4 x 4TB hard drive RAID 0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by eyeangle, Apr 21, 2014.

  1. eyeangle macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    Just for fun I'm wondering if I could theoretically set up my Mac Pro so I can edit 4K uncompressed @ 25fps. (4700mbits/s)

    If I get four WD Black Caviar HDDs (4 x 4TB RAID 0) that would mean the 4 x SATA 2 drive speed (SATA 2 = 300MB/s) So x4 = 9.4gbits/s easily enough to edit 4K @ 25fps but probably not @ 50fps.

    I'm booting off a PCIe SSD so that wouldn't be a problem.

    It works on paper but are there any problems to this?

    (I know this is most inconvenient as there's nothing wrong with editing with proxy media and conforming at the end but I'm interested to know if it's possible.)
  2. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    1) what kind of Mac Pro

    2) any backup? a 4 drives 4TB R0 is going to be pretty unreliable

    3) depending on the mac pro, how do you have it plugged in? Thunderbolt, USB3, SATA, ??

    4) I'm not sure you'll get 300MByte/s off a platter drive here are some benchmarks of 4TB drives, none get close to that
  3. eyeangle thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    It's a Mac Pro 5,1

    External firewire 800 backup.

    All 4 internal HDDs.

    I understand what you mean now about platter speed, I hadn't thought of that.
  4. eyeangle, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014

    eyeangle thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    If it were to be 4 x 1TB SSDs instead, then I'm assuming it'd work.

    Actually WD Red are for RAID environments so if I were to go down this path, then it would be 4 x WD Red HDDs.
  5. JavaTheHut macrumors 6502


    Aug 15, 2010
    The WD Red HDDs are more for low power 24/7 powered NAS setups and only have 5400rpm.
  6. whwang macrumors regular

    Dec 18, 2009

    You won't reach theoretical maximum on everyone of the four SATA ports. I remember that the four SATA ports on MacPro5,1 together have a maximum bandwidth of 500 or 600 MB/sec.

    I have a MacPro5,1, and I have 5 WD RE2 2TB in RAID0. (I used the four standard HD slots plus one CDROM slot.) I could barely touch 500 MB/s when the five drives were newly installed (such that read/write is done in the outermost area of the derives where speed is higher). Now my drives are about 60% full, and I can only get roughly 350 MB/s write and 400 MB/s read. The 4TB you are going to get will be faster than my RE2, but not much faster. Plus that I have 5 drives in RAID0 and you only plan to get four. My maximum of 500 MB/s will probably also be the best you can expect on your system.

    Also keep in mind that the above speed is only reached when reading/writing large files. I don't know whether editing 4K falling into this class.

  7. cube macrumors G5

    May 10, 2004
    If WD hasn't crippled the Deskstar firmware by now, those could be used unofficially in small RAIDs.
  8. DenBeke macrumors regular

    Aug 11, 2011
    The Mac Pro's ICH (I/O Controller Hub) maxes out at 660MB/s, so you will never get four times the SATA II speed.

    (ICH bottleneck = all SATA connections (including optical drive) + USB + FW + Ethernet + ...)

    If you want higher speeds, you will need to find a PCI solution.
  9. RoastingPig macrumors 68000


    Jul 23, 2012
    even tho i did a weekly backup, the 4 wd blacks i used in a raid 0 configuration ran extremely well without failure for over 2 years in a mac pro. I must be lucky because i have never had any drive fail on me in the last 5 years except one ocz vertex ssd. Although i do have an old 320 seagate barracuda that likes to rattle now.
  10. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Jan 1, 2008
    Yes, "unreliable" needs to be taken with a grain of salt. Four drives in RAID 0 could be considered to potentially have 4x the failure rate of a single drive (approximately). But four times a very small number is still a very small number. If I offer you a penny, you are not going to get very excited; if I offer you *four times that amount* are you going to get excited? Probably not.

    Any data that you care about needs to be backed up, whether it is on a RAID0 stripe or a RAID6 with two parity drives.

  11. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    Drives like the WD Red that are intended for RAID are designed for redundant systems, not RAID 0. The reason is because normal drives fight their hardest not to lose a block of data, but in doing so, the RAID controller calls the whole drive bad. Those made for redundant setups fail reads much more quickly, so the drive stays live, and the data is recovered from the redundant drive(s) in the set. It causes less data loss this way.

