Promise Pegasus R4 or Western Digital My Book Thunderbolt Duo

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ThirteenXIII, Apr 30, 2013.

  1. ThirteenXIII macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    Curious if anyone has had the opportunity to try both or if anyone has either currently and their recommendation.

    Looking to add secondary storage for an all SSD Mac mini setup. Its going to hold iphoto, aperture, itunes libraries, final cut pro x and logic express files and most of my data.
    While the mini will house the OS and applications.

    I was thinking of getting the smallest/cheapest of the two and upgrading the drives later to having atleast 3TB of usable space, so really the current config of one is not important.
    I hear the MyBook Thunderbolt Duo is user serviceable and seems you can add whatever matching drives you want in there.
    If I go that route i'd most likely add 2x3TB Western Digital Black drives for faster performance.

    TO ME atleast it seems the western digital is the best choice for price/options, I'm familiar with WD's RMA process (not necessarily a bad thing), not sure about Promise's have heard mixed reviews on that.

    Ultimately something clean and efficient that I can utilize and upgrade along the way would be the most ideal.

    any thoughts? experiences?

  2. jlehman macrumors member

    Apr 16, 2013
    I've Deployed 5 Pegasus R4's with 5 new 2012 27" iMacs and am pretty impressed with them. I'm pretty sure it might be over kill for what you want as they are super expensive and the software offers a lot of options for changing RAID setups and what not. The video department at the college uses them to store FCP and FPCx projects. I'm pretty sure the ones I opened up were 1TB Toshiba drives, not uncommon. The WD My Book is probably the cheapest route to go and for data backup / external storage is probably not a bad solution. Just look at reviews of the two and stick to the budget.

    I recently read someone had one of the newer My Book Firewire drives and they have a sleep function and would turn off in the middle of using them and apparently WD knows of it and its a "Mac" thing. Doesn't happen in Windows. Off hand i do not know if the Thunderbolt Duo does the same thing, probably not as i think the issue was specific to OSX and Firewire.
  3. martinm0 macrumors 6502a

    Feb 27, 2010
    I managed to pick up a 4TB WD Thunderbolt Duo from Best Buy a few months ago for $250 NIB. At that price I would hands down recommend it over the Pegasus, but the Pegasus is really an entirely different beast all together.

    Some of my experience with the WD:
    -It's fanless, so its quite, but they use green drives and no active cooling. If you toss in 7200rpm drives there's no guarantee if they will create too much heat.
    -Drives are easy to pop in and out. I did not do any swapping.
    -WD was pretty silent.
    -Transfer speeds aren't amazing (I was seeing in the 170MBs/sec.)

    I had a Pegasus R6 for a short period of time and I really loved everything about them (outside of the price). If I had the money a Pegasus would be where I would invest for storage.

    Another option is to check places like MacMall and eCost for refurbed Thunderbolt systems. I picked up a Lacie 6TB for $380 last year and I know I've seen both Pegasus models listed as well as the Lacie LBD.
  4. flynz4 macrumors 68040

    Aug 9, 2009
    Portland, OR
    You will pay a lot more for a Pegasus... but I think it is a more solid design. It is built on more enterprise class components such as a PMC-Sierra HW RAID controller and Hitachi server class HDDs.

    You will want to use the drives that come with the Pegasus if you go that route... because they are good.

    By contrast... I *THINK* the WD is more of a consumer type of product.

    I personally have an 8TB Pegasus R4 which I have configured as a 4TB RAID 10. It is rock solid. I use it with my 2012, i7, 32GB, 768GB SSD, iMac. I keep the OS, user files, and Aperture library on the 768 GB SSD. I keep iTunes Media, Personal Video, Commercial video all on the Pegasus.

    I have tested my Aperture library on the Pegasus... and it felt "close" to the performance as the SSD... but there was a difference. It was MUCH MUCH better than when my Aperture library was on a single spindle 2TB drive in my 2009 i7 iMac.

  5. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I have an R4, and it's been rock solid until drive with bad sectors which will be replaced free. They are fast, and very capable....The new WD units which a buddy of mine has ( 6TB ) seem okay, but of basic design and quality without the higher end utilities, but at half the price. I think he paid £450.00 or $699 for the 6TB unit he has...My R4 cost me £839 or $1303.

    I'm looking to daisy chain in an additional unit now, but I think I will probably stick with Promise..CS is top notch and you get what you pay for I think.

