Areca 1880ix-12 issues on Mac Pro 1,1 :(

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Squishy Tia, Aug 24, 2011.

  1. Squishy Tia macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #1
    I just purchased an ARC-1880ix-12 for my Mac Pro to take the place of a (non)working RocketRAID 640 (functionally identical to the 644 eSATA version, but the Mac drivers refuse to see its identical components due to HPT refusing to put in four measly vendor/system IDs), and I'm having a few issues with this card and my setup.

    I'll give the system setup first for reference:


    Code:
    Hardware Overview:
    
      Model Name:	Mac Pro
      Model Identifier:	MacPro1,1
      Processor Name:	Dual-Core Intel Xeon
      Processor Speed:	2.66 GHz
      Number Of Processors:	2
      Total Number Of Cores:	4
      L2 Cache (per processor):	4 MB
      Memory:	7 GB
      Bus Speed:	1.33 GHz
      Boot ROM Version:	MP11.005C.B08
      SMC Version (system):	1.7f10
      Mac OS Version: 10.6.8
    
    ATI Radeon HD 5870:
    
      Name:	ATY,Langur
      Type:	Display Controller
      Driver Installed:	Yes
      MSI:	Yes
      Bus:	PCI
      Slot:	Slot-1
      Vendor ID:	0x1002
      Device ID:	0x6898
      Subsystem Vendor ID:	0x106b
      Subsystem ID:	0x00d0
      Revision ID:	0x0000
      Link Width:	x16
      Link Speed:	2.5 GT/s
    
    ATI Radeon HD 5870:
    
      Name:	ATY,LangurParent
      Type:	ATY,LangurParent
      Driver Installed:	No
      MSI:	No
      Bus:	PCI
      Slot:	Slot-1
      Vendor ID:	0x1002
      Device ID:	0xaa50
      Subsystem Vendor ID:	0x106b
      Subsystem ID:	0xaa50
      Revision ID:	0x0000
      Link Width:	x16
      Link Speed:	2.5 GT/s
    
    pci17d3,1880:
    
      Type:	RAID Controller
      Driver Installed:	Yes
      MSI:	No
      Bus:	PCI
      Slot:	Slot-4
      Vendor ID:	0x17d3
      Device ID:	0x1880
      Subsystem Vendor ID:	0x17d3
      Subsystem ID:	0x1880
      Revision ID:	0x0005
      Link Width:	x4
      Link Speed:	2.5 GT/s
    
    PCI-E Card placement:
    
    Slot 4: ARC-1880ix-12
    Slot 3: Empty
    Slot 2: Empty; bracket space used for eSATA conversion bracket
    Slot 1: Radeon HD5870

    The first issue is this that my card shows up as only x4 for its link width. I saw another thread on this, but as I have a new motherboard battery, that isn't going to fix my problem here. When I have profile #1 in the expansion slot utility set (x8, x1, x1, x16), my 1880 shows up as x4 (running at maximum speed). But if I choose say, profile #2 (x4, x4, x1, x16), the 1880 shows up as x4 (running below maximum speed) and the last four lanes of the x8 connection are highlighted in yellow. Seems kind of backwards to me there.

    The second issue is that the only drive that shows up is my physical platter HD (WD 1 TB Green HD). I have the following HDs installed in my system:

    Bay 1: Vertex 3 120 GB SSD
    Bay 2: WD 1TB Green HD)
    Bay 3: Empty (see note below for why)
    Bay 4: OWC 40 GB Mercury Pro SSD (SF-1200)
    Top ODD Bay: Pioneer DVR-1806
    Bottom ODD Bay: Intel 80 GB X-25M Gen 2 SSD (boot drive) [connected to ODD_SATA_1]
    External HD Dock (Nexstar) connected via eSATA running from eSATA PCI bracket connected to ODD_SATA_2: Dock contains secondary WD 1 TB Green HD, inactive unless cloning to drive for backup purposes.

    Obviously my Intel 80 GB shows up, as it's on the ODD port and boots just fine (oddly enough the ODD ports boot faster than the SATA backplane ports for the internal bays ever did).

    Special Note: I have my 1880 connected to the internal bays via MaxUpgrades SAS/SATA Link coupler. My internal backplanes are no longer connected to the ICH SAS port on the motherboard, as my intention was to make these ports natively 6Gbps/SATA3 (seeing as they are merely physical wire connections with no bridge chipset inline, this should not have been an issue).

    Regarding Bay 3 as noted above, it's empty because the OCZ Summit 60 GB SSD hangs the controller for some reason. It just does not seem to like the Barefoot controller in that SSD. The Finder never loads with that drive in any of the bays. If I physically remove the drive (the card is capable of hot swapping, unlike the Intel ICH onboard chipset), then the desktop magically appears and all is good other than no drives showing up besides the physical platter HD.

    The OWC SSD SMART status showed a constant 0°C temperature (obviously impossible), and the OCZ showed a constant 128°C temperature (also impossible as that'd melt any BGA solder joints) - these readings were taken before the 1880 was installed. OS X never balked at this, but perhaps the Areca card does?

    The 1880 is unable to see any of my SSDs at all (each enclosed in an IcyDock, and since the IcyDock enclosures do not use bridge chipsets, they should be transparent to the controller).

    I'm kind of at a loss at this point. I've already flashed the firmware from the CD and the FTP site listed in another thread by nanofrog, as well as the EBC ROM for the Mac Pro that was on the CD (it's byte for byte identical to the FTP site version, meaning Areca hasn't bothered to make an update for the Mac Pro EFI/EBC ROM).

