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Old Nov 19, 2012, 10:14 AM   #1
Slod
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Best configuration for brand new Mac Pro 6 core 24Gb RAM 512DDR

Dear all,

After years on PC, I decided to move to Apple, couldn't resist the looks, the ease of use and the fun factor that I hear everybody talking about. Also with PC I had the feeling I was constantly doing things to keep all running which more and more started to annoy me.

I am photographer and know the Mac Pro is a heavily debated device, some saying they would buy it again and some saying they owuld never ever buy it... I hope I took the right decision. Mostly will use it Lightroom, Photoshop, Music etc.

I bought a new MacBook Pro and a new Mac Pro for supporting my photo business on the road, but will mainly process pictures in my office on a 27" Cinema screen (bought a Colormunki Display for calibration):

MacBook Pro 15" Retina QC i7 2.3GHz 8GB/256GBFL HD4000/GeForce GT 650M 1GB

Mac Pro One 3.33GHz 6C Xeon/24GB/512SSD+2TB/Radeon HD 5870
1GB/SD

I also bought a Time Capsule 2T

Now I would really appreciate your advice on how to do the configuration / settings / tuning of these machines to make a good start. I will add two more 500Gb harddisks that I have. I am new to Apple so please help me a bit to make sure I set it up the right way. Any recommendations would be great!

Kind regards,
Slod
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 12:40 PM   #2
derbothaus
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slod View Post

I am photographer and know the Mac Pro is a heavily debated device, some saying they would buy it again and some saying they owuld never ever buy it...
I don't know many people that dislike their Mac Pro. They just want it updated properly. It is debated based on update disparity and price not quality or awesomeness.
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 03:40 PM   #3
Slod
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I don't know many people that dislike their Mac Pro. They just want it updated properly. It is debated based on update disparity and price not quality or awesomeness.
Well, if I wasn't enthusiastic myself I would have taken an other decision, so I am looking forward to it very much. What I mean is the fact that it is being non-recommended to buy on website buyers guide, but I disregarded that advice... couldn't resist it.

But would you or somebody be willing to provide me with some advice on configuration and setup?

Kind regards,
Slod
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 04:41 PM   #4
Loa
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Hello,

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Originally Posted by Slod View Post
But would you or somebody be willing to provide me with some advice on configuration and setup?
Not sure what type of answer you're hoping for: there's nothing to configure on the hardware side. And if you know how to set-up Lightroom and PS on the PC side, it's the same thing on the Mac. The MP you chose is the best for photo work. Just put your working folder on the SSD and dump the files to the 2TB HD once you're done.

That's about it!

Loa
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 04:53 PM   #5
northernbaldy
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My wife and I are just discussing this now and we are trying to decide if setting up an internal raid and having an external time machine backup is overkill

She's buying a mac pro 1, 6 core too, but although I think we should go with an SSD, I can't bare to pay apples rediculus price for one.

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Hello,



Not sure what type of answer you're hoping for: there's nothing to configure on the hardware side. And if you know how to set-up Lightroom and PS on the PC side, it's the same thing on the Mac. The MP you chose is the best for photo work. Just put your working folder on the SSD and dump the files to the 2TB HD once you're done.

That's about it!

Loa
I disagree
For a start, to RAID or not to RAID
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Old Nov 19, 2012, 08:49 PM   #6
Loa
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I disagree
For a start, to RAID or not to RAID
The OP wouldn't gain anything by RAIDing, with any flavor of RAID.

Anything else?

Loa
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 01:27 AM   #7
northernbaldy
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He's a professional and it's a business machine
Why do you not think he will benefit from a raid setup?
Data security and ease of restoration is vital for a photographer
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 09:47 AM   #8
Loa
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Hello,

Parity RAID solutions are not back-up solutions, and are not designed for data security; they're only useful for systems that absolutely need 100% uptime. The only thing that makes sense for data security is a back-up solution. As for ease of restoration, rebuilding a parity RAID set-up is just as long as restoring from a back-up: just pop the back-up in one of the internal bays and copy the data back to the new drive.

Complete system crashes are a bother for everybody, but happen very very rarely. His TM back-up is plenty for on-site back-up, although he should add an off-site back-up as well.

As for striped RAIDs, he wouldn't et any significant benefits, especially since he already has a large SSD to work with.

Loa
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:06 AM   #9
Phrygian
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Quote:
Originally Posted by derbothaus View Post
I don't know many people that dislike their Mac Pro. They just want it updated properly. It is debated based on update disparity and price not quality or awesomeness.
This.

Mac Pro is a great line, but it hasn't been updated and they charge waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much for them currently.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:24 AM   #10
designs216
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I've got that same base config in my MP and I love it. Though you've heard people complain that it hasn't been updated in a while, for me personally it's nearly perfect as is. I would put the SSD in the empty superdrive bay to leave your main drive bays open for storage. Put the OS and apps on the SSD. You can also put your active project on the SSD to get the fastest perfomance and move it to the platter drives for storage.

When you upgrade RAM or add drives, do it yourself and purchase from third parties to save big bucks. I like Crucial, OWC, Amazon and New Egg.

