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PCI/PCI-X eSATA Card feedback from G5 Tower owners
Reports last Updated: 3/3/2008

On Friday (Feb. 29th), a company in the UK had asked if I'd post a request for feedback on PCI/PCI-X eSATA controllers with external SATA drives from PowerMac G5 owners. Here's the replies from over the weekend. (Thanks to all that replied!)

Reader Replies: (most recent first)

"System: 2003 PowerMac G5 2.0GHz (M9032 LL/A)

Memory: 4 GB Total (8 each PC3200-30330 512GB Modules)
AGP 8x Slot: ATI X800 XT card (late 2007 ATI build from OWC)

PCI-X Slot 3: SIIG 4 Port PCI USB 2.0 Adaptor
PCI-X Slot 2: Empty

PCI-X Slot 4: SeriTek/1VE4 (v. from OWC
  RAID 0 Raptor Pair (OS X 10.5.2 BOOT Array)
  Port 1 - WD1500AHFD-00RAR5
  Port 2 - WD1500AHFD-00RAR5

OS X Leopard 10.5.2 BKUP, OS X Tiger 10.4.11 BKUP, OS X Time Machine)
  Port 3 - ST3500320AS 7200.11 500GB (Time Machine Dedicated)
  Port 4 - ST3500320AS 7200.11 500GB (SuperDuper! Bootable Back Ups)

eSATA Enclosure 1: OWC Mercury Elite-AL Dual Bay SATA Enclosure
  2 each WD1500AHFD-00RAR5 SATA HDD's (jumpered for maximun speed)

eSATA Enclosure 2: OWC Mercury Elite-AL Dual Bay SATA Enclosure
  2 each Seagate ST3500320AS 7200.11 500GB HDD's

G5 Tower Internal SATA Bays:
  Bay A - WD 200GB SATA HDD (OS X Tiger 10.4.11 BOOT)
  Bay B - WD 200GB SATA HDD (iTunes & iPhoto Back Ups)

Note: The WD 1500AHFD's are not compatible in the G5 internal bays. The WD 74's are, but they are not large enough in capacity for the main OS X BOOT HDD, even when using a pair with RAID 0.

No problems with SeriTek eSATA PCI-X card, OWC Mercury Elite-AL Enclosures, WD 1500 AHFD Raptors and Seagate 7200.11 SATA HDD's. I am very satisfied with these upgrades to my G5 Tower. Also included are the Xbench 1.3 numbers for the RAID 0 Raptor Pair and the Seagate 7200.11 HDD. They are attachments to this email and need Xbench to open them. (XbenchFiles_Rob.zip) They were run when the G5 was at Leopard OS X 10.5.1 revision. I can run them again under OS X 10.5.2, upon request.

Hope this helps to provide some data for the UK company questions... My G5 Tower is pretty fast. Much better than when I purchased it in late 2003 from Apple. Most would not run RAID 0 for a OS X Boot Array, but I like the performance it provides. I also use SuperDuper! to make All Files Bootable Backups along with dedicating a large HDD to Time Machine for file recovery. I use SuperDuper! Smart Update to keep them current and use a SuperDuper! OS X Safety Clone to test Apple updates before updating my main OS X Leopard Raptor RAID 0 pair. This approach to system HW & SW drives up the costs, but protects me should there be problems. I have a close friend that is running the same configuration, also without problems.
Best, Robert M.
PS: xlr8yourmac.com is a truly great site for all Mac users. Kudos to all for the hard to find information you have provided over the years."

"I've been using the Sonnet 4+4 eSATA (PCI-X) card for a little over two years now with decent success. I say this because Leopard recently brought down the entire striped RAID set (4 HD's) resulting in constant kernel panics galore. Leopard and the the Sonnet card rendered the G5 USELESS until Sonnet came to the rescue by sending me a firmware to flash the card with. Ever since, the G5 has been beautiful once again.
It's a 2TB striped RAID (zero obviously) using 4 Maxtor 500GB drives from February 2006, the case is a Sonnet Fusion 400 (the older model).

