RAID or no RAID? That is the question.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by krye, Aug 5, 2008.

  1. krye macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #1
    Currently I have a stock 320G drive installed with a 750G F1 Spinpoint installed as a Time Machine. I have maxed the 320 out so I'm looking to get a bigger drive.

    Question: looking at the F1 Spinpoints, should I do 1x750 with 32M cache? Or 2x400G in a software RAID0? The 400s have a 16 Meg cache, so 32M total.

    What's better? Do you think I'll see a better performance boost by striping over 2 drives with 16M cache each, or sticking with 1 drive with a 32M cache? And with the 2x400, I'll gain about 50 Gigs of storage over the 750G drive.

    2x400 is $156
    1x750 is $125

    Is this a decent boost for only an additional $25, or should I just save a drive bay and get 1 drive?
     
  2. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #2
    Are you looking at a RAID solution speed or reliability/backup?
     
  3. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    The OP said striped/RAID0. ;)

    You'll see some performance increases with the RAID, but it's riskier as it can crash. Just depends--if your system is running as fast as you need, I wouldn't bother with the RAID, I'd get the 750gb and use the 320 for storing files (you're already going to see a huge speed bump from fine tuning your OS drive and storing most of your files on the 320). Or use the 320 and ONLY put the OS/apps on it, and use the 750 for all your files, you'll see a definite speed increase there too (for example, running a video file from a second drive while working on your first cuts down on the word the drive has to do DRAMATICALLY, same with any read/write needs).

    That's my two cents. RAID0 is fun and speedy, but really should be avoided unless needed. Also remember that Time Machine, while good, isn't a mirror drive; if your RAID crashes, you'll still lose any work you did since the last time Time Machine backed up.

    Another option--you could get another 320, do a RAID0 with the two 320s, and dump Time Machine altogether and use the 750G you already have as a mirror of the RAID (so a RAID0+1). That would be fast and stable, but compared to what I said above would cost you some storage space...
     
  4. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #4
    Cool. I think I will go with a 2 drive approach, but not a RAID. I'll install my OS and apps on one drive, and my data on another.


    UPDATE: I just ordered a 400G F1 Spinpoint. So here's how my drive layout will look:

    400G for OS and Apps
    320G for my data
    750G for Time Machine
     
  5. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #5
    Indeed, but he has been asking about his drives in a couple of posts, thus the confirmation question ;)

    The easiest choice to configure and maintain.

    Brilliant, now where is your drive/partition for disaster recovery? :D
     
  6. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #6
    Disaster recovery you say? I plan on using Time Machine to recover from a main drive failure.

    Also, I routinely backup to DVD. Time consuming, but worth it when you're talking about 26,000 pictures of my kids, all my music creations, home movies, documents, etc etc.
     
  7. iShater macrumors 604

    iShater

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2002
    Location:
    Chicagoland
    #7
    Since you are separating your application drive from your data, are you planning to backup just your data? or is the OS/apps drive going to be backed up as well?
     
  8. m1stake macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2008
    Location:
    Philly
    #8
    I use a RAID0 array on a PC I own. It just plays games so I don't worry about the drives dying anyway. No big loss if anything happens. The speed is worth it.
     
  9. krye thread starter macrumors 68000

    krye

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2007
    Location:
    USA
    #9
    The 320G OS/app drive and the 400G data drive will be backed up to the 750G Time Machine drive.
     

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