Author Topic: found some 6890 acard raid adapters  (Read 4349 times)

supernova777

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found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« on: March 20, 2014, 10:42:18 PM »
http://www.ebay.com/itm/ACARD-AEC-6890-2-Channel-PCI-to-IDE-SATA-RAID-Controller-/261304400314?pt=US_Computer_Disk_Controllers_RAID_Cards&hash=item3cd6f4b9ba

now this differs frm teh model that i have which is the AEC-6890M ("M on the end denoting mac version")
in that it is lacking this 2 switch DIPSWITCH blue box that is next to the bios chip with the white sticker on it on my version
but apart from that they are identical and i would expect that it may be possible for me to copy the firmware of my card
to give someone the ability to flash this card to a mac version..

just recording this for the future in case anyone is interested in pursuing this i would of course assist by attempting to copy the 6890m firmware from the card that i have.
the dipswitch functionality tho is what chooses the raid mode so it may be stuck using it as a normal adapter or it may be stuck in raid1 or raid0 mode... it would have to be an experiment!
but the 6890M cards are now EOL and Acard no longer has any of them in stock.

u can even see on the card the picture depicting the different block modes.. u can read the pcb also indicates 1: striping 2: normal 3: mirror 4: reserved - these corresponding to the settings on the dipswitch.. if it were present.. no idea why they would omit this on the windows version?

my bios chip also has a white sticker on it and instead it says: "ACARD BIOS AEC-6890M VER 2.43 copyright ACARD 2003"
the card itself is exactly the same though they put another whtie sticker over the top left model name next to "Serial ATA" and it says "AEC-6890M" but of course if i were to peel this sticker off the actual card itself is exactly the same as this the only difference being that this one is missing the dipswitc control. perhaps they have some type of windows based software to change the mode and store the setting in the bios.. or perhaps it is controlled via a bios screen on boot on a pc.. im guessing..

but im pretty sure that mac compatibility could be achieved by copying my bios chip + reflashing!

i have looked at the bios chip under the sticker and it is:
Code: [Select]
Winbond
W29EE512P-70
224073801
249WGRA

listed as "64K X 8 CMOS FLASH MEMORY"
« Last Edit: March 21, 2014, 11:20:04 PM by chrisNova777 »

supernova777

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #1 on: March 24, 2014, 06:35:12 AM »
http://forums.macnn.com/73/hardware-hacking/232386/pc-acard-sata-raid-aec6890-mac/

here is a thread of someone talking of tryign to do something similar.. but i think he made the mistake of trying to flash on a mac...
if he had tried on a pc in win98 or 6.2 dos mode.. he could have been successful i think - only problem is there is no AEC-6896M to be found! ANYWHERE!
most likely i think that thre is a chance to find these cards installed in FW800 macs as they are from the time that these machines were current.. so they exist out there!
probably in mac fw800 g4s...!

Quote
I borrowed an AEC6896S (for PCs) and got the Mac firmware for the 6896M (for Mac) as well as the Raid utility for Macs but the problem is that the 6896S is not recognized in the Mac for the Mac Raid utility to flash it with the Mac bin file. I then moved it to a PC where it is seen but when I run the AEC flash.exe utility, it does not recognize the Mac bin file as a valid file for flashing the PC card. Seems like Catch 22. Any ideas. I don't have the skills to hack the bin files.


here is the "pc" card he was trying to flash to a mac "aec-6896M" (which is so rare i cant find any pics of even, other then the box,  but it does exist of course!)
« Last Edit: March 24, 2014, 06:59:27 AM by chrisNova777 »

Offline MacTron

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #2 on: May 05, 2015, 08:39:13 AM »
... only problem is there is no AEC-6896M to be found! ANYWHERE!

Today  I had one of this AEC-6896M cards in to my hands...
 -afro-
so stay tuned...
 :)

Well, I have to check again if it was a AEC-6896M (Hrw Raid) or a AEC-6296M (non Hrw Raid)
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supernova777

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #3 on: May 05, 2015, 10:09:30 AM »
nice find..
heres a bad pic
but u can see this is a 64 bit extended pci card

supernova777

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #4 on: May 11, 2015, 02:02:09 PM »
this 6896M is the ultimate..
4 sata drives (or ssd) in a 64 bit card
the potential is massive

supernova777

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #5 on: May 13, 2015, 07:28:08 PM »
Well, I have to check again if it was a AEC-6896M (Hrw Raid) or a AEC-6296M (non Hrw Raid)

i dont think there is a 6296M model..
this doesnt exist.

Offline MacTron

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2015, 02:35:32 PM »
Well, I have to check again if it was a AEC-6896M (Hrw Raid) or a AEC-6296M (non Hrw Raid)

Damn, it was an Acard 6290M  :'(

Anyway I'm going to test it against a  SIL3112.
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supernova777

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2015, 03:27:42 PM »
yep the 6290M is just a basic 32bit card with 2 sata port + no hardware raid support

remember i did some macbench test with the hardware raid on 6890M
at this thread:
http://macos9lives.com/smforum/index.php?topic=803.msg3109#msg3109

its hard to read these results tho becuse its displayed in kilobytes/sec
i wish i had known to use AttoExpressTools then instead

sequential read 1024K result: 98067KB/s
sequential write 1024k result: 84176KB/s

i guess this converts to 98MB/s read
and 84MB/s write?

this isnt really good at all.. as 1 ssd on a Sil3112 is faster then this ..
achieving 105MB/s in both read + Write
well.. its very GOOD but not the BEST :)

kind of pointless to do a 2 harddrive raid
that doesnt surpass the performance of a single drive
on another controller

i will try to do another test with the 6890M right now
and two brand new sata mechanical drives


supernova777

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2015, 03:43:16 PM »
ok! mactron! check this out
i retested with the hardware raid mode with 2 80gb drives
the drive comes out to be 149GB
test performed on QS 933mhz /w 6890M 32bit pci card in STRIPING mode

in atto express pro tools
the benchmark is:

PEAK READ: 117MB/s
SUS READ: 101MB/s
PEAK WRITE: 116MB/s
SUS WRITE: 111MB/s

this must be the absolute max for 32bit pci
 8)
so there seems to be a difference reported between the macbench + atto benchmarking tools

Offline trag

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Re: found some 6890 acard raid adapters
« Reply #9 on: September 10, 2018, 02:39:04 PM »
Okay, so this topic is really old, but I was searching around general Acard stuff and had a few thoughts about the posts in this thread.

First, when trying to flash/convert these cards, always look at the chip that is controlling the board.  E.g. ATP-865-B in the first photo.    Firmware that works with that chip on one card will work with it on other cards that contain the same chip.

Second, back in the old days there were conversions for the 6280 => 6280M and 6880 => 6880M.    They did not just involve reflashing the EEPROM.   There were also resistors that must be moved.    Any conversion of later cards is also likely to involve moving resistors, which means a side-by-side comparison of the cards must be made and in the most complicated instances (same controller chip, but different board layout) the pins and traces would actually need to be traced with an ohmmeter.

The PATA 6280/6880 also used the ATP-865.    This is a 32 bit chip that supports two PATA busses.     Later model 6280 and 6880s used the ATP-865-B and the Macintosh MDD edition of the 6880M used that controller chip.

Interestingly, the 6290 and 6890 also use the same chip.   If you look closely, you'll see a little PATA to SATA conversion chip on the 6290/6890 card.   Acards early SATA adapters were just their PATA adapters with PATA/SATA converter chips on board.