Speed comparison

SoftRAID 4 vs. Apple Software RAID!

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Wolfgang | 2011/11/27 | 2 comments

Speed comparison SoftRAID 4 vs. Apple Software RAID!

I’ve had some performance trouble with my Mac while editing videos in Final Cut Pro X.
So I’ve decided to do some investigations about system and hard disk speed enhancements.

Regarding the system I’ve found this very good website: macperformanceguide.com . This website helped a lot, but I wanted to know if there’s any possibility to speed up the system some more.

Especially while editing videos you need a very good hard disk performance. If there’s not enough data throughput, you will always wait while your system is rendering or reading/writing video data.

The test:

First I’ve killed most of my applications running in the background on my 12-core
Apple Mac Pro 2.66 GHz with 32 GB RAM.

I’ve set up an internal RAID 0 (striped RAID) with three WD Caviar Black 2 TB SATA Hard Drives (WD2001FASS – SATA 3 Gb/s, 2 TB, 7200 RPM, 64 MB Cache). My RAID is filled with approx. 40% data.

Then I’ve decided to compare SoftRAID from www.softraid.com and the Apple Software RAID.

I’ve used the AJA System Test 9.0.1 (www.aja.com), Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test 2.1 (Blackmagic Design Disk Speed Test) and also Xbench 1.3 (xbench.com).

Unfortunately all of the results had been very different, which means… depending on how often you start one of these programs, you will get different results.

Sometimes SoftRAID is 10% faster and the next time the Apple-supplied Software RAID is 10% faster.

My conclusion about SoftRAID: It doesn’t raise the performance of your RAID. Maybe some percent, but it has a good interface with some pretty useful information about your RAID.
E.g. it will monitor if there are I/O errors on your RAID and which hard disk caused the problem – that could make it worth the money for you.

Please click on the links to view the detailed results:

Blackmagic Apple Softraid results

Blackmagic SoftRAID 4 results

Soon… I will write a review about eSata vs. USB 3.0! The results are astonishing…

Amendment: If you want your RAID to be fast, you should avoid more data on it than 40-50% of the whole hard disk space. With more than 50% used space you will recognize that your RAID becomes much slower!

The Fair


  • […] Apple hasn’t updated since 2009. Sometimes it’s faster, sometimes it’s slower (link). Possibly, Apple’s solution doesn’t use a stripe read and doesn’t alert to I/O […]

  • Morgan says:

    Thanks for this, does not seem to be lot out there in terms of actual speed tests for softraid. Wondering if you have tried their newest version? I’m also considering buying a highpoint card. Basically going to do a raid 0 of 2x 3tb drives and wondering what you think the fastest option would be? softraid, apple raid, or a cheap highpoint raid card?

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Speed comparison - SoftRAID 4 vs. Apple Software RAID!