Adding 2nd sil3132 eSATA card to 09 MP = problems [solution found]

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Loa, May 13, 2010.

  1. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #1
    Hello,

    I just installed a second eSATA card to my system. The connected drives mount very slowly (long delay) and eject even more slowly (more than 2 minutes, sometimes hang, sometime kernel panic).

    Any ideas as to why?

    Thanks

    Loa
     
  2. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #2
    I'm using the Sonnet E4P to get four esata ports. I originally had two SIL3132 cards and they did not work. Only one would work at a time. I suspect the drivers have not been tested or updated for running two simultaneously. And considering how hard it was to get SiiG to update their drivers in the first place, don't hold your breath.

    With that Sonnet E4P I was also able to add a 1-5 port multiplier for 8 esata ports. In fact, I could have added four port multipliers for 20 esata ports. So I have an external backup drive for all five internal drives (one is an SSD raid on the two extra internal sata ports).
     
  3. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #3
    Hello,

    At that price tag, I sure hope the E4P works great! Before taxes, it's the price of thirty sil3132 cards shipped to my doorstep! :)

    Then again if they don't work, the sil3132 cards are useless. Maybe someone will come up with something!

    Has anyone ever tried a sil3132 with one of the Maxpower/newertech 6GB/s cards?

    Loa
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    With the general flakiness of the SIL3132 cards (sometimes the drivers, work, then an OS update drops, and breaks it, and it's not even consistent from card to card), it's hard to trust them.

    So it seems they're only going to be reliable for running a Windows disk safely (i.e. software RAID via OS X, which no longer allows for a working Windows disk on the ICH in the chipset).

    Unfortunately, I don't know enough about the Newertech card's real world performance. Spec wise (including the RAID capable model which adds Port Multiplier support @ an MSRP of $99.99USD :D), it seems fine (boots Windows or Linux, OS X support = driver only), but that's also the case with the SIL3132 cards. :rolleyes:

    So I don't know if it's worth the extra funds or not. :confused: Now the real question is, are you willing to guinea pig the sucker? :eek: :p
     
  5. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #5
    If I do buy another eSATA card, it will be the regular non-RAID one at 60$.

    I'll let you guys know if I take the plunge.

    Loa
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #6
    I only mentioned the newer RAID version, as some of those previously interested in the NewerTech cards needed PM support. As it's not supported on the first one that shipped (cheaper version you're interested in), it was a deal breaker in those cases.

    But I'd love to find out what happens if you do decide to get it. :D
     
  7. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #7
    I tried two of the SIL3132 cards. They did not work for me with the old drivers. The current drivers work very well, but like was said, an OS update could ditch the working part.

    After all the problems I read and saw about the SIL3132 drivers and such, I just bit the bullet and bought the Sonnet card. Expensive yes. But it does work great - has worked from day 1 with no problems. And it gives me four ports which can take port multipliers. I've got two $7.95 SIL3132 cards for sale if anybody is interested.

    I wonder if the Sonnet E2P with a port multiplier would help you any? Don't know cost/comparison.
     
  8. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #8
    With 2 cards at the same time?

    Last time I tried those drivers (came out january 2010) with only one card installed, it didn't work at all.

    I'll give those drivers (RAID and non-RAID) later today and hopefully it'll work!

    Loa
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Both the non-RAID and RAID drivers are BETA versions on SI's site, and are still from late Jan. 2010 (here).

    I'm not sure what's going on that it works for some, and not others. But it could be either a difference in hardware (if it deviates from SI's reference design), or perhaps the specific chipsets between MP's are the cause (PCIe spec. differences).

    Maybe listing whether success and fails are PCIe 2.0 or PCIe 1.0 slots would be a good idea to see if there's any validity for determining the latter (as some models mix them, and I presume most users only use slot 3 or 4, as it's a 1x lane card).
     
  10. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #10
    All the PCI slots in the 09 MP are PCI-e 2.0. Slots 3-4 are 4X, and slots 1-2 are 16X. As far as I can see the speed is the only difference, but that difference shouldn't affect a 1X card.

    Right now my first card is in the #2 slot, and the newer one in slot #4. Maybe if I placed both in the slower slots?

    I'll give it a try.

    Loa
     
  11. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #11
    Your intuition was right Nano, the slots made all the difference. By putting my two cards in the "slower" #3 and 4 slots, it suddenly worked.

    I can mount, unmount, remount all my eSATA drives without problems and I can copy from any of them to any other drive on my system.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but for now it's working!

    Loa

    P.S. For those concerned, I'm still using Sonnet drivers.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    Glad you got it sorted. :)

    Now let's see how long it takes Apple to break it in a future update... :eek: :p

    BTW, are you still having problems with the Silicon Image drivers?
    Or was it that you just moved the card, and retained the existing drivers, which were those from Sonnet?
     
  13. SmilesLots macrumors regular

    SmilesLots

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2010
    Location:
    SW Virginia
    #13
    So happy to hear the good news about the slots. I wonder if that may have been my problem. But I do need to be able to use a port multiplier as I have 6 esata devices. And I like having 4 ports in one card. MHO
     
  14. Loa thread starter macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #14
    I can't confirm as I don't have a PM enclosure, but I'm pretty sure the sil3132 are PM aware.

    Loa
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #15
    They are. :)
     

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