NOTE: This is a Guest, this is only a Guest.
(You can find me on twitter @ianblewitt, if you’d like.)
I’ve never in my life written a blog entry before, so let’s get started, shall we? Hope I don’t bore ya too much. After having my Mac Pro since 2009, I decided it was time to upgrade. I got on to the ever trusty Newegg and started piecing together what my order would be. I definitely needed a new mouse, and since I liked my Razer Copperhead (circa 2006?) so much, I decided to stick with them and check out their new products. I ended up going with the 6400 DPI Razer Imperator2012. That was one part down. Next I thought I should upgrade my RAM, so I started talking to James and others about their RAM of choice. The unanimous vote was for Crucial, which inevitably lead me to my choice in SSD drive as well. I went with Crucial for both, and so far I’m very glad I did. Anyway, lets get to the fun part.
MAY CONTAIN AWESOME.
First, I got my packages from Newegg after only 1 day, which was crazy! I guess those are the perks of living in CA where there is a warehouse about an hour away. So immediately I open them.
As you can see here, I got the mouse, SSD, & RAM. I also picked up a 3TB WD Network HD, AppleTV, and some cheap HDMI cables. The only thing I had to wait on was the adapter for the SSD because a Mac Pro can’t accept 2.5″ drives. I had ordered OWC’s version because it was recommended by a friend of mine who has done a similar install, but unfortunately they aren’t as fast as Newegg, so I had to wait until the following day.
Once I got the part, I began the install right away (like any good geek would, right? Drop everything and start the install.)
My favorite part about the Mac Pro is how easy it is to disassemble and swap parts. I decided to do the memory install first since it wasn’t something that was new to me. On the MP, it’s so incredibly easy. You push the two locking levers and the board slides out like this:
All your memory slots are right there and you have a sturdy platform to press the new sticks in.
So after I added all four new sticks (now some people might be able to catch my install error right here, which I will explain later) I now had a total of 24GB ram (4x 4GB & 4x 2GB) installed on my computer. All I had left was to drop it back in the computer.
I decided while I had my computer apart I’d clean it as well, so I ran to Fry’s and grabbed some canned air, cleaned, and then re-assembled.
Now that I had the RAM in, it was time to put in the SSD. Since I wasn’t sure how the adapter worked, I assumed it was to make it fit in the standard Mac Pro HD slots, so I removed them first.
Since I wanted the SSD in HD slot 1, I removed my current boot drive from tray 1 and unboxed the SSD
Once I started assembling the adapter I realized it goes into my spare 5.25″ bay rather than in the HD slot. Again it was super easy to remove it from the MP because it just slides out.
While it was out, I cleaned it.
Those two SATA cables are the only two cables I can find in the whole MP case, which I think is really damn cool. Now it was time to assemble the adapter
It was pretty simple as well, the tray attached the 2.5″ drive to it, and the tray is 3.5″ wide.
Next you attach the side rails which have spacers set for a 5.25″ bay.
The MP includes the screws needed for attaching a second drive, so you unscrew those, line it up, and put them in. Simple.
Here it is all secured.
Now connect the wires, I found it was easier to connect cable B and then A, since the SSD is closer to the SuperDrive than a second SuperDrive would be.
Then simply slide the pieces back in,
and put the side panel back on, then you’re done! At this point I reconnected my stuff, and booted up.
This brings us to the mistake I made with the memory install. Upon OSX loading, this popped up. So I powered down, switched them to the recommended slots, and all was well. Initially I had re-downloaded OSX Lion and formatted the SSD for use with it. I ran into problems here because my current boot drive and the SSD were conflicting when I tried to do it (since both were named Macintosh HD I’m guessing.) So what I did was power down, remove my boot drive, then use my OSX Snow Leopard disk to install on the SSD.
The Snow Leopard install went about standard speed since it was limited by the SuperDrive’s speed.
Downloading OSX Lion
And we’re back up!
Now I get to install all my programs again, as well as copy my media over to the 3TB network drive. This is proving to be taking a while, but in the end I think it will be worth it. The SSD has DEFINITELY been much faster for booting and loading programs. I haven’t rendered anything yet so as far as the RAM goes I don’t know if it’s better or not yet (even though it obviously is since I tripled it…)
Processor: 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Nehalem
Memory: 24 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 ECC
Graphics: 4 x NVIDIA GeForce GT 120 512 MB
Storage: 4 x 1TB drives, 128 GB SSD
Accessories: 27″ Apple Cinema Display, RAZER Imperator 2012 mouse, Blue YETI microphone, Beats by Dre. Pro series headphones, Standard Apple keyboard (I still think this is the best keyboard available. Thin and elegant, easy to type on. I hope it never goes away.)
So this concludes my first semi-instructional blog post about my install of the shiny new toys I got for my Mac. I’m not sure I’m cut out for this kind of writing, but it was a fun exercise and I hope you all enjoyed it!