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How do you upgrade the hard drives in the Mac Pro? How many drives of what type are supported?
Much like upgrading the memory, upgrading the hard drives in the Mac Pro models is simple, but some basic instructions are helpful nevertheless.
All Mac Pro models have "four independent 3Gb/s Serial ATA cable-free, direct attach hard drive bays" with "four internal hard drive carriers included", and precisely the hard drives must meet these specifications:
By default, a single 3 Gb/s Serial ATA hard drive is installed in the first of four bays for all models. The original Mac Pro Quad 2.66 formally supports a total capacity of 2 TB, the "Early 2008" models up to 4 TB, and the "Early 2009" and "Mid-2010" models up to 8 TB. 1.5 Gb/s Serial ATA hard drives also will work in all Mac Pro models, albeit at reduced speed.
Unofficially, as first noted by site sponsor Other World Computing, the "Early 2009" and "Mid-2010" models also can support a fifth hard drive by using the second 5.25" optical drive bay. OWC's Multi-Mount 3.5" to 5.25" bracket set makes this easy.
Apple provides a PDF that covers upgrading the hard drives in the Mac Pro -- and covers the same material in the instruction manuals for each model as well -- but perhaps even better, Other World Computing provides step-by-step videos of the process.
This video covers upgrading the hard drive in the original and "Early 2008" models:
Although the process is quite similar to the earlier systems, this video covers upgrading the hard drive in the "Early 2009" and "Mid-2010" models:
For even more information on hard drives in the Mac Pro, you may wish to read special reports on exceeding the maximum formally supported drive capacity in RAID sets and finding the fastest possible boot drive from the always excellent BareFeats.
Also see: Is it possible to install an SSD in the Mac Pro models instead of a hard drive? How does this impact performance?