SATA III 4x PCI-E cards?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Inconsequential, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #1
    Going to be getting two SSDs now, so I need a controller card and I might aswell go SATA III at the same time to max out the Samsung 830 SSD I'm getting.

    I've found this: http://www.scan.co.uk/products/highpoint-rocket-640l-lite-4-internal-port-hdd-controller

    But no idea if it works with OS X, it seems the RocketRAID version (nearly twice as much) has basic native drivers but I can't find anywhere the chipset used in the cheaper Rocket (non RAID) version.

    Is anyone running a 4x PCI-E SATA III card?

    (No posts about getting a 1x card, I don't see the point in upgrading to something that can't handle two SSDs at full chat!)

    Cheers!
     
  2. All Taken, Nov 3, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2012

    macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    £55.82 inc delivery from https://www.systo.co.uk/highpoint-highp-rocket-640l-rocket640l.html or £64.91 delivered from scan.

    I got impatient waiting on a reply to this thread so googled a little and came back with this:

    http://www.tonymacx86.com/231-review-highpoint-rocketraid-640l.html

    It works with 10.8 much like its bigger brother. It's the perfect budget SATA 6 RAID 0 Card for the Mac Pro. Thanks op. Will be using 2 Samsung 830's in Raid 0. Any advice on power source and sata extension/redirection?

    EDIT:

    'We would like to point out a couple of things here at the end of the review. First of all, keep in mind that if you're using SSD's with the RocketRAID 640L you won't get TRIM support, so make sure you pick drives with good garbage collection that doesn't rely on TRIM. Secondly, the RocketRAID 640L isn't officially supported for use with OS X by HighPoint, but the card is the standard SATA sibling to the RocketRAID 644 Lite which is being sold as a four port eSATA solution for Mac Pros and the two cards share the same controller and driver."

    The Rocket640L (Non hardware raid version) has been used in 10.8 by this user and he reports no issues:

    "jzhang19 - October 26th, 2012, 12:15 PM
    I got Rocket 640L, not RocketRAID 640L. Mountain Lion shows it as Hardware RAID device. I use 2x250GB WD hard drives to create RAID 0 (500GB). install Mountain Lion directly on Raid 0 volume. and boot directly from it wirhout any problem. I did not see any SCSI drives. only one RAID 0 volume in profiler. really happy with it."
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #3
    Sounds nice! I still wouldn't use the card's RAID functionality but configure the RAID 0 via Disk Utility. This way, if the HighPoint card dies, you can replace it with any other card. (In case the HighPoint card isn't available.)
     
  4. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #4
    The card being talked about is the rocket 640l which is a non-raid card just sata 3 and software raid 0 and 1.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #5
    UPDATE: After some more research this card is being marketed as a PCIe 4x card. Whilst it is true that it is built for a 4x slot, it is not true that it has 4x bandwidth.

    The Marvel chip being used on the 640L is limited to 2x bandwidth making real world throughput around 1Gbps.

    Real world testing has shown that 2 agility 3 SSDs in raid 0 deliver around 700Mbps read speeds. Thats not bad but not brilliant either.

    My question now would be, is there a faster SATA 6 card available with support for OSX 10.8?

    Highpoint seem to be pissing off quite a few customers who have purchased this product under the premise it's 4x, even their own website says it's a 4x card, technically it is in design but not in lanes.
     
  6. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #6
    What Marvel chip is it?

    Does the RocketRAID version actually give full 4x bandwidth?
     
  7. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2011
    #7
    HighPoint is pissing off customers for a lot more reasons than that. They claim to have so many Mac products, but when you upgrade your OS, watch out! I'm still waiting on their 10.8 driver for the dual USB 3 card, promised months ago. To find that out, I had to send multiple emails to China and/or Taiwan, and repeatedly call their small USA sales office. Unless they make a 180 deg. turn in customer service and support, avoid them like the plague. Either buy from another vendor or do without.
     
  8. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #8
  9. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #9
    That doesn't really help, it still is only 2x across two drives. I need a proper 4x solution...
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #10
    True, but buying two of either the Rocket640l or Velocity X2 could solve your problems?

    Only other option I see is to use an expensive RAID card from Areca or similar.
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #11
    Well, I have been looking at reviews and am thinking of buying the Rocket 640L.

    It will allow me to max out one decent SSD. I'll plug my backup disk into it too leaving me with a free drive bay by putting the 3.5" disk in the lower bay.
     
  12. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #12
    Keep in mind that it is not bootable.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    #13
    According to others it is. Otherwise, it is back to the drawing board.
     
  14. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2013
    #14
  15. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #15
  16. macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #16
    When I was looking into this, you could either get a x4 (or x8 card) or a bootable card, but not both.

    I opted for the Velocity Solo X2 for booting a single SSD, and then a Highpoint card for a RAID0 array of more SSDs for my photo libraries. Here's my report... http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1504491

    The fact is, moving my boot OS/Apps SSD from SATA2 to SATA3 made no difference. I would not repeat this exercise as a result.
     

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