Internal 2TB SATA RAID, Grand Total – $1356.32

I finally set up my internal SATA RAID. It is a design dreamed up by Patrick Sheffield from the Apple FCP Forums. He built one for himself using 250GB drives, RAIDING them into two smaller RAIDS. He used popsicle sticks because…well…they were handy. There is a fridge full of popsicles at Pistolera Post and he (and I) eat them quite often. And they work quite well. Far cheaper than the G5 Jive by Sonnet. By about $96. I had to buy a box of fudgesicles for parts.

OK…so to begin with my G5 looked like this:

I added the Sonnet 4+4 card:

A bunch of power and SATA cables from OWC for $35:

(Some came with the Sonnet). I got four Hitachi Deskstar 500GB drives for under $300 each:

Used these cute guys (and rubber bands):

to attach three of the drives together like this:

I unplugged the power from the optical drive inside my G5 and used 3 Y-splitters to split it out to all the new drives, attached the SATA cables to the SATA card and woven them about in the machine (with the aid of Patrick Sheffield) to get this:

I used the Disk Utility to raid the drives together…RAID-0. I ran the AJA System Test and got initial Write of 244MB/s and a Read of 248MB/s. I cut a timeline with 2 min of uncompressed 10-bit HD bars and tone, exported as a self contained QT file, reimported and made a 16 min sequence and played back. Not one dropped frame. I copied a portion of my current project and pasted it into a 10-bit uncompressed HD timeline, resized and rendered and played it back. Not one dropped frame.<

BUT…I did notice something I hadn’t seen in a while. When I pressed play, the footage got a little brighter and the quality lessened. You’d see this if your machine isn’t powerful enough to play back footage in realtime. Hmmmm. I need that external monitor. I can’t get Digital Cinema Preview to work without dropping frames (well, it did it once).

Still working on getting the ecinema display to work. It won’t give me more than SD resolution on my system. It was tested (the Decklink HD and the ecinema box) on another G5 with a real ecinema LCD and it worked fine. I have an Apple 23″ HD display for the monitor, and it isn’t working. Thinking it might be the monitor. It works fine to monitor footage coming off a Varicam, but might have an issue playing back from a G5 and that HD card. I might get another card to test this with. We’ll see.

ANYWAY…I am happy with my Internal popsicle stick SATA RAID. More information as it fills up.