Mac Pro internal SSD vs external hard disk

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by kuanyn, Apr 2, 2014.

  1. kuanyn macrumors newbie

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    Mar 24, 2014
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    Malaysia
    #1
    I am asking this question because my nMP has only 256GB internal capacity.
    My requirement is slightly above 1TB to run boot camp with Win8.

    What would be the performance difference (will it be noticeable on normal programs such as Windows Office, Movies, surfing, Youtube etc) to install the WIN8 on to an external WD 4TB thunderbolt duo?

    Is there any alternatives? Is it possible, after installing Win8 (bootcamp) Can I move or point all folders to the external hard disk. Any new programs will also be pointed to the external hard disk. This means what ever I do all storage will be pointed /saved in the external hard disk.
    By doing this my WIN8 will a capacity of the external hard disk instead of the limit by the internal SSD of 125GB
     
  2. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    Oct 9, 2010
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    NYC
    #2
    From what I've read people are recommending the 1TB LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 SSD drive. It's not cheap, $1,299.

    For that price I would wait for OWC SDD drive upgrade that supposed to be out later this year. It should be cheaper.
     
  3. N19h7m4r3 macrumors 65816

    N19h7m4r3

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    #3
    Get a 1TB SSD, get a USB3.0 enclosure, and just point all the programs and files for Windows that way.

    Hell, even a decent HDD on USB3 or Thunderbolt will do you fine.
     
  4. kuanyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #4
    Thanks Coleman,

    Presumed the LaCie is compatible with the current PCIe SSD in the nMP. Let me know if the SSD upgrade is available.

    ----------

    Will try out your suggestion later. Thanks
     
  5. Chancha macrumors 6502

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    Mar 19, 2014
    #5
    To give you a perspective, the WD TB Duo configured in RAID0 will give you 200-300MB/s read/write max, and half that if you do RAID1 / JBOD. 200MB/s is okay for an OS to be installed on but nowhere near the PCIe based SSD in the nMP, which I believe is in the 1GB/s region. Also an OS on RAID0 is generally a bad idea, and I am unsure if Windows treats this specific setup well, as the WD TB Duo recommends (or require?) OS X Disk Utility to do software RAID with. It does not have hardware RAID controller.
     
  6. kuanyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Why do you say that OS on RAID 0 is a bad idea?
     
  7. Coleman2010 macrumors 68000

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    #7
  8. Chancha macrumors 6502

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    #8
    The OS volume is accessed very frequently, while RAID 0 does give you the speed advantage than a bare drive, this setup is posing the highest failure rate to the drives. So unless you have a real professional need for this, such as an on scene video editing job, otherwise it is too risky for the average user.

    Also like mentioned, a HDD array in RAID0 is not giving you better speed than a single physical SSD, which gives less of a reason to put a system on RAID0 HDD if all you want is speed. (SSD on RAID0 is a totally different beast though)
     
  9. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #9
    Nope.

    Apple uses a proprietary interface on their PCIe SSD. Similar to, but not the same as the M.2 standard.

    The LaCie uses the M.2/NGFF spec for PCIe. From the various pictures posted, it is clear that the keying-slot on the edge card connector is different. See other threads that have been posted.
     
  10. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    Nov 5, 2010
    #10
    What will be your primary use for Windows 8? If you aren't gaming you could run Windows 8 as a VM and thin provision the disk, it saves space on the internal SSD. You could also try it out on other storage without having to reinstall.

    As for external disks I have a Pegasus 2 R4 with the standard 7.2K HDD's it came with, configured as a single 8TB RAID 5 volume. Sequential I/O performance is great, better than the internal SSD in my Mini, but random I/O performance isn't as good as the SSD. It's not terrible as there is some cache in the array and I can run multiple VM's from it without any issue. Okay these VM's take a little longer to boot than they would from SSD but for a test lab it is very good and I'm not wishing it was quicker every time I use it.
     
  11. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #11
    I like to hear from people that are setting up the LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt™ 2 for booting Bootcamp Windows on an nMP. I don't think it will work!

    According to Lacie you "Use Disk Utility® on your Mac to configure the LaCie Little Big Disk into a RAID array that suits your needs." Hence the Raid0 is software and not hardware enabled in the unit, which means the Raid0 will not be usable for booting Windows without drivers. These drivers are nowhere on LaCies support site. Booting OSX yes, but Windows nope!
     
  12. ClassObject macrumors 6502

    ClassObject

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    #12
    I ran 4 1.5TB drives for almost 4 years as my main desktop machine. Only reboots were for updates and never turned off except for power failure. In fact the drives are now 5 years old and still running in other uses. RAID0 is a great setup. Whether you have one drive or several you are at risk for data loss. Backups via TimeMachine, clones, etc negate the RAID0 risk argument - just as it does for other storage setups.
     
  13. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #13
    It doesn't matter if you have a single-disk or a 2-disk RAID-0 ... if you have a disk failure the results are exactly the same.

    That is why you have a backup disk ... and the recovery is the same as well, replace the failed disk and restore from your backup.

    Use and enjoy the RAID-0 speed advantage and don't worry about it! But, no matter what your configuration, keep a backup system and use it.
     
  14. kuanyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Thanks. It is a very reasonable assumption.
     
  15. DenBeke macrumors regular

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    Antwerp
    #15
    Here we are again...
    If the probability of a disk failure is a number A, then the chance of a failure when having two disks (in raid 0) is exactly 2xA...

    So 2-disk RAID-0 is less secure than one single-disk.


