Put a RAID 0 in your MacBook, PowerBook, or MacBook Pro - Macenstein

Put a RAID 0 in your MacBook, PowerBook, or MacBook Pro

Posted by Helper Monkey

If that 60GB-200GB drive that came with your Mac laptop just isn’t cutting it these days, and you’re not put off by the thought of never listening to a CD or watching/burning a DVD again without an external hookup, then MCE has the solution for you. Their OptiBay Hard Drive kit adds a second hard drive to your MacBook, MacBook Pro, and yes, even your old PowerBook, by replacing the SuperDrive with up to a 160GB of extra storage space.

Eric Cheng has posted an interesting article detailing his experience in outfitting his MacBook Pro with a RAID 0 setup using two 320GB 5400 rpm drives. XBench results show a fair increase in many tasks, although a decrease in some small-block reads, and of course a hit in battery life as well. Other caveats include his keyboard no longer fitting quite right and an increase in noise coming from the second drive, but all-in-all Eric seems happy with the experience, and says the systems seems more “snappy”.

There a many reasons one might wish to add a second hard drive to a laptop. First and foremost would be to perhaps run the Mac OS on one drive, and Windows on the other (assuming you are using an Intel-based Mac laptop). Mobile video editors would also potentially benefit greatly from the increased storage. Of course, they’ll have to find a way to get all that beautiful footage OUT of their SuperDriveless machine when they’re done editing, but MCE has thought of that as well. Each of their hard drive kits comes with a portable enclosure for your old SuperDrive or Combo drive so you can hook it up to your system and load software and burn DVDs if necessary (special circumstances prevent this in the 15-inch MacBook Pro and MacBooks, but MCE offers comparable solutions).

14 Responses to “Put a RAID 0 in your MacBook, PowerBook, or MacBook Pro”
  1. Anonymous says:

    I thought you might find this interesting.

    VIVA Mac!!!!!!

  2. baldo says:

    is possible to mount a RAID 0 with USB drive?

  3. Brian says:

    It’s two 160gb hard drive, 320gb total. There isn’t a 320gb laptop format hard drive yet.

  4. Meng says:

    I can see using this for more space – but you can always just get the new 200-250 GB drives out there.
    RAID 0 has been debunked over and over again as a performance enhancer to basic desktop applications, which spindle speed matters a lot more. RAID 0 merely helps out with RAW transfer speed which really is only beneficial when you are working with large single files (A/V, photoshop). Also this is “software RAID”, so performance will not that great.
    I don’t think it’s worth the “speed bump” given the increase risk of data lost and decreased battery life.

    just my 2 cents

  5. boots says:

    ONE day, one day… NAND

  6. Dan says:

    It should be noted that RAID 0 will increase your risk of data loss by 100% as it will be spanned across both drives. But, I guess that doesn’t bother some people.

  7. Stretch says:

    Sets you back a bit, but worthy alternative if your laptop *doesn’t need complete mobility*:

    QBOX-P + Sil3112 chipset expresscard = raid0 and/or 1 combos with up to four sata hard drives running at full speed with only one esata external cable.

    BYTECC expresscard i got for like 30 bucks off newegg and installed drivers from chipset manufacturer website to make work with osx. The qbox-p will set you back ~300 usd. Hopefully someone will design a competitor external case and lower that price but still worth it in my book.

    approx $1300 for an additional 3.0 TB raid0
    approx $500 for an additional 800 GB raid0

  8. Aaron says:

    Yes, it is possible to RAID across USB devices. One particularly strange person RAIDed USB floppy drives on a Mac!

  9. Jonathan says:

    With Carbon Copy Cloner, it should not be that bad. Weekly cloning would reduce the data loss.

    It should be noted that RAID 0 will increase your risk of data loss by 100% as it will be spanned across both drives. But, I guess that doesn’t bother some people.

  10. Former SAN Guy says:

    The benefits of RAID 0 are small in comparison to the risk of loss data. It is not a matter of “if,” rather “when” you will have disk failure. I suggest a mirror to increase redundancy if your data is important (unless you own a $10k tape drive or $30k tape library).

  11. mATT sAVAGE says:

    Is this RAID setup compatible with Timemachine in 10.5?

  12. Lil' Pistol Starter says:

    Why would anyone want raid-0 in a laptop?
    I like the setup, but Raid-1 is the way to go…
    Your gonna lose all that data without redundant storage.

  13. common sense says:

    raid 1 does not get speed.. just redundancy. Raid-0 with this is a good idea. And even a better idea with the new Solid State Drives. And like the foolish comments above it will not cost 10k$ for some crazy backup system. Think Timemachine, and an external Hard drive. Geez, you people.

  14. Wes Harrington says:

    Raid-0 Will Also Help with speeding Boot Up Time, Especially if Running Two New Veloci- Raptor 10,000 RPM Hard Drives. With this quad core 3.7GHZ overclocked processor. programs open and close faster then blinking ones eyes.
    I have Ran raid-0 for years with No- problem, Most people no days can purchase a large external drive and this is where to keep all items you wish to save or keep.
    Use the drives on system for operating needs upgrading to 10-K harddrives in a Raid-0 setting makes a Huge difference in the amount of Wait time across the board…

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