OCZ vs. Intel SSD Boot

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by vogelhausdesign, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. vogelhausdesign macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #1
    Hey guys, I think i'm going to be investing in a SSD Boot drive for my 09 2.93-Octo MP. Have a few questions regarding the size needed for boot, and brand!

    Before I begin, I have my DL/User files on another drive already and I'm still right around 80GB in Apps, but I do have a lot of fonts and other little files Floating around that I'm sure could be moved to another drive.

    So
    A. What size is common for boot drives SSD?
    B. I'm reading better speeds in the OCZ Vertex than the Intel X25M, which drive do you trust?

    Is there a drive out there with a 64m Chip thats 80g? Or do i need 120(128)to get the good chip.

    Also who is a good online or retail supplier for these drives? OWC?

    thanks everyone!:apple:
     
  2. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #2
    Hi, you can't beat Anand's coverage of SSD tech for superior insights with which to make an informed decision.

    http://www.anandtech.com/storage/

    I personally am running dual G1 Intel 80GB drives in RAID0 (160GB total). This is super fast and more than enough space for OS/Apps and even my active project work.

    If I were doing it all over today, I would probably opt the G2 drives obviously, but would still go for dual 80GB drives in RAID0.

    Having said that, the Vertex is a very worthy choice. The Vertex excels at sequential writes while the Intel is more optimized for random reads, the latter being considered more important for an OS/Apps drive. However, the bottom line is that either would serve you very well and would make your computer feel supercharged compared to running off HDD's.
    :)
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    I switched from the OCZ Vertex to the Intel drive in my Pro and I couldn't be happier.
    The Intel drive is definitely the better drive, not only is it faster, it does not loose it's speed after time, which the OCZ does.

    The size depends on your usage and apps.
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    Another reason to go Intel is they appear on approval lists of RAID card makers. I had a negative experience with some Supertalent drives. They would not build a stable array and had to be exchanged for Intels.
     
  5. Cycom macrumors 6502

    Cycom

    Joined:
    Mar 27, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    Intel over the OCZ ssd's any day of the week, brah.
     
  6. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a

    ildondeigiocchi

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Location:
    Montreal
    #6
    I recommend Intel. Get 2 80GB G2's and run them in Raid O. :D
     
  7. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #7
    Ok, well looks like I'm going to be getting Intel .. Now all I need to know is the type i should get..

    -How much more is it to get 2 80g's? and how much faster is SSD R0.

    -Do they make G1's still? Or is it all genII with the new price?

    -Link to store's you trust? that would help big time.

    -Is it safe to buy used? just curious..If i can save a buck without compromise i will.
     
  8. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    Buy from Newegg or Amazon... they both have competitive prices.

    The G2's are generally selling cheaper than the G1's (if you can find them). There's no point going G1 unless you can find G1's cheap pre-owned, but I don't know where you would look. Craigslist and eBay have been a disappointment for me in terms of finding state-of-the-art stuff for a bargain.

    Here's my xBench (not the best benchmark but one of the few we have) with two Intel SSD's in RAID0...

    Code:
    Results	438.45	
    	System Info		
    		Xbench Version		1.3
    		System Version		10.5.7 (9J61)
    		Physical RAM		6144 MB
    		Model		MacPro4,1
    		Drive Type		Intel SSD RAID0
    	Disk Test	438.45	
    		Sequential	286.82	
    			Uncached Write	276.71	169.90 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	253.02	143.16 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	189.87	55.57 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	898.12	451.39 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Random	930.26	
    			Uncached Write	1095.54	115.98 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Write	417.89	133.78 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	2346.21	16.63 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    			Uncached Read	1760.86	326.74 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
     
  9. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #9
    man I wish I had $500 extra lying around to RAID a couple of those in my mac pro. And heck, while I'm dreaming, I'll get a 160GB for my macbook and put it in the optical drive slot.
     