    I can access and configure the RAID controller itself, but cannot find any drives at all. The card is currently set for JBOD mode, and there are no RAID sets to manage, so I can't delete, expand, modify, or configure a RAID set, nor can I even attempt to make a pass-through disk (not that I'd want to if I intend to make use of the SATA3 speed capabilities of the card).

    As expected, this card introduces a roughly 30 second bootup delay, so getting to the desktop does not happen until the card's fully booted up, and same with the EFI boot selection screen.

    I do have rEFIt installed, and was able to access the McBIOS utility built into the card to double check the options I had set in the ArcHTTP web management server pages.

    So does anybody have any clue why the 1880 shows up as x4 instead of x8, or why I can't get ANY SSD to even be seen by the card? That's kind of a showstopper since I got this card specifically because I wanted SATA3 speeds with my Vertex 3 and enough headroom to get the max possible speed from my OWC 40 GB SSD, which can go faster than the ICH chipset on my Mac Pro's mobo can handle.

    I cannot boot to Lion as my OWC SSD has my Lion boot partition.

    My drives are set up individually as follows:

    Intel 80 GB SSD: 10.6.8 boot drive
    OWC 40 GB SSD: 10.7.2 boot drive (not a typo: I'm an ADC member)
    OCZ Summit 60 GB SSD: Empty; formatted as NTFS for purposes of cloning my WinXP Pro32 boot partition to it
    Vertex 3 120 GB SSD: Games folder (WoW, emulators)
    WD 1TB HD: OS Clone partition of Intel SSD data, bootcamp partition, main downloads partition
    HD Dock: WD 1TB HD as backup of internal 1 TB HD.
     
  2. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #2
    sorry i can not help you, but maybe the bump will.

    I just had to say, you have a mighty fine SSD collection :)
     
  3. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #3
    I use Areca RAID ARC-1210 with 4xSSD drives and it's bootable to Bootcamp and my array is visible under Lion, but I got Mac Pro 2008, so it might be different.
     
  4. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #4
    I have an update:

    I decided to troubleshoot the internal bays themselves and removed the 1880 from the setup temporarily and plugged the SAS connector for the bays back into the motherboard just to make sure I hadn't broken any data lines in squishing the SAS/SATA Link coupler "box" into place (why oh why couldn't you make the box smaller maxupgrades?).

    Upon rebooting the system sans 1880 (back in its original condition) all bays worked flawlessly. Upon reinstalling the 1880, only bay 2 works. The rest have power, but no data.

    So that leads me to believe the Expander isn't functioning, even in JBOD mode. This is very, very frustrating. The whole point of the card was to make my internal bays both bootable AND SATA3 compliant. The SSDs mount fine in Bay 2, but no drive (even the WD w/ physical platters) mounts in any other bay.

    Anybody know what setting enables/disables the expander that each port uses?
     
  5. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #5
    Nobody has any idea why the card shows up as x4 when the expansion slot utility has the lane config set as x8/x1/x1/x16? Or why only slot #3 on any of the SAS internal ports works when connected to the Mac Pro's internal bay SAS connector?
     
  6. Spacedust macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Poland
    #6
    Try installing GPU in different slot and try slot 1. Maybe it will work as 8x.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    There isn't a firmware setting in the card (SAS Expander is nothing more than a switch, and is operated at the hardware level).

    Are you sure the expansion utility has actually set the slot the Areca is located to 8x lanes?

    I've never tested an Areca in a 2006/7, so it's rather hard to visualize the card not working in a slot configured for 8x or better at a lower lane setting (been stuck to systems with fixed lane counts).

    As per the second part, what do you mean by Slot #3?
    PCIe slot (counting from the bottom up), or do you mean the SFF-8087 connector on the Areca itself?
     
  8. Squishy Tia, Aug 25, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 25, 2011

    Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #8
    I am using profile #1 in the expansion slot utility, which (supposedly) forces the system to use x8, x1, x1, x16 in slots 4, 3, 2, and 1 respectively. Even though the utility shows slot one set to x8, the card itself is x4. I have a very sad feeling that there is a bug in the card's firmware(s) that when put into a PCI-E 1.0 slot the card sets itself as x4 instead of the proper x8. This is a rather serious flaw/bug since it cuts the card's total throughput capacity in half (1 GB/sec vs. 2 GB/sec in a PCI-E 1.0 slot, and if it were to happen on a PCI-E 2.0 slot 2 GB/sec vs 4 GB/sec).

    Eash SAS port has four "slots" as far as the card sees (I think they just got the translation wrong and really meant "port"). No matter which SAS connector I use, only internal Bay 2 works, and that would be "slot 3" on any given SAS port. So for SAS port 1, 2, or 3 the listed "slot" in the card's configuration screen is 3, 7, or 11 respectively. Seeing as the Mac Pro's SAS breakout cable is just an 8087 -> 4x 8482, there should not be any problems, and plugging the cable back into the motherboard allows all four ports to work just fine, so the cable isn't broken. That leaves the card as being either defective or a setting is amiss.

    I'm trying to figure out which.

    Interesting note: Their mraid_install app that is listed as August release (this year) will NOT run at all. Permissions are screwy inside that app even after resetting all permissions to read/write including enclosed items. The only way I could get these drivers from that installer (SL/Lion drivers) was to take the mraid_install application out of the main installer package and move it into the old mraid_install package I had from my CD and launch that installer package. Only then did the permissions work right and I got the updated SL/Lion drivers.

    This is really, really frustrating me...
     

    Attached Files:

  9. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #9
    OK, I've spent the better part of my week on this. The Areca card is going back. I'll just have to live with SATA2 speeds on this machine. I'm really not in the mood to continually troubleshoot just to get a RAID setup. No amount of resetting the SMC or anything else got the card to ever show up as more than x4, meaning it's likely a defective card, and I'm NOT going to tolerate brand new hardware being defective when it costs upward of $1k. That's $1k I could put toward a new Mac Pro instead.

