View Full Version : new raid for older mac

05-29-2001, 01:07 AM
I have a beige G3 333 and am considering investing in a RAID system. I am using it for video editing with Final Cut Pro. I've got a couple of options. I'm either going to get a DP G4 533, and possibly a RAID, or, get just the RAID and wait for the DP speeds to climb a bit. Will the RAID give my beige G3 333 a siginicant performance boost for video editing? I'd probably get 2 15k cheetahs and the ATTO card to start with, even though the Miles seems to work better with older macs and is cheaper (is this correct?). But I'll eventually upgrade to a Dual G4, and want the RAID to work best then.

If I stay with the G3, is it possible to mount the two cheetahs inside and still be able to transfer them to a G4 later? Or should I build an external array?
I would love to get the DP G4 now, but it seems that the processor speeds will climb pretty soon.

05-29-2001, 08:36 AM
The MilesU2W is probably the best buy for your existing system. For $200 you get the card, cable&term and SoftRAID. I think you can get a 'RAID' bundle with the ATTO card. Obviously the ULTIMATE SCSI card is the dual channel Ultra160 card. A single Channel ATTO would have enough bandwidth for 2 x15 Cheetahs, but if you want to expand later you may start to hit the limits. I think about 4 x15s could start to saturate a 160MB/s bus, but the Gurus would know better... that kind of stuff is beyond my budget http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_frown.gif

If you have a G3/DT with only the stock hardware (and no ZIP) then you should have two bays for HDs - one next to the floppy and one next to the CD/DVD. I think the G3/MT has more space - its a smaller version of the 86/9600case. Again going with the drives internally will save a lot of money. The gurus can point out what parts to get to make sure things run cool or if an external case is necessary.

You can migrate these card(s) and cables and drives into a new G4. The Sawtooth case can handle 4 drives (stock drive+3) along the bottom - and you could probably stuff a few more above the DVD/CD-r if you were daring. The main issue is that you can not boot off a RAID-0 (stripped) setup. You might also have issues with a RAID-1 (mirrored) setup - but again this is only if you set it as the boot volume. It should be fine running as a regular data/application/scratch disk volume. I do not think SoftRAID is fully supported in X. Hopefully this will change in time. I do think that the ATTO cards are fully supported in X. The Miles cards are just coming out with drivers and the Adaptec U2b worked fine with my limited tests (I only ran it for a week and did NOT use the 36GB Cheetah as a boot volume). The big plus with the Adaptec is that its so cheap you dont really feel guilty about replacing it with the ATTO U160 cards.

X is now going to be installed in EVERY MAC, but 9.1 will still be the default boot OS. Of course I always reformat the drive to partition it anyway....

The long dark tea time of the soul.

05-30-2001, 04:00 AM
an array will speed up overall functioning, and editing to some degree, but the true benefit of an array on a video workstation is in accelerating your renders and compression/decompression operations.

while the Miles2 is much cheaper than the ATTO-series, it is best used in vintage Power Macs. The bG3 is the cruxis Mac, right on the edge between the vintage machines and the New World machines. If your primary intent is to migrate your array to a new Sawtooth or later machine down the road, get the ATTO. If your intent is to save the max dollars you can, then get the Miles2. That's my two cents on that issue.

you can generally install a pair of drives inside the bG3, whether you have a MT or DT. You may require drive brackets, so you may want to let us know which machine you own before ordering. I would not recommend an external array for just two drives. If you require mondo capacity that requires dual-channels, or even several drives on a single-channel, then an external enclosure is inevitable. If you don't need to go external, I wouldn't.

05-31-2001, 04:40 PM
I am going to get a new machine, but I'm waiting for macworld, to see what the new models are.
I have a MT, so do I need brackets for that? Also, the drive i have now is an 9gig UW SCSI. Will there be any issues with putting in a SCSI card, (probably the ATTO). Logically, I would think there would not be, but logic doesn't always seem to apply...

Another question, if I were to get two 10k 36 gig cheetahs now (more bang for the buck, spacewise) along with the ATTO card, could I add two 15k cheetahs down the road? Will the two different rpm speeds work within the same array?

And...I've noticed the Gurus offer an ATTO Ultra3 dual-channel Raid "Kit". Does this kit include all cables and terminator I would need to install in my MT?

Thanks Gurus, for your site and patience with those, like myself, who know next-to-nothing. Your help and advice is greatly appreciated. Customer Service?!?!?! Who woulda thought...

06-01-2001, 02:26 AM
no brackets needed for the MT.

since you have an UW card already installed, you will want to pull it, and your existing UW drive to install a new LVD subsystem. They will not coexist redundantly side-by-side peacefully.

you can mix 15k and 10k drives on the same bus or card, as long as all devices are LVD devices, with no penalty. You cannot mix single-ended and LVD devices. Life will suck.

the ATTO Kit includes external cables which are close to Granite quality but not quite equivalent, and an overpriced (IMO) copy of ExpressRAID. We have had customers report problems with ExpressRAID, but Digi in particular requires it in some configurations so we carry it for those unfortunate souls locked into a Digi support contract.

we prefer SoftRAID here.

