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Old Nov 28, 2012, 10:39 AM   #1
sindresl
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Mac Pro Storage solutions for photography

Hi All,

I have a Mac Pro 2009 (2.26GHz Quad) that’s recently started to fall behind. The machine is used as a photo workstation, and is home to some ten-thousand raw-files from a 5Dii. Daily usage consist of organising in Aperture 3 and further processing in PS5. I find that looking through photos in Aperture is really slow, and opening/saving PSD files is insane slow since filesizes usually lie between 200-400MB.

I've decided to put in a SSD to use as a boot drive, and separate OS and applications from the rest of the content that is headed to another/other disk(s). My question to you is how I can best store the raw files and PSD files on one or more other disks for better performance. Currently SSD's are too expensive to store anything other than the OS and applications. Could two or more HDD's in raid 0 be a viable solution as storage for images? I've been reading around for some time about the pros and cons of raid 0, and have come to understand that frequent and small read/write operations will not see any dramatic difference in performance compared to a single disk. In my case, however, where read/write actions will be fewer but in return with larger files, what would the performance difference be?

If raid 0 with traditional 3.5 "HDD's is the way to go, what drives you would recommend?

I back-up on regular basis and automatically with an external firewire drive using time machine, so I'm not too afraid of data loss.

In advance, thanks for all help!
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:02 AM   #2
goodcow
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What's your budget and how much total usable storage do you need?
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:03 AM   #3
El Awesome
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Well, go check the net for the most reliable HDD out there.
I think the WD Red NAS HDDs are very quiet and very reliable.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 12:44 PM   #4
ColdCase
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Yeah, what kind of budget?

I've used a couple 500 GB drives with software RAID 0 reliably for years as a scratch drive. Faster reads/writes than a single drive, but there are better throughput options, depends on your budget.

Think about a PCI SATA controller card with built in RAID0 and a couple SATA 3 ports. Then put a couple SATA 3 hard drives in SATA 3 enclosure(s), WD probably. Some vendors sell a turn key system.

I think Aperture is pretty slow regardless.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 12:43 PM   #5
VirtualRain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sindresl View Post
Currently SSD's are too expensive to store anything other than the OS and applications.
I disagree... but everyone's definition of "too expensive" is different.

You can get a 256GB SSD now for under $200. Amazon had some on sale for $160 this past weekend.

I would recommend you have a single SSD for your OS/Apps and another for your working set of photos.

Now, of course you can't store every photo you've ever shot on an SSD, but you most certainly can store your current working set on an SSD. Even if you fill half a dozen 32GB CF cards on a shoot, you can easily transfer those to a single 256GB SSD to work on. When you're done processing them, archive them to a slower and larger HD to make room for your next shoot.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 01:43 PM   #6
sindresl
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
I disagree... but everyone's definition of "too expensive" is different.

You can get a 256GB SSD now for under $200. Amazon had some on sale for $160 this past weekend.

I would recommend you have a single SSD for your OS/Apps and another for your working set of photos.

Now, of course you can't store every photo you've ever shot on an SSD, but you most certainly can store your current working set on an SSD. Even if you fill half a dozen 32GB CF cards on a shoot, you can easily transfer those to a single 256GB SSD to work on. When you're done processing them, archive them to a slower and larger HD to make room for your next shoot.
This is actually the route I've embarked on. I ordered two samsung 830 ssd's (one 128Gb and one 256Gb), and was thinking along the same lines as you've suggested. The 128Gb one for the OS and applications and one 256Gb for current work. I still would like though to have a fairly good performance for my "archived" work that will reside on another disk(s), as I often go back and pick up older projects on a later point. Hence the question regarding HDD's and raid 0.

Thanks again for all input, it's very much appreciated.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 05:04 PM   #7
VirtualRain
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sindresl View Post
This is actually the route I've embarked on. I ordered two samsung 830 ssd's (one 128Gb and one 256Gb), and was thinking along the same lines as you've suggested. The 128Gb one for the OS and applications and one 256Gb for current work. I still would like though to have a fairly good performance for my "archived" work that will reside on another disk(s), as I often go back and pick up older projects on a later point. Hence the question regarding HDD's and raid 0.

Thanks again for all input, it's very much appreciated.
I see... great. I put all my archived work on stand alone HD's. However if you access them often, a pair in RAID0 is easy to setup in Disk Utility. WD Black's would be my preference for drives where performance is important.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 06:00 AM   #8
cutterman
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A couple of hard drives in raid 0 sounds like a decent solution for your internal storage needs. You may want to consider using more expensive enterprise-level drives for this due to improved reliability. In addition, I would not trust my entire photo archive to a raid 0 volume and a time machine backup alone. I would suggest using a NAS or even a separate external drive that you can sync your files to.
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 08:27 AM   #9
Loa
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Hello,

Are you using 8bit files, or 16bits files? If you're using 16bit files (or bigger), then getting a faster drive or RAID or SSD won't matter as the CPU is the bottleneck.

Loa
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Old Nov 29, 2012, 11:25 AM   #10
darkcoupon
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Here's my current setup: optical bay + drive bay 1 = 2x 128GB SSD's in RAID 0 for boot/scratch disks, dive bays 2 and 3 = 2x 2TB WD Green in raid 1, bay 4 = 2TB WD Green time machine backup and sveral external backups for older archived work. I rarely, if ever, go above 1TB on the internal storage before I back everything up to external drives. Also, it's not a bad idea to burn really important stuff to DVDRs, just to be extra safe.

Last edited by darkcoupon; Nov 29, 2012 at 01:53 PM.
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