Raid card for Crucial RealSSD C300

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by banosr, Jul 21, 2010.

  1. banosr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #1
    I want to use in raid 0, two Crucial RealSSD C300 SATA 6GB interface (is supposed to reach read speeds of 355 MB/S).

    Please recommend a card to use and what kit to use to install in optical bay.

    Thanks for the help
     
  2. WardC macrumors 68030

    WardC

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    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    Fort Worth, TX
    #2
    You could just software RAID them using Apple Disk Utility and you would be just fine.
     
  3. strausd macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2008
    Location:
    Texas
    #4
    As for putting them in the optical bay, nanofrog recommended this to me. At the bottom you can pick 2 2.5" drives instead of 2 3.5".
     
  4. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020

    CaptainChunk

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2008
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    #5
    If it's only two drives you're running in a RAID-0 stripe, there's very little point in a dedicated hardware RAID card, IMHO. They will offer advantages like caching and in a lot of cases, a backup battery, but I don't think that in a two-drive system that the slight performance increase would justify a $500+ cost for a good card.

    Personally, I would run software RAID-0 in Mac OS until your needs expand to multiple drives in a RAID.

    But with that said, nanofrog is the resident RAID expert around here and might have additional advice. And like strausd mentioned, the Trans International drive sled kits work pretty well.
     
  5. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #6
    My idea is to expand the system to 6 drives in the future, as you may have imagined I am a complete nuby in raid and I wouldn't want to spend money and don't get the performance I could. I also have a 4 TB lacie drive attached via FW 800 in Raid 5 for backup via time machine. I know this system is to much for me but having a lot of speed has landed me many sales in demos I have done.

    Thanks for all the ideas
     
  6. mluters macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2010
    #7
    Banosr, I have a 2009 quad 2.66 mac pro using 2 C300 256gb in a software RAID 0 and have them using the 2 Sata ports for the optical dirves. I've had no problems with this setup and AJA and Xbench show 550/400 mbs read/write. I have thought of trying a dedicated RAID card but haven't researched it yet. My internal Blu ray/DVD drive is then connected to a internal Sata card. Hope this helps.
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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  8. cvelezv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #9
    Setup for Crucial ReadSSD

    For the kit on the optical bay, you could use the Addonics Disk array which fits nicely on the second bay.

    This array handles up to 4 2.5 drives (SSD) with SATA & SAS interfaces with a single power connection and has 2 SATA/SAS data connections for each of the 4 drives, it also has 2 fans to cool the whole setup.

    I'm using this kit to house a WD velociraptor (boot drive) and a single Crucial SSD which brings us to the 6GB/s card...

    The Hightpoint 600 (internal SATA) is NOT supported in Mac OS/X, I already contacted Hightpoint and they are not providing drivers for this card, only for the ESATA ones, so.. we'll have to look for another card or use a 3GB/s controller.. I'm waiting to see what happens before I buy the 2nd SSD or another controller card
     
  9. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jul 21, 2010
  10. cvelezv macrumors newbie

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    Apr 14, 2009
    #11
    RAID Card

    You'll problably need the ExpressSAS R644 or R608 models that are SATA/SAS RAID controllers
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #12
    You can use this as an inexpensive SSD mount for the optical bay.

    As per a card capable of 6.0Gb/s, the RocketRAID 620 will work without the need for drivers as I understand it (just as Newertech's 6.0GB/s eSATA cards do), but please understand it CANNOT boot OS X.

    Beyond that, others are all eSATA models (you could still route cables back through an open PCI bracket, but it's not pretty, or possible if you've all the slots filled).

    The next step, is a hardware RAID card, not a SATA controller (which is what's been linked so far, though true RAID cards have been mentioned = ATTO products as the only 6.0Gb/s RAID cards avaiable right now).

    BTW, don't ever try to place MLC based SSD's in a parity array, as they're not up to the write cycle frequency.

    I haven't tried the newer 6.0Gb/s cards, but their 3.0Gb/s products are amongst the best available, and ATTO's not the type of company to really screw up their hard earned reputation IMO.

    My other favorite (better configuration flexibility and lower cost), is Areca. Unfortunately, they don't have any 6.0Gb/s RAID products available right now.
     
  12. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #13
    I finally decided on a Setup, I just want to know if it will work. Keep in mind this is a Demo machine to film editing professionals so performance is much more important than price.

