Drobo vs OWC Mercury Elite vs others

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rawdawg, Oct 29, 2009.

  1. rawdawg macrumors 6502

    Jan 7, 2009
    I don't have experience with setting up RAIDs though I've read a lot and don't think it would be too difficult. The Drobo doesn't do eSATA and I really want the fastest possible so OWC Mercury Elite beats it there. Still I've fallen victim to the Drobo gimmick where it seems really easy, does it all for you, but most importantly you can use any size drive and the Drobo does the dirty work.

    I'm not even sure what this "dirty" work would involve since I always thought when building an array you needed to have drives that are identical in model/make and size. Am I wrong?

    Can a cheaper OWC Mercury Elite like this be as user friendly as the Drobo? Are there other recommendations?

    Barefeats recently reviewed the OWC Mercury Elite here but it doesn't compare it to other setups. In fact it say's in the article it won't provide blazing speeds without dedicated eSATA channels which isn't exactly a positive review. Still it would be faster than a Drobo.

    Am I missing any other options for the same price or less?
  2. LedCop macrumors regular


    Apr 7, 2008
    You're on the right track for the most part.

    Yup, you can use any size drive with the Drobo so you can start out with one 500GB hard disk, then add a 1TB some time later, add 1.5TB whenever you like, and then add a 2TB when you need even more space. So for the Drobo, you don't need to get all 4 hard disks of the same capacity and manufacturer in one shot. And there's no need for extra tinkering when adding or upgrading hard disks - all you have to do is physically add and/or replace hard disks and the Drobo will "do the dirty work."

    However, I do think the Mercury Elite you mentioned can be just as user friendly (if not more in some aspects) but with incomparably better transfer speeds. What the article was talking about with regards to the eSATA is that to get maximum speeds you would need FOUR eSATA ports to get the full speed benefit of RAID. Is a hassle to get four eSATA ports on a computer and you don't get the flexibility switching interface connections like this implementation. So I wouldn't say the review wasn't positive. It's just saying the speeds won't compare to if you plugged the 4 hard disks separately into your computer.

    The downside is that you have to buy all four hard disks now and you can't upgrade just one drive later. So your array is forever stuck at your initial capacity.
  3. m85476585 macrumors 65816

    Feb 26, 2008
    If you get the Drobo, you might as well just get a single 2TB in a FW800 or eSATA enclosure instead, unless you need over 2TB for some reason or you want redundancy.

Share This Page