Bootable 4TB SSD on classic Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ZombiePhysicist, Jan 30, 2015.

  1. ZombiePhysicist, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015

    ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #1
    I just set up the Addonics Quad mSATA PCIe SSD card with 4 Samsung 840 EVO mSATA SSDs. It works great and is bootable.

    http://www.addonics.com/products/ad4mspx2.php
    http://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Elect...E500BW/dp/B00HWHVOQS/ref=sr_1_2?s=electronics

    By default it works in Yosemite as 4 JBODs. you have to run Windows/Bootcamp to use the utility to set the Addonics card to work as a RAID0 drive, at which point it works just like the OWC Accelsior, like a single drive in OS X.

    *****NOTE, the OWC Accelsior shows up in the marvel windows RAID config tool. Like an idiot, I thought the OWC Accelsior drive I had was some errant virtual drive and nuked it. Thank goodness for Time machine. So if you have an OWC drive, when you set this drive don't make the same idiot mistake.

    Anyway, my 1TB OWC Accelsior drive writes at around 300MB/sec reads at about 600MB/sec via the black magic app. The Addonics does about 650+MB/sec on both read/writes. I almost got the OWC 2TB, which is supposed to do about 726MB/sec:
    https://eshop.macsales.com/preorder/OWC-Aura-SSD-for-Mac-Pro/

    I'm glad I went with the addonics, it cost about $300 more than the 2TB OWC drive, but I'm getting double the space!

    So the down side is that it doesn't seem to report SMART status nor does it support TRIM. Some have said it should (see here http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20634760&postcount=7 and here http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=20635417&postcount=8), but when you check the radio button to turn SMART on the card, it just deselects in windows. So not sure if I'm doing something wrong, or that it just won't work with a RAID'd device. Anyway, hoping that the garbage collection is good enough to keep the drive working well enough. The OWC drive was fine with just garbage collection, so we shall see.

    Hope that info helps anyone looking for more bootable SSD storage. I have a couple of questions for anyone that might know:

    (1) Has anyone has found a better mSATA card? I think this card only uses 2 PCI lanes so its throughput is limited to 10GB/sec, and I think with 4 drives in there, you could do better with a true 4 lane card?

    (2) Also, does anyone know of an mSATA card that has 8 slots? Would be great to have an 8TB SATA drive.
     

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  2. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #2
    That's pretty sweet indeed! I agree that a 4x card would likely give you better speeds. Great post.
     
  3. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #3
    Thanks CR. BTW, how is your internal blue ray? I got one form OWC and it seems to randomly disappear for the eject/drive drop down menu. :/
     
  4. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #4
    Mine works great, it came from here
     
  5. Macsonic macrumors 65816

    Macsonic

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    #5
    Thanks for sharing your experience. This should give us more options for fast storage.
     
  6. theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    ZombiePhysicist, do you know if your Adonis Quad mSATA PCIe card has the Marvell 88SE9230 chipset? If so, it is 2x PCIe and limited to 700MB/s transfer speed. The SATA III PCIe cards I'm using has that chipset. My work-around is to use 2 cards to RAID0 4 regular SSDs. I didn't use the Marvell utility to set the RAID up though because it requires all drives within the RAID to be connected to the same card.
     
  7. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    May 22, 2014
    #7
    Hi Ongnoi, I know it uses a Marvell controller, at least that what it says in the system profiler, but it doesn't show the chipset. I suspect the transfer speed is limited to around 700MB/s as well, mostly because the card is only a 2 lane PCI card. I think you are right in that if you software raid 2 cards together, you'll get better performance, however, I need this drive to be the boot drive, so it needs to be RAID'd in hardware. Because of that, you're stuck with the 2 lane performance, which aint too bad.

    That said, if a 4lane mSATA card exists, I'd love to hear about it. Also would love to know if any 8 slot mSATA cards exist.
     

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  8. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #8
    For a four drive RAID0 those speeds are horrible. I like the idea but can't get over those speeds. I am close to 900MB with a 2 x 1TB Samsung 840 EVO in a RAID0.
     
  9. theitsage, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015

    theitsage macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    I'm using my software RAID0 to boot OS X. It works without an issue for the past 4 months. Almost 1,300MB/s write and 1,400MB/read.

    Windows requires hardware RAID when I tried. So I use a single EVO 840 for my Windows boot.

    Also, I found a kext on this forum that makes OS X treat all the drives connecting to this Marvell chipset as internal. It's more for cosmetics purpose. I will look for it tomorrow and share with you.
     
  10. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    May 22, 2014
    #10
    But you can't boot with that, right? I need a large boot drive. You can get a couple of the new Mac Pro/Mac Book pro PCI SSD sticks, slap them in a $10 PCI card, put two in your mac, and get over 2GB/sec transfer rates. Or even 1GB/sec with just one card/stick. But then you're limited to a 1TB drive.

    If you want 2GB+ bootable SSD, I don't think there is anything faster. If there is, I'd love to hear what it is.

    ----------

    Wait, you can boot OS X with a software raid? Really!? Wow, learn something new every day. Interesting. So I could get another one of these cards. Put 2 in each, then software raid them together, and get around the same speed. Interesting.

    I think I'll stick with a single card as I like things set up more simply, and just don't need the throughput. The big thing on SSDs for me is the lack of latency, but I get that others will have the need for speed/throughput. Use what makes sense for you! :)
     
  11. crjackson2134, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015

    crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #11
    Not to mention that you are only using 2x PCIe lanes, all the faster solutions have either two cards at 2x lanes each or one card with 4x lanes.

    For a 2x card, your speeds are above avg. as far as I can tell. I'm not aware of any other 2x cards that can attach 4 SSDs. I haven't really looked for one but I'm sure you did when considering this setup.
     