    It just sucks being stuck with Intel's ICH6 controller limitations, especially when booting into Windows, since I don't even get SATA2 speeds (in fact I don't even reach SATA1 speeds).

    It's really a shame too - this board is a newer revision and has the good single heatsink shared across the card instead of the initial rev's dual postage stamp heatsinks.

    I did find it ironic that I'm using a PPC440 (basically a slightly pared down PPC G4) in the Areca card, inside an Intel Mac.:p

    So unless somebody can come up with a good solution/idea as to how to get my card working before Monday, it's going back. I'd rather have stability than headaches.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #10
    I suspect the Profile Utility has actually set the slots up as you set it to rather than a fault with the card (at least one other member has run into this before that I recall).

    To check, move the RAID card to Slot #1 (bottom most slot where I presume you currently have the graphics card installed, and put the GPU card into Slot #4 temporarily).

    Once you've shuffled the cards around, check to see if the card is operating at 8x lanes (look at the utility, as well as try a performance test with the card, such as via AJA System Test if you don't already have this). You could even run AJA on the current setup and see if there really is a performance difference with the configuration you have ATM (gives you a baseline).

    In the case of the ARC-1880ix12, it has 3x SFF-8087 ports internally and 1x SFF-8088 port externally.

    I'm confused as to the SAS Expander in the mix (I realize that there's an issue with only a single port working with the internal HDD bays), but I'm trying to find out more information as to what's going on (figure out why).

    So what else is attached to the Areca besides the 4x internal HDD's located in the MP's HDD bays 1 - 4 (SAS Expander/s, how many ports per Expander <disk count it's specified for>, and what port/s on the Areca are they attached to)?

    Lion may be a big part of your issues, as there's been a number of problems with RAID and Lion (Snow Leopard 10.6.8 as well).

    So it would be a good idea to roll back OS X to 10.6.7 until Apple gets OS X sorted with RAID IMO.

    If you want to try something else first, you could try a clean installation of Lion (I've run into software issues myself under other OS's when trying to upgrade the Areca drivers and ARCHTTP application - end result = won't work, and had to restore a clean OS installation via a clone, and then install the newer Areca software). Not exactly fun, but it worked (OS was stable otherwise).

    But in your particular case (Lion isn't stable with RAID, or storage systems in general from what I'm seeing here in MR), I'd back out of Lion for the moment, and wait for it to become stable with RAID (generally good practice, no matter the OS as bad things tend to happen with RAID and recently released OS's in my experience).

    Search MR for RAID and new OS X releases, as well as other OS's when new. You'll see what I'm on about here. ;)
     
  11. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #11
    I tried the shuffle, but put the 1880 in slot 1 and the GPU in slot 2, because a double wide card will not fit in slot 4 (the HD5770/5870 are rather thick and meant only for double wide slots). The result was the same: x4 in the x16 slot, so something's amiss with the card.

    The SAS expander in the mix is the one built into the card itself. There are two processors on the 1880ix series: The PPC440, which is the RoC (Raid on a Chip), and the expander which controls the four SAS ports.

    Each SAS port has four "slots" as far as the card is concerned. Each "slot" is really one SAS/SATA channel. The bottom SAS port has slots 1-4, the middle has slots 5-8, and the top has slots 9-12, with the SFF-8088 external port providing slot 13-16.

    In each port, of the four normally available slots (channels), only one is available, and that's the third slot in the series. So for SAS port 1, slot 3 works, slot 1, 2, and 4 do not. For SAS port 2, slot 7 works, but 5, 6, and 8 do not. For SAS port 3, slot 11 works, but 9, 10, and 12 do not.

    Each "slot" relates to one of the four backplane connections of the Mac Pro's internal HD bays. Bay 1 is slot 4, Bay 2 is slot 3, Bay 3 is slot 2, and Bay 4 is slot 1.

    When the Areca card is in control of the backplanes, only Bay 2 (slot 3) is active and the rest have power (from the PSU) but no data connection and are not seen by the card at all regardless of what drive I put into them. Bay 2 works with any drive I put in there, but I cannot initiate ANY copy action via the Finder or it locks up at 67 MB, with any drive I use for the copy action (I thankfully used a RAM disk to copy to for that test so I wouldn't ruin a perfectly good filesystem on any drive). The finder becomes unresponsive and cannot be force quit or relaunched and the computer must be restarted.

    I'm in Snow Leopard 10.6.8. Because I play World of Warcraft I kind of need to be in 10.6.8 or else the camera stutter is just too much to deal with. There's no way around that. I have a Lion install on my OWC 40 GB SSD, and it is a fresh install (used to figure out why the app store was crashing in 10.6.8 so I could reinstall the OS and migrate everything I had account/file-wise except the culprit of the crash). I only boot into Lion for checks of specific OS behaviours right now. There's a cursor hang bug with WoW in Lion that has nasty consequences in-game (like wiping a raid at a critical moment).

    BTW, my 1880ix-12 came with three SFF-8087 to SFF-8087 cables. No breakout cables at all. So it looks like only those that order from newegg.com get the good breakout cable set.

    I'll give it another try, but if it doesn't pan out and I can't get either the ports to work right or the card at x8, it's going back.
     
  12. cutterman macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2010
    #12
    Before you give up it may be worthwhile contacting Areca support. They are Korean and their English is not so great, but generally they are responsive and helpful. It could be a driver issue as to have only one port work on each channel seems odd for a hardware fault.

