How does Apple's RAID Card work on the 09 Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by VirtualRain, Mar 10, 2009.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    Sorry if I've somehow missed insights into this elsewhere, but I'm curious how the Apple RAID card will work given that all of the HD's connect directly to the main-board. Presumably, the SATA data paths are routed directly to the Intel I/O hub chip on the mainboard.

    Do we know how the RAID card intercepts the drive data in the event you buy this option?
  2. trking macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2009
    Should work in '09 Mac Pro.

    The RAID card for the Mac Pro's requires you to dismantle a fair amount of the Mac to install it. Taking out the CPU fan intake and then disconnecting the drive interconnect from the motherboard and plugging it in to the RAID card instead.

    Not too difficult for an engineer and I think the same would quite easily apply to the '09 model. The chassis for the drive rack and motherboard area look the same as previous models.

    But yes, you move the interconnect from the motherboard to the RAID card instead.
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yes, the HDD data lines are routed through unused PCIe traces. No other way to do it.

    The EFI would need a function built into it that disables the SATA Controller to the HDD bays, and re-routes data transmission to the PCIe lanes for the RAID card. EFI reads the RAID card ID to enable this automatically.
    On an '08 Yes, but Apple changed from this method on the '09 model. Data is no longer transmitted via cables at all. The HDD ports are soldered directly to the logic board, and traces are used instead.

    Sucks in the fact it restricts 3rd party options. External cards would be the most effective work-around, but internal cards could be used with external enclosures and a particular cable type (internal to external) run through an unused PCIe slot cover. The int/ext port adapters DO NOT WORK with SATA drives. Too unstable, as drives constantly drop out. The cables mentioned don't cause this. :)

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