External RAID SSDs Thunderbolt 2 for video editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by loby, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. loby, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016

    loby macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #1
    Quick question: first, I work on corporate videos HD 1080i and eventually 4K in a year or two.

    I am planning on purchasing a mac pro (hopefully an update is coming next week) and are looking for a 2x thunderbolt enclosure to be used for video editing-processing in RAID 0 for the scratch-processing disk.

    I have found something I like which is a RAIDON SOHOTANK ST2-TB Thunderbolt2 enclosure for about $399 and will put in 2x Samsung 850 SSDs for speed at RAID 0. Should I go with 2x SSDs or 2x 7,200 HHD's? My current footage needs will fit on RAID 0 SSDs, but not sure on the performance differences besides initial reading speeds of the SSDs.

    I am currently using 2x seagate thunderbolt external adapters and using it in the software RAID 0 in OS X Yosemite since OS X EL Capitan still has issues with the disk utility app and does not look like they will fix it.

    Also...If Apple does not come out with an updated mac pro next week (or soon) I will need to purchase due to my current work load, so I will have to 'settle' with thunderbolt 2 and the latest mac pro for some years. Yes, the current 2013 model is great and the thunderbolt 2 speeds are very adequate..but the current tech in the mac pro is aging quickly (2013 and older) and for the cost vs. the aging tech...I am a bit concerned.

    Thanks for any advise.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Which model of Mac Pro were you looking to get?
     
  3. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #3
    6-Core and Dual GPU
    • 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
    • 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    • Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each
    • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage1
    What is killing me is that I am currently in japan for work and the prices are much higher than in the U.S. Same price in Japan I can get 32 gigs RAM mac pro in U.S. :(
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    I'm really sorry to hear that, Loby. Japan pricing is monsterous for Apple products. But hey, let's stay positive! This is what will happen at WWDC:
    • 15" rMBP updated with a hex-core processor and brilliant dGPU, both more powerful than the Xeon in the Mac Pro you were going to get! So you could buy that and get better performance.
    • Mac Pro updated with brand-new internals.
    • Japan market pricing made consistent with US!
    Okay, maybe we're being a little ambitious with the above. Regardless, I hope it goes well, and that something positive will happen, be updated, or drop in price. I'll keep my fingers and toes crossed for you! :)
     
  5. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #5
    This is what I am hoping too...Thank you for your encouragement!.

    AT LEAST I am hoping that Apple match the U.S. for the Yen in comparison soon. Apple set the prices when the Dollar was strong verse the Yen, but Apple has not updated to reflect the changes lately. I understand they wait until they see a consistency and they should of course, but they now need to adjust. I am paying way more then in the U.S. equivalent projected pricing (as well as others in other countries now), including JP tax. I might have to go with the entry level model...but seeking funding.

    If I have to buy the 2013 model, I will need to purchase the 6 core for obsolesce purposes in the future. This will probably be a "one time buy" for the mac pro for me, so "Here's hoping". :)


    Love your positiveness on your predictions! Seriously though, This would be ideal, but Apple should do something in updates if they desire to push mac sales. Waiting until the fall or the Holidays for substantial updates will hurt general sales, especially in an election year with uncertainties in economy i.e. business direction. Apple should get a jump start now just in case the economy does funny things in the fall...

    Just my two cents...but anyway I am keeping positive for next week!
     
  6. ColdCase, Jun 9, 2016
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2016

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #6
    I have two enterprise Seagate 7200 RPM drives in RAID0 and a couple Samsung 850 pro 1TB SSDs. The RAID is much slower than a single SSD, especially when the RAID starts to fill up. You probably won't need to RAID the SSDs on a TB2 connection. Use rotational drives only if you need the hard drive space. I use the two SSDs as scratch and current library and the RAID0 monster for larger libraries and stuff I don't use much. I use OWC Thunderbay 4 drive enclosures. The small $340 one for 2.5 inch drives saves space, but the larger $400 one that accommodates 3.5 inch drives and uses and adapter for 2.5 SSDs seem to be a little faster. They go on sale now and then.
     
  7. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #7

    Interesting...you say that I will not need to RAID the SSDs? Are you saying that the RAID increased speed is not needed? Thunderbolt 2 with a single SSD will be enough? I had noticed that when I RAID 0 the SSDs, I get increased speed on my thunderbolt 1 adapters, but noticed a slow down if I fill up the SSDs to about 75 percent.

    So RAID 0 with SSDs do not amount to much speed increase with thunderbolt 2? Thunderbolt 2 is fast enough?

