iMac External Storage Recommendation

Discussion in 'iMac' started by scott216, Jan 8, 2014.

  1. scott216 macrumors newbie


    Sep 14, 2011
    I have a late 2007 Mac Pro that I want to replace with a 27" iMac. One reason for upgrading is I have a bunch (2TB) of family videos I need to edit in iMovie. Currently iMove brings my MacPro to it's knees, so I haven't done anything in a while and I need to catch up. I also use Aperture a lot. Everything else I do on my Mac is low performance in comparison. I don't do any gaming. No 4k video, just HD.

    I'm leaning toward an iMac with 500GB SSD and external thunderbolt storage. 3-4TB should be more then enough. I'm looking for some advice on what to get for external storage.
  2. hfg, Jan 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040


    Dec 1, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    I use a Promise Technology Thunderbolt Pegasus J4 with 4 ea. 7200 rpm 1TB 2.5" HGST disk drives. The drives all appear to OS X as separate drives, so you can use Disk Utility to create RAID-0, RAID-1, RAID-10, JBOD (Concatenate) or separate disks. If you use all 4 drives as a RAID-0 for speed, you have a 4TB drive with SSD like speeds (be sure to keep a backup). It is small (size of a Mac Mini), quiet, and cool running.

    RAID-0 DiskTest Speeds
    config ....... Write / Read MB/s
    1 disk ....... 115 / 129 (non RAID)
    2 disk ....... 250 / 258
    3 disk ....... 345 / 375
    4 disk ....... 501 / 507


  3. joema2 macrumors 68000


    Sep 3, 2013
    I have a 2013 iMac 27, 3.5Ghz with 3TB FD and 8TB (6TB formatted) Pegasus R4 in RAID 5. It works very well for video and photo editing using FCP X, Lightroom and Photoshop CC.

    The problem with RAID 0 is you lose any single drive in the array -- you lose it all. Provided it's all backed up regularly, I guess that's OK, but you'd have to budget for, spec and configure the backup storage.

    The 512 SSD iMac 27 can be faster than the 3TB FD version in some narrow areas. In general I prefer the larger storage of the FD. If you know ahead of time you're going to have fast external Thunderbolt storage, I guess the SSD version might be better.

    The problem is even a RAID 5 disk array should be backed up. RAID 5 only protects you from a single physical drive failure, not firmware, filesystem or user error. Whatever your internal and external storage config is, you must budget and plan for all *that* being backed up. In my case I use a 6TB WD MyBook Thunderbolt Duo to back up the Pegasus R4.
  4. scott216 thread starter macrumors newbie


    Sep 14, 2011
    Thanks for the info. I do plan on doing something different for backup.
  5. Tanax macrumors 6502a

    Jun 15, 2011
    Stockholm, Sweden
    How can you get the Promise J4 in Europe? Where?
  6. alksion macrumors 68000


    Sep 10, 2010
    Los Angeles County
    This was just released. It might do well for your needs. I'm thinking two drives in RAID 0 and the 3RD drive JBOD running a Time Machine of the RAID 0.

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