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Reader Comment: RAID, Highpoint, USB3

Matthew C writes:

The combination of Mac Pro, diglloydTools and your writing at macperformanceguide.com have been indispensable for helping me achieve increased performance, peace of mind and confidence in my computing resources.

I recently purchased two Toshiba 3TB drives using your link to OWC and created my first RAID - so simple. I am seeing sustained average performance exceeding 375 MB/s with this combo when verifying my data using Integrity Checker. Fantastic!!! Adobe Lightroom performance is noticeably peppier.

I just purchased a HighPoint USB 3.0 card for my early-2008 Mac Pro, the one with a single PCI-E x 16 port. The card I got, the 1144CM (not available through OWC) now has a single negative review, as of this afternoon. I will be returning this product to Amazon, package unopened, due to HighPoint's lack of customer support and poor product information. In the future, I will exercise some restraint and buy only when a reputable Mac-friendly vendor that stands behind their products will stock an item. Lesson learned. As of this moment, I am still in the market for a USB 3 solution of my 2008 Pro. My only x 16 PCI-E port has an Accelsior in it, so that probably further limits my options.

MPG: A 2-drive RAID-0 stripe offers high price/performance value. For those looking for even faster (especially for the Adobe Photoshop Lightroom catalogs and previews), the OWC Mercury Accelsior PCIe SSD is the ticket (keep the actual image files on the hard drive(s).

As for Highpoint, they make a lot of very interesting expansion cards, but I was turned off the same way a few years ago: I had an issue and the support was non-existent. That’s a non-starter for me.

Slot speed in the current Mac Pro is not really an issue, so most cards can be added without any performance concern (even a 4X slot is plenty fast for the Accelsior PCIe SSD).

USB3 on the Mac Pro: skip it unless it’s really needed; it’s a driver hack. I did test the CalDigit USB3 PCIe card with good results, though my testing was limited to one external USB3 drive.

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