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Go Back   MacGurus Technical Forums > General Hardware and Software Discussions > RAID

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Old 09-06-2003, 10:48 AM
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Responding to a suggestion to note updates I am starting this thread which will be locked.

Latest are some FW800 single drive and striped RAID at the very bottom of the DB. These are new Granite FW800 cases, 20-1032, which will be on their website for viewing Monday or Tuesday. Granite is building and proofing the pages now. Rick should have the MacGurus store open next week also and will be offering Granite products.

I like the Granite cases, easy to install a drive into, fan for cooling, front on/off switch, front LEDs for power and drive activity, FW800 cable, FW800 to FW400 cable, and USB2 cable (USB2 port on back as well as three FW800 ports) with backwards compatibility with USB1.1 and ATA-6 big drive compatibility. More features will be on the website. k


GigaMDD G4-1.42GDP,2GB Gurus RAM,9800Pro; G5-2.7GDP,8GB RAM,X800XT; 14"iBookG4-1.42G,1.5GB Gurus RAM
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Old 09-08-2003, 07:38 PM
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Updated this evening with a couple more SATA Raptor RAID entries, both Apple and SR3 along with first tests of SeriTek/1S2 revision 2 firmware which significantly boosts sustained reads in OSX.

Also more FW800 results with SR3. One minor bug with FW and SR3. After a restart or bootup in Jaguar, a window opens, or windows if more than one SR3 FW drive, to the effect that the drive is unreadable in OSX. Just click Ignore. SoftRAID is aware of this FW bug.

Just received two SATA 120GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 drives. Rick wants to sell the Maxtors. My next tests. k


GigaMDD G4-1.42GDP,2GB Gurus RAM,9800Pro; G5-2.7GDP,8GB RAM,X800XT; 14"iBookG4-1.42G,1.5GB Gurus RAM
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Old 09-11-2003, 11:40 AM
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More SATA tests with SeriTek/1S2 revision 2 firmware, this time with 120GB Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 9 8MB cache SATA drives. The drives have both a 4-pin Molex connector and a SATA power connector. Use one or the other, but not both. Very impressive performance with these SATA Maxtors.

I also tested, in striped RAID, a new version of ATTO ExpressStripe, v2.0. More features and the striped RAID in Jaguar is now as fast as Apple RAID and SoftRAID 3. The ATTO ExpressStripe benchmark utility is however still not of much use in Jaguar and now gives erroneously very low results for Sustained Reads in striped RAID. It still does not measure Sustained Writes.

In OS9.2.2, with the ATTO extention loaded, the ATTO RAID is mountable and perfectly useable, with a slight performance hit compared with SR 2.2.2. Useability in both OSes is a definite plus, but you cannot run DiskWarrior. It will make the RAID unusable. That is a definite downside. k


GigaMDD G4-1.42GDP,2GB Gurus RAM,9800Pro; G5-2.7GDP,8GB RAM,X800XT; 14"iBookG4-1.42G,1.5GB Gurus RAM
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Old 10-20-2003, 05:12 AM
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I have been conducting some tests on an external 4-bay Burly stuffed with 4x Raptors (total about 138GB after RAID0 striping with Disk Utility's RAID function) and 2x SeriTek/1S2 cards in my G4-1.25G DP MDD (FW400 dual boot). The results were disappointing to say the least, equally disappointing in both OS9.2.2 and 10.2.8, though I was warned by FirmTek that they would be. What I was told:

"It is never a good idea to stripe "across" the PCI bus: currently our card is "saturating" the PCI bus and two of them won't do any better, it could even hurt a bit. We are dealing with a 32-bit 66 MHz PCI card and 64-bit 33 MHz PCI bus. Guess what speed the entire subsystem is running? Of course, with the smallest common denominator - 32-bit and 33 MHz."

So why can my two Atto UL3D cards result in excess of 200MB/s thruput? Because tho they are 32-bit PCI compatible they are also 64-bit PCI compatible (and tho they are 33 MHz PCI compatible they are also 66 MHz PCI compatible). So on my MDD, the UL3Ds run at 64-bit 33MHz, the same as the MDD PCI bus. To follow along the ATTO path for a moment, the UL4S and UL4D retain all of those compatibilities but also 64-bit 133 MHz PCI-X compatibility.

Yesterday I took my Burly 4x RaptorRAID to Rick's Ranch and his new G5-2GHz Dual running the G5 version of 10.2.8.

G5s, both the 1.8GHz PowerPC G5 and Dual 2GHz PowerPC G5 have three open full-length PCI-X slots: one 133MHz 64-bit slot and two 100MHz 64-bit slots.

First installed 2x SeriTek/1S2 cards in the G5's 100MHz 64-bit slots, ran some one meter SATA data cables out of the G5's open 133MHz slot backplane to the Burly drives. Using QuickBench, the tests up to 100MB, results were much faster than my G4 but still disappointing. Moved one of the SeriTek/1S2 cards to the 133MHz 64-bit slot, the other still remained in the 100MHz 64-bit slot, WOW. Sustained reads now 187MB/s, sustained writes 270MB/s.