06-11-2001, 05:28 PM
You can run 10k and 15k Cheetahs on the same bus without penalty, but you don't stripe the two because of the performance differences.

06-24-2001, 05:31 AM
Man, you are missing the steal of the century, if you have Softraid already.

Magician's special on adaptec cards,with lvd cables is incredible, and the card works with os X.

Your beige is limited to 75 mb/sec, thanks to the mobo chipset on these machines.

Frankly, you could easily do the upgrade, use two X 15's, and softraid, and have a very nice startup raid.

ATTO is the current only way to go if you want down the line compatibility.

However, think about this. After the G3/333 how many macs work with raid 0,startup drives, period?

The external array option is very expensive. Try keeping it in the box.
Also keep in mind, apple has wimpy power supplies.

Two drives maybe pretty much max. I had problems with 4 X 15s on an atto, in a g3333, with system errors. Dropping to two drives has solved the problem.

You might want to start with two x 15's, on Magicians' Adaptec card, and then upgrade the processor, when someone FINALLY comes out with about a 700 mhz processor for the G3/333. Being scsi on the mobo, startup drive by raid 0, maybe features that offset the superior speed of the newer machines, due to faster pci slot standards.

Do you need more then 75 MB/sec for your work???


06-24-2001, 12:02 PM
Thats a good idea. Those AdaptecU2b cards are good and CHEAP! Do gurus still have the combo deal on the card+cable+term?

Also keep in mind, apple has wimpy power supplies.
I would not say that. While many of Apple's supplies are 200W, they are a very conservatively rated 200W. I've never seen one fail (knock on wood) and I've put several drives, cards, etc.. Of course a SERVER box usually has a 400W supply and can handle 10+ drives etc, but Apple doesnt make server boxes. Those are EXPENSIVE anyway. Of course the 86/9600 macs use 390W supplies - THOSE ARE MONSTERS http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif

Two drives maybe pretty much max. I had problems with 4 X 15s on an atto, in a g3333, with system errors. Dropping to two drives has solved the problem.
That sounds weird. I've never run an x15, but I have hooked up 11 drives to my MilesU2W card without issue. I used granite twisted pair cabling & termination. The biggest RAID I had was a 3 drive AtlasIV setup... so its not all that fast, but I had more drives! http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/tongue.gif


If you are planning to get a system in 6 months or less - you are probably best off getting the ULTIMATE SCSI card setup. The ATTO is expensive, but it seem to be the best card and it should already have support for X. Otherwsie save your money now and get the Adaptec or Miles card. Since MW-NY is less than a month away you may just want to wait and see what happens - if you can hold out that long http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif Even if Apple announces a new line up it could be months before anything ships and then a few months more before ALL the bugs are worked out...

Not sure anyone said this, but Mag hinted at it. You have an UW SCSI in your system - so this means you have an UW SCSI card. You could sell both and recoup some of your money or you could put it in another system. I think the card is worth about $50 (maybe $75) and the drive another $150 (maybe less).

For size I would go with two 36GB 10K Cheetahs. Remember the more you get the more you will use http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

For speed the x15s are the way to go. If you have never used a 10K drive before, you will still see a NICE increase in speed over your stock SCSI drive. ESP if it is RAIDED!

Another thing to consider is getting a UDMA ATA/100 drive for your system. You can hook it up to the stock bus (16MB/s) and get CHEAP ($150 or less) FAST (7200RPM ~ 25MB/s) drive for backs and/or general data. This will keep your main SCSI setup free from mundane stuff. I think you can stuff 3 drives into a G3MT, right?

This can also help you transfer files between a SCSI setups. You can off load the old UW data to the IDE/ATA drive and then once the Ultra2 setup is completely you can tranfer data back. The ATA/IDE could also serve as a quick temporary backup.

Life in the fast lane leads to:
The Resteraunt At The End Of The Universe.

[This message has been edited by dragon_x (edited 24 June 2001).]

06-24-2001, 05:41 PM
Yes, I kept getting file corruption, and disk errors with 4 drives on the g3333
atto, softraid setup. Using Granite Digital cables, and properly terminated.

Haven't had one since I dropped to two drives, and still plenty fast.

You mention using an ide drive on your g3333, with a scsi card running. Some of us have had real problems with this. The mobo wants to boot from the ide drive, regardless of os settings. There is some old software called system picker that has been a work around.
I solved the problem by using old scsi drives to back up to, and, to do utility work on the os when neccessary.

Mac power supplies don't inspire confidence. Mine is still working, but I don't think putting more then two drives, plus a full house box, on a 170-200watt power supply is a very good idea. I suspect the PS was working too hard, and might possibly cause drive failure.

I have a 400watt P4 PS for a pc, and I like that. No worries about power problems.

Anyway, I guess I could get back to the question. How does Final Cut Pro use
disks? Does it write to a scratch disk? How much storage do you need???


I wonder if three drives, one to start from, and two, cheaper, larger, scsi drives might not be the way to go.

Another possibility is to run the startup drive off one card, and run the two drives off a separate 2940. Given the cost of LVD cable and termination from
macgurus, this is a cheap solution.

