Do I need a RAID Card?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by CoopFLY, Mar 10, 2008.

  1. CoopFLY macrumors newbie

    CoopFLY

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    #1
    Do I need a RAID Card to run RAID on the 2008 Mac Pro's?

    If so what is the best RAID card i could get? i searched newegg and i am not really sure what kind i need? I have the New penryn processors so i am assuming the motherboard has changed from the 2007 version of the computer. I was thinking about going with 2 Raptors in RAID 0 and then backing up everything to my externals. Does anyone think if thats better than spending 750 on a sold state (SSD) drive?



    Thanks:apple:
     
  2. gibbz macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #2
    I think your HD idea is fine. You can do a software raid from the RAID Utility. For speed and reliability, the RAID card is the better way to go.
     
  3. CoopFLY thread starter macrumors newbie

    CoopFLY

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    #3
    i tried accessing the software RAID utility and it said i needed a RAID card. how much of a difference is there between software and hardware RAID
    :apple:
     
  4. gibbz macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    May 31, 2007
    #4
    My apologies, I meant Disk Utility. Yes you need a RAID card for the RAID utility.

    Instructions for a software RAID are here: http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1013.html

    Basically in a software RAID, the OS acts as a RAID controller. You are limited on RAID configurations and from what I hear, this option is slower and less dependable than a hardware RAID. Not to mention since it is a software raid, writing will be more cpu intensive than the alternative. But, if you want to save a decent amount of money, and get a simple RAID 0, the software option should work fine.
     
  5. CoopFLY thread starter macrumors newbie

    CoopFLY

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    #5
    OK i am probably going to yry the software raid first, but what would be a good RAID card to get for a hardware RAID? The one from apple is the SAS card thats 1000 dollars
     
  6. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #6
    The only option is the Apple card as far as I am aware.
     
  7. Virtuoso macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2008
    Location:
    Seattle
    #7
    CalDigit have a new card which seems to have very good specs, handles lots of different RAID configurations and also supports additional external drives. Should be available any day now for around $529. I'm getting one as soon as I can find one.

    I originally ordered the Apple RAID card but it came with a defective battery. I'm quite glad I sent it back because it seems quite limited in comparison - no BootCamp compatibility, no external drive support and the battery reconditions itself every 3 months or so taking several hours to drain and recharge, compromising the RAID performance while it does so.
     
  8. CoopFLY thread starter macrumors newbie

    CoopFLY

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    #8
    What is so good about them? Why not another brand?
     
  9. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #9
    You have money to spend on SSD drives but complaining about APPLE's RAID card price?

    Here's my take:

    1. Raptors (Both 76 & 150 GB versions) are out dated. You don't gain that much speed compared with the newer, higher density/platter, slower spinning (7,200rpm) TB drives. You do LOSE a lot of space! They are loud and HOT to boot! Don't get me wrong, I have 4 of them (150GB) in my Win box and I love them, but they are so "last year" stuff.

    2. I can't say anything about SSD drives, but are you really willing to spend that much money for so little drive space? If money is not your concern, then what the heck - go for it!

    3. Read my post : http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=456854
     
  10. mgsarch macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    #10
    ... kittiy, so jealous of your machine again .... :), did you get a decent deal on those ES2s? I want to order them today .... :\

    I agree, raptors are impractical at this point. I'd rather sell them or put them in another machine instead of wasting the bays for that little capacity. SSD is too immature. The issue is not the access times as the transfer rates. RAID 0+1 with those ES2's is what I'm going to be doing with the CALDIGIT card.

    RAID 5 with 4 1TB ES2's is nearly (or just as) fast as the raptors anyway, no?
     
  11. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #11
    I can not do an apple-to-apple comparison. My 4 Raptors are connected to a Winbox originally in RAID 0+1 config using the on-board hardware RAID (Nvidia chipset), then I changed it to two RAID 1 (1 set for XP and Vista each). Fast? Yes. Can't directly compare it to RAID 5 with ES2 on MP, sorry.

    I can't remember what I paid for but it wasn't from the cheapest vendor out there. I wanted to buy from a reputable online vendor, just to be on the safe side - if something goes wrong within the first month, I can easily return. After that, it doesn't matter, will have to go through Seagate. I probably paid about $30 more (each). Happy? OH YES. They are really quiet!

    If I know then what I know now, I wouldn't have ordered the RAID card because I want to properly sleep my machine and BE ABLE TO DO BOOTCAMP!!!
     
  12. randyhudson macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    Location:
    East Coast
    #12
    I have 2 150GB Raptors and they are not any louder nor hotter than my backup drive, a newer WD 320GB 7200rpm. I recently copied my boot partition to the backup drive and tested it. The boot time into WinXP is much worse. It's about 35 seconds compared to 22 seconds for the Raptors. A 7200rpm drive will never be able to touch a Raptor, no matter how old it is.

    And in case you're thinking that difference is due to RAID 0, it isn't. For my system, XP booted 1 second faster off a single Raptor. Of course RAID 0 actually is faster for things like splicing and copying large video files around, decompressing archives, virtual memory/scratch disk, etc.
     
  13. kittiyut macrumors regular

    kittiyut

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2007
    #13
    First of all, NEVER SAY NEVER. For now it is true that there isn't any 7,200 rpm drives out there that can match "current" raptors. But remember that the 2 main factors that you can change to speed up drives (transfer rates, seek time, etc.) are rotational speed and areal density. Keeping 7,200 rpm constant, future drives WILL have higher areal density/platter so once again, NEVER SAY NEVER.

    I'm not saying that the Raptors are "slow", my point was you make too much compromise on storage space for the speed gain that you get. That's all.
     
  14. thekaptn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2008
    #14
    Hey kittiyut

    Hey kittiyut, I was wondering what kind of transfer rates your getting with your raid 5, my new MP is coming on friday and I was planning on doing practically your same configuration. Thanks in advance!
     

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