External Raid Questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by m3rob, Mar 11, 2018.

  1. m3rob macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2010
    I have a 4,1 Mac Pro and I have maxed out my internal raid storage for video processing. I would like to add a 4 drive raid-0 external device to my setup. What is the best economical pci card and external 4 bay storage device that is recommended to use with my computer? Would I use a SAS raid or is a usb 3.0 card sufficient for this use? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated!

  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    How much external bandwidth do you need? Are you planning on using the external for archive storage, and to use the internal for active projects?
  3. m3rob thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2010

    I would be using the external raid storage for video work in fcp x. So, to answer your question I would be using it for internal active projects.


  4. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
    what speed do you want/need and what is your budget?
  5. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Mar 10, 2009
    the speed question being asked previously is related to the video streams you are working with. Folks who are tossing around 8K RAW video has dramatically different needs than normal HD or even 4K video. Also an issue of how many streams working with at the same time. 4 concurrent 4K streams is just as much 'drama' as a single 8K one.

    "maxed out my internal raid" on bandwidth or capacity ?

    If it is HD and the web like videos then USB 3.1 gen 2 would likely be sufficient and affordable. There are some relatively new models out on the market.



    eSATA would likely also work.
    https://eshop.macsales.com/item/NewerTech/MXPCIE6G3S2/ ( OWC doesn't seem to sell the NewerTech enclosures anymore, but there should be some around. )
  6. OS6-OSX, Mar 12, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2018

    OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    1. Use the BMD or AJA speed tests to obtain the (W) (R) of your "maxed out" internal RAID 0 (yes, speed will be slower than a non-maxed out RAID)
    2. Keep in mind formats not yet used if any (P GH5, Alexa, Dragon etc) and those that were sluggish on the "maxed out"
    3. Keep these speeds in mind as you plow through cards and boxes
    4. When you mentioned RAID 0 you didn't mention your backup plan. If you are one of those that "live on the edge", read up on ATTO DVRAID. I use the ATTO R644 which is best used in a 2008 based on the (mini SAS iPASS cable).
    5. The fun of RAID. Speed v. Size v. HD v. SSD v. $ can turn into RAED! Random Array of Expensive Disks! :p
  7. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
    If you can find a used CalDigit HDPro or HDPro2 on the market anywhere, they were fantastic external RAIDs. There was a PCIe bridge to the tower of drives and there was a way to (fairly easily) upgrade the HDPro to HDPro2 by swapping module. Recall basically the same speeds with RAID0 and RAID5 on those units when working with them on a daily basis. Unfortunately, CalDigit is basically only Thunderbolt now.


    (There's an eBay listing for one right now at an amazing price, but do not think it includes the controller card.)
  8. m3rob, Mar 13, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018

    m3rob thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 28, 2010
    I would say the speed I would like to have is around 400 mb/s read and write. With the 4 sleds internally on Raid-0 I get around that speed depending on how full the drives are. I am also editing some 4k, but I have edit my projects on a 1080p timeline and deliver in 1080p.

    My budget would be under 1k if possible.

    Thanks for the responses so far guys!

  9. bsbeamer macrumors 68020

    Sep 19, 2012
    For reference, this G-RAID 8TB 2-Bay (https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/prod...ogy_0g04085_g_raid_thunderbolt_2_usb_3_0.html) gets about 195MB/s write & read when connected via USB 3.0 to MacPro 5,1 with 1920x1080 HD-1080p 16GB test files via AJA system test. Basically configured in RAID-0 through hardware and drive was about 6.9TB (of 8TB) full for test. It might be enough for your 1080p needs if you're not working with a ton of layers or transcode your projects in injest.

    Also look at Glyph if you're only looking at USB, FW, or eSATA. Most will get around 280-320MB/s max for 4-drive HDD in RAID-0. If you can deal with less storage space, SSD RAIDs are faster. As others have noted, you need a backup plan with that approach. You can easily find 2TB SSD RAIDs that get over 400MB/s for under $1K.
  10. h9826790 macrumors G5


    Apr 3, 2014
    Hong Kong
    For external, I think a 4 bay HDD enclosure with USB 3.0 connection can do the job very well. For $1k, 4x 6TB Seagate IronWolf should cost less than $750. A USB 3.0 card cost about $30 (e.g. KT-4004) and it should be very easy to get a 4 bay USB 3.0 enclosure that provide RAID 5 support for less than $220.

    A single IronWolf 6TB can provide about 180MB/s, 4x 6TB RAID 5 technically can provide 18TB storage with >500MB/s sequential speed. Maintain 400MB/s should not be a problem.

    IMO, this solution provide decent speed, capacity, and redundancy within that budget.

    However, if all you want is just some high speed storage for the active project. No need high capacity. I also recommend you to consider 2TB SSD on an internal SATA 3 card. RAID or not RAID doesn't really matter. A single 860 Evo 2TB SSD can provide 500MB/s anyway. 2TB usually good enough for normal size project. As long as you only keep the active project on it. 2TB should not be too limiting.
  11. OS6-OSX macrumors 6502a


    Jun 13, 2004
    Here is a $200.00 and $420.00 angle.
    1. Adding an external 4 drive RAID is not going to get you to 8TB (if all HD's are 1TB) or 1400+ speeds without a card to connect the internal to it. This is obvious. With the R644 I have 8TB with the internal/external combo
    2. Since your internal RAID is "fast" enough for your "current" needs, buy 2 bare 4TB HD's
    a. Dump the internal RAID files on one 4TB HD. Place this 4TB drive in the optical bay
    b. Copy that 4TB HD. This will be your Backup. Place it in your vault!
    c. Remove all "non active" files from the internal RAID. Use Drive Genius 3 or above to defrag.
    d. Internal RAID will be faster, larger and have that new car smell! :p
    3. Remember to save "current" files in both locations or backup to that 4TB HD often
    4. Keep "active" and "archive" separate since space is an issue.

    Plan (B) Dump the internal RAID to one 4TB HD ($100.00), Place (4) 3TB HD's = 12TB ($320.00) in the internal and rebuild the RAID. Dump the files to the new 12TB RAID. Try and fill that up before summer! :p

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10 March 11, 2018