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Old Jul 21, 2010, 09:37 PM   #1
turtlebud
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Velociraptor for Mac Pro

I have an 2008 Mac Pro that I'm thinking of getting a velociraptor for. Originally I was going to just get the 150GB model (from 2008), but the 300GB model is a better deal and might be better for expansion. (I would just be using for my boot drive)

However, there are also the new revisions at 600GB which are about $100 more than the 300GB model, but also have SATA3 and 32MB Cache, so I'm wonder if it is a mistake going with older technology. However, I think 600 and even 450GB is too big for my purposes.

I know that the retail version of the 300GB model didn't fit the mac pro, but the OEM model did. Does anyone know if any of the 600 or 450GB new models will even fit the Mac Pro?
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:39 PM   #2
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If Apple would release the 2010 Mac Pro I'd have an answer on this, as I plan to put a 600GB Velociraptor into it as my boot drive. One thing I'm sure of: the retail model should fit any drive bay designed for 3.5inch drives as it comes with a 3.5inch drive sled that allows the 2.5inch Velociraptor to fit into a 3.5inch drive bay. The OEM model does not ship with that sled as it's designed for multiple-drive bays used with servers.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 10:43 PM   #3
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I wouldn't bother..

SSD drives are far more efficient than Velociraptor drives and they are much faster for reads, though slower on writes.


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If Apple would release the 2010 Mac Pro I'd have an answer on this, as I plan to put a 300GB Velociraptor into it as my boot drive. One thing I'm sure of: the retail model should fit any drive bay designed for 3.5inch drives as it comes with a 3.5inch drive sled that allows the 2.5inch Velociraptor to fit into a 3.5inch drive bay. The OEM model does not ship with that sled as it's designed for multiple-drive bays used with servers.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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I would get an SSD if the price were comparable, but i'm seeing the 128GB SSD drives for $250 and up (vs. $140 for the 150GB velociraptor) and the 256GB SSD drives for $700 and up (vs. $170 for the 300GB velociraptor). Those prices make the SSD not quite practical from a cost perspective for me. Am I mistaken on those prices?
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:34 PM   #5
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I would get an SSD if the price were comparable, but i'm seeing the 128GB SSD drives for $250 and up (vs. $140 for the 150GB velociraptor) and the 256GB SSD drives for $700 and up (vs. $170 for the 300GB velociraptor). Those prices make the SSD not quite practical from a cost perspective for me. Am I mistaken on those prices?
If it's only gonna be your boot drive, I can't imagine how many applications you would have for needing 256GB. SSDs are not really meant for storage at this point and time, so unless you have like 200GB of applications, you don't need to look at that.

I would definitely suggest an SSD because of its insane performance. Velociraptors use much more power and have a much higher failure rate. Also, with SSD speeds, your system will boot much quicker and you applications will load much quicker as well. I don't really know much about the write speeds of velociraptors versus SSDs, but I do know the OCZ Vertex 2 has sustained write of up to 250 MB/s, which is much better than Intels x25-m of 70 MB/s. Also, the read speeds of the OCZ SSD is 285 MB/s and Intels is 250 MB/s.

I am considering an SSD as a boot drive and will be moving my home directory to a separate drive and only have OS and apps on the SSD for quick boot times and app load times.

OS X has 4 main folders: Applications, Library, System, and Users. When you move your home directory, you are moving the main part of the Users folder, which is where a lot of the storage is. The little icon with the house in finder is your home folder.

When I get my SSD for my boot drive, I will move the home directory and keep the Applications, Library, and System files on the SSD. A few days back, I went to see how big this would be, and mine is only 43 GB and I have quite a bit of applications, including the CS5 Master Collection, Aperture 3, Maya 2011, ZBrush, along with many many others. So really, if I were to get a 256GB SSD, that would be way overkill.

For you, I would see how much space those three folders are and that might help with your decision. This website should help explain how and why you would want to move your home folder.

Hope this helps in your decision making and good luck!

