simple, fast, external Raid 0 to buy?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by dupsta, Sep 11, 2010.

  1. dupsta macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2010
    Looking for some specific but simple advice on buying a raid. If you could teach or share your thoughts, but fair warning I am not a tech and get easily confused. Lol
    But seriously, port multipliers, pci card bottle necks, quad eSata ports, enclosures with raid and esata interface, pci-x? raid and port multipliers, hardware/software raids? What cables go where. Ahhhh!

    K.I.S.S. :confused:
    Just break it down like a pro.
    Here we go!

    My specific needs and specs:
    I am looking for a fast drive configuration for use with my Intel 2008 macPro (Haprertown) OS: osx and windows vista.
    Needs to be compatible with both operating platforms.
    External solution please, the raid will be used with one box and will not need to be shared with other computers.
    Used for Video editing and high-resolution image sequence playback.
    I am looking to reach up to 300mbs if I have the budget, but that speed requirement might be too expensive for me, I am not sure?
    No redundancy or security required, everything is non critical.
    I will only need to run Raid 0
    I do not want to do internal storage.
    To help with cost, I can get away with 250-500gigs, as space is not necessary. Think, speed, speed, speed.
    Price, Can I do this for $450?

    The homework I have done thus far:
    The SSD drives are perfect for me but the price point is a little pricy when I can do similar speeds for less cash. Unfortunately I have ruled out SSDs.
    I think I am going the way of an eSata raid, just don’t know how to configure something close to 300mbs? Do I do a pci raid card? Do I build a raid and buy a card? Any simple ideas you have?

    Using the listed spec above can a raid guru suggest a solution for me;
    External, High speed Raid 0, no redundancy,(300mbs)
    Low storage capacity (to drive down cost for me if it is relevant?)
    Compatible with my Intel mac pro OSX Harpertown dual quad.
    Disk solution can be formatted to be used for either OS (vista or osx).

    FirmTek has some good stuff but I am not 100% sure? Can you give me some simple cost effective solutions?

    Thanks in advance
  2. Ryan P macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    Some members may have other options that would better meet your needs but one option would be one of the eSata solutions from g-technology.

    I've been using a couple of them with my Macbook Pro's and have been happy. You won't get quite the speed you want but they have a Raid 0 unit at 1TB-4TB that is in the 225MB/sec range and is very easy to move from computer to computer as it supports USB2, Firewire800 and eSata.

    They are really well built and aesthetically pleasing units as well!
  3. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    sure you will find a solution :)

    $450 is that with the HDD ?

    something like this that has 4 regular SATA ports not a PM
    someone might find a better box ? these days its tough everyone wants PM cases !
    two cards like this Technology/MXPCIE6GS2/

    Samsung F3
    WD black are quick drives ?
    some others will jump in with better price performance options I am sure :)

    and why no internal ? you have 4 sleds and a extra SATA port up in the optical bay ?
    use the other sleds ?
  4. dupsta thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2010
    I have looked into G raid, the dual drive is cool for sure. Many of my friends like it around. And if I stick with G-Tech and want a faster raid the ES pro is super nice but too expensive for me. I would like to get some faster read speeds, I think I need to push from dual to quad drives though? Thanks for the advise, if I settle for 225mbs I will go with the dual G-raid.
    Forgive my question there like a raid card in the enclosure? Also I don't want firewire 800 speeds, just eSata, I feel like a dummy but how does this work? Do I have to buy an eSata card that I mount in the back of the mac pro, than the G_raid plugs into it? Does the card just hook up to the spare eSata cables inside the box, like a cheap extension, or does the card have to be a PCI card? I see the URL you gave me and it has these cards for sale under the G_raid?
  5. dupsta thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2010

    Yea I was hoping $450 for the whole shabang, but 4 drives will run me about $210 even more with the F3s. $450 is not enough to get 300mbs huh?

