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Affordable RAID solution in Mac Pro

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Arya BoustaniAffordable RAID solution in Mac Pro
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 8:21:52 am

Hi there,

I have 2 layers of Pro Res 422 with base layer plus the 100% quality rendered material, 30 FPS, adds up to 600 Mbps, so needing a RAID that can give me a guaranteed 100 MB/sec stable streaming capability. What do you recommend I can do to have a reliable performance (again not more than 100 MB/sec needed) so I'm hoping to keep the price down as much as possible: Internal 3 or 4 bays of SATA RAID 0 backed up frequently on external Time Machine, do I need to have the RAID card to achieve 100 MB/sec steady read? Can I get cheap RAID cards such as HighPoint RocketRAID for $130 or I need to have a Caldigit RAID card for $750? Any other cheap but reliable alternative? How about external RAID 4 bay systems? I wasn't very impressed with the speed test I read someone did it for Drobo and I don't want to chew up the performance for mirroring. I think I'm totally fine with non-real time backup. Is there any cheap but reliable eSATA II RAID for Mac? If so, what eSATA PCI-e card do you recommend?

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Bob ZelinRe: Affordable RAID solution in Mac Pro
by on Jun 11, 2011 at 8:13:43 pm

2 $55 dollar internal SATA drives (MODERN DRIVES) will give you more than this speed. 2 internal Hitachi 3TB SATA drives will give you 300MB/sec. ProRes422HQ is only 30MB/sec.

cheap enough ?

Bob Zelin

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Arya BoustaniRe: Affordable RAID solution in Mac Pro
by on Jun 12, 2011 at 12:15:37 am

Thanks Bob for your advice.

Sorry I think I need a bit higher speed than 100 MB/sec for 4 streams of Pro Res 422 overlays, etc. I need to get the speed test from my 3 internal 1TB WD Black Caviar 64MB cache RAID 0 to find out. It is interesting to know that 2 drives gives 300MB/Sec. Is it with a RAID card or just disk utility RAID? I'm wondering how come Areca ARC-5020 which is a 4 bay external RAID with a high performance RAID controller can offer only 210 MB/Sec on a 3 Gbps eSATA connection.

Also I heard the drive performance drops once you pass the 60 percent full capacity. It's nice to have a cushion in read speed to avoid the choking if the drive is getting a bit full.


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Bob ZelinRe: Affordable RAID solution in Mac Pro
by on Jun 13, 2011 at 2:00:31 am

everything you are refering to is outdated technology. You must constantly spend money, equipment is constantly improving. Two cheap modern 6Gig SATA drives (not 3Gig SATA drives that you currently own) will outperform whatever you currently own.

The modern Areca card the the ARC-1880x. This will do 900MB/sec in an external SAS array with your WD Black Caviar drives in an 8 bay, and 1600MB/sec in a 16 bay. The equivalent 3gig solution - an Areca 1680x with Hitachi or WD 3Gig 1TB drives in a 16 bay will only give you 600 - 700MB/sec. that is a HUGE increase.

The moral is, that you have to SPEND MONEY, and don't think about how you can get your existing equipment to perform better. Your old equipment is useless. If you have no money, put three new inexpensive 6Gig SATA drives, stripe them together, and you will get exactly the performance you want. Want fantastic performance - buy new equipment. All the brands you mentioned are teriffic - you just need the new 6Gig products from them.

Bob Zelin

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Arya BoustaniRe: Affordable RAID solution in Mac Pro
by on Jun 13, 2011 at 8:45:11 am

Thanks Bob. That puts me in the right mindset. I have a Mac Pro 3,1 with the internal drives hooked up to the built in SATA II controllers. I guess I need to buy a PCI-e 2.0 SATA III controller, unhook the connections of the drives from the motherboard and hook them up to the PCI-e card. You are right. It doesn't make sense not to take advantage of 6 Gbps capability of the new drives especially when they are so affordable.

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Nicolas BassoRe: Affordable RAID solution in Mac Pro
by on Jun 20, 2011 at 10:07:34 pm

Bob, when you refer to 6 GB drives, I presume you aren't referring to the size of the drive, but something else. Could you please explain?

Also, when creating an internal raid with Disk Utility, (I'd like to make a Raid 1), do you format the drives for Extended or Extended (Journaled).


Nick Basso
MacPro OS 10.6.2
2 x 2.66 GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon
6 GB 667 MHzz DDR2 FB-DIMM

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