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Icy Dock MB982SPR-2S


dvn
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Ok. Can any of you MB982SPR-2S owners confirm something for me? I set the enclosure to RAID 0, manually, using the steps below which are from the manual that came with the enclosure. Have any of you done this and do the LED's go out on steps 4 + 8?

 

  1. Turn off the system
  2. set RAID mode to 1 (PM)
  3. press + hold the reset button and power up
  4. Wait 10 seconds for one of the LED's to go out. << - -this doesn't happen for me so I wait about 20 seconds and go to the next step.
  5. Turn off system again
  6. Set RAID mode to RAID 1 (setting 4) <<---That's what I want to do.
  7. press + hold the reset button and power up
  8. Wait 10 seconds for one of the LED's to go out. << - -still not happening.
  9. Let go of reset button to complete setup

During W7 install, when it gets to the 'partition to use' phase, I see one drive of the correct size. So installation continues to completion, but I noticed that certain parts of the install (don't ask me exactly which) are slower that usual. So, is this a defective unit, or is this normal and the printed instructions not accurate?

 

Another thing: Last night I turned off the computer, letting Windows do a huge number of updates on the way. That shouldn't have been a problem, right? I came home today, powered up, saw the expected "Don't turn off your computer. 0% finished..." screen. OK, but then the update/config never got past 0%. After 5 minutes or so, it announced that the process had failed and Windows was now reverting back to the original configuration. Back at desktop, I saw that 65 of the updates failed, 15 succeeded. Eventually, I was able to get all the updates using a Technet SP1 DVD along the way. But I don't recall ever seeing that happen.

 

Regarding RAID 0 speed with the Icy Dock: Benches are about 224 MB/s Read + 208 MB/s write for an identical pair of Mushkin 60 GB SSD's. When you consider the fact that I get better than that with a single SSD, you have to wonder what's up. Yes, these drives were Secure Erased before they were installed in the Icy Dock enclosure, and loaded with a fresh copy of W7 Ultimate. So the drives were in pristine, write-ready condition. I should be seeing benchmarks close to the theoretical limit of a single SATA bus - 375MB/s. I have seen these drives in RAID 0 bench 550+ R/W using the onboard Intel chipset where each drive was on its own SATA connector.

 

So as I say, I don't know why the Icy Dock enclosure is so much slower. Did I miss something about the capabilities of this enclosure? I did load the software and confirmed that the enclosure was set for RAID 0. Any thoughts?

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OK. I pulled the drives from the Icy Dock and set them up in RAID 0 using the onboard controller, Intel. Benches = ~490'for R/W.

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From Macworld (yeah, yeah): http://www.macworld.com/article/157190/2011/01/icydockmb9.html?lsrc=rss_main

 

RAID0 setup: "The caddy was set to RAID 1 by default, and to set it to RAID 0 (to stripe both drives) you turn the dial with a small driver to set it to RAID 0. The instructions advise you to hold down the reset button while the computer starts up. The problem here is that the reset button is on the rear of the caddy is tucked inside the Mac Pro hard drive slot and completely inaccessible with the drive attached.

 

Instead of holding down the reset button, you have to use the supplied RaidManager software, which isn’t included. We had to download it from the Icy Dock support site. We also found the software slightly cranky, occasionally refusing to load. However, you only have to run it up once to change to the required RAID setting and then you can use Disk Utility to format and manage the drives."

 

Performance: "The Icy Dock SSD combo provided a read speed of 247.2MBps and a write speed of 243MBps. That’s a 547 per cent performance gain from two $100 drives and $85 caddy; certainly nothing to be sniffed at. The read speed is actually fairly typical of a single SSD inserted directly into the Mac Pro, but the write speed is roughly double that of a solo SSD drive."

Edited by timekills
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Thanks for that article. So, for what the reviewers spent for 2 SSD's (I assume these SSDs are 60 GB max, maybe less) and an Icy Dock, I could buy a single OCZ 160 GB Vertex or Agility 2 and get 285/275 MB/s out of the box with the added benefit of AHCI (NCQ + TRIM) and the ability to read S.M.A.R.T. data, and an additional 40 GB of drive space.

