Which E-SATA CARD for the G-RAID?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by loblah, Apr 10, 2011.

  1. loblah macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    just got a brand new 12-core MAC PRO tower and 6GB G-RAID through esata...

    I, of course, want the maximum speed for hi-res editing and need the FASTEST PCI CARD

    but there has to be a cheaper solution to the card choices.

    some v. quick research has yielded this:

    the NewerTech cards are cheapest, but less then 100 MB/S

    the Firmtek card, apparently, is around 150 MB/S


    the G-TECH 4-port card and the Sonnet Tempo SATA E4P are the only two that G-TECH recommends that can achieve 200 MB/S, but that is $267.00
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet Technology/TSATAIIE4P/

    anybody know of any other cheaper but just-as-fast options?

  2. Pressure macrumors 68040


    May 30, 2006
  3. philipma1957, Apr 10, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    is this what you purchased?


    if it is you are not going to get much past 180 to 190 MB/s in that case the chipset kind of limits you a little under 200mb/s

    those drives inside will never go past 220 in a raid0 of any type of case of 2 drives (a pair of them will peak at about 225 when the 6tb is under 1tb of info)

    the newertech will be good enough

    it will not boot but it will get about 190MB/s on sale for 40 bucks

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer Technology/MXPCIE6GS2OB/
  4. loblah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    yah - that's the issue: the Newertech ppl say that card will do fine, but many people find that's just not the case...

    you can read about it on a few threads on c.c.:


    anybody tried the firmtek card?
  5. philipma1957, Apr 10, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I tried the firm-tek 4 sata card one jack gets in the 190's with a 2 drive raid0 so does the newer tech I can tell you something is off if you get only 120mb/s. none of the 1 jack e-sata raid0 case really give steady 200 plus but 190 yes.

    I have gotton 190 plus using many different hdds and ssds in a 2 drive raid0 I have even threaded the esata into the empty optical bay and hooked to the sata jack inside 190's happen. I am not knocking g raid but I would have preffered this;


    i have tested it with 10 different hdds and ssds it is my preferred device
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    loblah, are you a professional or a hobbyist/enthusiast?

    I ask, as a stripe set isn't really the best way to go (digilloyd's advice/use of stripe sets for video production is flawed, especially for a professional, so I'd advice you stay away from this unless you can spend hours and hours fixing a broken array + restoring the data; acceptable for the hobbyist/enthusiast which typically means plenty of time available, but not so much in the way of funds). Worse yet, is when the equipment is built on consumer grade gear (which the G-tech products are; they use consumer grade HDD's - fine for backups and single disk operations, but not being thrashed by RAID configurations).

    If you're earning a living with this (presume for the moment you are, given a you're using a 12 core system), you'd be far better off building a proper storage system (i.e. redundant level for your working data, and a proper backup system, say built on an eSATA based Port Multiplier enclosure, such as those from Sans Digital).

    It will mean investing funds in a proper storage system (proper RAID isn't cheap, but it's worth it). It speeds up your workflow (which can mean more jobs per year = bigger bottom line), and saves you from lots of lost time in the event of a failure (which also affects your bottom line). Win-win when done properly (there are a lot of bad solutions out there, particularly from running the wrong gear).

    If you do need help with this, you'd probably be best to start a new thread (warning: they can get long and very detailed, so be prepared for this if you do ;)).
  7. loblah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    yep, i do need help. yep, i do work in the industry, though not an editor. here's a trailer for the project if youre interested


    we just bought a 12 core to offline edit and have an existing 6gb g-raid

    just want the best "fast-cheap ratio" card there is out there

    def not getting into stripe sets

    love some card advice, but don't need to open a can of worms. many feature film offline editors out there use fcp and a g-raid setup so i'm confident we can find the correct one
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    What is the G-Raid solution (model number, or better yet, a link) are you using?

    It depends on exactly what you're doing.

    I figured it may be a 2 bay unit, so a stripe set is the only way to get speeds faster than a single disk.

    Again, it will depend on the specifics. Even the difference of software or hardware RAID implementations matter.

    The MP is capable of 0/1/10 and JBOD via software implementations. Better than nothing, but not as good as hardware (speed and more importantly, features). But as the MP can do this without a RAID card, it's cheaper. Of the levels possible, you'd need to go for 10 (offers both speed and redundancy), which only has 1/2 of the drive's total capacity as usable space (half of it is needed to duplicate the data in order to provide redundancy).

    Hardware can get you additional levels, such as 5/6/50/60, speed, and features software RAID implementations cannot do.

    I've no idea how much you know about RAID already, so I'd make the recommendation of reading the RAID Wiki to start with (pay close attention to the RAID levels, 10 and parity levels in particular <5 & 6>). You may notice that there's something called the "write hole issue" associated with parity based arrays. This is why you need a hardware implementation to perform these properly (they have a hardware solution to the problem; software implementations do not, and are therefore dangerous, so don't fall for cheap products that are software based). There are cheap hardware solutions as well, but they're not fast. If you already know this, you can skip it. But I presume if you did (to the level you need to), you wouldn't be asking. :p

    Past that, you need to think about answers to the following questions:
    • How much capacity do you need?
    • How much speed?
    • How much capacity growth (i.e. figure out how much you consume per year, and figure for 3 years if possible to minimize the hardware costs; that is, get hardware that allows you to just add drives and enclosures to house them when needed)?
    • What kind of redundancy are you after (i.e. what RAID level)?

    These answers can help us aim you in the right solution, including a card model, disks, and enclosures (even mounts for internal disks as well if needed).

    Hardware RAID systems can get expensive (modest DAS system can run up to $4 - 5k going by solutions I've created in the past), but the lack of time lost and improved speed (allows for more work in a year), means it pays for itself and still increases your annual profit.

    Now as to a card brand, I'd recommend Areca or ATTO (can get into the differences later), but they're the 2 best brands out there, and happen to work in Macs (including able to boot once flashed with EFI firmware).

    BTW, you still need a proper backup solution, and a decent UPS (ideally, run a battery backup with the card as well).
  9. loblah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    nanofrog, you're amazing, come make movies with us, haha

    i will get back to you on this stuff, need to talk to the post coordinator and editing team, thanks
  10. loblah thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 20, 2008
    this is what i'm hoping to get out of this thread ultimately:

    "hey loblah, given your hardware set up (a new 12-core and a newish g-raid 6GB... you should buy either this card because it's really cheap but medium fast.... or this card here, because it's more expensive, but really fast."

    not sure i trust g-tech advising me to shell out 300 bones for a pci card that other hardware pple tell me is a waste of cash...
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Think about the questions I posted previously, as those answers will be needed to get you a solution. Now if it ends up being RAID, that particular solution isn't going to something like "get x", as there's multiple parts involved, and RAID cards are capable of mulitple configurations (involves the levels and member counts used; even multiple arrays are possible).

    To get an idea, take a look at other RAID threads.

    As per the person from G-Tech, keep in mind that person is trying to sell you something (why I don't think getting advice from someone that does is the best way to go, as they're trying to keep their own interests alive/in mind, as selling gear is how they make their money). In such cases, you'd be better off getting it from a company that retails gear from multiple sources (more to choose from, so it could end up being the right way to go, especially if their lines cover all the ranges available, and they know what they're doing). If you do this, just be careful (need to keep their motives in mind when they make recommendations, as there's a chance it's based on gear that has the highest margin for them, not what best fits your needs - this is what causes people to over-buy gear or end up with stuff that doesn't do the job fully or even at all).

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