OWC's Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express Solid State Drive in MP5,1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bxs, Jan 19, 2015.

  1. bxs macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #1
    I spoke with OWC and they come up with an interesting piece of advice for locating my OWC's 480GB SSD PCIe card to Slot 1 in my MP5,1.

    I use the SSD exclusively to hold the Mac OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 at this time.

    The advice was to remove my PCIe SSD card from Slot 3, move my Nvidia K5000 graphics card to occupy Slot 2 & 3 and then place the PCIe SSD card into Slot 1. OWC indicated they'v given this advice to other customers who have reported issues in MPs using their Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCIe SSD cards. My issue was/is that every so often the OWC's SSD card becomes unusable and causes a system panic at boot time, and the only resolution is to erase and reformat the SSD card and reinitialize the Mac OS X Mavericks.

    In this manner, the SSD would be in a x16-lane PCIe2 slot and so will the graphics card as the Slots 1 & 2 are both x16-lanes. With my current configuration the K5000 card was covering up Slot 2 which is a x16-lane and forcing the PCIe SSD card to go into a x4-lane slot.

    The OWC PCIe SSD is a 2-blade hardware RAID-0 6G card, meaning it can push 2x 6G or 1500 MBytes/sec. The PCIe2 x4-lane supports 2000 MBytes/sec and the x16-lane supports up to 8000 MBytes/sec. In theory both the x4-lane and x16-lane PCIe2 slots should be good enough for OWC's PCIe2 SSD card. However, the x16-lane slot obviously has more 'horsepower'. I'll give this a try.

    I'm curious to know if others using the OWC's PCIe SSD card have also used Slot 1 in their MP4,1/5,1 and found it to work and perform as well or better than in Slot 3 ?

    Thanks... :)
     
  2. Stageshoot macrumors regular

    Stageshoot

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Central UK
    #2
    Hi

    I have a OWC 480Gb Accelsior E2 in my 2009 4.1 Flashed to 5.1

    It is in Slot 4 and has been there for many months. With no issue at all

    I have a GTX970 in Slot one, it is a double width card but does not cover slot 2 (As Slot one in the MP4.1 & 5.1 is a double width slot anyway). so Slot 2 is still usable if you want to

    I was advised there was no performance bonus by having the OWC in slot 1 or 2, and Speed Test have shown this to be correct.
     
  3. bxs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #3
    Thanks for that feedback... :) Very interesting. When I was chatting with OWC Tech Support I did not have my upgraded MP4,1 -> 5,1 to verify OWC's claim about Slots 1 & 2; that is, that the double-wide graphics card covers up Slot 2. From what you've said, OWC Tech Support was blowing smoke at me.... that's not good at all, and will be chatting with my OWC's Business Rep to discuss this aspect of being given bogus info after I examine my 5,1 later on in the office.

    BTW... When did you buy and install your 480GB Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express Solid State Drive ? I bought mine June 2014. Just asking to see if maybe OWC has released a later version than the one I have. I did not have to install any software along with the install of my 480GB SSD card. Did you ?
     
  4. Stageshoot macrumors regular

    Stageshoot

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2013
    Location:
    Central UK
    #4
    Mine was purchased in the Uk August 2014 so about the same time as yours

    Has been in slot 4 since purchase without any problems,

    And no I did not have anything to install,
     
  5. bxs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #5
    I chatted with my Business Rep at OWC and it was agreed to replace my SSD card, free of charge. They will send the replacement and I have 14 days to return the 'faulty' card to them.
     
  6. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #6
  7. bxs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #7
    I have 8 other OWC SSDs, several being the PCIe SSDs, and none have been 'faulty'. They've performed as claimed they would for over past 13 months. I've never had any issue with OWC for returning a product that clearly is not performing properly. They've acted very professionally with me over the years and because of this I continue to do business with them without hesitation.

    In this particular case it's not absolutely clear the PCIe SSD has indeed failed due to hardware... it still could be some weird Apple or 3rd party software. Nonetheless, OWC took the position to replace it. They did the right thing, instead of pointing fingers at others.

    What would have surprised me would be if OWC didn't listen to me and help work through the problem. Even with a free replacement, there's no guarantee the same problem with using the SSD card doesn't arise again. If it does, then I would say the issue is not with the OWC SSD card but rests somewhere else. Time will tell of course.
     
  8. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #8
    On a side note: Accelsior really, really does not like unexpected power outages. It almost certainly will cause a long bootup or crash when you get power back. Invest in a UPS.
     
  9. bxs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #9
    Good point...
    Our office systems are all on UPS, so that's not a concern. However, accidental removal of power chord is not protected against, even with a UPS system. :)
     
  10. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #10
    Does Accelsior show up when holding "Option" key at boot?

    Hi,

    I have a customer with a GTX980 who is having an issue while using an Accelsior.

    I then found an Amazon review that states the Accelsior doesn't show up as a boot option if you use the old "Hold Option at Boot" trick.

    Curious if people with the drive can report on this.

    Thanks
     
  11. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #11
    Option-boot works fine on mine, no issues.
     
  12. ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #12
    Same here. Been in slot 4 for a long time.
     
  13. MacVidCards Suspended

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2008
    Location:
    Hollywood, CA
    #13
    No weirdness for either of you?

    Did you have to install a kext for it to work?

    I don't suppose either of you has an EFI GTX980?
     
