View Full Version : An idea to get CRAZY drive size/thruput on iMac Core2... thoughts?

05-22-2008, 02:05 AM
Alright, this is totally for speculation (at this point...;), but I just got my iMac Core2Duo 2.16 24" and I started thinkin'...

I do video work, mostly DVCPROHD, which the FW800 port handles fine with a RAID attached. However, I may get some projects that require higher thruput and was thinking of a way to get the crazy drive performance you can only get from SATA RAIDS.

Would it be possible to do the following:

Clear out the internal drive and dremel an eSATA connection through the back of the iMac, hook that up to a 5 drive RAID SATA enclosure (with port multiplier), then boot off an external FW800 drive.

The internal SATA controller is an AHCI 1.1 controller, which according to what I've read, supports port multiplication.

Crazy, yes, no?

05-22-2008, 08:56 AM
I don't believe it will support port multiplication. So far, never seen Apple put the code in the motherboard chipsets for external features.

Fun thinking about it though.


05-22-2008, 02:54 PM
Crazy good idea.

The last thing lacking from the current crop of Macs is native support (and a port) for eSATA.

If it wasn't so hard to crack a current iMac open, I would be tempted to try just to see what happens.

05-23-2008, 02:17 AM
Did a bit more research and the Core 2 Duo Mac Mini and the MacPro AHCI controllers DO NOT support port multiplication. It stands to reason that it wouldn't be enabled on the iMac either. If there is a way to enable it, it's beyond me and my dremel. The best you could do is just have an external SATA drive instead of an internal. Damn you, apple.

Awesome idea at the time. Sure woulda saved a lot of cash versus a MacPro or the like.

05-23-2008, 09:48 PM

Best thing would be throw in a fast SATA drive like the new VelociRaptor (if the drive is supported on the iMacs SATA bus which I don't know by now or better IF the new iMacs do have a fully SATA2 interface) or a 1TB Seagate. Rick made some tests and the drive is fast I mean really fast, faster than all Raptors before when it comes to throughput - raw Megabytes per second. But the system drive do not need high throughput it is good to well but, when booting up alot of tiny data chunks are getting loaded so accesstime is the thing to go for and at this the VelociRaptor is the fastest around.

The older Raptors are getting realy hot I would not install one in an iMac without active colling. The new VelociRaptor is made in 2.5" with a huge cooler called IceCap or so which is so big changing the size of the drive from 2.5" to 3.5".

On the other hand the Raptors are somewhat loud compared to the Seagate. The new VelociRaptor isn't that kinda loud the older Raptors are but still louder than the Seagate... and the iMac ist standing in front of you not under the desk or so ;)

So, if I were you, I would...
1. buy 2 1TB Seagate 7200.11 and a nice SATA to FW enclosure which fits to the 24" iMac.

2. Install one Seagate into the iMac partition it so only a fast 250GB partition is used for the OS make it the Systemdrive.

3. The 2nd Seagate, partitioned as the first, installed into the FW box I would use for the User data.

What you will have is all your user data on the FW the System on the internal at boot the system will load from both drives so you'll see a speed gain here. Also you will have 1.500GB of storage 2x 750GB on independent channels which should also speed up your work.

Just my 2 cents ;)

Btw Rick and the others here are those to ask further 'bout splitting "User" and "System" you can also get all the stuff, drives and FW enclosure, cable etc, needed here @ MacGurus.