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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I have replaced the venerable MacPro 1,1 with an almost as ancient MacPro 4,1. Runs Snow Leopard beautifully off the HD from the 1,1. Any speed increase is at best marginal in Snow Leopard, although this one does have elCap installed on the HD that came with it.

Wondering if there is any benefit to installing El Cap on an SSD. Lots of RAM so zero page outs. About the only beachball I ever see is courtesy of ehMac, I think it dislikes the older version of FireFox I have to run under Snow Leopard. That is not an issue when booted in el Cap.

Don't really do anything that is super disk intensive such as video editing or gaming.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Been perusing the OWC site for SSDs.
https://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ssd/owc/mac-pro/2009-2012
I see there are 2 versions, the Mercury extreme with a 5 year warranty and the Electra with a 3 year warranty.

The latter is certainly more affordable. Any one know if the Mercury is really that much more durable than the Electra?

I also see versions that can be installed in a PCI slot. Would that be bootable?

As near as I can tell the main advantage to an SSD would be boot times in ElCap and launch times with PhotoShop and those rare occasions I would use one of the MS Office apps. With tons of RAM nothing I do requires much disk activity. Other than that I have not seen any huge differences between my newer MBP with an SSD and the MacPro running 7200 RPM HDs.
 

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I've got MacPro 1.1's and 3.1's all running Snow Leopard with SSD's.

Adding the SSD produced a massive speed improvement in start up time, and this is a big deal for me since I'm always shutting them down when not in use. As you say, it may not be as big a deal once the computer is up and running, but it's always going to be faster than a regular hard drive.

I was in Best Buy today, and they had 500 Gig Sandisk SSD's going for around $115 on special (maybe it was $120). 500 Gig seems to be the sweet spot now in terms of pricing.

If I was in your shoes, I'd get a 500 Gig SSD on sale and plop it in. The MacPro is great for this since there are lots of drive bays, and you'll likely have a least one free one. Just leave your existing hard drive where it is. I just plug the SSD into the computer connector in a free bay, and then use some duct tape at the other end of the drive to hold it up to the computer at that end. The SSD's are so light that the duct tape is plenty strong enough. No need for special mounting frames. Just do it.

Once the SSD is in place, I'd partition it into at least 3 partitions. One partition for Snow Leopard, another partition for ElCap, and a third for another operating system in the future, or just to play with.

After the SSD is installed and partitioned, you can then use Disk Utility or other cloning software to copy your existing hard drive systems to the appropriate SSD partition. Piece of cake.
 

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SSD will give one of the most noticeable upgrades to any computer not running SSD. Everything is faster, apps load faster, reboots are faster, it is just all around faster. Definitely breaths new life into an older computer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Just doing a quick search all the SSD drives I found were SATA 3, whereas the MacPro bus is SATA 2. Pretty sure it will directly connect but are there any backwards compatability issues?
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·

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Just doing a quick search all the SSD drives I found were SATA 3, whereas the MacPro bus is SATA 2. Pretty sure it will directly connect but are there any backwards compatability issues?
Not sure but I did help a friend a few years back install an SSD in the original MacBook unibody model, think that was 2010. No issues then and breathed new life into that machine making it snappy like a new computer.
 

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So I have replaced the venerable MacPro 1,1 with an almost as ancient MacPro 4,1.
Have already seen people do the tricky firmware upgrade to 5,1 and then running a metal-capable GPU in these boxes to run Mojave.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Have already seen people do the tricky firmware upgrade to 5,1 and then running a metal-capable GPU in these boxes to run Mojave.
That's a very good point. Especially as Apple seems to be as far away from producing a real Mac Pro, as they were the day they replaced the cheese grater with the garbage can.

Personally I am more interested in being able to run Snow Leopard and some legacy software-hardware. As I understand it the firmware upgrade and Snow Leopard do not peacefully co-exist.

Besides El Cap already seems a big step backwards from Snow Leopard, and I'm not at all enthused about making it even worse. Dots instead of real labels, all so files can have multiple dots for Stoplight searches? The entire point of labels is to avoid those Stoplight searches altogether.