    - 4 Crucial RealSSD C300 in slot 2 with Trans int DX4 in Raid 0 for boot and apps.
    - 6 Momentus XT Hybrid 500 GB, 2 in optical bay with pro caddy 2 and 4 in the 4 regular slots with pro sled. in Raid 0
    - ATTO ExpressSAS R60F
    - Backup with LaCie 4big Quadra via FW800 in Raid 5

    Please let me know first, if this would work and second if there is a better setup for performance, I didn't go for 15k drives because of the noise.

    I really appreciate all the help you have been giving me.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #14
    Maybe.

    • What system do you actually have (2006 - 2009)?
    • What controller do you plan to attach the 2x disks in the optical bay and 4x HDD bays to?

    Both of these have bearing on performance, as if the 6x disks are attached to the system controller, you need to make sure they're within 660MB/s (or less). The Momentus can exceed that @ n = 6, as in a stripe set, the throughput is single disk performance * n. So if a disk can produce more than 110MB/s sustained transfers (read or write), then you'd throttle on that set. According to Tom's Hardware, the Momentus is right near the limit (108.6MB/s sustained write, and 85.1MB/s sustained reads). For that, you may as well stick to mechanical IMO (presuming you mean for this set to be used as scratch or similar).

    If this is for primary data, then you may want to consider running mechanical in RAID 5 (on the ATTO), as it's safer, and will be sufficiently fast enough for video/graphics work (more than sufficient actually, even as you hit the inner tracks on the platters).

    If it's attached to the RAID card (which I presume is the intent ATM), then the system's actual model # will matter, as you have to get the drives attached to the card. The '06 - '08 models are easier, as you unplug the drive bay cable (aka MiniSAS = SFF-8087 connector) from the logic board to the RAID card, and use a fanout cable from the optical bay drives to the card as well. This may mean having to use an extension cable, but it works, and is cheaper than what's needed in the 2009 systems (different tray kit from MaxUpgrades). I can link this if this is your system, but hesitate ATM to avoid confusion. ;)

    In the '09 systems, you need an adapter, as the disks connect directly to the board. The adapter allows the drives to ride forward of those connectors, and allows for a fanout cable to be used (kit has power wiring as well).

    Your backup system could work, though I'm not a fan of ready made NAS units like that (particularly for RAID 5), as it's not a wonderful unit for RAID 5 (no NVRAM solution as is on the RAID card you intend to use).

    BTW, even though you're using the RAID card, you also need to run a proper UPS for it to do it's job properly (Online type is the best choice). ATTO doesn't offer card batteries, so the UPS is all that you can do (ideally, you should run both, but so long as there's sufficient battery time, a UPS alone is sufficient, and overall, a better solution in a single source backup power implementation).
     
  14. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #15
    Thanks for the help Nanofrog, It's a 2009 and due to availability issues in Mexico I have to change the setup. What I am considering now is:

    - ATTO Technology ExpressSAS R608 8-Port Internal 6Gb/s SAS SATA RAID Controller
    - 4 Crucial RealSSD C300 in slot 2 with Trans int DX4 in Raid 0 for boot and apps. (Connected to the Atto) (Boot and apps)
    - 4 600 GB WD Velociraptor 10K 6Gb/s in Raid 0 (Connected to the Atto)
    - 2 WD Caviar Black 2TB in optical drive in software Raid 0 for Backup (Connected to ? please advise if its possible to connect to the system controller)
    - I also have a 16TB NAS in Raid 5 which I could use for backup of the Backup drives.

    Which kits do I need to make this connections? regular slots to ATTO and optical drive to system or another host adaptor.

    Thanks for everything
     
  15. frimple macrumors 6502

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    Nov 18, 2008
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    #16
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    The adapter needed to make the HDD bays work with the card is here.

    As per the ATTO controller, I'd call or email and make sure EFI firmware is either loaded or available (no information for sure on the EFI in the datasheet, though their other RAID products do, such as the R3xx series; driver support = Yes). You would also want to ask if it comes with any fanout cables (been awhile since I opened up an ATTO, so they may or may not - one of the reasons I like Areca, as they do include 1x cable per port on the card).

    Worst case, you can get the fanout here (needed for the drives in the optical bay).

