot from something it doesn't recognize is an exercise in frustration.

I don't really have any good recommendations for adapters. I see that OWC sells a PCIe SSD for your model though, that might be your best chance for it to work.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
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Nov 1, 2016, 05:09 AM
 
I was afraid of that.

The problem with that, though, is that I cannot order from OWC. So I was hoping to find a bracket that is sold also on, e. g. amazon. I already have two brackets lying around my office, but there the contacts don't align with the backplane (they are made for generic cases where you use cables rather than a backplane).
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P
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Nov 1, 2016, 06:39 AM
 
So you have an optical slot open? Those are cabled, IIRC.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
reader50
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Nov 1, 2016, 01:27 PM
 
Can you order from Newegg?

But Amazon does have what you need:

Newertech adapter

Icy Dock fancy adapter

StarTech really fancy adapter

Note that this will leave you with 3G speed (SATA-2) on the internal bays. You need something PCIe-based to go faster. Like a SATA 6G card. Quite a few people make bootable SATA cards (OWC gives the models, even if they won't ship) - I'm partial to Firmtek. To my knowledge, they have the only cards that mount drives as SATA with full SMART pass-through. The other cards mount drives as SCSI. Firmtek claims to ship internationally.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
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Nov 1, 2016, 07:55 PM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Can you order from Newegg?
Nope, I can't even order from amazon directly. But thanks for the recommendations, I should be able to source one of them.
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
Note that this will leave you with 3G speed (SATA-2) on the internal bays. You need something PCIe-based to go faster. Like a SATA 6G card.
Yeah, that's why I was contemplating to go with a PCIe-based SSD. But P confirmed my fears that there might be concerns about driver support to boot from them. There was an Intel 750 SSD that piqued my fancy, but scouring the net it was clear that it wasn't supported under OS X. It would have been nice to use SSDs at full speed, though.
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reader50
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Nov 1, 2016, 08:49 PM
 
hint: edit the links from amazon.com to amazon.jp

It sounds like you'd really like an OWC Mercury Accelsior E2 (2 SSD blades + 2 eSATA 6G ports). eBay links that ship to asia:

480 GB
960 GB

From the OWC specs page, it appears it boots driverless on OSX if it was sold on/after March 24, 2016.
     
reader50
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Nov 1, 2016, 10:33 PM
 
OWC claims to ship all over the world.
     
OreoCookie  (op)
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Nov 2, 2016, 11:28 PM
 
I've had a look at PCIe-M.2 adapters, and that seems like a viable route. I found a Startech adapter (which according to their QuickStart Guide supports mac OS) and the 950 Pro M2 (according to amazon.co.jp the 960 Pro doesn't ship yet). There is a nice, but slightly outdated thread on MacRumors, and it seems that this works. Let's see if that works. But if it does, I'd get the full enchilada in terms of performance
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Waragainstsleep
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Nov 10, 2016, 11:57 AM
 
OWC does ship all over. I've bought from them to the UK a bunch of times.
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
OreoCookie  (op)
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Dec 13, 2016, 03:10 AM
 
So I decided to take the risk and get the m.2 drive … and while I got it to work (as in mount and everything), I had to disable System Integrity Protection, create a dummy driver which forces the driver to load (and seemingly depends on the point release of the OS) and I can't get it to boot.

So if I bought a m.2-SATA adapter such as this one and a second adapter to make it mountable, will it work? As far as I understand, the m.2-SATA adapter does not need any drivers. Am I correct?

(Oh, thanks to StarTech for their overinflated claim that their NVMe-m.2 adapter is “mac OS compatible”.)

PS Yes, I should have listened to you guys
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P
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Dec 13, 2016, 03:35 AM
 
I THINK that what happens is that the adapter forces the M.2 drive to run in regular SATA-III mode in which case you wouldn't need an adapter, but I haven't worked with m.2 drives myself. Do they all support SATA mode as fallback?

Sorry about the lack of boot, but I am not surprised. If it is OK to not use as a boot drive, you could disable only the driver-signing requirement of SIP as detailed in the other thread , but booting from it will be hard.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
   
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