Mac Pro and RocketRAID 4310

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by BHamilton, Nov 7, 2009.

  1. BHamilton macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2009
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    I've got a 4310 en route. Based on discussion with HighPoint, it sounds like I can simply plug in the mini-SAS cable from the Mac directly into this card and have straight access to the 4 HDD ports. Let's assume they're correct. (**edit: they were NOT correct, the card is too short/ipass cable is too short. see recommendations below)

    My question - with the RAID card taking over the 4 HDD ports, should I be able to run my existing SSD in Bay 1 as a dedicated boot drive and the remaining three bays (drives) in an array?

    Basically want confirmation someone has done this - HP *thinks* I should be able to do this. FWIW the Bay 1 drive (SSD boot O/S) is strictly Windows 7.
     
  2. aliot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    #2
    Um,simply....could be,but this "simply" may takes up to $100

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    As I mentioned before,the ipass in mac pro is not long enough to reach rr4310.One solution is reroute the ipass,or you can buy that little thing in photo.

    With a hardware level array,no doubt you can use one HDD alone and three in array,but just keep any eye on the SSD compatibility and bootcamp issue.
     
  3. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    Aliot - is that an extension cable? That is, would the Mac SAS plug from the motherboard plug into that little box and the other end into the 4310?
     
  4. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #4
    It's a miniSAS to SATA converter sold at MaxUpgrades.com
     
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #5
    Yes. It's an extension, and would allow you to do what you want. (Cable on the logic board plugs into one side, the block looking end, and the other into the RR4310. :)
     
  6. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Thanks. This sucks big time. I can 100% confirm (a borrowed) 4310 is too stubby of a card to get anywhere near the ipass cable. Thus, that MaxConnect cable is my only option. I phoned OWC to overnight one to me. For 90 bucks its hardly worth the frustration of hacking cables and connectors together to get the reach I need [edit: see bad experience with MaxConnect below. I suggest you think twice about using them]. I see the CalDigit card is LOOOONG and thus has the reach to get to the ipass cable, although, I've heard complaints that in some cases the ipass cable still doesn't reach comfortably enough to make installation simple. I didn't realize the RocketRaid 4310 is so tiny by comparison.

    I think this dialogue gives me all the answers I need for now. I'll update my progress once the parts are in hand and I build the RAID.

    Thanks folks!
     
  7. aliot macrumors member

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    Jun 19, 2008
    #7
    Ya,it's an extension,everything works flawlessly after you got one,except a little bit over price.
     
  8. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    One more question if you please. From appearance, it looks like the mini-SAS cable can be unplugged from that box. If so, can a normal (i.e. not from MaxUpgrades) mini-SAS to SATA fanout cable plug into that thing (i.e. it would be similar to the other variation of MaxConnect)?
     
  9. aliot macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2008
    #9
    No problem,both side of maxconnect are SFF-8087 connectors.Technically it should support any SFF-8087 cable.I tried the mini-sas cable which comes with rr4310,it works perfectly.
     
  10. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 7, 2009
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    Canada
    #10
    Okay first part for my RAID reconfig showed up. Simply a mini-SAS to 4 SATA fanout cable. I plugged her into the ipass port and hooked up my O/S drive (thus bypassing the 4 internal HDD bays) and all is good.

    I further dumped the stock DVD drive and replaced it with a SATA DVD drive. I can now remove the IDE cable and free up some room in the optical bay area.

    Occupying two of the four SATA connections from the ipass port is the new DVD drive and my O/S on a OCZ 120GB SSD. The remaining two will be divided to a hardware write-blocker (I work in computer forensics) and an e-sata connection.

    FWIW - Get an 18" cable and nothing longer. Both TrippLite and 3ware make them. I got the 3ware version for 25 bucks.

    http://www.frontierpc.com/ProductDetails.aspx?eId=1010480603

    Hopefully tomorrow the MaxConnect shows up and I can get the show on the road.
     
  11. StanD macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Location:
    Raleigh, NC
    #11
    BHamilton,

    If you did a search you will find posts from me on a similar subject.

