Softraid 4 vs Disk utility for raid 0

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TeaZy, Jun 13, 2011.

  1. TeaZy macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
    I'm about to setup my mac pro with two internal drives as Raid 0. I would be purchasing 2x Hitachi 3TB 7K3000. Seem to be a good choice for speed.

    Setup would be

    Bay 1 - Boot
    Bay 2 - Raid 0
    Bay 3 - Raid 0
    Bay 4 - Time Machine ( to back up the other 3 drives )

    Does any one have any experience over these two software options? Reliability etc. As far as i can tell it makes a bigger difference for other types of raid but not raid 0.

    At a later stage I might buy a SSD to boot and an additional drive for Raid 0.

    Any comments would be much appreciated.
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Just use Disk Utility (no technical/performanc/reliability differences, and it's already installed in the system).
  3. TeaZy thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 6, 2010
  4. smayer97, Aug 1, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 1, 2011

    smayer97 macrumors newbie

    May 24, 2010
    I have used both extensively.

    For the simple set up you are planning Apple's DU is more than adequate.

    Both Apple and SoftRAID (v4.0+) have very similar performance. Reliability for Apple DU is ONLY good the version that comes with Snow Leopard onward. Any version prior to this is very flaky, especially if you end up using it to make a lot of changes.

    I like to optimize the speed of my drives by isolating the first portion of the drive and installing the data that require the fastest access and use RAID 0 (partitions are created from the outer edge of a disk platter to the inner edge. Outer edge has significantly greater throughput).

    The balance of the drives I partition and create RAID 0 or RAID 1's based on my data safety vs speed needs. I use one internal and 3 external drives, separating data from OS, using a bootable RAID partition for maintenance with my software Toolkit, some for Time Machine, and many for mirrors and back-ups of critical set-ups for quick recovery (using RAID 1 and CCC).

    TIP: if you do desire to use RAID and PARTITIONS and want control over where your partitions are created on the disks, I have found the best way to do it is to use Apple DU to create the partitions first. Then use SoftRAID and convert the Apple Partitions to SoftRAID partitions, then create your RAIDs using SoftRAID. The reason is that SoftRAID does not give you control as to where your partition will be created, nor can you determine their location using SoftRAID's graphical presentation. SoftRAID works fine if you carefully plan ahead but if you decide to change your partitions, Apple DU gives you much better control.

    The big advantage of SoftRAID over Apple DU is that RAID 1 mirror rebuilds are MUCH faster. And on today's large capacity drives, this can be very useful.

    But again, based on your stated plan, Apple DU will do you fine.

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