Caviar Black vs. 2x green drives in RAID 0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by halfcamerageek, Sep 17, 2011.

  1. halfcamerageek macrumors member

    May 31, 2011

    I'm trying to decide which storage setup to choose for my 2006 MacPro. I'm currently running a 1tb 7200rpm Samsung hard drive as my main data drive, but I'd like to upgrade to a 2tb setup. Speed is important, since I work with big files in my graphic design and photography jobs. I already have an Intel 80gb G2 SSD for the boot drive.

    I'm located in Brazil, where not all hard drive models are available and some, like the 2tb WD Caviar Black, are super expensive.

    All three options below cost the same price, around USD 280. Which would you choose?

    - Single 2tb WD Caviar Black
    - software RAID 0 with 2x 2tb Samsung F4 HD204UI
    - software RAID 0 with 2x 2tb Seagate ST2000DL003

    At a first glance, a RAID 0 array with two green drives would give me better performance than a single Caviar Black. Anyone have experience running those Seagate and Samsung models in RAID 0?

    Reliability is always important, but I have Time Machine backups on an external drive and also online backup via Backblaze, so I can live with the additional risk of a RAID 0 array.

    Thank you for your opinions!

  2. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
  3. strausd macrumors 68030

    Jul 11, 2008
    I have a bias towards Western Digital so I would say go for the RAID 0 with two Caviar Greens. Right now I have 2 Caviar Greens in my Mac Pro, not in a RAID 0 array, and they have been great. Personally I have never had any problems with Western Digital drives.
  4. gullySn0wCat macrumors 6502

    Dec 7, 2010
    Caviar Black has a longer warranty (5years vs 3) so you might want to keep that in mind.
  5. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Consumer grade Green's don't do well in RAID configurations from what I've seen (can't take the abuse), so you might want to take that into consideration.

    And as per performance with a pair of Greens, you'd be looking at ~150 - 160MB/s out of the pair for sequential throughputs (typically get ~77MB/s in single disk mode for a Caviar Green for example, and just multiply for a stripe set by the number of members).
  6. Sahib7 macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
  7. fabriciom macrumors 6502


    Feb 17, 2008
    Madrid, España
    Seagate has gone to the ******* and the "green" drives arent even 7200 rpm. I would suggest the Hitachi Ultrastar. These are server drives.
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Enterprise grade disks aren't a necessity though, especially for a software implemented stripe set.

    A pair of Caviar Blacks would be fine (they have enterprise spec platters @ 1E15 bit error rate, just not the additional sensors and different firmware timings <enterprise timings are meant for hardware RAID cards>). :)
  9. halfcamerageek thread starter macrumors member

    May 31, 2011
    A pair of Caviar Blacks would be my first choice, but they're too expensive here in Brazil, USD 280 a piece. The Samsung and Seagate green drives are also easier to find, so I was thinking about going this route.

    After reading the comments at Newegg and Amazon, i think both the Samsung and the Seagate would run fine in RAID 0, as long as I stick with MacOS' built in software raid. It seems that enterprise hard drives are recommended specially for hardware RAID, but most of the drives work fine in regular software RAID modes.

    Thank you all for your comments. ;)
  10. highdefw macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2009
    I'm running 2x 1TB Caviar Blacks in RAID0 and no problems here. Using a 2TB Green as RAID backup.
  11. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    The Caviar Green drives like to spin down too much; every once in a while my RAID controller would think the drive died or something because it would take too long to spin up or something... I would skip using green drives. Not worth the hassle.
  12. xraydoc macrumors demi-god


    Oct 9, 2005
    I have multiple 1.5TB WD Green drives in an Apple software RAID 0 with no problems and very good speed results.

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