    I would second the suggestion of trying 10.6.7 if you have an old image lying around, at least for diagnostic purposes. I have seen a few scattered posts of problems with this card and 10.6.8, and in fact I have held off upgrading because of that.

    One last thing, early PCB versions of this card had PCI power issues, at least on my 2010 MP. Make sure you got one of the updated versions, though it is a long shot as a cause for the PCI bus width problem you are having.
     
  13. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #13
    I just tried a 10.6.7 install (had one cloned on my external 1 TB HD for reversioning/regression testing). Same thing. Feh.

    I just tried all three SAS cables the card came with, no dice there either.

    I already knew of the initial shipments having insufficient capacitance for the MP power supplies. Mine is at the oldest April 26th of this year - the FW sticker on the back notes 1.49B 20110426, plus it has the newer full-board unified heatsink. Only the older shipments had the dual postage stamp heatsinks (the newer HS works very well even cramped up against my HD bays with only 2mm breathing room).

    I've run through every possible firmware combination of all FOUR firmwares (this card is the first I've seen with multiple firmwares on it). I've even tried both the BIOS and EBC firmwares mixed in with those combinations and still no luck. The x4 thing isn't an OS thing because the firmware utility showed x4 as well, and that was booted up via rEFIt's shell. (<-- not a novice user)

    I'm sending the card back as defective, since there's no way the OS would randomly set the card to incorrect link parameters like that. Remember, when I set the card in a slot designated x8, it shows as x4. In a slot marked x4, it shows as x1. In my graphics card slot using profile 3 (x4, x4, x8, x8), the Areca card showed as x4 also. Electrically the card is failing to activate all of its PCI-E links.

    So back it goes. I may try from newegg this time (as they'll have SAS-SATA breakout cables) and just try to RAID my drives in the optical bay and leave the internal bays alone. I was really hoping to be able to make my internal bays SATA3 compliant, but so far no go. And if I ain't careful I'm going to wear out the screw holding down the fan assembly, as well as the two side mount screws in the memory cage. My poor thumbs are raw from tightening/untightening the thumbscrews on the PCI retainer bracket, as the HD5870 has to be held just right or it doesn't line up correctly with the screwhole, and even then it's a hard turn in such cramped quarters.

    I also tried the above combinations with my Mac Pro flashed to 2,1 status (thanks to MacEFIRom's new flasher tool that lets you do so in order to get CPUs into the Mac Pro 1,1 that normally would not be recognized).

    I'll wait to hear back from Areca for the second reply. They already replied with the same questions you did, and got the same answers you did.

    If I get a new card and it works OK, I may just get a DX4 attachment and put my SSDs there. I really don't want to lose the potential for good speed. :(
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    Not necessarily.

    There's a number of things going on, and Lion is at the heart of most of it (need to eliminate Lion from the equation to be sure of what you have).

    For example, the Expansion Utility is part of Lion. Lion is also causing all kinds of problems with storage systems with more than one disk (both RAID and single disks).

    Let me give you an example:
    Another user had a perfectly working card and array attached to it (redundant level, not a stripe, or set to Pass Through). Then they installed Lion. Boot the system, and the array was broken into separate disks according to Disk Utility.

    A different user lost their Boot disk while running an Areca. And the list goes on if you search the last couple of weeks or so.​

    It's not been pretty. So the best way to start actually discovering what you really have on your hands, is dig up a copy of Snow Leopard (since it's a 2006, I presume you have one lying around somewhere), and install it up to 10.6.7.

    The fault was Lion, not the cards. So please take this advice seriously, and get it out of the mix (test results won't be accurate so long as you're running an unstable version of OS X in terms of storage systems - also skip 10.6.8, as it had problems as well).

    I suspect you don't want to hear any of this, but you'll be doing yourself a huge favor if you follow the advice. Otherwise, you're wasting your time, and increasing your frustration levels.

    I truly cannot stress this enough.

    Ah, OK. I was thinking you were using external SAS Expanders, not the one located on the card itself.

    I'm not all that happy with this particular design, and has caused a lot of confusion (when I see n ports stated, I expect that many real ports = 1: disk to port ratio as has been with all of their previous SATA/SAS designs).

    Performance wise, it limits the bandwidth between the disks and the RoC (seems it is an LSI2108 <8 ports> + SAS Expander chip). But it is capable of saturating the PCIe bus (Gen 2.0 spec) if the set can push the bandwidth.

    Where it becomes a problem it seems, is with performance of certain functions (Initialization, Online Expansion, or Online Migration). And for large capacity sets, this is a problem IMO (may take days to complete - longer than past designs for the respective drive count and level begun with).

    This isn't the case with their older designs, such as the ARC-12x1ML and ARC-1680 series (i.e. port count = actual number of SAS or SATA ports on the card; both are Intel IOP + Marvell controller chip designs).

    Each SFF-8087 or SFF-8088 connector are ports, not slots (using the term slot in this case is rather confusing).

    But each SFF-808x port should be attached to 2x SAS ports on the LSI RoC, not 1x, as the LSI2108 an 8x port chip.

    Screen shots of the firmware settings in a browser could be very helpful - all of the settings, as well as shots of Disk Utility.

    BTW, don't use Safari; Firefox has been far more successful in successfully making changes to Areca cards under OS X.

    Get it back to 10.6.7, then take the screenshots requested above (this issue may disappear; otherwise, the screenshots could reveal a setting not available in other Areca designs as they're 1:1 disk to port ratios - so if it was a 12 port card, it had 3x Marvell chips, each containing 4x ports).

    Both are unstable versions of OS X in terms of storage systems, RAID in particular.

