New Mac Pro RAID card - no windows support

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Rick Here, Mar 3, 2009.

  1. Rick Here macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    I see that Apple has announced a new Mac Pro RAID card, the price has dropped to $700. It still only supports OS X, no windows driver. The bandwidth limitation of 320MB/sec seems to have increased to over 500MB/sec.
    Anyone know if this compatible with older Mac Pros?
    Is the previous card discontinued?

    Apple is not even offering the SAS drives when configuring a Mac Pro to buy as shown in the benchmark configuration performance example.
  2. scottydawg macrumors 6502


    Jan 22, 2008
    Sacramento, CA
  3. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Apparently, it's a "new" card. No cables. Check here.

    My guess is a slight modification of the previous model. The speed boost may be from the fact it can utilize all 8 lanes this time (short cable only worked with slots 3 & 4 ), not necessarily a faster IOP.
  4. lostngone macrumors 65816


    Aug 11, 2003
    Any more info on the new card???

    I have read all the info on the Apple page is this a card I should be looking at or just go third party...
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Unkown at this point.

    Pics of a disassembled '09 MP would help. ;)

    The reason I'd like to see this, has to do with the "cable less design". If the drives connect to the logic board via a MiniSAS cable, but the need to disconnect and attach it to a RAID card is all that's changed (data transmitted to/from RAID card via unused traces in the 16x electrical/4x operation PCIe slots), adding a 3rd party card could still be done. If not, Apple found a clever way to effectively brick it from 3rd party cards and clean up the wiring at the same time.
  6. Rick Here thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Nanofrog - if you look at the picture of the new card, there still is a miniSAS connector at the far end, in the same place as the previous card. Can a cable be connected as well? Could this be a 8 port SAS only using 4?
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Can you post a pic?

    I've not seen one yet. Just a description on Apple's site.
  8. Rick Here thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Only a single MiniSAS connector, so it would only be capable of operating 4 HDD's, same as the previous model.

    If you need more than that, you'd have to go 3rd party. It does look like that might not be impossible though, as there must still be a MiniSAS cable in the system somewhere. Might need to use a female MiniSAS to female MiniSAS to if the cable is too short in this one as well.
  10. Rick Here thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    So you missed the point...

    4 ports in the MiniSAS that you see in the picture, and 4 ports in the cableless design as Apple mentions in the description. For the Mac 2009 they support, they use the PCIe connector as you mentioned earlier, is the MiniSAS also enabled to give 4 more lanes of SAS/SATA?
    Or is this for older MAC Pros to plug in the cable?

    Hmmm .....
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Ahh... I see where the confusion is. :eek: :p

    I've been working under the premise the capability of accessing the ports via the slot is possible, but are shared with the 4 port MiniSAS connector (backwards compatibility with earlier MP's), not in addition to (independent).

    It would make sense, as the MP's are only built with 4 HDD bays, and it would make backwards compatibility easier I think.

    Either way is possible, but more detailed information would be nice to clear things up. ;)
  12. Rick Here thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    Mac Pro 2009 - No More Drive cables

    From the pictures posted by WonderSausage on Flikr you can see that the drive bay SAS/SATA connectors or now on the mainboard. So using the new RAID card must use PCIe lanes for the cableless design to work.
    MacPro2009 mainboard.jpg
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The PCIe bus is how the data it transferred from Apple's RAID card. Quite elegant from a cabling POV, as it helps reduce the "rat's nest". ;) :p

    But in the case of the RAID card itself, it doesn't clear up if it's capable of only 4 or 8 port operation. Personally, I think it's only 4 ports, and it's shared between the PCIe and internal MiniSAS connector, as the MP only has a dedicated area for 4 bays.

    It would still be possible to use an external card though, and possibly an internal one with some serious modifications.

    Otherwise, it would depend on whether or not a 3rd party manufacturer would make a card that allows the data to be shared on the PCIe as well. Not impossible, but I'm not sure how feasible financially, given the market size. :confused:

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