Needed: Help With Thunderbolt 3 RAID Set-Up

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Ray&Paula, Nov 5, 2016.

  1. Ray&Paula macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    Hi, I’m looking for some suggestions for a Thunderbolt 3 RAID set-up for the upcoming (fingers crossed) iMac. Once available, I will be maxing it out spec wise with the exception of Apples overpriced RAM.

    I’m looking for a smooth 1080 and 4K editing experience without any lagging and/or time consuming issues. My editing events are anywhere from 10 minutes to an hour on the timeline. I do like using some effects, plugins, transitions, chroma keying, pictures and music therefore, I do use multiple timelines. Rendering times are not important to me, I usually do so overnight.
    Planned software;
    Apple FCPX
    Apple Motion 5
    Apple Comperssor
    Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

    My following equipment only consists of;
    Sony XDCAM PXW-X70 w/ XAVC L(GOP), AVCHD with 4K
    GoPro Hero 2
    Sony RX100 V with 4K (near future)

    I placed a similar post back in March of 2015. At that time, I received great advice and learned alot from many you. I was about to pull the trigger on a maxed out iMac (2015) and a Pegasus2 R8 24TB (8 x 3TB SATA) RAID Thunderbolt 2 System. I held off from that purchase due to rumors of Thunderbolt 3 and USB-C coming in the near future. I’m glad I did...........
    Promise Technology has a new Pagasus 3 lineup I’ve been waiting for this all summer wanting a Pegasus3 R8 24TB (8 x 3TB SATA). Unfortunately, this particular one isn’t offered in the Thunderbolt 3 lineup. There are only two being offered in an 8 disc array, 32TB (8x4TB SATA) and 48TB (8x6TB). Also offered are 4 and 6 drive configurations. (Sizes are found accordingly under Specifications)
    I came to the conclusion of getting an 8 disc array set as RAID 5. This decision was mainly due to learning the fact that seamless playback/throughput of 4K is directed to how many drives you have and not the overall capacity in a hard drive subsystem.
    Now I have a few questions due to the huge difference between Thunderbolt 2 and 3.
    As you know, Thunderbolt 3 offers 40gbps which is double that of Thunderbolt 2. Keeping in mind that I plan on running in RAID 5, I have some questions;
    1) With the speed of Thunderbolt 3, would you still stick with an 8 disc array?
    2) Would a 6 disc array with Thunderbolt 3 offer faster throughput than an 8 disc array Thunderbolt 2?
    3) What would you recommend for two separate Thunderbolt 3 disc array drives with one being your RAID editing drive and the other for original media/master backups, what would you purchase?
    4) Would you just use a Thunderbolt 3 disc array for your editing RAID drive with a non RAID backup drive?

    Please give me your thoughts, ideas and/or recommendations that may come to mind. As always, your help would be sincerely appreciated. Thanks, Ray
  2. mcnallym macrumors 6502a

    Oct 28, 2008

    1.) TB3 is simply increasing the bandwidth available over the connection For simplicities sake then TB3 is simply connection from your RAID to the iMac. Whilst that bandwidth has increased allowing to pass more, the speed of reading off the RAID Array itself won't be quicker simply because of TB3. As such yes 8 disk as opposed to smaller number of disks.

    An example of this is the new Drobo5C ( not suggesting you buy one ) where have changed the interface to a USB-C with a USB 3.0 5Gbps connection. The Controller is still limited to 250Mbps so having a USB 3.1 10Gbps would make no difference here, even though double the available bandwidth which is what TB2 to TB3 brings.

    All TB3 is offering is the ability to get more down the TB connection at the same time. Unless actually limited by the 20Gbps TB2 then TB3 won't be quicker in itself.

    2.) Only way 6 disks quicker is if you are using Quicker Disks. i.e. 6 x 15K HDD with 12Gbps SAS Connection vs 8 x SATA3 at 6Gbs or using SSD rather then HDD. That allows the data off the disk quicker and therefore via the Controller and over the TB3 connection to the iMac quicker. What was true in 2015 is still true. An 8 disk array of same disks will be quicker then a 6 disk array.

    3.) For everyone that has a good experience with a vendor then will be someone that had a bad experience. Pegasus seem to have a good rep for the integrated RAID TB solutions however only seem to provide initially with disks as a complete solution rather then allowing you to select your own. Alternatively look at a TB3 PCI-E and use your own RAID Card with separate external Storage box. Areca make some very nice OS X Compatible RAID Cards. Gives you flexibility to use own disks etc however you do end up with more cables / power connectors required.

    No need to use expensive TB3 system for Backup/Bulk Original Storage. Have a TB3 RAID for what actually working on then archive off what not working on to something like a NAS box. Is available if needed, admittedly slower storage however when need to work on then transfer to the TB3 Storage where would be available on a quicker storage system.

    There's a reason that people have Tiered Storage so that slower cheaper storage can be used for archive/backup as doesn't need to be accessed real time as such for editing.

    4.) Largest capacity single drive I know of is 10TB. So unless your 8 Disk array storage gives you less then 10TB you will need more then one disk to backup too. Personally look at a NAS for your backup/bulk storage solution.
  3. Ray&Paula thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 12, 2015
    Thanks for all your help....... I'll more than likely stick with an 8 disc array for the video editing drive. As for the backup drive you made some great points. I'm not concerned about fast read/write speeds for a backup drive, but I would like some redundancy. Thanks again for taking the time in explaining the differences in Thunderbolt 2 & 3. Ray

Share This Page