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Re: Question on Sonnet's Tempo Trio Card


> Thanks for letting me know that there may be problems ahead. I thought
> that I would import one of these as it sounds like a good deal (less
> expensive than getting 3 cards, not to mention higher availability of
> slots and, the main factor, PCI IDE cards here aren't easy to find).

This was my rationale as well, though you don't have the limit on slots
that I do ;-)  I wanted to switch over to a USB mouse and keyboard, and
keep the firewire functionality, but was unable to do so.  I had been
using a firewire only PCI card to back up my internal drives, and that
worked very well and stably, after the firewire was supported was put
into the kernel.

You might still want to look at individual cards.  The USB and firewire
cards are relatively cheap these days (even USB cards with USB 2.0/high
speed, or whatever they're calling it these days).  Your expense would
be with the hard drive card.  Plus, if any of the functions break, you
would just have to replace a single card ...

>> I will also admit that all my slots on this machine are filled - max
>> RAM, SATA card (which works really well) and an ATI card, and even
>> moving things around (swapping card between slots) did not help
>> either.
> Just curious, how much RAM do you have on your machine? And which SATA
> card do you use? SATA devices aren't common here, but they may become
> easier to find as times goes on. And does your card have support for
> MacOS X? Does it perform well under Linux?

This was the machine I did the bulk of my dissertation work on - so it
has 1 G RAM.  The SATA card I use is the one shown here:


(My pologies for the vendor link - it was the most convenient one). It
is supported by linux, and with the 10K rpm Raptor drive, I get rates
of 17-18 MB/s (using the hdparm -tT test) whereas before (with my older
SCSI-2 drives), I used to get around 4-5 MB/s.  Boot into linux is much
faster, and the drive is no longer the bottleneck in this system ;-) So
yes - linux performance is great !  The page said the card IS supported
in Mac OS X.

Another caveat however (you had to see this coming - didn't you ;-) was
that I could not get this drive to be bootable with Mac OS 9 on my 8500.
The versions of drive setup that came with 9.1 (last version to work on
this machine officially) as well as 9.2.2 can't initialize the drive. I
think this has more to do with the versions of OS 9 partitioning utility
not being able to recognize the geometry of the Raptor disk, rather than
anything to do with the Firmtek SATA card.  I was able to partition the
drive just fine in linux with mac-fdisk.  What I thought about trying,
but never got around to it, was to put the drive in a mac running OS X,
use OS X's Disk Utility to initialize and partition the drive with Mac
OS 9 support.  But I never did get the opportunity.  So what I have to
do now is boot Mac OS 9 from an old SCSI drive and use BootX to lauch my
linux installation on the Raptor drive.

It's been chugging along for the better part of the last couple of years
like this, and seems to work pretty well.



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