7 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2012 6:15 PM by bheiser1
gcortes Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

I bought a low end 2011 Mac Mini just to mess around on and run iTunes. In no time, I ended up moving all my computer work from my PC over with the exception of my Adobe apps: Photoshop, Illustrator, and Dreamweaver. Now that I am a full time Mac Mini user, I'm planning on buying a 2012 Mac Mini. One of the nice things about the PC's I've built was that they had RAID. In the time I've had such a configuration, I've lost three drives, but never had a second of down time. So I would like to do the same thing with my next Mini. I'm planning on using a single SSD for the OS and programs with the data on the RAID. I've seen a couple of Thunderbolt attached RAID products out there. Apple sells LaCie and Promise Pegasus in their store. I want to be able to set up a RAID 1 or 5 configuration and be able to swap out drives myself. I currently have all my data on my 500GB Mini drive with 130GB to spare so I don't need a lot of storage. One or two Terabytes would do. So, a couple of questions: would Thunderbolt attached drives be as fast as internal ones, i.e., the bottleneck is the drive and not the interface; are there any other RAID options out there.


Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.3)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,675 points)

    Hello,

    would Thunderbolt attached drives be as fast as internal ones, i.e., the bottleneck is the drive and not the interface; are there any other RAID options out there.

    I think the Drives will be the bottleneck, mostly...

     

    http://www.barefeats.com/tbolt01.html

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3197548?start=0&tstart=0

  • gcortes Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    I did another Internet search on Thunderbolt RAID and came up with a new product. It's the Progress Pegasus J4, which contains 2.5" drive in a Mac Mini sized case. Estimated release is June. He a link: http://www.tomshardware.com/news/promise-thunderbolt-storage,14937.html

  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,675 points)

    But of course 2.5" drives are slower still.

  • bheiser1 Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    @Gcortes, I'm in pretty-much the same situation.  I, too, bought a 2011 Mini so I could learn Mac OS, and maybe use it as a quiet desktop machine for web browsing and email.  Within a week I decided to begin a wholesale migration from the high end Windows machine I built just a year ago.  Even though the Mini is only a dual core i5, and my Windows box is a quad core i7, I still like the Apple ecosystem well enough to make the switch.

     

    Anyway, I digress .  I'm exploring storage options as I have a pair of 3TB drives in RAID-1 on the PC.  I am considering a Guardian MAXimus RAID-1 box from OWC, connected with Firewire 800, as an interim step until Firewire storage devices are priced within reach.  I know this will be slower than what I had before but I think it's still a good trade-off.

     

    I'll be watching the next gen Mini as well, though it would be dificult to justify unless it's a huge leap ... I've only had the 2011 for a couple months .

  • gcortes Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)

    @bheiser1, my quad core i7 PC isn't much older than yours. Now my full sized Antec case is just a stand for my Mac Mini.

     

    The LaCie 2big 4Gi Thunderbolt RAID is at the top of my list at the moment. As @BDAquq points out, the larger drives are faster. The Promise Pegasus four drive RAID would be faster still, but overkill for my purposes. It's also twice the price.

  • bheiser1 Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    Haha, yes - I put the i7 PC in a hulking Corsair 600 for lots of airflow.  It looks positively "ginormous" compared to the Mini.   The Mini does in such a tiny little package, and actually looks nice sitting on my desk .

     

    Yes, making use of the Thunderbolt capability definitely seems like the way to go.  I'll undoubtdly do that eventually, and then I'll still be able to use the Firewire solution for backups.

  • bheiser1 Level 1 Level 1 (70 points)

    eeep, I meant "What the Mini does in such a tiny little package is amazing"...  [sorry for the edit error]