Four 2,5" SSD to iPass + Four 3,5" HDD to RAID Card connection?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by alyks, Jul 16, 2008.

  1. alyks macrumors newbie

    Jun 29, 2008
    I want to make this configuration in my new Mac Pro


    I want to use MaxConnect and StarTech 3.5 Bay to dual 2.5 HD SATA hard drive adapter to mount four 2,5" SSDs (soft RAID) in second optical drive
    Also I want to connect four internal Mac Pro Hdds to Raid Card (Hardware RAID 5)

    1 red: What cables will I need for 2,5 SSDs drive connection and power? Whether this cable will work? or I need special ipass cable?
    2 blue: Will the lengths of the Mac pro cable be enough to connect standard HDDs to Raid card?
    3: Which RAID Card is the fastest, which would you recommend to use?
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    1. I don't know about that cable but personally, I would use some combination of an ATA to SATA power cable converter and then some SATA Y power splitters to connect all the four drives to the ATA power cable for the second Optical drive. Space would probably be an issue though.

    2. I've got no idea I'm afraid.

    3. No idea.

    I would say though, wouldn't it make more sense to send the SSD drives to the RAID card? I mean, since you're obviously going for a seriously fast setup (I'm guessing main drive) using the SSDs, wouldn't it be better to have *them* go the hardware raid route, so as to maximise speed? If you were to do this then you could leave the other drives and the iPass connector alone and just get a cable long enough to reach from the SSDs to the RAID card.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    1. This cable.
    2. It should if you place it in the closest slot to the HDD's. (Tight fit).
    3. There are multiple candidates. More info would be needed to help.

    What are you doing with it? OS X only, Boot Camp, etc.?

    The SSD's would be better for the RAID array. No mechanical parts to fail.
  4. Cryptic1911 macrumors member

    Mar 11, 2008
    oh man.. brilliant idea! i'm going to have to do some research on this as i may do this if it can pan out

    I bought this cable for my server that i just built.. its the same as the tripplite, but its got an extra sideband cable attached that you dont need to plug in. its like $10 cheaper than the one from provantage.. cant go wrong either way, i've purchased from both companies
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The Sideband connector isn't needed internally in a Mac Pro. :cool:

    The savings may not be much, but every thing counts. You can always put toward other toys! :p
  6. Tbarr macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2008
    I just got the MaxConnect kit for two HDs in the lower position. You might want to consider that the two HDs are only secured by the two screws on the inboard side of the drives. The 'Kit' is only a machined piece of Aluminum for the bottom plate and a piece resembling a T to support the Optical drive. The vertical part of the T is three 'Pillars' that connect to the bottom plate with three screws. The top part of the T can be seen in the picture, is about 2 inches wide and connects to the Optical drive with two screws. The 'bays' are not covered using this kit.

    I used two 1TB drives with the kit and the two screws seems to hold the drives sufficiently. You might have a problem trying to secure that circuit board with just two screws near the 'pillars' as the back part of the bottom plate only extends half the width of the HD. Whatever...

    I connected the drives to the two 'extra' SATA connections next to the iPass connector. I would suggest leaving the iPass as is and run the cables to a RAID card if you still want one. I used the second ATA power connector with a splitter to power the drives. You WILL have to remove the forward fans to run the SATA cables to the Optical bay. Much easier that way.

    And... it works... the Optical bay door opens :D and my Software RAID survived me moving the HDs to the new location... I DID make a backup first, of course!

    Have fun ;)
  7. rtrt, Aug 15, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    IDE to SATA converter could be used, but some form of additional SATA controller is preferable for both additional SATA ports and speed (RAID card in Tbarr's case).

    If you only need 2 SATA ports, they are available on the logic board. :) Look for "ODD Port", on the left side of the logic board, and beneath the iPass connector IIRC. These ports have been mentioned in other threads, and I seem to remember they can't be booted by OS X, or seen by windows. I would recommend doing a search.

    If you disconnect the Optical drive, and use both connectors, (1 per drive), it can be done. You would lose the optical drive unless there is a second IDE interface available on the logic board. If so, you'd need another IDE cable.
    NO, if you meant how to use 1 IDE connector for 2 drives. :(
    (Not sure if you actually meant cable or connector, Sorry).
  9. rtrt, Aug 16, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I found this on newegg. At $15.99, I'd say buy it, and don't think twice. ;)
    I went to the manufacturer site, and found it does support OS X. :)
    It seems that the ODD ports are far more trouble than they're worth. :p
    No problem, better than a misunderstanding. :D
  11. Tbarr macrumors member

    Mar 27, 2008
    You can look at the Installation Guide here;
    Mac Pro Guide

    I have two 80GB partitions on the two 1TB Seagates configured as RAID 0 (205MB/s). It Boots Fine from the RAID 0. It Boots Windows XP Pro 32 bit fine using a HD in Bay 4. The Two drives in the Optical bay run about 5F cooler than the drives in the built-in bays.

    And, it appears to have solved a problem with Fusion. Every so often, Fusion would see the drives differently and renumber them, then complain that it couldn't fine the Image and want to make another one. I haven't had that problem since installing the two drives in the Optical bay using the ODD SATA ports.
  12. rtrt, Aug 17, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Sorry, I didn't realize your location. :eek:
    Good Luck. Hope it's good news. :)

    Anyway, all you need is an internal PCIe SATA II controller card that supports OS X. The OS X will be the difficult part, without spending an arm-and-a-leg. :(
    Unfortunately, I'm not sure which would be cheaper, buying US and ship to you, or buying from somewhere in the UK. :confused:
  14. rtrt, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    This really bites. :(

    When I spotted the card, both the product description (newegg), and Syba's site both indicated it would work in OS X (10.4+).

    I wasn't trying to send you down a road of misery. ;)
    I was also interested in both this card, and a RS232 PCIe card as well.
    At least I can send an e-mail about it.
    Thanks for the heads-up. :)

  16. rtrt, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011

    rtrt macrumors 6502a

    Jan 19, 2008
    nope it seems like it was me who screwed up

  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    No problem. Sent PM.
    I know I've done stuff like that before too. ;) Even mixed part numbers with the wrong manufacturer. :eek:

    Please keep us posted. :D
    Inexpensive parts that work would be nice for a change. :p
  18. rtrt, Aug 21, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Might have some good news for you. :)

    Costabunny (thread) found an eBay site that ships to Gibraltar. So hopefully, they would ship to the UK. BTW, she also found that if they don't have it listed, they can order it.

    Prices actually look good as well. :D
    I'll keep my fingers crossed. Let me know how it goes.

    Good Luck,
  20. rtrt, Aug 22, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  21. rtrt, Aug 24, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Good to hear! :D
    Keep us posted! :)
  23. ntux macrumors member

    Jan 29, 2008
    Also, looking at the specifications of the chipset of this card (Sil3132), it seems that both sata channels support port multipliers. That could be interesting.
  24. rtrt, Aug 26, 2008
    Last edited: Aug 13, 2011
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    FIS (Frame Information Structure) Switching (Source: Wiki)

    "FIS–based switching is similar to a USB hub. In this method of switching the host controller can issue commands to send and receive data from any drive at any time. A balancing algorithm ensures a fair allocation of available bandwidth to each drive. FIS-based switching allows the aggregated saturation of the host link and does not interfere with NCQ."

    It's about half-way down the page. :)

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