Newbie - using driv...
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Newbie - using drive with 512e sector size for RAID0

New Member Customer


Would you mind helping me with some technical insights?
It's about how performance is affected if I use SoftRaid with drives that have 512e emulation sector size.

I just purchased two Toshiba Enterprise hard drives. Both are 3TB. I thought the Enterprise quality will give me much higher reliability for a RAID-0 setup and it was actually cheaper than everyday drives. But there is a catch, explained below.

Toshiba model: MG04ACA300E

Instead of simply creating one 6TB RAID 0 volume, I need two 3TB RAID-0 volumes. (for organisational reasons). So first, I partitioned the drives using SoftRaid and then I created two RAID-0 volumes like this:

Step 1 - creating the partitions:
Drive 1, Partition A - 1.5 TB
Drive 1, Partition B - 1.5 TB
Drive 2, Partition C - 1.5 TB
Drive 2, Partition D - 1.5 TB

Step 2 - creating the Raid from these partitions:
- I connected partition A and C and created a RAID-0 volume
- I connected partition B and D and created another RAID-0.

It works well, perfect. I am also aware that I need regular backup.

I only learnt that these drives have 512e EMULATION sector format. I have not even heard anything about 512e and 4K sector formats until now. As I understand, these Enterprise drives have Advanced Formats (4k sector) but they are emulating 512e sector size.

Some articles suggest that this 512e emulation technique only affects performance in older systems, especially if the partitions are not "aligned", whatever that means.

1) Do I need to worry about significant performance loss with what I explained above?
2) Are the partitions created with OWC SoftRaid and then connected to RAID-0 are "aligned"?
3) was this an unwise purchase or can I go ahead and buy a few more of these drives?
4) Any other thoughts?

- SoftRaid Lite trial with OWC ThunderBay 4 with Thunderbolt 2
- 3D scenes / really large photoshop files / occasional video
- Mac Pro 2013 with Mojave

I am totally new to RAID and maybe I should not worry about all this.
Thank you!

Topic starter Posted : 08/06/2020 3:53 am
Member Admin

These will work fine for your purposes.

We ran into this possible issue years ago and made sure SoftRAID volumes were both 4K aligned and 512 aligned.

Posted : 08/06/2020 10:01 am