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  #11  
Old 02-26-2016, 03:30 AM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

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Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
I use this card, along with the Electra 480G drive to boot my 4.1 converted to 5.1 MacPro.
http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/SSD/P...sior/S-Carrier

Less than 1/2 price of the Sonnet.

OWC is a very trusted company.

Boots in 5 Seconds, and very noticeable speed increase.

This leaves my 4 bays open for work drives. 1 Video 2 Audio 3 Sound effects 4 Vault storage.
Thank you, TVPostSound!
Hard to find the Accelsior S in Sweden, though.
I’m gonna do some research.
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  #12  
Old 02-26-2016, 12:41 PM
TheMightyQuinn TheMightyQuinn is offline
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

I have a Mac Pro 5,1, 12-core 3.33Ghz machine with Samsung EVO's internally - no internal spinners. My boot disk is 250Gb, my record disk is 120Gb and I have a RAID 0 1Tb sample disk with two 500Gb Samsung EVOs on a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe card, ATI Radeon 5770 graphics, Pro Tools 12 HDX.

As others have stated in this thread, there are limits to what any of these 'upgrades' will add to your system in real world performance. Any disk attached to the sled bays in a Mac Pro Cheese Grater will only see 3G speed at best. You can put a 6G SSD in any of the bays as they are backwards compatible, but that won't get you more than a 3G in performance. To get past 3G with a 6G SSD in a Mac Pro cheese grater you need to use a PCIe card.

I know I'll probably catch heck here for this next thought, but ... Unless some one can show me empirical data that an SSD as a boot disk will substantially improve Pro Tools performance, I remain skeptical. (I'm not talking about Geekbench tests or disk performance numbers, I'm talking REAL working world performance.) I have an SSD boot disk because I'm trying to squeak every last bit of performance out of my now 'getting long in the tooth' Mac Pro, but an SSD as a boot disk would be the last place I'd put money if I wanted to improve Pro Tools performance.

Again I'm talking about Pro Tools performance here, not silo'd bench test numbers or track counts with 100's of Trim or Boom instantiations that have only marginal correlations to the real world Pro Tools usage or performance. Yes, you get faster boot times and applications will launch faster with an SSD boot disk, but once the OS is loaded and applications are launched, the boot disk remains largely static. Outside of temp and scratch files, nothing really happens on the OS disk assuming you are recording to a recording specific disk which you should be when using Pro Tools. Of course, you will see some performance increase using an SSD vs HDD because temp files and scratch files will be better handled, but the recording disk is where you will see the most performance increase when using an SSD.

While my Sonnet Tempo Pro with two Samsung EVO's in RAID 0 configuration will bench out at over 800Mbs read/write as my sample disk, in the real world the performance improvement when using something like a heavy/large Native Instruments sample was only marginally better compared to a single SSD on a OWC PCIe card (mentioned in thread previously). I ran tests with both setups (single SSD and RAID 0 SSD) on a PCIe card. The bench tests were impressive. The actual performance of Pro Tools was only marginally better. This because, overall performance of a system is a cumulative total of the entire system defined by it's bottlenecks and/or strengths.

By the way, the reason the OWC PCIe card is half(ish) the cost of the Sonnet's is because the Sonnet offerings will support two SSD disks. The OWC offering supports only one SSD. Both the OWC and Sonnet cards work flawlessly, just understand that the OWC may not be the 'best buy'. Having the option of adding more SSD's (now or later) for back up or ?? is a nice option.

At the end of the day, if your machine is a 4,1 other than adding a recoding SSD in a PCIe slot and maybe as a sample disk, your machine itself will still be the weakest link - the actual system architecture is less than what a 5,1 or 6,1 (Trash Can) is today. As an analogy; you can hook a 5" fire hose to your garden spigot, but the 3/4" water pipe feeding the fire hose will only provide 3/4" of water no matter how much you spend on trying to upgrade the fire hose.

There's lots of upgrade options in the older Mac Pro's, but you will have to spend a fair bit of money if you want to squeak out that last 5 or 10% of performance. You need to decide if that money is well spent or not. When upgrading I try to purchase hardware that I can use down the road in a new machine or future configuration. SSD's will be desirable for the foreseeable future.

My real world $0.02 for what it's worth.
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  #13  
Old 02-28-2016, 07:03 AM
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

The reason why PT only showed marginal improvement is that it caches its writes (there's a user setting for it) and therefore the only really important thing to consider is whether the disk is "fast enough" or too slow. If it can't keep up, it will stop playback/record and throw you an error. But it doesn't give you any extra if the i/o subsystem is thousand times faster.