Last edited by strausd; Jul 22, 2010 at 02:05 AM.
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Old Jul 21, 2010, 11:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlebud View Post
I would get an SSD if the price were comparable, but i'm seeing the 128GB SSD drives for $250 and up (vs. $140 for the 150GB velociraptor) and the 256GB SSD drives for $700 and up (vs. $170 for the 300GB velociraptor). Those prices make the SSD not quite practical from a cost perspective for me. Am I mistaken on those prices?
It depends on your usage. If you want to speed up applications launching, people say an SSD will smoke a velociraptor. On the other hand, write-heavy tasks will be better on the raptors (image editing?). How much drive space will you need? Obviously, mechanical drives are still better if you need lots of space.

Since you already paid for a MacPro, that $110 extra for a small drive just doesn't matter.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 12:32 AM   #7
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@strausd, thank you for taking the time to write that explanation and pointers, i'm considering moving my home directory to a different drive. My apps, library, and system take up about 35GB right now, so the 128GB SSD drive should be fine for me. still, it IS and extra $110.

@wisty, yes, I did buy a MacPro, but I bought the previous gen model after the 2009 model came out so I could get it for less (there's no way I could have afforded the configuration for the 2009 MacPro that I would have wanted). So $110 is non-trivial for my current budget. Yes, I can spend it, but from the $60 I was originally thinking for just a regular WD Caviar Drive to the $140 for the Raptor to $250 is a big jump for my initial estimates.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 12:37 AM   #8
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I installed a 120GB SSD in my system tonight along with two 1TB drives which I setup as a RAID 0 Array. I can say both are really fast now. When I was transferring files between the two they were flying at over 100MB/sec transfer rates between the SSD and the array.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 01:23 AM   #9
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How much is the 120GB SSD?

I might myself make the plunge into SSD, but first I would need to get the 3.5 inch tray so that I don't have to mod anything.. Also, I currently have 4 1TB drives in my system - one has my system start up disk that I am currently using now. The 2nd one is my bootcamp, 3rd is my time machine, and 4th is the original 1TB with Macintosh HD - the original os that came installed..

QUestion: Based on the fact that all these drives are being used, How would I set up the raid?


Quote:
Originally Posted by PenguinMac View Post
If Apple would release the 2010 Mac Pro I'd have an answer on this, as I plan to put a 300GB Velociraptor into it as my boot drive. One thing I'm sure of: the retail model should fit any drive bay designed for 3.5inch drives as it comes with a 3.5inch drive sled that allows the 2.5inch Velociraptor to fit into a 3.5inch drive bay. The OEM model does not ship with that sled as it's designed for multiple-drive bays used with servers.
Quote:
Originally Posted by WardC View Post
I installed a 120GB SSD in my system tonight along with two 1TB drives which I setup as a RAID 0 Array. I can say both are really fast now. When I was transferring files between the two they were flying at over 100MB/sec transfer rates between the SSD and the array.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 01:43 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by turtlebud View Post
@strausd, thank you for taking the time to write that explanation and pointers, i'm considering moving my home directory to a different drive. My apps, library, and system take up about 35GB right now, so the 128GB SSD drive should be fine for me. still, it IS and extra $110.
I'm not sure what SSDs you are looking at and where, but just FYI, you can get the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB for $330 on Amazon and I think that comes with a 3.5" adapter too. Also, an Intel x25-m 160GB is about $360 if you click the "36 new from ____" button. These two are the best quality SSDs on the market. And with their amazing performance, I would consider it worth it, especially with its read speeds.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 02:41 AM   #11
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SSD drives are far more efficient than Velociraptor drives and they are much faster for reads, though slower on writes.
Most SSDs will crush a Velociraptor even at writing. Only Intel SSDs have slower sequential writes than a VR as they are optimized for random writes but other brands will outperform a VR in writing...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/21
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 03:10 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
Most SSDs will crush a Velociraptor even at writing. Only Intel SSDs have slower sequential writes than a VR as they are optimized for random writes but other brands will outperform a VR in writing...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/21
That is an amazing article. It takes a while to get through, but once you do you will feel confident with your knowledge of SSDs.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 10:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by strausd View Post
I'm not sure what SSDs you are looking at and where, but just FYI, you can get the OCZ Vertex 2 120GB for $330 on Amazon and I think that comes with a 3.5" adapter too. Also, an Intel x25-m 160GB is about $360 if you click the "36 new from ____" button. These two are the best quality SSDs on the market. And with their amazing performance, I would consider it worth it, especially with its read speeds.
I was just looking at amazon/newegg/tigerdirect. I know little about the different SSDs out there and how fast each of them is (I know that they are not all the same).