 

Based on that, I think I can say that the Icy Dock was probably not intended for use with SSD's in RAID 0. Maybe I'll set up a RAID 1 with my SSDs and see how that does with the benchmarks.

Edited by dvn
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Thanks for that article. So, for what the reviewers spent for 2 SSD's (I assume these SSDs are 60 GB max, maybe less) and an Icy Dock, I could buy a single OCZ 160 GB Vertex or Agility 2 and get 285/275 MB/s out of the box with the added benefit of AHCI (NCQ + TRIM) and the ability to read S.M.A.R.T. data, and an additional 40 GB of drive space.

 

Based on that, I think I can say that the Icy Dock was probably not intended for use with SSD's in RAID 0. Maybe I'll set up a RAID 1 with my SSDs and see how that does with the benchmarks.

 

 

First of all you should avoid anything that relates to mac, apple, etc.

 

Secondly, he recoommends the product so not sure why you make your last statement. If you have one SSD that gets 285/275 then two in Raid 0 will blow it away. I believe anandtech had a benchmark on this and it was approaching 475 for read and write. I think pcdoc even benchmarked his around that. The beautiful think abou the device is that your computer or WHS would see it as just one drive. Versus using the MB raid controller will be seen as two drives by the MB and if you can't do a LAN restore you are screwed.

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Yes, I appreciate the versatility and utility of the enclosure. Very nice hardware, nice design. That said, if pcdoc and Anandtech were getting high 400's, they were probably using a SATA III (6GB/750MB/s) connector. I'm on SATA II (3GB/375MB/s) so I don't expect more than a the bus can provide. But wouldn't you think I'd get a lot closer to 375 MB/s since these SSDs bench pretty close to 550/570 in RAID 0 using the Intel onboard controller and 2 SATA II connectors?

 

And when I test a single SSD in pristine condition directly connected to the onboard controller, I get 285/275 MB/s, the max. So at the very least, 2 SSD in an Icy Dock in RAID 0 should do bench than a single SSD, right? That's all I'm saying.

 

For what it's worth, I'm using Crystal Disk Mark, the same utility that gave me those high benchmarks. I haven't run ATTO, but to me that's mostly irrelevant. If I was able to get killer benches before with CDM, I should be able to now.

 

If anyone has insight as to why 2 fast SSDs in an Icy Dock RAID 0 on a SATA II connector can't get more than 224/208 MB/s, I'm listening. Hoping, in fact, because I don't want to have to upgrade to an i7-2600k system just to make sure I'm not selling the Icy Dock short. Or do I? :D

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Yes, I appreciate the versatility and utility of the enclosure. Very nice hardware, nice design. That said, if pcdoc and Anandtech were getting high 400's, they were probably using a SATA III (6GB/750MB/s) connector. I'm on SATA II (3GB/375MB/s) so I don't expect more than a the bus can provide. But wouldn't you think I'd get a lot closer to 375 MB/s since these SSDs bench pretty close to 550/570 in RAID 0 using the Intel onboard controller and 2 SATA II connectors?

 

And when I test a single SSD in pristine condition directly connected to the onboard controller, I get 285/275 MB/s, the max. So at the very least, 2 SSD in an Icy Dock in RAID 0 should do bench than a single SSD, right? That's all I'm saying.

 

For what it's worth, I'm using Crystal Disk Mark, the same utility that gave me those high benchmarks. I haven't run ATTO, but to me that's mostly irrelevant. If I was able to get killer benches before with CDM, I should be able to now.

 

If anyone has insight as to why 2 fast SSDs in an Icy Dock RAID 0 on a SATA II connector can't get more than 224/208 MB/s, I'm listening. Hoping, in fact, because I don't want to have to upgrade to an i7-2600k system just to make sure I'm not selling the Icy Dock short. Or do I? :D

 

 

Even with Sata II you should be able to get a little more. If you are using the MB's controllers you should get the 550/570 given you spread the bandwidth over two Sata II connectors.

 

Did you see this post? http://homeservershow.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1591-wd-av-25-hdd-for-os/page__p__17069#entry17069

 

Check out the image. Obviously it is a little different given it isn't SSD's and we aren't anywhere close to maximizing bandwidth.

