Does the 5400 board support hardware RAID?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by m1stake, Nov 12, 2008.

  1. m1stake macrumors 68000

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    #1
    A quick Google search didn't really answer my question very well, but here goes:

    Does the 5400 series chipset support hardware raid? As in, NO RAID card? I know the OSX side of it won't. I really like the hard RAID0 array I run on my PC, but am not interested in bothering with a RAID card unless I have to.

    In addition, I'd like to have a Bootcamp Windows set and an OSX set, 4 drives in total. My current board would have no problem with this, and I suspect the 5400 wouldn't, but there isn't much information.

    But, if a RAID card is my only option, what's good? Are all of them terrible like the Apple RAID card as far as the battery charging all the way down and up again? Obviously whatever you suggest has to work with two separate RAID0 arrays, one OSX, and one Windows, and support Bootcamp.

    Thanks.
     
  2. costabunny macrumors 68020

    costabunny

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    #2
    Nope no hardware raid. (although the OS level raid is really fast (you have 4-8 cores so you wont notice).

    Having two arrays on a card will need a card other than the Calldigit or Apple (neither support raid under windows).

    One of the Adaptec cards perhaps ? check out the ones listed in the guides section (under Mac Pro Hardware Resource)

    Personally I use the HW Raid for OSX and boot the Windows disks off the on board (u need a miniSAS->4SATA cable) and use LVM in Win for a sw mirror (no performance hit and slightly faster reads).
     
  3. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #3
    Figures. I understand that with the Mac Pro RAID card, you have to let the battery charge all the way down and all the way up every few weeks. Is this true with all RAID cards? Is it a real set back, or a misunderstood non-issue?

    Are there any other issues besides the above that I should be aware of?

    Thanks again.

    P.S.: I know I could do soft raid with OSX and Windows (Can I do that with Bootcamp? Not really an issue, Bootcamp isn't the only way to boot into something else), but I won't do it on principle :p
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #4
    No, this is apparently a flaw in Apple's card. I've never seen this issue with other makes. :)
    There are cards that will allow for both windows and OS X. Some will allow use with drivers, others will even boot from the array if you wish. Though personally, I prefer to avoid that.

    Going by your signature, are you planning to put such a card in a PC, the G4, or a Mac Pro?
    Sorry for the dumb question, but I feel it's safer to ask. ;)
     
  5. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    The G4 of course!!! :eek:

    Nah, just some preparation for the eventual Mac Pro. I've also decided to replace my Laser Writer NT and Laser Writer 2 and switch from dial up (though I steal wireless these days) to Verizon FiOS internet and replace MCI with Vonage. Not really looking forward to all this work ;d

    I would like to boot off these arrays. I am well aware of the "dangers" of RAID0, but I don't have anything that I can't afford to lose anyway. Reinstalling windows and changing all the settings, little add on programs, downloading drivers and plug ins, and installing stuff, takes about two or three hours all told.

    OSX is where I do my "work", which is always on several flash drives and saved in emails and such.

    In short, the hard drives can fail as much as they want and I don't care.
     
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #6
    LOL! :D
    I actually used "edit" to add the G4, even though I didn't think you actually meant that one. ;) :p
    Ahh... The joys of computers. :rolleyes: ;)
    :cool:

    Assuming you're after raw speed, there is a nice possibility. :) Use a separate OS drive, mounted in the empty optical bay. You will need to get the right cable, and attach it between the logic board and the OS drive. You also get 3 other SATA connectors for future use. :)

    That leaves the 4 drive sleds for RAID. Whatever your flavor. :p
    Though the CalDigit will work with Boot Camp, it has problems, and other solutions exist. One in particular, is faster, offers more features (data security), and SPEED. And to top it off, it's CHEAPER!

    The only issue that seems to come up, is the physical location of the card in a Mac Pro. When you try to attach the cable from the drive sleds, its quite short, and may limit the physical installation. This can be difficult, but it can be gotten around. The 2008 Mac Pro can't change the default PCIe lane settings. The '06 and '07's apparently can. As for the next (Nehalem based) Mac Pro, who knows at this point. Hopefully, they will opt to use dual chipsets, and allow all 4 slots to operate at PCIe 2.0 x16. :) It would certainly make life easier. ;)

    I now refer you to the Areca ARC-1212. :p
    • 8x lane*
    • SAS capability :D
    • RAID 6 capability
    • 800MHz IOP 348 :D
    • Boots EFI and BIOS. :eek:

    I found it at ewiz for $345.50USD. You may find it cheaper.

    BTW, IIRC you need a UK supplier, correct?
    If so, it's available at span.com for £243.23 inc.VAT.

    Hope this helps. :)

    * Hence the difficulty in physical location. :(
     
  7. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #7
    I suppose I could order from the UK as I do live on earth, but I was thinking of just throwing some money into my own (failing) economy in the US. :p

    Back to the subject at hand, why should I get a fifth drive to boot off of?

