Launch back in 2013 the new style Mac Pro featured impressive spec’s, especially when you looked at the benchmarks. Looking back now and it’s possible to see that much of the hype was down to the new breed of storage.
However, the new style Mac Pro 6,1 has not been a roaring success. An inability to upgrade and an incredible price tag has all meant that five years on the old style Mac Pro towers are still more commonplace.
What’s more with a little tinkering it’s possible for anyone to get their classic Mac Pro respec’d and ready to challenge the speeds of the latest generation of machine, well almost.
This has all been made possible by the new style of SSD hard drive that’s used in the new style Mac Pro, and with the addition of an adapter, it’s possible to fit these into most Mac Pro 5,1 and 4,1.
The latest SSD is known as Nvme M.2. This is the fastest most reliable storage ever made, so an ideal choice to use as a working drive on your Mac Pro.
Just one issue, the old Mac Pro’s don’t have the right type of port to connect one of these superfast drives directly so you’ll also need an adapter.
The adapter that we’ve gone for is the:
Star Tech x4 PCI Express to M.2 PCIe SSD Adapter
This is relatively cheap and enables you to mount the Nvme module directly on.
Once installed the card with SSD simply slots into the top X4 / RAID PCIe slot in the Mac Pro.
The SSD I’ve selected is the WD Black as this has sequential Read speeds of up to 2,050 MB/s.
How to install a Nvme SSD into a Mac Pro
- Make sure your Mac is powered down
- Open the side and check the top PCIe slot is free
- Install the Nvme SSD in to the PCIe card
- In the Mac release the secring bracket and pop in the card
- Reinstall the clamp and the side of the Mac
Prepare the Nvme SSD for Mac use
- Start up the Mac
- Once booted a pop should appear telling you that an unregonised drive has been installed
- Click to open Disk Utility
- On the left select the new drive and then select Delete to reformat
- Select APFS, if not available select Mac OS Journaled
- Once finished you should be able to see the drive on your desktop
That’s it, probably the easiest and fastest upgrade going. Now check out the speed with Black Magic Disk Speed Test.
You should see the Read/Write speeds leap to around 1500MB/s. That’s a huge increase in speed and now means that your machine should be able to handle editing 4K video without too much issue.
It is possible to boost this even further with a dual Nvme adapter and then configure two SSD in RAID 0, the result should be almost double the read-write speed.
If you’ve tried it let us know.