Velocity x2 experience

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jenzjen, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. jenzjen macrumors 68000

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #1
    Saw the velocity solo x2 could support boot camp/Windows unlike the Sonnet Tempo SSD (http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=1556095&page=2).

    This is a non RAID setup on a Samsung 840 pro; pretty much just to get my boot SSD on sata 3 since it is cheap $70.

    Solo x2 works great except 2 main trade-offs.

    System fan now hums at an annoying pitch, no longer a dead silent machine. Only goes away when the x2 is removed from the machine, doesn't matter if the x2 has the SSD physically installed or not. Tried 2 cards, same result and does not go away after PRAM/SMC resets.

    Second, PRAM resets will make the machine "lose" the startup volume forcing you to navigate the menus blindly if you are using a non Apple OEM graphics card.

    1st picture in each is the before.

    2nd blackmagic is the Sonnet, 3rd blackmagic is the x2.

    The last 2 are the Windows-based tests from the Samsung Magician software.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Tesselator, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #2
    You realize of course that the extra 200MB/s you gained by using those cards in place of just the internal SATA II connections will not assist you tho right?

    The speeds above about 150MB/s are ONLY available to you if you're reading and writing very large data files. Even large applications are actually just a folder with hundreds or thousands of small files contained within.

    So using this as your OS drive as you are I'd say you wasted your money - other than to help keep a few folks employed at the factories which make those products. :)


    I don't understand the bottom two Before & After Windows screen-shots tho. AFAIK there shouldn't be any reason for those differences. <shrug>
     
  3. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #3
    That is strange! I think I recall your saying you use a 5,1 Mac Pro, which is what I am using and I haven't really noticed any increase in fan noise when using a Solo x2 (Windows) and a Sonnet Tempo Pro (OS X RAID-0).

    If you purchased your Velocity Solo x2 card from Amazon, there is an additional $15 mail-in rebate available from Apricorn through the end of the month.

    Since using the Sonnet card blocks my usage of the "option-key" boot menu, I found that the PRAM reset was a quick way to get back to a OS X boot while troubleshooting Windows booting, since my system seems to default to OS X after the reset. Much quicker than removing the card in order to select a working boot device. :rolleyes:

    -howard

    ----------

    Hi Tesselator --

    You lost me here ... could you elaborate on your assessment that the SATA-III doesn't improve system speeds over the SATA-II native interface? One of the most often heard complaints about the whole existing Mac Pro line is the limitation of SATA-II in this age of fast SSD hardware.
     
  4. Tesselator, Apr 19, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #4
    I'm so glad you asked.

    Q. What are the areas where SSD drives are 50 to 100 times faster?
    Q. In what areas do rotational media really come up severely lacking?
    A. Yeah, at files which are 16K and smaller!

    Q. What speeds can SSDs transfer 16K and smaller files at?
    A. From about 30MB/s with 0.5K files to about 220MB/s with 16K files.

    Q. How fast is the SATA II I have in my Mac Pro now?
    A. 300MB/s - fast enough that everything the SSD is actually good at is full speed already.

    Q. How fast is a fast rotational drive with files over 16K?
    A. The ST3000DM001 (3TB) about 180MB/s for $125 - The ST1000DM001 (1TB) about 190MB/s for $65

    Q. But those bigger file can I/O at 400 to 500MB/s on SSD, won't that make a HUGE difference?
    A. No. If you spend most of your time duplicating files on the same drive then yes maybe. Your SSD will be caped at the speed of whatever other drive it's I/Oing with.

    Q. Sure that's copying... what about application loading and application I/O speeds?
    A. In a typical 2 hour session the difference between large file I/O times from a Super-fast SSD on SATA II vs. SATA III is maybe 10seconds (I doubt that much).

    Q. So that's the ONLY difference? Really?
    A. Yes.

    Q. Do you think I should upgrade my SATA II to SATA III so I can save those 5 to 7 seconds per hour?
    A. If it's cheap enough then sure why not. If you're shelling out for it then WTF? Of course not.

    Q. OK, what are the good cheap ones to get?
    A. I've never seen any. Sorry. :p

    Q. How come I see so many other people doing it then?
    A. They're either silly in the head or they're dealing with an SSD RAID - where SATA III will actually be worth spending the money for.

    See, aren't you glad you asked too?

