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2010 Mac Pro Remains Bus-limited With More than Two Fast Solid State Drives

I’m sorry to report that the 2010 Mac Pro motherboard still has a maximum bandwidth of around 690MB/sec for internal SATA ports. That means that just two of the OWC Mercury Extreme Pro RE SSDs almost max-out that Mac Pro SATA bus, and three of them fully saturate it.

Using DiskTester, I tested a RAID-0 stripe of 3 X 200GB OWC Mercury Pro RE solid state drives. That configuration ought to reach speeds of about 840MB/sec for reads, and 780MB/sec writes.

The actual speed figures are below the true potential, because the Mac Pro SATA ports share a maximum bandwidth limitation.

Since two SSDs are good for about 510MB/sec reads and 470MB/sec writes (as actually measured), the improvement with three of them is not as impressive as one might hope. Still, there’s no denying that even two SSDs offer a level of performance that outstrips the ability of most programs to use it.

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Actual measured speed vs performance available from SSDs
Actual measured speed vs performance available from SSDs

 

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