View Full Version : Cheetah X15 RAID in 733 G4

04-07-2001, 04:53 PM
What do I need exactly (Cables?, controller card, recommendations?) to get an X15 Cheetah (2) Mirrored/Striped RAID to work in my new G4 733?

What is the correct set up?

It sounds like my Miles U2W boards will not work in this machine.



04-08-2001, 12:58 AM
Mark, you'll need a controler card, cable, terminator, drives and RAID software. I have a Miles U2W in my 733 and it works (though I'm having a problem with one of my drives so I can't tell you details - see http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/Forum16/HTML/000033.html ). That post tells you all about the problems you can run into in installation of the drives. If you've got a Miles U2W, that will work fine, but people here recommend the Atto U2W (dual ch. ideally).

If you've got a Miles2, then you should have software. The best recommendation if you've got bucks to spend is to get a granite digital cable and nice terminator (sold here).

Note: Presently you can't boot on a striped array on the machine, though you should be able to do a mirror. Since you're asking about mirrored and striped, I'm not sure if you know the need for each (so I'll say it now):

RAID Level 0: Data is split across both drives to increase the performance, but at a risk of reliability (read: back up frequently)
RAID Level 1: Data is written to two drives at once, each containing the same data. This is used for critical data. It is not faster than a single drive, but doubles the reliability (should one drive fail, you're still ok).

That's all we can do with SoftRAID now, but they're planning a release this summer (hopefully) that will support RAID 5 (which combines the best of above, but you ought to have at least 3 drives.

04-08-2001, 12:59 AM
You need Magician to verify this.

The Miles U2W will work but the ATTO will be faster in that machine (and cost more). Initio is working on OS X drivers; ATTO has them now. No New World Mac can boot from a RAID 0, but they can boot from RAID 1. You need cables and a terminator and SoftRAID (or ATTO ExpressRAID); free with Initio, but not ATTO.

[This message has been edited by Louie (edited 08 April 2001).]

04-08-2001, 03:07 AM

here's a list:

1. one ATTO (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?attoboards.html) UL3D or UL3S.

2. two or more X15 ST318451LWs (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?mg_hdseagates.html).

3. one Granite GD1200 Int LVD TPO Cable (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiteflonintcables.html).

4. one Granite GD6299 Diagnostic Terminator (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiteflonintcables.html).

5. one Granite GD1636 LED Remote Indicator (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiteflonintcables.html).

6. one license for SoftRAID (http://www.macgurus.com/beta/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiraid.html).

that will set you up with the best internal array available for the Sawtooth.


[This message has been edited by magician (edited 08 April 2001).]

04-09-2001, 08:00 AM
you guys forgot one thing.

The fastest throughput know to man kind too! http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif


04-09-2001, 12:19 PM
Thanks for the responses...

So should I get a single or a dual channel card? Which is faster? Will I need two sets of cables and terminators if I get the dual channel card?



04-09-2001, 01:42 PM
you will need two sets of cables and terminators with the dual-channel card. Keep in mind that you can use a pair of GD4800 (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiteflonintcables.html) rather than a pair of GD1200's if you are going dual-channel. You will still need a pair of GD6299 terminators. You could economize a little with a GD2015, but I don't mess around when dealing with hardware of this quality and cost, and I think this is not a good place to save $20. Just my opinion.

you will get slightly faster thruput with dual-channel, but the real point in doing dual-channel is when you are running more than one drive per bus, and then bus duplexing, striping across drives and buses. That takes a minimum of four drives, two per channel. You can scale up to 15 drives per channel, for a total of 30. We have tested up to eight X15's, four per channel, attaining reads of 180-200MB/sec, and writes between 160-180MB/sec in a Sawtooth G4 500MHz. If you plan to migrate in that direction, with four drives or more in the future, it makes sense to go dual-channel now. If not, then a UL3S is a reasonable compromise, and will deliver great performance.


04-10-2001, 11:00 PM
Thanks again...

If I rip out the stock IDE hard drive, how many X15 Cheetahs can I stick internally hooked up to the dual channel Adaptec card? Can I at least boot off one X15 partition, play in RAID 0, and back up in RAID 1 with three internal X15s? Can four X15s be placed internally (no zip). Will the Power supply support 4 hard drives?


The 733 w/ 1.25 gig of 2-2-2 RAM should be here tomorrow...

