HighPoint RocketRaid 2640X4 Review on BareFeats

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

  1. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    According to the article, it runs faster than Apple's RAID card, and is much cheaper too. :cool:

    Looks great for a 4 drive RAID 0,1,0+1,5 (SATA or SAS).
  2. aliot macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2008
    two questions
    I remember highpoint only mention 3 serise are bootable.
  3. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Looking at HighPoint's specs....
    (2640X4 Mac Site )

    BIOS Booting Support
    No BootCamp capability from what I can tell. (An issue even on the 3xxx series)

    If you stick to one OS only, it would be fine. :eek:
    For BootCamp, keep looking. :(
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    A bit messy on the inside. :(

    I'd suggest that for Boot Camp use you simply put a standard SATA hard drive in the second optical bay.
  5. Tracer macrumors 6502

    Jun 20, 2007
    Hardware RAID is dead, when Snow Leopard and ZFS rolls around you won't need RAID cards anymore.

    "ZFS implements very fast RAID that fixes the performance knock-off against software RAID. In ZFS all writes are the fastest kind: full stripe writes. And the RAID is running on the fastest processor in your system (your Mac), rather than some 3-5 year old microcontroller.

    Just add drives to your system and you have a fast RAID system. With Serial Attach SCSI and SATA drives you’ll pay for the drives (cheap and getting cheaper), cables and enclosures. "

    Pulled from here.

  6. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'd have to agree on the messy part. :D

    But, if someone who only needs a single OS, the card and the MiniSAS-4SATA adapter combined still aren't bad, considering the cost.
    $179 MSRP I think, + ~$90 for the adapter. Still cheaper than Apple's RAID card by a long shot. ;)

    For me, I do need access to the RAID array via Boot Camp, so I have been looking elsewhere.

    BareFeats also has an upcoming review of the CalDigit Raid Card, which can be used with BootCamp. :eek:
  7. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    ZFS...Mmmm..Sweet! :D

    Unfortunately, it will be available in Snow Leopard Server. Cost $500, so not included in a system. :(

    An update or two later perhaps, Apple would port it to the mainstream version. :eek:
    So for the immediate future, another option would have to be used. :apple:

    For those who need RAID in a multiple OS environment, ZFS won't work. :( :(
  8. aliot macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2008
    anyway,it looks really fit for a mac pro user in a reasonable price.However,it doesn't have a 256mb cache onboard,but its performance is not bad.and I think about the RR3510, it's 386cad in canada.

    TerabyteStream™ for blazing performance
    Intel IOP 81341(800 MHz)
    PCI -Express x8 (x16 slot compatible)
    256 MB of DDR II memory with ECC protection
    4 SATA II channels at 3Gb/s per port
    Multi -adapter support up to 4 adapters
    BIOS booting support
    BIOS PnP and BBS (BIOS boot specification) support
    Intel RAID 6 Engine for large capacity RAID arrays
    Option Battery Backup Unit (BBU-03)
    RoHS compliant

    spec is higher and 2640X4,but the price a little bit more than 2640x4+adapter.It's native mini-sas support too.

    should I pay a little more for a higher spec?
    I believe whatever how fast is you computer,but hardware raid doesn't cost cpu resource.
  9. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Couple of Questions:
    1. Do you use SAS drives, or SATA only?
    2. Are you going to use Boot Camp with the RAID array?
    3. Are you planning to boot directly from the RAID array?

    The details really help. :)
  10. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    I'm pretty interested in this solution to get some redundancy for my data. Quick question about RAID 5 in this application: in the event of a single drive failure, the machine continues to function at or near full speed, or does it shut down until I replace the failed drive?

  11. Rick Here macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Usually for RAID 5 the system continues to run in a degraded mode. When the faulty drive is replaced, a rebuild initiates. The degraded mode continues until the rebuild is complete. So rebuild speeds may hamper operations.
  12. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
  13. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    I've been planning to set up unRAID as a media server for a long time and having just lost 3 hard drives in the past 2 months, I'm really feeling like I should do something.

    The reasons why I wanted unRAID vs RAID 5 are that it's more expandable (you can just add any hard drive up as needed up to 15) it's more efficient in terms of space wasted for parity (1 drive can give parity to up to 15 drives) and the RAID card was too expensive (thinking Apple's was the only option).

    2 out of 3 points are still valid, but I presently have around 700GB of archive video (mostly HD mkvs). I presently have 3 matched Samsung 500gb drives, so the prospect of just adding a 4th drive and the card and having a 1.3TB faster, protected array is very appealing. I figure that'll give me 18-24 months of expansion headroom, and then I can replace the drives with 1TB drives when they're $120 or whatever.

    I use bootcamp but as suggested here, I'd just stick my XP partition on the 250gb drive that's now housing my OS. Bootcamp will at least see the array (with OS X on it) and the other hard drive with XP on there, right? Any other factors I'm over-looking?
  14. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    :confused: Are you now looking for a RAID card that will work with OS X and XP via Boot Camp? Or are you still intending to us unRAID?
  15. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    One more question - is there a trick that I'm unaware of in getting my data onto the Array from the existing drives? I'm guessing I'll have to offload the data to something else, create the array, and then copy it into the array.... which means I need to have an additional 700gb available, yes?
  16. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    Sorry Nanofrog - I have trouble with my ISP in India and several of my posts haven't actually been posted.

    I'm looking at either/or, RAID5 in my Mac Pro or unRAID. I can run a 5th SATA drive in the optical bay for XP, as long as bootcamp will let me choose between Windows from the 250gb drive, or OS X from the RAID. If windows can't see the RAID, well that's probably just as well :) I have MacDrive on my windows partition right now and it scares me that Windows can write to (and mess with) my Mac Volumes.