    I do have a WD USB3 2TB unit that was cheap and cheerful but seems to do an adequate job as a bulk storage unit, but no use as a real time tool...Then again prices there start at around £54.00 or $83.00. I guess the best bet is to go with your budget and requirements, but I do recommend Promise.
  6. ThirteenXIII thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008

    Thanks all, I'm not sure how much more info can be provided that hasnt been covered. Its all very very helpful and useful.
    My main concern is in the past I've purchased OEM 3.5" drives slapped them in an enclosure put my data on them and backed them up to a second and third HDD. the process is tiring and can create loads of error.

    To me it definite appears the WD is a consumer friendly Thunderbolt drive at the consumer price and while I entrust WDs OEM drives I've never cared for their proprietary externals. So the more I think about wont be ideal in terms of having a bit more customization in redundancy...I'd llike to do a RAID 5 with 4x2TB - i think the Pegasus uses Toshiba (rebranded Hitachi drives) which are currently the drives I use now in separate enclosures.

    Presently all my drives are going past their warranty and thats a cause of concern (though minor compared to the data on them) and having to manage multiple enclosures/drives. Never been a huge fan of proprietary external drives you cant access, control etc.

    Plan again is to host whatever I can on a Thunderbolt drive and use 2 separate 3TB drives to back-up the content on the Thunderbolt.

    I'd eventually like to go down the 2012 iMac route with the 768GB SSD. I have a 2010 iMac with a 1TB HDD and would love to outfit it with an SSD ONLY But not sure if its supported?
    And basically use the Mini to serve the pegasus and access it from whichever iMac I decide to utilize.
  7. jimthing macrumors 65816


    Apr 6, 2011
    London, UK
    Pegasus, any day.

    One has to understand the Pegasus units have reasonably high-end data **controllers** in them that sustain higher throughput than consumer level ones currently ever would ever do.

    While you have asked about R4's, I have had 6x R6's now, and they have the similar internals as per the R4's. And trust me, ANY of them are good for the price.

    This is because the only other units available, are super-highend enterprise machines like those from Sonnet's with Thunderbolt super-highend controller's making the enclosures around $8k+ (!), compared with Pegasus' ones at a third of the price.

    The consumer level units (eg. like WD's, generally up to 8TB's or less) have much lesser internals in them and do NOT offer high-end speeds and the RAID 5 or better levels of redundancy. Whereas the Pegasus ones offer **proper** controllers (which are the most important hardware component in them), and higher levels of redundancy.

    In my R6's I have swapped-out the drives for consumer (NOT double-priced enterprise) Hitachi 4TB drives in them (thus 6x 4TB = 24TB's in RAID 5), and they work fine.

    However, as per all data storage, one must remember to **always** have TWO of everything at least, as the enclosures themselves can fail for any number of reasons – so one must have **TWO** units of any kind to store their data.

    Also two points. Firstly, do not use MIRRORING to duplicate the data, use something like Time Machine to make **increment** copies of data – in case a failure happens from months before. And also use a data scrubber software utility to check the data on the storage units is not corrupted.

    Quality costs, but Ebay may help for the R4's you are after.

    Shame Apple Store seem to not offer any other options. (ignore the LaCie 5big Thunderbolt's for STORAGE, as they use **software** RAID, run from the Mac's 'Disk Utility' app, and so redundancy is not strong enough for storage uses – the units are designed for uncompressed HD video editing projects and similar only, with the main data stored separately somehow.)

    Hope this helps.
  8. ThirteenXIII thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    Yeah pegasus seems like the way to go.
    The goal is a RAID 5 4x2TB 6TB
    1x3TB for a clone of my personal media (itunes, iphoto, etc)
    1x3TB clone of final ut, logic and other files.
    1x4TB Time machine of the mac and selected folders of the pegaus

    Thanks for the help, think its a good setup.
  9. ThirteenXIII thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 8, 2008
    I see alot of these Pegasus drives on ebay and online refurbished for $850 is that worth it?
    I've seen a brand new one for $750? is $750 a good grab for a new Pegasus?
  10. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    If you can find a brand new in box one for $750, yeah that is GREAT deal for what they're going for now.

    Even used ones are going for much more than that. Refurbished ones, be very careful as a lot of these places dont have any return policies and may want to check with Promise to see if these vendors are legit and the warranty remains.

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