Best eSATA II Card For 2009 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by brock2621, Dec 9, 2009.

  1. brock2621 macrumors 6502a

    brock2621

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2007
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    Kentucky
    #1
    So i've been trying to find a dependable eSATA card so i can hook up a couple G-Tech HDD's to edit video from, and I keep seeing a bunch of reviews that are saying it gives them Kernel errors, or freezes, or randomly ejects the drives etc.

    Does anybody have one installed or can attest to a really good one? I would greatly appreciate any advice. Thanks.
     
  2. Cynicalone macrumors 68040

    Cynicalone

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    #4
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Assuming you don't need to boot OS X from the eSATA card, you can use any card with a SIL3132 chip (Silicon Image provides OS X drivers that work with SL and '09's now). Example, and they're really inexpensive. It's actually only a 2 port card, but you can use the jumpers to configure which ones you want (internal, external, 1 + 1).
     
  4. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    The new CalDigit Card looks nice, too.

    Up to 20 drives (16 external, 4 internal) all via Mini-SAS. Unfortunately it's about 700$.

    http://www.CalDigit.com/RAIDCard/
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #7
    500MB/s is rather slow for an 8x lane card, and it can't work with internal arrays in the '09's. Personally, I'd still rather go with Areca or ATTO. Faster and better features (pricing depending on specifics though; i.e. port count, SAS expander support or not,...).

    The 16 port cards are a bit more (ARC-1261ML = $773USD, the ARC-1680ix16 is $989USD, and neither come with batteries). But you can run faster (exceeds 1GB/s), it has better recovery possiblilities (experience, not opinion with both Areca and CalDigit), and I like the ability to upgrade the cache. BTW, add another 4 ports to the listed count on the 1680ix series due to the SFF-8088 connector on the back of that model.
     
  6. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #8
    I like the port availability of the CalDigit card, which I haven't found yet on another card.

    Anyway, 500MB/s is indeed pretty slow, but do you think that's the cards limitation, or did they just bench it with 4 magnetic drives which would result in such poor performance?
    If if really is the cards limit, the card would be pretty useless. 500 / 20, that's 25MB/s. My USB pen drive is faster.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Card, as it's a slow processor on it (333MHz IIRC). The closest company to it IIRC, is Accusys, which is the company that actually makes them for CalDigit. But it seems they've changed their models, and that many ports are all internal now.

    Most cards make it either internal or external. ATTO Technologies makes hybrids (int + ext), but it's not the same distribution (i.e. 8 port card thats a 8 + 0, 0+ 8, or 4 + 4 config).

    But there's a way to make internal cards work with external enclosures via a specific cable (SFF-8087 on one end, SFF-8088 on the other). Example. It allows you to use cards that otherwise wouldn't be viable, which opens more options (better cards, and more tailored to what you may need by way of features).
     
  8. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #10
    No, not a caldigit card.
    Using their card is like installing the Yugo engine into a Ferrari in your Mac.
    You have to use their enclosure with the hitachi drives they provide and pay a premium price.
    Their card is also not compatible with any other solution, so you’re locked out as to flexibility.
    The performance is also slow, and the chip is 3 generations old.
    ATTO 380 has the same performance but less than half of the price plus ATTO is a reliable company not caldigit.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    For RAID cards in MP's, it's best to stick with either Areca or ATTO. They're better cards than CalDigit, particularly in regards to features, and throughputs.
     
  10. CrazyGobo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2010
    #12
    500MB/s is not slow

    You may want to check your math...... 500MB/s = 500 megaBytes per second.... Thats a gig of data every 2 seconds! I think your getting confused with 500MB/s and 500Mb/s. 500Mb/s (note the lower case b) is 500 megabits per second (not bytes). There are 8 bits in a single byte of data.

    So if the card is 500MB/s which it is, then that really means 500 megabytes of data a second. If the card is 500Mb/s (which it is not) then that means 500Mb/8= 62.5 megabytes per second. Also the chipset in the card does not distibute and limit the the data per port. 20 drive connectivity does not mean that each individual port is limited to 25 MB/s. It will theoretically push 500 megs in/out a single port, the drive it's self is the limitation. But if you did have a 20 drive raid 0 array running it will only pull 25MB/s per drive..... but that total will still equal 500MB/s! 10 drives still 500MB/s (50MB/s per drive)....etc....

    And the 333MHz chip is till ample power all that is doing is dedicated file addressing. A solar powered calculator is fast enough for that.

    By the way, I do not own one of these cards but I do own a G-Technology eS Pro 8 drive array (2x4) which includes a mini-SAS card (831MB/sec Raid 0, for editing RED camera 2K resolution video, but could handle 4K), yes that almost a gigabyte /second!

    Im just trying to pass along some info..... don't hate me!
     
  11. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #13
    Hello,

    Adding my 2cents to this thread: I'm using the sil3132 card nanofrog mentioned earlier. Connected to an external esata dock, using a regular (7200) 1TB drive in there, I get 90MB/s up and down, on average for 500GB of data in small and large files. Using the same drive and dock, but on the USB2 connection, I averaged 25MB/s.

    For a 10$ card, I find that perfectly acceptable! :-D

    (And yep, in my case it's MegaBytes, averaged by dividing the total amount of data transferred by the time it took. I was using CCC to do the transfer.)

    Loa

    P.S. I really wish everybody would just stop using megabit. Even for internet speeds. Bits should be limited to hardware developers... For everybody else, bytes make so much more sense...
     
  12. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #14

    Yes it is only 500 Mega Byte per second.
    Most of the RAID cards are out there hit 700 Mega Byte per second.
    I tested Areca, ATTO, High Point, CalDigit, you name it.
    I tested a ATTO R380 with ST8-U5, 8 1TB drive, I got average 800 Mega Byte on Read, 650 Mega Byte on write RAID 5.
    The Caldigit card's limitation is 500Mega Byte tops.
    A waste of money getting a slow card for that price.
     
  13. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2008
    #15
    I agree. Seriously, megabits are pretty irrelevant to normal people.
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    I think you're a little confused about the card in question. ;)

    The CalDigit card = proper hardware RAID controller (not an eSATA card), and the 500MB/s figure (MB is accurate in his post) is the result of a 4 disk magnetic stripe set (RAID 0).

    Attach SSD's to it, and you've wasted both your time and money, as that card just can't handle it.

    There are much better cards out there, and you can exceed 1GB/s. I've obtained 1.39GB/s (burst) out of an 8 disk set configured in RAID 5, and sustained rates are over 700MB/s. But it's a true hardware RAID card, and uses parallelism to generate those speeds (you can get more ports on a single card than you ever can with an eSATA card (1:1 port to drive ratio).
     
  15. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #17
    Would you pay for the CalDigit card for the poor performance?
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    Um... Let me think a sec... HECK NO. :eek: :D :p

    I can get a much faster card for the same or less money (not sure what the current street price is for the CrapDigit, but last I looked, they were a little over $500USD).
     

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