Another factor is what block size the data you are transfering usually is. 4k, 32k, 256k?
You can run atto and see what kind of speed you are getting, given your current setup.

MAC uw scsi setup gives great small block, under 32k, transfer rates, because, for some reason, this is the size that is cached, and uses the cache most effectively.

I ran a dual 2940, two 19101 Cheetah startup raid, one drive on each card, and had fantastic performance, because of the cache usage.


07-18-2001, 04:06 PM
Well, ok, here goes... It's been almost a month since the last post on this thread, hope someone see it.

Having seen the new configurations from Macworld, I have decided not to buy yet. I wanted MORE http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif. I've also put off portability (another thread). So I've decided to invest my money in storage. So I can get some work done now.

My list so far:
1 ATTO Express PCI Dual - Channel Ultra3 SCSI card
2 Seagate Cheetah 36GB Ultra 160 drives
1 Seagate Barracuda ATA/100 IDE 30GB drive
SoftRAID HD Formatting, RAID 0, 1 Utility
Intech Software Hard Disk SpeedTools 3.3

My questions are:

1. Is there any info on when Seagate may be offering 15x drives with larger capacities?

2. The Seagate Cuda is to replace my current UW 9 gig as main drive, for general aps/info use. I would like to keep the entire RAID for video storage. Is this a wise/good choice? I figured I'd stick with same drive manufacturer.

3. SoftRAID is necessary. Is HardDisk SpeedTools as well? Is it perhaps, not NEEDED, but a good idea?

4. The cables and terminators are confusing me. =) What types and lengths would I need to comfortably install in my beige G3 333 MT?

5. Is the Dual Channel ATTO necessary? If my understanding is correct, it is not if used for only two drives, but if I want to expand to 4 farther on down the road. Do I have this right?

6. Do I need cooling fans/heat sinks for an internal install in my beige G3 333 MT?

...and on a side note...

I want to purchase a PCI graphics card as well. Any ideas that would work with my comp? Perhaps this question belongs in a different forum...

Thanks all

07-18-2001, 09:14 PM

Beige 333 are limited to about 75 mb/sec by the grackle mobo chipsets.
Major reason to spend 500-700 on an ATTO is forward compatibility with
64 bit/33/66 mhz pci, like the newer machines have.

Go with a Miles 2, and softraid package.
With 3 drives, how are you going to do raid 0, and 1?????

A two drive X 15 array is perfect with an lvd controller on the beige.

Cooling. Get magician's ultimate hard drive coolers, or, if you have the room in the front of the machine, he has a nice mounting bracket that allows you to mount 3 drives in a space for 2, and, the bracket has 4 cooling fans.

Cables are up to where you want to put the drives, and where you have room.

You may have to pull your ide drive, since sometimes you can't start from the raid with the ide drive in place.

Granite Digital are the best cables, and termination, and they are expensive, very expensive, but they come with lifetime support and warranty.

They are by far the best scsi cables, and worth the money.

Do you need a dual channel card for two drives? No, but, it helps.

You get superior speed out of a dual channel card, but, not that much, and not enough to justify a 5-7 time increase in cost.

The raid bundle with atto is 200 bucks for external cables for the new u3 pin standard. It's so small it allows two connectors on one pci card.
Plus you get ATTO raid software, which means you don't need softraid.

Hope this helps.


07-18-2001, 09:50 PM
Yes it does a bit.

I do want forward compatability. I will be buying a new faster mac, when I'm they grow in speed a bit more, or rumored G5 makes debut. I'm just not sastisfied with the growth in speed of the configurations announced at Macworld. As well, I will wait for DP price to drop.

The two Cheetahs are for the raid striping. The Cuda ATA/IDE drive will not be part of the array, but used for general info storage. Video goes on the raid.

I would like the 15k's, but they only come in 18GB. I'm thinking I would like 72GB's of storage, and I cannot afford 4 15k's. Thus the two 10k 36GB.

Any info on my other questions?

Thanks =)

07-19-2001, 12:02 AM
Seagate is very close to offering a 36.7GB X15 shown here http://www.seagate.com/cda/products/discsales/guide/

I see that some of the versions even show prices but the drives are not in the retail channel yet according to magician, the ST336732LW and ST336752LW specifically. He may have more info when he returns from NY. k

07-19-2001, 12:46 AM
Wow, $699. I assume that means retail would be MORE...

07-19-2001, 01:15 AM
No, that is MSRP. You should see what I paid for the 18GB X15 when it first came out compared to now. k

07-20-2001, 03:57 PM
In defense of Seagate pricing. This is one of the few that for me, could be worth the money to buy on first release.

Against is the drive might have a few bugs not ironed out, and require an RMA.

For is, you simply can't believe the difference an X 15 makes. Slipshot you might conisder that a single X 15 36 gig is likely to be just a hair slower in SDTR then two current X 15's in raid 0, with 15% better access times.

Why raid, if you don't have too?

Buy your ATTO card, and drive, and live happily ever after.


07-21-2001, 10:50 PM
I was just looking at the Seagate site again and noticed something...

There are Ultra160 SCSI, Ultra320 SCSI, and Fibre Channel drives. All are 15x, 36GB drives. What are the differences between the three?