Q's about 3rd-party hardware in new Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by djpogoff, Aug 10, 2009.

  1. djpogoff macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #1
    Hello!

    I've had a MacBook for a year and am new to MacRumors.

    I'm going to purchase a Mac Pro ASAP and see that their RAID controller and SATA drives are too expensive. I'm considering a 3rd-party RAID controller (Adaptec?) and Seagate 1TB, 7200 RPM drives with the 5-year warranty.

    My concern is over whether there are any difficulties with using 3rd-party hardware in a Mac Pro:

    • compatibility
    • interference with Apple's warranty
    • or even interference with Apple's willingness to support their hardware in the presence of non-Apple hardware (will they unreasonably blame the 3rd-party manufacturer?).

    If this sounds like a good idea, for the purpose of saving money, are the Adaptec RAID controllers "Mac-friendly" or are other RAID manufacturers recommended?

    Thanks very much for any assistance.

    David
     
  2. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #2
    Apple won't void any warranty for having other parts in your Mac Pro. They may refuse to assist you if you have any questions or problems with something relating to the 3rd party hardware though, but not when the problem is unrelated.
     
  3. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #3
    Hello,

    Just in case you're planning on sticking to RAID0, you can do that with a software RAID, no need to buy a card.

    That's what I have right now with a 4 disk RAID0 and it works flawlessly.

    Loa
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    In actual fact there is no point to buy any RAID card unless you need more than 6 SATA ports. Then you probably are best off with the cheapest you get with your particular config for internal/external ports because they will all use internal multipliers and not go to full SATA speed. Only when you go beyond the 500$ mark you will get full SATA speed but then you are in SAS territory and will need expensive enterprise class drives.
     
  5. djpogoff thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2009
    #5
    Q's about 3rd-party hardware in new Mac Pro

    Thanks for your responses.

    I will be using four SATA II drives. I cannot avoid (can I?) purchasing the machine with one drive, which I'll move to the 3rd or 4th bay. I'll purchase 3 1TB Seagate 7200 RPM drives, two for a RAID 1 array and the third in the 4th or 3rd bay, respectively.

    I'll copy the system partition, from the drive that came with the machine, to the RAID array, which will then be my system volume.

    The other two drives will, in some manner, contain (1) swap space, (2) a Windows partition, and (3) other stuff (?).

    One of you concluded that I would need no RAID controller unless... and then I'm in SAS territory. I don't need, nor do I want to pay for, SAS. I know that Adaptec makes non-SCSI RAID controllers that implement SATA II as well as, if not better than, whatever hardware and firmware are on the motherboard. I suspect as much from Intel RAID hardware, as well. I'm not familiar enough with more recent manufacturers of RAID hardware like RocketRAID and others.

    Thanks,

    David
     
  6. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #6
    Go with the build in RAID capability in the logic board with disk utility. It will do all you need.

    You actually have 5 SATA ports although one will not have power supply associated. It is the second ODD SATA port and is conveniant to use small form factor drives like 2,5" in the second optical bay.

    I would recommend to go to biggest drive capacity you can afford. The drives are also faster. So 1,5 TB is better than 1,0.

    I would also recommend to make a Windows drive one Windows partition only. You will have less headaches with the partition table and installation.
     
  7. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #7
    Hello,

    On a 09 MP, the 5th SATA port, in the ODB, is power and data, just like the 4 regular bays. The cable is ready there, waiting for the drive. With either a 2.5 or 3.5 drive, you're going to need an adapter, but both will work perfectly.

    Why do you need a RAID1?

    Loa
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #8
    Yes, Loa is right. With an adapter from Molex to SATA power you will even have power in the 2 ODD bay for a SATA HDD. All you really need is the adapter and a SATA cable with 90° head to go from the logic board to the ODD bay. Not a big deal to fit really.

    I assume you want the RAID1 for redundancy. Don't forget you will still need a backup. So a time machine drive or a 2TB TC is a good idea.
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    Adaptec doesn't work with Macs. Given the array types you're interested in, you won't even need a RAID card at all. Just keep in mind, OS X is capable of 0/1/10. Any other array type, and you will be forced to go with a hardware controller, and boot capability limits an already limited number of cards. It's not impossible though.

    I'm not sure why you want to use RAID1 though. It's not a backup solution, and the mention of swap space leads me to beleive you need some additional throughput (and perhaps additional memory). Assuming this is the case, you'd be better off in a RAID0 setup, and a drive(s) for backups. That way you've got the speed, and a means to cover you if something does go wrong (provided you keep up with the backups). ;)

    Stick the OEM drive in the empty optical bay, and use it as a separate boot drive for Windows. You won't be able to place Windows and OS X in a RAID configuration on the same drives. gugucom just tried this a few days or so ago, and it wouldn't work. Separate the Windows disk from the array (physical drives), and you're good.

    This also gets you all 4 of the HDD trays available for drives of your choice in an array. Gives you a couple of options at any rate. :)
     

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