Do I need a Raid Card for a Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by sammyman, Nov 25, 2009.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2005
    #1
    I am eventually going to buy a mac pro for my wife (and a little for me). She is a professional photographer and I was wondering if I need to buy the $700 raid card that apple sells for the mac pro. We do want to be safe with her pictures, but can we get away with time machine for backing them up? Or do we need the redundancy of everything happening on two hard drives at the same time? Is the Raid Card worth $700?
     
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #2
    No, with software you can set up the 4 HD bays in the MacPro in any RAID configuration you wish.
     
  3. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 21, 2005
  4. knewsom macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 9, 2005
    #4
    Incorrect. You can only setup the hard disks in a Mac using software as RAID-1, RAID-0, or JBOD. The only one of which that is actually redundant and safe is RAID-1, and it's no faster, because it's just a mirrored pair of drives.

    The card allows RAID configurations like 3, 5, 6, and 10 which are great, because they are fast and redundant, but for photography, depending on just how high-end her work is, you may or may not need it.

    For less-expensive speed, try a software RAID-0 and use Time Machine for backups, and often.
     
  5. eawmp1 macrumors 601

    eawmp1

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    FL
    #5
    Uh, sorry for the less precise reply, but I was applying my response to the OP's stated needs.

    And OP...remember an additional off-site backup is a good idea for irreplaceable data (your place could burn down, eliminating all your on-site backups). I additionally mirror important stuff to a portable HD I store in my bank's safety deposit box.
     
  6. knewsom macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2005
    #6
    Absolutely. I tend to use my Mobile Me acct for that, as their servers are backed up quite well.

    If you want even MORE redundancy, you can upload some things to a google account as well.
     
  7. paduck macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    #7
    Not to get into an old argument, but RAID is not backup, it is about redundency and lack of downtime. If your system gets fried by electricity or corrupted, you will lose both drives. If you delete a file, then it is gone. TimeMachine is a good option for backup. It would be nice to have an off-site backup as well - or at least one that isn't plugged into the wall.

    RAID has lots of purposes and is very useful, but probably of limited utility for you - especially since the extent that you probably need RAID can be covered with Mac OS's software RAID.
     

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