    I am using a RR4310 with the MaxConnect cable. I also added a SATA DVD and the fan-out cable. It all works perfectly spiffy :)

    I will try and check back here and answer any questions you may have.

    As well when Snow Leopard came out I opened a ticket on the HighPoint support site for the latest drivers and they then attached them to the ticket. I did this because what I found on their hptmac.com site didn't see up to date.

    Having just checked their site it seems that there is no specific entry for the RR4310 still, sigh.

    In summary, with the MaxConnect it is doable and works right off the Snow Leopard DVD. Enjoy!


    - Stan
     
  12. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12

    In my situation its all Windows, I have no purpose whatsoever for Mac OSes. Fundamentally, nothing really different other than drivers I suppose. Glad to hear it worked out for you.

    A quick update, I finally received the MaxConnect, however, its unfortunately not long enough to do the job - seriously, the freakin' cable they sent is 3" long. I could re-route the iPass cable and get more reach. I've contacted MaxUpgrades to find out what the deal is. 90 dollars for a connector is not going to fly if it doesn't do the job out of the box. They've got one shot at making it right, I hope they sort this out quickly.
     
  13. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #13
    After a VERY disappointing experience with MaxUpgrades and the reseller (edit: the reseller agreed to refund the shipping cost for the blunder, which is fair considering I paid to have it overnighted to Canada $$). I've finally got my Mac running again. No thanks to MaxUpgrades, the MaxConnect kit they sent was a joke/garbage (for 90 dollars no less). If anyone is contemplating paying 90 bucks for 4" of cable and a second-hand looking product (complete with glue and hair stuck to it) go with MaxConnect. Otherwise you can spend 20 bucks and get simple PCB board connector from a number of other vendors.

    Anyways... I got the drives setup well enough that I can do some serious testing on configuration.

    RAID5 at the moment. Theoretically I've maxed out these drives (at certain points) based on the speeds I'm getting. Not sure what else to test, I'm probably better off getting back to work.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    Well, most of it's hovering around 400MB/s for both read and write. Quite nice actually for a 4 member set (assuming SATA drives). :D

    If they're 15k rpm SAS units, not so much. :p
     
  15. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Canada
    #15
    These are 1GB Seagate ES.2 7200 rpm (pseudo enterprise) drives.

    This is at 64K block size. Because I work with files from 5GB to 20GB, do you think there is a benefit to trying larger block sizes?
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    Those actually are enterprise drives (they contain the timings needed for RAID controllers, as well as some additional sensors for fly height adjustment,...). It's the Baracuda's that aren't (consumer version of that drive).

    Actually, with files that large, you might (big files benefit from sequential access, and larger stripes help this). Worth testing it IMO.
     
  17. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    On a slightly unrelated topic, I first tried this card in a 4X slot. Worked without issue. Once I refitted the fans on my video cards, I moved them to 4X slots and in turn moved the RAID card to a 16X slot. While the over-all throughput numbers didn't change, the burst coming from cache was MUCH better.

    So while it looks like the card functions fine on 4X, it certainly perks up on a 16X slot. That said, the official spec for this card states its meant for a 8X at least.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    Yep. It's meant for an 8x slot (the card's PCIe 1.1, not Gen 2.0). So even if the PCIe slots in the MP are Gen 2.0 (some model MP's have them), they have to default back to the slower spec (250MB/s per lane).

    It won't make any difference with 4x mechanical drives, but if you had used 8x SSD's (Intel's can output 250MB/s reads per), you'd be throttled to 1GB/s by the 4x slot. But it wouldn't happen with the 8x slot. ;)
     
  19. BHamilton thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #19
    Worth testing indeed. I netted 25MB/s more on writes, and 30MB/s on reads. That's a substantial increase for a simple (but time consuming to rebuild) tweak. This is the same setup with 256K.

    [​IMG]
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #20
    In your usage pattern, the larger stripe size makes sense (gives a nice return in throughputs), as the entire array contains large files. It's when you get mixed sizes, that testing is truly needed to find the "sweet spot" for the usage (what's accesed more; the smaller or larger files). ;)
     

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