The Mac Pro RAID Card offers improved storage performance and data protection to your Mac Pro system — up to 553MB/s of sequential read performance in RAID 0. Ideal for video and creative professionals with demanding storage needs as well as for tower server applications, this hardware RAID option supports RAID levels 0, 1, 5, 0+1, and Enhanced JBOD. It has 512MB of cache and an integrated 72-hour battery for protecting the RAID cache. The card occupies the top PCI Express slot (slot 4) and connects to the four internal drive bays.
With the Mac Pro RAID Card installed, high-performance 15,000-rpm SAS drives may be used. SAS drives are sold separately and available with the Promise 450GB SAS Drive for Mac Pro.
The Mac Pro RAID Card supports the creation of multiple RAID sets in a system and multiple volumes per RAID set. For optimal disk utilization in a RAID set, all hard drives should be the same size. Using Apple's RAID Utility software (included with Mac OS X v10.5), you can migrate the drives into a RAID set without reinstalling Mac OS X or reformatting the drives, and you can customize your RAID volumes to meet your exact requirements.
To enable your Mac Pro for hardware RAID, install the Mac Pro RAID Card and two or more hard drives in bays 1 through 4. Each RAID level has minimum requirements for the number of hard drives:
RAID Level <> Drive Requirements <> Benefit
- Enhanced JBOD <> One to four drives <> A non-RAID configuration with the ability to migrate to a RAID set at any time
- RAID 0 (striping) <> Two to four hard drives <> Maximum performance and capacity for the most demanding I/O requirements
- RAID 1 (mirroring) <> Two hard drives <> Maximum protection for critical data
- RAID 5 <> Three or four hard drives <> Data protection, high performance, and efficient capacity utilization
- RAID 0+1 <> Four hard drives <> A mirror of striped drive pairs providing performance and data protection
Requires Mac Pro (early 2009), Mac Pro (mid 2010) or Mac Pro (mid 2012) and Mac OS X v10.5.6 or later.
- Mac OS X v.10.5.6 or later
- Apple RAID Utility software
- The Mac Pro RAID Card occupies the top PCI Express expansion slot (slot 4) and you must have either all SATA or all SAS drives installed.
Ratings & Reviews
Do not buy this product.
To start, I've worked with RAID adapters for 10+ years, so I've been around the block with them for quite some time.
This card in a day-to-day situation will work fine. However, should you suffer a disk failure, it will corrupt your data when it starts to rebuild the array. I've had this happen twice now and the card is coming out of my machine.
This card is very slow at building an array. +24 hours for a 4 disk array with a usable capacity of 3.57TB. This is very frustrating if you're in a hurry to get the machine up. Most other controllers I've worked with (well, all, actually) are ready for you to start using the volume almost immediately. Not this baby.
Another issue is that there seems to be a disconnect in apple support with regards to an "enterprise" product being in a consumer product. Beware.
