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peter tours
Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 17, 2010 at 7:23:57 am

After blowing thru 2 mac pro raid cards on my early 2008 Mac Pro, the damage sustained was such that Applecare provided a brand new 2009 Mac Pro to replace it. Now the Raid card on this unit has died.

Has anyone had experience with this part? Any idea why it keeps self destructing? My work flow is pretty simple. P2 ingest to DVC PRO HD, I pretty much use only FCP 7.0.2, Compressor, Boris Red and Pshop.

Early 2009 Octo 2.93
Mac Raid Card
3 x "Apple" 640gb drives in Raid Zero (7200rpm)
1 x "Apple" system drive 1TB (7200rpm)
FCS 3, FCP 7.0.2
12 GB Ram
OS X 10.5.6

Is is me? Could I possibly be doing something to trash these Raid cards? All I do is edit....

All comments appreciated - new card on the way but will be down for days.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:38:06 pm

and why do you keep buying Apple components ? No other manufacturer has failures like this. Any brand you see advertised on Creative Cow has better performance than the Apple RAID card.

Bob Zelin




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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 17, 2010 at 9:51:47 pm

Bob - It's not that I keep buying Apple Raid cards...they are just Applecare replacements. Made sense at the time....bought it with my original 2008 Mac Pro. It was new, no track record yet. Time has shown it's an abysmal failure but the investment is made. Applecare keep replacing it..and even the computer itself last March when I had a total failure during an on-site service raid card battery replacement. Apple aren't going to buy me another brand device...wish they would. The investment is made - really can't afford a new Raid right now.

I have seen your postings and articles and respect your opinion. Do you ever recommend an internal raid card and if so which one? Or is an internal raid just a dumb idea in the fist place?



Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 1:00:04 am

Cal Digit makes an internal RAID card that is 1 billion times more reliable than the Apple (LSI Logic) card. But Cal Digit (and everyone else) makes wonderful external arrays, that NEVER develop the problems that you have experienced. In the mean time, you can forget the RAID, and simply use RAID 0, with the native host SATA ports in your MAC Pro, using the simple Apple Disk Utility to create a RAID 0 (which is totally reliable until a drive fails).

Want some suggestions for an external drive array - this is easy - look to your left, and look to your right, EVERY manufacturer that you see advertising on Creative Cow is better than the native Apple product. And the worst of these manufacturers is better than the 19 year old kid at the Apple Store mall store that you go to, to get your current problems resolved.

Bob Zelin




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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 1:25:43 am

So that begs the question, why do a hardware raid at all, if you can do a software raid? I always use Raid 0 and back up to externals several times a day.

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Fred Jodry
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 3:00:06 pm

Peter, the important part is that you`ve now switched something that brings practicality and success. RAID 0 has the advantage that it lightens the load on the hard drives environment until you gain what you would have wanted in RAID 1 (or 5, etc.); Practical editing with no mentional mistakes or common crashes. Some of us use RAID 0 + 1, RAID 5 etc., because biggy projects and work loads (Make that, big next steps thoughtlessly piled up waiting to be done) like days of NLE waiting to be backed up or done, means that you find out that even your battleship doesn`t like a hurricane. Custom quality RAID cards can offer hardware utilities and other deluxe operations. Bob Zelin is right. Even though you could roll the wagon a few more miles before your next fire by cementing a heat sink on each interface chip on the Apple RAID card, that`s desperation. A few more miles is only a few more miles.

So that begs the question, why do a hardware raid at all, if you can do a software raid? I always use Raid 0 and back up to externals several times a day. -Peter Tours


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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 3:31:37 pm

Perhaps I have been unclear, and for that I apologize.

When I purchased my 2008 BTO Mac Pro, I ordered 4 x 1tb drives and the brand new Apple Raid Card. Previously I had always used SCSI Raids with an ATTO card, but I don't work there any more. An all-Apple solution sounded like a good idea at the time. I have been editing for over 30 years, and wanted to avoid the Sony-Grass Valley-Ampex-CMX finger pointing that marked tech support for the first half of my career. I figured (wrongly) that Mac internal drives with a Mac interal RAid card and FCP was the best config for me.

