Intel Xeon “Nehalem” MAC Pro with Areca 1221X RAID card

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rtech, Mar 12, 2009.

  1. Rtech macrumors newbie

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #1
    Has anyone here used the Areca ARC-1221X RAID controller on the new mac pro, featuring the Intel Xeon “Nehalem” processor. I'm currently using the card on an older MAC Pro version and getting ready to buy the new MAC Pro for another station. Planning to use ARC-1221X card with the CineRAID 8 bay storage unit.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #2
    As it's external, I don't think you'd have any problems. :)

    Internal would be another story, now that they soldered the SATA+Power connectors directly to the board for the internal HDD bays. :(
     
  3. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #3
    CineRAID and Mac Pro Nehalem using SSD drive

    I got the 8TB CineRAID with 1221X card from TimeLine digital for $2979. The card is fully compatible with Apple Mac Pro Nehalem.
    We were using ICY DOCK SATA convertor
    http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B001KN8PSK/ref=dp_olp_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1241200552&sr=8-1
    + Super Talent UltraDrive SSD
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820609392

    Set up a 6 Drive RAID 0 for capture and the rest 2 using mirror.
    The speed we are getting is close to 800MB/s
     
  4. Rtech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #4
    Joaoferro,

    Did you run the Areca installer on your nehalem MAC? or did you install the driver and MRAID GUI seperately?

    That is a good price, I was going to take advantage of their NAB special their running. 8TB with ARC-1221X for $2999.
    http://www.cineraid.com/nabspecial.htm

    However, I'm starting to lean toward their 12 bay Tower because of the expander option. I will never need to worry about more storage, this will allow me to daisy chain additional units if I need it!

    Any ways, CineRAID told me they fully support the new nahalem Macs, just wanted to know how easy it was for you to install the drivers and GUI on your Mac.

    Thanks
     
  5. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #5
    Yes it is fully compatible and I think the 12Bay is a sweet deal; however, a 8TB is more than what I need.
     
  6. Rx7MR2 macrumors newbie

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    May 7, 2009
    #6
    I purchased my CineRAID 8 bay 8TB unit about 8 months ago, has been humming away with no issues. (knock on wood). To bad they didn't have the 12 bay unit earlier. The expansion feature will come in handy once I fill up the 8TB's.
     
  7. frimple macrumors 6502

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    Denver, CO
    #7
    Oh god I hadn't heard anything about that! :eek::mad:

    So to do my internal 8 drive dream machine the new mac pro's are out?
     
  8. Rtech thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 12, 2009
    #8
    Yes, I too was bummed knowing what Apple has done with the new 09 Macs. They don't want anyone to have fun, unless it comes from them. :(
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #9
    It's technically possible, but you'd be limited to 2.5" drives, and would have to pull the ODD(s) out for the space.

    So far, I'm not aware of anyone such as Maxupgrades or Trans Intl coming up with a solution. :(

    Perhaps a shorter tray that would allow a cable connection to the drive, with a power extention that does reach the power section of the board's connector, even if it's a super short cable.
     
  10. frimple macrumors 6502

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    #10
    You've mentored me before on my concept, but it is 4x SSD's in a bootable RAID 0 config and 4 raptors in RAID 5.

    But it would be possible to run power to 4 SSD's in the 2nd optical bay? I suppose a few splitters off the 4 pin?
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #11
    Oh...crap.

    I know you can fit 4* 3.5" in the ODD's, but the available mounting solutions would require both bays.

    Perhaps you can squeeze it going a DIY route. Try using the metal covers off an old optical drive. Each half will fit the ODD bay, and you have a nice flat surface to mount drives. Just drill out the necessary holes. ;) It's also the least expensive way I can think of ATM. Depending on specifics (VR's maybe?), you might need to make sure the drives aren't going to short out. Adhesive backed mylar film would work well if needed, as would lots of strips of electrical tape. :p

    BTW, are the raptors the newer Velociraptor's or the previous models?

    If it's VR's, you could remove them from the aluminum mount, and should easily DIY a mount that would hold all four.

    The power requirements should only be ~27W, so drawing it off the 4 pin Molex shouldn't be a problem. :)
     
  12. frimple macrumors 6502

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    #12
    It will definitely be a DIY mount for the SSD's in the second optical bay. I didn't think that running the power off the 4 pin would be an issue, but I still have worries about having a bootable array... ahh well more research I suppose!

    They will be the new models, but I was planning on just sticking all 4 of them in the 3.5 sleds. Wouldn't want to void that warranty by taking off that ginormus heat sink they slap on them. ;)
     
  13. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #13
    Perhaps I'm missing something... but aren't there solutions which will mount two 3.5" drives in a single optical bay and adapters which will install two 2.5" SSD's in a single 3.5" drive thus giving you 4 SSD's in a single optical drive bay.

    For example:
    Two of these...
    http://www.startech.com/item/SATA35252X-35-Bay-to-Dual-25-SATA-HDD-Adapter.aspx

    combined with this...
    Z-MP2009OPT06
    http://www.maxupgrades.com/istore/index.cfm?fuseaction=Product.display&product_id=187
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #14
    4 SSD's only need ~2W. :eek: :D (Read/Write is around .4xW per drive, and I rounded). :p

    The VR's don't actually need the heatsink/mount. They even sell it without them. :eek:

    But by placing them into the HDD bays, I presume you don't intend, or gave up, to use hardware RAID then. You'd still be able to operate them from OS X's software RAID at 0/1/10 operation though, which can be booted off of.

