Various External RAID Options

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by greenlander, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. greenlander macrumors member

    Jun 14, 2007
    Weighing a bunch of different options for an external RAID setup I plan to use for primary/working photo storage (Lightroom/Photoshop). Looking at 2TB (effective space) solutions from a few different manufacturers, namely:

    G-Technology (G-SAFE)
    Western Digital

    I'm skeptical about both Iomega and Western Digital, but reviews for the units I've looked at are pretty promising.

    I'm also not sure about how important I should consider hot-swapping, as I'm not sure how the non hot-swappable units handle drive failure recovery.

    Lastly, although I'm looking currently at RAID 1 (mirrored) solutions, I'm wondering how bad the RAID 1 peformance hit is going to be vs. a RAID 0 solution and if I'd be better off grabbing a RAID 0 solution and a second drive for backup. Ultimately, are the RAID 0/RAID 1 performance differences even going to be noticed over firewire 800?

    Any thoughts/advice are appreciated.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    RAID 0 won't be faster really because of FW800 limitations. Western Digital is probably the biggest hard drive manufacturer in the world so there's nothing bad with their products, WD is actually my favorite HD manufacturer and have never had any problems.

    Iomega doesn't manufacture their drives so you can find e.g. Seagate inside them.

    I have 3 LaCies without problems but they don't make their drives either so...

    What are the prices and features in them? They are all good
  3. Badger^2 macrumors 68000


    Oct 29, 2009
    RAID 1 = 2 drives = 2X the failure rate.

    Unless you are backing up that RAID 1 with something else, it would not be my first choice

    Your needs seem pretty simple, I would consider a single 2TB FW800 drive and a second 2TB USB 2 drive for backup.

    Really doesnt need to be any more complicated than that.

    Dual bay cases also have fans = noise. Single bay cases do not.

    Is that 2TB a deal breaker? You might consider 1.5TB instead as well. 2TB drives are still getting premium prices, but 1.5TB drives have come way down.

    Not endorsing WD, but heres a decent deal on a 2TB FW800 drive:

    $40 less for USB 2 in a "matching" case, if thats important to you
  4. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    RAID 1 = mirroring = all data written to BOTH HDs at the same time = both HDs failing at the same time = more unlikely than winning in a lottery

    RAID 0 is risky because you lose everything if one of the drives fail but RAID 1 is basically the most secure way to store data as the same data is stored in X number of drives, if one fails, other one(s) will have the exactly same data

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