Less expensive RAID controller for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by nutmeg, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. nutmeg macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
    Hi all,

    Do we like the RocketRAID 3510 as a less expensive alternative to the $800 Mac RAID controller offered by Apple?

    We're going to be looking at setting up the RAID on an HD video editing suite.

  2. valdore macrumors 65816


    Jan 9, 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri. USA
    I'll be watching this thread, as I'm in the same boat as you. I need a raid controller for raid 5 but am looking for alternatives to Apple's notoriously expensive hardware.

    Where are the prices listed on that site? I couldn't find them.
  3. nutmeg thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 25, 2008
    I didn't see any on the site, but I see it for $325 on eWiz.

    There's the 3520 as well, which is 8-channel (the 3510 is 4-channel), and that's closer to $600.

    I think the Mac RAID card is only 4-channel anyway though.
  4. Flyinace2000 macrumors 6502a


    Sep 28, 2004
  5. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    How did this go? I'm also interested in switching to using hardware RAID for my four internal SATA drives, I don't really want the Apple card as I'm unlikely to upgrade to SAS drives (which is why it's so expensive as it supports them), any good alternatives out there?
  6. TSparger macrumors member

    Jan 7, 2009
    Not much less expensive, but look at CalDigit.
  7. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Helle friend,

    I believe it is. The performance of RocketRAID 3510 is very good.:)
  8. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009

    I believe it is. The performance of RR3510 is very good.
  9. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I think I'm ready to actually go ahead and get this card, since I'm planning to wipe my system to install Snow Leopard fresh to eliminate the bugs I currently have hanging around. May as well give the hardware a little upgrade while I'm at it too eh?

    I'm interested to know what the installation of this card is like though, and what (if anything) extra I'll require in order to do it. Are any extra cables required, or are they all provided?

    I'm assuming I'd need to prepare a bootable external drive, so that I can set-up the RAID prior to installing Snow Leopard onto it? As I imagine it can't be done on a live system?

    Lastly; bootcamp. If I take my four 750gb internal drives, and stripe them together (as I have now done in software) with the rocket-RAID card, will it still be possible to partition them so that bootcamp will run?
  10. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    (A) First of all, RR3510 is internal RAID Card, if you want to use RR3510 , you need the third party hard disk rack to use internal Raid Card.
    Link http://www.barefeats.com/hard120.html

    (B) About cables : you can go to http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA/series_cable.htm to pick the suitable cables.
    Yes, you can.

    May I know it, how many hard disks will you use? Among them, how many will be attached to MacPro, how many will be attached to RR3510?

    Best Regards

  11. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I thought the Mac Pros do have a Mini-SAS/iPass connection? It just requires a lot of work to get at it, and re-route it so it can reach a shorter card such as the RocketRAIDs?

    I currently have four, 750gb Hitachi Deskstar drives. They're 7200rpm, drives with 32mb and were a good price at the time. I have all four striped together with software RAID at the moment, which is still excellent for large file-loading but a hardware card ought to be better, and also provide better performance for smaller files.

    I am however considering upgrading to 1.5tb drives, the seagate barracuda ones are a decent price, however I'm undecided so far, as I'll need a good enclosure to put drives in for back-up, and it's looking like a good, 8-bay enclosure is going to be hard to come-by. At least, not within a reasonable price-range at any rate.
  12. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hi , I suggest you to use RocketRAID 3522, because 3522 is external RAID CARD. If you use external Raid card so that you haven’t need ipass. Lastly ; this card is really hardware raid card. It gave you good performance and incapable to describe steady.
  13. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hi , I suggest you to use RocketRAID 3522, because 3522 is external RAID CARD. If you use external Raid card so that you haven’t need ipass. Lastly ; this card is really hardware raid card. It gave you good performance and incapable to describe steady.
  14. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    I've opted for the RocketRAID 4310. While Highpoint don't currently officially recognise their Mac compatibility, they are Mac compatible. Some people have used them with the Maxupgrades cable, that allows them connect a card without getting at the iPass cable, but I'm just going to go ahead and use the built-in cable, and hook up a replacement to that port (so I can still use it if I wish).

    I'm not particularly daunted by getting at the iPass cable, as I work with the innards of computers quite a bit, and while not the easiest procedure it's nothing out of the ordinary really, just time-consuming by the sounds of it.

