Anyone noticed the MP RAID card is now available separately?

Cromulent

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 2, 2006
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The Land of Hope and Glory
Has anyone else noticed that you can now get the RAID card that has until recently been a BTO option only separately now?

Seems like a good option for those of us that bought a Mac Pro before they were an option. Plus with a 256MB cache and a 72 hour battery to help preserve the cache in case of a power outage it is a pretty well specced RAID card. It requires Leopard though which seems a bit odd.
 

trainguy77

macrumors 68040
Nov 13, 2003
3,567
1
It requires Leopard though which seems a bit odd.
The software was not standard in tiger. The system ordered with the card had some extra software to make it run correctly ie the utility(and probably underlying thing as well) but now this is built into all leopard installs.
 
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hayduke

macrumors 65816
Mar 8, 2005
1,177
2
is a state of mind.
Excellent...not sure when I'll get one, but it is on the list. I just up-ed my system to 4x 750GB and I would prefer that to work as a RAID array. Still a bit pricey, but I don't think I'm willing to risk using another manufacturer's card. The down time of fumbling with someone else's card is worth the added cost.
 
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RichP

macrumors 68000
Jun 30, 2003
1,573
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Motor City
Anyone know how the card installs? The MacPro drive bays have the SATA going right to the MB; I wonder how the drives are wired directly to the card for this RAID to work (I am assuming the drives have to be connected to the card, right?)
 
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Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
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Alta Loma, CA
In the past the Intel RAID controllers have used the onboard controller to connect to the drives, but that was in the old SCSI days.

I'm betting that the card will come with a new harness that replaces the existing cables, running them directly to the card. I'll know in a week or so.
 
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Cromulent

macrumors 603
Original poster
Oct 2, 2006
6,039
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The Land of Hope and Glory
Excellent...not sure when I'll get one, but it is on the list. I just up-ed my system to 4x 750GB and I would prefer that to work as a RAID array. Still a bit pricey, but I don't think I'm willing to risk using another manufacturer's card. The down time of fumbling with someone else's card is worth the added cost.
The Apple card is significantly better specced than cheaper alternatives. The 72 hour battery and 256MB cache make a big difference. It is not a standard consumer RAID card.
 
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Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
869
12
Alta Loma, CA
In the past the Intel RAID controllers have used the onboard controller to connect to the drives, but that was in the old SCSI days.

I'm betting that the card will come with a new harness that replaces the existing cables, running them directly to the card. I'll know in a week or so.
After looking at the images available for the card, it does not appear to have any extra connectors on board. It's very possible that it's a simple PCIe x8 card that is taking control of the on board interface.

This is nice, because it means that you don't have to gut the system to install it. (You have to pull out a LOT of stuff to get to the sata connectors.) This also keeps the install very clean.

The down side is that it shows that the card is more expensive then it should be. with no SATA controllers on board, it's about $200 more than it should be. Oh Well, Teachers get $100 off.... so it's my b-day gift from my wife.
 
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powermac_daddy

macrumors 6502
just a quick question.

I don't know much about this RAID card... i run bootcamp, win xp for 3D modeling / architecture / rendering / graphic etc..., is the RAID card going to boots up the performance? a lot? I am sure $999 will do something, but how much? I am very curious.

comments and suggestions? thanks a lot.
 
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Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
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Alta Loma, CA
I doubt that it will even support Windows, at least until Vista supports EFI directly. There is no chance that the controller will support BIOS based INT13 booting, so you can kiss BootCamp goodbye.
 
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Transeau

macrumors 6502a
Jan 18, 2005
869
12
Alta Loma, CA
just a quick question.

I don't know much about this RAID card... i run bootcamp, win xp for 3D modeling / architecture / rendering / graphic etc..., is the RAID card going to boots up the performance? a lot? I am sure $999 will do something, but how much? I am very curious.

comments and suggestions? thanks a lot.
Sorry, no Windows support at all. As for speed, RAID 0&1 are on average 50% faster than the Software RAID, and it adds support for RAID 1+0 & 5. However, I don't think anyone is going to pay $1k for RAID 0 or 1. It's geared towards users needing RAID 5 for protection without the massive space / speed hit.
 
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Macinposh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
700
0
Kreplakistan
As for speed, RAID 0&1 are on average 50% faster than the Software RAID, and it adds support for RAID 1+0 & 5. However, I don't think anyone is going to pay $1k for RAID 0 or 1. It's geared towards users needing RAID 5 for protection without the massive space / speed hit.

Transeau,do you have any data/documents/links on the raid 0/1 speeds?

As far as I know, the 4 disk software raid0 can sustain read speeds of 300MB/s. And apple gives the read speed of the hardware raid the same 300MB/s.

Obviously the the HW raid frees processor useage compared to the SW. But the proc useage of SW raid doesnt seem to be a big problem as it is miniscule.

AND you can put up a raid 10 with the software raid too,if the money is tight.
Obviously, people with critical data/schedules dont want to tinker with software raid, so to them the card is good news!
And it has raid5 wich the the software doesnt have.


But you can ask if it is reasonable to buy a 999$ card (with no disks) when you can get a Buffalos Drivestation quatro 2TB system with about 700$, wich can do raid 0,1,and 5...
Drivespeeds via eSata cable from the mobo are apparently quite good allso.
 
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Macinposh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
700
0
Kreplakistan
I'll have real-world benchmarks tomorrow.
My card shipped out today, FedEx Next day.
Super!

Would it be too much to ask if you could run a 2/3/4 disk sw raid0 tests and then the same files with the 2/3/4 disk hw raid?
I know it is too much to ask,but there is no info on how they perform to be found.
Would be greatly appreciated!
 
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