Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by fastlanephil, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. fastlanephil macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007
    I'm debating whether to go with two ATA drives striped using RAiD 0(OWC) for my large sample library collection or going with SSD(s). I still haven't downloaded SampleTank 3 which I bought with the preorder sale because it's over 300GB.

    I know SSDs are over-all faster and much faster for access time but RAID 0 should do a pretty decent job loading large instruments like LASS and Garritan CFX Grand if the drives are kept optimized. I can have have four TB of storage, never using more than half of that with the RAID 0 drives for about half the price of one TB of SSD storage.

    I'm not into production right now but I don't want to have to take a walk because of loading times either.

    I'll always have all my samples backed up on a separate HD in case one of the RAID drives fails.
  2. Prodo123 macrumors 68020


    Nov 18, 2010
    With RAID your disk make, model and size all play a factor in how fast your RAID array is going to be. I run a heterogenous (i.e. two different drives) 2.5" RAID 0 from salvaged 500GB hard drives and have been lucky enough to get close-to-optimal speeds (180MB/s). With a 3.5" homogenous setup you can expect up to 300MB/s with just two drives.

    Also important is how and where the RAID will be set up. Will it be on an external hard drive with you having exclusive access? Or will it be a network drive where multiple users will be accessing it at the same time? Will it be on a machine with a dedicated RAID hardware accelerator or will RAID striping be done by the CPU?

    What you also risk with RAID, especially RAID 0, is the risk of losing your data. This is easily resolved with other RAID options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages:
    RAID 5 is a striped parity array where one hard drive contains parity bits for restoration and other drives have RAID 0-like striped data. Usually one would get a hardware accelerator for best performance as RAID 5 tends to be CPU intensive compared to RAID 0, 1 and their derivatives.

    RAID 10 or 1+0 is having a RAID 0 setup but with each hard drive having a redundant clone for backup (RAID 1). Your limitations here would be cost as RAID 10 setups require a large number of hard drives.

    Speaking from personal experience with both single-drive, RAID and SSD setups for production of multiple media, if it's strictly for loading only I'd go with the SSD. Everything else I prefer a RAID 5/10 because it does not wear out like a SSD while providing a compromise between fault tolerance and speed.
  3. fastlanephil thread starter macrumors 65816


    Nov 17, 2007

    Thanks for the information on using RAID 5/10 and such.

    Right now I'm using a 27" 2011 iMac as the slave and a TOTL 2012 Mac Mini as the master using Vienna Ensemble Pro 5 over ethernet. I have some external FW 800 3.5 7200 rpm hard drives connected to my Macs. My samples are on my iMac's internals standard 1TB drive. I'd like to eventually have all my drives more consolidated in Thunderbolt RAID boxes now that OWC, and hopefully others, is making them affordable.

    I could also have OWC install two or three SSD drives in my iMac. I could later add another Mac Mini as a slave if needed, using the iMac display via screen sharing.

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