    Can you explain having 4 "regular" sata ports, than you mention the demand for a port multiplier. So what is going on with this? Remember I just started reading about this stuff a few days ago, I know jack about it. Would I have four esata cables running from the raid enclosure to the PCI "regular port" esata card. And lets say with a port multiplier you just have one cable, but get the same through put? I don't know I just guessing? What is the demand about? What is the port multiplier do?
    I don't care about messy cables, loud fans, dirty looks, nasty personalities. I will bury this unit behind a desk on the floor, we got music and sounds going all day, not like it has to be quite. Just a work horse and needs to have fast read speeds for my limited budget.

    Internal: I know what your saying, Internal would be clean right? I have all my sleds filled with mission critical data, meta data, 2 operating systems, than a personal drive for personal use, stuff I always want with me.
    So Internal is a better idea but I am not sure I can free up three sleds to get a fours drive raid in there. Plus, it is a work raid, and want to be able to leave the raid behind if I don't need it. However, it would be so great to hook up two 2.5 SSDs in the free optical space and raid 0 them huh? Should I just bite the cost and do that? Ahh, so many options, I just want someone to do all this for me so I can keep working and not mess it up. kinda kidding I know its good for me to learn this.
  6. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    $450 can be maybe or close :)

    figure the $270 for box and two cards
    dont know how the samsung 500 meg discs are for speed ? $59 each so 3 might get you to that speed ?

    the Port Multiplier thing google it for more tech :) but basically its a way to get a few HDD hooked up with one cable the problem is the bandwidth one cable is good for 300 MB/sec in a perfect world :)
    in real world it seems most of them choke out about 200 MB/sec TOPS ? they are never that fast but they are a great solution for a bunch of storage ! but not a good solution for FAST storage

    when looking at cards their are two types basically
    PCIe 2.0 go up to 500MB/s bandwidth
    PCIe 1.0 taps at 250MB/s bandwidth
    many PM cards are this PCI 1.0
    the ones I linked to are not and more cards are the 2.0
    its just good info to know :)
    cause if you found a cool 4 port card for $50 and thought COOL now I have 4 ports chances are its a PCI 1.0 and again you wont get that speed
    their are some PCI 2.0 4 port cards ? but I think they are about $200 like the firmtek as example ? so when two are $98 and you are on a super tight budget ?

    does that help make sense of why not a PM :)

    my analogy would be a garden hose !
    if you are trying to fill up a 50 gallon kiddy pool and you have one hose and then put a 5 hose adapter off it and ran 5 more hoses ? you wont really fill up the kiddy pool any quicker
    that is the PM
    now if you had 5 taps and each was hooked to your water main on your house and each one had a hose you would be able to fill up the kiddy pool a lot quicker thats what you want !

    thats a rough analogy :) but hope it works a bit to understand it :)

    that mission critical data you are backing up I hope :)
  7. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    you could ? but then bite the cost and get another solution ? the one I gave you if you got 3 WD black 1TB I think they would hit close to that speed if not more ? dont know never bothered raid 0 them up and checked ? but they might do it ?
    wait or hunt around for the F3 ? fast HDD and like I said newegg has some good deals depending on how quick you need this going ? but a good fast 1TB drive say is about $80 up or down you could get 3 and that case setup and be in just over $500 ?

    not sure but bring up your budget a touch might be the best thing :)
  8. Ryan P macrumors regular

    Aug 6, 2010
    It's really just like any other USB type drive except it also has firewire and eSata ports at back as well. You don't have to do any sort of configuration of the RAID it just comes as is. The eSata cards gtech sell are quite expensive. I'm going to test the 4TB model out with my new Mac Pro and this card when it finally arrives. It may be possible to do a software RAID 0 of two of them to get to higher performance levels but that's not something I have any experience with.
  9. dupsta thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2010
    So much gear out there. I mean so much gear out there. I have 20 choices for every item.

    So going back to the garden hose analogy.

    Lets say I have a dual external raid 0 enclosure, two paired drives.
    How to hook them up for optimal read speeds.

    1) I run a 20$ extender cable from the internal two spare eSata ports on the mobo. Run two eSata cable to each port on the external enclosure.

    2) I buy 70$ PCIe regular 2 port card and install in hopefully the correct PCI port. Run two eSata cables to each port on the enclosure

    3) or buy an enclosure that has a built in PM and run that one cable to a PCIe PM card?