No IDE for Lent


04-10-2001, 11:21 PM
The Sawtooth case will handle 4 drives in the bottom trays. Not sure about double stacking a Cheetah though. I'm not sure I would do it. You could keep your stock IDE/ATA drive in the bottom back slot and mount a cheetah over it - I bet. Those IDE drives do not normally get all that hot. You normally do not install a HD in the ZIP drive bay, so it really does not matter if one is there or not. You could also install a drive (maybe 2?) above the DVD drive, but that is pushing it.

Good question about the power supply - its rated to 200W, but then its an APPLE power supply, so its a SOLID 200 maybe ~ 250W supply. Of course Apple may have changed the spec on the new system - The old Sawtooth's are 200, the YOSEMITEs are 200W. I should really check my G4/466. I would imagine the supply should handle 5 cards and 6 drives (4HDs + DVD + ZIP), but I dont like to stress stuff like that. I would probably only install 3 HDs in the bottom and if you have a spare PCI slot - I would install a PCI slot fan.

You can not boot from a RAID-0 (stripped), but you can boot from a single volume RAID or even a RAID-1 (MIRRORED). I normally make a 2 ~ 4GB boot partition. Having a mirrored boot drive could be a great benifit, but I've never tried this. Depending on how much space your need/want you might just want to get a few 36GB 10K cheetahs - and RAID them, and boot off an x15. SoftRAID is fairly easy to use and figure out.


04-11-2001, 02:41 AM
Thanks Mag,

All your recommended cables have been ordered, Please check, (had to chip away the Granite around my bank account:-)), plus a third X15 Cheetah (I have two already). Please include some of those small butt SCSI ID jumpers. Figure out a way to get a fourth internal X15 in that case and I will get another Cheetah.

Triple digit transfer rates here I come....He HA!


04-11-2001, 08:51 PM
Show off! http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

04-12-2001, 01:11 AM
Darn...snow...planes diverted...parts everywhere, except here...

Maybe I can finish 733 X15 RAID tomorrow...

Is there any speed benefit from putting two X15s on one channel and one X15 on the other channel? Or should I put all three X15s on one channel until I get a fourth (ka-ching$) X15?

Can you build a mirrored RAID to three drives? Four?



04-12-2001, 08:40 AM
Hey Mark,

There is a definite speed benefit to using both channels. Each channel has its own controller and I'm not sure you get to to use the whole 64-bit path of the ATTO card unless you are shoveling bits through both controllers.

When you create a stripe or mirror, what you are actually joining are logical volumes, not disks, so yes you can stripe or mirror any number of disks by creating volumes accross the disks. Using the whole disks or just partitions for volumes.

The one rule to remember is symmetry. If you have three 18 GB disks accross two channels, for example, there is no perfectly symmetrical setup. One controller will be doing I/O on two disks and one controller will be doing I/O on only one disk. To create a 36 GB stripe or mirror, the most symmetrical setup would be to join the two disks on one channel, leaving the lone disk on the other channel as a separate entity. This is slower than duplexing accross the channels because you are funneling all I/O to the RAID accross only one conroller with a 32-bit path, but the RAID is perfectly symmetrical (I/O to both RAID volumes occurs in an identical manner). You have the choice of striping accross three 12 GB volumes created one each on the three drives. This would be faster, shoveling I/O to the RAID accross two controllers with a 64-bit path, but not balanced. One controller is doing I/O on two disks at the same the other is doing I/O on only one disk. Since one controller cannot simultaneously write to two disks at twice the speed of one (due to command overhead and possibly, hitting the upper limit of throughput), I/O accross this channel is slower than I/O accross the other channel. This creates a window of opportunity for error.

You also have the choice of mirroring one of the 18 GB disks from one channel to the lone 18 GB disk on the other channel for maximum speed, but again, this is unbalanced if any disk activity occurs on the third disk to slow down I/O accross the controller doing double duty. With a dual channel card, it is much preferred to dedicate it only to your array disks and to use an even number of disks although you do not have to use all the space on all the disks for the array. This gives you maximum symmetry in a configuration which gives you maximum speed.

Tyger! Tyger! burning bright
In the forests of the night
What immortal hand or eye
Could frame thy fearful symmetry?

04-13-2001, 04:38 AM
Holy Toledo...

Got the 733 today....

Wish I could type faster....

NEVER even booted off the internal ATA drive, don't even know if it works...

Cannibalized my PTP so I could get a symetrical X15 RAID in my new 733.