    So there's no way to rule out the OS as the culprit of the behavior you're describing (both have caused some really weird stuff that would drive anyone insane).

    Yuck. Previous models I've mentioned all came with break-outs per SFF-8087 port (sadly, external versions never come with cables; fortunately, Sans Digital external enclosures do to help keep the cost/performance ratio of such a combination in a sweet spot vs. other equipment combinations).

    There's going to be a fair bit of work to rule out as many variables as possible, so please try to keep calm (I know it's frustrating).

    Particularly, start with rolling back the OS to 10.6.7, as that removes the instability issues associated with 10.6.8 or later.

    They're in Taipei, Taiwan.

    And it's also possible to call them; Areca contact information (just dial 011 before the phone number listed if located in the US).

    He has a newer version (mention of the heatsink), so the issue you're talking about would be solved on the model he received.

    Give them a call (see above link for contact info).

    How long ago did you buy it, and can it be returned for a refund if you can send it back to the purchase location?

    Also, please post the requested screen shots.

    If you don't have to send it back to Areca, you might want to take a look at superbiiz.com (direct link to the ARC-1880ix12; see if it's better than what you paid). I buy mine from there as often as possible, as they have the best pricing and I've never had a problem with them to date.
     
  15. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #15
    I bought the card last week, got it this previous Tuesday. Returns via Amazon.com are usually pretty easy, though this one may incur a restock fee since it's with a 3rd party seller (Computer Brain) and it was their last card.

    I booted into Windows XP Pro SP3 to see if I could finagle the card further there. But it too showed the card at x4 link width, as did 10.6.7, and 10.6.8 (I can't currently boot into Lion with the card installed since Lion is on my OWC SSD and that isn't connected to the ODD SATA port like my Intel SSD is which contains my 10.6.8 install - not that I care to boot to Lion anyway since its UI makes me want to rip Steve Jobs' liver out and eat it in front of him). If both Windows and Mac OS are showing x4 no matter what, then there's something funny with the card. It's going back and I'm going to try another one.

    What would help immensely, at least in terms of installation, would be a 0.5m (or preferrably 0.3m) SFF-8087 Male -> SFF-8087 Female extension, but I've yet to find any such beast, likely because internal connections seldom require more than 1m of cable routing length (that and 1m is officially the maximum for passive connections for SATA/SAS).

    I'm going to try for another 1880ix-12. I have a question for you nanofrog: Your 1880s - did their box come sealed in any sort of celophane/plastic wrap? Mine came without any such seal, and had only the main whitebox + outer boxart shell, and that was moderately dusty when I got it. Makes me wonder if this card wasn't already a returned item.

    Superbiiz' price is the same as the price I paid on Amazon.com, minus the exhorbitant shipping cost I paid for expedited. Little did I know that Amazon's version of expedited only means your shipping order gets higher priority than other shipping orders - they still use FedEx ground for shipping. I'd have paid almost identical for real next day shipping. And all that after having to use a real CC number since Amazon's (and Google checkout's) merchant redirect renders secure online numbers unusable since those systems (the secure online numbers/virtual cards) do not allow for redirects, as that sets off their fraud systems and the CC company (Discover in my case) refuses the charge.

    So I've not had a very fun week. In fact, I kinda want to bang my head on the desk til I bleed out.
     
  16. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #16
    I got my 1880ix-12 from Provantage for $770, but I'm not seeing it on their website any longer. My box came sealed in plastic around the white slip-on shell, I'm 99% certain of that. I've unwrapped a lot of stuff lately, but I seem to recall the wrapping over the white shell, then sliding that off and opening the box. Also, it came with the three 8087-8087 cables, which are useless to me so far. I had to buy 8087-8088 cables from PCPitStop to plug into my Sans Digital tower.

    Beyond that, I don't know if I can be of any help, since I'm on a Mac Pro 4,1 with Snow Leopard 10.6.8, and mine shows up as x8 link width:

    Type: RAID Controller
    Driver Installed: Yes
    MSI: No
    Bus: PCI
    Slot: Slot-2
    Vendor ID: 0x17d3
    Device ID: 0x1880
    Subsystem Vendor ID: 0x17d3
    Subsystem ID: 0x1880
    Revision ID: 0x0005
    Link Width: x8
    Link Speed: 5.0 GT/s

    I'm in slot 2, and my lanes are permanently set as x16, x16, x4, x4, as I'm sure you know. I updated to 10.6.8 prior to installing the Areca, and I believe I even updated to the "second update" of 10.6.8 prior to the Areca as well.

    I hope you get it sorted out, and maybe this info helps a bit.
     
  17. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #17
    OK I have slight progess. And by slight I mean "I worked my ass off not severing any wires in the process". I did the DIY mod of swapping bay 1 and bay 2's physical connectors. In doing so I now can use the original SAS connector from the Mac Pro with no extension and connect it to the Areca card.

    All four bays now show up, but there are still two problems.

    1) The card still only shows up as x4. No amount of slot swapping solves it. So while the expander on the card isn't messed up, the PCI link is.

    2) Again any attempt to copy files results in the Finder hanging (in any OS version). This is going to render the card utterly useless. I can read just fine, but unless I want to treat my HDs as CDs, that ain't gonna do. Working on this bit via settings.

    I'll post back once I have more info.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    Could you post the screen shots please?

    More information certainly won't hurt, and could do a lot to help pin-point the issues.

    Also, how is the card functioning under Windows (didn't realize you had that to work with as well, which could be very useful).
     
  19. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #19
    OK, here's some pics. These are the varioius settings I have right now. I'm in RAID mode, passthrough on all disks (as they are individual disks and I wanted this card to be able to provide SATA3 speeds up front until I could start a real RAID).
     

