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Old June 22nd, 2006, 07:55 AM   #1
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Hard drive choices

I am pricing out 1TB raid drives, and am looking at the LaCie and G-raid, and possibly OWC mercury elite mirrord and striped drives.

So what are you all using for storage? issues?
I have heard good and bad about both the LaCie and G-raid, but not much about the OWC (I like that it is a striped set mirrord with another striped set, built in redundency)

Any pointers would be appreciated.
Phil
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 09:05 AM   #2
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This is what I'm leaning towards.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonne...logy/ENCG53HD/

It lets you add 3 extra HD's in to your G5. A lot of storage for not much $, though I haven't yet tried it, i sure like the speed, convenience & low cost of internal drives.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 09:40 AM   #3
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I use 17" PowerBooks and will be changing to a MacBook Pro 17" soon, so I need external, i.e. portable drives.

I now have LaCie drives but they are getting full and I have a large project coming up. What I have heard about LaCie is that they are great for individual drives, but their raids stink. The G-raids are worrysome to me, many of my fellow filmmaker use them and they say they occasionally unmount themselves during a render (multiple people say this, it is only one system that it happens on).
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:03 AM   #4
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A friend of mine you owns a very successful video production company uses G-Tech's G-Raid drives. They are a multi-AVID and FCStudio company.

I do not currently have the need for a RAID formatted drive. So I use G-Tech's FW800 G-Drive for backing up all my video projects. They are very reliable IMHO.

EDIT: Of course, unless you are considering G-Tech's RAID Pro drives, their standard RAID drives are RAID 0 configured which means they are not fault tolerant. Most people do not consider RAID 0 to be a true RAID configuration because of this. My friend's company uses the RAID Pro drives which I believe are RAID 3 configured. This is why I went with the simple G-Drive instead.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 12:39 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Korrow
This is what I'm leaning towards.
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonne...logy/ENCG53HD/
It lets you add 3 extra HD's in to your G5. A lot of storage for not much $, though I haven't yet tried it, i sure like the speed, convenience & low cost of internal drives.Chris
I'm currently using the G5 Jive and Sonnet Tempo-X 4+4 SATA interface card and I'm very happy with the combination. I've written about it in two of my blog posts: Media storage expansion options for the Power Mac G5 and Not all RAIDs are created equal if you want more discussion around what I chose and the other options I was considering.

This solution is good if you don't mind being your own system integrator and putting your AppleCare warranty at risk. Adding three additional internal drives will tax the cooling system and the power supply. In theory, it should be OK. I've had no problems with it, and I'm currently running it in a warm non-air conditioned room. The CPU fans do come on more often than they used to before the G5 Jive was installed.

The advantage of the products from G-Tech, which are very popular among Mac editors, is that you can get a system that all comes from one source with a single point for support and warranty service. On the other hand, I want to get as much performance as I can for every dollar I spend so I prefer to buy the raw components, choose for myself the brand and type of drives and interface card, and I don't mind troubleshooting and doing my own technical support, that's the trade off. SATA drives, enclosures, and controllers have become commodity items and there is much less risk involved these days taking the DIY approach compared to days of yore.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 12:48 PM   #6
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Of course, the ultimate storage expansion option for Mac users with PowerMag G5s in terms of performance, reliability, and excellent support (via AppleCare) is the Apple XServe RAID, we have three of them where I'm working right now. The XServe RAIDS are directly connect to each Mac editing systems, they are not part of a SAN. They will set you back, but again, they are IT class high-reliability and high performance storage solutions. A totally different beast, but a good one to know about if it's what you need.

The G5 Jive solution is what I use at home.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 09:39 PM   #7
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For external firewire I always go G-Raid. Great drives and a great company.

For SATA I built a popsicle internal array with 4 hitachi 500GB drives and a Sonnet 4+4. Read about it at www.LFHD.net.

But yeah...G-Raid all the way. i have three of those.
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:26 PM   #8
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Although I personally prefer to assemble my own storage as I need it, I do acknowledge that G-TECH has been delivering an incredibly good product.

Their FireWire drives blow away the LaCie drives and I say this as an owner of several LaCie drives. It boggles the mind that the LaCie triple-interface FW400/800/USB2.0 drives I've got do not have fans (though the cases have an internal space for it) while G-TECH puts cooling fan in all of their products. My LaCie drives run much hotter than they should, and the LaCie folks at NAB were very dismissive of my concerns that the drives run hot compared to other drives, and we're talking internal temperatures. I'm not planning to buy any more LaCie drives, if I was not into building storage from scatch and I wanted a complete system ready to go, I'd lean towards G-Tech.

For high-performance mission-critical work, G-TECH's new 4Gbit Fibre Channel RAID that can be configured as RAID-6 (two drives can fail and you're still safe) is going to give Apple's XServe RAID and other RAIDs like it their run for the money (though of course you know Apple's working on the replacement of the XServe RAID as it's been out for a while now and is looking long in the tooth).
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Old June 22nd, 2006, 10:30 PM   #9
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Their FireWire drives blow away the LaCie drives and I say this as an owner of several LaCie drives. It boggles the mind that the LaCie triple-interface FW400/800/USB2.0 drives I've got do not have fans (though the cases have an internal space for it) while G-TECH puts cooling fan in all of their products. My LaCie drives run much hotter than they should, and the LaCie folks at NAB were very dismissive of my concerns that the drives run hot compared to other drives, and we're talking internal temperatures. I'm not planning to buy any more LaCie drives, if I was not into building storage from scatch and I wanted a complete system ready to go, I'd lean towards G-Tech.
Is that really true?