I have always used Raid Zero - and have always had a sophisticated reliable backup system in place for redundancy.

In time I went thru 2 Raid cards on the original 2008 Mac Pro but the second one killed the machine all together. Applecare came thru with a brand new 2009 2.93 BTO now with the new 2009 Mac Pro Raid Card - so puter and card are both different.

But the song remains the same!

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Fred Jodry
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 6:53:56 pm

Ah! You`re still using an Apple RAID card. What have Bob and I been telling you better? RAID 0 is not redundant. RAID 1 and some other types are. RAID 0 is data split in parallels. RAID 1 is data duplicated in parallels. Etc. Since you back up more than once per editing day and don`t have mini-crashes in between, RAID 0 is rather successful. Now go out there and get the new RAID card, whether it`s a good one with internal utilities or a new one with software utilities only. I`ll be watching my westward horizon with binoculars for the next smoke trail until you do (much though I`m wishing you better, no hex here). Using internal hard drives instead of external ones is largely a matter of what fans you use to air the CPU box, including the power supply`s one.


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Fred Jodry
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 7:25:11 pm

Florida, south-westward.


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Ergin Kuke
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 7:37:32 pm

If you have a backup system and are diligent about backing up all the time,..then i don't see why you cannot continue using internal Raid 0.
a. Its faster then Raid 5.
b.If the raid fails, you have your backup.
c. If one or more drives fail then you're down a "whooping" 100-200 dollars.

Simple, cheap.If its not broken don't fix it. Later on when you have the money and need for a fancy external array that comes with pretty icons/utilities go ahead.I still think they are overpriced. They surely wont make your work any better,..possibly though they can make your life a little easier.


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 18, 2010 at 10:07:46 pm

Peter writes -
I have been editing for over 30 years, and wanted to avoid the Sony-Grass Valley-Ampex-CMX finger pointing that marked tech support for the first half of my career.


REPLY -
Peter, do you know when aggrivation with editing (and technology) will be over, so that things are easy - NEVER ! Both you and I will DIE from heart attacks working on some insane nightmare problem, while the client is screaming at us. (Isn't that why we got into show business in the first place). There is finger pointing INSIDE APPLE, and from their own vendors, so it's NEVER over. There will always be problems.

With that said, you were sold "a bag of goods" when you bought the RAID card - that card exists to create a RAID 5 group with the internal drives. Since you are doing RAID 0 anyway (and backing up), you NEVER needed the RAID card in the first place (only if you were going to do a RAID 5), and Apple gives you RAID 0 for free with the Apple Disk Utility. So if you just plug in 3 drives into the MAC Pro (slots 2,3,4) and open the Apple Disk Utility, you can RAID 0 these drives all together, and have none of this aggrivation. If you ever want RAID 5, get an external raid array from one of the vendors you see advertised on Creative Cow.

I too come from the CMX/Sony/GVG/ADO/Chyron, etc, etc, etc. background. There was grief then, there is grief now, and there will be grief tomorrow.

From the Mel Brooks movie "Spaceballs" - "even in the future, nothing works !".

Bob Zelin




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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 19, 2010 at 12:39:32 am

It really is a paradox that in trying to avoid a situation I encountered it all over again.

Pro Apps, Mac and "Enterprise"(home of the dreaded Raid Card) support are completely isolated from each other. Each knows frighteningly little about the others' area of specialization. And no one I have encountered at Apple gets the "Pro" thing - that if a PRO buys a Mac PRO, a Macbook PRO and Final Cut PRO he needs integrated professional assistance while his business is going down in gray screen flames..but alas, no. To Apple, Pro is simply a marketing word to sell product. They are not prepared at all to deal with pro's. Live and learn.




Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 20, 2010 at 5:34:46 pm

Peter -
it is even more shocking to have the luxury of being able to "see" inside Apple occationally, and see the NON COMMUNICATION between divisions of Apple. You think you are buying an "Apple only" product, but the different divisions are clueless about the other products in the Apple product line. This is why many TV stations still rely on AVID for their newsrooms, even though the cost is insanely high compared to other products - THEY NEED THE PROFESSIONAL SUPPORT.
To this day, it really bothers me that when I needed Apple Enterprise support (at a TV station emergency) on an old Apple XSERVE RAID (when it was a current product), Apple did not know the answer (after 2 hours on the phone), but AJA DID know the answer (in 10 seconds). That was a big lesson for me that day.

As you know, I am a huge FCP supporter, and do almost 100% FCP systems with AJA and Blackmagic hardware. But I am very well aware that if AVID had simply lowered their price (when all of this FCP stuff started to happen), Apple would have never been able to enter our market. To this day, the # 1 reason people don't want AVID is simply because it costs too much money.


Bob Zelin




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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 20, 2010 at 7:36:54 pm

I think I just had an epiphany and figured out I may be causing a problem based on my overall configuration.

I was staring at Disk Utility a little while ago and it hit me...I use bay 1 for my system disc and bays 2-4 for my media - the raid card should only be controlling bays 2-4. But it naturally controls all 4 bays - ergo I am causing my own problems

I think I should move my system disc to an optical bay. What do you think??

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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William McCauley
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 22, 2010 at 1:00:09 pm

Glad to see this thread... I was looking to rework my backup process and was thinking about the Apple Raid card. Sorry to see its not reliable. In my MacPro I have 4 drives 1st is sys/apps that is backed up to an external Time Machine. Drives 2 & 3 are configured in a Raid 1? for performance. The 4th drive is where I shuffle snapshots of ongoing projects and finished Media Manage projects for storage. Been doing this about a year. I just worry about my forgetfulness to back up at key times which often is just an FCP file since I pretty much have all my assets before I start, and the 1st backup covers assets. A perfect no-brainer solution for me would be to have the FCP AutoSave folder automatically copied to my 4th drive. Now I'm looking to add on the back end a firewire 800 dock-toaster interface to plug in bare drives for redundant backup of that 4th drive...then store copies both on and off site.

Project size is typically 10 to 15 gig. Then Media managed down to 6 to 10 gig.


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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 23, 2010 at 12:19:29 am

Bob - do you have an opinion on my configuration?


I think I just had an epiphany and figured out I may be causing a problem based on my overall configuration.

I was staring at Disk Utility a little while ago and it hit me...I use bay 1 for my system disc and bays 2-4 for my media - the raid card should only be controlling bays 2-4. But it naturally controls all 4 bays - that has got to be

I think I should move my system disc to an optical bay. What do you think??

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 23, 2010 at 1:16:59 am

yes, if you let the RAID card control drives 2-4 (and leave your boot drive isolated), then you will have less issues.

with that said, I still don't get why you need the Apple RAID card in the first place. You are doing RAID 0, which can be done with a bare bones no options MAC, right from the SATA controller on the MAC motherboard. If you knew nothing about the RAID card, you would get the cheapest MAC Pro you could, with one drive, stick in drives 2-4, and RAID 0 the drives 2-4 using Apple Disk Utility. The Apple RAID card does NOTHING for you if you are not doing a RAID 5 group. Other than cause your aggrivation.

bob




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peter tours
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 23, 2010 at 2:11:50 am

Besides the fact that I own it, I don't suppose I can come up with a great reason. But that said, doesn't it enhance a raid set with additional memory or buffering (or something) that would justify keeping it in there?

Do you think there would be any difference between:

a. leaving things as they are now
b. pull the card and use DU to make a new raid 0 set of bays 2-4
c. leave everything as it is but move the system drive to an optical bay

Thanks

Peter Tours
TnT Video Services, Inc.
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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Bob Zelin
Re: Mac Pro Raid Card
on Jun 23, 2010 at 3:25:38 am

if it were me, I would pull the card, after all the trouble you went thru. No one needs that card - certainly not for RAID 0.

Keep it simple.

Bob




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