Drobo vs OWC external drive in RAID 5 config which one to get?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by peterl7777, May 31, 2010.

  1. peterl7777 macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    I need to have a RAID 5 backup of my music CD/vinyl/ home movies via a handheld video camera/digital photo collection> I am slowly but surely getting these imported onto my MBP15" i7 500gig HDD. I will go for broke and get a 8TB set up so I have heaps of storage as I am not sure what I will need by the time I have got all of my data imported and will need as my 500Gig needs to offload onto an external HD as it fills up with each lot of imported data. I have narrowed it down to either the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro QX2. OR a Drobo branded external HDD. I would prefer to not be locked into having to only use proprietry drives for a particular brand in the event of needing to replace/expand drive space. Given that I need this storage for the long term and will only be adding to it in small amounts rather than my initial saving of my collection. I am not sure which to buy. I will use firewire800 to import my data to my MBP and will eventually want to be able to access my saved collection via other Mac computers on a home network and also be able to stream data onto a home entertainment system. Basically I want reliability, speed, future proofness, quietness, and peace of mind in the event of any system failure(s). So does anyone have any thoughts/ advice with my situation A BIG thankyou for any help/advice Peter :) As an afterthought does La Cie brand enter into the equation as another alternative option?
  2. peterl7777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    has anyone got a similar situation that I have?

    Please if you read this thread and have any thoughts on this situation please leave a reply. I am sure this is not the first time someone has had to deal with a similar situation. So what has been the outcome with getting to a solution to this decision as the best way to go re: external HDD backup to do the job THANKS Peter :)
  3. reebzor macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Philadelphia, PA
    There are good and bad parts to both of them. The main "pro" for the drobo is you can mix and match different size drives and add in new ones whenever you feel like it. If you got that OWC external and put 4x2tb drives in it and RAID5 it you wont be able to add/remove drives (unless you are replacing a failed drive). The Drobo is also going to be a lot slower. I would suggest if you have the money to buy the enclosure and the 4 harddrives, the OWC will be better. If you are planning on buying the drives one by one, when you need the space, get the drobo.
  4. peterl7777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    Thankyou for your reply muchappreciated

    I do have the money to buy the 4x2TB hardrives and the enclosure so will take your advice and go with the OWC. So one last question, I can only replace a failed drive is fine but can I put any 2TB drive in to replace it or must it be a propriety brand from OWC or is their flexibility in using another brand but same storage size i.e. 2TB Thanks for a reply Peter :)
  5. davids8477 macrumors 6502

    Jan 4, 2008
    OWC vs DROBO

    I have both of the enclosures - in fact moving more to the OWC as its faster, quieter and has a multi- interface connection.

    Drobo is noisier and slower - the only "advantage" is expanding as needed and mixing drives.

    The OWC will use any drives - I use the Hitachi as they get good reviews and are the ones OWC use if you buy a loaded system.
  6. thegoldenmackid macrumors 604


    Dec 29, 2006
    dallas, texas
    Given the known quality concerns with the Drobo, I'd go OWC.
  7. pastrychef macrumors 601


    Sep 15, 2006
    New York City, NY
    My Drobos are silent.
  8. peterl7777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    Thanks everyone for your help

    My OWC brand 8TB (4x 2TB drives) arrived yesterday. I set it up as a RAID 5 with x4 2TB drives i.e 6TB total storage and I am very happy so far with it. Thanks everyone with your help and advice it made my choice so much easier. Peter :)
  9. kramerica2 macrumors regular

    Sep 15, 2009
    looking to get a similar setup, I'd like to ask the new owner and the others a few questions:
    1. Does the OWC support RAID 10?
    2. Is the whole setup shown as a single drive, and if so can it be partitioned like any other drive?
    3. Could a setup like that be used for a time machine backup without any tweaks or a special app?

    Thanks a lot...
  10. peterl7777 thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 18, 2010
    your questions re:OWC external drive

    Q(1) Yes
    Q(2) Yes
    Q(3) Yes
    Very easy to setup/use and a no brainer as a backup solution with time machine ,this OWC unit in any storage capacity would fit the bill for you . I would definitely recommend OWC now that I have one. ):

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