Forum Question: RAID 0 of limited or no benefit with FW800??

Just bought G-Tech’s portable G RAID mini for video editing on Final Cut Pro. I can set it up as RAID 1 with the 2 500GB 7200rpm HDDs or stripe them in RAID 1 for 1 TB. I will using FireWire 800. Would striping/RAID 1 them be of any speed benefit when I am using FireWire 800? Would FireWire 800 be too much of a bottleneck to notice any benefit of RAID 1? If no benefit or of limited benefit, I would set it up as RAID 0 instead.

— Royce

Comments: 6 Responses to “RAID 0 of limited or no benefit with FW800??”

    9/13/10 @ 9:09 pm

    I don’t know enough about RAID types to give you an opinion on this. I would try an advanced Final Cut Pro forum where someone may know.

    9/13/10 @ 9:16 pm

    Striping would be a performance benefit when writing to the disks. It would remove the disks from being the performance bottleneck, and make the FW800 the bottleneck. Which is fine. Better to have the interface as the bottleneck, rather than the media.

    Just remember tho, that if 1 disk dies, you lose the data on both disks. So backup, backup, backup!!

    9/13/10 @ 9:27 pm

    Maybe I’m confused about what you’re saying, but RAID 1 is not striped. It’s fully redundant storage. Everything stored on one disk is stored on the other(s). Depending on how it’s implemented, you can get increased speed on reads, but writing will always be at least as slow as on a single disk and potentially slower (depending on the controller(s)). With two disks, it also halves the available storage.

    RAID 0 (which is not redundant at all) is generally striped across multiple disks and is used for speed of reading, writing, or both, depending on how the controller(s) access the data. It also gives you the sum of the storage on all disks. However, if you lose one disk, you lose your data.

    The only factor I don’t know about here is the RAID controller. Assuming it’s a hardware controller, you can probably read and write simultaneously to both disks and will get some improved read time with RAID 1 and improved read and write time with RAID 0.

    9/13/10 @ 9:28 pm

    You can’t stripe in RAID-1, that’s actually RAID-0. RAID-1 is a mirror where drive 1 and 2 are exact duplicates of each other.

    RAID-0 provides no redunancy. If you lose one drive, you’re going to lose all the data on both drives. You do get a performance benefit as you can read/write to both drives simultaneously. This effectively doubles the chance you’ll lose all data. Don’t use this unless you can afford this data loss, or have good up-to-date backup system.

    RAID-1 allows you to lose 1 drive and lose no data. You get some performance benefits with a good controller as you can read from both drives simultaneously. Writes are at normal speeds.

    I doubt you’ll see a benefit over Firewire 800, unless maybe if you’re using 5400RPM drives, in which case I would recommend moving to 7200 RPM drives.

    Since you mention portability, I would highly recommend moving to 1TB drives and setting up a RAID-1 mirror. This will give you redundancy and additional space. Hauling your drives around really ups the chances of one of them getting knocked out.

    9/13/10 @ 11:01 pm

    Oh, wrote it out incorrectly! Meant to say RAID 0 = striping

    Anyway, I think G Tech’s G RAID mini has a hardware controller . . . an Oxford 936 chipset. Would that be the hardware controller?

    The drives are 7200 rpm. I didn’t know with a hardware controller I would see an increase in read with RAID 1, thought it was just for redundancy so that’s a nice benefit. Yes, I will be moving it around quite a bit, and 500GB of storage is plenty for me, so I will set it up as RAID 1/redundancy with the 2 500GB drives.

    Thanks everybody!

    Peter Nachtwey
    9/14/10 @ 1:25 pm

    I don’t see how Raid 0 will help. Even normal hard drives with the SATA interface are faster than FW800. The FW800 will always be the bottle neck. I would look for an eSata card and try using eSata to external drives. Then you can consider Raid 0.

    “You can’t stripe in RAID-1, that’s actually RAID-0”
    Actually you can. We do it with four drives.

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