2011 i5 2.5GHZ Mini with RAID SandForce = Performance Issue Solved!

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by littlezipp, Aug 27, 2011.

  1. littlezipp, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2011

    littlezipp macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    #1
    9/1 Edit - Swapped out the Corsair Force GT's for Kingston Hyper X's and I am now getting SSD speeds. Thank you "buddster" for the info. These drives are both SandForce 2281 drives with synchronous flash. Must be a firmware bug on the GT.


    Need help! I've been struggling with getting these drives to play nice with my mini for over a week now and I'm having no luck.

    Issue: For two SSD's this thing should be screaming fast but I am constantly getting the spinning ball and freezes. I have tried RAID as well as the drives individually. I updated the firmware from 1.2 to current 1.3 on the drives with no change. I have pulled RAM from another machine to make sure it's not a RAM issue and it's not. When I use Xbench I get very random results and it takes an extremely long time to run. Some of the results come in at under 2mbps... This is a clean install of Lion (multiple times actually).


    [​IMG]

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  2. japtor macrumors regular

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    Jun 29, 2010
    #2
    Did the computer work fine with the original drive? If you have an external enclosure/adapter test out the drives on that to see if it might be the drive(s) or something with the SATA connection.
     
  3. littlezipp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2004
    #3
    Drives work fine in external enclosure on another machine in Windows, I only have esata external enclosures so no way to test with the mini.
     
  4. praetorian909 macrumors regular

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    Aug 4, 2004
    #4
    Hmm, I realize this may be tedious to try but what about testing out boot camp with Win7?

    Then you could at least narrow down if it's software-related or hardware-related...
     
  5. saulinpa macrumors 6502

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #5
    There are reports of problems with TRIM and Sandforce so make sure you didn't load that patch.
     
  6. littlezipp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2004
    #6
    Too late for skipping the 1.3 update, you can't flash back to 1.2 once done. Performance was the same however with both firmwares so that isn't it anyway. Un -RAIDed the drives and Lion is loading on 1 drive now so I can load Bootcamp and test in Windows. Thanks for the ideas! I'll update later with Windows performance.
     
  7. littlezipp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2004
    #7
    Alright, here are the Windows results... Drive works fine with decent performance but not full 555mbps. No lag, freezing or crashes.

    [​IMG]

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  8. littlezipp thread starter macrumors newbie

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  9. xraydoc macrumors demi-god

    xraydoc

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    #9
    Return the drives and try OWC's SSDs. Guaranteed Mac support.
     
  10. saulinpa macrumors 6502

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    Jun 15, 2008
    #10
    If you look at OWC's drives they state that they support RAID 1 & SPAN but only the Pro 6 supports RAID 0. I didn't see a reason why. Just something to look out for.
     
  11. buddster macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2009
    #11
    Here's the deal. Certain Sandforce drives won't work with Mini's. I just sent back two OCZ Vertex 3's which were stuttering on my new server. Last year I sent back two Vertex 2's for a 2010 server. Replaced the 2010 drives with Corsair F240's and it was fine. Replaced the 2011 server drives with Kingston Hyper X's and it works beautifully. I both cases the drives use the same controller with slightly different firmware. You just have to try different manufacturers. In Anandtech's recent test the Hyper X's tested faster than both the Force GT and the OWC drives. The best news is that I can confirm it works perfectly in a RAID 0 on new Mini's. I'm getting read / writes at 860 / 910. That's your best bet.
     
  12. littlezipp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2004
    #12
    What capacity are you running? Just checked out Newegg for the drive you referenced and there is a review that specifically states incompatibility with Mac.

    Excerpt: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820139599&nm_mc=AFC-C8Junction&cm_mmc=AFC-C8Junction-_-na-_-na-_-na&AID=10440897&PID=3891137&SID=HyperXReview
    Cons: I am more than certain that the hard drive is just fine, there is nothing wrong with the one I have. But man is it FLAKY in OS X Lion. All I am getting are frequent hangs and spinning pinwheels that last up to a minute, and I can reproduce this whenever I launch an intensive I/O process (indexing, Time Machine, installing ANYTHING, rebooting, etc). It is ANNOYING. I have a feeling it is something that Apple just hasn't dealt with (or Kingston needs a new firmware update released ASAP) because tons of people are having issues with SATA III SSD drives and Macbook pros (hit or miss). Like I said, Windows 7 in Bootcamp SCREAMS with this SSD, so that means there's nothing wrong with the SSD and nothing wrong with my Mac... so it's either a firmware or software problem (I have done many reinstalls of Lion so it's not my issue). This in turn means that it is a fixable problem.
     
  13. buddster macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2009
    #13
    My Kingston's are 120gb. The Vertex 3's were as well. My Vertex 3's gave me the same issues your describing. Beachballs, hangups, delays etc... Last time, I replaced two mini's and reinstalled the OS twice before figuring out what was wrong. This time, replacing the OCZ's with the Kingston's worked instantly. Same performance too. I know the OCZ's don't work. Sounds like the Corsair is a no go. The Hyper X is worth a try, it ships with firmware version 3.20. All three are using the SF2281 controller.
     
  14. littlezipp thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 3, 2004
    #14
    Thanks! Grabbed a pair of Kingston's and I'm up and running. Not as fast as I expected but well into the appropriate SSD range.

    [​IMG]

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  15. buddster macrumors newbie

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    Mar 9, 2009
    #15
    Cool, congrats. Is that a Raid? I'm getting about double that with a RAID 0 on my Mini Server. If it's just a single drive, it's pretty darn good. 550 / 486 is as advertised.
     

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