PCIe raid controller with 4x SSD in Raid 0...

LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
Hello,
I'm looking to increase my Mac Pro 5,1 SSD Read/Write speeds for an all around better workflow/user experience.

Is anyone using a PCIe raid controller in raid 0 to achieve greater R/W performance, if so what speeds are you getting and what card(s) are you using?

At present, I have 4x SATA3 SSD's in software raid 0 using the onboard 4x SATA2 ports, the SSD's are independently capable of 500MBps R/W via a SATA3, using the onboard SATA2 ports with my 4x SSD's I am achieving under 600MBps Read/Write speeds, which is ok but not all that great considering the independent R/W of the SSD's.

I'd rather stick with my current 2.5 SSD's then move over to M.2 with an M.2 PCIe card, plus it's hard to find AHCI M.2 sticks at reasonable prices, if at all.

So what are my options here? I would like to be achieving at least 1GBps reads & writes.

I'd like to see benchmarks of cards, some PCIe 2.0 SATA3 raid cards hit a wall in raid 0, I'm looking for a card that will utilise the full speeds of all my SSD's.

Reference of card that does raid0 but hits a wall: 'Finally, we tried RAID0 with three C300 256GB SSDs..."
http://www.bit-tech.net/hardware/2011/01/04/high-point-rocketraid-640-review/5
 

nigelbb

macrumors 65816
Dec 22, 2012
1,032
201
I am using an Apricorn Velocity Duo with 2 x 1TB EVO 850 SSDs configured as a 2TB RAID-0 volume. I get read/write speeds of about 700MBps. This is in slot 2 of a 2008 Mac Pro 3,1.
 
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LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
I'm hoping for faster speeds with 4x drives, I guess I could buy two of these and then software RAID them but it'll be $150 each for the cards.

I've gone for a Highpoint 640L SATA RAID Controller Card PCI 2.0 x4 (2000MB/s) and I'm also getting a 4 drive caddy from startech which I will use, for now, I do need to find a spare Molex power connector, I'm sure I'll figure it out.

4x 240Gb, SATA 3, 500Mb R/W SSD's - £175 (http://wave-gadgets.co.uk/)

Highpoint 640L £25 (eBay find)
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series_r600-overview.htm

4-Bay Mobile Rack Backplane for 2.5in SATA/SAS Drives £25 (eBay find)
https://www.startech.com/uk/HDD/Mobile-Racks/4-bay-mobile-rack-backplane~SATSASBP425

We'll see how I get on.

I'd love to achieve 3.5GB/s, I will aim for that in my next upgrade.

I will post how I get on, for anyone looking to get the best speeds on a budget.
 
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LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
Would love this but as mentioned it's hard to find AHCI M.2, and as Amfeltec seem to be the only one making these boards it's holding the price way up there.
 

William_si

macrumors regular
Apr 4, 2016
188
53
Croatia
Would love this but as mentioned it's hard to find AHCI M.2, and as Amfeltec seem to be the only one making these boards it's holding the price way up there.
As i noted elsewhere, this is not the problem. This card is NOT just splitting 4x 4 PCIe lane tracks up to 4 slots, it has a PLX chip with 32 lanes configured as 16i + 4x4o, this chip alone - by the Avago/PLX monopoly - sells fot upwards of 100$ in the small source market. Not like Amfeltec buys them container load wise as SuperMicro....
 

LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
What does the 'c' stand for in cMP?

I've asked for pricing shipped to the UK of a Squid PCI Express Carrier board for M.2 SSD, I am awaiting their reply.
 

slughead

macrumors 68040
Apr 28, 2004
3,104
236
I'm hoping for faster speeds with 4x drives, I guess I could buy two of these and then software RAID them but it'll be $150 each for the cards.

I've gone for a Highpoint 640L SATA RAID Controller Card PCI 2.0 x4 (2000MB/s) and I'm also getting a 4 drive caddy from startech which I will use, for now, I do need to find a spare Molex power connector, I'm sure I'll figure it out.

4x 240Gb, SATA 3, 500Mb R/W SSD's - £175 (http://wave-gadgets.co.uk/)

Highpoint 640L £25 (eBay find)
http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series_r600-overview.htm

4-Bay Mobile Rack Backplane for 2.5in SATA/SAS Drives £25 (eBay find)
https://www.startech.com/uk/HDD/Mobile-Racks/4-bay-mobile-rack-backplane~SATSASBP425

We'll see how I get on.

I'd love to achieve 3.5GB/s, I will aim for that in my next upgrade.

