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BARE FEATS LAB - real world Mac speed tests

MacGurus Burly Video RAID
mated with Nehalem Mac Pro

Posted Tuesday, April 23rd, 2009, by rob-ART morgan, mad scientist.

MacGurus has long been an expert storage resource for professional Mac users. They have carefully put together solutions that just work. One of their newest combos is the Areca ARC-1221x RAID host adapter and the Burly 8-bay Video RAID.

burly video RAID 8x

We had an opportunity to run it through its paces on our 'early 2009' Nehalem Mac Pro 2.93GHz octo-core. Here are the results for the two most popular RAID modes:

 

EXPLANATION of GRAPHS

The first two graphis show the READ/WRITE speeds (in megabytes per second) of the Kona System Test for a 4GB test size in 1920x1080 10-bit RGB.
The second two graphs use Disktester's Area Test to show how far the transfer speed drops when the RAID set is 90% full -- again, in megabytes per second.
RAID 0 = All 8 drives in a RAID 0 set.
RAID 5 = All 8 drives in a RAID 5 set.
Test "Mule" was a 2.93GHz 8-core Mac Pro 2009 'Nehalem.'

INSIGHTS
I like to think of MacGurus Burly storage solutions as the Humvees of this class of products. They are rugged, reliable, thoroughly tested, and fully supported. The Burly Video RAID 8 is no exception.

I want to give an added shoutout to MacGurus because back when Bare Feats was first started, they were the first company to advertise with us, which we considered a vote of confidence in both directions.

MacGurus has chosen the Areca brand as their preferred RAID host adapter to mate with their enclosure. They have worked closely with Areca engineering to fine tune the drivers. Though Apple actually ships Areca drivers with OS X, you want to use the ones that MacGurus includes in their bundle. The ARC-1221x supports SATA HDDs various RAID modes (0, 1, 1E, 3, 5, 6 and JBOD). It was straightforward to install the driver/firmware and configure the RAID sets. The interface isn't elegant but fully functional -- like a Humvee. Real men don't need cute GUI.

The ARC-1221x uses the 800MHz Intel IOP341. The transfer times were not quite as fast as those we got with the RocketRAID 4322 (1.2GHz IOP348) but the speeds were more consistent on the Nehalem -- which is helpful for high quality video/audio capture/playback. This is painful for a speed freak like me to admit but there's more to choosing storage solutions than absolute speed.

One more thing: there is no substutute for backing up your data. No matter what RAID mode you use, it's not foolproof.

Apple Online Store

WHERE TO BUY THE MACGURUS BURLY VIDEO RAID and other storage solutions
Order it direct from MacGurus' online store

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copyright 2009 Rob Art Morgan
"BARE facts on Macintosh speed FEATS"
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