Help with RAID setup...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by djkenc, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. djkenc macrumors newbie

    Dec 23, 2010
    I am trying to figure out what is the best setup for my situation that will give me the best performance. I have 4 drives for my Mac Pro Quad Core early 2009.

    2 WD Caviar Blacks 1TB each
    1 WD Caviar Green 1TB
    1 WD Apple (Original HD) 640GB

    I want to be able to have a separate hard drive or partition for all my sessions from ProTools, Logic, Ableton, etc. I also want a separate hard drive or partition for all my audio files/video files (anything media). Then I want a Time machine backup of all the sessions and boot disk. I have a backup of all the audio/video files already on my laptop. (would this be the best way to split up the hard drives like this?)

    So what would be the best way to setup a RAID for performance and be able to have these separate drives.

    Would it be possible to setup a 3 drive RAID 0 with the 1TB hard drives. And then partition 1 drive for the boot disk (500GB), 1 drive for the sessions (500GB), 1 drive for the audio/video files (2TB). Then use my 640GB hard drive as a Time Machine backup of the boot and sessions hard drive.


    should i even try to run a RAID setup? should I just try to run all my drives separately?

    so all in all i just want performance, reliability, and being able to back up the boot disk and sessions on one separate hard drive.

    Any suggestions?
  2. highdefw macrumors 6502

    Apr 19, 2009
    Mixing different drives in a RAID is not recommended. Always try and get the same type. In your situation, the 2 1TB Blacks would work just fine in a soft-raid.
  3. ndraves macrumors member

    Jan 19, 2011
    I would also say that running the OS in RAID 0 is not always the best idea. Once you do this then if any of the 3 drives in the array goes then you can't boot at all.

    Maybe keep the OS and sessions on one of the WD drives, 500/500 split if you want. I would strongly recommend against RAID 0 book disk.

    For performance tasks you can then put the 2xWD Blacks into RAID 0 as above
  4. neilhart macrumors 6502


    Oct 11, 2007
    SF Bay Area - Fremont
    To RAID-0 a System Drive(s)

    There is more risk when you set your system to boot from a RAID 0 array.

    How much risk... well murphy's law comes into play.

    However, I run my desktops with the system disks (two) in a RAID 0 and I keep only applications and current project on the RAID. SSDs in a RAID 0 are quick and I have one machine set up that way. So the system disk does not have to be huge.

    Then I always have a bootable partition on another drive that is a clone of the system boot partition (the RAID 0). This partition is usually named "Recovery".

    I also run a TimeMachine partition that is larger which is often on the same drive as my Recovery partition.

    Data is usually stored on another large drive and is synced to a LINUX file server and not in the TimeMachine backup. Data is made up of audio files, video files, pictures files, past projects, archives and any sort that I might need access to.

    So what does all of this mean to the Op? My recommendation would be to invest in one or more SSDs for the system disk. Set up a recovery partition and a TimeMachine partition on a good sized drive. Use one large drive for data (partitioned to your hearts desire).

    Think about off workstation storage of everything that has any value to you and have it stored multiple places. Today large hard drives are cheap and with minimum effort you can convert that old useless windows machine to LINUX file server just for the effort of doing so.

    one geeks thoughts

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