RAID 5 Storage - USB 3.0 or NAS?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by ucflyboy, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. ucflyboy macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #1
    I'm looking for a 4 TB RAID device to store backups of my home video editing projects, my music and the movies I stream to a gen 1 ATV and an ATV2 to add later. I have an Intel iMac and I thought I'd plan for a future computer by going with USB 3.0. I would have no problem going with a NAS if that is recommended but I am in a wheelchair and cannot access the room in my house where my router and cable modem are located.

    My initial inclination is toward the Buffalo Drivestation Quad 4 TB. i also wondered if the 4 TB could be upgraded to 6, 8 or 12 or whatever may be needed in the future Thanks.

    Larry
     
  2. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2011
    #2
    I don't think USB 3.0 would be very useful on a Mac - as far as I know they don't support it and you'd be throttled to USB 2.0 speeds (which you do NOT want with 4TB of data!). You'd be better off getting a Thunderbold enclosure when they are finally released, like the Promise Pegasus or the LaCie Little Big Disk.
     
  3. blevins321 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #3
    I think you would love a NAS to tell you the truth. The extra features that are packed into them is worth it. Plus it's nice to not have to have a computer on to access your media via ATV2.

    Are you able to have someone do the initial hookup for you if you chose a NAS option? If so, everything else can/must be done remotely. In the 5-ish months I've had my Synology DS411j four-bay, I've never had to touch the unit, just reboot it via the web interface after software updates. One NAS limitation, of all brands, is that if they have an iTunes server for ATV access, none of them can decrypt DRM media. iTunes is required for that no matter what.

    Is your iMac wireless? If there is a wire running for it, you could get a cheap unmanaged switch to allow you just hook up the current ethernet cable and have a port available for the NAS at your desk.
     
  4. ucflyboy, Jun 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2011

    ucflyboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2007
    #4
    My current iMac is circa 2007. I was planning ahead for when I purchase a new one in a few years. The Mac is wireless and the router is in a room rented by my cousin so there shouldn't be any problem there.

    Could you explain the iTunes limitation? I'm not sure I understand what you're saying. Thanks.
     
  5. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #5
    If you Mac has FireWire 800, it could be worth it to pay little extra for enclosure with FW800. Most of them have USB 2.0 as well. FW800 is over twice as fast and since we talk about TBs of data, more speed is never bad. Also, any external HD with USB can be turned into a NAS with AirPort Extreme so you still got that option. IMO your best bet is to get a 4-bay enclosure and start off with e.g. 2x2TB and add more down the road if needed. This is assuming RAID 5 is not a must.

    Unless OP has a 2011 iMac, Thunderbolt is nothing else but waste.
     
  6. ucflyboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2007
    #6
    I'd like to use FW800 but I think the port on my Mac is bad. I prefer a RAID 5 option to avoid losing any of my home video projects.
     
  7. awer25 macrumors 65816

    awer25

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    Apr 30, 2011
    #7
    Or 2011 MBP, which are pretty ubiquitous. Or, he was planning on getting a new one soon. He was asking about USB 3.0, so I assumed he was forward-thinking.
     
  8. ucflyboy thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 29, 2007
    #8
    Forward thinking is correct. Hopefully my 2007 iMac will last a several more years.
     
  9. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Dec 10, 2008
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    Finland
    #9
    OP said he has an Intel iMac so I assumed he has no MBP. All TB enclosures I've seen (though they must be prototypes) come with TB port only so that would be an issue.
     
  10. ucflyboy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2007
    #10
    I've done a little research and the Synology looks like a solid choice. One reviewer commented that it'd be a good idea to connect a gigabit switch to the router and the Synology to the switch. Any thoughts on that comment?
     
  11. blevins321 macrumors 68030

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    Dec 24, 2010
    Location:
    Winnipeg, MB
    #11
    Only reason that I suggested that is if you already have a wired ethernet connection coming to your accessible iMac. The way, you can be able to get at the physical unit if you need to. If you're doing the iMac wirelessly, someone could set up the NAS for you the first time (wiring, I mean), and from then on management would be remote. You'll notice that the Synology supports USB wireless networking; I would not suggest this for speed reasons.
     

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