Speedy McWrite-a-lot

// May 24th, 2008 // Rambling

UPDATE: Yes. I am a well-compensated technology geek by day and get up to this sort of thing frequently. This is related to work and also useful for play, since my work and play are similar. This isn’t something I’m just up to in my kitchen, I assure you.

I am planning on doing some disk testing in July testing sustained transfer (read and write) specifically geared towards prosumer video capture/editing and file serving. My intentions are to take a standardized platform (a Mac Pro – for file serving use it will be easy to extrapolate from here) and keep it WWJAD (What Would Joe Average Do). This means keeping cost in mind as well as ease-of-use/installation.

The current de facto is something like this: take a Mac Pro, put three drives in the empty bays and make them into a software RAID0 set. Here below are my (current) intentions. I am happy to consider any additions or changes if others are interested in the results. Feel free to comment, e-mail or tweet me about this.

Three of each model drive will be placed in a Mac Pro (4 or 8 core w/ at least 4GB RAM) as a software RAID0 set (keeping the boot drive as is).

The two top performers will then also be tested in a four drive configuration with:

  • Software RAID0 – Internal Mac Pro bays full (boot drive will be external Firewire).
  • Hardware RAID0 using a HighPoint RocketRAID 2310 PCI-Express SATAII RAID Controller (HPTRRAID2310)

The drives currently in the running:

  • Samsung Spinpoint F1 7200RPM 32MB (HD103UJ)
  • Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 7200RPM 32MB (SEAST31000340AS)
    (Chosen over enterprise model as it is cheaper but specs are same)
  • Hitachi 7K1000 7200RPM 32MB (HIT0A35155)
    (Chosen over enterprise model as it is cheaper but specs are same)
  • Western Digital RE2-GP 5400/4700RPM 16MB (WDGWD10FYPS)
    (Chosen over cheaper model as is slightly faster and only slightly more
    expensive and, frankly, since many will chooose to buy it based on price.)

Also considered/considering:
HighPoint RocketRAID 3522 3G SATA External RAID controller with
Raidon 4-port eSATA enclosure, four drives at RAID0.

Western Digital RE2 Enterprise Class 16MB Cache 7200rpm
(Pro: Is faster than its 1TB brother.)
(Con: but it’s one WD model or the other. Need compelling argument for testing both.)

Western Digital 150GB 10,000RPM Raptor (SATA/150)
(Pro: People want to know if 10,000RPM makes difference.)
(Con: It’s SATA/150. Already know it’s not as fast as others, even at 10,000RPM)

The control set for comparison will be three very popular (read: cheap as hell) WD WDGWD5000AAKS 500GB drives.

Also, if someone wants to show up with a camera that does 1080p 4:4:4 or a Red, I will slap in a BlackMagic card and we’ll stress test the top two or three configurations.

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