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Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro

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Niklas Wikman
Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2010 at 8:34:16 pm

So, my LaCie 2port eSATA card causes my MacPro with Snow Leopard to be shaky. Could not find any SN drivers and have done some test with LaCies drivers and also drivers from Silicon Image (since LaCie uses SI3132 chip).

Others have reported problems with SI3132 and Snow Leopard.

So... now I'm choosing between the Highpoint RocketRAID 2314 or the Sonnet E4P. I have no RAID arrays, I just want to connect eSATA disks to my system for video and backup.

I'm on a MacPro 8-core with Aja IoHD and FCS 3, and 10.6.2.

Any recommendations are welcome!


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Bob Zelin
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2010 at 9:02:25 pm

the Sonnet E4P and Cal Digit Fasta 2e are both very nice products. The Cal Digit is so cheap, it's hard not to resist this product, for port multipliers. The better quality RAID 5 card that Sonnet sells is really the ATTO R380 card, but this card will not work with your drive array. I have not had good personal experience with Highpoint, but they are still in business, and companies including G-Tech uses their cards.

Bob Zelin



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Niklas Wikman
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2010 at 9:13:24 pm

Bob,

You're great. Thanks for your tip.

However, I do not have any array as of today. Just single SATA disks, in different enclosures (WD MyBook, LaCie d2 Quadra, some "bare bone" SATA to eSATA enclosure, where I put bare Hitachi Deskstar drives for backups, etc).

The question is, if I go for the Sonnet E4P, will that later work with (for example) G-tech SpeedRAID?

I just sent an e-mail to the Nordic reseller for the Fasta 4e, just to compare its price with the Sonnet E4P (which I do think you recommend, after all?) If I later decide to go for array(s) - which arrays will work with the E4P?



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Ron Lindeboom
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2010 at 9:45:19 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I have not had good personal experience with Highpoint."

Neither have I. They are one of my least favorite companies in this industry.

Personally, I wouldn't do business with them directly. Using a product like G-Tech, which uses Highpoint inside, there is a "layer of protection" between you and direct contact with Highpoint. I could handle that. (Let G-Tech handle them.) But direct dealings? I don't think so.

Others mileage may vary.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom

Creativity is a type of learning process where the teacher and pupil are located in the same individual.

Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.
- Antoine de Saint Exupéry


First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
- Gandhi






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Clay Stockwell
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 17, 2010 at 10:39:12 pm

[Bob Zelin] "I have not had good personal experience with Highpoint."

Neither have I. They are one of my least favorite companies in this industry.

Personally, I wouldn't do business with them directly. Using a product like G-Tech, which uses Highpoint inside, there is a "layer of protection" between you and direct contact with Highpoint. I could handle that. (Let G-Tech handle them.) But direct dealings? I don't think so.

Others mileage may vary.

Best regards,

Ron Lindeboom


Ditto. If they come up with reliable cold fusion, I would not purchase from them. The worst experience I've had in 20 years of buying computer products. I gave them every chance to do the right thing. I'll pay twice the price from someone else, if I need to, or not buy at all.


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Jeremy Garchow
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2010 at 1:15:16 am

I have, use and really like Sonnet. The e4p is great.

Jeremy


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Bob Zelin
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2010 at 1:48:48 am

this is the bottom line with a lot of these "port multiplier" products. They all buy their chip sets from Silicon Image. Even products that rely on the Marvel chip set have the Silicon Image chip sets in the drive chassis for port multipliers. What this means is that if you have a Sil3124 or Sil 3122 chip set, and you use multiple drives on ONE eSATA cable, and raid your multiple drives RAID 0, you will ultimately have problems one day. That "one day" may be 2 years from now, but it will happen. This is why Cal Digit dropped the infamous and wonderful S2VR 5 bay chassis - it would become "corrupt", and people would blame Cal Digit - but it was never Cal Digit's fault - it was the Sil3124 chipset. This is why you saw the same problem with Sonnet, Dulce, Lacie, and so many others that relied on RAID 0 port multiplier technology.

For single drives, the Sonnet E4P was, and is a great product. So is the equivalent Cal Digit Fasta 4e (no longer available), and identical products from Firmtek and Dulce Systems that use this chip set. But if you run a multi bay RAID 0 chassis, one day, you will face data corruption. And for those that say "I have had a brandX
port multiplier for over a year, and have had zero problems" - well BIG DEAL - so have I - but when you have a 20 - 30% failure rate, you realize that those are not good odds.

Bob Zelin




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Niklas Wikman
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2010 at 2:03:28 pm

What array should I buy, the day I go into HD and need the speed and storage?

I eventually bought the Firmtek - they are a bit cheaper than Sonnet and I hope it'll work just fine...
*fingers crossed*



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Bob Zelin
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2010 at 3:06:57 pm

Firmtek makes excellent products. If you own a Firmtek chassis, you can buy a firmtek host controller card, instead of Highpoint or Sonnet.

You will soon learn that buying stuff based on how much it costs will screw you in the long run. If you MAKE A LIVING with this equipment, you don't buy cheap stuff - you buy stuff that works, so you can produce your clients products, so you can GET PAID and make money.

I am often yelled at (and have my posts deleted) because I attack people who want advice, and are on a strick budget, because they do NOT make a living with this equipment - this is a hobby for them. I don't consider any of this stuff a hobby, and neither do the manufacturers of these products, and neither do the advertisers of Creative Cow. Firmtek is an excellent brand, so is Sonnet, so are many others. Cheap stuff will ultimately screw you, and your project, and your clients.

Bob Zelin




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Niklas Wikman
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2010 at 3:32:34 pm

Bob,

Thanks again for great advice. I hope that Firmtek will be around when it's time for me to buy a RAID array.

(And I cross my fingers and hope that the Firmtek will be nice with my current single SATA disks...)



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Niklas Wikman
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Jan 18, 2010 at 10:55:05 pm

And surely... I will have to go for Firmtek and their enclosures... since they are using that Sil3132 chip... ARGH!



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Ryan Gilligan
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Feb 25, 2010 at 5:52:30 pm

Hi,

Does anyone have a recommendation or advice on the Sonnet E2P vs. the Lacie 2Port esata card?

Thanks!
Ryan


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Lee Warner
Re: Sonnet or Highpoint eSATA on Mac Pro
on Apr 16, 2010 at 3:36:55 pm

I was heading towards G-Tech or CalDigit but I like Bob Zelin's recommendation for Firmtek.

Any recommendations for quality drives to populate the Firmtek chassis with? I'm looking specifically at the "SeriTek/5PM-2SE4 External Enclosure with 4-Port PCI-X Host Adapter Bundle"

Thanks
Lee


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