Just want to close the loop on the benchmark tests of the Mediasonic USB 3.0 RAID Enclosure I purchased earlier this year. The Mediasonic USB 3.0 RAID Enclosure has been working solidly with my Mac Mini using a FireWire 800 connection. Once I got the 13″ Retina MacBook Pro, I connected the drive enclosure to the USB 3.0 port. The reconnection was flawless, there is nothing to reconfigure and all the data remains unchanged. The benchmark shows a pretty nice improvement in speed over the FireWire 800 connection. In essence, when connecting it via the USB 3.0 connection, it has a similar speed to connecting it via a eSATA connection (See the RAID 10 configuration test result of this post). So how does this compare to the SSD drive inside the MBP, and a straight up USB 3.0 external drive?
While having the Mediasonic USB 3.0 RAID enclosure connected to my Mac Mini via FireWire 800, I did a very quick benchmark using XBench to get some results. Sequential Read and Write tests got acceptable results. Random Read and Write tests were affected by block size. I am sure if I can connect it using USB 3.0 or eSATA, I would be able to get slightly better results. From a practical sense, I was able to play 1080p MKV movies from this drive without any lag.
Managed to do some simple benchmarking of the Mediasonic USB 3.0 RAID enclosure a couple days ago. For better comparison, I decided to hook it up to the Acer h340 easyStore Home Server using the exact same eSATA port that the Sans Digital TowerRAID used to connect. And this time, I got to use the Disk Utility’s Benchmark tests to get some data.
I have been considering adding more storage to the Mac Mini to turn it into a media server. The Acer h340 easyStore Home Server only has a first generation Atom processor and is doing fine as a file server, but not a media server, especially for 1080p MKV videos that requires real-time transcoding in order to be playable on the iPad. Since the Mac Mini does not have an eSATA connector, the Sans Digital TowerRAID drive enclosure won’t work. So I was thinking about a USB or a Firewire based enclosure.
After having setup a RAID 10 array with Ubuntu 10.04, almost 2 years has gone by. It is amazing how solid the software RAID in Ubuntu was implemented. I have had no problem with Ubuntu and the same installation from September 2010 works very well in the Acer h340 Home Server hardware. The only thing that failed was one of the drives in the Sans Digital TowerRAID external enclosure. The 1TB Seagate Barracuda 7200.11 drive failed at the age of 4 years. Luckily the drive was covered by a 5 year warranty.
Ever since I got the WD My Book Studio II, I keep all my photos in it as it is a RAID device. A 2TB device provides 1TB of storage when it is in RAID 1 mode (mirrored) and I quickly approach running out of room with RAW files being part of what I keep. Luckily I have a couple slightly bigger capacity compatible drives to let me upgrade the external unit with.
Been meaning to sort out the storage on my iMac for a while now. My iMac comes with only a 320GB hard drive. At first I thought that was plenty of room. But with a camera that takes photos at 15M pixels, and a whole bunch of podcast videos I have been downloading from iTunes, I was running low with hard drive space on my iMac. I tried to keep files on the Windows Home Server but even with a GBit network, the added latency does not feel as good as accessing files on the local hard drive. Hence some new hardware is justified :)
The iMac has 1 x FireWire 800, 1 x FireWire 400, and 3 x USB 2.0 connections. Obviously speed is important here and FireWire 800 is the default choice. Been looking around on the market for something that also provides some fault tolerance. Was considering Drobo ($350 just for the box and no hard drives) but cannot really come up with the money for it. So finally settled with a somewhat cheaper solution: a WD My Book Studio Edition II with 2 TB storage ($280).
We bought an HP Pavilion notebook from Future Shop about 15 months ago. At the time of purchase, it was the right notebook without costing an arm and a leg. Smallish footprint, bright screen, 250GB hard drive and a decent CPU makes it an attractive package for less than $800. After 15 months’ usage, the notebook hard drive is starting to make some ticking noise. Time to look into finding a replacement hard drive.
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