(CalDigit Raid Card) Updates , Shipping, Ex Box, etc

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by phildog33, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. phildog33 macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2006
    Ive been on the phone with Caldigit the past few days, here are the latest updates on this card:

    1. The card was supposed to arrive last Friday and did not arrive at their offices in California. They are currently writing the manual for the card. They have NOT received any of the cards as of today (Tuesday)... and are hoping to ship them out with updated manual by end of week.

    2. 10.5.3 caused the delay in shipping out. Drivers, etc

    3. The external enclosure made to work with the Caldigit Raid Card is called HD Element, and will not be available for at least another month. It will be in vinicity price range of $1800 for 1TB version and $3600 for 4TB version

    4. You should use a backup UPS with your mac pro once using this card

    5. One of your internal disks (or ext. whichever) should be left OUT of the raid configuration and just be the Mac OS X drive with apps. Your scratch disk and paging should be pointed to any folder on the raid

    6. Speed #s.. They told me my internal Sata drives currently are hitting 50-60 mbs. That their Raid 5 would hit 260 mbs and their Raid 0 would be doing 360



    The raid card has 3 external mini-SAS ports for connecting to the HD element
    They said you HAVE to use their box. I think its over priced and can get an empty one for ~ $500 and then 1TB hitachis for just $180. Makes this setup $1270 vs their $3600. Why cant we use this guy with hard drives and mini-SAS connectors, instead of this one...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816702014 -- $1270 with 4 hard drives
    http://www.caldigit.com/HDElement/ -- $3800

    And for doing photography/video editing is this a good setup

    4 internals+8 externals all in RAID 5
    Internal #5 on the motherboard SATA (optical drive slot) as the OSX drive.. With software backing it up each night to the raid array. Also, spare installed copy of OS X on the raid array, just in case the OSX drive fails. Then everything is backed up and still bootable

  2. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2008
    Using a UPS is a good idea anyway, but I thought they had this covered with a battery backup option for the RAID card?
    Hmm... are they saying the HD Element is the only device they officially support, or that it is the only device which is actually compatible? I suspect this is just a ploy to bump sales of their massively overpriced external box.
  3. tuxtpenguin macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007
    That is pretty darn expensive for a proprietary solution.
  4. phildog33 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2006
    They havent recieved the cards yet or even finished the manual.
    They are very far behind and keep giving me the run around each week, with promises promises..

    How can we adpot this thing so warm heartedly after months and months of this run around?

  5. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    The CalDigit RAID card reminds me of that OLED keyboard that took soo long to come out that it was considered vaporware. CalDigit can't seriously think they are winning over customers and good customer relations means continuously lying to their customers with false promises and not being able to bring to the table what they promised.
  6. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2008
    Have to agree - I was all set to get this back in January but now 6 months have passed with delay after delay and there's still no sign of it. The fact that they still haven't written a manual makes me worry about how bad the driver support is going to be for this card. :(

    I think I'll pass.
  7. phildog33 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2006
    I am with you guys, I just cant support a company that strings us along for months.

    Are there any other solutions to consider.. Raid card with expandability for external enclosures?
  8. ASFx macrumors regular

    Feb 24, 2008
    If 10.5.3 caused delays... and 10.5.4 is due out in the next few weeks in time for the 3G iPhone, will that cause any more delays? It's so hard to wait so long :p
  9. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
    Also, if it takes them this long to get it right I wonder what their support will be like after the card is released. If something goes wrong and I loose access to my RAID array will I have to wait six months to fix it so I can access my array again? I am willing to bet that their support is a lot like this card.
  10. ideaspring macrumors newbie

    Oct 30, 2005
    I don't know I'd rather have a product that works properly then have one that's rushed. I'd also rather pay more for a product that I know will work and be supported than save a few bucks on a cheap box and crapy drives. Let face it the best products aren't cheap.

    I guess that why I use Apple products. I know I'm paying a premium for the extra quality.
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Made calls to CalDigit, the latest June 18

    1. No confirmation of ship date
    (send an e-mail for ship date was suggested, or continue to call)
    2. They did verify 10.5.3 operation
    3. HD Element will be available w/o drives (prior call, keeping fingers crossed)

    I think phildog33 is right. I think it will work with other external drive boxes, but would guess not supported. Also interested in the setup method you described. May use an external for backups of OS drive though.

    I also have been in intermittent contact with Areca about the ARC-1680 series. They seem to have Boot Camp usage now, but only on internal drives.

    Definitely frustrating. With Jan '09 not far away, I may wait for the Gainestown processor machines to arrive.

    Hope this helps.
  12. aliot macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2008
    Interesting,I'm wondering if I use a mini-sas to 4 esata cable to connect my external harddrive what will happen?I hope it can manage harddrives seprately.BTW,expecting install a windows on a external drive and run a 4HDD raid0 on macpro.It says only runs windows when 3+1?
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008

    Could you clarify what you're trying to do?