    There are other relevant details, too, that affect actual failure rates due to heat or vibration, but this detail is much more important, since two bad blocks in two unrelated places on a RAID with single redundancy can make the controller think all your data is gone, but logically, it isn't, so long as the drives stay running.
  12. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Those numbers don't get close to 4K uncompressed video I/O speed needs, which will be well north of 1000.

    You could definitely edit 4k on this MP, just not with an internal raid (unless you just use proxies).

    External storage of a miniSAS raid type might allow it, it would certainly exceed the speeds of internal raids, or in a facility seting, fibrechannel arrays, would certainly allow it.



  13. Schismz, Apr 21, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014

    Schismz macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2010
    I've been running a 4-drive RAID0 in a 12-core MacPro 5,1 for about 3 years now. Zero problems, zero drive failures. I used the 3TB Hitachi Deskstars and purchased 4 more spares for when I needed them, I never have.

    Here's my performance on that 4-drive HDD RAID0:


    In theory this is "unstable" but the reality is I've had no problems, I also backup to an external RAID and a NAS, so I have quite a bit of redundancy; if a drive ever blows it'll be annoying rebuilding something that large, but not the end of the world.

    If you want 4x (or more) chances for drive failure, you can skip the Hitachi drives in RAID0 and just buy 1 drive from the world's undisputed leader in drive failures, Seagate!


    Same chart shows pretty much my subjective experience with the Hitachi Deskstar drives (1% failure rate for the 3TB models, vs. ridiculously high failure rates for the Seagate drives).

    Having said all that, @CASLondon is correct, you're not anywhere near 4K uncompressed I/O speed requirements.

    As @DenBeke mentioned, the rate-limiting-factor is the roughly ~600MB limit of the MacPro's ICH chip, nothing can ever get faster than that when occupying the internal SATA ports (that ceiling is for EVERYTHING connected to the SATA ports all at once, not per port). You need an external RAID or stacking Sonnet Tempo Pro cards (or something similar) with SSDs.

    In conclusion: the 3TB Hitachi drives have been probably the most reliable HDDs that I've purchased in the past 20 years. Awesome bit of kit.
  14. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    If it's just for "fun" then theory is fine. The main item missing from your equation is a specific app. You can have your 4 drive internal (3G not 6G) Raid 0 setup and get different results based on different apps. Between FCPX, Premiere Pro and Avid, Premiere is the only one that uses CUDA (using an Nvidia card) and will let you edit 4K. That's 4K with the limited drive speed 4 internal HD's in Raid 0 will generate.
    After you setup your Raid, try different apps. This may save you the expense of adding PCIe raid.
    Avid's new engine (later this year) should enable 4K play back. Maybe 4K-6K if it's based on ram usage.
    All this to say, it is not necessary to buy an nMP to edit 4K-6K footage! :D
  15. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    With SSD storage so cheap theses days, it's just crazy to consider working off of spinning disks. Get enough SSD capacity to house your workflow and use spinning media for archival and backup.
  16. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    Do you have any idea how heavy the data requirements become for any amount of 4k uncompressed footage?

    Here's a hint


    For reference, my background is documentaries, where shooting ratios vary between 7:1 and 30:1 (hours shot to finished program length) depending on content. There is no way you can provide enough space on internal SSD raid for anything other than maybe a scripted 30 second spot
  17. beaker7 macrumors 6502a

    Mar 16, 2009
    Our fluid sims routinely approach 1 GB per frame.

    There will be a place for spinning disks for the foreseeable future. ;)
  18. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    I missed the "uncompressed" part... And yep massive amounts of storage are key. I'm just glad I don't have to work with that. Lots of beach balls I suspect. :eek:
  19. eyeangle thread starter macrumors regular


    Jan 2, 2014
    Melbourne, Australia
    If I were to get two Sonnet Tempo Pro cards and put 2 x 1TB SSD on each card, and put one in the 16x PCIe port and the other in the spare 4x PCIe port, and then RAID 0 them, what speeds would I be looking at? Has anyone here done this?

    On the other hand, I could take out my USB3 card and put in a third Sonnet Tempo Pro card totalling 6TB in RAID 0. Would would be the maximum speed?
  20. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
  21. CASLondon macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2011
    This is a more efficient scenario, 8 ssds in RAID, via this device, yielding up to 2G!


Share This Page