    Also, I checked out the OWC thunderbolt 4 and price is about $400 in the U.S., but over $800-1,000 in Japan. Way to expensive unfortunately, but might pick one up when I go back.

    Question:

    the OWC drive is software RAID vs. the next OWC model for a little more money that has hardware RAID. Is there much of a difference between software and hardware RAIDs? El Cap is terrible with software RAID, so I have to create RAIDs in Yosemite first before using it in EL Cap.
     
  8. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #8
    Check out the following website for Thunderbolt products - lots to choose from and maybe some brands will have better availability / price in your part of the world:

    https://thunderbolttechnology.net/products

    Cheers
     
  9. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    Dunno which SSDs you were using, but you are now talking Samsung 850 perhaps pro models, which are as fast singly as many older SSDs paired in RAID0. Its not a TB thing.

    Just saying you may not need to RAID them. Some SSDs do not work well in a RAID.

    Software raid is nice because the drives are portable between machines and are not tied to a hardware box. The OSX software raid is inexpensive (cost nuttin). Hardware raids cost more but typically perform better, but the drives are mated to the hardware. Hardware fails, you need to buy more of that specific hardware to recover data. Whether it makes a difference or that one or the other is better for you depends.
     
  10. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #10
    What Apple did to Disk Utility is awful, but the underlying functionality is still there. You can check and create new RAID 0 or 1 volumes using Terminal commands. Another solution is just use SoftRAID which is very fast -- supposedly faster than the built-in AppleRAID and equal or faster than some hardware RAID solutions: https://www.softraid.com/
     
  11. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #11
    I have never seen such a complete product listing website. I spend hours independently researching various options, but this site has it all. Many thanks!
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2016 ---
    This also looks like a great option and will look into it. I just had my RAID 0 crash with a hard disk failure. Sounds like a good option for monitoring and says it's RAID is faster than Apple's built-in software option. Thanks for the advise!
     
  12. ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #12
    There seems to be a couple minor products missing, but a great start. Seems all the manufactures are there, however.
     
  13. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #13

    Thanks for all of the help. I decided to get the mac pro since the hardware was not upgraded today at the event. I needed to purchase due to my work load. Old technology "yes", expensive "yes", but is still a good mac and should last me some years.

    Here is what I got:

    6-Core and Dual GPU
    • 3.5GHz 6-Core Intel Xeon E5 processor
    • 16GB 1866MHz DDR3 ECC memory
    • Dual AMD FirePro D500 with 3GB GDDR5 VRAM each
    • 256GB PCIe-based flash storage

    Bought it refurbished and saved some money. Hope it is ok, but have heard that refurbished mac products are like new after they do the fix. Very expensive here in Japan, so I hope I do not have any issues with it.
     
  14. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #14

    Man...as I thought, had to return the mac pro the same day I received it because of issues. Called tech support, walked through the checks. They did not know what was wrong. I knew....graphic card recall...but they did not...They said they do an "intensive" testing before releasing, but I knew that was not true. It seem that they just received the returned mac pro and put it out again as a refurb so when the customer returns it, it was not there error...

    Apple diffidently is not the same anymore....could not trust a refurb anymore. At $4,300 you would think...
     
  15. MarkMoran macrumors newbie

    MarkMoran

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2016
    Location:
    Green Bay, WI
    #15
    Sorry to hear that you had issues right out of the box with your MP!

    I had to fight for quite a while (before the recall) with an Authorized Service Center, and Apple themselves, until they finally gave me a completely new system. I have the 12C with D700s, which was essentially unusable.

    Frustrations aside... If you haven't yet come up with a RAID solution, I'd have a couple of suggestions:

    First, you mention that you do corporate video work. I don't know if that means internal or for clients, but regardless, I wouldn't trust any work - particularly with the issues that you and I have both had, to RAID 0. Get something with more drives and go RAID 10. Speed and redundancy.

    Secondly, I didn't see you mention a budget, but the enclosures that you had mentioned are all just that, enclosures. You should really look at getting something which has a built in RAID controller - a couple of reasons. It's built for the task, and much more reliable. It also handles all of the Read/Write computations, taking pressure off the CPU and allowing for faster performance. The software RAIDs that you have setup are, I suspect, causing the speed bottlenecks. Look at RAID solutions by Promise (what I use) or G-Tech.

    Third, never rely solely on the RAID, and don't get 'just enough' capacity to see you through now, especially if you're looking to 4K in the near future. Throughput and capacity will get tested!

    Hope this is helpful. Let me know if you have any questions!
     
