Caldigit RAID card on sale $200 off

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bigbossbmb, Dec 23, 2008.

  1. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2004
    Location:
    Pasadena/Hollywood
    #1
    Just got it for a sweet $320 from PowerMax. :D

    You can get the special sale price by searching the CalDigit retailer's site for the SKU "760600". I was going to wait until I upgraded to a Nehalem mac pro to get the RAID card, but this sale definitely put it on my Xmas list. ;)
     
  2. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #2
    Does it come with battery, mounting kit for fifth drive and all the cables? Cause it ain't a good deal otherwise.
     
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    Very good point. :)

    Personally, I'd say NO, as of reading the .pdf, there's no mention of included cables, and the battery is listed as optional. Looking online, PowerMax sells it for just over $132USD.

    It's not the fastest card, especially in the current Mac Pro (can't use all 8 lanes in slot 3 or 4), and it's missing features. The reduction in price may make it an alternative for some however, especially if they only need to run 4 drives internally.

    The HDElement is mandatory if additional drives are needed. It won't work with any other enclosures, and the included drives (Hitachi) are consumer units, not enterprise.

    It has some, if not major issues with stability. No backup of the Partition Tables, and whatever you do, don't mix the internal and external drives in an array. More hassle than anyone should have to go through.

    Simply put, it's on sale for a reason. :rolleyes:
     
  4. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #5
    Nanofrag...

    You sound like you have extensive experience with the card. What kind of troubles have you've encountered? Any major flaws?

    Cause I've been using it for a while now as a internal scratch disk under RAID5 and so far I've yet to experience anything negative besides you have to buy into their extension boxes if an expansion is required. My card didn't come with the bootcamp cable but who really needs it?
     
  5. lostngone macrumors demi-god

    lostngone

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2003
    Location:
    Anchorage
    #6
    How is Caldigit when it comes to driver support for the Mac?
     
  6. Rick Here macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2007
    #7
    Is CalDigit in trouble?

    So they lowered the price to $349, does this mean they are having financial troubles like everyone in today's economy?
    Since it appears that Apple will come out with a new MAC Pro soon, will they address the APPLE RAID Card issues also?

    Merry Christmas.....
     
  7. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #8
    Nah, I think they're clearing their inventory of CalDighit RAIDCards that come without the Battery. Personally, I think this config is only useful if you have an UPS installed. The other thing I've noticed, shutting down the system takes a while longer if there's no battery installed...

    I have no idea about the Apple cards, simply because I didn't go with them.. their cards are slow and in a word, "crap".
     
  8. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #9
    So far... fine! I was a little surprised when i got mine, this thing supports multi-platforms, comes complete with drivers for Mac, Linux and Windows and IF YOU MUST, you can even buy a loop-back cable so bootcamp will work. Not even the Applee Raid card has this feature!
     
  9. joaoferro99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2008
    Location:
    S. California
    #10
    I like the their RAID CARD but it does not support external enclosure other than their own.
    One of his reseller is selling at $329
    Check http://www.timelinedigitalinc.com/
     
  10. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #11
    Guess you can call that "BRANDING" :D
    Reminds me of the Mac about two decades ago...
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    I've worked with RAID for many years, and got into a situation of helping another member who purchased the CalDigit card. It even got to the point that I was speaking directly to one of CalDigit's engineers about what was going on. Simply put, he and his system became the proverbial guinea pig.

    To give a quick summary of the setup. Late 2008 Mac Pro, separate OS drive, CalDigit RAID Card, and HDElement enclosures. A single array was created (RAID 5) spanning the internal and external drives. It kept dropping out randomly, and the array would actually be lost. Permanently.

    In the phone discussion, I discovered that this particular card does not have a backup of the Partition Tables. A big no-no, IMO. The reason is, if there's a problem, this backup can allow you to restore the array. Without it, you might be able to rebuild it by hand, but that takes a while, and there's no guarantees it will work. (Method of last resort, and the reason RAID requires proper backups). Data can still be lost.

    CalDigit was indicating it was having issues with Apple's implementation of EFI, and OS updates, that resulted in lost arrays and data as well.

    All in all, it didn't leave me with a lot of confidence overall, and it was obvious that it released prematurely. Just not enough testing.

    I do believe that if used internally only, it would be OK. The same may be true for external only, but I haven't seen that setup myself. I would not recommend trying to span an array over both internal and external drives.

    Unfortunately, given the way it was designed, it seems reasonable to assume that this others would want to go this route.
    Internally, with a separate OS drive would be OK I should think. No timing issues with powering the equipment up.
    From what I can tell, the battery is still not included, nor do I think it will be. Accessories can generate additional income. ;)

    With RAID, a UPS should always be used IMO. Just too much of a chance for major issues without it.

    My guess, is that they aren't moving the volume of cards they thought they would, and the economy isn't helping matters.

    Apple's card is junk. Not only slow, but the battery design is crap. I've never seen a battery cause the problems being described with this card. :eek: Personally, other offerings can do better, and possibly at less money, depending on specific needs. :)
     
  12. UltraNEO* macrumors 601

    UltraNEO*

    Joined:
    Jun 16, 2007
    Location:
    近畿日本
    #13
    Those issues sounds like beta drives/firmware issue. Guess any company who're not testing it's product thoroughly will encounter similar problems and ultimately the user will suffer. Apple is such a company, especially with it's MacOSX updates. Arghhh!!

    I think the battery on CalDigit RAIDcards is basically an user serviceable upgrade. However some of the more professional suppliers (including mine) includes the battery (pre-fitted and tested) but charges a little more for the bundle - quite rightly so.

    Thanks for the heads up regarding the internal and external RAID spanning.

    Merry Christmas NanoFrog
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    CalDigit definitely released prematurely. :( But these issues occurred maybe 2 months ago, and was returned about 1 month ago, so it's recent. :eek:
    Unfortunately, this seems to be the trend lately IMO. :( I seem to have noticed it with boards, RAID cards, HDD's,... It's enough to drive someone :mad:. :p

    I've had some strange finds with RAID card batteries lately. Atto shows one available as an option, but it can't be had. Not even from Atto. Areca also offers thiers as upgrades, but doesn't recommend them, and prefers to direct users to a good UPS. Which to me, is a necessity with RAID, not an option. Though I haven't looked into HighPoint's battery situation, I know the cards that use them are designed and built by Areca (RR4300 series). (I kept this particular list short, as these have models that work in a Mac Pro). ;)

    Have you come across anything like this lately?

    I didn't get to reply in time for Christmas, but have a Happy New Year. :D

    BTW, I recall you left Japan, but where did you move to?
     

Share This Page