Running Mac OS X on a RAID

in macOS edited January 2014

I have a iMac 3.4 GHZ with 16 GB of memory, SSD boot drive and 2TB internal. I want to attach a RAID to it (OWC Mercury Elite Pro Qx2, eSATA, FireWire 800+USB).

Is it possible to install Mac OS X on a RAID? If so, what Mac OS X version would work best (Snow Leopard? Lion?) and what RAID level would be appropriate (I am debating between level 5 or 10).

I figure if my iMac went down I can plug and play and boot up with the RAID on another computer.


  • Reply 1 of 2
    It is possible to install OS X on a RAID volume. I would recommend level 5 as a good mix of redundancy and performance. I think though that you may get better performance off of the internal SSD than the OWC RAID.
  • Reply 2 of 2

    Thanks for responding.


    Is it one of those cases where Mac OS X can be installed but not recommended? I assume if one drive goes down, the OS should still function, no?


    I have been debating between RAID 5 and 10. The only two obvious drawbacks is the write speed and mounted volume size. I understanding that with a RAID 5, the writes are much slower compared to a RAID 10. Is that really significant or would it be small enough that I wouldn't notice?


    And using 4 x 2TB in a RAID 10 would give me 4TB. What would the size storage be for a RAID 5 be?


    If I was planning on using it to edit Adobe Premiere files, which RAID would be better?

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