What is the largest internal hard drive a Mac Pro 3,1 (early 2008) can support?

I read here that it's around 1.2 TBs is that correct? Also I plan to run Proxmox on it, not Mac OS X (well, I might run it as a VM, but not directly on the bare metal).

  • I have several 3TBs in mine. Never tried anything bigger. – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 16:42
  • I'd go to OWC to see: eshop.macsales.com/item/Seagate/STBD6000100. They may have more but that was what I found with a quick search. – bassplayer7 Feb 7 '15 at 16:52
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    @bassplayer7 Not sure how that helps - Yes, it's a big drive, but it's SATA III not II. It also won't directly fit an old Mac Pro without a mounting kit.. for which they want 25 bucks when you can get one from eBay for a fiver. – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 17:27
  • oooh... after just seeing this flagged as 'correct' I have more info to add, learned only recently, I'll drop it into the answer. – Tetsujin Apr 1 '16 at 19:35

I don't know any upper limit, but after checking more carefully, in mine I have

  • 1 x 3TB
  • 3 x 2TB
  • 1 x 1TB [SSD in the spare optical bay, wired down into the 'secret' extra SATA slots]

Late addition
It appears that there is not necessarily a data limit but a physical limit.
New 6TB+ drives have the screw-holes in a different place & will not physically fit the HD sleds in a 3,1.
So it turns out that the limit is 4TB - the largest with the old screw-placement.

You can get replacement sleds for a 4,1 or 5,1 from OWC, but not for the 3,1

  • and all hooked up at the same time ? not just a collection – Ruskes Feb 7 '15 at 17:26
  • Yes, they're all in right now & in use, along with an SATA DVD drive I also retro-fitted to the 'secret' SATA ports [best price for a PATA was £100, SATA equivalent £15 inc postage - I made it work;) – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 17:29
  • Why would anyone need 10 Terra B of storage :) that is 40x more than what I have ! What are you saving if I my ask. – Ruskes Feb 7 '15 at 18:07
  • @Buscar웃 I'm a composer/audio engineer. I have TBs of audio sample data & for movie scores etc I need to separate movie streaming from sample data to prevent playback hiccups. Keeping things on separate drives helps. My most-used sample sets I keep on SSD too. One of those 2TB drives is Time Machine [without samples], plus I keep my sample sets duplicated over 2 drives [& on Backblaze] in case of failure. – Tetsujin Feb 7 '15 at 18:15
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    so what are you doing here? it is wonderful. – Ruskes Feb 7 '15 at 18:36

I just added a 6TB drive. I doubt I will ever need to go bigger than that. I see 12TB drives out there, and don't know why they shouldn't work.

Mac OS X supports drive sizes up to ~8 EB (Exabytes).

  • I remember the day I spent $300 on a 3GB (yes GB) drive, and thought I never fill it. Now, I can't count how many single files I have that are larger than that. A 2-1/5 hour rock concert backed up from the TiVo is 21GB. You might respond that a packrat can fill any space, and that may be true, but how many times have you seen a set of shelves next to a TV loaded with VHS tapes or DVDs? At least all my video is hidden on a few hard drives. – JoeTaxpayer Aug 14 '15 at 1:18
  • My first ever HD was 650MB, yup, the capacity of a CD. It cost £800, circa 1986 – Tetsujin Dec 15 '15 at 6:27

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