How to Add a 2.5″ SSD in a Mac Pro

I know many of you out there want to install a SSD into your Mac Pro. There is no option from Apple to install one prior to the 2010 August Mac Pro models. Also a 2.5″ SSD won’t mount or securely fit into a Mac Pro. Here’s what you need and how to do it.

The first thing you need is a fast 2.5″ SSD. Slower SSDs don’t match well with your shiny, high performance Mac Pro. Make sure you get a good one. I would recommend a SATA III (6Gbps) SSD even though Mac Pros only support SATA II. SATA III drives are backwards compatible with SATA II and show excellent performance. My recommendation is OCZ’s Vertex 3 or soon to come Corsair’s Force Series 3 SSDs. [Note: This recommendation is outdated.]

 

Second, if your SSD does not come with an adapter, you will need a 2.5″ SSD to 3.5″ adapter. You probably don’t want to tape your SSD inside your Mac Pro to keep it in place. You’ll need a 2.5″ to 3.5″ drive adapter to mount your SSD securely in a Mac Pro. There is a low cost solution to this:

 

Icy Dock 2.5" to 3.5" Drive Adapter Icy Dock 2.5" to 3.5" Adapter

Icy Dock 2.5″ to 3.5″ Drive Converter from Newegg

[Note: The best place to purchase this adapter is actually B&H, not Newegg, at $14.96]


Once you have everything, you just need to put in the SSD into the 3.5″ adapter and mount it on to the Mac Pro hard disk bay as any regular hard disk drive.

 

If you are using the SSD for the system drive (the most recommended use), you need to reinstall Mac OS X as follows:

1. Insert your Mac OS X Installation DVD disc into your DVD drive.
2. Restart the computer and hold down the “C” key as the computer starts up and hold until you see the grey apple and spinning logo.
3. Select your language.
4. Agree to Software License Agreement.
5. Select correct SSD volume to install. (SSD will not show if not formatted -> go through steps 5.1 – 5.5)
  • 5.1 Select Utilities ->Disk Utility in top menu
  • 5.2 Choose SSD and Click Partition
  • 5.3 Select 1 Partition in Volume Scheme
  • 5.4 Set Volume Name as necessary
  • 5.5 Click Apply for format then close window
6. Continue with installation.

This is a quick and easy, yet highly effective way to boost your Mac Pro’s performance.

4 Responses to How to Add a 2.5″ SSD in a Mac Pro

  1. Luc says:

    The AdaptaDrive from Newer Technology seems to be a very attractive mounting solution for the Mac Pro (tested with 1,1):
    http://www.newertech.com/products/adaptadrive.php.
    It looks like there are no electronic parts on the board, so SSDs should work exactly as they would if they were plugged in directly. The adapter is made of die cast aluminum (painted).
    Luc

    • David says:

      This Newertech adapter (priced higher) is more of a tray and is not a standard sized 3.5″ casing. The tray types do not mount securely in a Mac Pro.

  2. TimH says:

    Anyone know if this will fit inside an iMac (replacing current 3.5″ SATA HDD)? Specifically I own a 2010 21.5″ iMac 3.06Ghz.

    Struggling to find a SSD mounting bracket that is advertised as fitting inside an iMac (sadly my SSD didn’t come with one).

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