View Full Version : Firmtek enclosure question

07-19-2007, 02:45 AM
Hey guys
I have Power MAC Dual G5 2,7 GHz I’m planning to buy dual bay “hot-swap” enclosure SeriTek/1EN2
http://www.firmtek.com/seritek/seritek-1en2 with PCI - X card

and I want to try to take an advantage of raid 0 set up( two internal SATA HD - probably maxtor or hitachi around 200 GB) and with this issue I’m posting those questions - hopefully there is someone with answers - otherwise I will have to research that stuff forever.
My first question is

1) On the web they recommend to install it slot 4.
So with that said - later on - if I decided to add more external storage
( for example another 2 enclosures SeriTek/1EN2 )
can actually make that work by adding SeriTek/1VE4 Four Port External Host Adapter

To sum it up what I’m trying to find out is

a) whether I can install “physically “ SeriTek/1VE2+2 and SeriTek/1VE4 in my dual G5 powerma together and if that is possible “physically” - I wonder whether those two cards won’t be clashing with each other.

b) whether I can install two SeriTek/1EN2 enlosures on SeriTek/1VE4 Four Port External Host Adapter which would make total of three SeriTek/1EN2 enlosures with my set up with SeriTek/1VE2+2 where will be only one enclosure

c) whether I should go just with one card because of slot 4 which is the fastest one and can be of course used just once
f you guys have any experience with that i would really appreciate your answers,Hopefully other people find it useful as well.
Thanks for your time

07-19-2007, 03:25 AM
PCI-X means that the #4 133MHz slot is isolated from the two 100MHz slots, #2 and 3.

There is a wealth of information if you look at kaye's G5 2.7DP (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?goto=newpost&t=20455)
He has used a number of SeriTek controllers (2-3 4-channel cards, driving 8-12 drives).

There are 4-drive cases that might be more convenient.

I would favor 4-channel external flavor. The only reason for 2+2 would be if you need to run a 10K internal Raptor as your boot drive for instance.

07-19-2007, 07:23 AM
Milan, lots to try to cover. First, the SeriTek/1EN2 enclosure is end of life and no longer available (unless someone still has availability). Second, the SeriTek/1VE4 is also end of life and not available unless you can find one.

Assuming you can find them, I personally would not mix the SeriTek/1VE2+2 with the SeriTek/1VE4 even tho they are on different busses. Just a bad feeling I have about different firmware. Maybe someone else has tried both cards with no problems in a RAID. You may be in uncharted territory.

One other point, do you have any other cards now or planned in the future for the remaining 100MHz PCI-X slot? If so and it is a slower card, it could/will slow down the SeriTek card in the other 100MHz slot.

Anyway, my thoughts. Did I answer your questions? k

07-19-2007, 07:35 AM
One other confusing point, the SeriTek card listed in the MacGurus store is actually a SeriTek/1eVE4. k

07-21-2007, 10:01 PM
Thank you guys so much.
I've been browsing through the post you recommened me - that's a great - lot of interesting stuff.
anyways - you guys have mentioned two interesting things

1) that" SeriTek/1VE4 is in the end of life and not available unless you can find one."

so if I can follow on that - If I decided to go external - what would be the card toe go with from firmtek - is there any newer kind than SeriTek/1VE4 or do I just go
with another brand?

2)Second think you've mentioned is that "There are 4-drive cases that might be more convenient"

Did you mean by that- that maybe I should go with other brands - maybe Like
" Burly enclosures " - Are they any better then Firmtek ones ?

Thanks guys a lot

07-22-2007, 09:42 AM
I'm limited by what I have used but the Gurus Store http://macgurus.com/productpages/sata/PCISATAHostCards.php offers several host cards, the SeriTek/1eVE4 would be a possibility if I were looking, and the CalDigit FASTA-4x would most likely be my choice tho it is not bootable. Bootability is certainly not a necessity to me.

Enclosures, yes Burly (I have several Burlys) works great, or FirmTek has a 4-bay. k

07-24-2007, 10:07 PM
Thanks again.Makes sence.
I'll probably go with Burly enclosure.


07-30-2007, 10:36 AM
One other issue you may find with the Firmtek cards especially the 4 port cards is that they don't get along with many current SATAII drives. That's the main reason that MacGurus quit selling them. It was impossible to find drives that would work with that Intel chipset.

If your machine is a PCI-X version of the G5 you could use the Port Multiplier capable Lycom card for $90.00 that uses the same chipset that the CalDigit Fasta-4x card uses. These two cards will only work in the PCI-X version not in the PCI version so count your available RAM DIMM slots in System Profiler. If you have 8 slots total your machine is PCI-X and these cards will work. If you only have 4 slots (PCI) the only real solution is the Marvel based Sonnet card.

If you go with the Lycom card you could attach a two bay directly if you like or go with a four bay PM enclosure that attaches with a single data cable leaving plenty of room on the host card for more storage to be added later. You don't have to populate the enclosure completely, just install as many drives as you need now and add more later as needed. You can also mix and match drives, they don't all have to be the same unless you're building a RAID.

The only benefit that the Firmtek cards have is that they are bootable. None of these other cards are. You can make a bootable copy of a drive on these enclosures but you can't boot through the PM board. So you would have to physically install the drive into the computer to use it to boot from.