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Guest no-control

Yes, I appreciate the versatility and utility of the enclosure. Very nice hardware, nice design. That said, if pcdoc and Anandtech were getting high 400's, they were probably using a SATA III (6GB/750MB/s) connector. I'm on SATA II (3GB/375MB/s) so I don't expect more than a the bus can provide. But wouldn't you think I'd get a lot closer to 375 MB/s since these SSDs bench pretty close to 550/570 in RAID 0 using the Intel onboard controller and 2 SATA II connectors?

 

Yes you should be saturating the bus if you are truly running a RAID0

 

 

And when I test a single SSD in pristine condition directly connected to the onboard controller, I get 285/275 MB/s, the max. So at the very least, 2 SSD in an Icy Dock in RAID 0 should do bench than a single SSD, right? That's all I'm saying.

 

Connect 2 drives to the onboard in a raid 0 then run another bench. That should tell you where the problem lies. If your speed goes up then you know the issue resides in or with the IcyDock. Then you can troubleshoot if its not setting up RAID due to the lame knob reset button jusping through the fire hoop setup or the actual unit.

 

For what it's worth, I'm using Crystal Disk Mark, the same utility that gave me those high benchmarks. I haven't run ATTO, but to me that's mostly irrelevant. If I was able to get killer benches before with CDM, I should be able to now.

 

Shouldn't matter as long ass you're consistently using the same reference point. If CDM was your basis of comparison stick with it.

 

If anyone has insight as to why 2 fast SSDs in an Icy Dock RAID 0 on a SATA II connector can't get more than 224/208 MB/s, I'm listening. Hoping, in fact, because I don't want to have to upgrade to an i7-2600k system just to make sure I'm not selling the Icy Dock short. Or do I?

 

 

Upgrading to SB isn't going to help you if the unit is a turd. But it is a good excuse to justify an upgrade dry.gif. I think the issue reside with the IcyDock unit. Either its not setup correctly or the unit has a physical limitation. The issues you're having is one of several reasons I why I don't like these type of units. I prefer the dumb 2x2.5" in 3.5" and RAID on either the board or a card. I had a similar external 2x3.5" unit that had the same type of goofy "RAID" (not Icy) and I spent more hours trying to figure out how to get the piece of junk to work properly only to sell it out of shear frustration and distrust. again just my opinion.

 

Might want to email PCDoc and see if he can slam a pair of SSDs into his and run CDM.

 

 

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Ok. It's good to know that the RAID 0 should be saturating the bus. I kinda thought so.

 

I've already confirmed that connecting directly to the onboard controller in RAID 0 gives me great benchmarks. As far as the setup goes, the instructions didn't quite jive with what I was seeing. But I confirmed that the unit was in RAID 0 by checking it with the software.

 

I think I just have to conclude that this is not the way to go if I'm trying to maximize speed. I'm not sure I'll hold on to this. Have to think about that.

 

Thanks for the input, guys.

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First of all you should avoid anything that relates to mac, apple, etc.

 

Secondly, he recoommends the product so not sure why you make your last statement. If you have one SSD that gets 285/275 then two in Raid 0 will blow it away. I believe anandtech had a benchmark on this and it was approaching 475 for read and write. I think pcdoc even benchmarked his around that. The beautiful think abou the device is that your computer or WHS would see it as just one drive. Versus using the MB raid controller will be seen as two drives by the MB and if you can't do a LAN restore you are screwed.

 

Why? I'm able to run great benchmarks on my BSD boxes and use the same compiles on an OS X box to achieve benches. The enclosure isn't Apple, the drives aren't Apple, the motherboard and CPU aren't Apple, the benchmark software isn't Apple. It isn't an Apple to oranges comparison. ;)

 

Anyhow the main point was the janky RAID 1 to RAID 0 hoop jumping dvn mentioned and was confirmed using the same system by Macworld. They resorted to using software to set to RAID0 because the switch didn't seem to work. From dvn's description, I have some doubts the enclosure is actually set to RAID0. Even the crappy Apple guys got improved write speeds which confimrs they aren't in RAID1 - maybe dvn still is...

Edited by timekills
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