I've gone Lion on my MBP and now, having backed up four year's worth of files am ready to upgrade...

A bit of background:

I have a 2007 MacPro and have filled all four drive bays with:

  • 2 x Western Digital 250GB (nearly identical serial numbers)
  • 1 x Hitachi 300GB
  • 1 x Western Digital 1TB (nice fast drive)

Since 2007 I've had the 250GB and the 300GB drives set up as a RAID0 under OS X i.e. software RAID. I had to touch wood before typing this, but so far (touches wood again) its run like a dream and I've enjoyed faster performance than I would have had with apps and software running off a single drive (I ran extensive tests on drive configurations with one and all of the above as single and two/three/four drive RAID and this one was the best all-rounder).

I'm loath to buy more drives - I use a couple of fast external eSata drives for media files and backups (incl. Timemachine ones) so I'd like to devote the onboard drives to performance of OS and apps. A bit of spare space to use as working area for movie editing (this was the primary driver for setting up RAID) would be good too.

Can anyone suggest an optimum configuration with the above gear?


Well you already have a pretty optimal setup. Having the two disks in RAID-0 as your boot drive gives you the greatest possible performance. Just be sure to keep a good backup, since if either disk fails you lose the whole array. Superduper! is great since it makes a bootable backup for you, unlike Time Machine. I highly recommend it.

Otherwise you're good to go. The only suggestions I have are to buy an SSD for even more performance, and to upgrade your graphics card, you can get a PC 5770 or something for really cheap and it works great.

  • Do you think I should restrict the RAID to utilising only the 2 x 250GB drives? I've read in various places that only full drives should be used for RAID but I'm struggling to find definitive information about this. – 5arx Aug 8 '11 at 9:19
  • Oh you have 3 disks in RAID, that's even better. No you can RAID with partitions if you use software RAID. – Paul Eccles Aug 8 '11 at 9:54

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