    I'll post a follow-up to let everyone knows how it goes. I imported my 4310 from the US (can't find it anywhere in the UK except at heavily inflated prices).
  15. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Okay, installation is a bit delayed. Others seem to have managed to get more give from their iPass cables than I can. I've managed to get everything possible (required swapping the drive connector for bays 1 and 2) and it only just reaches the 4310 when placed in the top PCIe slot, which isn't enough as the strain is too much, so as soon as the computer heats up the clip gives up and it pops right out again. Though I can confirm the card detects my drives just fine, and merrily beeped away as they all "failed" simultaneously when the connector came out. :)

    I've ordered the Caldigit Mini-SAS extender for MacPro (a further £31 though, bah!). So if anyone intends to get the same card be aware of that in advance; if you're lucky your MacPro's iPass cable may be a few millimetres longer than mine and you won't need it unless you want to use a different PCIe slot, but otherwise it'll be necessary. Or you could get the MaxUpgrades cable, which seems easier to install. Not that installing it this way is too hard, getting the fan out isn't so bad, but if you need to re-order the molex connectors then I do thoroughly recommend putting the machine on its side (so you're working on it from "above") otherwise you'll lose screws inside like I did and waste a ton of time getting them back out :D

    For the card itself you'll need to install the v1.3.2 drivers (which you can get from the 4311 page here), these will allow you to see your card via the web GUI. Once you've done this, you can type "localhost:7402" into Safari and use the tool there to install the EFI firmware onto your card, the firmware for the 4310 is available here. The web GUI username/password are RAID/hpt respectively, which wasn't readily available (the user manuals have nothing about the web GUI, and the default web-GUI guide is terrible).

    Snow Leopard does have the right driver built-in, but no version of the web-GUI, so an existing card ought to run fine, and it should be possible to upgrade from Leopard to Snow Leopard without having to do a drive-clone or similar. But you'll want to install the latest drive anyway to get the web GUI working.
  16. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Hmm, I've hit a dead-end on this front. The Bootcamp assistant doesn't recognise my RAID volume as an internal drive. So I manually created 40gb of free-space to install Windows on, however the Windows 7 installer complains that the partition uses GPT (GUID Partition). So I thought maybe it wants a Master Boot Record instead (though Windows 7 is supposed to support GPT?), but Disk Utility won't even let me create an MBR partition scheme on my RAID volume, the option is simply greyed out with no explanation.

    So I do I go about creating a bootable partition on a RAID volume created using a RocketRAID?
  17. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
  18. MacUserPeggy macrumors newbie

    Mar 17, 2009
    Hello haravikk:

    Because you need Flash EFI BIOS for RR4310.
    Because you need Flash EFI BIOS for RR4310, after you can find MBR.
    Because you need Flash EFI BIOS for RR4310.

    I am also a Highpoint user maybe I can give you some suggestions.

    First: You must boot Mac OS from Raid adapter at first—
    Step 1: Prepare 3 files:
    (1)Carbon Copy Cloner(http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html)
    (2) RocketRAID 4311 EFI (Inside RR4311-EFI-090122.zip—named4311efi.blf )
    from http://www.hptmac.com/US/product.php?_index=56&viewtype=download
    (3) RocketRAID 4311 driver(RR3xxx_4xxx-mac-v132-090407.dmg) from http://www.hptmac.com/US/product.php?_index=56&viewtype=download
    (PS: Highpoint doesn’t provide internal Mini-SAS product EFI but RocketRaid 4311&4310 is the same series)
    Step 2: Plug in RocketRaid 4310 then enter Mac OS X to install RocketRaid 4311 Driver (RR3xxx_4xxx-mac-v132-090407.dmg)& restart
    Step 3: Enter Highpoint WebGui, select Manage→ Array to create an array then select Manage→ Device→ Update Firmware to browse RocketRaid 4311 EFI (4311efi.blf) to upgrade.
    Step 4: Open Mac Disk Utility to partition the array disk.
    Step 5: Install Carbon Copy Cloner and open it--select Source disk (MacOS from internal SATA HD) and Target Disk(raid array in raid card)—click "Clone"
    Step 6: .Open "System Preferences", click "Startup Disk" to select startup disk on Raid card and restart.

