I wasn’t aware until yesterday that a bootable internal 6Gb/s SATA PCIe adapter existed for Mac Pro hardware (all PCIe models). It accepts 2 SSDs on board. There is a 4 SSD version too but too much of an investment for me.
Check it out here: Sonnet – Tempo SSD PCIe Card Adapter. It uses Apple’s built in drivers so there should be no compatibility problems down the road although the computer does see the drives as “external” even though they’re lodged in the PCIe slot.
I’ve been buying 6Gb/s SSD’s for some years now in the hope that one day I’d upgrade to a Mac Pro that _finally_ had SATA 6Gb/s built in. We now know that will never happen. The next Mac Pro will have it’s own PCIe SSD built in at 10GB/s+ and these SSD drives will need to be put into external Thunderbolt cases. The next Mac Pro will also likely be thousands of pounds to buy as well and my Mac internal tinkering will be over forever.
I’ve gone from 240MB/s read + 260MB/s write to 266MB/s read + a whopping 493MB/s write. Maxing out the Crucial M4 500GB SSD spec. Luckily for me I had an old Crucial C300 250GB in a USB3 external case that wasn’t really being used properly so I shoved that in too.
I’ll either put my Lightroom photo collection on it or boot a developer copy of the next OS X 10.9 for testing.
I’ll post back reliability after a few days. I like my Mac Pro to be able to sleep and wake reliably. I know from experience adding PCIe cards can change your luck on reliability.
Update: Shutdown / restart all fine. Much faster boot times. Sleep/wake also 100% reliable so far. Very pleased. No downsides so far.
This Mac Pro, a 2012 3.2GHz 4-core model was never meant to have be kept this long already. I’m wishing I’d bought the Hexacore version in hindsight. In fact it’s Happy Birthday today to the Mac Pro. It’s 12 month warranty expires at midnight.