    Thanks for the seemingly excellent recommendation, you can bet I'll be giving it a lot of researchy attention.

    PS: typing on this damn touch is no longer fun or a novelty. Why do I keep doing this to myself?

    PS 2: Why did you think I was from the UK? :I
     
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #8
    Oops. :eek:
    Ahh... A further contribution to the Bailout. :eek: ewiz it is! :p
    Or anywhere else you can locate it for a good price. ;)
    It would allow all four drives for a RAID 0 array. Maximum speed! :D:D:D
    If you are so inclined. :p
    :cool:
    Masochism perhaps? :p
    Simple. I live in a state of confusion. :p
    Too many posts, and usually when I find a great price on something, they end up being in the UK. :eek:
     
  9. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #9
    "SONOFAB****, THOSE EURO PRICE NUMBERS ARE ALWAYS HALF OF THE US NUMBER!!"

    Conversion rates should be done away with, that way America would be #1 in everthing (again). :D

    But I still don't see why I should boot off a fifth drive for more speed. Unless you're suggesting it as an OS only or OS+programs only drive, which doesn't benefit me because I don't need or want scratch disks. Please explain. Since I can boot off of it, I don't see the point.

    Or, as an alternative I could throw in one of those X-25M SSD's for the OSX side (Getting one cheap through Intel Retail Edge), and just RAID0 two raptors and call it done. Probably smarter to do the raptors for Windows and dual 500GB drives for OSX. Not that I'll ever fill 1TB of space, the G4's 40GB HDD has about 18GB in use, most of which is iTunes songs and the OS.
     
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #10
    Pounds?!? What kind of currency is that?!? I thought that's what a weight scale pointed to? :D :p

    I get the flip side too. Australian Dollars. :eek: They go the other way. :rolleyes: :p
    No, nothing to do with a scratch disk.

    It just allows you to use all 4 drives in the sleds for a RAID 0 array. The more drives, the faster data rates you get. :D

    So do you want Avg. drive throughput * 3, or Avg. drive throughput *4? ;) :p
     
  11. belvdr macrumors 601

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    #11
    Maybe I'm missing something, but why not just install onto the RAID 0? Is OS X messed up in that it cannot boot off an array?
     
  12. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #12
    I want to have two separate arrays, one with bootable OSX and one bootable Windows using Bootcamp.

    From the look of it, my vision of two separate arrays will be perfectly served by two drives each.

    While I don't care about data loss, I'd rather just reinstall one OS and all the extras when a drive goes instead of having the whole array die. I want speed, but for my "need", 100MB/s is fine, but anything below that will slow it down. i don't need four drives in RAID0, that would be excessive.*

    *but a Mac Pro for games when a windows box with an easier raid set up is not. Of course.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #13
    OS X alone uses software RAID. So it's only available to OS X.

    To have RAID available to multiple OS's, you need to look at a hardware solution. Anything from "Fake RAID" (drive controller + SW drivers) to full hardware RAID.
    Ahh... Yes, this will work just fine. :D

    Just keep in mind, the iPass cable is short (very, particularly for drive 1). It can cause massive headaches to do the physical installation. Even to the point of having to hack/mod the power cable section of the iPass cable (replaceable, BTW) to use with a longer 3rd party miniSAS backplane cable.

    If you find yourself in this position, add another $40 for the cable. Skills and a soldering iron would also be needed. Unfortunately, this issue seems to be relatively independent of the RAID card used, as it involves the card length and slot used. :(
    What?!? :eek: That's blasphemous, that is! :p :D
     
  14. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #14
    A silly question: I know the 640GB WD drive is pretty fast. But I don't really need 1TB+ space on each partition. If I picked up four 320GB WD drives, would these be faster because of the single platter? 640GB arrays will be more than enough space for me.

    I could go find benchmarks, but it's just too late, yawn. :eek:
     
  15. Matrixfan macrumors member

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    Oct 10, 2008
    #15
    Raid 5

    Is software Raid 5 possible in the Mac Pro? A bootable 4 drive software raid 5 would suit my needs perfectly.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #16
    Either the 320's or 640's partitioned would work. I don't think the speed difference would make a huge difference. Particularly to keep an available drive sled or two. ;)
    No. OS X doesn't support RAID 5. :(
     
  17. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #17
    320's it is. While I'm not sure if I like the idea of using all 4 sleds off the bat, I like that a lot more than having both OS's ruined by a disk failure. That would be less than convenient.

    Now to continue to wait for this damn thing.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    :cool: :)
    Hopefully, the 4 occupied sleds will do fine capacity wise. ;)
    Shipping Anxiety. What joy! :D :p
     
  19. m1stake thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #19
    I use about 18GBs of the 40GB capacity of my G4, and the PC is so clean you could eat off of it (Maybe about 60GB out of the 500). I'm not worried about it :p
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #20
    :cool:

    Enjoy! The speed should certainly make you smile. ;) :D
     

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