    Input really appreciated!
  17. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Not a problem. :cool:
    You can send an e-mail if you want.

    What are you trying to do exactly? (Store media only?)

    I've taken a look at unRAID. Do you have an old computer and drives capable of this?
    It's interesting, but not sure if it would be cost effective, unless you have everything but the programmed USB reader.

    This is quite doable! :D

    1. Disconnect the iPass cable (MiniSAS end) from the logic board, and connect it to the RAID controller. This gives you RAID 5. ;)

    2. You connect an iPass (MiniSAS to 4 SATA) cable to the logic board, and one of the connectors to the OS/boot drive (250 GB you want to use).

    3. Software installation & set-up.

    Done. :p

    The right card is usually the hard part. Depending on what you really need, prices can vary say ~$315 - $1000+ US.

    From what you've posted so far, I would look at the HighPoint RocketRAID 35xx series. They are priced well, and OS X can boot from these, IIRC. You would have to flash the firmware to use it in OS X, so it would then no longer work in Windows, etc.

    I would also recommend sending HighPoint an e-mail to confirm that XP would boot via Boot Camp after changing the firmware to work with OS X.

    (These are the details that make life difficult or interesting. Depending on your point of view.) :p

    I hope this helps.
  18. aliot macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2008
    No_Only sata.I have 7 drives,4 internal in soft-raid0 and 3external through a RR2302
    I want to use bootcamp,but the caldigit one rally annoying can use only HD element as external drive.Is there any other choice?
    In fact,I'm planing to use a raidcard to connect 4 internal drive and set a single drive to logicboard as bootdrive,But use RR2 serise or 3serise is a problem.I don't have too much budget.
  19. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Boot Camp complicates matters considerably. RocketRAID cards don't work with Boot Camp. Period.:eek: :(

    So far, I've only found three manufacturers that can, and have models with external ports. They all require a separate OS boot drive to use Boot Camp.

    Atto ExpressSAS R348
    CalDigit RAID Card
    Areca (multiple models). I've been looking at ARC-1680ix-12.

    The Atto is interesting, in that it is an eight port card that can be configured by the user. Two internal 4 port Mini SAS connections or one internal + one external MiniSAS. It has a built in cache, but isn't upgradeable. Too expensive compared to the other options.

    The CalDigit is the least expensive card of the three, at $549 MSRP.
    I don't know if any other drive boxes will work with it currently. According to Jon at CalDigit, it would work with others, but specifics undefined at that time. I've been hoping that they would make the HDElement available without drives (empty). :confused: :(

    Areca has the largest selection of models that could work, with varying configurations. Some have upgradeable cache. Some have IO Processors at 1.2 GHz (these are quite fast). They have additional features that make them appealing, such as the ability to access the card remotely via Ethernet. Currently there is a major down side. At my last contact, they wouldn't work via the external ports. They will have to sort this one out. :eek:
    Cost wise, these are not the least expensive, but in the end depends on the model. :eek:

    So, your intended configuration is the best to start. One OS boot drive, and 4 drives for the array. You will also need a Mini Sas to 4 SATA cable to attach the boot drive to the logic board.

    Initially, from a raw cost perspective, the CalDigit wins. :) You would have to deal with the HDElement situation later if you need to go externally. :eek:

    An Areca could work as well, but you need to evaluate the models. If you decide that you won't go externally, internal only models cost less. It is also possible to set-up as many as 8 HDD's in a MacPro, if you move the optical drive externally and pick up the optical bay adapters needed. :D

    Personally, I've been comparing the Areca ARC-1680ix-12 to the CalDigit RAID Card. Looking online, I found the CalDigit for $522 (no battery), and the Areca for $767 (no battery). My interest in the Areca is due to the possible configuration options, upgradeable cache, and it has a faster IO Processor ( the 1.2 GHz). Add $50 for 2GB of ECC memory.

    Without a battery, a good UPS is highly recommended. (Required IMHO).

    I know this is a lot of info. Hopefully it can help. :)
  20. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    Is there a reason why I don't want to buy the 2640x4? I love that it's $150 (always thought RAID was out of reach at $800).

    I don't have the bits and pieces for unRAID - in fact ALL I have is the USB flash drive :) I figure it'd be $400-500 or so to set up, but then I'm good to expand up to 10 drives or so (limit is 15+2 but my case would only easily support 10) - any size, any make. It is a better solution, but if I would be able to run RAID5 (4 drives) with this $150 card and still boot XP off a 5th drive, then $250 all together is a pretty compelling alternative.

    Also, I have the old Mac Pro, and I'll soon be running 2 video cards, but seems like the 2640x4 is fine with an 8-lane slot, yes? All I really care about is that my main monitor has access to the 16x lane.

    Can anyone tell me how the slot speed allocation works in Windows? Is it just the same as however it's set in OS X?
  21. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I was under the impression you wanted to boot OS X from the array.

    If not, this card should work. Leave out the XP drivers, unless you decide to give it access (separate RAID 5 on same drives). If you want, you could confirm this with HighPoint. They do reply to e-mail. ;)

    My situation is reversed. I need the array in Vista 64, not OS X. Problematic. :(

  22. nightfly13 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2008
    Ranchi, India
    Oh! Yes I was hoping to boot OS X from the array, and XP from a separate drive. Not possible with this guy? Thanks!

    Also, you're correct I hadn't realized about the adapter.

    About the windows-following electrical specs, that defaults to slot 1 being 16x, yes?
  23. aliot macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2008
    2640X4 looks like the best choice. BTW Can I buy the adapter in canada?
  24. nanofrog thread starter macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    See...things get complicated, quick! :p

    If you want to boot from the array, its one of those features you pay for. :(
    Add features, the cost adds up quick. :D

    Thought the reminder would be useful. ;)

    Yes. :eek:

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