Obviously if I were into gaming or video editing my attitude would be entirely different.
 

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I happily ran Snow Leopard for many years. Finally got used to El Capitan on my 3,1, which was required to run certain hardware.

That's a very good point. Especially as Apple seems to be as far away from producing a real Mac Pro, as they were the day they replaced the cheese grater with the garbage can.

Personally I am more interested in being able to run Snow Leopard and some legacy software-hardware. As I understand it the firmware upgrade and Snow Leopard do not peacefully co-exist.

Besides El Cap already seems a big step backwards from Snow Leopard, and I'm not at all enthused about making it even worse. Dots instead of real labels, all so files can have multiple dots for Stoplight searches? The entire point of labels is to avoid those Stoplight searches altogether.

Obviously if I were into gaming or video editing my attitude would be entirely different.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
This computer will primarily be used with all the things I do not do on the internet. Unless the internet is involved SL is still far superior to El Cap, especially if you have no other reason to replace various bits of hardware and software.

FWIW SL is still good enough for most websites, but some video and all live streaming goes through El Cap, mainly via our laptop or if needed a reboot on the Pro.
 

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This computer will primarily be used with all the things I do not do on the internet. Unless the internet is involved SL is still far superior to El Cap, especially if you have no other reason to replace various bits of hardware and software.

FWIW SL is still good enough for most websites, but some video and all live streaming goes through El Cap, mainly via our laptop or if needed a reboot on the Pro.
I recently found a dark and dusty corner on my HD that still had a copy of Netscape suitable for OS9. I clicked on the app and it was still surprisingly functional, although it was offering some news from the Chretien era.
 

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I recently found a dark and dusty corner on my HD that still had a copy of Netscape suitable for OS9. I clicked on the app and it was still surprisingly functional, although it was offering some news from the Chretien era.

Are you sure you weren't just connecting to the CBC site and they were just doing some current updating???

That would be about normal eh???




- Patrick
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Discussion Starter · #16 · (Edited)
.....
 

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I just fitted my Mac Pro 3,1 with a 1TB WD SSD to replace an older hard drive. The difference is stunning. Boot time way down, quiet and snappier in everything. The 1TB cost me $185 but lots of deals in the 500GB range. I attributed a lot of the sluggishness in web browsing to the idea that the computer and OS were simply getting older, but browsing experience has also improved remarkably.
 

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I just fitted my Mac Pro 3,1 with a 1TB WD SSD to replace an older hard drive.

Good to hear that there seems to be lots of good life left in that Mac Pro, and not just to hear that the times were really fast!!!

As for older HDD spinner drives slowing/bogging down, even though defragging is suggested as not necessary on a Mac, I have found that cloning the slow drive with Carbon Copy Cloner(CCC), erasing the drive and using the zero-out option(one pass security wipe, then using CCC to clone back all the data from the previous backup clone provides a dramatic speedup.

This hint was provided by an ehMac member several times several years ago and it still works. Thank you whoever you were as I have forgotten your name.

PS: it's nice that Apple finally provided TRIM and SSD Garbage Collection support for third-party drives with their OS X Versions as it took them long enough to do so, but at least there was some other third party support available to do so.

PPS: it's also nice that a lot of the good and better SSDs have come down quite drastically in price lately. ;)




- Patrick
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As for older HDD spinner drives slowing/bogging down, even though defragging is suggested as not necessary on a Mac, I have found that cloning the slow drive with Carbon Copy Cloner(CCC), erasing the drive and using the zero-out option(one pass security wipe, then using CCC to clone back all the data from the previous backup clone provides a dramatic speedup.
Not sure if this applies to APFS, since it's supposed to 'intelligently defrag' in the background.
 

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Not sure if this applies to APFS, since it's supposed to 'intelligently defrag' in the background.


I would avoid messing about with such formatted drive until it matures a bit more. And just skip SSDs, and that's why I said:
As for older HDD spinner drives slowing/bogging down,



- Patrick
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