  16. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #16
    As our documentary group's DIT, data wrangler and 1st AE, I manage hundreds of terabytes of documentary content using many RAID systems. I agree the old view was hardware RAID was better and aided performance by offloading the CPU. However I am now testing several 16TB software RAID systems using SoftRAID. It is very fast and the host CPU load is small.

    In general the 4-drive *software* OWC Thunderbay RAID-5 system is faster in my tests than a 4-drive *hardware* Pegasus R4 RAID-5. The RAID-5 case is supposedly where hardware RAID controllers have the biggest advantage over software, but even here SoftRAID is faster.

    Software RAID also frees you from being locked into a single hardware provider. E.g, if a Pegasus R-series chassis fails, I can't pull out those drives and read them on any other RAID box except a Promise Pegasus. OTOH if my OWC Thunderbay 4 fails, I can use those drives on any other RAID enclosure managed by SoftRAID.

    My testing shows SoftRAID is modestly faster for RAID-0 than AppleRAID, but many editing tasks using Long GOP codecs are not I/O-limited but CPU limited. Of course if you transcode to a lower-compression mezzanine codec to aid the CPU problem this can greatly increase I/O load.

    The OP mentioned 4k; when he does that, the storage requirements will escalate rapidly. We shot 1/2 terabyte of multicam 4k last weekend and it was a small shoot. If I transcode that to Prores, it is about 4TB. The max SSD configuration on OWC's Thunderbay 4 Mini is 4TB, so what we shot in one weekend wouldn't even fit on that using ProRes. That is why everybody doesn't use SSD for video.
     
  17. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #17

    I have noticed also that it seems SoftRAID runs a little faster than the regular Apple RAID. Understandable about the SSD storage limitation. I have been using two SSD's RAID 0 and notice a tremendous difference in write and read speeds, though on occasion a delay or a slight slowdown when the SSD is filled over 75%. I am currently not doing 4k, so I am able to pull of using SSD's for now.
    --- Post Merged, Jul 18, 2016 ---
     
  18. loby thread starter macrumors 6502a

    loby

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2010
    #18
    I am still having issues with my mac pro 2013 after the "second trash can" after sending back the first. When I first called in last week, the 'Apple Tech Specialist' (quoted) said that he would call me back in a little while after reviewing....it has been close to a week with no reply... I downgraded to OS X Yosemite and the system seemed to run better...but still glitches etc. when using Final Cut Pro X. Hopefully the El Cap. update will fix the issues (dreaming).

    Question to anyone:

    Mac Pro 2013: When the Mac Pro begins to boot, I noticed that the apple logo appears, then the bar underneath starts to move, but when it gets about half way the screen goes to black for a second and the mouse icon appears in the left corner and then the screen goes back to the normal boot sequence and the bar continues to move to the right and then another flash (black screen) and then it goes back to the regular boot up sequence and then goes to the login screen. This happened with my first Mac Pro 2013 and returned it, but when I received the replacement Mac Pro, it is also doing this in the boot-up sequence?

    Is this normal for the Mac Pro 2013? Maybe it is shifting or testing the 2x graphics cards on boot-up? I have run a bunch of tests (Apple's normal and 3rd party) and everything seems to work ok? Have not heard from the "Apple Specialist" still...

    Also, I have done some research around and it may NOT be hardware issues with the Mac Pro (my unit was assembled April 2016), but OS and Final Cut Pro X issues...this would be better to stomach in the long run because MAYBE eventually there will be a fix in future MacOS or FCPX versions, but shows apple's software and hardware departments have progressed to 'sloppy and embarrassing'.

    To MarkMorgan:

    I do corporate videos internally for a multinational non-profit and work with teams around the globe to translate news, updates etc. from the CEO and management, including training videos etc. Move to location (Japan) from California. Dealing right now with 'International Apple'..............terrible.........was surprised..

    We are not using 4k right now (but look to later), so currently I am able to use SSD's for the scratch drives. I am self-employed, but the company I work with also shares in some costs. I have exceeded my current budget and the company decided (surprised) to paid half of the mac, including giving ownership, but I have now well exceeded my budget for awhile...

    The thunderbolt 2 enclosure that I bought was the RAIDON SOHLOTANK ST2-TB and it has a hardware RAID 0 & 1 option to my surprise. Works with SSDs and HDDs, but fan is a little noisy and can hear the air going though the unit, but tolerable for the price until I can work in the budget an OWC or Pegasus grade options. I TOTALLY agree with the "purchase more than current need" modo, but had no choice this time which will haunt me later...

    Also MarkMorgan: Nice website and work. Appreciate the help and of course will have more questions.. :)

    Also, thanks so far to all who have given great advise on this thread.
     

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