External TB3 storage (SSD)

Started 3 months ago | Discussions thread
vett93 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,834
Re: 2013 MP SSD upgrade?

Jacques Cornell wrote:

vett93 wrote:

Jacques Cornell wrote:

That's a nice solution, but for stills work it may be overkill. I found no difference in performance when batch exporting JPEGs from heavily adjusted RAWs whether the master image files were hosted on a 2.5" standard SSD in a $10 USB3 enclosure or on the 3x-4x faster internal SSD on my 2013 8-core Mac Pro. At roughly 300MB/s, storage throughput clearly isn't the bottleneck.


I had the same setup with yours; i.e., using USB3 connecting to an external SSD from a 2013 model Mac Pro. I also got about 300+MB/s of throughput. You are right that I couldn't tell the speed difference while editing large RAW files in LR.

I eventually upgraded the internal SSD to a NVMe M.2 2TB Saumsung 970 EVO SSD.

Interesting. I thought the 2013 Mac Pro's internal SSD used some proprietary connector and that upgrades were limited to SSDs made specifically for the Mac Pro (e.g. from Other World Computing). Does a stock Samsung SSD go straight in, or does it require any kind of modification or adapter?

If there is a market, there is a way.

You can get a small adapter for converting a M.2 form factor SSD to Apple's proprietary format. Then the Samsung SSD goes into the adapter which in turn connects to Mac Pro's proprietary slot. The adapter is about $12 on Amazon.

You can get a 2TB Samsung 970 EVO SSD for about $400 on Amazon. Its sequential I/O speed is about 50% faster than Apple's SSD, as measured by Blackmagic Disk Speed Test.

The LR preview file has grown to 100GB and the internal SSD was getting full. Now with a larger internal SSD, I don't have to move files around constantly!

My personal and business LR Classic folders weigh 200GB and 150GB, but that still leaves me about half of my 1TB SSD for active projects, which is plenty.

I had to put a heatsink on the Samsung SSD and increased the fan speed from about 800rpm idle to 935rpm idle.

Would you care to share details of how you did this? Not that I'm in the market - my 1TB suffices - but I'm curious.

I bought the heatsink from Amazon:


I think this heatsink is a bit on the small side. Longer fins would do better, IMO.

Our Mac Pro 6,1 is small in the internal space and the Samsung SSD's temperature was quite high even during idle with no heatsink and at stock fan speed. I contacted Samsung SSD tech support and was told that heatsinks are generally not needed for their EVO line SSDs. But he also told me that their SSD would throttle down its performance when the temperature hits 70 degrees C.

I am an EE by education (3 EE degrees!) My opinion is that some adjustments are needed. So I got the heatsink and purchased iStat Menu 6.4 software which allows one to adjust the fan speed, as well as monitoring various performance measurements.

I think the Mac Pro 6,1 design is very good for personal/individual use in that its fan blows from the bottom up and dissipates the heat up. (This may not be a good choice for IT room because it would heat up the equipment above.) So with increased fan speed and the addition of a heatsink, I think the new NVMe M.2 SSD would work well in our Mac.

This has reduced the temperature by 20+ degrees F.

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