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Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:33 am
by Shiunbird
Hi guys, good day!

Another step of hot-rodding my G5: achieving modern-levels of storage performance.
With 6 SSDs I managed to achieve an average of 750MB/s read performance and 350MB/s write performance, faster than the trashcan Mac Pro for reads.

screenshot.png


My initial assumption was right. One should be able to get 1GB/s of read performance on a G5. However, I need the Quadro to be able to drive the 4K display so I can't occupy a 3rd PCIe slot with storage. Linux performs much better than Mac OS, softRAID-wise.

This setup is not practical, since the two onboard SATA disks are part of the array and I will need to use them to act as boot loaders before calling either Linux or Mac OS X. For this test, I booted the computer via FW400.

An interesting observation: the soft RAID algorithm seems to do round robin writes and all-at-once reads. That's why the performance varies. Sometimes data is written to SATA III over PCIe disks, and sometimes to the SATA I bus. I somehow hoped it would write to all disks at once, so is life.

Next month, I should be able to get my setup done to run the "T221" at 41Hz and the final storage arrangement. I'm also writing some scripts to automatically change the scaling on Mac OS depending on the application. It would call TenFourFox without scaling and zoom 200%, but would call TextEdit at 2x scaling, for example.

So far the idea is to use:
2x Matrox TripleHead2Go Digital connected to the Quadro driving the ViewSonic at 3840x2400 @ 41 Hz.
2x SATA II SSDs connected to the SATA I buses as boot loaders, calling the 4x SATA III SSDs connected to the PCIe controllers. I'm not sure whether I'm going to use RAID0 or RAID1.
A NAS connected via Gigabit Ethernet for storage and backups.
System backup to a external drive connected via FireWire.

What do you think?

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:48 am
by ClassicHasClass
I think you need a Talos II. :)

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 9:08 am
by Shiunbird
ClassicHasClass wrote:I think you need a Talos II. :)


I'm slowly filling my pig-bank, but for now I need to hunt with the tools I have. =)
Hopefully mid-2018.

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 12:13 pm
by Hombre71
Pictures?

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:27 pm
by Shiunbird
DSC_8324.JPG

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 1:35 am
by Hombre71
Nice cards, what are they? I was taking a look for fun last night at Quad G5 PowerMac's, a good example still goes for >300 euro I saw.

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:27 am
by countzero
Wow. Where did you buy your ePCI-SSD boards?
Which is the product-name?

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 2:44 am
by Shiunbird
http://www.sonnettech.com/product/tempossd.html
I like their products. And they won't be disposable if one day you decommission your G5, because they work with (and are even bootable) with PCs.

I have not given up making the G5 bootable with it though. I think if I have two system disks in my G5 and use it to separate the boot part from the rest of the system (it's doable according to many sources, but requires you to use Linux to partition your system and image it manually). The installer kernel-panics if you try to boot it with the cards installed. If you boot in firewire target disk mode, the other system won't see the SSD.

I also tried via Open Firmware, after imaging the SSDs manually, using the same trick people use to boot up PPC Macs via USB, but it doesn't work either. Open Firmware can see the card but can't see the disk. Trying to boot the card from there with only one SSD installed gives nothing, it can't read the disk, period.

I paid 300 Euro for my G5 3-4 years ago, and I don't regret a bit. I've been having fantastic time with the machine, it looks brand new. I have a spare radiator/pump assembly in case I need one. The setup looks much cleaner than my Intel Mac Mini with a million dongles and I like having the option to have ECC memory, for example.

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 4:37 am
by countzero
ClassicHasClass wrote:Talos II


How much is it?

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:26 am
by ClassicHasClass
countzero wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:Talos II


How much is it?


The machine I configured (octocore SMT-4 POWER9, 32GB RAM, AMD WX7100, SAS RAID, 500GB flash) was about $7200 shipped.

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:38 am
by countzero
ClassicHasClass wrote:$7200 shipped.


Thus, one first needs to find a good reason to justify the purchase.
What do you use it for?

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Tue Aug 22, 2017 7:34 pm
by guardian452
Is that really faster than trashcan macpro? I upgraded my macbookpro11,1 with a 1tb disk from a trashcan and it was well above those numbers according to blackmagic benchmark... just below 1GB/s for r and w.

But that was a different (quck and dirty) benchmark program as I upgraded for size, not speed...

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 5:24 am
by Shiunbird
guardian452 wrote:Is that really faster than trashcan macpro?


According to the benchmarks online, yes... the trashcan seems to be outdated IO-wise.

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 12:26 pm
by ClassicHasClass
countzero wrote:
ClassicHasClass wrote:$7200 shipped.


Thus, one first needs to find a good reason to justify the purchase.
What do you use it for?


Nothing because it hasn't arrived yet. :P

But it will replace my Quad G5 as my daily driver. It's fast enough that I can QEMU my way to backwards compatibility, and leave the slow burning dumpster fire that is current iterations of macOS behind.

Re: Hot-rodding my G5 - storage performance

Posted: Wed Aug 23, 2017 1:32 pm
by Shiunbird
ClassicHasClass wrote:It's fast enough that I can QEMU my way to backwards compatibility, and leave the slow burning dumpster fire that is current iterations of macOS behind.


Are you planning to use Linux as your main driver?

Nowadays I use whichever combo of OS-Application works best for the task in hand. This means I touch three or four OSs daily and store all my data in a FreeNAS box.

But if it is really fast enough, based on your experience, I may get a Talos, retire the G5 and two servers, and hang everything on it, leaving it on 24/7.