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RAID Recommendations

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July 9, 2012 6:49:04 PM

Building a new workstation to replace my 6 year old Mac Pro for DaVinci Resolve Color Grading and Motion Graphics. Any thoughts or opinions on a 6 drive RAID 5 vs an 8 drive RAID 5 of the same storage size (either 8 or 12TBs). Are the 8 drives that much faster and worth the risk of the extra disks in regards to bad sectors and read/write errors? Also considering RAID 6 if it isn't a huge performance hit.

Any help or thoughts would be greatly appreciated. I would really like to build a smaller system in a smaller case by going with 6 drives...but I don't want to create future expansion issues by limiting my drive space and case size.

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July 9, 2012 7:28:12 PM

Is RAID 5 the best configuration for a home workstation?
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July 9, 2012 7:35:08 PM

I work in broadcast and film doing color grading, editing, and motion graphics. Working at resolutions of 2K-4K uncompressed you need as much speed as possible off the raid. Obviously that would be RAID 0, but that is way to risky. So a little protection with RAID 5 is helpful without taking to large a hit in performance.
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July 10, 2012 1:12:53 AM

RAID 10 (4 drive minimum) is a good option for what you're doing (Video), and any parity RAID I really recommend a Dedicated RAID Card otherwise it would be considerably slower using the onboard RAID. An 8 drive array I would look at an LSI or Adaptec RAID Card with x4 to x8 PCIe, 512MB to 1GB Cache and with any larger Cache a RAID Card battery backup.

RAID 5 vs 6 either is good for storage and RAID 6 gives you an added safety margin. Clearly RAID 0 is the 'fastest' but for every drive added the potential for catastrophic failure goes up, any lost drive results in 100% data loss.

Ideally, if you have a system that can handle 64GB to 128GB or more RAM then I'd consider a RAM Drive for your scratch and working files.
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July 10, 2012 1:28:42 AM

jaquith said:
RAID 10 (4 drive minimum) is a good option for what you're doing (Video), and any parity RAID I really recommend a Dedicated RAID Card otherwise it would be considerably slower using the onboard RAID. An 8 drive array I would look at an LSI or Adaptec RAID Card with x4 to x8 PCIe, 512MB to 1GB Cache and with any larger Cache a RAID Card battery backup.

RAID 5 vs 6 either is good for storage and RAID 6 gives you an added safety margin.

Ideally, if you have a system that can handle 64GB to 128GB or more RAM then I'd consider a RAM Drive for your scratch and working files.


Thx for the info. Yeah building a dual Sandy Bridge Xeon E5-2687W workstation and starting with 32GBs of ram (board can do 256GBs). The Raid card will be a Areca ARC -1882XI 12 6GBs SAS card with 4GB of cache. Gonna drop it in a PCIe 3.0 slot running at full 16x for extra head room.

I think I have decided on 8 drives for sure and will look into the RAID 10 option. Really I need as much speed as possible with a little parity for good measure. Thx again.
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July 10, 2012 1:52:01 AM

In my case it's SQL coding / testing on my SB-E i7-3930K @ home, the RAM Drive (RamDisk 11) reduces my compile times in less than half - http://i1013.photobucket.com/albums/af254/Jaquith/RamDi... It's a great option for a scratch drive.

Oddly, the reason I'm even looking in this section, normally I like the MOBO/RAM section, is because today I had a multiple HDD failure but thankfully managed to resurrect and merge the data to recover the array. So I was thinking of making a guide for Intel RSTE/RST's recovery and migration procedures. /edit - at home I also have Windows Home Server so I knew I had 99% of my data...I lost no data. ;) 
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a b G Storage
July 10, 2012 11:27:40 PM

ViperJPB said:
... a Areca ARC -1882XI 12 6GBs SAS card with 4GB of cache. Gonna drop it in a PCIe 3.0 slot running at full 16x for extra head room...


It's a very good RAID card, but why use 12x ports where you need eight ports?
Anyway, it only needs x8 lanes V2.0 PCIe. V3 PCIe or x16 lanes wont give you ANY advantage.

For 8x drives; RAID5 will be faster the RAID6. I would recommend set as RAID5 for all 8 drives and have a SPARE drive handy, so you can replace it ASAP, once it detect a BAD drive.

for 8x drives RAID5 you can get about 600MB/s to 800MB/s transfer rate. Depend in HDD and set up

Just remember use the BIGGEST RAID sector like 128K instead of 512 (default)
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July 12, 2012 1:51:56 AM

Best answer selected by ViperJPB.
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July 12, 2012 2:02:23 AM

FireWire2 said:
It's a very good RAID card, but why use 12x ports where you need eight ports?
Anyway, it only needs x8 lanes V2.0 PCIe. V3 PCIe or x16 lanes wont give you ANY advantage.

For 8x drives; RAID5 will be faster the RAID6. I would recommend set as RAID5 for all 8 drives and have a SPARE drive handy, so you can replace it ASAP, once it detect a BAD drive.

for 8x drives RAID5 you can get about 600MB/s to 800MB/s transfer rate. Depend in HDD and set up

Just remember use the BIGGEST RAID sector like 128K instead of 512 (default)



Thx for the input & tip. That's pretty much what I was leaning toward. Is 128k the best? I assume the smaller that number the better? I was thinking about that portion if the setup and was going to research it.

As far as running the card in PCIe 3.0 slot at 16x, I witnessed a setup at NAB with this same card with 4GB of cache running that way & they were getting 1200MBs off of a 6 drive RAID 5. I was floored. They said no trickery other than that involved and if you moved it to a standard 8x slot it would drop to 600-800MBs. Soo I thought I would give it a try.

Thx again.
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a b G Storage
July 12, 2012 8:09:11 PM

Of course, standard x8 only gives you 20Gb/s (2.5Gb x8) bandwidth.
Where, V2. PCIe 8x lanes 40Gb/s (5Gb x8)

The controller designed as PCIe x8 V2

I doubt it will take advantage of 16x and V3. Simply the controller runs @ 5Gb/s and x8 lanes.


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