  12. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #12
    Fully bootable. Typing this from I have 2 x 1TB Samsung 840 EVO in a RAID0 on a Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro card. Read is 941MB and write is 838MB.
     
  13. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    May 22, 2014
    #13
    Is the Sonnet a hardware raid or are you making a software raid in OS X/ disk Utility? I have the sonnet card, but needed more capacity, so this worked nicely for me. No doubt the Sonnet is nice if you're good at 2TB.
     
  14. brand macrumors 601

    brand

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    #14
    You are right that it is currently limited to 2TB with the current drives. It is a software RAID so it is only bootable in Mac OS X.
     
  15. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #15
    Still, that's great. The more options the better!
     
  16. Ludacrisvp, Jan 30, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2015

    Ludacrisvp macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #16
    The problem is finding a card that is able to run at 4x (or more) that is bootable in the Mac Pro. It would have been nice to have 2 controllers on the single card with each running 2 drives so that it would take advantage of the 4x connection it has.

    I've got a LSI SAS controller card that runs at 8x and can run 16 SATA drives, however it doesn't get properly initialized by the Apple EFI so I can't even use it in my real Mac.
    (It works fine in a hackintosh though....)


    Also, as I have this same card in my Mac Pro (the addonics card) you may want to consider installing this kext so that you don't have the Generic labels in the System Profilier and it would also take care of the orange external drive icons. I've got 2 cards in my Mac Pro that use the same controller so there are a LOT of lines in System Info...

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1701295
     

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  17. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    #17
    Thanks man. I notice your drives support SMART and TRIM. Mine doesn't. :( Are you running your EVOs as JBODs and that's why they show SMART/TRIM support? I have my 4 drives RAID0 together and am guessing thats why I don't seem RAID/TRIM support. Or do you think the kext fixes that (along with the icons and profiler entries). Thanks again for the pointer!
     
  18. Pressure macrumors 68040

    Pressure

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    #18
    I'm curious, why do you need a 4TB boot drive?
     
  19. 666sheep macrumors 68040

    666sheep

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    #19
    Did you use TRIM enabler? My both mSATA EVOs in R0 on the same Addonics card support TRIM and give SMART and temperature reads.
     
  20. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

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    May 22, 2014
    #20
    Need is a relative word here. :) I suppose I could move out my iPhotos library, and some of the data (lots and lots and lots of scanned/searchable files) I use for work to separate data drives, but it's just not as convenient. I probably have 200GB+ in just emails. Frankly a 2TB bootable drive would have worked, but I would have had an issue in a year, and I wanted to have enough head room not to worry about space.

    ----------

    No I didn't. That might be the difference, but I'm hesitant to install any driver/kernel like do-dads (like to keep things as stock as possible), and also, I think I read that it didn't work in yosemite because apple started signing drives or something, which made it difficult for trim enabler to work.

    Perhaps my impression is wrong.
     
  21. Ludacrisvp macrumors member

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    May 14, 2008
    #21
    Yeah my SATA 2.5" 840 evo and my mSATA mushkin? Drive is JBOD and supports smart and trim.
    The trim support is done via the trim enabler app.
    Smart support only shows in JBOD config once in raid then smart is gone. I'd assume trim may be gone as well at that point. I've not made a raid of SSDs yet as I've only got a single mSATA SSD so far.
    The second card I have is running the 840 evo drive which is connected to the backplane of the motherboard which is now running SATA 3 instead of SATA 2.
     
  22. crjackson2134 macrumors 68020

    crjackson2134

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    #22
    It works fine in Yosemite, you just have a couple of extra steps to follow before dealing with OS updates (actual OS, not things like Safari, iTunes, etc...).

    Someone as meticulous as you would have no problem remembering to turn it off before installing OSX updates, then on again afterwards.
     
  23. Ludacrisvp macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #23
    I've never turned it off ....
    When an OS update happens it overwrites the modified trim enabled kext. After reboot from the update trim enabler tells you it's not active anymore. You tell it to reapply it and reboot and it's all done.
     
  24. ZombiePhysicist thread starter macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #24
    How have you achieved this black magic!?!

    ----------

    Interesting, also, I think if you use Onyx, probably the same thing happens?
     
  25. Ludacrisvp macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    #25
    From my thread I linked to earlier ..
    Photos during install:

    Plugged in my mini-SAS breakout cable and routed to the optical bay:
    [​IMG]
    Now have 4 SATA cables in the ODD area running 3x 2.5" and 1 ODD BD-RE drive. (I might have to also run the other 2 SATA cables back up there from the ESB2 ODD_SATA ports to run more 2.5" drives)
    [​IMG]

    Here is the mini-SAS extension cable run across the chassis before moving it around a bit to get the chassis fan module back in place.

    [​IMG]


    Slot-1: GTX 650 2Gb (PC)
    Slot-2: 8800GT 512MB (Apple OEM)
    Slot-3: StarTech.com SATA powered USB3.0 card
    Slot-4: StarTech.com Marvell RAID SATA-III SFF-8087 mini-SAS card

    After doing some reading I found out that slots 3 and 4 are 4x slots but they are PCIe v1.0 and slots 1 and 2 are 16x slots and are PCIe v2.0.
    So now I'm somewhat bandwidth limited still (just as much as the on-board SATA-II from the sounds of things). I am debating moving the 8800GT to Slot-4 and moving the RAID card to Slot-2 as the 8800GT is so old its really only useful for the EFI boot screens.

    Basically for $330 the old mac pro has been updated to SATA-3 and to dual quad 3.2GHz procs from dual quad 2.8GHz procs.
    I've also swapped out the old Bluetooth and wifi card with one that does handoff and continuity support.
     

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