Is a Raid 0 right for me?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Mattjeff, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    I bought a 2012 Mini 2.6 i7 Quad and currently have 2 x 256 SSDs up and running in it. I have my startup disk backed up via time machine but don't know the best way to implement the extra storage space on my second drive. I would like to run media and possibly the larger game Apps on the second but i want it backed up as well and Time Machine only backs up the one disk (that I'm aware).

    I would also love to install windows on here using bootcamp but I have no idea how to handle that with 2 drives in the mini because I have always just had my MBP with one drive.

    Should/how would I do all this? I have never done a Raid of any kind but it looks like a 0 backed up on time machine might be what I need.
  2. Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What is the purpose of STRIPING the two drives together - what are you looking to do? There may be other solutions such as setting up the drives as JBOD instead of RAID 0
  3. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    I don't know any solutions to be honest. I want to keep movies, music, photos and larger games on the second drive I just installed but I want it to be backed up. I read that Raid 0 makes the two drives into one and that time machine can back it up as one.
    ... However I'm also reading that it "messes up" trim and I should avoid Raiding SSDs.
    I'm relatively new to SSDs and Raid so help is very welcome.
  4. macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2009
    Orlando, FL
    RAID 0 would really fly in your setup. As you can see from the OWC article - the read and write speeds are pretty impressive.

    I use to run this way in my mini, but have now gone to one 480GB SSD and one 1TB drive for extra space.

    A few things to consider when using RAID 0.

    - You lose the ability to have the recovery partition
    - FileVault in not compatible with RAID volumes
    - If one drive fails, the whole volume is toast
    - You get one single partition - 500GB in your case
    - BootCamp is not supported on RAID drives

    If your looking for speed - its about as fast as it gets.

    Search the forum for how-to's - its pretty easy.
  5. macrumors 6502

    Dec 9, 2012
    If you do RAID 0 them together, I'd recommend keeping a bootable backup in case one of the SSD's fail. Your chance of drive failure essentially doubles because the entire thing fails if either SSD goes bad. There is no reason you can't RAID them, plenty of people have done it. One thing to note is that TRIM is not enabled on SSD's that didn't come from Apple with the computer. The computer I'm running uses a single SSD and I use a program called Trim Enabler to enable this feature. You could try using it if you choose to RAID them together.
  6. macrumors member


    Dec 5, 2012
    Buenavista, Agusan Del Norte, Philippines
    I have used many RAID setups via many OS's. RAID0 is actually not RAID but just stripped disc. The benefit is it effectively doubles your SATA bandwidth and over all performance to a degree. I did have a 4 disc array in my gaming PC and the 4 drives ran ruffly 380r/370w with 4 WD Blue SATA2 drives, alone they ran about 90MB/s. However there is no redundancy to protect your data if one disc fails, the entire stripped array goes down and in most cases all data is lost. I use this often, but I make frequent backups. I also dont know about OSX but Linux based system dont work well with SSD RAID due to TRIM support. Cant remember if windows is to hot with it as well when in RAID Arrays. But since I cant comment on OSX, I will leave that part up to your or a local expert to comment on. But its something I would keep in mind. Now RAID1 will mirror both drives, sadly performance is that of one drive. Also not effective in a MacMini as you still have to shut the system down to replace the drive if it fails, also you make backups anyway. Only practical on small yet important servers. All the other RAID arrays require 3 or more drives. Here is a link to wikipedia that will explain more in detail
  7. macrumors 6502a

    Nov 29, 2011
    Southern Cal
    Time machine should back up everything. It has options to exclude stuff you don't need backed up.

    I haven't used bootcamp. I use Parallels to run Windows. However, it's my understanding that bootcamp sets up it's own partition.
  8. thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jun 2, 2008
    Thanks for the help everyone. It would seem that my Time Machine does in fact back up both already. If I run boot camp on my mini it shouldn't erase anything correct? it just creates a new partition on the one drive? its been a few year since I did it. I would just want 80GB on my boot drive.

    I have decided not to do the Raid 0. I get 406r/472w already and I think I have all my programs (aperture, iTunes and such) pointed to their respective files correctly.
  9. macrumors 65816


    Jul 9, 2009
    375th St. Y
    based on the initial question I will assume you do not need the speed increase.
    I would look into a SPAN or JBOD option instead. No need risking your data for speed boosts you will NOT notice. WILL NOT NOTICE.

    Also, using an internal SSD for backup is not optimal. What if your computer drops in a puddle? Your main and your backup are gone... Invest in a cheapo USB 3 external HDD and use that for your time machine. Keep it in a safe or firevault ;)
  10. macrumors newbie

    Nov 19, 2010
    One my 2012 Mac Mini with two 256G SSDs I used diskutil cs (CoreStorage) to create one big logical volume consisting of the two SSDs. So, they just look like one big drive: I can have whatever partitions I like, simple TM backup, and also use FileVault. I don't think Raid sets can be FileVaulted.

    You'll need to use diskutil from the command line in terminal. Google osx corestorage to see all the cool stuff you can do. Standard disclaimers apply.
  11. macrumors 68030


    May 20, 2010
    Los Angeles, CA
    Time Machine actually backs up both drives. I thought once, as you did, that it didn't, and I made a RAID 0 on my former Mid 2010 Mac mini Server so I could use the two 500GB drives as a single 1TB volume, thinking that I had to in order for Time Machine to back it up, but that's apparently not the case. At least, it isn't in OS X 10.7 Lion and newer. If you want the convenience of one volume, a RAID 0 is a good idea, plus it'll make the combination of the two SSDs that much faster. Though, that's much more of a reason to have a good Time Machine back-up. Otherwise, it's not necessary.
  12. macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2012
    Do it ! I did it with the same machine and have 800 MBs read write speeds. However you NEED to make a back up clone of your main server hd using super duper on an external drive. Very easy to do. Then make the raid zero hitting cmd r in recovery mode disk utility . Then boot the computer back up on your external hd by pressing option key at the chime on restart. Then clone the hd back to your raid zero that you made in recovery mode. Then restart your comp and in settings select your start up disk so it finds the disk straight away! It's fantastic raid 0 !

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