View Full Version : stupid RAID question for new G4

Dick Brillo
05-31-2002, 12:31 PM
Been searching all the posts and can't find an answer to my question. Really sorry being, what I feel is, repetitive.

Can I buy a drive from Gurus like the 'IBM 120GB 7200 rpm ATA100 IDE Hard Drive', install it inside the G4, and create a RAID? Or do I have to buy a card?

I'm gunna buy either a QS 933 or dual 800 in a few days. I need more storage for editing digital video in FCP and burning to DVD with DVD Pro. I would like be able to edit with a max of 80GB on my hard drive for one project. Any input in which machine would be helpful--I'm sitting on the fence...

05-31-2002, 01:01 PM
RAID requires two matched drives. IDE PCI has the advantage of hardware RAID. So you might want to have two 80 GB drives. or 120's. Multiple volumes, ability to erase your scratch volume.

Otherwise, if you plan to work in OS X, you can't see your RAID in 9.2.x.

Guess can't twist your arm on the benefits of a couple X15 or even 10K Cheetahs on UL3S/D... might not be able to buy the QS then http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif You do realize that there are rebate discounts on those G4's? 'cause Apple has some new hardware around the corner that might make it worthwhile to wait...


Dick Brillo
05-31-2002, 01:19 PM
"RAID requires two matched drives. IDE PCI has the advantage of hardware RAID"

Oops forgot about the matched drive business. The machines I'm looking at have 60GB. Do you mean I have to get a PCI card for hardware? What are the advantages? Can I do it without a card?

"Apple has some new hardware around the corner that might make it worthwhile to wait..."

I know I know I know. I rip my hair out everynight debating! I was looking at the refurbished ones on the Apple Store... Would love SCSI buy ain't no $. I can get a 933 for $1,750, max out the RAM, and an ATA HD and that is it!

05-31-2002, 03:10 PM

W/O a PCI card, you can only have two IDE drives so I would expect you'll be needing a PCI IDE card. And for the higher price of a HARD RAID, you don't have to worrry about using software raid, whether or not it will work or not in both OS 9 and OS X - hard raid works in both w/o software.

I would recommend a PCI ATA/100/133 hard raid card, two 60GB drives. ~$300.

A PCI card insures that you have each drive on its own channel. Find out what FCP needs while doing your research.

Look for IDE entries in Rick's RAID DB.


05-31-2002, 03:38 PM

If you are going to set up an IDE RAID for speed then you will need a PCI Hardware RAID card. IDE buses only will allow access to one device on a channel at a time. If you have 2 drives on the motherboard bus and you RAID them together you will actually lose a little bit of speed because the drives will alternate access.

Hardware RAID cards write and read to two drives concurrently on 2 channels. This will almost give you double the actual performance of the single drive for a minimum of cost. The Gurus are selling the Miglia ATA133 Hardware RAID card for $199. It comes with cables and power splitters so you only need the card and a second drive. (it's not listed online yet so you'll have to call to order)

My advice on buying a second drive is to get exactly the same size and model as your new G4 comes with if that is the drive you want to set up in a RAID. Mixing models can only slow down the performance and mixing sizes means you will lose whatever additional size on the larger drive that isn't matched by the smaller drive. A 40 and an 80 gig drive striped together will net 80 gigs of storage. Two 60 gig drives net 120 gigs of striped storage.

Check the Drive and RAID Database to see the performance from the Miglia RAID card, the listed host cards are Siig and Acard which are exactly the same drive packaged from other companies.


Dick Brillo
05-31-2002, 04:52 PM
ricks/Gregory, thanks--I think I got it. I was looking all over for a 133 card on your site. I did look at the RAID database. Does the dual processor affect those speeds at all? Will there be any speed change in using OS X? (like I will be doing)

AND one more question... when I create the RAID with the hardware you suggest, do I erase the drives and reinstall the OS or will the RAID just kinda work with the OS installed on one of those drives... does that make any sense?

05-31-2002, 05:04 PM

There will be no difference in I/O with the Dual Processor over the single processor. OsX will up the speeds a little over OS9.

When you form the RAID you will have to re-initialize so any data will be toast. RAID array split the data across the 2 drives.


Dick Brillo
06-01-2002, 09:45 AM
ricks, thanks again I'm clear on everything... one more question though...

If I buy the Miglia RAID card and a drive (60GB) to match the 60GB in the G4 to make a 120GB RAID 0. Can I then, at a later date, buy two more 60GB HD's for a 120GB RAID 1? 120 GB is plenty for me and I would like the security of redundancy.

Anybody know what HD model comes in GS 933Mhz? Do I wait till the box comes?

Thanks guys!

06-01-2002, 10:13 AM

Unlike SCSI, adding more drives to the same IDE card isn't advised. One drive per channel. For me, well, FireWire RAID with multiple channels, hot swap. You can always move an IDE drive into FW case - it seems that capacity doubles for the same price every year. But IDE still can't scale, grow, and has a threshold.

I would invest in ATTO UL3S, 36GB Cheetah, then add more drives. SCSI Ultra320 keeps improving and does scale. The more drives, the better the performance.

Don't know what you have, but I'd invest in SCSI and then get whatever Apple has in the channel. Storage performance on a budget is bound to haunt you. The drives I bought last year? they already show their age (but not a good controller).

