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I really want to upgrade my Mac Pro (2008) HDD to an SSD, but having looked inside it seems that there aren't any laptop sized drive bays. I could probably use elastic bands to MacGyver it into place, but I'd rather have something more professional.

Does anyone know of a drive bay adapter, or even a kit specifically for this purpose?


Follow up

As a follow up question, what size do you think is reasonable for an SSD as a primary drive? My answer to this would usually be to suggest that the person buys the biggest drive they can afford, but considering that SSDs are already so ridiculously expensive I was considering getting an 80gb which is still in the $300-400 price range.

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4 Answers

up vote 4 down vote accepted

You should be able to use a bracket kit with your Mac Pro drive bays.

Follow up answer: IMO you should get a drive that is large enough for your OS, Applications, and files that are used frequently. Everything else should be on either a SATA drive in another bay or preferably a SATA mirror using Mac OS software RAID 1.

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Another option: Rather than replacing the internal drive, just add an ExpressCard SSD. Install OS X on it and use it as the boot drive. Point your user folder to the existing user folder on your internal hard drive and all your settings will be retained.

I'm using a FileMate SolidGo 48GB ExpressCard and it's working great so far ($140 at TigerDirect).

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Depends on your exact usage, but 80GB should be plenty.

A great feature of OSX, as far as SSDs are concerned, is that it's easy to simply drag your infrequently-used apps from the SSD to your HDD in order to make some space. If you decide you want that app back on the SSD, it's easy enough to drag right back at some later date.

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Regarding your follow-up: Personally, I have an eye on the new 34nm Intel Postville SSDs officially introduced today which are both cheaper and even a little bit faster than the current generation drives.

I'll probably buy the 160 GB drive model myself although I would definitely prefer a little bit larger drive : 256 GB. However, Intel only introduced the 80 and 160 GB models so far and although a 320 GB is expected to come out later I'll probably be too expensive at launch.

Update 2009-09-13: Today, I've finally upgraded my Mac Pro with a 160 GB Intel Postville SSD. I bought the Icy Dock 2.5" to 3.5" SSD & SATA Hard Drive Converter which fits perfectly into the Mac Pro drive bay and holds one 2.5" SSD. It's a nice, screw-less design.

Also, I've migrated my "Movies" and "Virtual Machines" folders to a separate hard disk and now the system (Snow Leopard) and my home directory use approx. 100 GB and thus 60 MB are still free. That's fine.

Regarding performance: My boot time dropped from 30s to 16s and Apps start nearly instantaneous. I'm happy! :)

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how is your ssd drive now? is it still working with the same level of performance? –  Joo Park Aug 3 '10 at 7:35
    
Yes, I'm still very happy with it and didn't notice any drop in performance. –  knweiss Aug 4 '10 at 18:44
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