    Any specific need for the Velociraptors?
    They are fast, and more importantly, enterprise grade, but I'm just wondering... They'll work, but so would 4x enterprise grade 7200 rpm disks as well for the usage described. (You need to run enterprise grade disks on the ATTO, due to how recovery is handled). The timings in the firmware are different, as well as the ratings, and inclusion of additional sensors (helps increase the reliability by preventing crashes - heads smacking the platters in a high vibration scenario for example).

    The only way to get both Caviar Blacks on the ICH is to remove the optical drive, and connect one cable (in the system) to each drive.

    Your other choice is to go with an enterprise grade drive (i.e. Western Digital REx, x = number, such as RE4 2TB <7200 rpm units, not the RE4-GP, which are slower; ~5900rpm or so it seems>). So far, there's no HDD Compatibility List published, but you should do fine with WD enterprise mechanical (they usually do work). Connect them to the ATTO via the fanout cable.

    That card won't have any problems with multiple arrays running (your configuration won't push the bandwidth past it's limits).

    Use a good UPS (Online type) with both the system (includes monitor) and the NAS. Once it's on the UPS, the NAS should suffice for a backup solution (covers you on the write hole, as I have to presume it doesn't have an NVRAM solution at all, so the UPS is even more critical). So try to get a unit large enough to handle both (may require you to hire in an electrician to install the correct circuit to power it). Another option is to use 2x units (may be cheaper, you'll have to price locally). You can also get such units as refurbished/reconditioned as well to save a few $$ (just research the exact model # to be sure it's an Online unit, not a Line Interactive = switched if you go this route).

    Think this covers it. :p
     
  17. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #18
    Banosr... this is one hell of a setup... make sure you report back on your experience and some test results! :D
     
  18. huscat macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2009
    Location:
    Kansas City
    #19
    Crucial C300 drives are weaksauce

    Get either the Muskin SandForce or OCZ Vertex 2 or Larry's OWC Sandforce drives. We have done extensive testing on the C300 and the Sandforce drives on several RAID cards, including the RocketRaid2720 which we like the best and it smokes the Crucial C300's in head to head testing.
     
  19. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #20
    Thanks to everyone for your help, I will be reporting in about 3 weeks (It's not easy to get everything quickly in Mexico) and I'll give my final setup and test results.
     
  20. cvelezv macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2009
    #21
    ATTO Technology ExpressSAS R608

    Not to hijack your thread, but can you tell me where to get the ATTO Technology ExpressSAS R608 in Mexico?, as I told you I have a similar setup: 2 Crucial CS300 SSDs in the 2nd optical bay and thinking about this card. Thank you
     
  21. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #22
    scsi4me.com ships to mexico, but they told me the will be getting the card next week. They only accept wire transfer or western union
     
  22. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #23
    At least they have a page on the R608 (and a price on it). Most others only have the H608 up (non RAID version).
     
  23. banosr thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    #24
    All ready to go

    Setup

    Mac Pro
    Quad-Core Intel Xeon 2.26 GHz
    Memory 16 GB
    Mac OSX 10.6.4


    - 4 Crucial Real SSD 300 (Boot Drive and Aps) in Transintl DX4
    - 4 10k Velociraptors (Scratch) connected to MaxConnect SAS/SATA BackPlane Attachment for Mac Pro [2009] Attaching the backplate to the DX4 was tricky (Involved a visit to the blacksmith).
    - 2 WD Caviar Black 2TB (Backup 1) in Transint Pro Caddy 2 in optical bay.
    - 1 x ATTO Technology ExpressSAS R608 8-Port Internal 6Gb/s SAS SATA RAID Controller.
    - LaCie 12big Rack Fibre via NAS as Backup in Raid 5 connected to a Xserve


    The 4 Crucial and the 4 Velociraptors connected to the Atto (2 striped sets), the 2 Caviar (Software Striped) connected to sata out ports of the bacplane in bays 1 and 2.

    Please let me know what benchs you would like and what programs to use.

    I still have not been able to boot from the Atto card, even tough in the Atto configuration I have boot enabled. I hope to fix this soon since I am booting from my past HD connected to the DVD Cable.
     
  24. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #25
    I'd like to see some sustained transfer benches of you boot and scratch arrays, preferably with the AJA system test.

    That is indeed quite a setup you've got there. Would be even better if you could provide some pics. :D
     

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