View Full Version : SATA Host Cards and 8 Core MacPro

05-14-2008, 11:08 AM
Just wanted to post a few observations about the new model MacPro and most SATA host cards.

1) Most of the SATA host card work pretty much perfectly with a few caveats. Sonnet, with their Marvell chipset and all the other mostly SiliconImage chipset based cards all do well in the new 8 Core MacPro.

2) Since the MacPro firmware updater that came out in April no host card works well, or in some cases at all, when installed in slot 2. That is the 16 Lane slot and cards that did work in that slot before the firmware updater no longer do. I have had customers report that drives were made completely inert, randomly I might add, when operating off a host card installed in Slot 2. (slot 2 being the lowest open slot next to the graphics card slot) I have had users report kernel panics and total disappearance of the host cards. For now we are recommending if at all possible you keep all host bus adapters and RAID cards in slots 3 and 4.

3) We recommend that everyone avoid the SiliconImage RAID5 driver and stick with the standard version 2.0.3 driver for the 4 port 3124 cards and the standard version 1.1.9 for the 2 port 3132 cards. The RAID5 driver frankly sucks and is not stable. You will see all sorts of issues trying to run that driver and the cure is to remove the RAID drive from /System/Library/Extensions and reinstall the non RAID driver in its place.

With those few conditions results are superb with just about all the available SATA host and Hardware RAID cards.


05-14-2008, 04:34 PM
If by some chance you have installed the incorrect driver for your SIlicon Image based SATA Host Card, whether that be an older version or the aforementioned flaky RAID5 driver, this is the procedure to use to remove it completely and start over.

First, in /System/Library/Extensions toss any Silicon Image driver in the trash. they will be in the form of SIliconImage3124r.kext with several variations possible in the number and whether the 'r' is present. The r is the RAID driver. u is the universal driver.

Second, in /System/Library just below the Extensions folder are the two lists of extensions and cache for those extensions. These are: Extensions.kextcache and Extensions.mkextRemoving those forces the operating system to rebuild the lists. So toss them in the trash.

Third step, in /Library/StartupItems remove the RAID5Daemon should it be present. And also trash the folder and its contents called SICoreServices

Fourth step, Restart.

Last Step, download and install the correct standard driver.

All 4 Port Cards, PCI-X or PCIe, and the 3124 Cardbus SATA card follow these directions:
*Note: Mac users must download a driver available here (http://www.siliconimage.com/support/supportsearchresults.aspx?pid=27&cid=3&ctid=2&osid=3&) for the card to be recognized. Download driver version 2.0.3. Unzip the file and run the Sil3124 version 2.0.3 Mac OS X installer.

2 Port PCIe cards and Express34 cards can download install from these instructions:

**MacPro - Dual Core G5's and MacBookPro require driver download and installation from Silicon Image. Click here (http://www.siliconimage.com/support/supportsearchresults.aspx?pid=32&cid=3&ctid=2&osid=3&), download and install the Version 1.1.9 Driver installer package.**