Dual PCIe SATA SSD Cards for Mac?

macjunkie2013

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2013
43
47
You Ess Eh
I am looking for the most affordable solution for the PCIE 3 or 4 Slot (up to 1500 GB/s). It seems that using NVMe SSD's in slot 3/4 is not ideal, but for SATA SSD's it seems more suitable.

It seems that are a few Dual/Raid PCie Adapter Cards that are SATA:

Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus SATA III PCI Express Card ~$244.48

Apricorn Velocity DUO X2 MSRP ~$149.00 (Discontinued)

Mac Pro Ultra PCI Express Card 550Mbps - Dual SATA3 SSDs $179.00 Dual drive mount, no RAID option.

DEBROGLIE PCIe to 2.5” SATA III SSD Dual Slot Adapter 6Gb/s PCI Apple Mac Pro $36.20 PCI-E x1 so maybe not raid but simply two drives, one card?

DEBROGLIE PCIe X2 to 2.5” SATA III SSD Dual Slot Adapter raid PCI Apple Mac Pro $76.00 PCI-E x2 Raid 0 or 1 "Universal Marvell 88SE9230. This one is seems to be the same as the OOP Apricorn.

PCI Express PCI-E to SATA Adapter Card for PC and MAC Support Raid 0 1 Modular ~$50.00 SPAN, RAID0 RAID1, JBOD...?


Sonnet is well known, but its price makes me pause and look for alternatives. Not looking for boot support but to simply add a couple 2TB Micron 1100's in RAID 0. Anyone tried the alternatives to Sonnet?

Cheers

JH
 
Last edited:

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
297
155
New Orleans, USA
Use Mac OS software RAID. Do not use onboard hardware RAID for any of these. It won't work well, and even if it does, you wont have TRIM functionality which will mean a loss of performance over time. Use the RAID setup assistant in Disk Utility.

They are all basically two drives on one card. It's a PCIe to SATA controller on the card. There are only about 3-4 controllers that everyone uses on their cards, that's why so many seem similar.

Unless you're doing a LOT of sequential data moves, you won't notice the difference between the x2 and x4 cards.

If you're planning to do a RAID split across the onboard SATA-300 and a PCIe-SATA card, there will be no difference between x2 and x4 cards, since the array is limited by the slowest drive or link in the array, which would be the onboard. With any x2 card and a 4-SSD array split between onboard and PCIe card, you can expect speeds right around 950MB/s.

There would, be a more dramatic penalty from using an x1 card this way, since you'd effectively be limiting each SSD on the card to 366MB/s ÷ 2 = 183MB/s. With a 4-drive RAID 0, your speed would be capped to 730-750MB/s.

Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus SATA III PCI Express Card
This one is PCIe x4, so it will handle max throughput of two SATA-600 drives. About 975MB/s total. Unless you have a real need for eSATA support or desperately require speeds >750MB/s, it doesn't make sense.

Apricorn Velocity DUO X2
This one is PCIe x2, so it will be limited by the PCIe link to about 750MB/s total.

Mac Pro Ultra PCI Express Card 550Mbps - Dual SATA3 SSDs
Overpriced copy of the others. This one is PCIe x2, so it will be limited by the PCIe link to about 750MB/s total.

DEBROGLIE PCIe to 2.5” SATA III SSD Dual Slot Adapter 6Gb/s PCI Apple Mac Pro
This one is PCIe x1, so it will be limited by the PCIe link to about 366MB/s total.

DEBROGLIE PCIe X2 to 2.5” SATA III SSD Dual Slot Adapter raid PCI Apple Mac Pro
This one is PCIe x2, so it will be limited by the PCIe link to about 750MB/s total.

PCI Express PCI-E to SATA Adapter Card for PC and MAC Support Raid 0 1 Modular
Seven pins after the PCIe key, this one is also x1, so it will be limited by the PCIe link to about 366MB/s total.

The (non-Pro) Sonnet Tempo SSD PCIe card is x2 as well.

There is the now-discontinued Sonnet Tempo Pro that has no eSATA, but is otherwise identical to the Tempo Pro Plus. It's the one I have. You may be able to find one on eBay.
 
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macjunkie2013

macrumors member
Original poster
Jun 9, 2013
43
47
You Ess Eh
Slash-2CPU thanks for your detailed reply, that clears up several questions I had. Not sure if I want (or need) to combine PCIe w onboard SATA. I guess it depends on how complex it might be.

:)
 

dono42

macrumors newbie
Dec 22, 2018
6
1
New Hampshire, USA
Think I got lucky? On January 25th I found the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus listed on the CDW website. Called the sales desk and asked of inventory, the response, no insight but one shipped January 23. So I ordered one and today received a NEW card. I was planning to move the GPU to slot two and put this in to slot one. Is that a good idea?
Pro Plus 1.jpg Pro Plus 2.jpg
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
297
155
New Orleans, USA
Think I got lucky? On January 25th I found the Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus listed on the CDW website. Called the sales desk and asked of inventory, the response, no insight but one shipped January 23. So I ordered one and today received a NEW card. I was planning to move the GPU to slot two and put this in to slot one. Is that a good idea?
View attachment 819088View attachment 819089
Have any other cards? You thinking about data performance or airflow?

Slot 1 and Slot 2 are both x16 slots. Slot 3 and Slot 4 are x4 slots, and they share the same link. Two SATA SSD’s will max out around 1000-1100MB/s. Slot 3 and Slot 4 can do 1500MB/s. Slot 1 and Slot 2 will perform maybe a very tiny bit better due to them having direct connections to the north bridge and Slot 3 and Slot 4 going through a switch/splitter first then to the northbridge. I’d be surprised if the difference is more than 1%.

I can see where the Tempo card in slot 2 would block airflow to the GPU, so if you have one other small card you could put it in slot 4 and have better airflow to the GPU. Same for if you have no other cards.

You could also put it in slot 3 and not limit air to the GPU in slot 1 while also not blocking airflow to hard drive bays 3 & 4.
 

zedex

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2018
115
43
Perth, WA
Would you mind letting me know what the Tempo Pro Plus card cost from CDW (it is now difficult to find..)?