    Attached Files:

  20. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #20
    An overview of how my drives look to System Profiler:

    Code:
    SAS Domain 0:
    
      Vendor:	Areca Technology Corporation            
      Product:	ARC-1880
      Revision:	V1.49 2011-07-12
      Bus:	PCI
      Slot:	Slot-4
      Initiator Identifier:	255
    
    SCSI Target Device @ 9:
    
      SAS Address:	50:01:B4:DF:38:6F:71:7C
      SCSI Target Identifier:	9
      SCSI Peripheral Device Type:	0
      Manufacturer:	OWC
      Model:	Mercury Ext
      Revision:	R001
    
    SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:
    
      Capacity:	40.02 GB (40,018,599,936 bytes)
      SCSI Logical Unit Number:	0
      Manufacturer:	OWC
      Model:	Mercury Ext
      Revision:	R001
      Removable Media:	Yes
      Detachable Drive:	No
      BSD Name:	disk1
      Partition Map Type:	GPT (GUID Partition Table)
      S.M.A.R.T. status:	Not Supported
      Volumes:
      Capacity:	209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      BSD Name:	disk1s1
    Tia Spare Games:
      Capacity:	39.16 GB (39,158,841,344 bytes)
      Available:	15.05 GB (15,052,255,232 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      File System:	Journaled HFS+
      BSD Name:	disk1s2
      Mount Point:	/Volumes/Tia Spare Games
    
    SCSI Target Device @ 10:
    
      SAS Address:	50:01:B4:DF:38:6F:71:7D
      SCSI Target Identifier:	10
      SCSI Peripheral Device Type:	0
      Manufacturer:	OCZ
      Model:	SUMMIT
      Revision:	R001
    
    SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:
    
      Capacity:	64.02 GB (64,023,257,088 bytes)
      SCSI Logical Unit Number:	0
      Manufacturer:	OCZ
      Model:	SUMMIT
      Revision:	R001
      Removable Media:	Yes
      Detachable Drive:	No
      BSD Name:	disk2
      Partition Map Type:	GPT (GUID Partition Table)
      S.M.A.R.T. status:	Not Supported
      Volumes:
      Capacity:	209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      BSD Name:	disk2s1
    Defiant2:
      Capacity:	63.16 GB (63,163,498,496 bytes)
      Available:	40.38 GB (40,382,337,024 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      File System:	Journaled HFS+
      BSD Name:	disk2s2
      Mount Point:	/Volumes/Defiant2
    
    SCSI Target Device @ 11:
    
      SAS Address:	50:01:B4:DF:38:6F:71:7E
      SCSI Target Identifier:	11
      SCSI Peripheral Device Type:	0
      Manufacturer:	NA
      Model:	OCZ-VERTEX3
      Revision:	R001
    
    SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:
    
      Capacity:	120.03 GB (120,034,123,776 bytes)
      SCSI Logical Unit Number:	0
      Manufacturer:	NA
      Model:	OCZ-VERTEX3
      Revision:	R001
      Removable Media:	Yes
      Detachable Drive:	No
      BSD Name:	disk3
      Partition Map Type:	GPT (GUID Partition Table)
      S.M.A.R.T. status:	Not Supported
      Volumes:
      Capacity:	209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      BSD Name:	disk3s1
    Tia 2:
      Capacity:	119.69 GB (119,690,149,888 bytes)
      Available:	53.04 GB (53,037,285,376 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      File System:	Journaled HFS+
      BSD Name:	disk3s2
      Mount Point:	/Volumes/Tia 2
    
    SCSI Target Device @ 12:
    
      SAS Address:	50:01:B4:DF:38:6F:71:7F
      SCSI Target Identifier:	12
      SCSI Peripheral Device Type:	0
      Manufacturer:	WDC
      Model:	WD10EACS-00D6B1
      Revision:	R001
    
    SCSI Logical Unit @ 0:
    
      Capacity:	1 TB (1,000,204,886,016 bytes)
      SCSI Logical Unit Number:	0
      Manufacturer:	WDC
      Model:	WD10EACS-00D6B1
      Revision:	R001
      Removable Media:	Yes
      Detachable Drive:	No
      BSD Name:	disk4
      Partition Map Type:	GPT (GUID Partition Table)
      S.M.A.R.T. status:	Not Supported
      Volumes:
      Capacity:	209.7 MB (209,715,200 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      BSD Name:	disk4s1
    Tia HD:
      Capacity:	863.27 GB (863,265,562,624 bytes)
      Available:	114.43 GB (114,430,451,712 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      File System:	Journaled HFS+
      BSD Name:	disk4s2
      Mount Point:	/Volumes/Tia HD
    Tia OS Recovery:
      Capacity:	67.4 GB (67,400,163,328 bytes)
      Available:	25.5 GB (25,499,869,184 bytes)
      Writable:	Yes
      File System:	Journaled HFS+
      BSD Name:	disk4s3
      Mount Point:	/Volumes/Tia OS Recovery
    Defiant:
      Capacity:	69.06 GB (69,060,968,448 bytes)
      Available:	56.51 GB (56,509,394,944 bytes)
      Writable:	No
      File System:	NTFS
      BSD Name:	disk4s4
      Mount Point:	/Volumes/Defiant
    
     
  21. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #21
    And here's screenshots of me using profiles #2, 3, and 4 respectively for the Expansion Slot Utility:
     

    Attached Files:

  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #22
    This is fine (not causing issues according to the screen shots, as all disks are shown as NORMAL).

    But I have a few questions/requests yet, so please bear with me.

