Raid 0 in 2012 Mac Mini

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by jboyd710, Jan 30, 2014.

  1. jboyd710 macrumors member

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    #1
    Is raid 0 worth it? I know this is an opinion based question, but I want to know what you all think. I've been toying with the idea and purchased data doubler, but have not bought the ssds yet. I use my mac for basic tasks as well as use in pro tools and logic. Thanks!!
     
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #2
    With mechanical drives yes. With ssd's well honestly it's a bit of a waste.
     
  3. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #3
    so you think just using one ssd, as a boot and main program drive, with a traditional HDD would be sufficient. I know the dual raid 0 ssds speeds are a bit overkill.
     
  4. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

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    #4
    Well if you RAID 0 two 1TB ssd's you get a single large volume, which imo is a better deal than having two separate drives.

    Speedwise you will only notice it if you do HDD intensive tasks.
     
  5. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #5
    right, my thing is directing two drives, one boot/software, and other just misc. storage seems like a pain. I really just want one fairly large and quick volume to store everything, with a external back up.

    Another question, I know the samsung ssds have a 3 or 5 year warranty, does anyone know if putting two of these drives in raid void your warranty?
     
  6. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

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    #6
    1 ssd in a mini would suffice. Remember larger ssd's transfer data quicker than smaller drives.
     
  7. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    #7
    No, not if it is your only storage - you loose one drive you loose everything.

    If you are doing this for a performance increase you would be better off with an SDD.
     
  8. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #8
    I'd say "no". I set up my Mac mini server with RAID 0 when I first got it only to have a drive failure a year later. It was hard to diagnose which drive was faulty, requiring me to un-RAID them, reinstall the OS and wait for it to fail again. I ended up with about a week of down-time or shaky operation. Apple would not replace both drives -- only the one that could be proved defective.

    I was also warned not to use the OSX software-based RAID 0 in a server application, that it was not reliable. I should have listened.

    For the record, the system didn't seem any slower with RAID-0 removed. You gotta know where your system bottleneck is. If it isn't the drive, then RAID-0 won't give you much of a speed increase. It will always reduce reliability.
     
  9. KScottMyers, Jan 30, 2014
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2014

    KScottMyers macrumors regular

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    #9
    I would have to disagree with most saying its not worth it. raid 0 rocks in the mini. I've been running my 2011 mini for several years this way - love it. raid 0 is for performance... not safety. As long as you're Ok with that.

    Here's an article from Other World Computing showing the speed difference.

    2011 Mac mini works with OWC 6G SSDs
    http://wp.me/pmPaT-2Vq

    Also http://mac-fusion.com/?p=401
     
  10. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #10
    thanks for all the replys

    I have narrowed it down to either the 750/1tb ssd samsung evo, or 2 256 ssd samsung 840 pros. Any thoughts on these?
     
  11. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #11
    The Pros are faster in all benchmarks but the EVOs are only slightly slower, like second place in the leader board of fastest SSDs to the Pros and they're available in higher capacities for less outlay. I doubt you'd notice the difference in the realworld when both seem to be 900Mb/s read/write with 6 figure IOPs.

    Personally, when I can afford to, I'm getting a 2012 (or 2014 by then) Mac Mini with the fastest quad CPU I can afford but with a 1Tb HDD, then using 2 x SSDs in RAID 0 and the 1Tb externally as a bootable backup. That way, any potential nightmares of one SSD dying would be easy to rectify because you'd be able to just boot from the external. (Carbon Copy Cloner is MUCH better than Time Machine in every respect for system backups because it can be set to backup daily, hourly or when the external drive is attached and that drive remains bootable at all times for use in emergencies with all the modified files going in the _CCC Archives folder for future recovery).
     
  12. Cloudsurfer macrumors 65816

    Cloudsurfer

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    #12
    That is what Time Machine (or any other way to backup) is for.

    Well an SSD in theory should be far less prone to failure, and in my experience Crucial and Samsung have proven just that.

    I personally have no experience with RAID 0 in a Mac myself, a friend of mine has been running a RAID 0 setup in his mini for nearly two years and hasn't had any problems with it. This is my main motivation to go RAID 0 too when the Haswell mini arrives.
     
  13. haravikk macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Really? I've been running an AppleRAID-0 for years and never had any particular trouble with it. I verify the volume every week or two, and while I did encounter infrequent minor file-system errors under Lion, under Mountain Lion I've never had any. Actually that's a lie, but my power supply is slowly dying, which I'm fairly certain was the cause of my latest few errors.

    But when I did get errors under Lion I'm not even sure if it was the AppleRAID, or just HFS+ that was the problem, as it's not the most resilient file-system anyway.


    Regarding the original question; unless you work with really big files like video and need the best possible speed for them, then an SSD RAID-0 isn't likely to be much use to you. In fact it may actually be slower overall, as small file reads/writes can be slower on a RAID-0, particularly when using software RAID. This means a RAID-0 can be slower to boot, and just slower in general unless you really need it for what you're doing.

