Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Analog Kid, Nov 20, 2016.

  1. Analog Kid macrumors 601

    Analog Kid

    Mar 4, 2003
    I have an SSD array on a PCIe card like this:

    I'm getting ready to retire my old late 2008 MacPro but I want to keep the SSD drives (I haven't figured out what I'll migrate too yet, but it's pretty sure that it won't have an internal expansion slot). Any thoughts on the right approach and good products that would let me do this?

    I'm also not entirely sure if RAID is the right approach with SSDs. Speed is nice, of course, and this card was definitely faster than individual drives, but I know most RAID setups assume rotating media and the special maintenance requirements of SSDs may cause them to not behave optimally-- so I'd entertain alternative ways to aggregate the storage of 4 separate drives into one volume and optimize performance. This drive mostly stores media files-- it's not my boot drive.

    One solution would be an external PCIe enclosure that I could attach by Thunderbolt and insert this card into. That would let me use the entire setup unchanged without having copy the data off and back when I rebuild the array. The downside is that I think I'm currently bus limited on performance. Still, on net, this may be the best option.

    Any thoughts?
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are variations on a theme and yes, you could certainly get an external PCI "box" that connects via Thunderbolt.

    Here are a couple of examples (expensive and less expensive)

    An alternative would be simply to get a decent DAS and skip the PCI card entirely. When you load up your SSD's you either use them separately or in a combo for some RAID. As RAID, it wouldn't cost much to get a mechanical drive that is the same or larger than the sum of the SSD volumes as a backup for the RAID. My taste for SSD used in RAID would be RAID 0, RAID 1 and RAID 10 (1+0) as opposed to RAID 5 or RAID 6. The calculations required are less and trash is less of a problem for most SSDs. The alternative is just no RAID which is I prefer for SSD in general.

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