RAID Card Recommendation for SSD Drives

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by oregon apple, Nov 9, 2011.

  1. oregon apple macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2011
    I am looking to order a new Mac Pro with following config:
    (2) 2.93hz 6 core intel Xeon
    64Gb memory
    2 ea 512GB SSD Drives
    ATI Radeon HD 5770 1Gb
    one 18x Super Drive
    Quad Channel 4Gb Fiber Channel PCI Express Card
    OSX Server O/S

    I would also like a Raid card but Apple will not add that in with the SSD Drives as they say:

    Only Apple SATA drives and Promise 450GB SAS Drive modules sold through the Apple Store are supported for use with the Mac Pro RAID Card (Early 2009) and the Xserve RAID Card (Early 2009). Apple 300GB SAS Drive modules are supported with the Mac Pro RAID Card (Late 2007) and Xserve RAID Card (Early 2007). Drives must be either all Serial ATA (SATA) or all Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) drives. SSD drive modules are not recommended for the Apple RAID Card because these drives use their own on-disk cache and cannot take advantage of the protection provided by the battery-backed cache on the RAID card.

    Can anyone recommend an aftermarket RAID Card that would easily just plug and play with the Mac Pro and support the SSD drives?

    Nanofrog are you out there and can you recommend something?
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I presume you're ordering these upgrades from Apple for support reasons (single point of contact). However, if this isn't necessary, you can do better on both pricing and performance by ordering from 3rd party sources (SSD's, additional HDD's, memory, and FC card).

    OK, that's out of the way. ;)

    A few questions as to RAID configuration and drive use:
    • What are you planning on exactly (how will you use any SSD's and HDD's in the system or attached externally)?
    • Will you be using more than one OS?
    • Do you need to boot from the RAID or will it be single disk/s?
    • How many drives will you be using now, and over the next 3 years?
    • What is your capacity requirements (including archival and backup)?
    • What software applications are you using (some, such as Photoshop, use single threaded read/write operations, which means faster I/O may be limited to ~ 250 - 275MB/s or so max)?
    • Do you already have a good UPS, and if so, what is it (model number would be best)?
    The answers will help me get you aimed in the right direction and prevent under or over planning a storage configuration (particularly on the cards, as there are a couple of inexpensive alternatives that might be usable if your requirements aren't that demanding performance wise, and if you can use the built-in SATA ports for boot disk/s).

    I mention this, as bootable RAID cards are rather pricey vs. say simple 6.0Gb/s SATA cards that would be suitable for a single disk (can get up to 500MB/s out of a single disk due to PCIe 2.0 spec slot running @ 1x lane).
  3. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Can I boot OS X off a single SSD card connected on the simple 6.0Gb/s SATA PCIe card which you are talking about above?

    I have the 3,1 MP currently 4 x HD on RAID0. Planning on OS X / Apps on an SSD (6Gbps) in optical bay 2 and some data and scratch on the 4 x HD in soft RAID. I've got an external NAS and WD My Book Studio II for storage and backups.

    I'm a part-time photographer in case you're asking.
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Not usually.

    The Highpoint RR620 and 622 cards using the 9123 chip do according to other MR members, but you won't be able to tell the controller until you buy one (newer 9125 apparently doesn't boot). Personally, I don't like to deal with hit-or-miss products like this.

    To be certain, you'd need to stick with a card from Areca or ATTO, and make sure it has EFI/EBC firmware it can be flashed with in order to boot (for example, last I checked, Areca's non-RAID HBA's don't offer boot capability in OS X, but ATTO's non-RAID HBA's do IIRC - both brands RAID products will boot OS X once flashed with the correct boot firmware).

    I've also replied in the other thread.

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