    Additional Screen Shots:
    • System Configuration screen
    • Advanced Configuration screen
    Might reveal something, so it's worth a look (might be a setting for the SAS Expander not found on any other card series they offer).

    Now according to the thread title, you've got an ARC-1880ix12, but the screen shot states an ARC-1880ix24.
    • Which is it?
    I ask, as I'm wondering if you have the wrong firmware on the card (it is card specific, even though the firmware listed by each card on the Areca Support page all show the same revision - there are differences, specifically related to port count, as there can be different part counts/part numbers of the components used). For example, there may be a different SAS Expander chip between the models greater than 8 ports (no Expander chip on the 8 port variants). Given the similarity, the wrong firmware could run, just not properly and could result in some really odd behavior.

    Definitely needs to be checked though.

    I suspect the Expansion Utility isn't working correctly (as I mentioned before, others have run into this issue). IIRC, they've had to live with the card running at 4x lanes (worth a search on this IMO - found under RAID threads IIRC).

    So to be sure the card can actually run at 8x lanes as it's supposed to, you'll need to use another system that uses fixed lane counts (either a 2008 or newer MP, or a PC). Just be sure its equipped with an 8x or 16x lane slot (electrical spec., not just physical spec and wired for fewer lanes).
     
  23. Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #23
    The card I have is the 1880ix-12. All three variants of this card (12/16/24) are identical and use the same firmware(s). The only difference (and if you think about it quite a ludicrous one at that when you spend hundreds on it) is the lack of soldered connectors on specific port locations. An unsoldered connection is indistinguishable from a soldered one with this card, and the only way to get around that is to put a resistor into the mix, which is very very bad for noise sensitive data flow.

    My HD bays are now back in their original factory positions and are on the motherboard again. I gave up getting them to be SATA3 with the Areca card. I'm using a fanout cable now into an IcyDock 4x 2.5" hot swap enclosure in my optical bay. The card sees the drives (after much finagling of the SAS connector) just fine, but the Finder still crashes hard (as in the entire OS crashes hard) when attempting to copy any files with the Areca card installed. I gotta tell you, this is really making me mad. The card's useless to me if I can't even copy files. Do I dare trust it for large reads?

    As for expansion slot utility, I'm beginning to think you're right. I got the card to (briefly) lock in at x8 in slot 2, but that forces my video card to also be x8, and that's unacceptable. So x4 it is. I honestly wish this was a fixed lane computer to tell you the truth.

    So my only remaining problem is the Finder crash issue. If I can get past that, then the card's a keeper. If not, back it goes and I'll wait until I have a new Mac Pro for it (assuming I can stomach Lion, which is annoyingly iOSey).

    Two issues down, one to go. At least it's progress.

    Here's screenshots of the Advanced and System Config screen:
     

    Attached Files:

  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    I went and took a look on their support site, and they do only list a single firmware file for the 1880 series (not the case with their older models).

    It's just odd that the CardID showed up as the ARC-1880ix24 rather than the ARC-1880ix12 it's actually configured as (would expect that the CardID isn't affected by a firmware flash <protected area of the ROM via an offset>).

    I would have expected different SAS Expander chips as a means of saving costs, not just eliminating the SFF-8087 connectors.

    In past models, both the SFF-8087 ports were missing as well as the necessary SATA or SAS controllers that actually provided the ports (Intel IOP + Marvell SAS or SATA controller based designs). It's possible to mod them, but it wasn't cost effective.

    At least it seems that all you'd need to do for additional ports is solder down additional SFF-8087 connectors and shields (seen parts in both kits <connector + shield>, and individually depending on the supplier).

    Given you're still able to return it, I'd go ahead and do so, even if you eat a restocking fee.

    ATTO may be a better choice (RAID versions, as the non-RAID versions had some issues in the MP as well, though they may have sorted it out since then, as it was attempted within weeks of the initial release).

    Particularly since they don't use the LSI chip + SAS Expander method from what I've seen (based on Marvell's new 6.0Gb/s RoC's - 8 ports per, and does use a 1:1 port to disk ratio).

    Personally, I see the advertisement of the 1880 series port count as false advertising (when I see n ports, I expect real ports, not 8 ports, then increased by a SAS Expander).

    Given this design implementation (and it's a recent discovery for me, or I'd have been more cautious recommending this product), I'd take a closer look at ATTO's R6xx offerings. At least you'd get better bandwidth between the RoC and disks for functions such as Initialization, Online Expansion, and Online Migration, which seem to be painfully slow on the 1880 series from posts I'm seeing.

    If it worked at 8x lanes, it's not the card for this particular issue.

    But I completely understand that you can't live with the GPU at 8x lanes.

    Now the 1880 series have been working fine in systems with fixed PCIe slot configurations (as have other 8x lane RAID cards such as ATTO), so it might be a good idea to upgrade your system to a newer model (2008 or newer), as a means of getting around the slot issue. Sucks, but that seems to be the one way to fix this problem, and is a necessity due to running 6.0Gb/s SSD drives when you'll exceed the bandwidth of what a 4x lane slot can do (and IIRC, the slots in the 2006/7 are Gen. 1.0 as well, making the situation worse).

    I'm not seeing anything in the card settings in the screen shots that would cause you this much headache.

    I'm not sure which OS X version you're running at this point, but it might be a good idea to try and start clean again with 10.6.7, and do a fresh driver installation (including get a fresh download of the SL drivers from Areca). At least you know you've the latest, and it could solve a corrupt driver issue as well.

    I know this is a PITA, but it's worth trying (makes sure everything is up to date, and clean) between now and Monday morning.

    BTW, I was under the impression 4x lanes wasn't going to cut it in terms of your throughput requirements.

