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new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?

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Paul Huppe
new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?
on Aug 7, 2019 at 2:26:48 pm

Hi all,

Not sure this is the place for this Q. Apologies if not.

Looking ahead at the new MacPro. It won't have any drive bays in it :(. I love that about my 5,1. So I guess it means having to buy drive bays / Raid enclosure.

Can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one? How would I need to configure it to do so and would I be able to get max speed out of it this way? Seems logical to try and use it for something instead of dropping $ on a new enclosure.

thanks
Paul


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Sam Treadway
Re: new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?
on Aug 8, 2019 at 1:29:23 am

The new Mac Pro doesn't ship with it but there is a space available and a few configurations from Promise will be available around the time the Mac Pro ships:
https://www.promise.com/us/Promotion/PegasusStorage



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Paul Huppe
Re: new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?
on Aug 8, 2019 at 1:12:18 pm

Right - I knew about the Pegasus option... was hoping to avoid having to buy a second box.
Still looking for a way to make my current 5,1 the drive enclosure.


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Doug Metz
Re: new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?
on Aug 29, 2019 at 9:03:09 pm
Last Edited By Doug Metz on Aug 29, 2019 at 9:04:39 pm

[Paul Huppe] "Can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one? How would I need to configure it to do so and would I be able to get max speed out of it this way?"

There just isn't a good way to do this. You can either run it as a file server over the network, and doing that in any meaningful way would mean spending a pile of money on a 10GbE card (to run on the outdated OS), or you could try some kind of unreliable case mod. Either way, the internals on the 5,1 are old and slow by today's standards. Target Disk Mode would only allow access to the boot drive, and only over FireWIre 800, and fans run full the whole time.

It's just not worth it for what you'd end up with. Better long-term to go RAID, either internal or TB3. Or USB 3 NVMe SSDs. They're quick!

EDIT: Sam's Pegasus suggestion is an internal option, not an external box.

Doug Metz

Dalton Agency


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Gianluca Mazzarolo
Re: new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:26:19 pm

I beg to disagree.

You can totally use your Mac Pro 5.1 as a file server.

There are 4 + 2 possible Sata (2) connections, which are plenty fast for regular harddrives even if you RAID them together (up to 260MB/s per SATA port, with a maximum of ~600MB/s all 6 combined because of BUS limitation).

If your Mac Pro 5.1 is upgraded with good CPUs you can just buy a 10Gb Ethernet card in it, and connect it to the 10GbE of the Mac Pro 7.1.

Otherwise, you could even install 2 x SATA SSDs in one of the PCie slot of the Mac Pro 5.1 on a dual-Sata->Pcie card and achieve about 500-800MB/s with those, and then also in this case connect them with 10GbE.

If you're just waiting for a new drive solution (Thunderbolt 3 or USB-3 / C) then you could just connect to the built-in 1GbE port of the Mac Pro 5.1 and still achieve speeds up to 100-110MB/s which are OK for some proxy workflows.

Mac Pro Specialist and Technician @ Big Little Frank
https://biglittlefrank.dk


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Doug Metz
Re: new MacPro - can I use my current MacPro 5,1 as a drive bay for the new one?
on Jan 30, 2020 at 7:55:26 pm

The original poster was wondering if he could use it as direct-attached storage for a new Mac Pro.

I don't think it's in dispute as to whether or not you could use it as a file server, the question is whether or not it's worth the time, money, and maintenance.

It's an old box. Power supply failures are common, motherboard failures are common, outdated OS, networking config, size, noise, power draw....

I mean, sure, if you've got a bunch of extra time and money to throw at it, go for it. But if you want something that's faster, easier, and will be reliable for years, that lovely old 5,1 isn't part of the equation.

Doug Metz

Dalton Agency


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