    What is the fastest solution from these three.
  10. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    the PM might top out around 180 MB/s ? yes it can do a touch more or less but close enough :) so two of these then in raid 0 would be in theory about 360 MB/s but a cheap one might not reach that ? as cheap ones it seems top out around 150 MB/s and two of these cheap ones will just barely hit your 300 MB/s you want ?
    not trying to dodge it but as you said 20 choices :) 20 different performance outcomes maybe ?

    the other way with 4 individual cables meaning each HDD gets its own cable you are looking at maybe 400 MB/s ? up or down depending on HDD inside of course

    the individual I think is going to be quicker in the end ?

    the only issue with the twin raid 0 setups are how they handle the SATA connection ? cause some rely on the PM type boards to read the cases ? does that make sense ?
    just make sure you know what is what ?

    also note pure speed no redundancy its important to remember if a HDD goes you loose everything ? :) just reminding ya

    PM Nanofrog to jump in here and give his thoughts ?

    I would say that original set up with your budget the datoptic case and the two port card would be good ? you could jump out the two ports inside the mac and use a single external card like the OWC for $49 to that case ?

    also I love Graid stuff ? for the right person its good stuff ? with your budget its not the choice unless you up your funds :)

    you could always check something like this
  11. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    sans digital has what you

    this is a 175 bucks empty. holds 2 drives it needs no external raid cards. I own 4 of them. I have one with 1tb samsung f3 hdds cost is 175 plus 75 plus 75 total of 325. uses esata cable and is fast and simple not 300mb/s high 180's to 150's raid 0 cap of 2tb,

    but you can use it with other drives and get 210's to 180's for speed. I have one with corsair x64 ssd's faster but cost more. I have one with intel x25m ssd's a little faster. and 1 with velociraptor hdds nothing is more simple then these and you can move it from system to system. I use them with my esata hack mac mini's. here is a long thread with photos near the end that show the sans digital's being used.

    pm me for links and any questions. I have a lot of drive scores with different hdds and ssd's using the sans digital
  12. jerryobr macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2010
    LaCie 2TB RAID

    Just wanted to mention about a LaCie product that I've been eying lately. It is their 2TB system. This is a nice box!

    Price: ~ $250
    Capacity: 2TB (at RAID 0) and 1TB (at RAID 1)
    Throughput: 65MBs (520bps) via ethernet (connected to a router or connected to a computer); also has a USB 2.0 port
    Compatibility: compatible with Mac TimeMachine for backups

    FWIW, if you plan to use the external storage for backups as well as for primary storage, some vendors RAID products are not compatible with TimeMachine (they will generally state if they are, and you can read reviews).

    I've noted that this thread intermingles "bps" and "Bps"; there is significant difference. 1bps is just one bit per second; where-as, 1Bps is one byte per second, with one byte equally 8 bits. So, for example, a 50MBps (400Mbps) system is faster than a 300Mbps system.

    With the 2TBs, you could consider running a RAID 1. This would give you mirrored back-up of anything stored on the system, and would give you 1TB of usable data storage: more than your specified need. At RAID 0, you would have 2TBs of usable storage, but no mirroring back-up.

  13. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    If speed is your priority over space why not look at Solid State Drives. Speeds of up to 300Mb/s. Some can be used externaly too. With your budget you wont get much more than 250GB, but its the simplest way of getting what you require.
  14. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
  15. dupsta thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2010
    Yes these drives are just to read off of. All the data is sitting on an 80 T server and I don't like pulling large files of the server, So I need to copy everything to a fast drive to read from. No worries about redundancy hence the need for a raid 0.
    Thanks for your thoughts.
  16. dupsta thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 11, 2010
    I am thinking about the Elite-AL Pro eSATA
    OWC has a bundle for like 190$ but I am not sure it comes with the drives?
    Come swith a PCIe card. Do I need to also buy drives with this bundle?
    What do you think?
    you can google the ID number OWCMESRPCIET1.0

    This is why I would not do SSD just yet. 1T Raid zero 190$ 1x120gig SSD $314 So the raid is faster and cheaper, so in my first post I had filtered them out of the equation for now.

    This might be my solution. And I think I can get close to 300mbs...I think?
  17. ycookmd macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    I need some help choosing between 2 different Sans Digital options.