    If you can live with the RAID card running at 4x lanes in your current machine, and you can't solve the Finder issue, then give the ATTO a run (they make excellent cards as well; they just cost more than Areca, so be prepared). Specifically, the R60F is the 16 port model (they don't offer a 12 port model, nor does it have any external ports). But it's a bit over $200 USD more, so be prepared (why I tend to recommend Areca, as they do have a better cost/performance ratio).

    ATTO is based in Amherst, NY though, so support may be both faster and easier.
     
  25. Squishy Tia, Aug 27, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2011

    Squishy Tia thread starter macrumors regular

    Squishy Tia

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    #25
    I can live with only four or eight ports. One of the key items in my RAID card selection is that it is fanless (that was a HUGE consideration in this purchase, as those postage stamp fans make a ton of noise. I actually removed the two fans from my IcyDock 4 bay hot swap enclosure that sits in my optical bay right now for that very reason (and the fact that SSDs generate almost nil for heat even in a Mac Pro).

    These are the criteria I have for RAID card purchasing:

    1) Fanless. Fans drive me batty. I used to have a MDD DP 1.2 GHz FW800 G4. It resides with my cousin about eight miles away. I think I can still hear him use it from here. ;)

    2) Capable of JBOD/Passthrough. Necessary for a boot volume to be reliable without the RAID headaches.

    3) Bootable (if possible). I'd love booting off a wicked fast drive, but the Intel 80GB with no raid card boots in 7 seconds so not a huge "must have" need.

    4) Must be x4 or x8 in total accessible link width. The RocketRAID cards that use the Marvell controllers (6Gbps models) have each Marvell controller internally at x1 link, and on a PCI-E 1.0 slot, that's 250 MB/sec (500 MB/sec on a PCI-E 2.0 slot). That's no better than what I have now so that's the reason I'm avoiding RocketRAID - their Marvell controllers are internally limited to x1 width each, which means that each port (two for each Marvell controller) gets only 125MB/sec on my machine. That and they couldn't be arsed to put in four pathetically easy vendor/subsystem IDs into their .kext so the RR640 would run in a Mac Pro like the 644 does (640 and 644 are identical from a component standpoint, and differ only in form factor and location of ports).

    5) Must have internal ports. A single external port would also be nice as I can use an SFF-8088 -> 4x eSATA (expensive) cable for my external enclosures, but the internal ports are a must. I've limited desk space and internal = easy as pie to deal with and no worrying about turning everything on before the computer.

    I was really hoping the Areca card would work. It's one of the very few that has variable upgradeable cache, and from everything I've seen in the reviews, it's pretty much the fastest thing out there for that price range. Unfortunately, OS X can't seem to handle any read operation larger than 65.8 MB, and can't copy ANY file of any size to/from the RAID card mounted disks. In fact it can't even copy between the disks controller solely by the Areca card.

    The funny thing about a fresh install of the OS is that my current OS is a fresh install basically. I only reinstalled it less than three weeks ago because of the aforementioned app store crash from my original OS install (likely caused by me reversioning from dev seed copies, as I'm an ADC member).

    I may bite the bullet and try to get a 3.2 GHz SP 2010 Mac Pro. It doesn't have 6Gbps SATA, but it is up to date, and even if it ships with Lion I can just wipe that and use SL instead. Plus I'll get HDMI audio out on the video card, which only the 2010 firmware supports (it's actualy hardcoded either in the OS or the card's ROM to only work on that firmware).

    I really, really, really wanted this card to work. It was my Vertex 3 striped wet dream. But if it can't even handle basic JBOD/passthrough and a simple copy operation, then it's nothing more than a 150 degree $1k paperweight.

    And I really wish the enterprise industry would wake the **** up and design a better SAS connector. The 8087 relies on bent pins, just like the old NES did back in the good ol' days. Problem is, insert a connector often enough or at the wrong angle and you flatten the pins and they no longer make contact. The SAS/SATA Link adapter from MaxUpgrades had flattened pins and that is why the card didn't see my drives regardless of cable used. And the 8087 connectors are FRAGILE. Piss poor design. They could learn a thing or two from HDMI's design - use a similar form factor and have it use a locking mechanism.

    Amazon's gotta love me by now. Not one but TWO returns for almost $1200 total. The first I won't eat any fees on since HighPoint's (sic) website is false advertising - the RR640 DOES NOT work in a Mac Pro in OS X (does in Windows though), yet they link its specific driver to be the R644M driver. The Areca card, I'm gonna eat a good $100 fee on (on top of having bought the 4 bay enclosure, two sets of power splitter cables, an SAS/SATA Link (being returned as well as it IS defective anyway), an SAS fanout cable, and the gas to go with it all. And I even managed to squeeze the gigantic SFF-8087 connector through that tiny space in the corner of the optical bay to snake it out underneath the fan assembly to reach the card AND tied it off inside the optical bay so it allowed me to close the bay without catching the wires on the guide screws.

    I guess the 1,1/2,1 Mac Pros are just too much of a "special snowflake" to have any good RAID/SATA3 options. :(

    Le sigh.

    Boohiss. Hissing boo I am.

    Anywho, I do thank you for your efforts to try and get me up and running. I do sincerely appreciate it, even if I did sound angry a lot (lose most of your time off for a week troubleshooting something like this and see how you react).

    This stinks. Awesome config options, the ability to have a RAID and still have passthrough disks for OS bootup, passive (noiseless) cooling, enough ports for the optical bay enclosure, internal ports, AND a DX4 attachment, and it all boils down to the fact I can't copy/read files without killing the OS.

    It's a good thing I am not a drinker. I'd be stone cold drunk right now from all this if I were.
     

Share This Page