PCI-e Options for bootable RAID0 array of dual Sata3 SSDs

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by VirtualRain, Jun 2, 2012.

  1. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #1
    Due to the recent crazy pricing on SSDs, I now have a pair of 256GB Crucial M4s. What are my options for a PCI-e card that will allow me to run these bad boys at full SATA3 speeds in RAID0 (SW) as a startup disk?

    Is there anything?
     
  2. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #2
    Check out the owc cards.
     
  3. alphaod macrumors Core

    alphaod

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2008
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    There are no OWC card that answer the OP's question.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    Hmm... PCIe HBA (non-RAID) for SATA 3, works in OS X, and bootable?

    Can't think of a single one. :( ATTO H6xx fall flat at bootable under EFI (can boot under BIOS), as does Areca's non-RAID HBA's.

    You'll need to look at a RAID card from ATTO or Areca. But given what you're after, the prices aren't all that different for a 4 port RAID card anyway.

    Take a look at the ARC-1213-4i (4 port, SATA 3, 800MHz RoC, OS X compatible, and has EFI boot ROM available). I doubt this is what you were looking to spend, but it will do what you want.

    You'll need an adapter to make it work (either a simple fan-out cable if you place the SSD's in the empty optical drive, extension cable to fit in a 2006 - 2008, or the HDD bay adapter if it's a 2009/10 model).
     
  5. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
  6. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #6
    My apologies. My reading and comprehension skills failed me.
     
  7. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #7
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
  9. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #9
    One option may be to use two of those cheap single lane PCIe cards with an SSD connected to each... but that will consume two slots which is less than ideal.
     
  10. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #10
    I heard back from Caldigit... this was their response to my questions... It all sounded great until I got to the bottom!

    :eek: :rolleyes: :mad:
     
  11. VirtualRain, Jun 4, 2012
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2012

    VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    Also, Apricorn is a no go...

    On using two of their Solo Velocity cards they had this to say...

    And of course their 4-drive RAID card is SATA2 only. About the prospects of a SATA3 version they said...

    That leaves two choices:

    1. The Mac version of the HighPoint RR 644 which is $279 (a nice premium for EFI boot) and according to reviews on the Apple store, it has sleep issues on 2010 Mac Pros. As a result of these issues it's out of consideration.

    2. The AngelBird Wings... at $229 it's not cheap, but it has the advantage of mounting the SSD's directly to the card, eliminating any wiring issues. However, we'll see how they respond to some of my questions first. EDIT: Forget this, somehow I missed that this was SATA2 only.

    I'm out of viable options again. It's bizarre that this is such an issue.
     
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    RAID card.

    Not cheap, but compared to what you've been looking at lately cost wise, it's not that far off and does what you want (and then some).

    I do agree though that it's horrible that there isn't a lower cost card suitable to your needs.

    But that's what you get for buying a MP. :eek: :p
     
  13. machilfe.ch Suspended

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2010
    #13
    Apricorn Velocity Solo x2

    Hello readers

    I might be a little late, but have a look for this product.
    Apricorn Velocity Solo x2 - Extreme Performance SSD Upgrade Kit for Desktop PCs and MacPro and bootable in both systems.
    "The Velocity Solo x2 utilizes a Marvel 9182 chipset and is bootable in both PC and Mac systems. " List price is US$99.00.

    Isn't that a solution for all your needs?
    With two SSD drives, they claim up to 800MB/s. Depends on the specs of the SSD drive used.

    Let us all know if some one did buy this card and made some tests compared to any card with ASM1061 chip set.

    Regards
    Thomas
     
  14. braindeadfool macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    #14
    Any of the ATTO SAS HBA/HRA cards will work nicely and allow you to boot. Harder to find these days, but can still be bought from ATTO's web site directly.
     
  15. OrangeSVTguy macrumors 601

    OrangeSVTguy

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2007
    Location:
    Northeastern Ohio
    #15
    How does that work with 2 cards? I only see one place to mount a 2.5" SSD/HDD? I'd love that option to mount 2 SSDs but I want to boot Win/OSX on each SSD.

    *edit* Oh my bad, I see there's an additional SATA port. Why not produce a card that can hold 2 drives?
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    The RAID versions will boot under EFI once flashed, but check the non-RAID versions before purchasing if you need boot capability, as not all do (latest models do not).
     
  17. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #17
    Yeah, there's been a lot of discussion going on with that solution here...
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1418445

    Others have found that a single card with two drives tops out at about 600MB/s so the only way to get max performance from your SSDs is to run two cards each with a single drive in RAID0. But this has the drawback of being $200 (for two cards) and using two slots.

    The ultimate cheap bootable SATA3 PCIe card that supports dual drives in RAID0 without bottlenecks still doesn't exist it seems. It doesnt seem like it should be a challenging product to produce, yet SATA3 has been around for ages and nothing has yet emerged that is free of compromise. :(
     
  18. ces1965 macrumors member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2002
    #18
    Highpoint 2711

    You could try that. I put one in my Mac pro 1, 1 running mountain lion (with chameleon). It's an x8 lane card I believe unlike many of the x1 cards. I was able to boot off an SSD running off the card. You need an SAS to sata breakout cable but that's no big deal. It has RAID but I actually don't use it, you can run the drives individually. One day I will pick up a second SSD and use the two in a RAID. The management software is web browser based, but it's fine. The drivers are actually already in mountain lion believe it or not. Highpoint's support is not super but you get what you pay for ( I bought the card on Amazon for $125). Highpoint seems fairly well committed to the Mac. They are an affordable if not the best option
     
  19. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #19
    600MB/s is blazing fast, sure, theoretically SATA3 should be able to do 800MB/s, but I doubt you would notice the difference in real world use. I have an OWC Accelsior card and it runs at speeds approaching 700MB/s, which is insanely fast. I don't think I would be able to tell if it was running at 800MB/s. The only real benefit would be Benchmark bragging rights.
     
  20. flatfoot macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2009
    #20
    Corrected that for you.
     
  21. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #21
    I stand corrected.
     
  22. VirtualRain thread starter macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #22
    A couple of thoughts...

    First of all, you're right, 600MB/s for RAID0 is impressive, but with SATA3 SSD's hitting 500MB/s it's not great. I want more! :D

    Secondly, by your own benchmarks your Accelsior is only hitting 627MB/s on reads which says to me that there's something going on with the Mac Pro's x4 slots and/or the Intel chipset that limits its performance.

    I think the best solution to running dual SSD's in RAID0 is going to have to wait until the next Mac Pro which should offer native SATA3 ports via the Intel chipset.
     
  23. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #23
    I agree, it does appear to be a little limited for some reason. But I still think that even if you were getting 750MB/s, I really don't think you would notice much of a difference. I went from a SSD mounted in the standard drive sled to the Accelsior, and while the Read/Write speed is more than double, I don't really notice that dramatic of a difference. In fact, I was quite disappointed when I first fired it up, expecting almost as dramatic a difference as going from a platter drive to a SSD. It actually takes longer to boot now than before. I rarely ever turn it off, so I don't care.
     

Share This Page