    Second: If first step successfully, please don’t connect all disks from apple internal SATA& prepare to install Windows 7.
    Step 1: Bootup MacOS from RocketRaid 4310 array.
    Step 2: Enter Highpoint WebGUI, select Manage→Device again to update BIOS to standard PC bios(Inside RR4310-—named
    4310bios.blf)from http://www.highpoint-tech.com/BIOS_Driver/page/rr4310.htm→Firmware Download
    Step 3: Run Boot Camp Assistant, create BootCamp partition on array, Insert Windows 7 CD, reboot.
    Step 4: Install Windows 7 to bootcamp partition. Highpoint for RocketRaid 4310 windows 7 driver in USB or CD is needed (Please download from http://www.support-highpoint-tech.com/Main/RR3xxx_4xxx/Win/hptiop-win-, when install Windows 7 and partition must be format when in installing.
    Step 5: After install is finished:*If you using EFI BIOS, you can only start MacOS system in array but if you use standard PC BIOS, you can only start Windows system in array only.

    Good luck.
  19. view21ps macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2009
    can´t create BootCamp partition on array

    I buy the RR4321 but i can´t create BootCamp partition on array

    (First: You must boot Mac OS from Raid adapter at first) is OK

    by the Second
    Step 1: OK
    Step 2: OK
    Step 2: Bootcamp say i can´t create BootCamp partition on array

    please help me
  20. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    As far as I've been able to find it's not possible :(

    The problem is that if you load the EFI firmware to make the card bootable for OS X, then you can't use it to boot into Windows, as that would require the BIOS firmware. I'm not sure if it's possible to boot OS X using BIOS?

    So if you've loaded the EFI firmware, then you're gonna be stuck, as only Windows 7 supports EFI, but it requires EFI v2.0, but Macs currently only have EFI v1.1 and aren't likely to be upgraded, even if newer models are then I doubt Apple would offer v2.0 updates for current ones.
  21. view21ps macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2009
  22. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Then you should be able to do it, you'll need to make sure you have the BIOS firmware installed. When you partition the drive, you'll need to use master boot record (as only Windows 7 can use GUID partition table, but requires EFI 2.0 to do-so), you may find yourself unable to select MBR under OS X.

    Your best-bet is do the following:
    • Set-up the RAID volume under whatever OS you're using now, you'll need the appropriate web-GUI driver to do this.
    • Download the appropriate Windows driver from the web-site, and put it on a USB device (hard drive or memory stick) if you're adding Windows 7, if you want to load XP then you're going to need to create a custom install CD or something else awkward which I can't help you with.
    • Boot up using the Windows install CD (just hold C while starting as normal, or use start-up disk to select it).
    • Select the option to load custom drivers and point it to the RAID card's drivers as required.
    • Use the install CD to partition the RAID volume and install to it as normal.
    • Once Windows starts (if you're lucky enough to get that far!) then you'll want to put your OS X Leopard or Snow Leopard CD in the drive and install the bootcamp drivers so that everything works correctly, sometimes you may need to use device manager to install a newer driver for the sound-card.

    You may encounter difficulties though, it's by no-means a simple process. An alternative may be to set-up Windows using boot-camp on an internal drive, then clone the drive onto your RAID volume and start-up from there, but that's not much easier anyway.
  23. view21ps macrumors newbie

    Nov 6, 2009
    Windows 7 says if I install this hdd or partition it will not boot because the system is not supported, it must be activated in the Bios to boot from the controller to
    "Early 2008" MacPro, 2 x 3.0ghz Quad-Core Xeons, 16gb DDR2 800mhz ECC RAM, NVidia GeForce 8800GT (512mb).
  24. rdru macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    Great job MacUserPeggy.

    The HP support is very week, they do not know well their products.

    Do you know if your solution would also work on 4320?

    I would like to install 4 x 2TB in raid 5 and 2 Intel/OCZ in raid 0 (system drive) on a MacPro 8 core. Using TransIntl Pro Cable and TransIntl Pro Caddy 2.

    I could connect the 2 SSD to the RR4320, if RR4320 supports booting, or connect the 2 SSDs to the MacPro optical eSata ports and the 2TB drives plus the Optical drive on the RR4320.

    Thanks in advance,


  25. iDisk macrumors 6502a


    Jan 2, 2010
    Menlo Park, CA
    What's wrong with Apples RAID??

    Apple has a RAID specifically for the Mac Pro, just stick with Apple.

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