Feedback on Syba PCI-e SATA III cards?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by i-rui, Jan 9, 2014.

  1. i-rui, Jan 9, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2014

    i-rui macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2010
    #1
    I was originally considering getting a highpoint 642L PCI-e card to run some extra internal SSDs, but digging around i'm intrigued by some of the Syba line up, specifically these :

    SD-PEX40054

    http://sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1304&currentPage=0

    SI-PEX40057

    http://sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1371

    SI-PEX40058

    http://sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1372

    all the Syba cards seem to run on the Marvell 88SE9230 chipset, while the highpoint 642L runs on a Marvell 88SE9235, which i guess is slightly newer? any performance differences?

    the SD-PEX40054 is listed as a x4 card, while the other 2 are x2. i'm wondering how accurate that is as the highpoint 642L is also listed as a x4, but is actually a x2. is it the same case with the SD-PEX40054? it's also the oldest of the 3 Syba cards, so i find it kind of strange that it would be faster.

    just wondering if anyone has tried some fast SSDs with these card and if they've tested speeds. interested in raid results as well.

    open to other suggestions if anyone has better options than the Highpoint & Syba.
     
  2. Rorqual macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2013
    #2
    I have a SI-PEX40058. Note the 9235 is actually inferior to the 9230, as it doesn't support hardware RAID and encryption (Windows only). Also, the Syba 9235 cards aren't bootable in a Mac, while the 9230 are.

    With its longer connector, the SD-PEX40054 is certainly X4, but I don't think this has any benefit except in a PCIe 1.0 machine, since PCIe 2.0 X2 provides 1 GB/s, while the Marvell chip can output only about 800 MB/s (but with PCIe 1.0, you'd need X4 to achieve 1 GB/s).

    My card drives a single Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB, and I get around 500 MB/s. With two SSDs, you could easily achieve 800 MB/s.
     
  3. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #3
    are you certain of that? this review states that the 642L can boot osx :

     
  4. chris.k macrumors member

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    May 22, 2013
    Location:
    YSSY
    #4
    I have the Syba x2 caddy card. Works well and boots OSX.

    PEX-40068 is the model #
     
  5. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #5
    one thing that concerns me about the Syba cards is this :

    does that mean if i connect an esata enclosure with 4 drives then the rest of the ports on the card are no longer active? wouldn't this seriously limit the use of the eSATA ports?

    or perhaps it means each port can not accommodate more than 4 drives?
     
  6. Rorqual macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #6
    Note I wrote this about the Syba 9235 card I had. HighPoint might have firmware compatible with Mac boot. Or maybe the Syba card had an old firmware, and Mac boot was added in a later revision? In any case, I did have a Syba 9235 based card (2 SATA3 + 2 eSATA ports) which wouldn't boot in the Mac Pro.

    ----------

    I know port multipliers have been problematic for OS X. I'm not familiar with eSATA, but I guess it's like SATA and one port is designed to accept one drive, so enclosures having multiples drives behind a single port must do some kind of magic. However, I don't know if it's a port multiplier mechanism, or something else that truly hides the fact there are two drives, and presents a single large one to the computer.

    It depends how many external drives you need, but since Syba cards are cheap, you can easily have two in the Mac (unless you're already short on PCIe slots).
     
  7. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #7
    i contacted Syba directly for clarification on this :

    I received this response :

    disappointed to hear that. IMO it really renders the eSATA ports almost useless.

    I'd love to hear if anyone can confirm that. the SYBA tech support doesn't exactly inspire me with confidence.
     
  8. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2004
    #8
    I recently looked at Syba and a few other options for SATA III. There is another thread on MR forums here talking about the sybas on Mac. IIRC the internal ports didn't work in the Syba (??)

    Keep in mind all SATA III controllers I've found were actually PCIe 2.0 2x -- limited to 1GBps roughly for all throughput combined. This includes the Sybas IIRC

    I settled on the RocketRaid 644L (note rocketraid, not just "rocket"), which I believe uses the same chipset as the 642L. Part of the reason is the support I get with Highpoint as opposed to Syba and the WebGUI which gives tons of options.

    I use port multipliers and am going to boot off of a RAID-0 SSD pair.

    If you want I'll post back how it all goes when I get it in 3-4 days.
     
  9. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Dec 1, 2006
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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #9
    Please do report on your success with this card ...

    Thanks



    -howard
     
  10. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #10
    i'll echo the above. please post your results.
     
  11. Rorqual macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #11
    Which Syba card? Internal ports on mine (SI-PEX40058) work perfectly.

    Is it available for OS X, or only Windows? With Syba cards when using BootCamp, you can use Marvell Storage Utility, but it looks less advanced than HighPoint's software. Not that I'd have any use for them: I only used MSU to check the firmware revision.
     
