Drobo vs OWC Mercury Elite

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mcruzader, Feb 5, 2010.

  1. mcruzader macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2008
    #1
    Ok, so lately I have been looking to upgrade my current setup to have more space for movies and also have the safety of a harddrive failing. I can't decide whether I should get a 4 bay Drobo or the Owc Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2. I have heard about the Drobo being slow, and taking a long time to transfer or rebuild harddrives, but have heard nothing from the OWC one. Does anyone currently use either, and could you tell me how good or bad it has been for you? Thanks.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #2
    I don't have that specific model, but I have a few OWC drives and I've been extremely pleased with their quality, speed and quiet operation.
     
  3. mcruzader thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #3
    I'm guessing you mean enclosures? Have you had any interaction with the Drobo or the Pro Qx2?
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

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    May 16, 2008
    #4
    No, the enclosures have nothing to do with performance of the drives. It's the drives you should be comparing, not the enclosures.
     
  5. mcruzader thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #5
    But the enclosures are the one that can be setup in raid 1, 0, 5, 1+0, Drobo automatically sets them up in Raid 5 but transferring files to and from has been stated to be much slower than a regular harddrive even though it has Firewire 800, also if you replace a harddrive with a bigger one on the Drobo, it can take up to 40 hours per drive to rebuild? I don't think a difference in harddrive would make it that much faster, it all depends on the software and hardware of the enclosure itself.
     
  6. Grimace macrumors 68040

    Grimace

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    #6
    I have a Drobo and love it. Adding in a hard drive takes approximately 10 minutes, and the size doesn't matter (key difference over enclosures where drives need to be the same size).

    When a drive fails and you need to put in a new drive to rebuild, that process takes a while, but that is to be expected.

    DroboPro also has iSCSI (ethernet cable) that is wicked fast.

    Top-notch interface, the option for dual-disk failure redundancy -- A+++
     
  7. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #7
    The enclosure doesn't have software. It's a box that has connectors, a power supply, and a chipset to allow switching between configurations. The data transfer rates, buffers, etc. are determined by which drives you put in the enclosure and which connection you use, as shown in the specs:

     
  8. ASFx macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2008
    #9
    Im trying to figure out why OWC and the review on macperformanceguide.com both favor RAID 5 so much. Pretty much every other article on the internet which discusses raid 5 vs raid 10 says that raid 10 is better in almost every way. So why is RAID 5 on this OWC Mercury Elite box so superior?
     
  9. mcruzader thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #10
    Its a matter of preference, but also, In RAID 5, you have speed and redundancy, in raid 10 you have it also, but drive size is smaller. Say you have 4 1TB harddrive in Raid 5, then you will have 3TB Usable, the other 1TB is used for parity. But in a RAID 10 situation you will only have 2TB usable, cause the other 2TB are for redundancy.
     
  10. rootsmaneuver macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Wisco
    #11
    I have the OWC unit

    and I love it.

    I use a RAID 5 setup. Until reading some of the linked pages in this thread, I thought RAID 5 was the bee's knees. I'm going to continue using RAID 5.

    This drive is fast and has an eSATA connection, for highest data transfer rate.

    I haven't had to replace a drive yet.
     
  11. mcruzader thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #12
    I am not sure how the OWC unit works, but if you want to remove a drive and add a bigger one is it possible without erasing the existing data, or go from 3 to 4 drives, and not having to backup everything first and move it to the enclosure?
     
  12. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

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    #13
  13. rootsmaneuver macrumors member

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    Mar 22, 2006
    Location:
    Wisco
    #14
    I'm pretty sure that if you have, lets say, 4 x 1.5 TB drives, and one dies and it happens to be out of warranty coverage or you wish to BEGIN adding larger capacity drives, you can add, say, a 2 GB drive. The RAID will move your data back to the new drive but will only recognize it as a 1.5 TB drive. This is because of how the RAID stores the data accross the drives. Now lets say a year later you have another drive fail and you decide you wish to upgrade them all to 2GB drives, then you can swap them out one at a time. The first wold obviosly be the failed drive replacement. Then once that drive has been successfully rebuilt you can swap out the next drive and the next in the same fashion.

    Then you will have a max capacity (8GB installed) RAID. This of course is assuming that at the time there are no drives with a capacity higher than 2GB and that the OWC unit is still limited to 2GB disks. That may be a controller or firmware issue, not sure.
     
  14. mcruzader thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2008
    #15

    Alright, but I am guessing you can't start out with 2 drives and keep adding to it, or maybe start with 3 drives and want to move up to 4, in this case you would you have to rebuild the entire unit?
     
  15. Thiol macrumors 6502a

    Thiol

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    Jan 26, 2008
    #16
    The OWC unit does not allow dynamic additions like the Drobo. You would have to rebuild the entire unit.
     

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