    I would assume you mean to connect the iPass cable (SFF-8087) end to the CalDigit card, but would like to make sure.

    Why use RAID 0 with this card?

    RAID 0 is a waste for this card I would think. It is really meant for configurations with fault tolerance such as 5,50,6,60 or 0+1.
  14. aliot macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2008
    You got that right,but I'm really sensitive on read speed,so raid 0 or 0+1 is necessary.

    If you want to use BootCamp in your Mac Pro, you will need to
    purchase an optional CalDigit Mini-SAS Cable. You will need to
    connect it to the CalDigit RAID Card's J19 Mini-SAS port at one end.
    And connect the other end to the iPass connector on card.
    Please make sure the jumper is installed on 1, 2.

    I have problem on this.Other end to ipass connector on card?Is it on mother board?I can't see third connector on this card.
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    A couple of ?'s.

    How many drives? Internal/external?

    This might help w/ why the ?'s.
    If you stick with the internal bays, 0+1 (2 for stripe + 2 for mirror) will be slower than RAID5 for 4 drives. You could see 165MB/s - 200MB/s max w/ 2 drives stripped. RAID5 @4 drives gives you about 245MB/s*.

    A 4 drive stripe would give 330MB/s*, but no fault tolerance. Anything goes wrong, and you have to rebuild. Doubt you'd be happy if this ever happens, even if you back up religiously.

    *Directly from CalDigit's web site.

    Hope this helps.
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Hi Jon:

    After reading the manual, I would like to make sure about the physical installation. I'm slightly unclear to the language associated with J19.

    Here's the specific quote: "If you want to use BootCamp in your Mac Pro, you will need to purchase an optional CalDigit Mini-SAS Cable. You will need to connect it to the CalDigit RAID Card's J19 Mini-SAS port at one end. And connect the other end to the iPass connector on card. Please make sure the jumper is installed on 1, 2."

    The second to last line is the source of my confusion.

    So here's what I'm understanding so far:

    The cable already inside the MP (miniSAS to 4x SATA), connects to J18 (SFF8087 end). Another cable (miniSAS to miniSAS) connects to J19 on one end, and I must assume the logic board on the other. (Since it's the only other miniSAS connector left from what I can tell).

    Is this correct?

  17. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Uh.. you have to use their box? what a bunch of BS. I think your tech is an idiot. Why would anyone buy a proprietary card like that when rocketraid has a bootable substitute for cheaper that does standard MiniSAS?

    Also, can someone tell me how the $#@! you can disconnect some of the internal drives but not all in the mac pro?!

    I'm looking at the service manual and it looks like all or nothing.
  18. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Pretty much exactly correct--they're selling the "miniSAS to miniSAS" cable as an option, though.

    However, as a side note I'm not sure if the mac pro uses MiniSAS, but it really looks like one. (I've only looked at the service manual, not read specs)

    It goes from 4 SATA -> 1 plug that looks like MiniSAS

    I do know that there exists adapter (which they're apparently selling) that allows you to plug the HD cable into a MiniSAS cable.

    You'll have to remove the front fan assembly but it shouldn't be too hard. Certainly not harder than the install of Apple's RAID card.

    What confuses me is, do they suggest you leave a hard drive off the controller card, or just out of the setup array (but still on the card)?

    Because AFAIK, you have to do all or none of the internal drives on a controller.
  19. phildog33 thread starter macrumors regular

    Nov 1, 2006
    I may be one of the first people using this card, so I wanted to let you guys know... its actually very good and does everything we wanted it to.

    Good job to CalDigit. They are swamped right now and really indundated with calls and complaints from us, so I understand how they may come off this month. Everything will smooth tiself out over the next few weeks as people get their cards and enjoy the speed and nice GUI to set up their arrays.


    The install is not too bad, you take the magnet cover off the cpu cage, unscrew the fan assembly and disconnect the iPass cable from the MB.

    The ipass cable connects to J18 on the raid card and then you slide the card into PCI slot #3 and put everything back in place. Not too bad.


    You select which of your internal drives you want to include in the array (found in preferences), Raid type and etc. I chose all 4 internals as Raid 5 and my 5th internal HD under the Optical Drive slot is my main OSX drive with apps and etc. Ive separated it from the Raid Array and its working great

    Initializing on my 4TB (~2.7TB usable) array took about 8 hours.

    Then use Disk Utility to intialize the array as a standard Mac OSX drive and it pops up on the desktop as an attached drive .. 2.7TB


    Im getting about 250-260mb speed as they quoted. Im very happy with the card. Its working excellent and their interface is a pleasure to use.


    They did it. Its working great and they came through, very happy with CalDigit again.

    Some of you guys are emailing me on the side, to talk about how you are disappointed with them. I was too a few weeks ago, but they did come through and its been worth the wait. They will get their shipments back to order soon and help everyone out. We'll all try to bear with them as they get through their system and calm everything down.

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