  14. ZombiePhysicist macrumors 6502

    ZombiePhysicist

    Joined:
    May 22, 2014
    #14
    Don't have that video card. Never installed a kext. No weirdness for me.
     
  15. pertusis1 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 25, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #15
    I would be willing to buy the drive if you would send me an EFI GTX980. I could tell you then. :D
     
  16. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #16
    I've got one of your GTX 780 Rev A models.
    Driverless, no issues, works like a normal HDD. Should note I have the Accelsior_E2 model with eSATA ports.

    OWC did release a driver for the card but all it does is ensure the card is properly powered down by OS X:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/tech_center/index.cfm?page=/manuals/item/owcaccelsior.html
    (Never been able to get a straight answer from OWC tech support if the E2 model needs the driver or if it's only for the original...)

    Card can be idiosyncratic to say the least... There are definitely bad ones out there.
    I did a back and forth dance with OWC tech support until they finally sent me a full replacement card and I've had no random corruption issues since then.
    Card still hates being powered off suddenly, though, I'd say 25% chance you'll have to wipe & reinstall OS X after an unexpected shutdown, otherwise it just takes a long time to boot once while OS X does its repairs and checks.

    So for anyone with an Accelsior or looking to get one, these tips will serve you well:
    1) Invest in a UPS
    2) Have a Time Machine backup always running and a hot swappable cloned boot drive
     
  17. Jordan1990 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    #17
    Out of interest what are your guys boot times using yosemite on the Accelsior? I have the 120gb model currently sitting in slot 2 with no issues.
     
  18. Demigod Mac macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 25, 2008
    #18
    About 25-30 seconds from hitting the power button to login screen on mine. 24GB RAM (amount affects boot time due to POST checks)
     
  19. dmylrea macrumors 68000

    dmylrea

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2005
    #19
    You didn't state the boot time on your 120GB model?

    Will this card take any other brands of SSD sticks? I just bought, 2nd-hand, a 4,1 Mac Pro with a 120GB E2 in it. I see OWC has a $400 upgrade offer and a rebate to send in the old sticks, but wondered if other (cheaper) brands are available and if they work?
     
  20. bxs thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    #20
    BTW... FYI... the advice given to me by the OWC tech person as described in the OP was bogus. It simply was bad information and I conveyed this back to OWC so that advice is not given out to other people.
     
  21. carylee2002 macrumors member

    carylee2002

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    #21
    My card just died today.

    I had it for since mid January 2015 and haven't had it running for more than 45 days and it died today. I doesn't even show up on the desktop nor on disk utility. Had the card in slot 3 of my Mac Pro 5,1, switched it slot 4 and still no go. The e sata drives are recognized but when I turn on the computer the little red light flashes once and then dark after that. It used to be lit up all the time. This is these second time this card was having problems. Im going to RMA and see if they will replace since it hasn't been for more than 2 months.
     
  22. carylee2002 macrumors member

    carylee2002

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2008
    #22
    Place card in last pcie slot.

    Well i'm currently getting my card fixed by OWC...I guess mine did have a failure so they are replacing the dimms, but when I get it back, im going to place it on the 4th pcie slot away from my videocards. I think these cards can't handle high heat. Since I have two quadro cards working the heat maybe a problem if you put the card in the third pcie slot. Fortunately I'm going to place my Matrox Mojito Max card in between and hopefully it will shield the accelsior card away from my videocards.
    So make a note to place these accelsior cards to the last pcie slot in your machine.
     
  23. flehman macrumors regular

    flehman

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2015
    #23
    Option + Boot does not work on a Mac Pro 2008 as per OWC's compatibility notes for the device. 2009 and 2010 models are supposed to be OK.
     
  24. wgzn macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2013
    #24
    mine died tuesday. came in from lunch. when the machine woke from sleep it was like it had taken horse tranquilizer. mouse moved fine. but it took several seconds to register mouse clicks. couldn't force quit any programs. and when i moused over the safari browser window i got the sbbod. i sat there for a few minutes, hoping it would shake it off. but no luck. hard quit with power button. same basic state when it came back up. then after another restart it would get about 2/3 through the boot sequence and the machine powered down.

    got the machine to boot with an older drive. and ran it trough disk utility. said it had invalid node structure, invalid record count and incorrect block count. but it could not repair any of it.

    saw it mentioned in a forum somewhere that the shutdown during startup could have to do with the system board and thermal failure. so i decided to just shut down for a while. did so. and now the accelsior wont even show up in disk utility / terminal. its seen by the hardware profile. but i cant access it. and as others have said. its still connects esata drives fine.

    OWC has been great (though it took me three techs to find someone who either knew how or was willing to get down in the dirt with me) we've basically come to the conclusion the blades have gone screwy. and they have told me they are happy to replace it either by return or cross ship. at my option. they say once they get it, they MAY be able to get my data back. but not likely : ( its just personal data. but four months worth will sting a bit.

    i did notice that the red lights on the blades were one off, one on, both off, intermittently at each start up. did some reading and there are several people who claim to have had luck literally BAKING their SSD chips. apparently it reconditions the NAND cells or something.
     
  25. Jordan1990 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2015
    #25
    This is rather worrying, ive had mine maybe 7 months or so with no issues, i hope it doesnt die. I do all i can in backing my machine up and all photos, videos and music etc is stored on other drives, the only thing the ssd has is OSX and a few documents which are also in icloud so i wouldnt lose anything if it did, but i still dont want the headache! Hope you get yours sorted soon.
     

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