I bought an Adaptec dual channel, 66 mhz dual function card, took my existing two Cheetahs, delivers 115MB/s sustained writes. I'd look for a 66 MHz ATTO card and make sure that your Mac whatever it is has PCI 66 MHz available. Then go for it.

I know OS 9 doesn't have dual CPU and FCP 3.0 under OS X will only improve - but I don't think it is there yet (and even AMD has trouble with their four-way cpu cores).

Ask FCP users what they use, if they have any regrets etc. A dual 1GHz waiting on data? memory too slow? It seems that Apple will have DDR 2100, faster CPUs, and in all things performance, the best IDE drive is painfully slow to me compared to 10K Cheetah, let alone X15s....

It sounds like more PCI slots are coming, with a mix of multiple 66 MHz and 33 MHz.


Dick Brillo
06-03-2002, 03:12 PM

Thank you for your thoughtful incites. I have been considering your suggestions all weekend. I read just about every Guru webpage on the subject to get myself more familiar with SCSI LVD. Some of the pages seem to be a year or two old so I want to run a scenario past you to see if it is still current thinking.

If I went SCSI LVD as you suggest I would need, at least, the GD2015 and GD1200 terminator and cable, in addition to the ATTO UL3S/36GB Cheetah, which equals $800. I say GD1200 cause I would want to add another 36GB Cheetah drive in the future.

If I went IDE RAID then I would buy the Miglia card and a 60GB hard drive, which would total around $350.

SCSI ? $800 ? 36GB
IDE ? $350 ? 120GB
A difference of $450

Although, I do need a lot of HD space for a single particular FCP project I don?t see the immediate need for more than the 36GB. I could get around my FCP problem by using a feature in FCP 3.0 that allows you to edit a really compressed copy of your source video. So, 36 GB could work.

I do currently have three SCSI peripherals that would be really cool if I could hook-up with ATTO card: an ext. ZIP drive, scanner, and digital card reader. Would it work with the UL3S? Currently they are on my old 9600 (please no thoughts on upgrading it http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif ) that I sold to my sister, we live in the same bldg. so getting data from it is not a big deal or a deal breaker.

Money, of course is my big problem. I don?t have the extra $450 on top of the computer I was planning to buy (PowerMac G4/933 256MB/60GB/Superdrive/GeForce4 Dual for $1750, plus I was going to get some more RAM). I was trying to keep all of this around $2,000, but it is really hard. Superdrive is key for me. I think I can hold out till MacWorld NYC and see if prices drop for a similar computer. If they drop even $300 then I could get the SCSI system. Powermax.com currently has a Factory Refurbished PowerMac G4/400/64MB/10GB/DVD-ROM for $999. I could get that do the SCSI + internal superdrive (I?ll be using DVD Studio Pro) + RAM but I?m getting close to $2,500 again. The fastest thing I currently have is a Guru EZQuest FW ext. 80 GB. I don?t know what all the hype is about SCSI LVD cause I?ve never worked on a computer with that kind of setup. Is a G4/400 with SCSI better than a G4/933 without? These questions I can?t answer cause I have no experience with it.

I love espresso. While I would love a $400 commercial espresso machine with a $300 grinder, my $99 Krups Gusto with a $20 Braun grinder makes some pretty damn good espresso. If DV video is all I?m doing and the price per GB is so low on the IDE RAID. Would a QS G4/933 with the IDE RAID be like my espresso at home?


06-03-2002, 06:24 PM

Short answer: No on SCSI, yes on G4/1.2GHz+ (new).

I have to have my two cups of espresso a day - and, my $70 Krups isn't $300-1000 model (unlike my taste in SCSI) but I'd love to try it!!

Computer: See what is announced at MWNY, it's around the corner after all. Then get whatever you can. Brand new (preferably). You will love anything (QS933+), but you aren't going to do that again for years. You won't regret putting all your eggs in that one basket. Even if it is "only" 1.2GHz and has a couple other added touches (new case, faster PCI, possibly DDR - after all Apple has to get DDR in if it has it in the Xserver it has R&D to pay down and if not today then by Jan 2003).

Throw that ATA 120GB IDE drive in that puppy. Add 3rd IDE and PCI IDE later if need be. If that doesn't cut it, well you can use that for backup and then put them in FW case and doing something like SCSI. But it will keep you. Nothing lost in the process either.

Also, FireWire 800 - sure would be nice if they had that, huh? Might take awhile to get the bugs out. Took way too many yrs to get FireWire off the ground to where is useful for storage (but I'm not convinced it is 200% safe and reliable even now).

Two SCSI drives (X15 36GB) would be a big investment. Do it when it seems essential and you know it is right for you.

I have yet to see ATTO UL4's on the market or even a UL3S-66 for that matter. That is what I would look if you go that route. You can do a SCSI to FireWire for legacy if you must. Or use a 2930 Adaptec or whatever is out there. Funny how a UL3S is less than UL2S sold for. I would expect the UL4S to be worth looking at. ATTO has Fibre Channel cards for Mac OS X support. Is that the creme of the crop in tomorrow's storage solutions?

Given Xserver specs, fibre channel + ATA FireWire RAID, and that some people will use those things for rendering video perhaps...?


[This message has been edited by Gregory (edited 03 June 2002).]

Dick Brillo
06-04-2002, 01:24 PM

Yeah, I agree with you. I'm gunna deal with what I got. Put the money in a money market account and see what happens in NYC.