External hard disk RAID 1 fw800 ??

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by zmac, Nov 15, 2006.

  1. zmac macrumors newbie

    Nov 14, 2006
    I am buying a MBP and I am looking for the right external storage to go with it. My thought is to use firewire 800 for good speed with video editing etc. and to use a RAID 1 array to keep a backup disk.

    I don't really need the instant recovery of RAID 1, but I it sounds like a convenient way to always have a backup in case of a drive failure. In the past I have done periodic manual backups, but I don't really feel safe with that.

    I have found two 1TB external setups that cost around $500 and can run in RAID 1 with 2 disks, but both are reviewed pretty badly:

    1) WD 1 TB MyBook -- apparently the fan is unbearably loud?

    2) Maxtor One Touch III Turbo 1 TB -- apparently big quality issues?

    I also found one empty enclosure but couldn't find a review for it:
    The OWC Mercury Elite Pro -AL RAID FW800 at $120 plus the disks

    I am looking for something simple that I will also connect with a PC on occasion, so compatibility with Windows is also important.

    Does anyone have any recommendations for other options here? Or have you used the OWC case? How was the fan noise and the reliability?

    One other option that I thought of was to buy two 500GB WD MyBook units (these seem to be reviewed very well) and use one for periodic backup of the other, but this sounds less convenient than RAID 1.

    Finally, has anyone looked at the speed difference of RAID 1 vs. a single external drive? Will a RAID 1 setup still work for video editing?

  2. esaleris macrumors 6502

    Oct 18, 2005
    I had some reservations about this drive, but I ended up taking a chance and buying it. I think the reviews are just from people who like to whine.

    When you first turn it on, admittedly, it is quite loud. It sounds about as loud as PSU fan, when the case is open. However, after about 10 seconds, the sound goes away. Over the last 2 weeks, I have never heard the fan turn on during use. In fact, I record HDTV via Miglia's solution directly on the drive, sometimes for hours at a time straight. That's a lot of sustained writing. I have never had an issue and the fan has never come on to the point where I can hear it. I've also backed up entire computers, and never heard a peep.

    But I use FW400 and have tried USB 2.0, as that's all that's available on my Mac mini. Perhaps those folks having issues are taxing the drive too much with FW800....
  3. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Unlikely; the speed of the interface may limit the throughput of data, but should not affect the physical mechanism in any way. The mecahnism spins whether its waiting for the next request or not. The only thing affected by higher throughput would be the head motion; the heads would have to do the same transiting in either case ('coz it's the same data, riight?) but would do it in a bit shorter of a time with FW800. Still, FW800 is about 25% slower than the normal IDE buss inside a machine, so...

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