    Background: I have a new Mac Pro with the Apple Raid card. I have a SSD boot in the lower optical bay and 4x 2TB internal HDs striped in a 8TB RAID 0. I have been testing it out for a week or so and it's working fine. Before I start dumping all my audio files onto it, I want to set up an appropriate backup system. I plan to get two separate 4-bay external RAID boxes with 4x 2TB drives: one to run Time Machine, and another to backup using different software.

    These are the two boxes I am looking at:

    It looks like the Towerstor is a bit more expensive and comes with a fancy digital display and more connectivity (USB2, FW400/800, eSATA). It appears a bit more "plug-n-play," and offers basic RAID modes only. I already have an eSATA card ( Technology/MXPCIE6GS2/) without PM function that should work fine with this box (?).

    The TowerRaidPlus has USB2/3 and eSATA but no FW... but also comes with a 6GB eSATA PM card. It looks like it is a little bit faster (?) and offers a few other storage modes, but requires the PM function of the included card to support the JBOD and "large" disk modes. I downloaded the manual and it looks like the card does not require a driver instal for Mac OS X, so it should be easy to use (?).

    I am leaning towards the Towerstor since it seems like an easy solution and offers FW connectivity which might come in handy if I ever want to dump files onto my MacBook. However, I wonder if there are advantages (beside cost) for going with the TowerRaidPlus. I am not sure I really understand what the benefits of a PM card are other than that it would let me control the drives independently. Since I plan to put them in a Raid to create a volume to mirror the MacPro, that's not really a big plus, right?. Is there something else I should consider? How much faster would the PM solution be?

    Thanks for any advice. I want to be sure I pick the right boxes since I am buying two, plus the 8 drives to go along with them. I am not sure I really understand all the 3 versus 6Gb eSATA and PM stuff so I just want to make sure there is something I'm not overlooking. Any other suggestions would be appreciated as well.
  18. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    my thoughts on the boxes ? I have something like the tower raid and it works fine for what it is ? I think they are decent units I might say go for the 5 bay one though ? since that way you will get a bit more storage :)
    that way if you put in 2TB HDD you end up with 8TB of storage not just 6TB :)

    if you need the connectivity of the one with FW then go for that ? I think the advantage of it is good

    now the two cases ? I have my own theories ? and not saying they are the only thing :)

    also I have two computers so when I buy two of the same case they are going one to one computer and one to the other computer !

    but I prefer when buying HDD to buy two types ? meaning two models either different companies or just WD greens and Blacks ?
    my reason is once in a great while you get a bug that hits a certain model etc.. so if all your HDD are that you could end up in problems like the old IBM click of death or seagates issue etc..

    now when it comes to cases ? I dont mind buying two of the same unit ! cause if one fails you can use the other one to get your data off it ?
    I have had a power supply die on a smaller case like this and cause I had two ? no issues just pop the drives in the other case if I needed to :) lucky though I have 3 sets of BU all the time ? and two are local like you are doing so I used my other set !
    again this is one on one computer one on the other usually :) so my theory is also I spread the risk out over two comptuers ! and I also have two regular PM boxes in JBOD

    since the new mac is in and I introduced more SSD my storage setup is changing a bit :)

    so my current little 5 disc raid 5 boxes I have are good and doing the job ? if the sans was available I might have gotten it cause I have a few sans cases and have had good luck with them :)

    now the logic of if a case design is bad and has bad power supplies for example ? well that like my HDD logic could also say buy two dif types of cases ?
    so this is a personal call :)
    since you said you have a MacBook that could be handy to dump info on if needed !!! so in YOUR case I might say go for the 5 bay tower raid and make that your time machine since it gives you a bit more room and get the other FW towerstore one and use it for straight BU

    not trying to be confusing just kinda doing a brain dump on ya ;)
  19. ycookmd macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010

    I hadn't thought of those things, especially having identical boxes to save a RAID if the controller or the power supply poops out.

    Getting a 5 instead of a 4-disk box with Raid 5 to get 8 TB of storage is a pretty good idea, too.

    I'll mull those options over. Thanks again for the input. :cool:

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