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Looking Good

The super fast disk project: Part-5


Well, the Orico AC325-4S arrived from China today.  It was the last piece of the puzzle for getting this thing packaged for production.  A little bit of angle aluminum fabrication is all it took to attach the u-shaped carrier of four SSD's to the NewerTech 3.5/2.5 interposer and the the Mac Pro 3.5 inch drive sled in position-2.


It went together well.  The NewerTech MAXPower RAID 1e1i also came up without a hitch, and worked as expected. For the first pass, I simply built a 4-way RAID-0 array from the four Crucial BX100 SSD's, and ran a quick BlackMagic Design disk speed test.


As you can see from the screen shot attached to this entry, it's crusing at about 1700 Mbytes/sec for sequential reading, and 1400 Mbytes/sec for sequential writing.  This is right where the Barefeats website predicted I would be.  I am satisfied.


I'll do some more testing soon with comparing hardware RAID with software RAID, and comparing the NTFS cross-platform products to see if they make any difference in performance. 


It's also good to know that there is every reason to believe that 2500 Mbytes/sec is attainable by adding two more BX100's.  I'll have to think of a good reason to do such a thing, but one never knows...


So far the trial version of MacDrive Pro 10 in Windows that can read/write the HFS+ software RAID-0 array has been a disappointment. It doesn't work as expected. Within seconds, a reading operation from the 360GB SSD on USB 3.0 started at over 400 MBytes/sec, fell to 190, then 38, and then froze.  A reboot and second try revealed the same (and worse) behavior.  Windows Explorer gets hung up, and therefore all the desktop icons and task bar items disappear too. 


I gave up, and built a hardware RAID-0 in OS X. That works well with a very slight 2-percent penalty in performance compared to the software RAID. At least it's nice to know that the Paragon software in OS X that read/writes within NTFS perform on par with the native HFS+ format. 


Simply depend on the fact that the $20 Paragon Windows HFS+ product can read the hardware RAID, but the $33 MediaFour MacDrive 10 Pro at this point is not recommended.


Cost summary:


  • NewerTech MAXPower RAID 1e1i - $220

  • Crucial BX100 250GB SSD (qty 4) - $340

  • Paragon Windows HFS+ - $20

  • NewerTech AdaptaDrive - $14

  • SFF-8087 cable - $10

  • SATA power distribution cable - $7

  • Orico AC325-4S drive cage - $8

- Ted Gary of TedLand

Oct 5, 2015








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