We also tested 1x SeriTek/1S2 with 1x and 2x Raptors in both the 100MHz and 133MHz slots. Results will be posted soon to the Drive and RAID DB. k


GigaMDD G4-1.42GDP,2GB Gurus RAM,9800Pro; G5-2.7GDP,8GB RAM,X800XT; 14"iBookG4-1.42G,1.5GB Gurus RAM
  #5  
Old 11-07-2003, 11:12 AM
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The Drive and RAID DB has been updated with several new entries under SCSI testing both OS9, Panther, and Jaguar 10.2.8. Panther is a huge improvement over Jaguar. I'll have more details when I get a writeup together for here. k


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  #6  
Old 11-07-2003, 08:50 PM
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The intent of the latest SCSI DB tests was multipurpose. First, you will note that there were no previous OSX test reports. Second, the Gurus store already has the latest Seagate Cheetah X15.3 drives in various capacities, 18GB, 36GB, and 73GB, as well as Seagate Cheetah 10k.6 drives in 37GB, 73GB, and 147GB sizes. Third, the store has the Burly SCSI Enclosures in 2-bay, 4-bay, and 8-bay sizes. Fourth, the store has all of the necessary Granite Digital LVD external cables, Granite internal TPO LVD cables for the Burly, Granite terminators, and Ultimate Drive Coolers. Last, one of the intents was to keep the cost of SCSI RAID as reasonable as possible, if SCSI can be called reasonable. But when only the best will do.....

To keep costs down, as well as my own, I chose a 4-bay enclosure and added two more X15.3 18GB drives to the two I already owned (they needed a home anyway). I already had all of the necessary Granite stuff and Ultimate Drive Coolers from a Burly 8-bay enclosure which I gutted for the parts. I also have a UL3D. To get this card to work in Jaguar or Panther, the ATTO website really confused me. I asked TZ to spill his guts on what I needed. He emailed me a ton of info and links on what to do. Essentially, for a UL3D in an MDD G4 what is needed:

There are three things to download for my UL3D.
1.ATTO ExpressPCI Configuration Tool v2.50
2.Driver installer package v2.05 (xulplus205.tgz)
3.Flash image for the specific adapter (UL3D-000) to flash the firmware, which for that UL3D and G4 is 1.6.6f0.

The Flash image confused me. I was looking for a 2.x flash image. Nope. It is also easy to confuse driver and flash. You need all three downloads and these are for the UL3D. The download links on the ATTO website will tailor your download for each of the items above to type of card and G4 or G5. I also was confused by the UL3D coming in two versions the UL3D 33MHz and UL3D 66MHz. My retail UL3D sez on the box UL3D-000 which is the 33MHz version. If the box sez UL3D-066, you can imagine... There are other ways to find out, but the UL3D-066 is far less common.

My MDD is a 1.25G DP dual-boot FW400. I first tested the RAID in OS9.2.2 with older UL3D flash firmware 1.6.4f1 and SoftRAID 2.2.2, since I had found for me that it was faster than 1.6.5 firmware. The latest firmware 1.6.6f0 however is definitely faster than older firmware in OS9.2.2 and of course is necessary for Jaguar or Panther anyway.

Last, I have no idea what the problem is with Jaguar 10.2.8 very low results. I built an AppleRAID in Disk Utility for 10.3 with journaling enabled twice, same low 10.2.8 results. Built an AppleRAID with Disk Utility in 10.2.8 twice (no journaling), same poor results. Also tried SoftRAID 3.0.0 and 3.0.1 with journaling disabled, better results with SR3.0.1 in 10.2.8 but still low results. And Jaguar 10.2.8 exhibited one other very troublesome problem. With the RAID mounted, I could not shutdown (or reboot from 10.2.8 to either 10.2.8 or 10.3). Constant spinning gear on a blue screen, would not shutdown, would not even get to a reboot. I am guessing but I suspect that 10.2.8 does not know how to do the necessary cleanup of the SCSI RAID (such as write back to the RAID drives whatever is being held in their onboard drive cache). This happened always with AppleRAID regardless of whether built in 10.3 or 10.2.8. It also happened somewhat less frequently with SoftRAID 3.0.0 and 3.0.1. I also tried unmounting the RAID before shutdown/reboot in 10.2.8. No help. The only way I could consistently reboot or shutdown from 10.2.8 was to unmount the RAID and reboot to OS9.2.2. Then I could shutdown or reboot to 10.2.8 or 10.3. No such problems with Panther 10.3 as well as much better thruput. And no necessity to unmount the RAID first.

You would most likely want larger capacity Cheetahs for a serious SCSI RAID. These 4x 18GB X15.3 drives, after building the RAID in OS9.2.2 or 10.2.8 or 10.3 are a total of 68.37GB.

If you have questions, comments, criticisms, or your own experiences, start a New Topic in the RAID Forum. Next is to take the Burly to Rick for testing on his DP G5 with UL4D. k


GigaMDD G4-1.42GDP,2GB Gurus RAM,9800Pro; G5-2.7GDP,8GB RAM,X800XT; 14"iBookG4-1.42G,1.5GB Gurus RAM
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Old 05-16-2004, 11:39 AM
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Old 05-21-2004, 11:48 AM
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Drive and RAID DB updated. Macro has achieved outstanding results with a G5-2GHz DP, UL4D, 4x X15.3 18GB drives, 2-channels, all firmware 0006. Two of the drives are spanking new and, as TZ pointed out, tho the same firmware, may have other hardware tweaks inside.

All the QB2.1 extended test sizes, 20MB thru 100MB, sustained writes essentially 280MB/s or more and one test size, 40MB, 290MB/s. Would be interested to see the I/O when those two new drives loosen up in a couple of weeks of use. Results at the top of SCSI. k


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