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Upgrade the memory of your 2018 Mac mini up to 64GB
Save Big $$$$ on Memory for 2019 Mac Pro

Up to 65% better pricing than Apple

Lloyd recommends 32GB RDIMM modules for most users (more expensive LRDIMMS are for 512GB or more).


Using 4 or 5 8TB Hard Drives: Singly or RAID and How?

Last updated 2015-11-11 - Send Feedback
Related: hard drive, HGST, RAID, RAID-4, RAID-5, storage

Get HGST 8TB Ultrastar He8 Hard Drive at OWC.
Also utilized in the 32TB OWC Thunderbay 4 RAID-5 edition.

This page and the pages that follow discusses overall considerations for putting 4 or 5 high-capacity hard drives to use in the most appropriate way.

Questions? One-on-one consulting is available with Lloyd.

The pages that follow show various topologies, including single drives as single volumes, one large fault-tolerant volume, or multiple fault-tolerant volumes.

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Four drives or five?

Some topologies discussed here require dual OWC Thunderbay 4 units, since one unit houses four drives, and there are five drives involved in some of the configs. The use of five 8TB drives instead of four drives for a RAID-4 or RAID-5 has benefits:

  • Reduces the parity overhead to 20%, down from 25% for a 4-drive config.
  • Increases performance substantially: 5 drives in RAID-4/RAID-5 is roughly the speed of a 4-drive RAID-0 stripe. With a 4-drive setup RAID-4/5 setup, the speed is roughly the speed of a 3-drive stripe. So the performance is about 1/3 faster just by using one more drive.
  • Allows creation of three 10TB partitions from five 8TB drives (10TB is a forward-looking capacity for mid 2016, allowing for several years growth in capacity needs).

Approaches follow on subsequent pages.

New Mac Pro?

Or iMac 5K or iMac Pro?
Consult with Lloyd ASAP before buying!


System configuration for CPU, GPU, memory, SSD, backup, RAID, optimizing performance, workflow.
For YOUR optimal workflow

Avoid costly mistakes in throwing money at the problem for less performance and/or buying the wrong machine for your own needs!

Remote screen sharing available for RAID, software configuration, etc.

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