I've had a hard drive of my own fail because it overheated. It would work fine at room temperature. Hard drives definitely need cooling... and when you stick 3 drives together, that's a lot more heat + chance of failure (~3X) if they're doing RAID 0.
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Old June 23rd, 2006, 02:07 PM   #10
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It is true. My company already had 20 or 30 LaCie drives before I got here, and I've seen 3 of them fail from overheating - even the single-disk models. They do run hotter than any other pre-built external drive I've used, and if you can believe forum posts (hopefully people here do) then many other people have had the same problem. After about a year, they are in constant danger of heat failure.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 04:18 PM   #11
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Hard drives need to be kept cool. Electronic components often fail from one of two factors: first, the power surge when they are first turned on, and second, heat. A well-designed, properly positioned, and quiet fan will not add much noise to a hard drive but it will help extend it's life. Why LaCie insists on not using fans while their competitors do is beyond me. I've sworn off LaCie and from now on I will assemble my own drives, picking out the cabinet and the mechanism myself.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 05:59 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Palacios
The G-raids are worrysome to me, many of my fellow filmmaker use them and they say they occasionally unmount themselves during a render (multiple people say this, it is only one system that it happens on).
We have the same problem with 3 500gb G-Raids. The LaCies we use work flawlessly. We recently got 2 more LaCies, one for extra storage and another to retrieve data from the G-Raids so we can return them.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 08:41 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Perry
Quote:
Originally Posted by Phillip Palacios
The G-raids are worrysome to me, many of my fellow filmmaker use them and they say they occasionally unmount themselves during a render (multiple people say this, it is only one system that it happens on).
We have the same problem with 3 500gb G-Raids. The LaCies we use work flawlessly. We recently got 2 more LaCies, one for extra storage and another to retrieve data from the G-Raids so we can return them.
Well, as always, nothing is 100% clear cut. As readers will see in this thread, the LaCie drives have caused certain problems for some and the G-Raid drives have caused certain problems for others. If anyone else has experience with the products from either of these drive manufacturers (or others), please share it here.

In the end, drives fail--no matter who manufacturers them. One issue I think we can all agree on is the need to manage heat successfully around your drives. All things equal, the better the heat is dissipated, the longer your drive should last.
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Old September 1st, 2006, 01:59 PM   #14
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HI folks, just a thought: Wiebetech are mac freaks and make a heck of a good product. I've bought several. They're a few more bucks but you get what you pay for. I'm looking at their new thing, it's a 4 drive hot-swappable unit using SATA, with each drive having its own SATA connection/driver (so you need a card like the Sonnet that has at least 4 external SATA ports). It looks like RAIDed up, it'll scream. You can get the 4 bay tower and 4 250GB drives in the swappable trays, all pre-configured for <$1k. Pretty good. I have nothing whatsoever to do with Wiebetech (other than being a paying customer), just sharing my experience.

Best, Scott
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Old September 12th, 2006, 08:45 AM   #15
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Stratostream has standardized on LaCie BigDisk Extreme 500GB. Flawless in every way. We have eight of them and we move them around among work-at-home editors.

Regarding the heat issue, I'm a little embarrassed about this but let me tell you the truth: We are not air conditioned here. In the summer it's probably 120-degrees here in midtown Manhattan, and we keep the windows open: The amount of dust and heat we endure would shock most Americans who are used to highly temperature controlled working environments.

Yes, we have lost equipment to dust: A Sony VX-2000 a few years ago. But the G5 Mac Towers have never had a problem with our hot, dusty conditions -- nor have our LaCie drives.

At the moment we have two LaCie Big Disk Extreme 500GBs stacked on top of a G5 Tower running 24x7, and another four of them lying cockeyed on the cables deep in the dust and dirt under our worktables, also running 24x7. Never a problem.

-0-

Let me take this opportunity to bring up something else about the drives we all use with our Intel Macs, and this applies to all drives, regardless of brand: Do you know about GUID partitioning?

We just reformatted one to the GUID PARTITION TABLE for use as a backup and external emergency boot drive with an Intel Mac. If you are not aware of this 'different-kind-of-partitioning' requirement yet check out the 'partition options' in Mac OS Disk Utility. All external drives for use with Intel Macs must be partitioned with the the GUID option if you want to use them as a ‘boot’ (emergency start-up) drive. You need to do this with GUID even if you have only one 'partition' on the drive. Newbies please note that partitioning erases the drive, so you can do this only on a new or emptied drive.

For the data - our video files - this partitioning does not make any difference: You can use video files on a GUID-partitioned drive with a G5 (or G4) Mac, no problem. And you can also use video files located on an “APPLE” partitioned drive with an Intel Mac, also no problem whatsoever.

It is only for the ‘boot’ capability that an external drive must be partitioned with GUID to startup an Intel Mac — or with the Apple partitioning option to startup a G5 or earlier Mac.

All the above wisdom is from Dave Nanian, the owner and brain of Shirt Pocket Software, the maker of the highly-praised new backup and system recovery software for Intel Macs, “SuperDuper.” Visit http://shirtpocket.com/ to learn more.

Most exciting thing about SuperDuper for me is that backing-up and then ‘recovering’ using it has some degree of defragmentation effect. As there is not yet a specific defragmentation/optimization solution for Intel Macs (Disk Warrior is working on it but it’s not ready yet), SuperDuper is the best solution operating at the moment. It made an enormous difference for me in an Intel Mac that desperately needed defragmentation. I’m still looking forward to optimizing the drive in that Intel Mac, but for now, SuperDuper fills the bill.
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