View Full Version : SAS Drive Question

02-27-2012, 06:10 PM
Got a 2008 xserve and need drive. I cant find replacement drives anymore because Apple discontinued Xserves. All drives in the Xserve has an apple logo but those are original ones. I saw this and would like to know if I can use this as a replacement drive.
Seagate ST3300655SS 300GB 15K.5 SAS HARD DRIVE
Saw one on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Seagate-ST3300655SS-300GB-15K-5-SAS-HARD-DRIVE-/250913679308?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a6b9ee7cc#ht_923wt_1116
This one on ebay says PC Platform, but can I still use it?
Here are the specs:
Detailed item info
Product Description
While doubling available capacity the Cheetah 15K.5 also delivers 30 percent higher sequential performance. This enables enterprises to meet their throughput and capacity requirements with fewer drives, significantly reducing total cost of ownership (TCO).

Product Identifiers
Brand Seagate
Model Cheetah 15K.5
MPN ST3300655SS
UPC 836367003442

Key Features
Enclosure Internal
Capacity 300 GB
Buffer Size 16 MB
Hard Drive Type HDD (Hard Disk Drive)
Spindle Speed 15000 RPM
Interface SAS, SCSI, SCSI Ultra320
Designation Desktop Computer

Technical Features
Platform PC
External Data Transfer Rate 300 Mbps
Internal Data Transfer Rate 150 Mbit/s
Form Factor 3.5"
Seek Time 3.5 ms
Sound Emission 36 dB

Height 1 in.
Width 4 in.
Depth 5.75 in.
Weight 1.5 lbs

Please help! Thanks guys.

02-27-2012, 09:53 PM
Don't know, never did a non-Apple SAS in an Xserve.

As for SATA, I have done a few. The only issue I ever had was that some of the info about the drive (total run time, etc.) did not show up properly in the System Admin tool, doubtless due to firmware differeneces.

Without successful googling, the only other option will be to dive in and try it. And test, test, test, before going live.

Or pay the real deal (http://store.apple.com/us/product/TV823ZM/A).

02-28-2012, 05:34 AM
Hi Uncle, thanks. Do you have any ideas regarding converting the drive to an SSD? I have a 2008-8 core and not the 2009 that can utilize an SSD as a main drive. Is an SSD a direct replacement solution?

02-28-2012, 09:02 PM
Dunno. Never done anything but SATA in Xserves.

I did......just today.....replace a HD in a 2009 MacPro with a SSD. Cloned the OS and booted. No muss, no fuss. Being used as a FileMaker 11 Server, and the served file performance (logging, searches, etc.) is easily at least twice as fast.

If it were me, I would consider trying an SSD, especially if the data set is fairly small like a DB server, web server, etc.

02-28-2012, 10:03 PM
Thats one good thing about the 2009. I think there is a place where you can install just the SSD and still have the 3 drive bays open for RAID. My setup is one drive for the os and the two drives RAID 0. I take the xserves on location most of the time for editing but always have spare raided drives with me as backup. I tried moving files today to the main hard drive and tried if the HD edited video will play on a single drive. I added more clips and edited in the process before playing, it worked. I know the performance seems to be sluggish but the results were fine. I'll just skip the 15k SAS drive.

My plan: The SSD might work faster as a single drive and another SSD as another bootable backup so I dont need to take those 3 additional backup drives on location. The most footage we shoot is about 1 to 1.5 hours edited down to 5 minutes and that will easily fit a single 512 SSD. Then max the RAM to 32gb.

WOW! I think this is will cost over 3k. Is it worth the upgrade? I'll see when I wake up tomorrow. Probably I'm just dreaming.

02-29-2012, 03:12 AM
Having recently installed an SSD as my main drive I can highly recommend that upgrade. The speed is really not ... well you can be told how the disc drive is the slowest point in the computer and you can be told how modern processors are always waiting on data and you can be told how fast SSD's are but until you use one it's really hard to imagine how much faster they are.

02-29-2012, 08:06 AM
My personal testing experience as shown that with media editing computers that have multiple drives, installing the OS on an SSD has less impact than having fast access to the data.

Mostly having the OS and apps on an SSD makes things boot up and load up faster. So what? I don't care how fast it boots, I want it to work faster. If you can store the media files on a faster drive you will enjoy faster performance.

On a computer with only one or two drives, like an iMac, MBP or Mini, it REALLY makes a difference to be on an SSD. All the access is limited.

I hope you aren't using a Hardware RAID card for a RAID0. Actually slower response time than a software RAID0. Hardware RAID is necessary to manage the overhead of a parity RAID, like RAID5. RAID0 has virtually no overhead, but when run on a hardware RAID card we add in a delay in access as the computer has to ask the RAID host for the data. Always has a much higher latency built in to the dedicated hardware for the RAID.


02-29-2012, 10:08 AM
Ill see how much space I need to import an average of hour and a half HD video and convert it to ProRez 422 (HQ) for editing plus the entire OS with the editing software. I saw the price of the Crucial 512GB SSD and bit over my budget for two, but if one 256 will do to fit at least one editing job, I can get another for backup. But my priority is to upgrade the RAM first to the max. This will lessen my time converting the files to ProRez.
Does MacGurus run RAM specials once in awhile?

02-29-2012, 09:37 PM
The 2009 had an option for a 1.8" SSD, not the standard 2.5" in the special slot. Not sure there is space for a 2.5". Pretty sure you can round up a 1.8" (same as early MacBook Air)

If the goal is just to boot, as Rick said, might be sweet to have a 1.8 whatever for the OS, preserving all 3 full size bays.

No video wizard, but as long as the target drive can write fast enough....I was under the impression that conversion and/or rendering was 100% CPU bound. If so.....you need drives fast enough to not drop frames plus some overhead for a safety measure. Beyond that, space is for duration is biggest issue. Yes?


Funny story: Last month helped a client that is building the hardware for theaters to run The Hobbit this december. High resolution.

They needed a AJA card in a MacPro that could grab a minimum of 40 frames per second, at 8MB per frame. Wanted plenty of overhead, so we striped two SSDs in the tower (software Stripe, just as Rick described). Had to work with what we had on hand, so two different size/brand SSDs that were pulled from various boxes, zip tied into the tower. :)

Funny, yes. But writes were rockin' at about 450. Captured like a dream.

03-01-2012, 03:15 AM
My personal testing experience as shown that with media editing computers that have multiple drives, installing the OS on an SSD has less impact than having fast access to the data.


I can see how that would be.. boot times are incredible but in my case I have everything (OS and Data) on the SSD so I am seeing the speed everywhere. Of course I don't do anything with my Mac anymore except fiddle around on the net.

03-01-2012, 09:46 AM
Does MacGurus run RAM specials once in awhile?

I don't. Reason being, memory is a commodity and we run as low a price as we can day to day. We change our price based on market costs. Our markup is 15%. So a $100 module has a grand total of $13 in it to pay 3-4 dollars in credit card fees, packaging and labor. If I were to run a sale, it would be insignificant amount before I was losing money.

Good question to ask though. Buying memory wholesale is interesting - even when we see what looks like a buy. Few years ago we bought a bunch of (couple hundred) german (MDT) memory for G5s. Great stuff. By the time we were sold out of them we were selling them for 30% less than we paid for em. Market volatility will almost always screw the values down on any memory you have stuck in inventory.