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Four drives plus Mac OS X's Disk Utility will bring your Mac Pro into the 21st century.
WHAT YOU NEED
> Mac Pro ($2,499 and up, www.apple.com)
> Four identical hard drives (if you didn't get them BTO)
If the word RAID sends you screaming in terror like that big, hairy Brooklyn cockroach in the old TV ads for bug spray, it's time to get reacquainted with the concept as it applies to your Mac. When it comes to high-end storage, RAID stands for Redundant Array of Independent (or Inexpensive) Disks (or Drives), and you can use it to speed up your storage or keep a running backup of your entire system, among other tricks. Armed with Mac OS X and a Mac Pro chock-full of hard drives, we'll transform the four drives into two high-speed striped RAIDs, which we'll then roll into a mirrored RAID set to continually back up any changes to the main-system RAID volume. Hey, get back here - setting up this RAID of RAIDs is painless. The toughest part is ponying up for the iron: All flavors of RAID work best if all of the hard drives involved are identical in every way (capacity, cache, rotation speed, manufacturer...aw heck, just get four of the exact same model). However, you'll pay about $1,400 more than the base price if you order your Mac Pro from Apple preloaded with four 500GB drives. FYI: Similar drives sell for $199 each at Other World Computing (www.macsales.com).