    :D Actually I posted that about a month ago here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=16959763&postcount=14 but yeah, it's the same story. For a single SSD primarily used as a system drive you technically shouldn't see any noticeable speed differences between SATAII and SATAIII. Almost everything that happens to/from your system drive happens well under the speeds of even SATAII.

    VirtualRain probably says it better in that same thread tho. :p
     
  5. jenzjen thread starter macrumors 68000

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    #5
    Yes, 6 core 5,1. No fan issue with the Tempo but definitely there with the x2 but could depend on your ambient noise. Our work environment is very, very quiet so the new hum is very noticeable. If you work in a "normal" noisy environment, I doubt anyone could tell, i.e. if I have music playing, it drowns out the noise.

    Thanks for the heads up on the rebate, even cheaper now.

    ----------

    Isn't this the basis of being a consumer? Kidding, slightly, but I think we all buy things every now 'n then that can be considered superfluous.

    While I know that I shouldn't notice a difference, I actually do especially when manipulating my media library. This experiment costs way less than 1% of my setup cost so not that meaningful.

    If you're inclined, buy one off Amazon and try yourself. Maybe it is in my head, but if you don't see a difference, easy to return.
     
  6. Tesselator, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #6
    Yes, certainly! The semi-hyperbole I'm laying out is based on theoretical speeds and assumed typical usage profiles. If you're seeing or feeling snappier performance there's no harm in saying so (and telling us to shut up if you like too :)). Weirder things have happened and I still remain puzzled by your before & after Windows screenshots! That's not supposed to bench like that - yet it is. Hmmm... If that benchmark is based on small file I/O (like, under 64k) then you would for sure also be experiencing more snappiness...
     
  7. nox-uk macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2012
    #7
    Ignoring all benchmark tools :D

    I went from a regular HDD to a sata II SSD in bay 1. It was a huge upgrade.

    The SSD broke, I went back to my original (apple) HDD - it was painfully slow, very glad to get the warranty replacement back in.

    I recently put a velocity card in, and tried it with a sata III SSD. I could not tell the difference from my sata II SSD, so it's now got the sata II SSD on it, as it has a bigger capacity than the sata III.

    The thing I really have noticed though, is the extra 4TB storage that was put into bay 1 :)

    Nox
     
  8. hfg, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #8
    My system is just idling right now and is very quiet. I have the Sonnet card and a Solo x2 card installed with SSDs in all locations.

    iStat is showing 600 - 1100 rpm on all fans:
    -- PCI 929 rpm
    -- BoostA 1113 rpm
    -- BoostB 1113 rpm
    -- Exhaust 600 rpm
    -- Power Supply 599 rpm
    -- Intake 600 rpm

    ----------

    Thanks for the refresh Tesselator ... :)

    So ... how does that all relate to RAID-0 SSDs? :eek: :cool:
    Is it better to boot from a single SSD or a RAID-0 SSD (and SATA-II ("internal") vs. SATA-III on PCIe ("external"))



    Yes, I recall reading that other thread awhile back ... and I just re-read it again. Thanks for the link.

    -howard
     
  9. Tesselator, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #9
    Well the SATA II vs SATA III thing was already covered and technically shouldn't matter for "booting" and system performance. (I'm not sure what the implications are that it does for jenzjen :confused:. Testimonials like nox-uk's above are the norm.)

    Boot and system performance in RAID0 SSD vs. Single SSD: of course the RAID will increase small file I/O speeds too so of course it will be faster. Roughly speaking:
    2SSDs = 1.95x speed. 3SSDs = 2.5x speed. 4SSDs = 3.2x speed (all still of course within the SATA II spec)

    The reason I said SATA III is more important for RAID0 users is because I would assume anyone RAIDing SSDs would be using the volume for application data I/O and for that some of the higher speeds can be reached. So for them there is a potential (in a 2-drive SSD RAID0) of about 600MB/s using SATA II or 1.2GB/s using SATA III - and of course the later is more desirable. :)
     
  10. hfg, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #10
    OK ... I want to keep my huge photo library on the RAID-0 Sonnet card, but it doesn't have to be my boot volume too, it could just be a library data disk which would eliminate my boot-manager problem with the Sonnet card bug.


    So for my native OS X boot/aps and Windows, I have 2 choices here using a 512GB and 256GB SSD:

    1) OS X on 512GB SSD in Bay-1
    Windows on 256GB SSD in Bay-2

    2) OS X on 512GB RAID-0 made from 1/2 larger SSD and smaller SSD
    Windows on 256GB from other 1/2 of large SSD
    ... (I have been unsuccessful making this work on PCIe cards I have tried. It does work on Mac Pro backplane ports. Problem is getting Windows to boot, OS X works fine either way. It does bother me a bit having Windows on the same physical SSD as part of OS X with regard to possible disk corruption.)

