Need a 3 or 4 bay HD enclosure but...

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by dscasler, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. dscasler macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007
    I will use a new Macbook and wish to keep all data in one 3 or 4-bay enclosure connected with Firwire (wish I could use eSATA but FW seems to be the only option on a macbook). Now, drive 1 and 2 I wish to use RAID1 mirror, but the other two I want free (JBOD) to use as separate drives and pull out or replace as I wish. Is there an enclosure that is inexpensive and has a fan (I live in Thailand) that I can trust? There are so many products. None say I can or can't do this in the product descriptions. Any help would be greatly appreciated.:D
  2. walter221 macrumors newbie

    Oct 20, 2009
  3. dscasler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007

    The OWC Mercury Pro Qx2 looks nice. Does anyone have any experience with it being good or bad? My only other question would be, if I do use RAID 1 with the OWC, that would be a mirror of only 2 drives. So, let's say I RAID 1 drives A and B, then C & D would show up on my Mac how? As separate, independent Firewire drives? If so, that is exactly what I am looking for.
  4. Nuc macrumors 6502a


    Jan 20, 2003
    I have one of OWCs 2-bay drives and it works great. They make good products. I've been looking for a 4-bay HD myself. I didn't know OWC made one so I will go for one of these. Great deal compared to other places. Now I need to find some inexpensive 2TB drives.

  5. phairphan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Reject Beach
    It doesn't look like the Qx2 can do what you want, but I defer to someone who actually has hands-on experience with the unit. I have to ask, given what you want to do why don't you just get two of these? Set one for Raid 1 and the other for independent operation.
  6. dscasler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007
    OWC Hmmmm

    Thank you for your suggestions. It looks like the OWC is a possibility. If I chose Raid 1 on the 4-bay Mercury Pro Elite Qx2, does that mean that drive 1 and 2 are mirrored Raid 1? What about the other 2 drives in the unit if that setting is used? They are recognized as independent disks in the Mac OS without any Raid? This would effectively show 3 drives on the desktop?
  7. dscasler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007
    OWC Responds

    I got an answer! If you use the 4-bay OWC enclosure, drives 1 & 2 use RAID I and mirror each other. Drives 3 & 4 are nada. Zilch. Paperweights. What a design, hu? I won't be getting that enclosure. I will most likely go with the inexpensive and highly rated WD My Book Studio II with RAID. It has 2 drives and RAID 1 built in with the cooler WD green drives in them.
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
  9. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Nov 30, 2008
    That's absolutely negligible for an external storage solution which is attached via Firewire.

    The 2TB WD Greens make over 100MB/s per drive. That alone is more than FW800 can do (80MB/s in best cases).
  10. rhett7660 macrumors G5


    Jan 9, 2008
    Sunny, Southern California
    Do you have the hard drives already or are you looking to purchase them with the enclosure?

    What you could do, is get two 2 disk hard drive enclosures. Setup one as the raid and set the other one up as a JBOD.

    I think it might be kind of tuff to find a firewire enclosure that will do both for a reasonable price. I could be wrong thou.

    I am currently using the two of the following: World Computing/MEFWU2HAL2/

    I already had the hard drives.....
  11. Roy Hobbs macrumors 68000

    Roy Hobbs

    Apr 29, 2005
    I highly doubt it wouldn't use the 3rd and 4th drives.
  12. cawesjmu macrumors 6502

    Apr 4, 2004
    Richmond, VA
    If you're looking at the newest (late 09) Macbook, USB is your only option. Or are you planning to get a refurb previous model Macbook? If you're going the refurb route, you might be able to pick up an older model Macbook Pro with express card slot for use with an eSATA card.
  13. dscasler thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 8, 2007
    My Book Studio vs OWC Case

    Since no 4-bay enclosure on the planet can use RAID1 on 2 drives and leave the other two to be used separately, I would have to go with 2-bay enclosures like the OWC, Guardian Maximis, or WD Mybook Studio II. I will likely go with the WD but am worried becuase it has no cooling fan and I live in Thailand (hot). BUT (here's the kicker) the MyBook shuts down when idle. I don't think that the OWC enclosures do. Or any for that matter aside from the MyBook and the crappy LaCie ones (that are noisy and use cheap Hitachi drives and you cannot buy empty). There is no perfect solution but the MyBook seems to be the way to go. If the OWC or Guardian Maximus enclosures shut down when idle so the drives wouldn't spin forever I'd go with them. Or maybe I'll just start taking pictures with film again like we used to and not worry about all this $h1t... :D
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Mar 17, 2005
    London, UK
    If you're already looking at $330 four drive enclosures for a custom RAID use then you may want to consider building a cheap NAS. All you need is a cheap motherboard (even a motherboard with built in CPU like an Atom would do), a small amount of RAM, a 4 port PCIe card (unless the motherboard has 4 ports already) and a case that can house 4 hard drives (or 5 if you want a cheap extra one for the system OS). It'd be relatively simple to setup a basic Linux install on the machine, raid up the drives you want and serve everything out via network shares over gigabit ethernet (faster than FireWire 800/USB). That is what I would do anyway.

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