Software Raid 0 Performance

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by geekypastor, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. geekypastor macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #1
    This is my first post and I have researched this subject for a while now still to no avail. Maybe you can help me.

    I just ordered a new Mac Pro 2.8 with the primary purpose of doing video editing on Final Cut. (5-45 min. videos here and there). Because of my budget, I cannot afford the the $800 price tag on the apple raid card but I would like to optimize my rendering and writing times. A lot of the forums I have read do not distinguish between software raid and hardware raid.

    So here's my 2 questions.

    1. Will I benefit from using the software raid in Disc Utility or would I be better off just using a separate scratch/write disc?

    2. With such a fast processor and 3 gig Sata HDs, will raid 0 improve speed enough to make a significant performance jump anyway?


    I would use a separate hd for my programs and regular files.

    Any expertise that could be given on this subject would be most helpful.
     
  2. jconly macrumors member

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    #2
    Well, to answer question number 2, yes, you will certainly see a performance increase. Almost twice as fast.

    I'm also curious as to the pros/cons of hardware vs software.
     
  3. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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  4. sirris101 macrumors member

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  5. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

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    #5
    One important difference is that you cannot boot from a softRAID, since the system has to boot up and then bring the RAID disks online.
     
  6. timb macrumors regular

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    Jun 6, 2003
    #6
    Here are my experiences:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=266328

    Currently I'm running 4 drive RAID-0 and it's amazingly fast!

    You can boot from Apple's software RAID.
     
  7. sirris101 macrumors member

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    Jan 9, 2008
    #7
    Tim, your benchmarks are awesome. Thanks. I'm curious, have you done any testing doing software RAID in Leopard? I wonder if they've made any improvements with overhead. When I run a Xbench drive test on my RAID 0, I don't see any real CPU usage (on the new octo mac pro).
     
  8. geekypastor thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #8
    So from what I understand, raid 0 does increase speed. And software raid is not bad option. But will it help with render times and editing on the new Mac Pro since the processor is so fast? Are the 3gig SATA drives able to handle video editing okay? Does anyone have any benchmarks on video rendering with and without a raid 0 array?

    Thanks

    For example without a 2 drive raid 0 array a file might take 30 minutes. How long would it take with a 2 drive raid 0 array?

    Does this make sense? I'm guess I'm trying to figure out if it is worth spending the extra money on more hd's for my setup.
    Thanks a lot for everyone's responses. They have been helpful.
     
  9. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    #9

    Aww!
    Damn, and I tought that I have happily been booting from my software Raid10 for the last 18 months...
    Now, it was all a lie and a illusion.

    Right...


    Geekypastor, about the render times.
    It doesnt help the "render times" directly,that is proc/mem intensive are,but you will get benefits as the computer needs to read/write the rendered materiel back to disk.
    And as the amount of materiel can be enormous,(tens of) gigabytes, fast I/O obviously comes handy.
     
  10. triesto macrumors newbie

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    Jan 28, 2008
    #10
    The concern here is not the performance, as it's already named RAID 0 Performance. You should be more concern on the reliability of this configuration. In my previous experience with motherboard built-in PC based RAID, you don't know when the disaster will strike and the HD get out of sync and lose all your data.

    However, you would love the performance boost and it worths the try on Mac Pro, BUT if and only if you run daily backup to a different storage media.
     
  11. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

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    Jul 21, 2004
    #11
    Hard Drive speed doesn't really affect render times, it's all processing. Where it CAN help however is how much realtime performance you get. The faster your drives the more layers you can play in realtime and such. I run my media off G-Raids and I get a decent amount of realtime, even in DVCPROHD.
     
  12. geekypastor thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Close of thread

    From the information I have gathered, in a video editing scenario, software raid 0 is a great performance booster and safe with the proper backups. I'm still not sure about how much better hardware raid is, but I don't have the $ for that kind of upgrade anyway.

    Thanks to everyone who replied to this post, you have been very helpful.
     
  13. pprior macrumors 65816

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    #13
    Huh? Since when does softraid do raid 10? Was that a typo?
     
  14. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    #14
    Nope.No typo. Software raid has done raid10 from the (at least) early tiger versions.
    I have had one up and running for about 1 1/2yrs.

    The thing is that it is not "supported" by apple as raid 0 or raid1.
    So apple washes it´s hands if some update borks it. Havent had any problems though (now running 10.4.11,updated from 10.4.2?)

    You have to parse the two mirrors into a stripe via terminal because the disk utility dont do that properly. It is about a 2 line command,nothing complicated.
     
  15. jconly macrumors member

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    #15
    Would you mind giving the exact code?
     
  16. Macinposh macrumors 6502a

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    #16
    Dang,dont remember it.

    But search from apple discusisons forums (macpro) or the interweb. Should be easy to find.

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=641381

    Edit :Here is something. Apparently ned snowing had managed to make it work via disk utility too.
     
  17. ASFx macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2008
    #17
    What's the benefit of using that instead of apple's built in software raid?
     
  18. ASFx macrumors regular

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    Feb 24, 2008
    #18
    Anyone have an answer? It's only been 1 year and 2 days since I last asked :D
     
  19. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #19
    Did you ever read this section (available on SoftRaid 3's site)?

    I've not used it, so I don't know if it really is easier to use, or offers any additional features.
     
  20. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #20
    At NAB, I checked Stardom Pro Drive, using 4 of it with total of 8 2.5" running its builtin RAID 0 and on top of it, use disk utility to RAID it again.
    Was getting over 400MB/s
    I will stop by their office and have them test out 8 SSD.
    ROCK N ROLL
     
  21. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    Jan 9, 2008
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    Japan
    #21
    This is entirely untrue!

    Many people including myself boot from their software based RAIDs. No special magic needed. Just create the raid and install OS X or clone it over. At least for the Apple one. Dunno about that product link tho. I guess it's no problem either.

    Also RAID 10 is supported in a software RAID - no problem.


    .
     
  22. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #22
    STARDOM SOHORAID ST8 with STARDOM SJ20-x8 SATA HBA

    found their real time speed test
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LhxsupPVrNU
    I believe it is software and I never get a chance to use software RAID, how reliable it is.
    My suggestion to my clients are mostly hardware and it seems people just don't want to spend money to get high end stuff.
     
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #23
    A proper hardware RAID configuration can get expensive rather quickly, to the point it even exceeds the cost of the system. That's a hard thing to sell, even to those that need it.
     
  24. joaoferro37 macrumors 6502

    joaoferro37

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    #24
    How reliable it is. We've been hearing from storage solution providers saying software is not reliable but I feel like it is more like a car sales approach. I know the RAID engine is based on code and dedicated cpu; however, if my Mac is so powerful and I am not using all my system resource, I do not see anything that makes software RAID unreliable. And of course, I would be more than happy to sell my client hardware raid since I can make more profit but I would rather be honest with my clients.
     
  25. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #25
    The biggest differences have to do with the array type used.

    For 0/1/10, it's similar. The hardware might offer easier management, but that's about it. (I^2C interface to an enclosure for example). 10 might be easier to implement (single step).

    RAID 5/6/50/60, is another story. Hardware can offer solutions (NVRAM & Battery backup) to the write hole issue, assuming it's even available via software RAID (perhaps 5, but I've never seen 6/50/60). Software can't. Period. Some models also offer backup copies of the Partition Tables, which is absolutely come in handy a time or two for recovery. ;) Also nonexistent in software RAID. Both are definitely reliability related. :D :p
     

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