The machine has never been more stable, in fact this RAID set runs a little better with Leopard now for some reason - it mounts and dismounts faster. :-)
Take it easy, Niko"

"Hey Mike, Thought I'd respond briefly to your request. I've been using a g5 2.7 dual for almost 3 years now with a Sonnet PCI-x eSATA card and an external enclosure. The card is a Sonnet 4+4 (4 internal and 4 external ports) and the enclosure is a 4-bay Wiebetech enclosure. The setup has worked pretty well for me. I've primarily used 2 of the bays/drives for a striped RAID using 2 seagate drives primarily for media storage for my video work. I used it that way for about a year and a half, and then I needed to add some additional storage. Come to find out, sometime during that initial 1.5 years, the other two bays in the enclosure flaked out so they're unusable. The warranty on the enclosure was only 1 year--so that definitely put a price premium on the 2 bays that we are still able to use. We're looking at upgrading to a Mac Pro sometime in the next year, and that upgrade will also include a new drive enclosure. When I spoke with WiebeTech about the issue, they thought that it sounded like a bridge board issue. There's no real fix except replacing the entire bridge board--not really an option because I'm guessing that would cost as much as a new enclosure.

eSATA enclosures have become a lot more common on the market in the past 3 years, and I feel like there are now more options available than the WiebeTech that we felt like was the only viable option when we were purchasing this setup. Unless there's some compelling reason not to do so, we'll probably look elsewhere for a multi-bay enclosure. As a side note, I have used several of WiebeTech's single-drive solutions over the past 3-4 years and they have worked fine. They're a little more expensive than most on the market, but I always felt like they were quality products. I guess the multi-bay solution that we purchased was either simply a faulty unit or something happened while in our possession that caused it to not function as it should.

I've upgraded the Sonnet software several times as it has become available, but haven't noticed any major changes during that time. One thing that I don't believe was very common when we bought the setup was drive sleep using this card. That's kind of a pain because it means I have to shut off the computer if I want to get rid of the loud drive bay noise--no sleeping or unmounting/ejecting possible the last time I checked. Don't know if that'd be a function of the card or the enclosure, but we're definitely looking to a quieter, more flexible setup for the next enclosure.

Other than the issues described above, the Sonnet card has worked fine. I've not used the internal ports on the card at all. Given the G5's limited internal expansion options (with the exception of several products on the market that allow for additional drives) I've not felt the need to try it out, especially given the ease with which the existing internal drives hook up to the built-in SATA ports. Seems a shame to not use them, but that's where we're at right now.

In case it's important, the G5 has been running 10.4 from day one. Currently running 10.4.11, with all the latest updates. 8 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9650. Thanks for your work on the site--I've been reading probably for about 5-6 years now. Keep it up!

"I have already written in a couple of times concerning (e)SATA cards in my G5 tower. I am running Tiger, but I have had Leopard running on this machine and did not see any issues with the cards. Devices mounted just fine. I haven't tested system sleep on Leopard, though.
Here are my results so far:

Firmtek SeriTek/1VE4
* SATA 1 (L-type connectors)
* boot support
* no support for ATAPI devices and SATA/PATA adaptors
* causes no problems with system sleep
* devices connected to the card don't get a signal to sleep

SiI 3124 based card
* eSATA (SATA 2 support) (I-type connectors)
* no boot support (only real shortcoming)
* support for ATAPI devices and SATA/PATA adaptors
* causes no problems with system sleep
* devices connected to the card sleep and wake up when appropriate
* supports port multipliers

The only real issue with the cards was the lack of the 1VE4's support for ATAPI devices and SATA/PATA adaptors. Everything else was just the usual problems with cables not being pushed all the way in or bad cables. The first SATA-eSATA cables I got had connectors that were too short. The eSATA side didn't correctly fit the eSATA ports on the PCI-bracket. I got them replaced and haven't had any other noteworthy issues since.