    Have you considered a DIY Fusion Drive? There are plenty of guides on how to do it, and it's not too hard (so long as you're happy to use the Terminal). It combines an SSD and HDD together into a volume, just like a concatenated volume, but with the SSD getting all the most accessed files. So you get speed of the SSD but the capacity of the HDD, which should be a lot cheaper than two SSDs, especially since you can settle for a smaller SSD as well. It takes all the management of volumes out of the equation, which is great, and performs pretty well overall.


    One other thing worth mentioning is that RAID-1 actually improves performance as well, since files can be read from any disk in the set, rather than all reads going to the same disk. Writes are slower since both need to be written to, but reads usually account for the bulk of activity. The only thing is that you don't get combined capacity, but if what you're interested in is speed then it's another thing to consider.
     
  14. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    #14

    Good plan. I was thinking along the same setup.
     
  15. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #15
    i have not thought of fusion, i have just seem some things on this forum about people steering clear from the dyi version.
     
  16. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

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    #16
    This was Snow Leopard Server, and I did get minor file system corruption (which was correctable) as well. Just saying that the words of wisdom then was to not use it for servers, possibly because of the heavier accesses, and I did end up "paying the price" in a difficult repair when a drive did fail. I will note that I back up the system nightly and lost no data.
     
  17. haravikk macrumors 65816

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    #17
    Ah, well I definitely think my setup counts as heavy access as I used it for everything. Like I say I haven't noticed any issues since upgrading to Mountain Lion, but I forgot that when I did that I also added an SSD into the mix (SSD + RAID-0 Fusion Drive ;)) which takes a lot of the load off the HDDs so is probably preventing errors.

    I'm not really sure why people don't recommend it; I mean yes, it may be a bit slower overall than manually separating OS and user folders to the SSD and HDD respectively, but doing that is such a pain that I don't mind any loss in performance, and if there is one I'm not sure it's that much. That said, it's also potentially faster as a Fusion Drive will move stuff to the HDD that you might not think to move, meaning you get more out of the SSD overall, especially since it fills it (except for a 4gb or so buffer for writing new files).

    Personally I find it great, as the HDD(s in my case) show almost no activity most of the time, and only crunch away when I'm loading something big or that I use infrequently. Of course, like a RAID-0, if one part fails you lose the whole volume, so there's that. Also, the HDD won't sleep, but that can happen with two separate volumes as well, depending on your usage. The only other things I can think of are that with separate volumes you can have files that you use frequently together on different disks (e.g - an application and the files it opens), whereas a Fusion Drive will most likely put these on the same physical disk if you use them enough, but again I don't think that happens enough in practice to matter as the files will most likely go to the HDD while the application stays on the SSD.
     
  18. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #18
    Thanks for all the input, I have yet to make up my mind, but i do appreciate everybody's two cents
     
  19. ElectronGuru macrumors 65816

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    #19
    That's very interesting. If true, you'd get speed and redundancy at the same time. Has anyone done benchmarks comparing 0 vs 1 in the same mini with the same drives?
     
  20. opinio macrumors 65816

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    #20
    Why don't you run an ssd with a HDD in a fusion drive?
     
  21. barkmonster macrumors 68020

    barkmonster

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    #21
    Fusion not only is limited by the speed of 1 SSD on 1 6Gb/s SATA channel but there's plenty of stories of people running into problems with them if they're user modifications, not the stock Apple fusion configurations. I can't see the point in wasting a SATA channel on a system on a slower medium like a HDD when high capacity SSDs can be RAIDed together for more speed and HDDs can be housed externally.

    Fusion is only ever a compromise and if something goes wrong, you might not even be able to restore a backup of your boot drive without using UNIX commands from a bootable backup to split the Fusion apart and diagnose the problem.
     
  22. shaunp macrumors 65816

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    #22
    True, I still wouldn't bother with RAID 0 with just two disks though. It's just too much hassle for the return in performance. Even if you go as far as using SSD in RAID 0 most people wouldn't notice the speed difference between that and a single SSD so what's the point? RAID 0 HDD's will give you more throughput but the random I/O performance still won't be that great. You'd still be better off with fusion or a single SSD.

    RAID 0 used to be beneficial if you had loads of spindles to deliver the performance but mixing RAID 5 with an SSD tier makes even this irrelevant unless your workload is purely sequential. You need a lot of HDD spindles to deliver the same I/O performance as a single SSD.

    Ultimately RAID 0 with 2 drives is a waste of time.
     
  23. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #23
    so now do you think the 512 pro or the 750 evo would be better? both are similar in price
     
  24. jboyd710 thread starter macrumors member

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    #24
    i decided just to go with the 750 evo, thanks for all the responses!!
     
  25. Crosscreek macrumors 68030

    Crosscreek

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    #25
    Good choice. I've got a 250 evo external USB3 boot disk for my Mini. It has about 15-20 sec boot. I'm hoping to put it inside the new Mini when released in Raid 0 with another evo and use the scratch HD as external drive.
     

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