Want RAID Array

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Mufasa804, Sep 25, 2013.

  1. Mufasa804 macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2009

    I've been having trouble finding a good solution so I figured I would ask the public for their advice.

    I have two SATA3 (6 Gbit/s) drives that I want to RAID. I own a 2012 MacBook Pro and a 2009 24" iMac. In the future I plan on buying a Mac Mini that would primarily it plugged into.

    Anyways, I've looked at the following:

    OWC Mercury Elite + Thunderbolt Bundle

    NewerTech Guardian

    The benefit of the Mercury + Thunderbolt bundle is that it supports the newer SATA 3 drives and can take advantage of the 6Gbit/s, but then I'm only limited to using this array with my MacBook Pro, and my iMac would be out of luck.

    So I looked for something that would have USB 3.0 (Speeds close to Thunderbolt) and FW800 for iMac hookup. The NewerTech Guardian meets those specs but it uses SATA 2 controllers so my drives would be limited to the 3Gbit/s.

    Would I notice the difference if I'm mainly going to be using it to transfer and store movies? Playback would be done off the external. I would also be doing some editing off the external but not often.

    What other options out there am I missing?
  2. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Most likely you won't notice a difference. SATA2 maxes out at 300MB/s. Mechanical hard drives at their absolute fastest (sequential large reads) do not even max out 200MB/s. Even two in RAID would only in some scenarios max out SATA2, but even then if only if you use "RAID0".
  3. Mufasa804 thread starter macrumors regular

    Mar 6, 2009
    That's what I was thinking, since I was mainly going to store important video files I was going to go with RAID 1. Thanks for your response!
  4. John Kotches macrumors 6502

    Jan 19, 2010
    Troy, IL (STL Area)
    If you want to maximize space, and minimize risk, you might consider going RAID-5 and buying a replacement up front. This way, when a drive fails the replacement is almost immediate minimizing your exposure.

    Depending on how valuable the video data is, it might be a viable alternative to RAID-1 where your costs per GB of usable storage is 2x.

    Anyway, "important" is one of those words that can have multiple meanings, so I wouldn't rule out have a backup of the array depending on how critical your needs are.
  5. opinio macrumors 65816

    Mar 23, 2013
    I have both those enclosures and run the owc one on the LaCie t-bolt esata hub. They both run around 240MB/s read and write on either esata or USB 3.0 GMAX on RAID 0. Yes you can switch the GMAX to stripped instead of RAID 1 mirror.

    It's irrelevant about whether it is t-bolt, USB 3.0 or esata because the limiting factor is the drive speed. So unless you will run SSDs the read write speed is all the same. As I said I tested this and they are all the same.

    If you are going to run RAID 1 then then the same would apply.

    I now use Apple software RAID and get 260MB/s on the same drives on RAID 0.

    So I would suggest trying Apple raid in disk utility, but if you want an enclosure get the GMAX. It is a USB 3.0 and it has a better LED system for showing a failed drive in the mirror (one LED per drive, green good, red bad). The owc enclosure has one blue light. Owc said it should turn red is a drive is down but I am yet to experience that and it does not mention that in the manual.

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