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Old February 25th, 2009, 11:10 PM   #1
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Software vs Hardware RAIDs with modern Mac Pros, does it still matter?

Aside from other differences between software and hardware RAIDs, the main argument against software RAIDS (and thusly in favour of hardware RAIDs) is the CPU hit that a software RAID causes. Now, back in the dark ages of single-core processors this made sense, but I am wondering if this is still a practical concern in our modern age of dual quad-core glory?
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Old February 26th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #2
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good question. I have FCS 1, so I can't even use more than 4 of my 8 cores anyway. SATA output to a G-RAID was good, even firewire 800 was pretty similar. Honestly what I like the look of is the SSD RAID drives by G-Technologies might be rockin! 197mbs read/write? no spinup time? Next year they will be more affordable. Now they are fairly good for quality remote HD work. Does anyone have any real numbers on an internal hardware raid data test?
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Old February 26th, 2009, 06:32 PM   #3
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Really depends on how much throughput you need. 4 streams of DVCPROHD or XDCAM EX- sure. But 4 streams of 1080p uncompressed, you need some heavy duty RAID-age.

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Old February 26th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #4
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I can say from all the years of testing every conceivable RAID setup on a Mac for the past 5 years that you won't notice any speed difference between soft/hardware RAID on a Mac Pro.

You will however, notice a difference in "sustained" speeds depending on the RAID architecture you choose (eSATA, FW, Fiber, SCSI). At one time I posted an in-depth review of the various RAID setup pitfalls and speed expectations; can't remember the title but it's here somewhere. (laughs)

My suggestion would be to pick the architecture that fits the budget (and be sure you understand the safety implications of both managed and un-managed software RAIDs) and go for it.
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Old February 26th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #5
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If by software RAID you mean having a controller card that is run by software vs one where you have an expensive chassis and the only card you put in your computer is one for throughput, then you will not see a difference until you are sharing that RAID with many other edit bays. In terms of having that same software RAID vs filling up your trays in your Mac Pro and running the operating system's RAID then you will notice a difference especially after you fill the OS RAID past 50%. I myself use the OS's RAID since I have all of the trays filled but I would never cut a HD show with that.

The best bang for the buck in my opinion is Mini SAS.

Life Zero: Super Fast 4TB RAID for Under $1,500 (was $2k)

^Very cool option
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Old February 27th, 2009, 12:45 AM   #6
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Originally Posted by James Brill View Post
If by software RAID you mean having a controller card that is run by software vs one where you have an expensive chassis and the only card you put in your computer is one for throughput, then you will not see a difference until you are sharing that RAID with many other edit bays.
That is exactly what I am talking about.

This is exactly what I am looking into.
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Old February 27th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Robert Lane View Post
At one time I posted an in-depth review of the various RAID setup pitfalls and speed expectations; can't remember the title but it's here somewhere. (laughs)
Ugh, yer gonna make me sift through all those "All posts by this user" results, aren't you ya bastard?! ;-D

When I find it, I'll be sure to bookmark it on Delicious. :-)
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:43 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
Ugh, yer gonna make me sift through all those "All posts by this user" results, aren't you ya bastard?! ;-D

When I find it, I'll be sure to bookmark it on Delicious. :-)
I was looking at that very article today. Seems like a pretty good value. I am also looking at these - G-Technology - G-SPEED eS, High-Speed RAID for Video Editing Applications
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Old February 27th, 2009, 08:48 PM   #9
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The ProAvio (Enhance Technology) stuff referenced in the above links is commercial-grade stuff and as reliable as they come. I've tested and used their eSATA, Mini-SAS and SCSI RAID enclosures and give them "two thumbs up".
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Old February 28th, 2009, 08:46 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike Barber View Post
This is exactly what I am looking into.
There is a Redux for that thread where he points out someone who did their spin on his RAID using more modern parts since there are new versions of the chassis and card.
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