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Raid0 sata drives?

garyhiebner

Active Member
I have some spare old SATA 1TB drives lying around, and was wondering if would get a slight performance gain if I RAID0-ed them and put my less used sample libraries on them? Currently my less used libraries are on one of the SATA 1TB drives connected via an external USB3 enclosure going into my USB3 ports on my Mac Mini Late 2012 model (I know it's not a great slave, but it does the job). My more used libraries are on SSDs on the Mac Mini, and on my master Macbook.

But was wondering if you get a slight performance gain from RAID0-ing the drives (I have the sample libraries backed up so don't worry I know the negatives of RAID0 and data loss. But will I get better read speeds through the RAID0 than just a normal SATA drive through the USB3 enclosure? And do you know how much better the speeds? I'll do a software RAID through Disk Utility, so it's not on a dedicated RAID controller.

I appreciate any advice. I know its a lost cause, and should rather just get more SSDs. But these drives are just hanging around being unused.
 

LinusW

Active Member
First of all: Yes, a dual drive system in RAID0 will be much faster than a single drive on USB 3.

Now, numbers will be a loose comparison. Older HDDs could be 60 MB/s as well as 160 MB/s, so I can't say anything about performance since I don't know the HDDs you have lying around.
I do hope you have two drives of the same brand, model and size though... or the slowest of your two drives would cap the other.

Then, your choice of dual drive HDD enclosure will also affect the transfer limit. I've had transfers around 250 MB/s with my USB 3 dual drive. My Thunderbolt dual drive is going past 400 MB/s but that is probably due to both better drives and a better disk enclosure.
 
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garyhiebner

Active Member
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First of all: Yes, a dual drive system in RAID0 will be much faster than a single drive on USB 3.

Now, numbers will be a loose comparison. Older HDDs could be 60 MB/s as well as 160 MB/s, so I can't say anything about performance since I don't know the HDDs you have lying around.
I do hope you have two drives of the same brand, model and size though... or the slowest of your two drives would cap the other.

Then, your choice of dual drive HDD enclosure will also affect the transfer limit. I've had transfers around 250 MB/s with my USB 3 dual drive. My Thunderbolt dual drive is going past 400 MB/s but that is probably due to both better drives and a better disk enclosure.

Wow, that's not bad at 250MB/s. I remember reading that a standard SATA 7200 rpm is about 100MBs, and guess SSDs are at about 400MBs. So for a RAID SATA drive system at about 250mx ain't bad. And also I'm guessing if I raided more SATA drives together it would improve the speeds better hey. Just thinking of ways to get close to SSD drive speed, but with the benefit of getting more drive space for your buck.

Thanks for the advice.
 

JohnG

Senior Member
The only comparison I've seen of RAID0 for audio showed about a 10% improvement -- that's it.

I'm not knocking it, just saying. If I were to go for RAID it would be RAID 5 so you don't lose everything if one of the drives fails. Must have at least 3 drives for RAID5.
 

LinusW

Active Member
I remember reading that a standard SATA 7200 rpm is about 100MBs
It is really a big difference between various drives. I use WD Black and HGST Ultrastar 7K4000 drives for best performance.

I don't mind using RAID-0 for audio drive. The backups stay on a four drive NAS with SHR (Synology RAID similar to RAID-5 but with a few more advantages) so I don't worry about a drive failing.
 

DAW PLUS

Workstation nerd deluxe
RAID 0 is faster for loading samples. I wouldn't use it for anything but samples, and make sure to have a backup on a single large drive. If one drive fails, all data is lost. RAID 0 with SSDs is a bit more effective, if it fits budget.
Note that bandwidth figures are only marginally interesting, as it is the access time and - in the case of SSDs - the IOPS figure which is the limiting factor. That is why PCIe SSDs are only marginally faster loading than SATA SSDs despite a 6x higher bandwidth (or more). For streaming, they are obviously the fastest. When loading into RAM, the serial loading of libraries instead of parallel seems to be the limiting factor, which is most likely a software limitation.
 

chimuelo

Star Of Stage & Screen
I bought a Microsemi 3100 for 6 x 2TB HDDs for our Home Theater/BluRay/ MDrive set up.
Used on Sample libraries and got much more polyphony, and faster loads, but it's double parity and not the free RAID from Intel.
If you’re doing massive 128 tracks of MIDI tracks with Orchestral instruments I’m quite sure it would help. But is it worth 1750 bucks? For video archiving, he’ll yes, but Audio not sure if it’s even necessary.
It use .3% of a Core, and RAID 6 can operate with 2 x Drive failures.
Like I said it’s gaming and archiving heaven. Audio, that’s up to the user.
 
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