Feedback on Syba PCI-e SATA III cards?

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
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.
 
Last edited:

Rorqual

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2013
12
1
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.
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
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.
are you certain of that? this review states that the 642L can boot osx :

As an added bonus, the card is bootable in Windows 7, OS 10.6, and OS 10.7. We weren't able to get the RAID bootable in OS 10.5, 10.8 on a secondary testing computer, or Windows 8. In all three OSes, a single drive OS boot worked fine, pointing to OS issues with the three, rather than a hardware problem.

One specific test stood out to us. We put a pair of SATA 3 SSDs in a RAID 0 format, and booted Windows 7 from it -- the machine booted from "cold iron" at the BIOS screen to desktop in 11 seconds. Repeating the test with OS X 10.7 was similar, with a boot from cold iron to desktop in just under 12 seconds.


Read more: http://www.macnn.com/reviews/highpoint-rocketraid-642l-sataoresata-card.html#ixzz2pwppgpVj
Read more at http://www.macnn.com/reviews/highpoint-rocketraid-642l-sataoresata-card.html#qY3YjoQH1SY6XyhQ.99
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
one thing that concerns me about the Syba cards is this :

Does not support more than 4 Drives for Linux and Mac OS. Even if used with a port multiplier, max drives accepted is 4 drives.
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?
 

Rorqual

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2013
12
1
are you certain of that? this review states that the 642L can boot osx :
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.

----------

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?
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).
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
i contacted Syba directly for clarification on this :

Does not support more than 4 Drives for Linux and Mac OS. Even if used with a port multiplier, max drives accepted is 4 drives.
I received this response :

Due to the driver written for this chipset, the Mac and Linux support is very limited.
The Linux and Mac user base is too small for chipset manufacturers to update their drivers frequently.

The card can only see 4 drives. No matter through PM or connected to each SATA port
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.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
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.
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.
 

hfg

macrumors 68040
Dec 1, 2006
3,577
281
Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
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.
Please do report on your success with this card ...

Thanks



-howard
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
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.
i'll echo the above. please post your results.
 

Rorqual

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2013
12
1
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 (??)
Which Syba card? Internal ports on mine (SI-PEX40058) work perfectly.

the WebGUI which gives tons of options.
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.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
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.
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.
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
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.
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
thanks!:)

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.
which model # is that?
 

Rorqual

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2013
12
1
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.
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. ;)
 

Gav Mack

macrumors 68020
Jun 15, 2008
2,192
17
Sagittarius A*
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. ;)
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 :)
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
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 :

Dear Customer,

This card should work in an OS X system.

Please note that there is not much support of Mac OS with this device due to the chipset limitation.

We would recommend not using this card with an OS X system.
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?
 

handheldgames

macrumors 68000
Apr 4, 2009
1,782
1,036
Pacific NW, USA
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.

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?
 

Rorqual

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2013
12
1
Has anyone used a card with the Marvell 88SE9235 in OSX?
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.
 

i-rui

macrumors member
Original poster
Feb 11, 2010
93
2
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.
yikes. should build quality be a concern with Syba cards vs Highpoint?

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.
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?
 

Rorqual

macrumors newbie
Nov 9, 2013
12
1
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?
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. :)
 

Boomish69

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2012
365
85
London
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.
 
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.