I will post how I get on, for anyone looking to get the best speeds on a budget.
WAIT!! 640L doesn't go that fast!

read the fine print, it only does about 1GBps IIRC, due to the controller. I think I had to figure out the controller and google the specs. what I found is all cheap SATA controllers for mac use the same 1GBps one.

best option last I checked was miniSAS or if you're fine iwth just 2, use the velocity 2
 
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Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
379
253
cMP PCIe 2.0 lanes are good for about 345MB/S each.

PCIe x1 2.0 USB 3.0 card will top out at 345 MB/S

PCIe x4 2.0 SSD tops out at 1366-1380MB/S

Advantage of the Squid card is lane width scales in an almost perfectly linear fashion to throughput . (As long as you're in a true x16 slot) ;)
 

LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
WAIT!! 640L doesn't go that fast!
I would like to be achieving at least 1GBps reads & writes.
I know 640L has limitations, I was thinking maybe I'll get 2 of these and software raid the two cards.

If anyone does know of any bootable Mac compatible SAS/SATA cards with good speeds...

For reference:
PCIe 2.0 x1 - 500 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x4 - 2,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x8 - 4,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x16 - 8,000 MB/s

I found this card: ATTO's R644
Reff: http://barefeats.com/ssd6g03.html

I think I've found the card I've been looking for, I will report back after testing.
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
379
253
[QUOTE="LAHegarty, post: 24117705, member
For reference:
PCIe 2.0 x1 - 500 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x4 - 2,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x8 - 4,000 MB/s
PCIe 2.0 x16 - 8,000 MB/s[/QUOTE]


Max you'll see in practice is 375MB/s per PCIe 2.0 lane over any X58 type chipset.
 
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LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
Amfeltec x16 PCIe with 4 SSDs: 5900+ MB/s | MacRumors Forums
Hit's almost 6Gb/s


I'm going to test Highpoint 640L in raid0 I'm guessing about 700Mb/s, then I'll be testing the SAS card in software raid, I should hit over 1Gb/s with 4 drives... maybe more I'm unsure, we'll see.
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
379
253
Hit's almost 6Gb/s


I'm going to test Highpoint 640L in raid0 I'm guessing about 700Mb/s, then I'll be testing the SAS card in software raid, I should hit over 1Gb/s with 4 drives... maybe more I'm unsure, we'll see.

6 GB/s,

6GB/s = 368MB/s per lane on an x16 link.
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
379
253
I should theoretically have faster speeds with the SAS card I'm testing, it's an 8 lane card.
It'll max out around 2850MB/s. Roughly 355*8. Give or take 100MB/s total.

One thing to watch is that the card is negotiating PCIe 2.0 link speeds. System Profiler will tell you. I've had cards in a couple cMP's I put together that would only do PCIe 1.0 in slot 1,3,4 and only properly run at 2.0 speed in slot 2. Also had it where a certain card won't do 2.0 speeds in slot 1 but will in 2,3,4. Samsung SM 951 was one card that I remember would do PCIe 2.0 in only 2 or 3 out of 4 slots.
 
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LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
Before I post results, would anyone like any specific benchmarks running?

I'm using Blackmagic Disk Speed Test using 5Gb stress test setting, which other software tests would be good to run?

I can confirm both cards work and boot with macOS 10.12.2
Both cards being Highpoint's 640L PCIe x4 & ATTO's H644 PCIe x8
[doublepost=1483226429][/doublepost]Also, the Amfeltec sales team got back to me and they are charging $367.38 USD plus shipping for their PCI Express Gen 2 Carrier Board for 4x M.2 SSD modules.

Link: http://amfeltec.com/products/pci-express-carrier-board-for-m-2-ssd-modules/
 

Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
379
253
AJA System test is another free benchmark. It and Black Magic Speed Test both use sequential tests, but they do usually show different results.
 
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LAHegarty

macrumors regular
Original poster
Aug 17, 2013
124
35
York, UK.
All results are software RAID0 across the aforementioned SSD's.



Onboard SATA 2





Highpoint 640L





ATTO's H644

 
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OS6-OSX

macrumors 6502a
Jun 13, 2004
900
674
California
Asleep at the switch!:confused: Don't know how I missed this thread from 12-2016! I have the R644 in my 3,1 with 8 spinners getting 1436 (W) 1076 (R). There is always that speed vs size trade off. 8 1TB SSD's would be around $2800 but the speed, oh the speed! :D
R644.jpg
 
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