    I originally thought you wanted to have all 8 drives attached to a hardware RAID controller. :confused: Or is that in fact what you'd prefer to do?
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #15
    There are. :D I was under the impression frimple wanted to run all 8 drives from the optical bays (essentially 4 SSD's in one bay, and the 4 VR's in the second), in order to use a hardware RAID controller for all of them. I'm not sure now, so I'm waiting for a definite answer from him. ;) :)
     
  16. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #16
    Yikes, I guess that's possible from a physical mounting stand-point using the Startech's in combination with the Maxconnect product that consumes both optical bays.

    My concern would be heat build-up from the VR's in such a tight space without heat-sinks AND how to route all the cabling... that actually might make it impossible.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #17
    I was thinking more in terms of DIY, and beleive it can be don. :) As for the VR's, they don't run that hot. Mine hovers between 31 - 33C, and the worst I've ever seen is 37C. They're rather small, so 4 laid out flat (2x2) one of the optical bays whould have enough clearance for airflow. :)
     
  18. frimple macrumors 6502

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    #18
    That is exactly what I want. I just figured for simplicity I could use the sleds to house the 4 VR's and run SATA cables to the controller. Would that not be possible?
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #19
    The sled is made where the connector on the drive would mate up with board's SATA connectors. You might be able to re-drill the sleds (move the drives forward; closer to the removable panel, to get some room). I don't know how much clearance you'd be able to manage though. IIRC, I haven't seen fan-out cables with right angle connectors, so you may end up limited to RAID controllers that use standard SATA cables. Assuming you can even get the clearance.

    That said, there are a few. Areca has a version (nearly identical to the ARC-1231ML). They only changed the ports on it. Unfortunately, they won't boot OS X. More research. :p

    So I went with the idea of stuffing all 8 HDD's into the optical bays. :D It would be the easiest way IMO, and allows you a few more potential choices for RAID cards. ;)
     
  20. frimple macrumors 6502

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    #20
    Well knowing now that the VR's don't need that heatsink attachment maybe this is a DIY possibility? I also don't think there are right angle fan out cables, and I'd have to worry about smushing the power cable in there too... :eek:.


    Yes, I keep hoping that there will be an update as I really like the Areca cards... I just don't think I could suffer a HighPoint...

    Hmm... I'd still be left with finding a RAID card that will boot OSX (and others! though maybe that's too much to ask :( ). I wouldn't be opposed to this idea, however. I've got a few 16 Gig USB sticks so I don't think I would need an optical drive for much of anything... initial install, but I could do the removal after this was done onto the array. Tell me more about your setup so I can harvest your ideas :D!
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    #21
    For DIY mounted VR's, I think it is. :D
    I didn't bother to mention the power issue, but you're correct to be concerned, as the two SATA power connectors would be as deep, if not deeper (back to back) than a straight fan-out SAS/SATA end. :( I've no idea if you could gain the clearance needed to attempt this route. :confused:

    Some of HighPoint's gear is designed and made by Areca, but not all of it. And it's modded to cut costs, so features are eliminated.

    They can work, but you have to be careful when reading specs to select the right model, assuming they have one that meets all of your requirements. ;)

    I haven't tried any of theirs in years, as they always fall short somewhere. :p
    They do exist.

    But there is a catch. Most (at least any that I can think of ATM), are SAS models. I like the ARC-1680ix... series. It can boot Windows, Linux, and OS X. :D ATTO makes a few as well, but they cost more, and can't upgrade the cache, like you can on the Areca's I linked.

    The real part of the catch is, that SAS controllers aren't optimized for SATA, as they use the 348 IOP series processors. This can get you in two ways if you're not extremely careful with selection. The first is, they're not quite as quick as you might hope. But they're no slouch by any means. The ARC-1231ML is usually only about 5% faster (341 IOP), which is optimized for SATA drives. The second, is they're also picky about the drives they'll work with, and this is the issue that truly matters. Always check the HDD Compatibility Lists, as it can save you all kinds of aggravation (consumer drives won't work, as they're too unstable). The VR's should be OK, as they're really an enterprise drive, and you can adjust the TLER values if need be.

    BTW, Areca has tested SSD's with the ARC-1231ML, but I don't know if you could actually have success with the ARC-1680 units. I'd be concerned that they'd show up, and would operate for awhile, but begin dropping out, just as mechanical consumer drives do (unstable).

    Thinking in these terms, other solutions (SATA card + boot drive for OS X) may fit your needs if you insist on these specific drives. Or you can go the other way, and use enterprise mechanical models.

    I'm just thinking in terms of what you'd go through if it doesn't work. Lot of frustration, ordering new gear, RMA'ing back the other... ;)
     
  22. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #22
    The 12 Bay looks promising. I do like the daisy chain idea. They have a distributor is running a special with free 2TB FireWire RAID drive.

    http://www.cineraid.com/purchase.htm
     

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