Stay away from this if you value your data and sanity. …
- Written by Tom F from Charlotte
192 of 207 people found this useful
Be prepared to spend a lot of time waiting with no real idea of what's happening if you purchase this finicky card. In the the few weeks since I purchased this card to install in my new 8-core Mac Pro, I've had my machine crash, killing the raid volume. Since getting my computer back from the Apple store (supposedly the card didn't like the drives I'd bought--I bought new ones), I've made several attempts to restore my data from the backup of the pre-crash drive. This wouldn't be so bad if any of the configuration tasks were fast; however, everything having to do with configuring this card takes forever. It takes eight hours to initialize a four 1TB RAID 5 array. Restoring data takes even longer, and I've had that process fail three times. The Apple RAID Utility only provides minimal feedback during these extremely lengthy operations, so you have no idea if anything is happening or if the application is hung. As I write this, I'm trying to delete the existing RAID volume, which is in an uncertain state. This task has been running for an hour so far, and it will probably take six hours to complete. If you are starting from scratch or have just a small amount of data to migrate, this card will probably work fine. (Performance was pretty sweet when it was working.) Otherwise, beware. …
- Written by Cleland E from Houston
140 of 152 people found this useful
Not worth it for HD video edit workstation
We edit HD video/audio using FCP and Adobe Premiere on Mac Pro configured with 4 drives. Bay 1 Applications only; Bay 2 Exports/co mpressions & media share folder; Bay 3 & 4 are RAID 0. We have learned over the years that this configuration/setup and careful workflow is most efficient for video editing. The Apple RAID card has causes major delays over time with the "battery reconditioning", intermittent "loss of RAID set RSx", and "write cache disabled due to...". The Mac OS X Disk Utility is capable of RAIDing two drives, which is all that is needed on an edit workstation. According to an Apple Tech that I spoke with when we were having our initial problems, the Apple RAID card prefers to be left on 24/7 as if it were in a server... - NOT very Green, Apple- or network security safe. The RAID Utility software has, on a few occasions, disabled our Bay 2 drive when tests with Disk Utility and Drive Genius found the drive to be fully functional. Alas, more wasted time. Not a good purchase.. …
- Written by Bertrand O from Ithaca
78 of 81 people found this useful
not worth the money
This RAID Card is always in some state of emergency, always drops the spare drive on a RAID 5, the battery always looses power. I would say maybe I have a dud if I only had one, but I have 2 Servers with these RAID Cards, and both suffer from the same problems...
Also have a Sonnetech RAID card that we purchased for one tenth the cost, and it's far more reliable then these Apple RAID Cards. …
- Written by Donald D from Montreal
11 of 11 people found this useful
Flaky and unpredictable
I installed a stack of 10 Xserves with these cards in them in 2008 in a higher ed setting. I kept all software and firmware up to date. I had no catastrophic failures; on the other hand, they kept me busy, and there was considerable irritation. For example, no warning that the batteries of the RAID cards would need replacing every 6 to 12 months and would give undecipherable error messages when starting to run down. Very little reference material on creation and management of RAID sets, aside from the GUI RAID utility, which is not self-explanatory. Documentation was skimpy and written at a simplistic level, with no reference for the command line utilities, error messages, etc. until several years after the card was marketed. I would avoid the Apple RAID card for critical enterprise uses. If used, be disciplined about backups and be prepared to change the battery annually. …
- Written by Laurie L from Skillman
20 of 22 people found this useful
When properly installed, works like a charm
When properly installed, works like a charm
- Written by Don M from Coppell
16 of 30 people found this useful
Questions & Answers
Answers from the community
I'm currently using all four drives in my 2009 mac pro in two software raid arrays... will I be able to migrate these arrays to use this card?
- Asked by Scott P from Toronto
- Nov 4, 2012
- Asked by Gary P from Eden Prairie
- Oct 24, 2012
RE: Henry M from Lafayette
I believe your answer is correct, but are we looking at different Appl e websites? Footnote #7 on the Mac Pro specs page (/macpro/specs.html on www.apple.com) is "1GB = 1 billion bytes and 1TB = 1 trillion bytes; actual formatted capacity less." It says nothing about the Mac Pro RAID card on the Mac Pro specs page I can see. …
- Answered by Gary P from Eden Prairie
- Nov 1, 2012
Will the hardware controller work with Hitachi 1TB 7200rpm SATA drives? (The description seems to say that it will only work with SAS...)
- Asked by Harold I from Montreal
- Apr 8, 2011
Yes. I have three standard SATA 1TB 7200 Hitachi drives in my Mac Pro that are in RAID5 via this car d. …
- Answered by Marcus U from Arvada
- Aug 17, 2011
- Asked by Brian W from Cibolo
- Oct 17, 2009
No!, This card will only work with the Mac Pro (Early 2009)
- Answered by Mike R from Oxford
- Dec 9, 2009
- Asked by Alex R from Pointe-claire
- Aug 25, 2010
- Answered by Henry M from Lafayette
- Oct 29, 2012