Retouching Workstation w/QX2 BackUp, Ques. On RAID and HD Options

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by JulianBoolean, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. JulianBoolean, Apr 10, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015

    JulianBoolean macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi All,

    Current Mac Pro :
    Mac Pro 5.1 333 Ghz, 6-Core Intel Xeon (2012 / Westmere) 32 GB RAM, Mac OS 10.6.8
    Bay 1 | 1TB, WD Black | Boot Drive | 325 GB on disk
    Bay 2 | 1TB, WD Black | 500GB Boot Clone + 500GB Photoshop Scratch Partition
    Bay 3 | 2TB, WD Black | Work A | 870 GB on disk
    Bay 4 | 2TB, WD Black | Work B | 900 GB on Disk

    External Time Machine Back Up
    Bay 1 | 1TB
    Bay 2 | 1TB
    Bay 3 | 2TB
    Bay 4 | 3TB

    I'm very intrigued by the idea of switching to RAID 10. I'd still keep my incremental hourly time machine backups, but the additional speed, plus drive failure insurance sounds perfect. However, since RAID 10 requires all 4 internal bays, I'm having trouble thinking out the logistics.

    1. According to Tech support at OWC, booting from RAID 10 is not recommended, they suggested booting from a PCIE card.
    Question 1: Can somebody confirm this, or is there another way?
    Question 2: Can I have partitions on RAID 10, perhaps a small partion to boot from?

    2. I have done a little research, and it would seem that Western Digital Red drives are well suited for RAID but these are 5400 rpm.
    Question 3: Is there a good choice at 7200 rpm?
    Question 4: What ever happened to WD "RE3" drives? last time I researched this a few years, those were on my shortlist, now it seems many retailers don't carry them, I dont even see them on the Western Digital website.

    3. The OWC Qx2 has a setting for RAID5, and I think I'd like to do that. Right now my JBOD RAID means 1 drive failure = loss of all time machine data. I'd like to buy 4x 4TB drives, plus a few spares. The folks at OWC don't recommend the variable speed energy saving drives for RAID but I need help narrowing down the list.
    Question 5: Any recommendations for hard drives if I do raid in this external box? It is a firewire connection, so I know it's going to be slow no matter what, just want to buy something that works and is rock solid stable.

  2. ssgbryan macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2002
    I can answer some of these questions.......

    Question 1 - I can confirm that. I would recommend The Apricot Velocity Duo with 2 SSDs (OWC 240Gb SSDs) in a RAID 0. I have been running that for a few years now. It makes Safari much snappier :D

    Question 2 - I don't know - My RAID arrays are either RAID 0 or RAID 5.

    Question 3 - Hitachi 4TBs are a good choice. Keep in mind, if you are running a RAID, the fact that the Reds run at 5400 is irrelevant. The array will be faster than any 1 drive.

    Question 4 - No idea

    Question 5 - My Qx2 has been running 4 2TB WD Green drives in a RAID 5 for a few years. I am preparing to replace them with 4x4TB using ZFS (I am in the research phase currently.) The Qx2 also has an eSATA port - add a SATA III card to your 5,1 and enjoy the speed bump.

    Don't forget about the unused SATA port under the optical bay. I stuffed my boot drive backup there.
  3. JulianBoolean, Apr 13, 2015
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2015

    JulianBoolean thread starter macrumors regular


    Aug 14, 2010
    Hi ssgbryan,

    Big thanks for the information, it is quite useful. I tend to research this stuff sporadically every few years. When I come back, I have to remember what I learned, but then throw half of that out, because the tech has changed so much!

    1. I checked out the Apricorn Velocity Duo. Just to confirm, 2x SSDs in RAID 0 means speeds greater than 300MB/s SATA II. So plugging into a PCIe slot with a card like this is a way to get around the SATA II limit I will find on my 2010 MP 5.1, is that correct?

    2. The folks at OWC are recommending something similar to the Apricorn Duo, but it's an OWC product (no big surprise there) It is the OWC 480GB Mercury Accelsior_E2 PCI Express Solid State Drive. It has the added benefit of providing two eSata ports. I looked on the back of my MacPro 5.1, and I don't have any eSATA ports. You are correct that my QX2 External BU does have an eSATA port, so that might be something really useful, as I'm currently running to the Qx2 via firewire.

    3. The thing with the Accelsior E2, is that it I'd be locked into buying OWC SSD drives, bundled into the intial purchase, then when a drive fails, they will sell me another matched set of OWC 2x 240 GB for $399.00. Pro on the OWC card = I get two eSATA ports, Con = I'm locked into OWC brand SSDs, and cant really shop for another brand of SSD

    Question : Anybody have thoughts on the OWC vs Apricorn issue? I'm not savvy enough on the details and manufacturing differences of SSDs to know if there is a better choice here.

    Regards, -J

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