View Full Version : I Need A RAID 0 Recommendation...

11-30-2001, 07:30 PM
I'm putting together a workstation for a client and seek wisdom from the gurus. I'm an old Windows guy (forgive me, if you can) and need enlightenment.

We've got a G4 867 with 1GB RAM, GeForce3 Video Card & ATI Radeon (2 monitors), 21960 Powerdomain SCSI card (not currently used), with an ATA 60 GB drive. Due to the various software we're using we're alternating between both OS 9.2 and OS X.1 Problem: the current drive is too slow for the animation and video production he's trying to do.

I need recommendations for a "screaming" speed ("Scotty, I need more power!") hard drive configuration. From what I understand, we're talking RAID 0. I believe the current drive is fine enough to boot from and load programs, but certainly not hardy enough for the software likes of CommotionPro or Maya.

Your help is greatly appreciated!


11-30-2001, 08:27 PM
Only one way to have RAID0 that I know of for both OS9 and 10 is Hardware RAID.

The best, and one that I have tried, is Acards ATA133 Hardware RAID card. I used two of the ATA100 IBM 60GXP 60 gig drives in my Quicksilver 867 with the Acard and doubled the performance without the card. This setup will boot in both OS9 & X. If I wanted a little more speed I'd probably leave the factory drive on the factory bus and get two Maxtor ATA133 drives.

If you do your initial setup in OS10 with OS10s drive utility and you'll be able to partition the RAID, OS9 was not able to do that.

A couple write ups on the ATA133 RAID: http://www.barefeats.com/secret/hard21.html http://www.xlr8yourmac.com/IDE/IDE_RAID/acard_ata133_raid_report.html

Speed is its own reward.

[This message has been edited by ricks (edited 30 November 2001).]

11-30-2001, 09:30 PM
Hey Xer,

RickS is right in all he says but the Ultra ATA RAID rig will only get about 60-70 MB/s throughput. If more speed is required, the solution is an ATTO UL3D PCI SCSI controller and four Seagate X15 HDs. In RAID 0 config, this will yield 200+ MB/s in the Quicksilver. BUT, the RAID will show up as a target ONLY in the OS in which it is set up and I only know of software such as SoftRAID which is OS 9.x compatible, Not sure if ATTO ExpressRAID is OS X compatible yet.

11-30-2001, 10:23 PM
MacMikester, great points.
I just checked at ATTO, they have a new product...YEAH
ATTO OSX Express Striping.(Only RAID0)

This will only make a volume accessable to OSX though. But, able to RAID SCSI, ATA and other buses in OSX.

This also means that someone needing fast,Fast,FAst,FASTTTTT on both OSx and OS9 could do one of a couple things.

A foursome of X15 Cheetahs might be able to partition out so half the volume of each drive is OSX RAID and the other half OS9 RAID with Express RAID. I am not sure whether this would work.

A foursome (or more) of X15s could be split into two X 2 drive (or more) RAIDS, one for OSX and one for OS9. RAIDing by Express RAID and OSX Express Striping. Expensive but definatly doable.

Problem, nothing on the RAID volumes is accessable except by the OS it's setup to run under. One would have to put ANYTHING common to, or shared with both OSs' on another and slower bus. Maybe not a huge problem but a annoying one.

Any speed is possible up to the PCI bus saturation level with this on both OSX and 9.


12-04-2001, 03:58 PM
Thanks guys.

Looks like I'm going the mega-expensive route with 2 ATTO UL3D's and 4 X15 Cheetahs (2 HD's for OS9 and 2 for OSX).

Are there any "gotchas"/things to avoid or recommendations as far as cables or external cabinets are concerned? I'd hate to much this up with a poor selection or configuration after spending big bucks.


12-04-2001, 07:34 PM
Go man go. Sounds great. Kayes the dude to get the perfect external guidance from. The old saying about Carter and pills fits Kaye and RAIDS.

Make sure when you order your ATTO card that the OSX Express Striping comes bundled, I would hate to have to add that later $$$$$

I don't think you'll need two UL3Ds. If one UL3D has 4 drives/ 2 on each channel, you can have each OS have either one channel each, probably safest, or split each channel with one drive on each channel dedicated to each OS (only a VERY minor performance gain over same channel/same OS)

I still think you should check out the possibility of partitioning each drive into two and splitting each drive into OS9 and OSX. 4 partitions on 4 drives for each OS will seriously increase the performance if the ATTO software will allow it. No matter how you do it the RAID volumes will only be see-able from their own OS.


12-04-2001, 07:54 PM

I just installed an ATTO UL3D dually and 2 X-15's (ST 318452LW) Running a 2 drive raid it does not benefit to have them on seperate channels but when you have 3 or more drives you DO get great increases in speed from a 2 channel setup. Whether a 4 channel setup will be worth the added costs of the card cabling and terminator.....well you will have to ask Kaye about that one.

One Gotcha that I learned about here is that Ultra 160 drives do not have any built in termination so you must buy a seperate cable terminator

Stay away from SCA 80 pin drives.... in fact buy from the Gurus and only from the Gurus :-)

12-04-2001, 11:48 PM

I'm not an expert, just learning like the rest of us. ricks, MacMikester, and Damien have nailed it. One ATTO UL3D with two G2 X15s is good and best left on one channel. Splitting them onto separate channels gives minimal increase in thruput and mega increase in cost. Four X15s, two on each channel, gives near 200MB/s thruput. Six X15s, three on each channel, gives a little closer to 200MB/s thruput. I have a post on this forum with the actual numbers. I have since optimized the directory and drives and rebuilt the desktop and the numbers are slightly better in this configuration.

This morning I installed a second UL3D and put three X15s on one channel on each card, still six X15s total. So far, though I need to rebuild the striped RAID and optimize, I just ran the drives and got about 4-5MB/s more thruput. So I am over the 200MB/s hump with six drives, but considering the additional cost of two more drives, larger (8-bay) external Burly case, longer Granite cabling inside the Burly, more Ult Cooler fans (even tho I have six drives, the recommendation is to fill all bays in a Burly with Ult Coolers). Four X15s and one UL3D seems the most bang for the buck.

Burlys here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsienclosures.html and I have the MAP5083 8-Bay 5.25-in SCSI Encl w/ 15-ID Switches. Then you have to add the Burly internal LVD cabling, Granite TPO, in my case two of GD2682 Quad 68-pin Int TPO LVD Ribbon Encl. Cable (one for each channel) which is further down the same page as the Burly enclosures. You will need two Granite LVD terminators here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiterminators.html and I chose two of the GD6299 68-pin MicroD LVD Active Diagnostic Termination and two GD1636 Remote LED Indicator (for use with Terminators).

For external LVD cables you need two GD4911 Ext. 68-pin .8mm to 68-pin MicroD 3-ft. Cable here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsicables.8mm.html

Last, Ult Coolers here http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?coolingdevices2.html and I purchased eight of them.

This is a project to build up, like an erector set, but enjoyable. There is a link on the main page on rolling your own RAID. k

12-12-2001, 09:21 PM
Thanks Kaye for laying it out. (Sorry to take so long to respond, but sometimes life just gets in the way...)

I'll take your advice and go with the single UL3D and six X15's. If that ain't fast enough, nothin' ever will be.

Thanks also to RickS and MacMikester. I couldn't have pulled this all together without your help.

I'll let you guys know how it goes once I've got this little erector set together.

Then I'll sit back and sip a cold one in your honor...