Areca 1880 card and SSD's

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cutterman, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. cutterman macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    Just wanted to post what I think is a firmware bug with the 1880 series RAID cards and SSD's.

    I have 3 x 50GB OWC Mercury Pro Extreme RE SSD's in an internal RAID0 array that I boot from using a 1880ix-16 card.

    I noticed in the storage manager that the SSD's randomly and intermittently will initialize at 1.5Gb/s instead of 3.0. If I cold boot it will change, and sometimes all 3 will initialize properly at 3.0. I have no media or SMART errors and the OS is running fine. Cabling looks OK as well.

    When all 3 are initialized at 3.0, I get sequential read/write of 887/580 MB/s using Aja (4.0gb, 1280x720x10bit). When one drive gets set at 1.5, the sequential throughput is decreased by about 40%. It is not noticeable with regular use of the computer.

    I sent a email to Areca support. Will post when I hear back. Anybody else using SSD's with these cards?
  2. mikecentola macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2009
    Have you heard a response regarding this or had any updates? Are you booting from the 3 drive array? The reason I ask is that I'm looking to upgrade to a 12core MP and I want to set up a 6gb/s array with 640gb raptors.
  3. cutterman thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    I got a prompt but unintelligible response from the Korean support team. I dont think they were too interested in my problem.

    I updated the firmware on the OWC RE SSD's and increased the spinup stagger time a bit. The problem occurs less frequently and if I warm boot usually all the SSD's drives initialize at 3G. I also updated the card to 1.49 firmware (available on FTP site).

    I have 2 6G raptors as a R0 scratch disk and they scream. No problems with them. Yes I am booting from the SSD array.
  4. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    I have an 1880 and am running an SSD through passthrough, not raided. How do you tell which mode it's running in?
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    If you're asking what I think you are, there's a setting in the card's firmware that you select either JBOD or RAID mode.

    You can run a single disk in either (Pass Through, as you're doing now).
  6. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Sorry, I meant 3.0 vs. 1.5.

    I've found it very difficult to assertain accurate data throughput due to caching - using AJA it fills cache and then of course after that it's inaccurate. So assessing my performance has been difficult.
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Ah, OK.

    1.5Gb/s can slow you down, but there are instances (disk instability), that you have to use it.

    To test out the speed differences with your configuration, Disable the cache on the AJA test (you can disable the cache in the card's settings as well <Disk Write Cache Mode = Disable>, but you shouldn't have to do this). I've just not had access to the 1880 series yet, so I don't know if there's any differences in the firmware settings between it and the 1680 series (there are with the SATA models, but they're minor; namely TCQ/NCQ variations).
  8. cutterman thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    Open the Raid Storage Manager with your web browser. There should be a list of attached drives under 'Device'. Click the drive of interest and you will link to a page full of info.
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It's launch ARCHTTP, go to Information (left side), then click on what ever disk/s you're interested in on the right hand side in this case. ;)

    It's easier to see what the entire card is set for though IMO, which means go into the System Controls heading (left side), then the System Config sub-section. There the Mode Supported will show what it's set for (SATA150 + NCQ, SATA300+ NCQ, ...; should be around the 4th heading down on the right side).

    But the post I answered was really a different question from what he started with. :eek: ;) :p
  10. cutterman, Jan 8, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2011

    cutterman thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    If the card is connected to your network through its RJ45 connector and you enter the IP address in a web browser, the Raid Manager will open and one would follow the instructions in my previous post. You dont need to run or install Archttp with that configuration.
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    It assumes the Ethernet connection exists (not sure if pprior's is actually connected <can simplify security to leave it out, not due to laziness>, and not all their producst offer this; 1880 series does of course, but not all). Without details, it's possible that it could be confusing to launch without that tool. Heck, just entering the IP address:port works too (don't need ARCHTTP, even if the Ethernet connector isn't there or connected if it is). But unless a user is aware of this, they'll panic (ARCHTTP just simplifies this, as it launches the browser with the correct information).

    The Ethernet connection is really nice to have however, especially for remote access.

    But to be safe, I went with the ARCHTTP method to enter the settings, as it's more likely to be installed and is very simple. :)

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