After getting really annoyed with the exorbitant prices for external SATA enclosures I went ahead and converted all but one of my aging SCSI and Firewire enclosures to eSATA using cheap modded 5 euro PCI-brackets. I just replaced the Centronics connectors or bridge boards (several Oxford 911s that had died) with two eSATA ports each and added Molex-to-SATA power adaptors. The fans needed replacing, too. The cases now make only a fraction of the noise they used to.

Today I installed one of my new IOI port multipliers into a case housing two disks but having space for four. They work fine and I couldn't find any reduction in performance. These are relatively old drives, though. They peak at something around 50 MB/s so this is to be expected.

BTW: I am still looking for affordable RAID 5 or 6 hardware. Everything out there seems to be 500euros/$ and up. Does anyone have experience with a homemade (software) RAID system (Linux or otherwise) that delivers good performance via Gigabit Ethernet (50 MB/s+)?

"I'm using a LaCie eSATA-card with a LaCie eSATA enclosure without any issues whatsoever. It's using an old kind of eSATA-connector and has an DC power connector (Aux pwr connector on the board (as some other card types do in case there's not enough power sourced by the PCI bus).-Mike) on the PCI-card which is great as I don't need any AC-power to the case. (Here's the Lacie PCI card he's using. Which has an Aux (DC) power connector on the board. Specs page for it notes a "Floppy" connector (same connector used on PC floppy drives for power) - You'd need a "Y" adapter to connect to the G5's Optical drive standard molex power connector and then use one of the "Y" legs with a Molex to Floppy power cable to connect to the card. Specs page also has a note/FYI:)
    "*Not compatible with "port multiplier" devices, including LaCie Biggest S2S and LaCie Two Big."

It's like having a third internal drive almost.
Only thing is that I need to power it up every time I turn to computer off as the drive powers down then the computer is powered down.
from my system profiler.
asp info

I could not get the card to work with another casing I have with a "real" eSATA-port on it. The flat one. This uses a smaller one much like an internal port.
-Peter V."

"I got this card working in a PCI-X G5 with a port multiplier enclosure for a client of mine. (it also worked in an 800mhz G4 tower)
It's a Si3124 chip based card. It said it wasn't bootable and I didn't try. And with the SATA RAID5 drivers here I was even able to get RAID5 to work. http://www.siliconimage.com/support/supportsearchresults.aspx?pid=27&cid=3&ctid=2&osid=3
The install was slightly finicky but eventually worked.
Good luck! if you decide to go with this card let me know and I may be able to find a few more details.
I also forgot to mention that it didn't seem to be very fast with RAID5, perhaps 25-30MB/sec with a 5 drive RAID 5 array. (There's a note that RAID5 arrays can have at max 5 dirves in them)
Still, for backup which is how we are using it it's OK.

-Sean S.

"Hi, Mike, We have two PM G5's with eSATA both running OS 10.5.2:
  • 1.8GHz Single Processor (M9031LL/A) with Firmtek Seritek /1eSE2, Firmware and Driver Version 5.3.1
  • 2 X 2GHz (M9455LL/A) with Firmtek Seritek /1VE4, Firmware and Driver Version 5.3.1

    We have two Firmtek Seritek/1EN2 enclosures which we use with four RAID 0 pairs of MaxLine III and Seagate Barracuda 7200.10 drives ranging from 300GB - 1TB, plus WD Raptors 74GB and 150GB. These are all used with both G5's.

    All worked perfectly with OS 10.4 (the 1VE4 goes back to 10.3.0), but we had problems with both systems after installing Leopard. (some others did also - ref: news page posts here last fall when Leopard was released. They later posted updated drivers/firmware for many of their cards (v5.3.1 IIRC) that was to address that.-Mike) Some drives would not mount, some would be dropped off unexpectedly, and the computers would not boot from any of the drives. Firmtek tech support is excellent in every way. We have had no problem at all since the OS 10.5.2 and firmware/driver 5.3.1 updates were installed. We can't thank you enough for your web site.
    Jo Ann & Webb O."

