Hard Drive Advise and Question about RAID

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by pbest, May 30, 2008.

  1. pbest macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2008
    Dorset, England
    Hello MacRumors.

    I've been checking this site ever since I became a mac user. But I've come to a stage where I need to ask a question of the internet and google is responding poorly. I trust these forums and will be very grateful of any help.

    My external Seagate 250gb FW400 drive died yesterday from Final Cut murder. It may not be totally dead but most likely bad sectors. Anyhow that is another story.

    I need to replace it and plan on going to FW800. I looked about and the LaCie D2 drives look pretty good. Though they have Maxtor internals that I would prefer not to have, but really all drives are much the same.

    My main question is if that drive is recommended? and if not what would you recommended?

    Secondly I take it that a drive of 500gb size is actually two drives paired? If that is the case can I RAID them mirrored to automatically backup? and if so how, using disc utility?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. -hh macrumors 68020


    Jul 17, 2001
    NJ Highlands, Earth
    To answer your second question first, no, the LaCie D2 has just one drive inside, of whichever size (eg, 500GB). As such, there's no chance to do a RAID 1.

    To answer your first question second, I'm not all that familiar with LaCie's reliability, so you'll have to check around more.

    However...thus said, as per LaCie's website, they're asking $200 for a 500GB external FW800 drive, which I would suspect is a bit on the expensive side, considering that bare SATA 500GB drives are going for just under $100 today, which means that they're asking $100 for the enclosure here.

    Looking quickly at Other World Computing's website, and specifically for a FW800 external that can do RAID 1,

    OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro ... does RAID 1; price starts at $320 for 2 x 250GB. This apparently includes a free copy of 'SoftRaid" software to do the RAID 1.

    You can also buy just the box for $120 and set it up as a non-RAID...but then perhaps use OS X to combine the two drives into a RAID 1? I'm not sure about this, but do let me know, as this is one of my "To Do Soon" projects too.

  3. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    All list prices are high.

    750gb d2 quad interface, including firewire 800 can be bought for around $180 or $190.
  4. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    I think you need to step back and look at your needs. It is not good to jump past this step.

    You said "Final Cut" For that you want fast scratch space but you don't care so much about reliability because it is just "scratch space". For this purpose a "stripped array" using FW800 is ideal. This kind of array can by twice as fast as a single disk and exactly half as reliable as a single drive

    Then you said "automatically backup" this is a different kind of array (a "mirror") that is actually slower than a single disk but is twice as reliable

    Both types of arrays can be had to two flavours (1) you buy a box with two drives inside and there is a chip also in the box that turns the two drives into an Array. or (2) you buy two extrnal drives and use software on the mac (Disk Utilty) to set up the array. I think the first is best in most cases

    There are other more complex solutions that are a blend or compromise between all of the above. Given enough money you can have both speed and reliabilty but then you are building a home data center.

    You first step is to list out what it is you are doing, prioritize the conflicting goals of speed, reliability and cost. Likely you will find the Video editing and backups have conflicting requirements and you'll be best off buying two sets of drives

    Or you could do what most people do... See how much money you have then buy whatever is selling for that price - makes the analysis so much easier
  5. pbest thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 30, 2008
    Dorset, England
    ok. thanks for the advice. other peoples' words are much more understandable that my hunches and random thoughts.

    i sorted out that RAID was not worthwhile for this case. So have ordered some very reasonable priced Western Digital items of Amazon. Sorted. Awesome. Thanks again.

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