Do I need a Raid Card for a Mac Pro?

sammyman

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Mar 21, 2005
945
43
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?
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,136
8
FL
No, with software you can set up the 4 HD bays in the MacPro in any RAID configuration you wish.
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
No, with software you can set up the 4 HD bays in the MacPro in any RAID configuration you wish.
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.
 

eawmp1

macrumors 601
Feb 19, 2008
4,136
8
FL
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.
 

knewsom

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2005
949
0
...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.
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.
 

paduck

macrumors 6502
Jul 5, 2007
426
0
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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