Mac Mini 2012 - 2 x 1TB 5400rpm RAID 0 performance?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by goodcow, Feb 5, 2015.

  1. goodcow macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007
    Hi everyone,

    I snagged an i7 2.3 quad, 4GB RAM and 2 x 1TB HD yesterday from the refurb store.

    Are there any benchmarks, or real world experiences people can share regarding drive performance putting this in a RAID 0 config? And yes, I'm aware of the dangers of RAID 0 and will be backing up. I currently have a three drive RAID 0 set in my Mac Pro.

  2. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    My real world experience would be to tell you about the mess I had when a drive failed and then trying to find out which one had failed to get the warranty repair. But you said you were aware of the dangers of RAID 0.

    Frankly I noticed no performance loss when I un-RAIDed the drives -- I RAIDed it when I purchased the mini, but this was strictly a server application and I don't know yours. I was warned (here) at the time not to RAID the drives in the server because Apple's software RAID was questionable.
  3. goodcow thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Aug 4, 2007
    Yeah, I did see your post when I tried to search for threads about this. That sucks.

    Well, my current machine is:
    Mac Pro (4,1): 2 x 2.26GHz Quad-Core, 12GB RAM, 640GB HD, 3x750GB WD Black (RAID-0)

    Basically, given that the Mini I bought is only about 8% slower on a benchmark, I'm going to try replacing the Mac Pro with it to:

    1) Free up a lot of physical space, get rid of my L-shaped computer desk, and do some rearranging in my tiny NYC studio apartment
    2) Save a lot of electricity (the Mac Pro uses about 10 cents worth of electricity per hour in NYC)
    3) Save heat output
    4) Have the machine be under warranty, since the AppleCare on my Mac Pro is long expired

    If I can get similar performance out of the Mini and sell my Mac Pro at roughly the $749 plus RAM upgrades I'll be spending on the Mini, it's basically a trade-in for a new form factor.

    I'm not doing any heavy editing or anything anymore - I'll mostly have lots of Handbrake encodes queued up, and capturing off a BlackMagic device. For that, I might need an external Thunderbolt drive to keep up, but if I RAID 0 the Mini drives and capture to ProRes I think it should be fine. Time will tell and if it doesn't meet my needs, I guess I'll keep the tower and return the Mini.
  4. talmy macrumors 601


    Oct 26, 2009
    I'd expect you would get faster encoding by having separate (non-RAID) drives, reading from one and writing to the other. With the single drive (or RAIDed drive) you would still have to be accessing two files at once, which will slow down the drive. Also if the encoding ends up being processor limited (and video capture data rate within the limits of a single drive) then adding RAID won't make any difference.

    You can sure tell I'm anti-RAID 0. :)
  5. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Mar 21, 2014
    Portland / Seattle
    I picked up one of these refurbs not too long ago and considered a RAID 0 setup but opted for loading Yosemite and Handbrake on an SSD (1st Gen LaCie Rugged SSD 256GB). So much faster than the RAID 0 setup.

    A friend of mine went the RAID 0 setup and loved it, until one of the two drives went south for the winter. Sad, that.

    My caveat is that the Mini is not my daily driver as I use a maxed out rMBP, so I can set the Mini to encode and forget about it. FWIW, I'd never use a RAID 0 setup with hard drives for a startup disk/applications/scratch disk/files drive - there's just too much going on IMO. I'm going to try out an older 2TB G-Drive RAID 0 storage drive (2 7200 RPM disks in hardware RAID 0) attached to my Mini for my next encode as a destination drive.

    Good luck...

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4 February 5, 2015