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Old Nov 28, 2012, 08:46 AM   #1
camner
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Moving to new (used) Mac Pro...questions

I've just purchased a used Quad-core (2.8GHz) 2010 MP to replace my 2006 original 1,1 version. In my present (2006) configuration I'm running Lion with my system and home folder on the boot drive, but I've moved the bulk of my data (all image files, the iTunes folder, Window VM) to a separate HD.

The new machine will have a 128GB SSD, 32GB RAM, and will be running 10.8.

A few questions:

1. In the short run, can I just move over my existing boot and data drives to get up and running as quickly as possible while I build my new system?

2. Obviously the boot drive should now go on the SSD. Is there value to moving the entire Home folder (which would then include ~/Library) off the SSD to a HD?

3. I probably won't be needing much of a scratch file (for Photoshop) due to the amount of RAM I'll have, but is there value in moving that off the SSD?

4. The new (used) machine will come with ML and have some apps on it for which I won't have the install disks. What's the best way to merge my old system with the new, or should I go through the tedious process of manually installing all my existing apps into the new system?

5. Given my setup, how much does it matter to have my non-SSD drive (the HD with all my data) be a particularly fast drive? Is a "standard" (say, WD black), enough? Any recommendations?

6. Finally, I've read that one shouldn't keep an SSD filled too close to capacity. What should I aim for to keep free?

Thanks, as always, for everyone's help.
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 09:24 AM   #2
Loa
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Location: Québec
Quote:
Originally Posted by camner View Post
1. In the short run, can I just move over my existing boot and data drives to get up and running as quickly as possible while I build my new system?
Yes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camner View Post
2. Obviously the boot drive should now go on the SSD. Is there value to moving the entire Home folder (which would then include ~/Library) off the SSD to a HD?
Only move them out if you don't have enough room on the SSD. Ideally, everything should be on a SSD, so there is no "value", but we're forced to do it for space reasons.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camner View Post
3. I probably won't be needing much of a scratch file (for Photoshop) due to the amount of RAM I'll have, but is there value in moving that off the SSD?
Current SSDs are very reliable, so you could leave the scratch on the SSD, for the few times PS may need to use it. On the other hand, if you see that PS does use it, close other apps to free your RAM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camner View Post
4. The new (used) machine will come with ML and have some apps on it for which I won't have the install disks. What's the best way to merge my old system with the new, or should I go through the tedious process of manually installing all my existing apps into the new system?
I would advise against manually merging a 10.7 and 10.8 system. If you plan on using 10.8, then start on this and reinstall your apps there. Tedious, but it makes for a far more stable system than manually moving stuff around.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camner View Post
5. Given my setup, how much does it matter to have my non-SSD drive (the HD with all my data) be a particularly fast drive? Is a "standard" (say, WD black), enough? Any recommendations?
Depends on your usage, but a WD Black is already pretty fast for a 7200 RPM drive. Don't make the mistake of paying for Velociraptors (or other 10K or 15K) drives: they're old tech, replaced and supplanted by SSDs.

Quote:
Originally Posted by camner View Post
6. Finally, I've read that one shouldn't keep an SSD filled too close to capacity. What should I aim for to keep free?
Depend on the drive. For current drives, 20% or so of free space should be enough. Then again, you'll get better performance on a Vertex 4 if you keep more than 50% of it free. The question remains: is that performance benefit really noticeable?

Loa
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Old Nov 28, 2012, 11:28 AM   #3
camner
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Loa,

Thanks so much for your advice. That was very helpful (though I was hoping against hope that you'd say "Sure, go ahead, merge the systems...it just isn't worth the time and effort of rebuilding your system from scratch"! But, I wasn't surprised at the answer.
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