  • "I'm on a dual 2.0Ghz G5 with 2GB RAM and two 300GB internal drives with a Seritek 1SE2 PCI card (2 SATA-e ports) connected to a 2 drive external enclosure running two 750GB drives. I haven't tried hotswapping, but supposedly that is a feature. The drives act just as if they were internal. Works like a charm. Hope this helps.
    -David. N. "

    I asked if he was running OS X Leopard/any updates from Firmtek.

    "Mike, Have a dual 2.0 GHz G5 (first generation G5 from June 2003), running Leopard 10.5.2.
    I'm using a a Firmtek Seritek 1VE4 PCI-X SATA card. Hooked up to it is a SeriTek 1EN2 two-drive external enclosure (containing two 500GB Seagate Baracuda 7200.9 SATA I/II drives) and an OWC AL Elite Pro SATA two-drive enclosure (also containing two 500GB Seagate Baracuda 7200.9 SATA 1/II drives).

    No problems at all (well, apart from the SeriTek card uses the older SATA ports, and the OWC enclosure uses the newer SATA exernal cables, so I had to buy a couple of SATA to eSATA cables). Everything's bootable, and backups and disk copies are incredibly fast (have no benchmarks, but much faster than even FireWire 800).

    The SeriTek card has the older 5.1.1 firmware -- didn't update it to the 5.3.1 firmware for Leopard on the "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" principle. As always, thanks for the great resource your site provides.
    Best, Byron"

    "Hi Mike, I have a G5 at the office with PCI-X slots. I purchased a HighPoint RocketRaid for the purpose of a RAID 10.
    (what Rocketraid card model? Are you running OS X 10.5.x? many G5/PPC mac owners had problems with their cards w/leopard - posts here last fall/winter on this - several driver revisions that kept the same version number, etc. - some still had problems they said with some RR card models in PPC macs at least.-Mike)

    The performance was completely sub-par (ie: in the 5-10 MB/sec range). I worked with both HighPoint and another expert in the industry, and we came to the conclusion that this setup was useless. From the research I did, a Mac with PCI-X for storage connectivity is USELESS.
    I sent a report to you at the time (about 2 years ago) with the complete details. It boiled down to it being an issue with Apple's implementation of PCI-X.

    The same card in a G4 (PCI) achieved 300+ MB/sec on the same drives.

    I have another machine at the office (G5 with PCI Express) with a RocketRaid 2320, and an external RAID 10. The card did not have external SATA ports, so I purchased some SATA brackets, and connected the respected cables to the internal connectors on the card. Then I ran SATA cables to external cases I built out of 2 PCs (cheaper than actually using a good third-party case, and they make good backup servers). Performance with that setup is in the 300+MB/sec range.
    If you need further details, please feel free to email me back.
    Thanks, Cam G.
    Longtime XLR8yourMac reader "

    "Aloha Mike, I run two cards to drive 8 external drives out of a G5 first gen 2.0 GHz dual G5 tower.

    In previous emails I detailed the EXTENSIVE problems I had using more than one FirmTek card out of the tower, and I had drive failures twice with those drives plugged into port 4 on those cards. The advantage of booting with FirmTek cards declined as Mac OS 10.5 came out before firmware upgrades for the cards came out. Both FirmTek cards are sitting in old Sonnet boxes now, and I have two Sonnet cards in the G5 running without a hitch. SMART information now reports correctly since using the Sonnet cards. I have the four port internal SATA cards because locking regular cables were easier to come by in Hawaii than the eSATA cables, and the first Sonnet that I had was driving a RAID inside the G5. I have since had better performance from the system by getting drives out of the G5 entirely. For housing the external drives, I use a gutted old Dell server box with an Antec power supply inside, and large diameter (quieter!) fans on the removed front cover of the server. Cheap and efficient, if a little ugly and lacking port multiplication hardware. I am running two RAID 0 volumes anyway.

    Sonnet RAID performance has been fantastic, using Maxtor 500 GB drives X 4 delivering about 384 MB/sec measured using Drive Genius.

    As before, I did everything possible, including corresponding with the firmware engineer at FirmTek to get those running reliably, and failed. One card would run, but two would not run consistently without dropping drives, and mysterious drive failures on one specific port. They were very helpful in trying, though. Kudos to FirmTek for their effort, but more so to Sonnet for 10.5 compatibility and no problems whatsoever!

