Hitachi G-RAID 4TB 3.5" External HD

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Hitachi G-RAID 4TB 3.5" External HD
Price: $109.99
Shipping Options:: $5 Standard
Shipping Estimates: Ships in 3-5 Business Days. (Monday, Jul 24 to Thursday, Jul 27) + transit
Condition: New


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RAID 0. This would be bad for backups. FYI.

No redundancy and no USB 3.0

The RAID 0 lack of redundancy should not be a big concern if this is bought as a big fast media drive. It is assumed (pretty much required) that if you bought a RAID 0 for performance, you are automatically backing it up to another drive.

The goal of RAID 0 is to store and deliver large files quickly, not to prevent data loss. This drive should deliver files faster than a non-RAID HD but much more economically than an SSD (4TB of SSDs would cost around $1200 not including enclosure). That is why the example use case is video editing.

Lack of USB 3.0 is because this is an old model. It has eSATA and FireWire 800, Macs no longer come with FireWire ports and most computers don’t come with eSATA.

This could be a nice purchase for someone editing videos or Photoshop files with a 5-year-old Mac. It’s a waste of money for almost anyone else, especially those with a recent computer where USB 3 or Thunderbolt would provide much better throughput.

I don’t understand why anyone would buy this.

Unless you’re going to strip the drives out and use the box for something else, this is worse in every way than just buying a single USB 3.0 4 TB hard drive at the same price from the mothership.

Even if you have that 5 year old Mac with a FireWire 800 port, you still won’t be getting any benefit from a RAID 0 array in this case - not one of the connections on this thing has enough throughput to take advantage of it. The eSATA port is the fastest offered on this drive by far, and even if you have one of those for some reason, your throughput is limited to the maximum a single SATA II port can offer.

Even assuming ideal conditions that are impossible in the real world, combining the speed of two SATA II ports into a single SATA II port will still only get you the speed of a single SATA II port.

Get funnel and a two jugs of water. Pour water from one jug through the funnel. Now pour water from both jugs through the funnel. Now get twelve more jugs and pour them all into the same funnel at the same time. Regardless of how many jugs you add to the equation, the flow rate is limited by the funnel.

RAID 0 is actually worse than useless in this case, as it carries drawbacks with it. If one of these drives dies, all the data on both drives is gone. In addition, for the stated use case, i.e. editing photo/video, where there are a lot of ‘seek’ operations happening, a RAID 0 array can actually be slower than a single drive, since it takes longer to find the bits of data you want spread across two drives.

Could you put the drives from this into a Drobo? I own a Drobo 5C and this would increase my capacity a bit if the drives were usable in it.

It is suitable to me for the interface.

For a Drobo, I’d just get a single 4tb drive from the mothership, It’d be about the same price, same capacity, and it would only use one drive bay in your Drobo.

Your analogy with the water jugs is apt, but not complete. If all you are using this drive for is copying really big files, then sure, there’s a chance of maxing out the Firewire transfer rate and not realizing any benefit of having a Raid 0 array on the other end. But if you’re doing anything with lots of smaller files, such as using Lightroom, then there is a good chance that you will experience a speedup because hard drives are always slower working with lots of small files than they are with large, continuous transfers. So with loads of smaller files, the bottleneck is likely to not be the Firewire interface, but the hard drives themselves. This has been my experience with other raid arrays. I have no experience with this one.

SATA throughput is far faster than the data throughput on a magnetic HDD, so you are not combining two SATA II transfer rates into one. RAID 0 will get you double data transfer rate in this case.

HDD disk-to-buffer rate is about 1000Gb/s for a 7200 rpm drive, and eSATA transfers at up to 3Gb/s, three times that rate.

So for an array intended for sustained throughput like this one, RAID 0 is indeed faster than single disk.

Is this something I could use for additional storage for my Xbox One S? Or are there far better options for storage/price?

The SATA II interface might be the bottle neck for this thing, but it isn’t near what you are making it out to be. While SATA II has a theoretical maximum of 300 MB/s no 7200RPM drives are going to hit that (much less sustain it).

This will have better average read times that a current 4TB single drive and have a much better write times.

Only have USB 2.0

Would the two 2TB drives inside be enterprise quality, and have conventional SATA connectors such that they would be swappable to another enclosure?

I highly doubt they are enterprise quality - I’d recommend buying two 2 terabyte seagate NAS drives.

It would work; but it wouldn’t work well. I’d recommend getting a USB 3.0 enclosure and then getting a 2TB solid state hybrid drive from Seagate.

It looks shiny and is designed to nestle in the top of a Mac pro tower. If I had a Mac Pro - I’d be all over this.

OK, I get that this isn’t something useful for the future. I’d like to get opinions on this use case:

I have an 8 year old MacBook with a 1TB internal drive and a 1TB external drive.
I’d like to move everything off the MacBook to archive unnecessary files, but we have more than 1TB of files between internal and external drives.

Could this be useful for this purpose and then be used as the storage device for a home media server? In addition to the MacBook, I have a Windows machine with Firewire if that makes any difference to the home server consideration. Thanks in advance for advice/insight.