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Pimp my.... Magma Expansion Chassis?????

dtonthept

Active Member
Hey all,

I'm one of those folks who has been updating their Cheesegrater Mac Pros in recent times, I'm currently rocking the 12 core 3.46GHz setup with 32GB Ram and a bunch of SSDs. I have a Protools HDX card and two UAD Octos in my machine, so wasn't able to add any fast storage via PCIe, largely because expansion chassis just seem to be at a price point where I might as well put that money into a brand new PC when the time comes.

However, I was just at a second hand shop, and on a random shelf in the middle of a ton of guitar amplifiers and PA parts, I found a lone Magma Chassis, no price, no information at all, but long story short I scored it for next to nothing, and it's a 4 slot PCIe box. I just got it hooked up to my Mac Pro, stuffed the box with my entire collection of UAD cards - two Octos and two quads, and the damn thing works perfectly.

Except it's SO noisy.

With all the self build PC research I've been doing it was immediately obvious that the power supply is a heap of junk, and what's worse it has a fan built in which sounds like a jet engine. Time to switch it out I think.

Has anyone here done this before? It "looks" like a standard PC power supply, however the case doesn't have ventilation on the bottom or top where a normal PC power supply would draw in air. Maybe I should be looking for a server rack mount type PSU?

This is what's in there at the moment:

http://www.cwtusa.com/pdf/PSG Series picture specs/PSG400P-89.pdf

Next up, some storage questions:

I've just ordered an Inateck USB 3.0 adaptor card, and am looking to find the right PCIe to SSD adaptor next.

I see there are some PCIE cards which have two M.2 slots on them - I'd love to run my boot drive off one and main samples off the other, and reassign my existing SSDs to additional storage.

Does anyone know if this OWC card is the only one that will work with a Mac if I wanted to buy my actual storage from other sources? Or would it even be compatible with other manufacturers? I believe I've heard somewhere that the Samsung sticks worked in there...

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHW2ES2UP/

Or is the performance gain not that much better than just shoving 2.5" SSDs into one of these?

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet Technologies/TSATA6SSDPSE/

I'd definitely prefer to have the two drives as individual volumes rather than going for RAID0.

Anyways, if anyone has any suggestions on a good replacement power supply, or this whole storage stuff, let me know.

I'm even wondering whether I could even pull the whole guts of the chassis out and shove it in a soundproofed Fractal case!

Sorry for the ramble, and thanks in advance for any thoughts.

D :)
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Never heard of PCI-e Magma.
My bros use PCI 32bit Magmas with combinations of UAD and Scope DSP.
But they work under heavy loads and long hours really well.
Good score as they use to be pricey.
 
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dtonthept

dtonthept

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What's funny Chim is that it also had a UAD-2 Quad card in there - I pointed it out to the folks in the shop once we agreed on the crazy low price for the box, they were fine with me taking it! Apparently it's all from a hire company and they were just getting rid of a ton of stuff..... I already had 4 UAD cards, only using two, so now I have even another spare...!
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Awesome.
I love hearing about high quality "obsolete" hardware finding a great home.
Guys I've known over the years are extremely passionate about their DSP Cards.
A few years from now my DSP Rack will be 10 year old and has paid for itself after the first 2 months of use.
The cards I rarely use but they will be 20 years old by then.
Windows and Mac developers would love to see these die off but not in our lifetime....

Cheerz
 

owenave

Active Member
What's funny Chim is that it also had a UAD-2 Quad card in there - I pointed it out to the folks in the shop once we agreed on the crazy low price for the box, they were fine with me taking it! Apparently it's all from a hire company and they were just getting rid of a ton of stuff..... I already had 4 UAD cards, only using two, so now I have even another spare...!
Well you never know when a spare will come in handy one day when one dies.
 
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dtonthept

dtonthept

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Oh cool let me know how that ssd performs, part of me likes the idea of getting one of those as I could just plug in my existing drives to start with and get a nice speed boost without totally breaking the bank...

And yes spares always handy, I probably won't even use all four to start with, the two octos work really well and virtually never max out.

Good point about the old hardware too Chim, stuff like this could certainly keep on trucking for quite some time. When I bought my Mac pro in 2009 I would never have imagined it would be getting a whole new lease of life seven years down the line; I thought I would have replaced it at least once if not twice....
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
Yeah all this new tech stuff got me excited until a tech from RME told me that USB 2.0 works better for audio than USB 3.0 and TBolt.
I have had TBolt on my XITE-1 made in 2009 but always kept the PCI-e 1X connector since it just works.
Ferrofish and RME are always partnered up at NAMM for some reason and the Ferrofish engineer was the XITE-1 engineer and from the old Creamware/Klaus Piehl days.
I listen to anything and everything these guys says regardless of the virtual hoots and hollars for anything with a higher number after it's name.

Should have applied that theorem before I went with Windows 10.
Oh well I can re install them 5 years from now when Windows Cloud 4 is the latest greatest killer of drivers.
 
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dtonthept

dtonthept

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Hang on, USB2 is better for audio? What's the skinny on that? :)
 

Gerhard Westphalen

Scoring Mixer
On my new computer, my RME is pretty much unusable with USB 3. On any of the 3 or 3.1 ports I get a strange buzzing sound on all audio (even from Windows) that sounds sort of as if something has gone horribly out of sync. It comes and goes throughout the day. It's never happened having it on one of the USB 2 port. I imagine chimuelo is talking about other things like the latency but I thought I'd just mention this.
 
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dtonthept

dtonthept

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On my new computer, my RME is pretty much unusable with USB 3. On any of the 3 or 3.1 ports I get a strange buzzing sound on all audio (even from Windows) that sounds sort of as if something has gone horribly out of sync. It comes and goes throughout the day. It's never happened having it on one of the USB 2 port. I imagine chimuelo is talking about other things like the latency but I thought I'd just mention this.

Wowwwww that's crazy!!! I wonder why that is. I'm guessing usb3 is working great for moving files around quickly, but it's something about audio? Pretty nuts no matter which way you slice it.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
There's always a disconnect between specifications and real world performance.
Personally I'll never use USB for an audio interface, I am quite satisfied with 250MBps PCI-e 1X.
Something about those burst data/packet protocols that I don't trust.
Once I started seeing stuck notes with USB years ago, and noticed it was still there even as USB 2 had better specs, I just figured it wasn't meant to be.
 
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dtonthept

dtonthept

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Just to slightly re-rail this thread, does anyone have any thoughts about the power supply, or experience with the twin ssd pcie cards?
 
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