SSD or HDD in a ThunderBay 4 for audio work?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by jordanz, Oct 14, 2015.

  1. jordanz, Oct 14, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 14, 2015

    jordanz macrumors member


    May 13, 2012
    Getting a OWC ThunderBay 4 thunderbolt RAID box to host my iTunes and audio sample libraries for DAW work. Needs to be quick importing files into the DAW (Ableton). Will be getting the new 27" iMac with the faster SSD speeds (1800mb/s) so that won't be a bottleneck here (Ableton cache folder stored on the Mac OS SSD).

    iTunes artwork/database will be stored on the Mac OS SSD but the actual mp3s/wavs will be on the ThunderBay.

    Will there be a performance difference putting in 1TB SSD's as oppososed to, say, WD Red 3TB HDD's for this use case? Thanks!
  2. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Raid 5 enables striping so you'll see a boost in speed for platter based drives. If you were to use a good performing 7200 drives then you won't notice any significant drop in performance over ssd once the files are copied over.
  3. jordanz thread starter macrumors member


    May 13, 2012
    Hmm interesting! Originally thought to do RAID 5 but now I'm thinking 2 drives in RAID-0 and setting up the other 2 drive bays in another RAID-0 to mirror the first volume. Just worried about the noise of those 7200 drives compared to the WD reds / NAS drives. Obviously SSD wins in the quiet category though.
  4. Gav2k macrumors G3


    Jul 24, 2009
    Wd reds spin between 5400 and 7200 depending on data transfer so your all good there. On the raid 0 standpoint you won't see any gain over raid 5 as raid 5 stripes the array anyway
  5. matreya macrumors 65816


    Nov 14, 2009
    I would (from experience) recommend HGST Deskstar NAS over WD Red. The HGSTs are real 7200 RPM HDDs and they're pretty quiet (I have 8 x 3TB of them in a pair of hardware RAID5 enclosures).
  6. ColdCase, Oct 15, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Feb 10, 2008
    Stay away from RAID 5 and larger drives. RAID 0 with mirror takes much less time to rebuild... well no time beside copying from the backup. With the advent of large an inexpensive drives, RAID5 has lost its advantaged except for a few use cases. You can also save some $ as you don't need hardware RAID. Disk utility does RAID0 and Mirror nicely.

    As far as SSD vs spinners, I have both for video applications. I like SSD, if you can afford them, as there is zero spin up time, no noise, and less power/heat. Black magic on my rMBP shows a single SSD in a TB enclosure provides about 380/360 read/write where a pair of Seagate enterprise drives in RAID0 provide 300/300. Probably not a noticeable difference to most. I use 850 Pros with their 10 year warranty. The spinners are now archive/backup drives. I use them for the Itunes library too.

    I've had poor luck with recent HGST drives, the WD REDs have been trouble free, both 4TB and 6TB. The 4TB are pro series.

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5 October 14, 2015