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Mac Pro RAID 5 Question

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Eric KuehnapfelMac Pro RAID 5 Question
by on Apr 27, 2008 at 3:32:06 pm

A few questions about RAIDs in a Mac Pro tower: I am interested in using the Mac Pro RAID card to stripe three internal 1TB SATA drives in a RAID 5 configuration. Has anyone done this and used it for HD video playback? I know RAID 0 provides the best performance but I would like the protection from disk failure and I'm wondering if RAID 5 is fast enough to use for editing purposes in Final Cut. Also, does anyone know how much actual storage would be available from the 3TB after the RAID 5 was configured? Last question - although I know it's not recommended, has anyone ever striped all four drive bays together and run the Mac OS from the RAID? I'm thinking four 1TB drives striped together in a RAID 5 configuration would provide the maximum storage and maximum protection possible in a single tower. But obviously if there's a potential for major problems with this setup then it's not worth it. Just curious if anyone has done it and what their experience has been. Thanks!

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Jerry LeeRe: Mac Pro RAID 5 Question
by on Apr 28, 2008 at 8:41:23 am

Hi Eric,

If you stripe 3 of your internal drives under RAID 5, say if you have 1TB each. Instead of getting 3 TB, you will end up something close to 2 TB for you to use .

Using 3 regular sata drives under RAID 5 will let you edit 4 streams of ProRes HQ according to apple's site. I think if you want to do 10 bit uncompressed HD, you will need to use 4 drives which like you said it's not recommended.

Caldigit has a similar products call caldigit raid card which they claims to have external ports to connect more drives(more speed?). Maybe you can call them up or check out their website.

Good luck

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Rufus JakobacRe: Mac Pro RAID 5 Question
by on Apr 28, 2008 at 3:39:12 pm

3 drives in RAID 5 will not be able to do do 10-bit HD. Each SATA drive is about 80MB/s, so 3 drives in RAID 5, the best performance you can reach is 160 - 170MB/s.

The 10-bit HD requires at least 165MB/s plus 20% safe margin, so you need to find a raid card that can support at least 220MB/s in RAID 5.

According to Apple, in order to playback 10-bit uncompressed HD, you need 4x SAS drives in RAID 5.

Another alternative, in the lower price region, is CalDigit's raid card. The performance test page is here

It appears robust and a bit more refined (supports 4x internal & 12x external..RAID6...), not to mention less expensive.

Rufus Jakobac

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Eric KuehnapfelRe: Mac Pro RAID 5 Question
by on Apr 28, 2008 at 4:05:10 pm

Thanks for the helpful feedback. Not only were my suspicions confirmed but the CalDigit RAID Card is a great tip. I was only looking at the Mac RAID card and HighPoint RocketRAID. I'll wait until the CalDigit card ships in June before reconfiguring my current - and woefully small - Huge RAID array. Thanks again!

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Jon SchillingRe: Mac Pro RAID 5 Question
by on Apr 29, 2008 at 4:36:44 pm


I have read through the thread here & thought I would help out with a link to a comparison that we did a little while back:

We believe that this chart will go a long way towards helping you make the best decision in your purchase.


Jon Schilling | Sales Manager
CalDigit Inc.
Storage Solutions that work for un-compressed SD & HD, Photography & Audio
Tel: 714-572-9889 X234
Fax: 714-572-9881
Skype me: cgijon
msn: mpujon

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