    All the FirmTek down time completely negated any price concerns I had about the Sonnet cards. The 4 X internal SATA and 4 X eSATA FirmTek cards are still available to anyone who wants to pay the shipping and a donation fee! Great site as always!
    John P.
    Pioneer Digital Media
    Hawaiian Islands"

    "Hi Mike, I'm using a G5 PCI/PCI-X tower with 6 GB ram, dual 2 GHz PPC processors, 780 GB internal Apple bus Drive space, 2 internal SATA drives with 780 GB of space running from a SERI-TEK board (What seritek card model? (was it updated to their latest firmware/drivers? they released some updates last winter to address issues with OS X leopard)-Mike) in a PCI slot and a NORCO 4 port eSATA board (Norco 4618 card?-Mike) in the PCI-X slot running a OWC multi drive housing with two drives present, one 500 GB and one 750 GB. I'll be adding another 500 GB and a 1 TB drive soon. The rest of my configuration is a ATI RADEON 850 XT with Zalman cooler replacing the standard cooler that started growling a while back, a dual layer panasonic D-12 (I think) DVD RW/RAM and an extreme WiFi card installed.

    So far the only problem has been the need to get new NORCO driver software when I upgraded from Tiger (4.11) to Leopard (5.1). With that updated software the NORCO has been working well. OWC customer support helped greatly with that.

    By the way, I put 10.5.1 on one of the 500 GB as a fresh/new install and I run both 10.4.11 and 10.5.2 with a restart. I'm not yet willing to commit to Leopard completely, due to stability issues. (If running that setup remember to set Spotlight Privacy Prefs to exclude the other OS X version boot drive - shortly after 10.5 was released there was a reader note on this. Otherwise each time you boot to Tiger it messes with the 10.5 drive spotlight index and Vice/Versa.-Mike) But, I've had a lot of little naggeling problems with Tiger 4.11, as well. If I knew how I'd drop back to 4.10 which was very stable. Could you direct me to a "How-to" to go backwards?
    Thanks, Jim B."

    There was a post here some time back (last winter) on 10.4.11 issues/tips but I can't find it now... (normally I post separate pages on OS X update versions w/feedback, tips, etc. but not on .11) - if reinstalling the 10.4.11 combo update doesn't help (and checking for any addons that may be an issue) - I don't think just a reinstall of 10.4.10 combo update will do it - maybe a A&I/reinstall from your Tiger install disc and then apply the 10.4.10 combo updater.

    "Hey Mike, well I am running a nice eSATA config...
    I have the Firmtek 1VE4 with a San Digital 4 Bay hotswap enclosure. And I also have an additional Firmtek 1VE2+2 with 2 hard drives internally and 1 External in another San Digital 1 bay hotswap case. This is running on my Dual 2.0 Ghz G5 in Leopard 10.5.2.

    It is not set to any RAID, just as JBOD and it works quite well.

    The only thing I find is that sometimes I have to unplug the cables from either the card in back or from the external enclosure and power it back up to see all the disks. Otherwise its great and lets me handle mass files externally and with great speed. Let me know if you need any other info.
    (He later wrote)
    Both Seritek cards are running the 5.3.1b3 firmware, and there is one thing with the cards. To run them both successfully they have to have the same firmware revision. (that rings a bell regarding past reports of problems with 2 of them installed at once.) If they do not, the one with the higher revision (firmware) is the only one seen, and to update the cards you have to do one inside the computer at a time. And have not had any problems with the 10.5.2 IIRC, just the cable issue of unplugging then re-plugging. Let me know if you need any other info.

    "Power Mac G5 Dual 2.7 GHz, 8GB RAM, Boot ROM Version: 5.2.4f1 running OS X 10.5.2 (9C31)
    Norco-4618 4 port with port multiplier support.

