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Sonnet Tempo & dual SSDs - worth it in 2019?

MVMNT

macrumors regular
Original poster
Apr 28, 2010
192
138
Was wondering, what with the advent of NVME support in Mojave now, is the 6Gb/s Sonnet Tempo card worth looking at any more for SSD setups in a cMP?

I'm running on High Sierra still, and happy to do so for the time being, but I wondered if going forward a Sonnet dual SSD card is a worthwhile investment, at the right price?

Cheers
 

tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,365
8,899
Was wondering, what with the advent of NVME support in Mojave now, is the 6Gb/s Sonnet Tempo card worth looking at any more for SSD setups in a cMP?

I'm running on High Sierra still, and happy to do so for the time being, but I wondered if going forward a Sonnet dual SSD card is a worthwhile investment, at the right price?

Cheers
No, unless you get it almost for free.
 
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tsialex

macrumors G3
Jun 13, 2016
8,365
8,899
I thought as much - The one i've seen is sub $100, but that's not almost free. Thanks T.
With around $130~$140 you can get a 512MB HP EX920 + a AquaComputer kryo2 EVO, this combo will get throughputs of a little less than 1500MB/s. You can get it even cheaper, but you should get a decent blade and a decent adapter with a big heatsink.
 
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Slash-2CPU

macrumors 6502
Dec 14, 2016
400
259
Only way it's worthwhile is if you need 4+TB of SSD storage in addition to PCIe NVMe.

I'm running two 512GB Samsung m.2 drives plus 4x 2TB Micron 1100 SSD's in RAID 0. One Samsung m.2 960 Pro is for OS+Apps. Other Samsung 970 Pro m.2 is working data/scratch. The RAID 0 array is for moving projects quickly between storage and active.

The 8TB SSD array has two drives on a Sonnet Tempo Pro and two drives on the onboard SATA. By splitting the RAID array across the Sonnet and onboard, I can get 900MB/s writes and 1.0GB/s reads. If I put all the SATA SSD's on the onboard, it would be capped around 600-700MB/s.
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,875
2,039
Personally would proceed with caution on SATA SSDs via PCIe at the moment. Several are running into random issues with Apricorn products OCCASIONALLY not booting correctly with 140 firmware. These have either Marvell 9182 (Solo X2) or Marvell 9230 (Duo X2) chipset for SATA controller. Believe the Sonnet Tempo used Marvell 9182 and unsure if the issue would also present with those PCIe adapters.
 
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startergo

macrumors 68030
Sep 20, 2018
2,724
1,155
Personally would proceed with caution on SATA SSDs via PCIe at the moment. Several are running into random issues with Apricorn products OCCASIONALLY not booting correctly with 140 firmware. These have either Marvell 9182 (Solo X2) or Marvell 9230 (Duo X2) chipset for SATA controller. Believe the Sonnet Tempo used Marvell 9182 and unsure if the issue would also present with those PCIe adapters.
I don't have problems with the Sonnet booting . But I agree it is a good option for a raid scratch disk only, even though the speed is much inferior compared to a NVME. Still direct pcie speed of NVME is around 1500 whereas the raid 0 on the Sonnet is 960.
 

zedex

macrumors regular
Oct 21, 2018
171
68
Perth, WA
The SONNET Tempo SSD Pro PLUS is a bargain at $100 but I'm pretty sure you're looking at the Tempo SSD Pro which is nothing special and I wouldn't pay $100 for one of those.

The PRO PLUS does 960MB/s but the Pro model only does ~670MB/s

Unfortunately - the PRO PLUS model seems to have been discontinued at this point :/
 

h9826790

macrumors G5
Apr 3, 2014
14,717
7,166
Hong Kong
The SONNET Tempo SSD Pro PLUS is a bargain at $100 but I'm pretty sure you're looking at the Tempo SSD Pro which is nothing special and I wouldn't pay $100 for one of those.

The PRO PLUS does 960MB/s but the Pro model only does ~670MB/s

Unfortunately - the PRO PLUS model seems to have been discontinued at this point :/

From memory

TempoSSD does ~670MB/s

TempoSSD Pro does ~960MB/s, but no eSATA ports

TempoSSD Pro PLUS ~960MB/s and has eSATA ports

And Sonnet official page now only has TempoSSD, no more Pro or Pro PLUS.
 

supernova777

macrumors member
Dec 22, 2007
74
8
i just bought 2x 120gb SSD for 26$ each
i will be putting them in RAID; for under 60 bucks for 2 SSD's why the hell not?
 

