Apple HD vs Western Digital in RAID 0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Hmac, Jun 3, 2007.

  1. Hmac macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #1
    Hello...first post on this forum. Nice place you have here...:)

    I'm returning to Macs after about a 3 year build-yer-own PC diversion. I just ordered a 3ghz DuoCore mac pro from B&H. Basic config - 1 gig RAM, one Apple 500 gig hard drive, ATI 1900 and a pair of 30" ACD's. I already ordered 4 more gig of RAM from Crucial (2-gig x2) Depending on how that works out, I might buy another 4 gig of RAM from Crucial and pull the OEM 512's x2. All the risers would be filled then, but 8 gigs of 2-gig x4 is $840 vs 8 gigs of 4-gig x2 at $1749. :eek: I do a fair amount of video editing and would like to use RAID 0, so I'm wondering about HD configuration.

    My question:

    I plan on getting another 500 gig hard drive and setting up RAID 0, plus two additional 500 gigs. I've always used Western Digital in the past and have never been let down. My question is, can I pair a 500 gig SATA Western Digital Caviar with the stock 500 gig Apple drive for RAID 0, or is that asking for trouble? Rumor has always been that the drives should be matched, but I've never known if that's actually true. I'd like to skip paying the $329 for the Apple drive. Obviously, with the Western Digitals being $114 each from NewEgg, that would be my preference. However, I am emotionally prepared to spend the money for the Apple drive if necessary. I have that Apple drive on backorder, as well as two WD Caviars which should be delivered just before the computer gets here.

    Any ideas about mixing and matching hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration?


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  2. Cromulent macrumors 603

    Cromulent

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2006
    Location:
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    #2
    The apple drive probably is a Western Digital HDD. Either that or Seagate, maybe another brand. I know the HDD that came with my Mac Pro was a WD drive.
     
  3. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #3
    Well, you have four harddrive bays so I don't understand your problem. If you already have two WD drives on order, just use those as your raid then leave the stock Apple drive for system stuff and applications. With the left over bay, put another drive for backup and file storage. You can use drives from different vendors as long as they are the same size... but why run the risk? Order matching drives and you'll be better off.

    This is what I'm doing with my MacPro. I have a stock Seagate that I use for OS's and applications. I have two WD RE320's that I have configured in RAID 0 for video capture and temporary file storage while I'm working on a project. I have another 500MB WD SE drive that holds backups (of the projects that I'm working on) and other file storage. When I'm done with a video job, I use the media manager in FCP to collect used assets and archive everything to DVD or external firewire. Then I delete everything I'm not using so I'll have room for the next projects.

    A lot of people on this forum say that RAID 0 is pointless. However, I've found my RAID to work great for video, Photoshop scratch and temporary access to project files. You just don't want to make the mistake of relying on it for storing files long term thinking they are safe.
     
  4. dex22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Round Rock, TX
    #4
    How have you found your RAID 0 compares to the speed of a single drive? I'm curious as to the sustained speeds for a pair of 500GB drives on a Mac Pro, as that might be an option for me, editing HD video (2K) if it's sustained speed is high enough.

    If not, I'll invest in an eSATA 4-way card, and have the four external drives as a fast volume, and a couple of 750s inside to back up to.
     
  5. Cabbit macrumors 68020

    Cabbit

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland
    #5

    2 seagate 750 GB 7200.10 drives will give you the best storrage/performance with or without raid. I suggest getting 1 150GB WB raptor for applications and 2 750 GB drives in raid 1. or 4 WD raptors in raid 1 for some real performance as the WD raptor is a 10,000 rpm drive and pretty much unmatched with its only rival being the 750GB Seagate 7200.10.
     
  6. Hmac thread starter macrumors 68020

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    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #6
    [​IMG]...I guess I was assuming that the system software would be on the RAID, and that I'd have to set that RAID up with the second disk having to match that system drive. I see I was thinking narrowly. You're saying just slap 3 other whatever drives in there (3WD's = $345 maybe instead of an Apple HD + 2 WD's = $559), use the RAID for stuff that can benefit from RAID 0. Projects, scratch disks etc can be on the RAID while the OS and apps sit on the OEM disk....

    Thx..glad I posted.
     
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    FWIW, I tried a WD Raptor and sent it back. Too noisy to use as a sytem drive! While it seemed a bit faster, I don't think the trade off was worth it. How bad was it you ask? Well, with the Raptor my system boot time was maybe 3 seconds faster, but the click, click, tap, tap, tap noise drove me nuts. I suppose it's because the MacPro is so quiet to begin with... but imagine sitting in a quiet space surfing the web and every once in a while an electronic woodpecker startles you. In an office environment or with music always playing (or actually getting some work done), it might not be that bad, but I just don't think the trade off for the relative small increase in speed is worth it. You'd be better off with a 500GB Sata II drive. It would be almost as fast, cheaper, and you would have more storage room. While the Raptors are supposed to be quick because they are 10K drives, they are also old technology. Don't buy into the Raptor hype!
     
  8. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #8
    I'm getting around double the transfer rate using two WD 320's over using a single drive. Not sure if it's high enough for your HD needs, but once FCP3 comes out with the new HD codec, hard drive speed will no longer be an issue. That's the appeal of the new codec... we won't need to spend big bucks for super fast RAID setups. Guess we'll have to wait and see.
     
  9. dex22 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2003
    Location:
    Round Rock, TX
    #9
    Quietness is a very important characteristic. The quietest drives I've used are these 300MB Maxtor Diamondmax drives in my Quicksilver. There's no discernible difference.

    I often capture voiceovers in the same room, so it's vital I keep everything as quiet as possible. It's also why I go in regularly and blow the dust out with some compressed air - that makes a noticeable difference to fan noise.

    I'm looking forward to a new machine in the next few weeks, and the new quietness that will bring :)
     
  10. Hmac thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    May 30, 2007
    Location:
    Midwest USA
    #10
    Interesting article on Tom's Hardware comparing the 150 gig Raptor against a cheap RAID 0 . The author seemed particularly miffed at the cost-per-gigabyte comparison. Note the title..."Cheap RAID Ravages WD Raptor".
     

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