  10. frimple macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #10
    Here's what I was able to attain with 2 Intel G1 SSD's in RAID 0 using a dedicated raid card instead of softraid. The card was the Areca 1231ML
    Code:
    Sequential
    Uncached Write (4k)    -- 501.38 MB/sec 
    Uncached Write (256k)  -- 576.83 MB/sec 
    Uncached Read (4k)     -- 95.97 MB/sec 
    Uncached Read (256k)   -- 646.00 MB/sec
    
    Random
    Uncached Write (4k)    -- 188.50 MB/sec 
    Uncached Write (256k)  -- 595.72 MB/sec 
    Uncached Read (4k)     -- 92.56 MB/sec 
    Uncached Read (256k)   -- 647.20 MB/sec
    
     
  11. 3587 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    #11
    I heard that Windows doesn't recognize a RAID of SSD's? That's why I opted for the 160GB G2 and put everything on it... Works for me!
     
  12. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #12
    Woah, anyone confirm this?

    and just to be sure, since I'm a SS noob ( unless its solid state consoles <3 )
    it;s the Intel x25-M GII that i seek correct?
     
  13. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816

    Dr.Pants

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    #13
    Any RAID done via the motherboard for one OS shouldn't be able to be seen from the other OS, but doing a RAID off of a hardware RAID card might be able to get your array seen by the other OS... Though if you want to use an array for both OSes, you would need two RAID cards (as many cards don't have enough on-board memory to boot both OSes, IIRC).
     
  14. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #14
    I have tried for a long time to run a RAID0 array with Windows. I found it impossible with the Mac Pro hardware. This is mainly because I failed to put the ESB2 (2006-2008) and ICH10R (2009) devices into RAID mode. There is a procedure to use the AHCI mode but RAID I have never achieved. This is probably due to Apple's EFI. If the devices were supported by Bios firmware it should be possible to use the Intel Matrix Storage Manager to stripe two SSDs with Windows.

    I have also tried two Raid cards of Highpoint and Areca to build hardware based arrays. This also failed because none of the companies offers a card firmware that boots first into the Apple EFI firmware and subsequently into Windows. All card firmware which is capable to boot Windows is exclusively designed to be used on Bios machines. I found that this does not integrate properly with EFI to my satisfaction.

    Based on those experiences I would say that I know of no existing solution to boot a set of striped SSDs in Windows.
     
  15. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #15
    As you said, software RAIDs which are created by OS X can't be accessed from other, native booted, operating systems.
    A single drive, which includes any SSD, can be accessed without problems.
    Virtualised systems, like with Parallels or VMWare have no issues with software RAIDs.
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    Yep.

    It can be done on PC based boards (BIOS based firmware, or even an Itanium's EFI), but they must remain separate (one OS can't access the one created/used by another). It seems the EFI used in MP's won't allow it, as there's no access to change any of the settings.

    You would need a separate card of some sort. Whether or not one OS could read/write to it, will depend on the file system, and any 3rd party software (i.e. Macdrive).

    It's Apple's EFI firmware. It's possible otherwise in Itaniums (fully standard EFI with access to its settings) and PCs (BIOS).

    There is no ONE card solution for a dual RAID in an MP per se (a single hardware card CANNOT run both an OS X and Windows array in an MP. PC's and Itanium based systems, YES. But there's not a card out there that can contain both EFI and BIOS that I'm aware of. It's one or the other, and why you had so much hassle with the testing you performed.

    But you could create one for OS X using the logic board (assuming you can use the limited array choices of 0/1/10), and a second Windows array off of a separate card.

    A Windows array will require a separate card of some sort whether or not there's one in OS X or not (given what you discovered in testing).

    Otherwise, you'd need a separate PAIR of RAID cards to properly deal with parity based arrays. Not ideal by any means, but no way around it for such a requirement in an MP.
     
  17. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #17
    You have often intimated that such solutions do exist. I have yet to come across a user who actually runs such a dual boot system with Windows and OS X both from multiple striped drives and is happy with the EFI integration.

    In my view a dual boot system must have a simple, reliable and straightforward mechanism for the user to determine which operating system he wants to start at the next boot up. There can be different acceptable ways to achieve that. The most basic is having EFI display the boot options by pushing the "Alt" option key for booting. This would be my requirement for a sensible EFI integration of a RAID card that boots Windows. I have not found a single offering that would fullfill that requirement.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    It's rather simple. One card contains EFI for booting OS X, and the other BIOS for booting Windows.