    OS X will boot sooner from Mac Pro backplane since it takes awhile for the boot manager to locate the "external" PCIe storage cards. Not a big issue since I don't boot very often.

    OS X "may" boot faster from a single SSD, but apps "should" benefit from RAID-0 array. True??


    I already have these drives and they are 840 Pro units, so I will see no benefit, read or write, from the additional performance these costly drives can provide if placed on the Mac Pro SATA-II bus??

    Thanks for the info and opinions..

    -howard
     
  11. Tesselator, Apr 20, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 20, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #11
    I'm not sure how to answer that because there isn't enough total space. :p My photo library is about 1.5TB in size. How big is yours currently and how big do you expect it to get in the next 12 to 18 months?

    How big is your Windows and OS X footprints respectively? For me OSX + apps is about 300GB to 400GB and Windows+apps is about 100GB to 150GB. Both Windows and OS X needs to have about 15% to 20% free space on the partition - generally.

    If there were no capacity issues and I just wanted the best performance for each - given that I had one SATA II and SATA III available to me: I would put the OSs and apps on the SATA II buss and the RAW photo files on the SATA III Sonnet card.

    Of course what I would personally actually do is sell the Sonnet card, place two identical 500GB SSDs in RAID0 or one 750GB SSHD (depending on my budget) up top under the ODD, and then populate the 4 normal drive bays with the $135 3TB Seagate drives and put them all in RAID0 as well.

    This would give you 1TB of unneededly-super-fast OS performance if the 2 SSDs or 750GB of good healthy super-fast performance if the $125 SSHD... and...

    12TB of very fast (about 700MB/s peek and 600 MB/s average) data storage for photos, movies, audio and instrument files, and so on.

    If the SSHD and the 4 rotational drives the total cost would be $675 for a total of 12.75TB

    If the two SSDs and the 4 rotational drives the total cost would be $1,350 for 13TB in all.

    Alternatively if you could compromise some total capacity you could get 1TB drives instead of 3TB ones and save about $350 off of either total price with the rotational RAID being 4TB in total (and also a tad faster too!).

    In my case I can't compromise the capacity. My 12TB RAID is already one third full and I'm just starting out with this configuration. A year from now it will be half full and in two years (just about the time the drives will be in danger of maybe beginning to fail) I'll probably opt for larger drives. Hopefully by then there will have been 1.5TB platter sizes around long enough that the bugs are ironed out and four 3-platter drives (4.5TB) or 4-platter drives (6TB) will be replacing my 3TB drives now. Maybe by then all HDDs will be SSHDs with 16 or so GB of NAND each. :)


    Also your last sentence puzzles me. Either thee's a word out of place or you've misunderstood everything so for? :D




     
  12. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #12
    If you are installing a OS X or Windows boot SSD on the Mac Pro SATA-II backplane, are you wasting your money (i.e. no noticeable benefit) by buying premium Samsung 840 Pro SATA-III drives, rather than more common models, or even SATA-II SSDs?

    Is there a worthwhile benefit to having the OS X boot / apps SSD as a RAID-0 on the Mac Pro backplane rather than a simpler single SSD which would allow a recovery partition?

    I will put my 400GB photo library on the Sonnet RAID-0 1TB SSD which will allow for adequate expansion for now. Older photos, music, video, movie, archives, junk, etc. are on a 3TB hard disk which I may double in RAID-0 as well.
     
  13. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #13
    1. I dunno. It depends on the small file random I/O performance of the various models being compared.
    2. Yes. About a 2x speed increase as explained previously.
    3. That sounds good to me. By doing that the preview generation and loading will be sped up making your library fun to navigate and search instead of feeling more like a casually frustrating chore.
     
  14. jenzjen thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Aug 20, 2010
    #14
    Strange, but I clearly have faster expansion and power fans. My only other card is a PC 7870, and I will have to remove the x2 to post the fan speeds with it uninstalled but definitely quieter than it is now.

    booster1 857
    exhaust 600
    expansion 1800
    intake 600
    power supply 1120
     
  15. hfg, Apr 21, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2013

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #15
    My installed graphics card is the Sapphire HD 7950 when I measured the fan speeds with iStat Pro.
     

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