my dilemma with RAID

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by MrSugar, Jun 13, 2004.

  1. MrSugar macrumors 6502a

    MrSugar

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    #1
    I switched from PC to Mac last summer with the purchase of a 17" pb. I instantly fell in love. Finally with the latest G5's I am able to now switch on my desktop as well. But here is my problem, as long as I have been building PCs I have really gotten into using RAID 0. I personally notice HUGE performance increases from it, directories load faster, files show up quicker, things just run fast.

    I really want to run my new G5 with RAID 0, even though it's only software, I have read an article or two that says the performance boost is definitely good. I have 2 120 SATA drives and then the 160 that is coming with my new Powermac. I know that with RAID (at least on PC) it is best to use the same drives for your setup.

    So I have a few questions...

    First off, on Mac am I going to notice a big increase in perfomrance from RAID like I do on my current, soon to be gone PC?

    Is it possible to partition my drive after I RAID it (haven't ever partitioned a drive on Mac)? So what I mean is have a RAID drive that is 240g except have it partitioned into a 180g and 60g?

    Should I use my 2 120g drives, even though I then loose 40g of space? Or is the increase in speed not worth it and I should just use a 160 and 120?

    What procedure do I need to take with the HDs so I can get them in my Mac? For instance I don't think I can just take my nice XP install and stick it in the Mac and be able to imidiatley format it and install panther... or can I?

    Maybe I have some serious flaws here, so if so please let me know how things work. Trying to figure out the more nity gritty on hardware when it comes to mac, and exactly what you can and can't do.

    Any input you guys have would be great, thanks!!
     
  2. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #2
    Performance on a software RAID setup vs. a hardware setup is always going to be slower. If you're used to hardware RAIDs on your PC, then you will notice a performance hit on the Mac.

    I'm pretty sure you cannot partition a RAID once you have created it in Disk Utility, but I'm not 100% on that one.

    With your XP drive, you should be able to pop it in and go, although you will probably need to reformat it to HFS as I believe XP format (I forget what it's called right now) is unreadable. But you should be able to nuke it in Disk Utility.

    With the software RAID, you do not need matched drives, but if your 120s are matched, I would probably use those and not worry about the other 40GB.

    The biggest issue you'll have is that the G5 can only hold two hard drives without 3rd party options. One is called G5Jam and allows more mounting brackets in the machine. I believe there is one more, but I can't remember the name. They may or may not work with the new G5 layout, but I'd imagine they'd update/confirm their functionality. Another option would be to go with an external FireWire case for your extra drive. I like GraniteDigital because they make their cases with hot swap trays. Makes them nice to move around and not have a huge stack of drives. But it depends on how you work and if you need access to everything all the time.

    Hope this helps...

    cpjakes
     
  3. SpaceMagic macrumors 68000

    SpaceMagic

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2003
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales
    #3
    In OS X, the software RAID requires two identical drives I believe. So you RAIDing the 120 and the 160 would mean you loosing 40GB.

    As for the drives with XP on them... pop them in, restart with your Panther disk and you'll be dandy - click Installer in the top left hand of the screen and Disk Utility and then just erase it to HFS. Then set up RAID here, before you install the OS (but after both have been formatted).

    What I have said above is not 100% guaranteed, but as I am wanted to do exactly the same thing in my G5, I have read a lot about it, so i'm just relaying what comes up quite often... the only thing stopping me is I need cash to buy another 160gb SATA drive... anyoffers :rolleyes:
     
  4. MrSugar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MrSugar

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    #4
    Hey guys, thanks so much. This helps a lot. I read somewhere that you had to have 3 drives to use RAID because you can't use the OSX start up drive. But I then heard this isn't the case anymore with panther and that you can do it with just 2. This is definitely what I will use, dual 120's should be plenty of space for now.... I think the RAID speed will make it worth it.

    Hehe, and I would be interested in selling the 160 but I already have 2 of my friends that are looking for an SATA drive.

    Thanks again for the great help, I love people on this site!
     
  5. cpjakes macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2003
    Location:
    Buffalo, NY
    #5
    RAID first, then install Panther. Creating a RAID in OS X formats the drives, deleting all data.
     
  6. MrSugar thread starter macrumors 6502a

    MrSugar

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2003
    #6
    Gottcha, thanks for the clarification! :)
     

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