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9/10/01 Monday's News: Story DetailReturn to News Page

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Quicksilver G4 IDE RAID Card Reports
200GB and 400GB RAID using Western Digital 100GB Drives

Last updated: 9/10/2001 for 400GB RAID report
A reader replied to an earlier news post today noting he's seen drive corruption problems with Western Digital 100GB drives in his Dual 800 Quicksilver with the drives on a Sonnet RAID66 card and on the onboard IDE bus. He sent some impressive ATTO scores from the dual 100GB IDE RAID taken before problems arose. The details page also has other IDE RAID card experiences from Quicksilver owners noting no problems. [Another reader wrote with a report he's running 4 WD 100GB drives with a RAID card in a dual G4/800 with no problems seen. He sent photos and benchmarks that I'll be posting later today.]

" Hey Mike.
I bought two WD 100GB 7200RPM drives for my Dual G4/800. I have the sonnet tempo 66 hardware RAID card (I even tried it in various PCI slots of the machine). The drives kept becoming corrupted. However, it didn't matter if they were in RAID mode or normal mode. I also tried said drives on the built in ATA bus of the G4 and also had the same troubles.

What type of drives was the person using in his Quicksilver machines. [they were IBM 60GXP series drives-Mike]

Interestingly, the 200GB raid setup did work for a day or two before the problems started, here are test results

200GB QS Raid ATTO scores

If any other reader is using a Western Digital 100GB drive for an extended period and has seen any problems let me know.

There's a data corruption test utility written by a reader available here (to download it, click here) that was originally posted to test for rev 1 B&W G3 drive corruption but might be worth trying as a test. Copy it to the drive to be tested and run the largest sample size possible. (Running it more than once is also recommended to check for intermittent errors.)

Another Quicksilver owner reported no problems running dual 80GB Maxtor drives:

" I have a Quicksilver 733 with a Sonnet RAID card and two maxtor 80gb drives in hardware RAID 0. Both are set to master on 2 channels, nothing special. Followed the directions to the T and it worked perfectly the first time. I originally bought the card for mirroring, but alas that function isn't "supported" and doesn't work very well.

The drives work really nice, extremely quiet, and much faster than the stock 40gb drive that came in the box. (Which happens to be an ATA/100 drive)
No issues with 9.2 or 9.2.1, OSX 10.0.4 or 10.1 (developers release)"

Another Quicksilver owner with and Acard ATA 100+ PCI IDE card noted no support for Deep Sleep mode (in fact a comment on general sleep problems)

" Hi Mike,
Just wanted to pass on some details regarding this card. I just installed it and attached a Maxtor DiamondPlus60 ATA 100 drive to it on my DP 800.

I have two Western Digital Caviar (80 and 100GB) drives attached to the onboard bus. I can't provide you with hard numbers at this point, but I can tell you that it doesnąt appear to provide any real world speed increase over the onboard bus from what I have seen. Similar to your other Acard review.

It also disables sleep totally in OSX and disables deep sleep in OS9. In fact, with my GF3 attached to a Mitsubishi Diamond Plus 200 monitor it actually pushes the monitor out of sync when the Mac does sleep, and I get an out of range error. The error disappears on waking. Strange. It does ship with everything in the box you might need: screws ATA cable, fairly decent manual even a beige mounting sled and power cable Y-splitter. I attached a screen shot of the rev number of the card from ASP just FYI. Feel free to pass along any info to your readers. God Bless.
Don Barron
Macintosh Consultant "

Don later replied this was not the RAID card version; it was the standard ATA/100 card.

Four 100GB WD Drive RAID:
Although given IDE's limits, having a 4 Drive IDE RAID with only one card (where 2 drives are Slaves) isn't optimal performance wise, this Quicksilver owner reported he's seen no problems. He apparently partitioned the RAID array into 2 volumes. Although his ATTO results are significanly lower than the dual (master only) 100GB WD drive RAID scores above, they're more than adequate for any task. (And the cost per GB is far less than a 400GB SCSI RAID. In fact, a 400GB SCSI RAID array w/fast SCSI card probably costs more than the DP800 system.)

" Mike, As always, thank you for the great site, its as helpful as ever. I was just noticing the report of problems with the Sonnet RAID IDE card and figured I would get off my butt and write you the report of our IDE RAID experience with 1 of our Dual 800mhz Quicksilver's that is going to be used as a DV editing suite since we just installed a 400GB RAID last week.

System Overview:
G4 Dual 800mhz (CPU version 2.1)
1.5GB RAM (OWC PC-133 512MB x 3)
Gforce 3 64MB (APPLE OEM)
ATI Radeon PCI 32MB
Matrox RTMac Real Time Effects card for Final Cut Pro
Sonnet TempoRAID 66 Hardware IDE RAID card
4x Western Digital 100GB 7200rpm HD's
1 x Western Digital 80GB 7200rpm HD (Apple OEM)

A little background;
When the new G4's were released in July, the company I work for (a video post house) decided that it was time for a desperate amount of system upgrading so we ordered 3 new Dual 800's the second they were available after the keynote. One of these new machines was intended to replace a very rapidly aging 9500/132 based Avid system and in order for it to do so without Avid's ridiculously overpriced hardware, it had to be pretty much the biggest Mac we could build. So with the new machines here we started with adding 1.5GB of RAM, a second video card (Radeon PCI) and a Matrox RTMac for doing real time effects in Final Cut. With that said, all the only issue left was storage, and lots of it.

The Storage Solution;
We simply went to CompUSA and bought 6 of the new 100GB 7200rpm Western Digital HD's (4 for the RAID and 1 for each of the other new G4's) and ordered a Sonnet TempoRAID 66 from OWC. First we removed the stock 80GB drive and moved it to the lower front drive bay (we didn't get zip drives on the new machines) set it to slave and rebooted, all went well.

Shutdown and installed the 4 100GB's on the lower trays of the G4 case and the Sonnet Tempo card in the lowest PCI slot. Set the drives so that there were one Master and one Slave on each IDE channel. Made sure that the jumpers on the card were set to have striping off and booted up, opened Drive Setup and all 4 drives showed up as un-initialized. Initialized all 4 drives (they read as 96.64GB on the desktop) and shutdown.
Next I set the switches on the card to striped mode and booted back up, the drives do not mount, but when I opened Drive Setup again it showed 2 drives as "Not Mounted", initialized them again and voila! 2 186.28GB drives on the desktop.

It all works flawlessly, and they are pretty damn fast as you can see from my ATTO benchmarks I included, along with some pics of the drives in the case. Hope this helps anyone trying to set up a BIG ATA RAID in a Quicksilver, not only does it work, but you CAN put 5 HD's in these machines:)

Brendt Petersen
Bridges Media Group

I asked Brett to run the data corruption test util on the drives to make sure today's earlier report wasn't normal (I didn't think it was) and he replied"

No data corruption seen on any of the 6 100GB WD's we bought, I just ran the corruption utility you sent me on both my graphics machine (1 100GB drive set as slave with the stock 80GB as master) as well as on the editing system with the 400GB RAID and both machines passed fine with a 500MB test file being run 5 times. "

Brent's ATTO Benchmark Results and System Photos:

ATTO Raid Vol1 results

ATTO Raid Vol1 results

Volume Finder Views

inside system photo

inside system photo2

I welcome other IDE RAID Card (card has switches for RAID) reports from Quicksilver G4 owners. Let me know your drive and system details in the report. (Any performance tests are also welcome.)

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