SnakeCoils

macrumors member
Oct 17, 2018
60
30
Italy
I own a Sonnet Tempo SSD Pro Plus, for a long time it was forgotten on the shelf but after some disappointing tests with the Angelbird Wings X2 I decided to put it back in my MacPro (2012 model, upgraded to single X5690 and 24 Gb of 1333 MHz RAM) and after some speed tests I choose to keep it as my main Mojave system disk.
The configuration is as follow:

Slot 4: Sonnet Tempo Pro Plus with 2 Crucial MX500 512 Gb each, configured in Raid0 via standard Disk Utility and formatted as HFS+ (trimforce enabled)
Slot 3: Inateck USB 3.0 4 port USB host controller
Slot 2: empty
Slot 1: Sapphire Pulse RX580 8 Gb Vram (Orinoco framebuffer)

Boot time: 20 seconds from chime to Mojave desktop
Transfer rates: 790 Mb/s Write and 980 Mb/s Read (much faster than Wings X2 in hardware RAID0 mode)
Very responsive system, I am really happy about this configuration, however everything it's come to a price:

- Mojave was trasferred (via Carbon Copy Cloner) from a bootable APFS disk to the HFS+ soft RAID0 on Sonnet card since it is not possible to install natively and boot OSX 10.14 on a soft Raid0 array, therefore the Recovery partition is lost.
- The measured write/read speed is slow if compared to a NVMe drive (1400 Mb/sec) but the boot time is greatly reduced (on a Samsung 970EVO I measured 35 seconds from chime to desktop) in the real world the difference is almost unnoticed.
- Having a RAID0 array makes mandatory to have a Time Machine dedicated disk because the failure of one SSD means the loss of everything on the array.
- I don't know if future OSX 10.14 updates will install since the boot volume is now an HFS+ soft raid and not a solid APFS one

For some reasons the Crucial MX drives works as a charm on the Sonnet and not so good on the Angelbird card, I suspect the integrated "garbage collecting" of the Crucial SSDs interferes in some way with the Wing X2's hardware, maybe a "dumb" SSDs without this feature would work better.

To be honest I would prefer to have an hardware RAID0 array instead the one I created thru Disk Utility because if APFS was intended to be used with Mojave, using the HFS+ format is not optimal, I can't install it natively and I can't have a Recovery partition to boot from.

Anyway I found the Sonnet Tempo Pro (plus) solution still very good and usable and if high velocity write/read tasks are not needed I can reccomend it strongly, I don't feel any nostalgia about my previous NVMe 970EVO drive.

Hower if it is possible (using other hardware) to further reduce on the MacPro 5.1 the boot time below the 20s (chime to desktop) please let me know how to and I will be more than happy to upgrade :)
 

gugy

macrumors 68040
Jan 31, 2005
3,427
4,210
La Jolla, CA
Personally would proceed with caution on SATA SSDs via PCIe at the moment. Several are running into random issues with Apricorn products OCCASIONALLY not booting correctly with 140 firmware. These have either Marvell 9182 (Solo X2) or Marvell 9230 (Duo X2) chipset for SATA controller. Believe the Sonnet Tempo used Marvell 9182 and unsure if the issue would also present with those PCIe adapters.
I have an Apricorn PCIe with two Samsung EVO's on RAID 0. I am still stuck with High Sierra but considering getting a new GPU and upgrading to Mojave/Catalina.
Do you know if Apricorn has any issues with the latest OS on a MP 5,1?
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68040
Sep 19, 2012
3,875
2,039
I have an Apricorn PCIe with two Samsung EVO's on RAID 0. I am still stuck with High Sierra but considering getting a new GPU and upgrading to Mojave/Catalina.
Do you know if Apricorn has any issues with the latest OS on a MP 5,1?

Still getting these random issues with SATA SSD drives via PCIe adapter not showing in Mojave, same as in High Sierra. Truly is random. Can not do anything to reproduce.

When the issue presents, drive is 90%+ accessible via other methods in finder, but will not mount on desktop, shortcuts do not work, and some apps cannot properly access. Shutdown and reboot nearly always fixes the first time. Two or three have had to do that two times in a row to work correctly.

It is not a bad drive and nothing related to the drive itself. It’s either the adapter or OS. Majority of the time it’s perfectly fine. I’d avoid RAID with Mojave, especially via SATA PCIe SSD because of this.
 
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