The Kingston was $240 for the 128GB


I did see the intel & OCZ ones that you mentioned for those prices as well. It seems that it's a safer bet to go a little bigger (128 vs 64) right? My current System/Library/Applications take up 35GB, but I suspect that I don't want to get anywhere near capacity of the drive or I might see some degradation in performance (esp, if some programs end up using swap space/temp space etc.)
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 10:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VirtualRain View Post
Most SSDs will crush a Velociraptor even at writing. Only Intel SSDs have slower sequential writes than a VR as they are optimized for random writes but other brands will outperform a VR in writing...

http://www.anandtech.com/show/2829/21
But SSDs aren't that great for heavy write conditions though I doubt that applies to OP. Newer and better firmwares are improving this all the time as well. Sequential writes and reads are not that crucial, the key of SSD is the latency, well what latency? It's faster than your brains are!

The OWC SSDs look enormous even though they aren't exactly cheap. Their firmware should be one of the best so there isn't even need for TRIM. OP, 80GB Intel should be plenty for you. You can always move apps you don't need into a hard drive

Correct me if I'm wrong
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 02:51 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turtlebud View Post
I was just looking at amazon/newegg/tigerdirect. I know little about the different SSDs out there and how fast each of them is (I know that they are not all the same).

The Kingston was $240 for the 128GB


I did see the intel & OCZ ones that you mentioned for those prices as well. It seems that it's a safer bet to go a little bigger (128 vs 64) right? My current System/Library/Applications take up 35GB, but I suspect that I don't want to get anywhere near capacity of the drive or I might see some degradation in performance (esp, if some programs end up using swap space/temp space etc.)
Hellhammer is right, you probably wouldn't need any more than an 80GB. You could always go bigger if you want, especially if you plan on installing a lot more apps. I just looked at OWCs Mercury SSDs and really liked it, especially the part where they say "Ultra-efficient Block Management & Wear Leveling
Prevents write speed degradation commonly experienced by other brands' SSD."

Not really sure how they do that, especially without the TRIM command on OS X. Anybody know how that works? Also, does anyone know if it will still support the TRIM command if someone used it for bootcamp? Or if/when Apple supports it later on.

Last edited by strausd; Jul 22, 2010 at 04:28 PM.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 08:42 PM   #16
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intel ssd

So i'm looking at the intel X25-M drives right now and am wondering what the differences between all of them are. I _think_ there is a previous/current generation and an oem/retail version.

Previous Generation OEM (ends in XX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167016

Current Generation OEM (ends in XX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167027

Current Generation Retail (ends in R5)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167023

Is that accurate?

Also, the retail comes with a 3.5" mounting bracket right? If so, is it still preferable to get an icy dock bracket since it seems like it might dissipate heat better?

Thanks.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 10:10 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by turtlebud View Post
So i'm looking at the intel X25-M drives right now and am wondering what the differences between all of them are. I _think_ there is a previous/current generation and an oem/retail version.

Previous Generation OEM (ends in XX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167016

Current Generation OEM (ends in XX)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167027

Current Generation Retail (ends in R5)
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820167023

Is that accurate?

Also, the retail comes with a 3.5" mounting bracket right? If so, is it still preferable to get an icy dock bracket since it seems like it might dissipate heat better?

Thanks.
I am not entirely sure about the different versions. However, I wouldn't worry about heat issues with an SSD.
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Old Jul 22, 2010, 11:12 PM   #18
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Quote:
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Also, the retail comes with a 3.5" mounting bracket right? If so, is it still preferable to get an icy dock bracket since it seems like it might dissipate heat better?

Thanks.
I used an IcyDock to install mine in my Mac Pro. It was super easy, I just popped the cover off the Icy Dock, slid the SSD into the dock, closed it, screwed the IcyDock into my drive bracket, and slid the drive bracket in my Mac Pro. Super easy, took less than 2 minutes to install.

