External RAID solutions for Mac Pro 5.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ivan Ebrahim, Jan 15, 2017.

  1. Ivan Ebrahim macrumors newbie

    Sep 28, 2016

    I'm trying to get my box in the best shape I can afford for video editing. Currently I have 4 6TB HDD drives in the drive bays for storage, in a striped/mirrored config, giving me 12tb of space for projects.

    In my pci slots I have a usb3 card, an ahci boot drive and a RX 480. I want to add a second RX 480 which will necessitate the removal 3 of my HDDs from the drive bays due to its physical size.

    What are my options for an external box for the same RAID set up? Does it have to be through USB 3? That means a loss of performance too?

  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6


    Feb 8, 2003
    The Peninsula
    One question - do you need to preserve your disks, or will you buy new disks and copy the data.

    Moving a RAID-10 volume can be very tricky if you expect to be able to move the drives without copying and rebuilding the volume.
  3. Chancha macrumors 6502a

    Mar 19, 2014
    The simplest "solution" is to plug SATA cables into the 4 drive bays, then run them outside the case to be used in an external enclosure with its own power supply. Since the drives still connect directly to the MB this means no need for RAID capability on the enclosure. Normally you can get a eSATA connector "card" that takes one PCI slot cover but you got all of them occupied, so you will need some hack to leave an opening for the cables to run through. If you want to keep drive bay one for a boot drive (since it has power) then you need to access to the 5th and 6th SATA port hidden behind the fan cabinet to get all 4 SATA links.

    Anyway IMO this is more tricky than it is worth. I myself would revise the storage strategy to bring down physical drive count to 3 or less. This way 2 of the data 3.5 drives can sit in the optical bays, with a boot drive in SATA drive bay 1 (probably a single SSD). Whatever left over is then onto USB3 external storage. This way bay 2 to 4 are cleared for your 2nd graphic card, while all 3 drives still connect directly through SATA to the motherboard and take power internally.

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