As a photographer, you'll enjoy all that room to expand. To give an idea, I've got the first three bays set up in a fast RAID array for Projects and I use the fourth for TimeMachine backups of those projects.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 10:41 AM   #11
Freakkor
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Hello, for professional photography you need to visit Lloyd Chamber´s blogs:

- http://diglloyd.com

- http://macperformanceguide.com

You can read and learn a lot from him.
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:05 PM   #12
Slod
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NAS as backup

Quote:
Originally Posted by northernbaldy View Post
He's a professional and it's a business machine
Why do you not think he will benefit from a raid setup?
Data security and ease of restoration is vital for a photographer
Hello all, well backup is critical to me and I have two NAS machines from netgear running, each RAID configurations with two harddrives being backup all the time. So I make a copy of the 2TB HD in the Mac Pro to the NAS which is again copying itself.... On top of that I bought a time capsule to constantly backup the system folders etc. So that should be sufficient.

Now I am planning to put my lightroom catelogue on the SSD but the RAW pictures itself on the HD in the Mac Pro (not on the NAS RAIDs, here only the backups to keep things go fast). Does this make sense to you? Anybody did that too?

Thanks again,
Slod

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by northernbaldy View Post
He's a professional and it's a business machine
Why do you not think he will benefit from a raid setup?
Data security and ease of restoration is vital for a photographer
Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakkor View Post
Hello, for professional photography you need to visit Lloyd Chamber´s blogs:

- http://diglloyd.com

- http://macperformanceguide.com

You can read and learn a lot from him.
That is a great recommendation, thanks!

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by Loa View Post
Hello,

Parity RAID solutions are not back-up solutions, and are not designed for data security; they're only useful for systems that absolutely need 100% uptime. The only thing that makes sense for data security is a back-up solution. As for ease of restoration, rebuilding a parity RAID set-up is just as long as restoring from a back-up: just pop the back-up in one of the internal bays and copy the data back to the new drive.

Complete system crashes are a bother for everybody, but happen very very rarely. His TM back-up is plenty for on-site back-up, although he should add an off-site back-up as well.

As for striped RAIDs, he wouldn't et any significant benefits, especially since he already has a large SSD to work with.

Loa
Thanks Loa, only comment: crashes do happen. I had two harddrives crash within half a year, luckily had them backup again. It turns out that I had them in a dusty location under my office in a corner and that dust seems a killer for HDs. Believe me it wasn;t that bad but I never cleaner there actively
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Old Nov 20, 2012, 12:23 PM   #13
Loa
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slod View Post
only comment: crashes do happen.
Of course they do, but they do happen only rarely. You've been unlucky, and you explained why (dust).

In any case, having a RAID1 is not a back-up solution. Doing a RAID1 as a back-up is only asking for trouble and a bad usage of an extra drive.

As far as where to put the raw files: I can now place mine entirely on my SSD. But if you're a pro you probably have too many. What I did when I had a smaller SSD was importing my RAWs on the SSD, and once I was done with them, I simply copied the folder to my main RAW folder on the HD.

Simple, easy to set-up (just place a link to your main RAW folder in the Finder sidebar), and gives you the best performance.

Loa
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Old Nov 21, 2012, 05:24 PM   #14
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You know, the ease of use everyone talks about is really in the trackpad. Use it, not some USB mouse. Learn the gestures. The gestures are easy to memorize, don't worry.
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 03:20 PM   #15
Slod
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Loa View Post
Of course they do, but they do happen only rarely. You've been unlucky, and you explained why (dust).

In any case, having a RAID1 is not a back-up solution. Doing a RAID1 as a back-up is only asking for trouble and a bad usage of an extra drive.

As far as where to put the raw files: I can now place mine entirely on my SSD. But if you're a pro you probably have too many. What I did when I had a smaller SSD was importing my RAWs on the SSD, and once I was done with them, I simply copied the folder to my main RAW folder on the HD.

Simple, easy to set-up (just place a link to your main RAW folder in the Finder sidebar), and gives you the best performance.

Loa
Thanks, good point on putting raw temporary on SSD. What I don't understand is why RAID1 is not good. So I copy the files on my computer to the NAS (automatically backup program running every sunday) and since the nas duplicates constantly the two drives inside, if one fails I still have everything on the other drive. Why is that a bad backup strategy?

Thanks Loa for your advice, appreciated!
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Old Nov 22, 2012, 06:13 PM   #16
Loa
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Hello,

Parity RAIDs like RAID1 is not a true back-up because drive failure is only ONE of the way we can lose data. And, as stated before, drives only very rarely fail during their first years of use. Usually we lose data either by data corruption when writing (and so the mirrored drive copies the error), or by human error like accidentally deleting a file or folder (and so the mirrored drive copies the error). And human errors get more frequent as the number of users increases on the same computer.

So a back-up solution should be able to handle all three sources of errors, not just one. Only a seperate and independant clone of your drive is a back-up. Any parity RAID is nothing more than a partial back-up solution.

Again: the sole purpose of the parity RAIDs is to have 100% uptime. People will back-up their RAID1 systems with normal drives.

Loa
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Old Nov 23, 2012, 01:43 PM   #17
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You setup is just about perfect for photography use.

The only bottleneck will be working with RAW files on the internal HDDs. Not many cheap solutions for speeding those up, but depending on your workflow you might add a second SSD to use as a working space for new photos and use the HDDs for archives.

Diglloyd's Mac Performance Guide is a great resource for photographers, check it out if you haven't already.
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