The real benefit for moving from HDD to SSD is less noise inside the box. In case you have it under your desk, you will notice.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2016, 10:04 AM
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMightyQuinn View Post
By the way, the reason the OWC PCIe card is half(ish) the cost of the Sonnet's is because the Sonnet offerings will support two SSD disks. The OWC offering supports only one SSD. Both the OWC and Sonnet cards work flawlessly, just understand that the OWC may not be the 'best buy'. Having the option of adding more SSD's (now or later) for back up or ?? is a nice option.


Read further. the base price of the Sonnet is $149, at 3X the price, only supports 1 drive,
the model WITH extension costs $299.00 6X the price.
You don't need more than 480gig at this time for a boot drive.
SSD for backup, I think not. Its overkill.
I have a 3.5" 4TB that cost $99 to "vault" my work.

And yes, there is a noticeable difference in overall performance, no I haven't run any speed test either.

Before that I upgraded my 4.1 to a 5.1, $100 for a pair of 6 core pulls from OWC, $250 for 48G of 1333 memory.

So for $600, I now have a blazing fast Mac Pro.

It runs non stop 6 days a week!! Only video engine issues, but thats for another thread!!
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  #15  
Old 02-28-2016, 10:30 AM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

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Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
Read further. the base price of the Sonnet is $149, at 3X the price, only supports 1 drive,
the model WITH extension costs $299.00 6X the price.
It seems the Sonnet Tempo SSD supports two SSDs with the included extension plate.
Don’t know about transfer speed difference vs the Pro version if you’re not in RAID mode.
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  #16  
Old 02-28-2016, 10:38 AM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

Anybody seen or tried this?
Makes it possible to use 1333Mhz memory modules in a 4,1

Firmware hack can transform a 2009 Mac Pro into a 12-core monster

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/05...-core-monster/
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  #17  
Old 02-28-2016, 11:47 AM
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TVPostSound TVPostSound is offline
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

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Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
Anybody seen or tried this?
Makes it possible to use 1333Mhz memory modules in a 4,1

Firmware hack can transform a 2009 Mac Pro into a 12-core monster

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/05...-core-monster/

I did this to my 4.1, but you need the 6 core CPUs to use the memory.

It became a 5.1

Then bought a pair of 6 core cpus, and 48 Gigs of 1333 memory.

There are more threads about this here on the DUC.
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  #18  
Old 02-28-2016, 11:49 AM
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

Quote:
Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
Anybody seen or tried this?
Makes it possible to use 1333Mhz memory modules in a 4,1

Firmware hack can transform a 2009 Mac Pro into a 12-core monster

http://arstechnica.com/apple/2011/05...-core-monster/
I have the proper files, PM me if you want me to email them to you.
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  #19  
Old 02-29-2016, 12:34 AM
stargazer stargazer is offline
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

I’m leaning towards getting a blade (Samsung SM951 on a Lycom DT-120) for the OS.
Even if it doesn’t improve Pro Tools performance very much, it would be nice with faster system boot and application launch times.

With an SSD on a Sonnet card for recording, I assume sessions would load a bit quicker, too?
On the other hand, the mixer setup on a HDX-card wouldn’t be faster?
What affects the instantiation time of AAX native plugins?

If I get a Sonnet, I’m definitely gonna try putting some important sample libraries on one of the SSDs.
The Tempo Pro SSD card also would be useful further on, in a future system with a thunderbolt chassis.

What are the predictions when it comes to storage, blades vs SSDs etc?

Regarding Pro Tools, I guess offline rendering of AudioSuite, freeze etc would only improve with a faster CPU and memory?

Lots of questions...
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  #20  
Old 03-06-2016, 08:32 AM
lucienpalmer lucienpalmer is online now
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Default Re: PCIe SSD cards and Mac Pro upgrades

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Originally Posted by stargazer View Post
I’m leaning towards getting a blade (Samsung SM951 on a Lycom DT-120) for the OS.
Even if it doesn’t improve Pro Tools performance very much, it would be nice with faster system boot and application launch times.
I have a 5,1 MacPro. I recently upgraded with several SSD options, and I did disk read/write tests with several configurations.

In my opinion, it would be a shame to use an SSD blade on a PCI slot for your OS. PCI is by far the fastest option for disk read/write access, and should be used as your project drive for playback/recording.

Using an SSD in one of the regular drive bays is still a huge speed improvement over a 7200 RPM spinning hard drive. MY 7200 system drive was only getting 118MB/sec read, and my new Samsung SATA SSD is getting 253MB/sec read. The SSD is getting slowed down considerably by the MacPro's SATA II bus, but it still boots and launches apps extremely fast.

For my Project drive, I was using a PCI SSD. Launching sessions and playback was blazing fast. Ultimately, I switched to a PCI card with SATA III so I could connect directly to SSD drives. It's easy to mount a pair SSDs in your extra DVD drive bay. A friend of mine just bought the CalDigit card that includes USB 3.0 external ports and SATA internal ports. His samsung SSD is clocking in at over 900MB/sec read/write.

Anyway, that's my 2 cents. Hope it helps.
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