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DataSpot
03-07-2009, 01:47 PM
I never did follow through with my ambitions for a RAID... The solutions out there for an external storage RAID (with USB/FW/eSATA ports on the back, controller in the box) are very expensive. I love LaCie's solution, but I decided I can just make do with just a 1TB drive. What do you folks think of this?
http://www.lacie.com/us/products/product.htm?pid=11064

Found that drive for $130 on ProVantage. LaCie's a good brand. Is there anything better out there? The more storage, the better, but it needs to be semi-portable, and ~$200. I might spend more, but that'd of course delay things. It'd also be really neat if there was something out there that had the power supply integrated, and had a metal case for better heat conduction. Heat lowers a drive's lifespan, and although plastic looks pretty, it's also pretty lame to people who know a thing or two about drives.

I really need to get all my shit off my drives so I can reformat them and get my various OSes situated in a good manner. Also, need to install Photoshop, Illustrator, and Solidworks. I've applied at my local community college to study Industrial Design this fall, so I need to have all my tools in order first.

ricks
03-07-2009, 08:19 PM
Alex,

Lacie is garbage. Built to cheapest spec possible, with a huge accepted failure rate, by design. Best recommendation, avoid them like the plague.

Mixing USB, Firewire and eSATA means you get all the weakness of USB and Firewire and none of the strengths of eSATA. That is because the drive is first bridged to USB or Firewire and then bridge again back to eSATA. No advantage at all to having the eSATA connector or running on eSATA.

That is why we don't carry any of those. Stick with pure eSATA or resign yourself to Firewire or USB. The mix is not all that useful.

Rick

Damien
03-07-2009, 09:12 PM
Your on the right track wanting to have an integrated PSU and a metal case...

Anything with a power brick is to be avoided (which means everything LaCie makes) :D

DataSpot
03-09-2009, 11:30 AM
Thanks for the advice, folks. All things considered, I'd say this (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Raidon/I3021SSB2/) is a very decent enclosure. I took ricks' comment on drive controllers to heart, and I'd like to think this isn't like the other 'quad interface' drives. Raidon seems like a serious manufacturer, and, as a plus, this looks like a very serious enclosure, which I can appreciate. No cheese-grater for me. I dig the 'enterprise' look.

As a side note, what do you guys think of Raidon products, period? This is one major setup right here:
http://www.raidon.com.tw/content.php?sno=0000093&p_id=8
I appreciate the SB2, but I see it goes for about $1400 for the enclosure alone.
http://www.synetic.net/Synetic-Products/Stardoms/SR6600-5S-U4/SR6600-5S-U4.htm

There is also a 'port multiplier' (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Raidon/ST66005SS2/) they sell; It looks like an attractive option (for the future), as it is much less expensive than a fully independent RAID solution-- It still uses a controller, but it's undoubtedly much less functional than a RAID controller. I'm not going for performance so much as reliability, but considering that SATA allows for quite a bit of throughput, I'll probably be fine. I'm not sure if it'll get in the way of RAID, but it shouldn't. It also has an independent supply, hot-swap drives that have room enough to push air, and two somewhat large (60mm) fans. Hey, Damien, did I mention it has an AC plug? Sweetness! No dongle! :D

As for the hard drive...

I'll bet you folks would frown on anything that NewEgg sells, considering just about every drive they sell is OEM. They have good reviews on the 1TB WD Caviar Green, though. I find that drive appealing since it's made to run cool and quiet, which are two things I'd think hurt a drive's lifespan quite a bit; vibration and heat stress.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822136317

I can get the retail drive for $35 more from the manufacturer's retail site (http://store.westerndigital.com/store/wdus/en_US/DisplayProductDetailsPage/categoryID.13095400/parid.13092500/catid.13094900), but... I'm not too concerned about the argument over OEM vs. Retail, since I plan to get a few of these drives (over a short period of time, so they should come from different lots (bins? or is that a CPU term?), especially from a high-volume retailer such as NewEgg) and RAID them as 5, either through my mobo or through a PCI-E controller. Is hardware RAID pretty portable between controllers, or will that not work so well with a ExpressCard 34 controller in my MacBook Pro?

This isn't so much as 'Fantasy Computer' as much as I will buy one component at a time... I'll be sure to get the same model drive(s) each time.

Anyway, lots of questions here. Feel free to answer whichever you feel is relevant to your own knowledge and experience. Thanks, guys!

unclemac
03-09-2009, 02:22 PM
Howdy Dataspot,

That enclosure you linked to is used by CalDigit and a few others. Have used exactly one of them, and I liked it, though it was not this exact model.

---

OK, all....I'll bite: what's wrong with a DC dongle power supply? I'm no fan of them because they are messy and inconvenient when cleaning up cabling, but what is the actual down side beside cosmetics?

Damien
03-09-2009, 05:54 PM
Never heard of Raidon (apply directly to the forehead?) But that means nothing because I don't keep up as much as I used to with these things

I have three Burly (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/SATAEnclosures.php) enclosures from right here at MacGurus. They have been indestructible, absolutely outstanding.

As for New Egg and OEM stuff... Rick WILL disagree however I have never had the attitude against OEM that other people have. Also New Egg in my experience has always been great at returns if you do have a problem. I did have a problem once with an OEM Plextor DVD drive I got from New Egg, it seemed to work at .005x inside my G5. It was supposed to be this flaming fast 18x DVD drive but I stuck it on a firewire bridge and all is well. I have had it quite a while now and it's still the fastest drive I have

ricks
03-09-2009, 08:45 PM
Never heard of Raidon (apply directly to the forehead?)
As for New Egg and OEM stuff... Rick WILL disagree however I have never had the attitude against OEM that other people have.

Damien doesn't have data that he minds losing :D :D :D

DataSpot
03-09-2009, 10:18 PM
Thanks for the nod of confidence, unclemac. I'll probably get that last, though. What does everyone think of the choice of drive for this array, the 1TB WD Caviar Green?

As for DC power supplies, I've just grown annoyed by them all this time. It's refreshing to find the power supply in the case just this once. It probably helps to cool the thing, maybe, but that's probably not so big a deal.

Damien, good call. I wonder if they sell testing kits.

NewEgg is pretty nice, I've used them for a while and never needed to RMA anything of note. Eheheh, very funny, Ricks. I too don't have things that are irreplaceable. Well, nothing I'd need a RAID for.

As for drives, some drives may be more prone to failure than others, regardless of warranty. The 640GB 2-platter drives that were so popular early last year were attractive since, in theory, they would have a lower failure rate than hotter, more complex drives with more platters. RAID folks never like putting too many eggs in one basket, since it'd be better to have two 640GB drives than one 1TB drive.