    The results of a failure may be the same, but you will have a much higher risk for a failure...
    But having a good backup, it will be a joy to have a faster computer!
     
  16. hfg, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #16
    But the probability of a given user actually having a disk failure in the useful life of the equipment is relatively slim ... so double that is still relatively slim. :)

    This is real-world usage and there are no guarantees here ... when the disk gods decide it is YOUR turn to have a disk failure, it will happen, and your backup methodology will be tested. If you keep a good backup, you don't have to worry about such failures and can simply repair the damage and continue on. :cool:

    I would prefer to enjoy the benefits of my RAID-0 and be prepared in case of failure, than to avoid using RAID-0 due to the slight risk. Plus, the RAID-0 configuration requires no additional effort above and beyond that for a single disk in being prepared with a timely backup.
     
  17. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #17
    But it all does not matter, as the Raid0 functionality is not usable in the 1TB LaCie Little Big Disk Thunderbolt 2 SSD if used to boot from!

    It is to be used for data and apps only...
     
  18. hfg, Apr 4, 2014
    Last edited: Apr 4, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #18
    Sorry, I don't have the new Thunderbolt 2 Little Big Disk to test ...

    I do have several of the original Thunderbolt "Little Big Disk" units which I have used with both hard disks and SSDs. It too, is configured as a RAID-0 (or RAID-1) using OS X Disk Utility, and thus can delete the RAID pairing and access each disk separately. I have not been able to boot Windows on a Mac using this enclosure using one of the disks, nor have I found anyone else who has done this. LaCie did recently post a Windows driver but I don't think that will help with booting Windows on a Mac since the driver isn't available at boot time (Windows data disk only).

    The original LaCie Little Big Disk will boot OS X as a RAID-0 device, but I don't know about the new one, and it doesn't address that issue on the product data page. I assume most nMP users would boot from their internal SSD and only use the LBD for data/apps.

    Given the problems others are having installing Windows externally on the nMP, it might be worthwhile to try putting OS X and BootCamp/Windows on the internal SSD, and putting apps/data for both OS on external drives.
     
  19. Cubemmal macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 13, 2013
    #19
    Might check your statistics there ...

    A chance a disk will fail is 75%. So the chance of any failure with two disks is then .75 * .75 = 0.56 or 56%

    This is actually the probability of both failing.
     
  20. Pakaku macrumors 68000

    Pakaku

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    #20
    The probability of both drives failing is irrelevant because it only takes one drive failure to kill off a RAID-0 setup. The more disks you add, the more chances there are to lose your RAID to one of the drives dying.

    RAID-0 is striped, which means the data is split between drives. RAID-1 is what you were probably thinking of, because that's the setup that mirrors the data between all of the drives.
     
  21. kuanyn thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Mar 24, 2014
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    Malaysia
    #21
    Thanks guys for inputs on this thread.Based on the feedbacks I had try out this two alternatives for a short period only:-
    1. Internal SSD runs OSx and Win8(boot Camp). All apps/data on external WD thunderbolt duo in RAID 0.

    2. Internal SSD runs OSx with PARALELL (win8 installed).The parallel data is stored in the external WD including all apps/data.

    Above to avoid purchase a 1TB ssd which is so expensive(slightly cost more than a third of the cost of my nMP)

    Performance wise it is not noticeable opening multiple applications at the same time (win office suite and surfing internet emails etc)on both set up. Surely there will be a big difference if running heavy applications.

    JRiver media centre cannot play movies on setup 2. It just not reading the file.no issue on set up 1.
     
  22. g4cube macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 22, 2003
    #22
    I can confirm that the Little Big Disk v2 with the PCIe SSD inside can boot OS X without any problem. It comes preformatted as RAID-0 across the 2 512GB SSDs inside. Disk Utility can be used to reconfigure as rAID-1, or as 2 independent disks (JBOD). The nMP will boot in any of those 3 configurations, as long as Disk Utility formatted the disks, and OS X is installed. It even can boot from the Recovery partition that Disk Utility installs on the drive when formatting.

    It's speedy!

    Haven't had time to jigger with the Win booting, but there are other threads that discuss how to do this, but only with individual disks; not striped RAID-0.
     
  23. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

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    Jan 25, 2008
    #23
    And then there is no reason to spend the money on the LaCie, as supposed to several hundreds of dollars less on any single SSD external TB (doesn't even have to be TB2) enclosure. For Bootcamp the Raid0 enclosures are an utter waste.
     
  24. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #24
    I once took a 512GB SSD and a 256GB SSD and partitioned the larger one into 2 256GB partitions. In my Mac Pro, I then created a RAID-0 OS X volume with one of the larger drive partitions and the other smaller drive. I then used the left-over partition to create a bootable Windows installation. So ... I had a 512GB OS X RAID-0 and a 256GB bootable Windows using only 2 physical drives. And it worked great!

    However, I have wanted to create the same thing as a external Thunderbolt drive system, but I have not yet found a external dual-drive Thunderbolt enclosure that will boot Windows on a Mac. I originally bought the LaCie "Little Big Disk" to try, but even with a single disk I was unable to get it to boot Windows (it didn't claim Windows compatibility). The Aikiti dual drive doesn't boot Windows either, and they now state "No BootCamp" on the product page. I was also unable to get it to work using a Sonnet Tempo Pro dual SSD PCIe card, as well as using a pair of Solo x2 PCIe cards.

    I still think it would be a cool thing to get working ... :cool: :cool: :cool:
     

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