This is what I used here:

http://eshop.macsales.com/item/IcyDock/MB882SP1S2B/
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 03:08 AM   #19
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The OWC SSDs look enormous even though they aren't exactly cheap. Their firmware should be one of the best so there isn't even need for TRIM. OP, 80GB Intel should be plenty for you. You can always move apps you don't need into a hard drive

Correct me if I'm wrong
Since both the OWC and OCZ Vertex 2 are on Sandforce, would that mean that neither of them would really need the TRIM command? Or is the Sandforce thing and OWC firmware totally different? If they are the same, when I might get the Vertex 2 because it is cheaper and comes with a 3.5" bay adapter.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 03:17 AM   #20
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A couple years ago we put Velociraptors in then-new 2008 Mac Pros. They are wicked fast to be sure. They can be noisy though, and it does get on my nerves once in a while. Believe me 10,000 rpm is noticeably louder than 7200 drives.

But you are getting good advice here: look to the SSDs. They can be much faster than even the Velociraptors on reads. Prices have come down so much on the SSD drives. I can remember the first SSDs were absurdly expensive. Today, not so much.

If I were doing the same thing today, I'd be looking to an SSD for apps and maybe store one or two read/write intensive projects to. Then get some inexpensive platter terabyte drives for storage and scratch.

Swappable storage is my favorite feature in the Mac Pro. Open it up, pop one out, pop another in, done. Love it.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 03:30 PM   #21
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alright, I ordered. 80GB Intel X25M from Tigerdirect. $225 + $5 shipping w/ 15% bing cashback. i really had no intention of going SSD when I first started this thread (obviously by the title), but you guys convinced me. Plus, the erratic behavior from my 2 year old stock drive made me not want to wait. Will be moving my user/home directory to a different drive in preparation for the SSD. considering just doing a clean install also - just cause things seem to run more smoothly after one of those, but I may wait for the next OS to do that.
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Old Jul 23, 2010, 03:37 PM   #22
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alright, I ordered. 80GB Intel X25M from Tigerdirect. $225 + $5 shipping w/ 15% bing cashback. i really had no intention of going SSD when I first started this thread (obviously by the title), but you guys convinced me. Plus, the erratic behavior from my 2 year old stock drive made me not want to wait. Will be moving my user/home directory to a different drive in preparation for the SSD. considering just doing a clean install also - just cause things seem to run more smoothly after one of those, but I may wait for the next OS to do that.
Congrats! You should notice a huge difference from the get go, have fun!
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Old Jul 29, 2010, 03:52 PM   #23
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followup on moving User directories

So I moved my user directory to a separate drive so my boot drive is now just the system, library, and applications folders (plus the shared folder in the user directory). Two questions:

1. when time machine backs up, is it going to pull the user directory from the other drive?
2. I also want to start doing a full system bootable backup weekly using something like carbon copy cloner. Since the cloning only does so for the drive that you select, what strategy should I use to backup the user directories? should I just run another ccc on that drive as well and then if need be re-link the user directory to the backed up boot drive?
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Old Jul 29, 2010, 04:42 PM   #24
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So I moved my user directory to a separate drive so my boot drive is now just the system, library, and applications folders (plus the shared folder in the user directory). Two questions:

1. when time machine backs up, is it going to pull the user directory from the other drive?
2. I also want to start doing a full system bootable backup weekly using something like carbon copy cloner. Since the cloning only does so for the drive that you select, what strategy should I use to backup the user directories? should I just run another ccc on that drive as well and then if need be re-link the user directory to the backed up boot drive?
1. Yes, unless it's excluded in Options.

2. CCC or Time Machine, no need to do too many backups unless they are on separate drives
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Old Jul 29, 2010, 06:17 PM   #25
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So basically all the data, the stuff you work on goes on the slow drive so that you can put stuff on the SSD for shaving a few seconds off the boot time, and a couple of microseconds when loading an app?

Yet the majority of I/O is interaction with the data? So lets say you have this huge Aperture library, now it will be on the slow drive? Think about it.

Makes no sense.

I have a Velociraptor 600GB.

Apps pop open immediately, Things are very fast and working on my user data is very quick.
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