    Inserted card into machine and install Sil-3124 driver. Card was never properly recognized by the computer as a norco card and was not able see the external enclosure. Tried card in G4 with 10.4.11 and didn't work either. Did a fresh install of 10.5 and updated to 10.5.1 (since that's what's the driver is list as compatible with) and still no go. Will be returning card and I am looking at the Addonics or Seritek cards. Seritek card is $114 more, but supports booting, SMART and doesn't require me to install drivers.
    -Allan M."

    Firmtek also released firmware/driver updates last winter for many of their Seritek cards (to address issues with OS X leopard when it was first released).

    "I was trying to get to work an Addonics 4 port, port multiplier eSATA card -- model ADS3GX4R5-EM -- in various PowerMac models in the last couple of months. I just gave up recently. The card itself is a PCI-X type, supposed to be compatible with "normal" PCI busses. First I tried to install it in a PowerMac G4 MDD (2*867MHz). The goal was to create a RAID 0+1 system from 6 drives, 3 lying in each external, port multiplier-capable enclosure (made by Addonics, too). Initially all the 6 drives was detected by Apple's Disk Utility, and was able to set up and create the RAID set(s) with no problems. Problems arose quickly when I was trying to copy files to and from the RAID volume, though. In a matter of seconds the copy operation seemed to be stalled and after that the USB subsystem just went south. Both the mouse and the keyboard were not responding and the red LED in the mouse went off after some strange blinking cycle. Restarting the machine and the RAID set seemed to be ok., but it was impossible to make it work properly. I noticed however, that when the copying itself stalls, the entire system doesn't hang. Maybe it's the PCI subsystem which has serious problems. The windows get refreshed, so the CPUs aren't halted at least.

    Next I tried to setup the card, and same set of drives in a PowerMac dual G5, 1.8 GHz model, featuring the similar 64-bit/32MHz PCI bus. Results: the same. The only difference was that the USB subsystem remained intact, but the copy operation failed just as miserably.

    The only situation the card worked flawlessly, was inside of a 2 GHz, PCI-X model of PowerMac. It has a separate PCI-X bridge, with a 16 bit, 4.8 GBps link to the U3H north bridge. I was able to copy files to and from the external drives in any way I wanted. I set up two 3-drive RIAD 0 sets, with cumulated bandwidth over 200 MB/s each, moving files between the volumes worked fine.

    I haven't tried any other makes of PCI-X eSATA card to date. The problems I encountered with might be related to a malfunction of the driver/firmware in the card itself, or some inherent incompatibility between the PCI and PCI-X protocols. (It's the latter, according to the manufacturer.) The 64-bit/32MHz bus used in the PowerMac G4 and some of the PowerMac G5 lines are electronically compatible with PCI-X, sharing the same type of slots, but the signaling and the protocols are different, as I learned.

    It would've been interesting to try some other card with proper, Mac-compatible driver/firmware (such as FirmTek, or Sonnet), but I simply hadn't have the opportunity (time/money) to do so. The lesson I learned: don't put PCI-X cards to a stand PCI slot, because a.) it won't work, or b.) it's very possible that you hit the wall of limited PCI bandwidth (which in my case is 266 MBps, can be surpassed easily with 4+ SATA drives today).
    Peter F. from Hungary"

    "Hi Mike, I only have a single drive coolermaster e-sata enclosure with a pci-x FirmTek SeriTek/1eVE4 on my dual 1.8GHz G5, it works flawlessly, very fast and causes no sleep issues at all.
    runs like a dream..... anything else you'd like to know?
    Regards, Darren"

    Running OS X Leopard or Tiger? (Updated card to latest firmware, etc.?)

    "I wrote you a while ago complaining of my experiences with the HighPoint RocketRaid cards. That still goes. (there were many PPC Mac/RocketRaid card owners that had problems after Leopard was released.)
    The Sonnet X4P is - BY FAR - the most stable, no bullshit card I have used for this, and that includes Highpoint and Caldigit.
    I really like the Sonnet cards cause they update by flashing the firmware, rather than having to install new drivers. Am using it with a Promax enclosure.
    (he later wrote)
    Leopard is what killed my RR cards. I had been runnning the 1820A happily. Had to go to another one after Leopard - was it the 2220? I believe so.

