Should I add RAID?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jb60606, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. jb60606 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    Right now I have a stock Feb 08 Mac Pro, aside from 2GB of after-market RAM:

    -2x 2.8Ghz Penryn XEON
    -4x 1GB RAM for a total of 4GB (soon to be doubled)
    -1x WD 320GB SATA Hard Drive

    Right now, I perform the following tasks on it:

    -Java/C++ Programming/DWeaver Web development/minor image editing
    -Lots of Video Encoding
    -1 or 2 VMware VMs running full time:
    • Windows XP32 with Java or MS IDE running
    • Red Hat AS with Apache Tomcat and MySQL running

    I've already decided to double the RAM for the sake of the VMs.

    What I want to know is how much striping and mirroring 4 drives might help me. If it will, which of the above tasks would noticeably benefit?

    I don't know much about RAID, aside from the benefit of mirroring drives. The machine is running well now, but if there is better performance to be had, short of upgrading the CPUs, I'll take it. Thanks in advance.

    P.S. Would you recommend even more RAM? If so, what would be your minimum.
  2. kittiyut macrumors regular


    Oct 28, 2007
    I'd add more RAM before doing RAID (if you change to chose one or the other) 4 GB just isn't enough. If you are going to use your 1GB sticks, you'll have 4 slots left. I would not buy 1GB sticks but rather go with 2 GB or if you could afford it, 4 GB would be best.
  3. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    You are right. Those VMs could use more RAM. 6 or 8 GB will make it work very well.

    if you only have two drives then their are only two RAID options

    1) "Mirror" (raid 1) This will have you better protection from a drive failure but writes to the disk will take twice as long and slow things down a little but if one disk fails you ca continue on as if nothing happened. It is good to keep your backup on a mirrored raid-1

    2) "striping" (raid 0) In this setup one disk holds the odd sectors the other the even ones. reads and writes can "ping pong" and yu get some parallelism and things run a littlte bit faaster bt if one of the drives fails you loose everything one both drives. A raid-0 system is twice as likely to fail as a single hard disk. Raid-0 is good for a video scratch disk because you need the speed and don't care about loosing data

    3) If you have 3 or more drives you can use raid-5 which is a good compromise
  4. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    agreed. I was just reading this article as you replied. I've noticed erratic behavior since I started putting heavier workloads on the system. I thought it might be RAM. Even if it wasn't, it wouldn't hurt to upgrade. You and the web page confirmed it.

    Pretty sad it only comes with 2GB standard, though. Reminds me of Dell selling Vista boxes with 512MB of RAM (which they have done in the past).
  5. jb60606 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jan 27, 2008
    Thanks. I'm going to go for 8GB to 12GB to keep everything even.

    I was planning on doing RAID 0+1 (or was it RAID 1+0?). A redundant array of striped disks (or was it striped array of redundant disks? :)). It's all very confusing. I know there was a thread around here that explained my options in depth, but either way, I've settled on a 4 drive solution for speed and redundancy, which I understand to be the safest and fastest(?) option short of Apple's expensive hardware RAID card (which I don't even think is sold separately).

  6. IC3D macrumors regular


    Feb 15, 2008
    Fairfield County, CT
    I'd definately do raid, data redundancy is vital to anyone serious about their data. If you don't care about it, or don't have data that is really worth something to you for whatever reason, then don't do it.

    I have RAID on all my setups except my laptop. I feel so much more comfortable knowing I have backups on top of backups incase of a hdd failure.
  7. hulkss macrumors newbie

    Jan 9, 2008
    I opened up my Mac Pro and sprayed it with Raid. No bugs at all now:rolleyes:
  8. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020


    Jul 21, 2004
    Mirroring makes it twice as slow? Not on my machine...I don't see much difference at all...just feel safer. :)
  9. faumble macrumors regular

    Jan 8, 2008
    what is data redudancy?

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