Mac Pro RAID setup questions/advice please

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by amberashby, Feb 24, 2007.

  1. amberashby macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2003
    Hi all,

    I'm thinking about this drive setup for my Mac Pro and want to know if you guys think it will be a good setup or if you have a suggestion for a better setup.

    RAID 0 on 2 Raptor 150GB drives (10,000 RPM) - This will be my boot drive and will store applications. I've read that this should provide substantial all around performance increase.

    RAID 0 on 2 WDC WD2500JS 250Gb drives - This will store my pictures/video/music.

    2 External 500GB drives (haven't decided on models yet) to be used for backup/time machine. Not sure if I should raid these (or if possible).

    What do you guys think?
    :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple: :apple:
  2. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006
    Search and thou shall find!

    There´s a lot of stuff here.

    But in general, raid only benefits you if you are a working with video or exeptionally heavy audio or photography. If you are recreational user, you would benefit more of redundant (raid1) system.
    The speed gain is short burst type of use (ie normal os use,light use) is minimal for you. Only when you need sustained high speeds,the benefits are greater than cost.

    And for getting raptors, yes they are faster. A bit faster than for example the new perpendingular seagates or some fast maxtors. Ad way,way,way higher cost per gigabyte, and I would say that forget about them. In addition they are noisier by a margin too,if you want to keep your setup quitet.

    Just get a good 250-320gb disk for your boot disk, one 500gb disk for applications and storage,and back them up with firewire or internally.
    What ever rocks your boat.
    You get a slight speed gain,you get the redundancy and you get them for cheap.

    My 0.1€
  3. Blackheart macrumors 6502a


    Mar 13, 2004
    Also note that a RAID 0 increases performance at the cost of stability. You'll effectively double the probability of losing your data due to hard drive failure.
  4. amberashby thread starter macrumors 6502

    Nov 6, 2003
    Thanks for the replies. I do understand that RAID0 will double my chances of a failure, but I do plan to have a backup strategy. Also I've had WD Raptors before and they seem to be a rock solid drive.

    According to this Barefeats article running Raptors in RAID0 will equate to a substantial increase in speed. Even for short burst read and writes. I know they are expensive, but with a Mac Pro the main bottleneck is the HD speeds.
  5. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

    Jun 7, 2006

    Raptors are fast and reliable.

    The point is that you propably dont need them.

    You have not pointed in anyway that that faster speed=greater productivity.
    Yes, you might shave a whopping 4 seconds of booting time or stupendous 1.8 seconds when opening iTunes or staggerblasting 0.03 seconds when opening your new Maroon5 single. If you need that,fine. Just purchase the raptors and raid them.

    Where the raids save time in workstation use (im not even mentioning the server side) is when running long and super heavy tasks. Exporting/converting 15Gb of photos from lightroom, ediding HD video or rendering. There the savings are counted in minutes and hours.

    If you really want raid,just for the bragging rights or for the sake of tinkering,fine,buy the raptors and do it!
    But the point is that you will not benefit from it in any significant way, apart from getting bragging rights if you happen to have friends that respect that kind of stuff.
  6. CanadaRAM macrumors G5


    Oct 11, 2004
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    Short answer.
    Don't use RAID 0. In virtually all single-user applications you won't see improvement, and you are buying much higher risk.

    The benefits of software RAID 0 as opposed to 2 separate drives, is minimal or even negative for most single-user desktop uses. And the risk of data loss is way higher. As Macinposh says, unless you are running a server, or doing extreme high end video and audio, its not worth it. Even then you would not RAID the boot drive.

    You get a more tangible benefit by splitting your data, application and scratch disk locations across different three different physical drives. This minimizes wasted head seeking time.

    Raptors are fast, noisy, expensive and hot. The Raptor uses a smaller diameter platter than most 3.5" Drives, so between that and its smaller capacity, it suffers more quickly from inner-track slowdown as you put data on it.

    The Hitachi Deskstar 500, with its perpendicular recording and higher density holds its own even at 7,200 RPM against the Raptors in the high end Office single user benchmark

  7. NATO macrumors 68000


    Feb 14, 2005
    Northern Ireland
    Question regarding OS X's software RAID (can't seem to get an answer for this anywhere!):

    Imagine you have 3 drives (a boot volume and two general storage drives). If you set up a RAID array using the two general storage drives, then at a later stage re-installed OS X using the 'Erase and Install' option, would the new installation of OS X recognise the existing RAID array? ie, is there any chance of data loss due to re-installation of OS X?
  8. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I myself use a 150G Raptor as my system drive. It is noisier, but I thought the cost was not all that bad. I did limit myself on system space though. I prefer to have projects that I am currently working on on the system drive (also on the Media drive), but the benefit of the 10k drive does noting if I am always accessing a 7.2k drive. Due to the limited number of gigs and the ungodly amount of application I use I have to move projects back and forth between drives constantl, which is my only complaint about the Raptor. As of yet I have not set up a RAID1 for my media which I have been meaning to do..

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