Installed two sticks of 512mb 2-2-2 RAM, stuck the dual channel 39160 in slot three. Ripped out the Maxtor 60 gig drive. Removed the IDE connector off the mobo. Stacked two X15s in the stackable bay. Hooked those up to the card with only Macgurus Granite cables and terminators. Hard drives three and four were harder. Placed one in the Zip bay and one on top of the CD-RW. The terminators were a bitch to hide in the case. Never had a bad term... though...

Hooked up the poor old PTP as as a server to the hub. The G4 733 bonged, but only got the flashing ? Stuck the software restore CD in...Nothing..reopened the case...the CD-RW connector was knocked off by yours truely installing the X15 in the zip bay...

Plugged in the connector and got a successful boot...

First under SoftRAD was a four drive stripe. Total 34 gig volume. No problem.

Next was a mirror with the remaining space... no problem. Installed the system folder on the mirror. Could not get a boot off the four disk mirror...

Made a 8 gig boot volume on a single drive...boots everytime. Used the remaining space for a three disk mirror...

Early numbers for the stripe are as follows...
PR 225
SR 135
PW 170
SW 145

8 meg file adaptec, no cache.

What a hassle free install...all drives are internal. What should I do with these SCSIvue active diagnostic terminators?



04-13-2001, 09:18 AM

04-13-2001, 11:26 AM
Great work and results Mark. You have extra Granite terminators? k

04-13-2001, 12:19 PM
how comeyou stuck drives on top of the CDRW and the in the Zip bay?

you could stack two in bay three, as you did....and then put two side by side in bays one and two, counting from the front. Just curious.

are you using both channels? Or just one?

did you end up w spare terminators? If you have all the drives on just one channel, that could explain it....but then, which cables did you order?

I'm a little confused.

nice numbers, though.


04-13-2001, 12:59 PM
The reason I placed one hard drive in the zip bay was because of the length of the power cord. The Zip power cord would not reach into the lower bays.

With the X15 in the Zip bay, I could only get the SCSI cable (26" LVD ribbon, GD1200) to reach up to the space on top of the CD-RW. The ribbon was just to short to put the drive on the base of the box. With a power cord extender, I can place the drives in bay one or two. Just could not wait....

I'm using both channels. Each channel hooked up to two X15 cheetahs with GD1200 26" ribbons and GD6299 active terminators.

The only thing that I could not find a use for were the GD1636 RemoteLED Indicators. Should I remove a PCI cover and thred these things outside the box?

Any other suggestions?



04-13-2001, 01:46 PM
Check out the mirrored #'s

PR 185
SR 100
PW 113
SW 107


04-14-2001, 06:57 AM
damn....those are RAID 1 numbers?

friggin' nice.

yes. Pull your modem cover or a PCI slot cover and route your LED Remotes out the back of the machine so you can monitor your buses.

04-19-2001, 12:52 AM
I must have belly button lint for brains....

The G4 733 will boot off a mirrored X15 RAID...

I striped (0) my second RAID instead of making a mirrored (1) RAID (thats why I could make a three disk mirror. SoftRAID only lets you make a two disk mirror, duh)

Disk scores for TWO mirrored X15s are now more realistic (ATTO 8 meg),

PR 120
SR 37
PW 61
SW 37

My final mistake (let me know on this one) is that I somehow got an ATTO dual channel and an Adaptec dual channel card mixed-up. I thought I was buying an ATTO card when in reality I bought an Adaptec card (no wonder I saved $200)..

So far not a single problem with the Adaptec card, the 4 disk X15 striped RAID or the now corrected two disk mirrored RAID.

Thank God I was not working with nuclear waste...

Thanks for the help,


04-20-2001, 10:56 AM
So, did you buy that proline bay that velcro's above the DVD-R drive? How'd you install a drive in the zip bay? I thought it wasn't a standard bay.

[This message has been edited by schalliol (edited 20 April 2001).]

04-20-2001, 08:08 PM
Believe it or not, I did the Arkansas install...

The X15 just fits inside the Zip bay. The forth X15 is just sitting on top of the CDRW. I really should lock that sucker down...

What is this Velcro thing?

For you FileMakerPro fans, the G4 733 crunches records in 900 to 1000 record chuncks while the G3 500 in the PTP can only do 400 to 500 records at a time.


04-23-2001, 05:44 AM

I'm speaking of the Proline "G3/G4 Hard Drive Sled":