    That should still be possible as a result of the EFI boot manager though (ALT key; or you could choose to use an EFI boot loader such as rEFIt).
     
  19. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #19
    Sorry, I don't believe it would work with Bios for Windows. The windows boot array would not be shown by EFI or rEFIt. Have you ever tried it? I have tried and it did not work. I have also been told by Areca that it will not work with their cards.
     
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #20
    I thought rEFIt would, as the loading process would launch EFI first, then BIOS emulation when Windows was selected.

    But the EFI Boot Manager within the EFI should, unless Apple's borked it too. I've not had the ability to test it, given the MP was returned.

    I'd love to see this tested <2 cards, 1= EFI, 1 = BIOS> (or perform it myself), but I don't have a MP to use. It does work in Itanium systems, but the EFI is a little different than Apple's (straight EFI v. 1.10 spec compliant vs. deviation to an unknown degree). I've presumed it's not that much, but who knows at this point, given some of the more recent issues that have been discovered.
     
  21. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #21
    I can definitely tell you that I have tried for weeks using many different ways including Apple, Highpoint and Areca hardware and I could not make it work. The only way I see to get this working is setting the Mac Pro south bridge in Windows to work in Raid mode. I know that it took some bloody clever people like pipomolo24 and johnsock to set the AHCI mode in Apple EFI. So unless a similar effort is made for Raid mode in EFI I don't see much chance to get dual boot with striped drives. My suspicion at this point is that Microsoft has talked to Raid card manufacturers to prevent their firmware to boot Windows on external devices. They are clearly not interested to have someone support this technology because it would enable people to carry their Windows copy around to different machines. It is obviously not the intention of MS to let that happen.
     
  22. gelid macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2008
    #22
    Are there any manufacturers out there that offer a Silicon Image 5923 Single SATA to dual-SATA RAID storage processor solution other than the backplane that is internal to the OCZ Colossus drive? I think something like would be transparent to both Windows and OS X, but you would of course be constrained to the throughput of a single 3.0 Gbps SATA2 connection like the Colossus is. I think another limitation is a lack of TRIM passthrough.
     
  23. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 8, 2009
    #23
    Intel for sure, much more reliable. I had a OCZ die on me. Twice. RMAd fine, but couldn't trust it for boot.

    I picked up a 160GB G2 Intel on black friday for $424 on Newegg, and got $40 bing cashback to boot!

    Which leads me to sell my 80GB G1 . . . PM if interested
     
  24. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #24
    You tried multiple cards simultaneously (one for OS X = EFI firmware and another for Windows = BIOS firmware)?

    I was aware of different cards, but was under the impression it was only a single card each test instance.

    I'm not sure it will be possible this way though, as I'm thinking since Apple never wanted that aspect supported. The RAID microcode allows for a level 5 array, and given it's software RAID, is a good idea to pull it IMO. But instead of modifying that section, they dumped it all together, leaving the Legacy and AHCI code ONLY.

    It's only a guess, but it seems reasonable to me, given they fixed the multiplier for the memory rather than use the SPD settings.

    I'm under the impression the ONLY software RAID that will work from a MP's board, is one created under OS X. Not Windows. But it would be possible to run an OS X array that way (assuming the needs can be met with 0/1/10), and a Windows array off a separate card.

    For dual parity arrays (5/6/50/60; one per OS), the only possible option is dual cards.

    I don't agree. RAID can be physically moved from one system to another, including the boot array (if it exists). In fact, cards will boot from external enclosures, provided the card has boot support for the system it's used in, and the OS is installed on the external array (in general). I've seen and done it.

    So any issues in the MP is on Apple (firmware; all kinds of restrictions have been surfacing lately). The bastardized form of EFI v. 1.10 specification is worse than I'd originally believed it seems. :(

    But without confirmation that a dual card setup won't work, I do still believe it's possible (works in other EFI based systems = Itanium). I'm hoping Apple's firmware isn't borked to that extent (laziness = MP owners best friend), but at this point, I'm not so sure I wouldn't be surprised... :rolleyes: :apple:
     

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