eSata PCI card for 09 Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by IainH, Mar 14, 2009.

  1. IainH macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #1
    Just wondering if any of you know of a solid reliable esata card thats compatible with the 09 mac pro? Need it to be at least 2 ports.

    Cheers.
     
  2. aibo macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Southern California
    #2
    I think they're all at least 2 ports. I'm running the Sonnet E2P ($60) and it works as expected. I never had a problem. I heard you can't boot off it, but I don't think I'll ever need to.
     
  3. IainH thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2009
  4. IainH thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #5
    Thats USD through, Im in AUD...I just need a 2 port (or 3 if such a thing exists) esata card.
     
  5. myca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    #7
    If all you need is two ports then this may do

    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=11068

    I've got one of the PCI ones in my PowerMac and it works fine, The UK retail price matches the us one at $1 to £1 which is a little cheeky, not sure on the Aus price, or if Lacie supply them to Australia, but my PCI one I got at about 30% less than retail through a supplier on the interbob.
     
  6. TheStrudel macrumors 65816

    TheStrudel

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    Jan 5, 2008
    #8
  7. myca macrumors 6502

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    Oct 7, 2005
    #9
  8. IainH thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #10
    The problem is finding Australian resellers though =\
     
  9. myca macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2005
    #11
    You may just be better off getting it imported, either by a reseller or ebay. It'll suck having to pony up the extra money for postage and import tax, but if you can't find one down under you may have no choice.

    I had to suck up a silly load of money to get a flashed Radeon X800 for my PowerMac, cost too much, I actually got it off eBay from an aussie seller, works a charm though so I can't complain too much.

    Good luck in hunting what you need. ;)
     
  10. IainH thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #12
    http://www.pcmarket.com.au/8114_HighPoint_RocketRAID_2314_4-Port_e-SATA_II_PCI-Expr.php

    Thats the one Im currently considering...figure if Im gunna buy one, I may as well buy something good.

    The thing I dont understand though...why do you need 4 esata ports for a raid? I was under the assumption that if youre doing an esata raid, the box you buy that holds the HDDs has the raid controller in it, and the card is just receiving the data? Or if youre trying to get over 300mb/s, you can connect 2 seperate boxes?

    I keep picturing someone buying like 4x1TB WD Home premade external HDDs, connecting em via eSata and doing a RAID...with each drive using a powerpoint, and doing its own spinup and spindown cycles....seems bad.

    I suspect Ive gotten myself horribly confused.

    Other thing would be...how likely is it that someone could make an AFFORDABLE (Im talking like a quarter of the cost of the apples) raid card which allowed you to do a hardware raid of internal drives?
     
  11. xgman macrumors 601

    xgman

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    #13
    Where is the open sata port to plug these in on the 2009? The 2008 was a bear to get to.
     
  12. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Location:
    Halifax, Canada
    #14
    You don't plug them into SATA ports on the motherboard. They provide eSATA ports via PCI-E.

    You're thinking of the little PCI plates that plug into internal SATA ports on the inside and provide eSATA sockets on the outside.
     
  13. IainH thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 11, 2009
  14. ksz macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose, CA
    #16
    I've been struggling with this question for the past 2 weeks. Here's what I've done so far (Mac Pro 2.8GHz 8-core, OS 10.5.6):

    1. Purchased and tested RocketRAID 2314.
    2. Purchased and tested DAT Optic PCIe x8 eSATA card. Based on Silicon Image 3124A chipset and available from OWC (macsales.com).

    (Read/Write performance below measured by AJA Kona System Test utility.)

    I am using 2 Icy Dock 4-bay Port-Multiplier enclosures and a Buffalo Tech 8x Blu Ray burner (model 816SU2).

    Icy Dock 1: 4 Seagate 1.5 TB 7200.11 drives in RAID-5.
    Icy Dock 2: 1 Seagate 750 GB drive in Pass-Thru.

    RocketRAID:

    1. RAID-0 performance with Icy Dock 1: About 180 MB/s both Read and Write.
    2. RAID-5 performance with Icy Dock 1: About 160 MB/s both Read and Write.
    3. Pass Thru performance with Icy Dock 2: About 60-70 MB/s Read and Write.
    4. Blu Ray Drive: This card does not mount other types of eSATA peripherals. Only hard drives can be mounted. This was confirmed by a Tech Support engineer at Highpoint.
    5. Uses a Web-Based GUI that is quite usable. Shows build progress for RAID-5 arrays; performs S.M.A.R.T. monitoring of drives and shows status; spins down drives after a specified period of inactivity; provides online capacity expansion for RAID arrays; etc.

    DAT Optic:

    1. RAID-0 performance with Icy Dock 1: About 180 MB/s both Read and Write.
    2. RAID-5 performance with Icy Dock 1: About 50 MB/s Read and 10 MB/s Write. Yes, you read that correctly. Absolutely horrid performance in RAID-5.
    3. Pass Thru performance with Icy Dock 2: About 60-70 MB/s Read and Write.
    4. Blu Ray Drive: No problems mounting other eSATA peripherals such as Blu Ray drives.
    5. Uses a JAVA-based RAID Manager GUI from Silicon Image. Does not show build progress of RAID-5 arrays; not does show or pass S.M.A.R.T. data; probably lets the O/S spin down drives (didn't verify it); no online capacity expansion.

    Conclusions:

    1. RocketRAID provides excellent RAID-5 performance. This is actually a key metric for me. The DAT Optic card was hugely disappointing in this regard. I wonder if any other eSATA card based on Silicon Image 3124a and/or 3132 will exhibit such terrible performance in RAID-5.

    2. RocketRAID does not let me connect my Blu Ray drive. DAT Optic is more flexible in this regard. In fact, Silicon Image advertises compatibility with a wide variety of eSATA peripherals.

    3. RocketRAID has a much more capable GUI.

    4. During a RAID-5 build, both cards let you format and mount the drive in Degraded or Reduced mode. However, when I tried to format the drive with the DAT Optic, the Mac encountered a kernel panic. This happened repeatedly. However, once the array was built, the system was perfectly stable.

    If you don't plan to use RAID-5, the DAT Optic card is the better choice because of compatibility with more than just hard drives. But if RAID-5 is important to you, the DAT Optic (and I suspect most other cards based on Sil3124) is a non-starter.

    Finally, I called G-Technology yesterday to inquire about their standalone 4-port eSATA card (US $329). It's based on the RocketRAID 2314 so I wondered if they have modified the drivers for compatibility with optical drives. According to the fellow in Tech Support, it will in fact mount optical drives. If anyone is using this card, I would really appreciate if you can verify this.

    P.S. When I tried to mount a drive with 1 NTFS partition and 1 HFS partition, both cards misbehaved badly with kernel panics, faulty drive messages, sudden reboots, etc.
     
  15. Tallest Skil macrumors P6

    Tallest Skil

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2006
    Location:
    1 Geostationary Tower Plaza
    #17
    None exist whatsoever. You don't need them, though, as has been stated.
     
  16. IainH thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2009
    #18
    Thanks for that writeup - I went ahead and bought the 2314...shame I cant use it, since my brand new MP has a faulty PSU..sigh.

    I hope it hasnt destroyed my sata card...
     

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