    They updated the driver once and it sort of worked, although it would no longer let me create RAIDS unless I used their browser-based GUI, which sucks. That, combined with their absolutely abysmal tech support and lack of communications - made me sweat to never buy from them again. Let me tell you, they could not care less about their customer base, in my opinion.
    Sonnet, on the other hand, has been great in that and other regards.
    Good luck, Paul
    13Bit Productions LLC"

    "SeriTek/1VE4 PCI-X
    I have a 4-drive Wiebe Tech knockoff from Cool Drives
    It does, indeed, run cool - typically about 90°F
    I boot from the external box, but I don't sleep my system, as it will not waken from the external drive.

    Model: PowerMac7,3, BootROM 5.1.8f7, 2 processors, PowerPC G5 (2.2), 2 GHz, 1.5GB RAM
    Graphics: nVidia GeForce 6800 Ultra 256MB
    (Running OS X Tiger or Leopard? (was the Seritek card updated? last winter they released firmware/driver updates for many of their cards to address some issues with Leopard, including sleep support IIRC.)-Mike)
    Running OS X 10.5.2. I have NOT updated the Firmware on the SeriTek card - yet. I'll check this out...
    -John C."

    If you're not having problems maybe the old "if it ain't broke, don't fix it" rule applies.

    "I have two dual 1.8GHz G5's, each with a Highpoint 8 channel SATA controller. (Rocket RAID 2220) Each is handling Six 400GB Seagate SATA NL-35 drives in a RAID 5. The only issue I have is the SATA cables, which were never designed to be external. Many have gone bad due to the physical load. I am doing better with thin, internal cables that are lighter.
    The Macs are the early dual 1.8GHz, 8 mem slots
    (What OS X version are you using? (many PPC mac owners had problems w/RR cards after the Leopard release - some still did even with the revised (several times back then) drivers.-Mike)
    One server is running 10.4.11 and the other 10.4.10
    I have not had any reason to take the 10.4.10 server offline, hense no update to .11
    No rush to move to 10.5 although some of the iMacs that connect are running 10.5.

    Thanks for the tip about 10.5 issues with RR cards, I will look into this further before considering a move to Leopard. I do like the Time machine feature, as these two servers are backed up to external FW boxes -Jon"

    "I am using two OWC Mercury Elite-AL Quad Interface eSATA FireWire 400/800 & USB 2.0 Enclosures with Serial ATA 2-Channel PCI/PCI-X Controller Card $49.95 PN: OWCSATAPCI2P from OWC
    Work with G5 models which use PC3200 DDR Memory (my is Dual G5 2.3 GB).
    Con is only that to boot from them I have to use Option key at restart.
    Plus is they make perfect back up and repair disks for my G5 (using Retrospect).
    Regards, Ivan"

    Just for the record, are you running OS X tiger or Leopard?

    "Mike, I have a PCI-X DP 1.8GHz G5 with a OWC 2 Port PCI (internal or external ports) in use with an OWC Mercury Elite-AL Dual Bay SATA Enclosure with two 500GB drives in RAID 1. The setup was easy, the interface fast and haven't had any problems with the configuration.
    (Running OS X tiger or Leopard?)
    OS X Tiger, its a production machine and until its more mature, Leopard will have to wait.>

    "I have a Highpoint RocketRAID 1820a PCI-X card. It's in a Dual 2.5 G5. I've had it since 10.2. And I'm using it as eSATA (though it is not). I have it connected to a 8 drive raid cage with a separate power supply.
    It eliminated any sleep capability. Highpoint's customer service/tech support blows and they abandoned it when leopard came out. (I have read only capability in Leopard) So I will never buy another one of their products.
    Other than that it was OK.
    I'm sort of at a loss what to buy next because I think Apple's card is overpriced and it only supports 4 drives.
    Now I am running 10.5.2 Leopard unless I want to write to my RAID and then I boot to 10.4.
    -Christopher J."

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