According to one bitrate calculator, an uncompressed RGBA 4096x3112 non-interlaced 12 bit video requires 1840MB/s storage to avoid dropping frames when capturing or during playback. Using that as the target, the eight Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSDs in a RAID 0 set easily exceeds that requirement.
Notice the speed gain when we split the four drive array into two data channels. With that setup, we were able to approach the 1840MB/s READ target speed. However, with at least six 6G SSDs, we exceeded 1840MB/s on both READ and WRITE. However, if you are only dealing RGB 4:4:4 (4096x3112), 24fps, non-interlaced, 10 bits, your target speed drops to 1200MB/s and the four 6Gb/s SSDs in a RAID 0 set will exceed that requirement.
My point is that "extreme" video creators dealing with ultra high definition video may want to consider a 6Gb/s SSD RAID storage solution for working storage.
RAID Host Adapter
You might recall in our last round of testing we used the 8 lane RocketRAID 2721. This time, we borrowed a RocketRAID 2744 6Gb/s SAS RAID adapter (PCIe x16 with four external mini-SAS ports supporting up to 16 external SAS or SATA drives). This adapter was installed in the number 2 PCIe slot (x16) of the Mac Pro. It then was connected to the external enclosure housing the SandForce based 6Gb/s SSDs.
In our next round of testing, we will use the ATTO ExpressSAS R680 to see what speeds it attains.
We installed the eight Mercury Extreme Pro 6G SSDs in the Stardom/Raidon ST8-U5. The best way to install an SSD in the ST8-U5 is to convert it to 3.5 inch form factor using a special adapter with correct mounting holes. We used the NewerTech AdaptaDrive. The black plastic Icy Dock also works in the ST8-U5. (The silver metal Icy Dock does not fit.)
We measured the same speeds using two FirmTek SeriTek/2eEN4 enclosures. In that case, we mounted the SSDs using the silver metal Icy Dock.
OTHER HARDWARE OPTIONS
If you want 6Gb/s SSDs mounted internally to the Mac Pro, they must be connected to the third party 6Gb/s host adapter with internal ports to attain full speed potential. We were impressed with the ATTO R644 which supports up to 4 internal drives and 4 external drives. It can be used to boot OS X.
The mounting of internal 6Gb/s SSDs is a bit tricky. Placing the SSD inside an Icy Dock or AdaptaDrive makes it easy to attach to any drive bay sled, but you'll need a custom sled that bypasses the data connector on the Mac Pro's backplane. We have successfully used two options. MaxUpgrades offers a "Backplane Attachment" kit which enables the SSD to pull power off the Mac Pro's motherboard while facing the data port down at a 90 degree angle to enable connection with the host adapter.
Another custom sled comes with the Trans International "Pro Cable - 1 Kit" which turns the SSD 180 degrees so the data and power connectors face outward. Again, the idea is to bypass the built-in data connection and connect to the 6Gg/s PCIe host adapter. This kit also provides power cables.
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