Hardware vs software RAID 0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by bn999, Jan 10, 2008.

  1. bn999 macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    Long time lurker, first time poster. I've never laid my hands on OSX so far. Last Apple I've used was the Lisa, a definite upgrade from the apple ][ :)

    Just order a 3.2GHZ MP yesterday w/base RAM & HD. I've also ordered lots of third party RAM and 4 X 64GB MTRON SATA SSD's. I want speed, not space.

    My question is: Can anyone tell me if using Apple's RAID card could possible get me any more performance over software RAID 0? (please, no warnings of high risk - I know what I'm doing)

    Also, what are the PROs or CONs to using either hardware or software RAID when it comes to booting OSX from RAID or using bootcamp for other OS's? I understand that bootcamp will not boot from any RAID partitions, but can it boot from 5th or 6th SATA drives while RAID volumes exist?

    Any meaningful feedback appreciated.
  2. Rick Here macrumors member

    Oct 9, 2007
    It is my understanding that there is no windows driver support for the HW RAID card. If you boot from the 5th/6th drive and have boot camp there this should be fine, when in windows you will not see the RAID drives/volumes.
    Please post your results for the HW RAID with solid state disks, this should be screamer.
  3. trainguy77 macrumors 68040

    Nov 13, 2003
    The hardware RAID will keep all the work off the CPU. So this will keep your CPUs free to do other things. Thats the primary advantage however with that kind of CPU power would it really be worth it? Thats up to you. Also you will have to see if the 5th and 6th SATA ports(if they exist) work with windows as on the original mac pros it took some work to get drives to recognize in windows if it was connected to those ports.
  4. bn999 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2008
    For RAID levels other than 0 I would agree with you. But I am questioning whether RAID 0 benefits from hardware in the case of the MP. The only extra computation that needs to be done by the CPU is to determine which drive to read/write the stripe from/to - a simple math equation.

    As to the sequential read/write speed, as long as there is no other bottleneck, it will be 480/360 MB/s with 0.1s latency. At least that is what can be achieved under Linux or Winblows. I guess if I don't see that speed, then I will have to try the card...
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    Software raid = uses CPU
    Cheap raid = uses CPU
    High end raid = does not use CPU

    Software raid = not recognized by other OS
    Hardware raid = should be recognized by other OS with proper support
  6. diamond.g macrumors 603


    Mar 20, 2007
    The biggest positive for hardware RAID is the OS is presented the array as one disk. It doesn't realize there is more than one disk. This allows the RAID adapter to deal with bad sectors and the best way to write data and read data. In other RAID configs it also allows for the array to be rebuilt with less of a performance hit on the OS.

    EDIT: and what Consultant said...
  7. mgsarch macrumors regular

    Jan 19, 2008
    Is this true? I'm under the impression that when booting out of OSX you lose support for those 5th and 6th SATA interfaces?

    I'm jealous of the 4x64 SSD speed but man, that's a whole lot of money for a RAID array slightly larger than a raptor. Where is the real performance gain there? Bottleneck becomes what?
  8. kittiyut macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2007
    Not only you will NOT see the RAID, you will NOT be able to boot Windows off of the ODD as well. Think twice before getting the APPLE RAID card. See my post here: http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=456854
  9. kittiyut macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2007
    Don't be jealous, you don't get a big "bang for buck" for using SSD in RAID
    Remember that you also won't get full 64 GB of drive space. You'll lose even more doing 0+1 or RAID 5.

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