SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

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SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby rightintheface » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:00 pm

Hey Gang,
Getting to the 3/4 mark on my barracuda's that I inherited with my 4,1 (which have worked fine with no errors), thinking I should probably upgrade to SSDs soon - what does everyone recommend? Plenty of SATA slots, or is external route better (with USB3 upgrade)?
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby Chinagraf » Mon Apr 18, 2016 7:10 pm

Stay away from the hybrid drives. Keep in mind that current SSD's have a finite number of writes. We're running SSD's for program drives and VI libraries but satas for audio and video at the moment while we contemplatet this issue. I'm sure the number of writes is a lot, but imagine reaching the limit during an important session....?
Maybe someone who's using ssd for audio drives can share..
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby rightintheface » Mon Apr 18, 2016 8:13 pm

Oooo, I didn't realise that. That would definitely suck! Maybe I'll stick to Sata HDDs for now, they are cheap as chips anyway.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby gigpiglet » Mon Apr 18, 2016 9:13 pm

hey mitch
you want an SSD for your system drive - its one of the best upgrades banh for buck you can do for your 4.1 (trust me, i had 6 x 3.1, ive upgraded them all the 4.1 now, see my other posts on all matter mac towers)

beauty of a 4.1 is that the cabling is already in place in the second optical bay to accept a drive.
you dont even need a size conversion kit, as there are no moving parts, the drive can can just sit in the slot (or gaff or velcro it in there)

def keep all your audio on the SATA drives in bays 1 to 4
but absolutely get your system onto an SSD in optical 2

i use them samsungs in mine.
but any reputable brand im sure would be fine
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby rightintheface » Mon Apr 18, 2016 10:23 pm

Thanks Gareth, much appreciated! Should probably get some more RAM as well, it's rocking 16gb at the mo, might boost it up a touch as I'm using a bit more softsynths these days (well, until I buy a Sub 37)
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby a.beck » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:45 am

I'm pretty sure 16GB is the upper limit for this generation of Mac Pros.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby gigpiglet » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:11 pm

nope you can put 64 in a 4.1 supported by apple (another good thing about them compared to a 3.1 build)
and i believe 128 (8x 16gb dimms) in a 4.1
but thats not fully supported.. and may need the 5.1 firmware flash

i run 32 in all mine and love it.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby a.beck » Tue Apr 19, 2016 1:26 pm

gigpiglet wrote:nope you can put 64 in a 4.1 supported by apple (another good thing about them compared to a 3.1 build)
and i believe 128 (8x 16gb dimms) in a 4.1
but thats not fully supported.. and may need the 5.1 firmware flash

i run 32 in all mine and love it.


Wow, nice. A RAM upgrade is in my future as well now!

Thanks.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby Sammas » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:10 pm

It also depends what model 4.1 you have. A single CPU model will only have 1 CPU socket and 4 ram slots. A dual CPU model will have two CPU sockets and a full 8 ram slots.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby Sammas » Tue Apr 19, 2016 3:50 pm

On a similar note, I am also heading down a similar path. I have been fighting off "running out of space" messages on my 4.1 mac pro with a 128Gb SSD. I was contemplating a Tempo PCIe 3.0 SSD, but they cost a fortune ($450), so I am going to assemble my own. A 256Gb M.2 Samsung SM951 with an M.2 to PCIe adaptor. I should have it up and running over the weekend.

Trash can macs use a Samsung XP951 with a special "apple" edge connector. They are twice as fast as the fastest 6Gbps SSD's. The SM951 is a more recent model that is 50% faster than the XP951. It isn't hugely exactly cheap - about twice the cost of your average 250Gb SSD, but I will post some info about how it turns out. Even with an SSD drive in my 4.1, it never has felt as snappy as some of the newer macs I have used.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby rightintheface » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:27 pm

Thanks for the replies guys, lots of food for thought. I have the 2x Quad core model with the 8 RAM slots, so upgrade should be pretty straight forward. Should I replace all the RAM symmetrically (i.e. replace all the 2gb with 4gb cards) or does it not really matter? Any preference on RAM brand?

Also, has anyone done the DIY 8 core - 12 core upgrade? Looks a little dicey, not sure if I'd trust myself doing it with my main machine... B-)

Just looking at the Samsung SSD's, a 250GB for under $150 ain't too shabby for an easy upgrade.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby gigpiglet » Tue Apr 19, 2016 8:38 pm

hey mitch
dont worry about the 12 core upgrade - too much hard work
an 8 core mac pro has PLENTY of stick to do what you need it to do.
unless you are doing something worth LOTS of money - in which case you wouldnt be asking how to get some extra performance out of a 5yo computer

you need to do the ram in pairs, but not all the same.
warning that some pairs dont play nice together... so you might find (for instance) that if you buy a couple of 8gb pairs they just wont work with your existing 2gb ones. you can swap them around in the slots (no rules!) and you might get them to all be friends.. but you might not.
if you buy from the same manufacturer then they will be all good.
so depending on how your current 16gb is made up, and where that ram is from, would decide what you need to buy.

little bit more ram, and an SSD, you have a banging machine.
if you dont want it and want to spend heaps of money on another path... let me know and ill buy it from you.
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby Sammas » Tue Apr 19, 2016 9:29 pm

You can't mix ECC and non-ECC ram in the same machine. They shipped from Apple with ECC modules. I tossed the original ram in my machine in the bin and bought 24gig of Corsair Vengeance Blue. Works like a dream. They come in 2x4Gb packs and cost $67 a pop from MSY. Unless you need more than 32Gb, its a pretty good way to go.

There are rumours floating around that Mac Pro's also require ram with onboard temperature sensors. Where it is true, I have no idea...
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Re: SSD's for Mac Pro 4,1

Postby rightintheface » Wed Apr 20, 2016 12:09 am

Haha thanks for the offer G, but it's definitely in a good place ;-)
I did actually think at one stage that it was too much CPU for me, and was thinking of downgrading to a quad core mini, then we had two of them at work spontaneously combust (well, not quite...), and that definitely changed my mind quick! I'm also way too spoilt with the 6 HDD's storage to go the external route - otherwise I might have bought one of your USB3 cards...
Definitely going to do the SSD upgrade next pay, would be nice to have dense sessions open up quicker. Mmmmm, impatience....

Thanks for the info about the pairing Nathan, it is ECC modules in mine so I'll have to keep that in mind.
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