  12. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #12
    I can't remember, it was on Syba's website.
     
  13. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #13
  14. slughead macrumors 68040

    slughead

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    Apr 28, 2004
    #14
    Highpoint's webgui is OS X and windows. The new OS X version is actually decently fast and allows you to upgrade the firmware as well. It also emails you in the event of problems/errors/failure.
     
  15. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #15
    The 2 port Syba card with the ASMedia ASM1061 chipset is my go-to card for Windows boxes needing a Sata 3 upgrade and I think its also OSX compatible. Definitely faster than the Marvell chips in Windows.

    I went Marvell and Solo X2 as I can keep my sleds free cos I've stuck a second SSD on top of the other and used the second X2 port to dual boot OSX/Windows on seperate SSD's.
     
  16. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #16
    thanks!:)

    which model # is that?
     
  17. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #17
  18. Rorqual macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #18
    Faster than which Marvell chip? The ASM1061 is known to not be able to push more than 400 MB/s or so, which is less than most SSDs on the market can achieve, and thus a poor choice IMHO.

    Whereas the Marvell 9230 and 9235 can do 800 MB/s. Don't put all Marvell chips in the same bag. ;)
     
  19. Gav Mack macrumors 68020

    Gav Mack

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    #19
    Or the other asmedia's either lol. They are my defacto cheap as chips controller I use and for under $25 USD new the Syba card I use for SATA 2 PC mobo's. Plonked one in my sons i5 rig only the other week for his 840 evo and it's nearly doubled the R/W performance. Good enough for him too after donating most of his rig parts out of my own pocket in November :)
     
  20. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #20
    I'm going to bump this thread in the hope that i can gleam some more info on the Syba cards.

    Right now i'm leaning towards picking up a Highpoint 640L. It has 4 internal SATA3 ports which is mainly what i'm looking for.

    Similar cards from Syba cost less than half, so i'd like to buy one from them if i can be confident in performance without issues, but unfortunately their support leaves me filled with anything but confidence.

    If i do go with Syba, i think i'd choose either the SD-PEX40054, SI-PEX40057 (both with the Marvell 88SE9230) or the SI-PEX40062 (with the Marvell 88SE9235).

    Has anyone used a card with the Marvell 88SE9235 in OSX?

    The Syba SI-PEX40062 webpage does not mention OSX support so i emailed them asking if the card would work and got this frustrating response back :

    lol

    i then asked what cards they'd recommend with 4 internal ports and they responded with these :

    http://sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1432&currentPage=0
    http://sybausa.com/productInfo.php?iid=1433&currentPage=0

    both use the Marvell 88SE9705. any feedback on this chipset?
     
  21. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #21
    I have the 4 port Syba card. It worked well until it overheated due to poorly applied thermal silicon gave up. I'll resurrect it once I get some proper thermal glue.

     
  22. Rorqual macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #22
    Yes, but it wasn't bootable (don't know which firmware version it had, though, and *maybe* an update could have cleared this issue).
    Not much point really in buying a 9235 card instead of 9230, known to work and be bootable. The 9235, despite the higher number, is inferior to the 9230.
     
  23. i-rui thread starter macrumors member

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    Feb 11, 2010
    #23
    yikes. should build quality be a concern with Syba cards vs Highpoint?

    I know in another thread you mentioned flashing the firmware on a Syba card. Was it a painless procedure? can you flash in OS X?
     
  24. Rorqual macrumors newbie

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    Nov 9, 2013
    #24
    No, you must flash using DOS. So that means creating a FreeDOS boot CD-ROM (I didn't manage to create a bootable USB stick), on which you'll have beforehand copied the Marvell flasher and image, which you can run once booted in FreeDOS. So I'd not call that painless. :)
     
  25. Boomish69 macrumors 6502

    Boomish69

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    Sep 13, 2012
    Location:
    London
    #25
    Hmm interesting thread, I have a 2012 Mac Pro with a Syba PEX40039 card, it works fine, however I recently upgraded to mavericks, I used a AHCI_3rdParty_SATA.kext file to get OSX to recognise it properly, otherwise it defaults to generic AHCI controller, the only advantage I think is the drives shows as internal and not external.

    I thought I’d check out other cards as today I fitted a new Crucial M500 drive , using the Black Magic Speed test I get about 269 write and 360 read, shouldn't it be faster than that? I am wondering if a newer Sata 3 card will enable better speed.
    I used Trim Enabler as well to get OSX trim support..as I say the PEX40039 card has work flawless so far under Mountain Lion, but be interested to know if it can be bettered now.
     

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