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Thread: I might like to plug some SSD's into USB 3 ports?

  1. #1
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    Default I might like to plug some SSD's into USB 3 ports?

    I might like to plug some SSD's into USB 3 ports. Got a strategy for that please?

  2. #2
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    Depends on the USB bus. Which model computer? - which tells you what type of bus you have. Hooking up an SSD is as simple as using the Akitio Neutrino adapter or one of the drive enclosures. The Neutrino is USB3.1 as is the N2 two bay. Depending on the USB bus, it may be saturated by one SSD or two. A USB3.0 bus will be saturated by a single SSD, so adding more than one SSD just splits the bandwidth between them.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    Default firewire to usb

    Is there such as a beast as a Firewire 800 (9pin) male to USB 3 female adapter? or cable?
    I coudn't find it by googling.
    If there is, where can I buy it?
    marrand

  4. #4
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    Firewire is so end of life that all the adapters that existed are pretty much history. I would give up on Firewire. Besides, spinning hard drives are faster than Firewire, no reason to ever attach an SSD to a Firewire bus, get a cheap regular hard drive if Firewire is your only choice to attach.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  5. #5
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    My MacPro is the last model before the cylinder. It has Firewire 800 but no USB 3.0 ports. My external spinning drives attached via Firewire 800 work nicely and boot as well.

    So, I installed a card to give me USB 3 ports. They work nicely for simple data transfer back and forth but cannot be used to boot an external SSD. USB 2 is very slow for this OS.

    Question: can I make my MacPro 5.1 boot SSD via USB 3?? Is it possible? I know I can enjoy the full speed by inserting it inside the computer, but I don't want APFS High Sierra inside there yet.
    marrand

  6. #6
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    Just so you know, Firewire 800 is capable of about 1/3 the speed of a current 3.5 inch SATAIII hard drive. An SSD will run at about 1/6th of full speed and no faster than the spinning drive.

    That said, I am not a big fan of USB3 for external drives. Fine for one or two drives, but clunky and funky in behavior for multiple drives. You should just install an eSATA card and get full SATAIII external performance. And the current 4 port Lycom SATAIII card is bootable, requires no drivers, and is capable of about a GB/sec if you were to attach enough drives to it to require that much bandwidth.

    I do have some interesting USB3 cards, and they are bootable. Bootability depends usually on what driver is used. If the driver used by the USB3 card is a common hardware platform driver, then usually the card is bootable. If the card uses a special driver that you install, it won't be bootable since the driver has to load before the card is usable.

    ALSO - I wouldn't install APFS on an SSD. I would reserve that for Flash drive type storage. There is nothing wrong with the regular Sierra file system. In addition, the internal SATA bus in your MacPro is SATAII. So running an SSD inside, while it responds quicker, is only marginally faster than a spinning drive is inside your Mac. Again, the SATAIII PCIe card is probably a better choice for speed on some things.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  7. #7
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    Rick,
    Seems we are talking about two different things; I wasn't clear before. Let me try again.

    1. In my MacPro 5.1 I have two SSD's which I use everyday - one has Snow Leopard and the other Sierra (updated, of coruse). Both use HFS+. The apps on Snow Leopard work superbly and fast enough for me. But launching some internet sites is slow and sometimes impossible. I attribute that to the age of OS. When I try to duplicate the same jobs on Sierra, I must resort to newer versions of these apps. But some don't work the same way as on Snow Leaopard, and I am getting used to working with the newer versions suitable for Sierra. There is another SSD for daily back ups inside this MacPro. And there are several external bootable drives serving as further backups of ALL files.

    My life is beautiful this way, the sun shines, the birds are chirping, and I have no problems with connections or speed. None. That's NOT what I was asking help for.

    2. Apple upgrades to High Sierra*and then changes the sile system (APFS). Microsoft says Office 2011 won't work there. Other apps and utilities needed further updgrades. More learning how to do the old tasks. So, thinking that APFS may be wave of the future, I want to get ready for it and just fool around and test all my apps thoroughly on the APFS. I am NOT using it on steady besis. I do not depend on APFS on for daily chores. But I want to be ready for it. So, I got a used external SSD just to test things on APFS and generally just fool around with it. It came with USB3 connection. As I noted before, I can't boot from my USB 3 card, but can use USB 2. I can still do the testing of apps, but booting is slow. And was wondering how to improve things. (PS: contraray to Microsoft's claims, my Offfice 2011 works beautifully on APFS).

    You said bootability from USB 3 card depends on the driver. Makes sense the way you explained. So, can I change drivers? My card is Allegro USB 3.0 PCIe with four ports from Sonnet. I must have installed a special driver. Can I junk it and replace it? Of do I need*a completely different card?

    On a different point: did you mean that SSD's in MacPro 5.1 are only "marginally faster" than a spinning drives? All because my bus is SATAII?? Funny. When I repalced the old spinners with SSDs, I could see and feel the increase in speed. Is that because my spinning drives were old?

    Thanks for your time.
    marrand

  8. #8
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    An SSD will respond faster.... but only be marginally faster than a *current* spinning drive in overall data transfers. Current SATAIII drives are capable of over 200 MB/sec.. The SATAII bus inside your MacPro is capable of around 225 MB/sec. You only gain a little throughput but quite a bit of snappiness due to almost no seek time.

    You would need a USB3 card designed for running on AHCI built in drivers. Any card that has a chipset that requires you install a driver cannot usually be booted from. All the USB3 cards MacGurus sell should have no problem booting. The USB3.1 cards won't work at all in El Capitan as there are no 3.1 drivers in El Capitan. One of the coolest ways to get great external speeds is with the inexpensive 2 drive NT2. It is USB 3.1
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    Just curious....are all 4 of the internal bays full? How about the two for optical drives? If a couple are spinning HDs...does it make sense to make them external and free up the faster internal bay(s) for SSD, and keep data on external, non-booting USB or FW?

    FYI: each optical drive has a SATA connection, and you can use one (or both) for HD or SSDs, if you don't have two CD/DVD burners. So technically, you can have 6 internal drives (HD or SSD) each on its own SATA bus.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  10. #10
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    For SSDs I actually prefer an external SATAIII bus. Our current Lycom PCIe card is SATAIII, bootable and requires no driver install since it runs on AHCI built in drivers. Makes for a great speed increase over the internal SATAII connections.

    If you go internal, one of the common tricks I set up customers with is two smaller SSDs in a RAID0 on the internal drive connections. Usually, a pair of smaller drives cost less than the single big SSD, and in the RAID0 is twice as fast as the single SSD.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  11. #11
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    Thanks for explaining this stuff; I didn't know it before.
    Since I am only experimenting with High Sierra (testing various apps and their upgrades) on the external SSD, I can live with the slow boot via USB 2. When High Sierra becomes truly needed, then I will look into getting some speed. I really don't need the RAID capabilities - I don't transfer huge files very often.

    One reason I asked about booting from external USB 3 is my experience with the Burlys I got from you million years ago. The first one was firewire and never had troubles booting from an external. The second was already the improved eSATA; I got the card from you, and that one couold no longer boot. (Still very useful from storing a lot of stuff). I appealed to macgurus. You told me then that it was a matter of when driver loads. One case bootable, the other case not, and thus I asked about the third case I encountered (USB 3).

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