What do you guys do for storage solutions? (and: what to do with Apple's drives?)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by robcts, Oct 29, 2006.

  1. robcts macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #1
    I plan on purchasing a mac pro soon and had a question on what you guys are doing for storage and what are you using your stock Apple drives for.

    I'd like to use a 10K RPM drive as a boot drive for OS X and its apps, and then have 2 x 500GB drives setup in a RAID 1 for storage.

    I planned on purchasing the 500GB drives from somewhere else other than Apple, because they are too expensive. But then I have to purchase a hard drive from Apple when ordering.

    Should I just downgrade the Apple-ordered drive to a 160GB one to save money and try to sell it on eBay?

    I guess I just really want to know what others do for hard drives.

    Thanks for any help.
     
  2. bob5820 macrumors 6502a

    bob5820

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    #2
    I'm keeping the 250GB drive it came with inplace for now. I threw in a 160GB from my Windows box for my Parallels/Window drive. I still have a Raptor in the Win box but don't think I'm going to use it, I like the quiet too much. I've got another 160GB drive laying around, but I've never been a big fan of software RAID, so I guess I'll just find some other use for it.
     
  3. MRU macrumors demi-god

    MRU

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    I have the 250gb Seagate HD that came standard (it was noisy as hell) so I put in a 250gb Western Digital - but have also ordered a 150gb Raptor

    My plan is to have the 150gb for OS X & apps
    250gb WD for storing my painter IX.5 & photoshop work
    250gb Seagate for Final Cut

    I have a WD 160gb SATA from my powermac I use for Windows via bootcamp.


    I also have a WD (I like WD drives ;) ) Mybook Premium Firewire drivee external for a spare backup of all my work.


    ooo are they noisy ? i cant abide noisy drives - they drive me potty. The seagate one did my head in after only a day - hence I rushed out and got the 250gb WD.

    If the Raptors are that noisy - i may cancel my order whilst it's still awaiting stock.
     
  4. eMagine macrumors regular

    eMagine

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    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #4
    the raptors are very noisy. i put 2 into my mac pro. had to take them out due to the noise.
     
  5. robcts thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2005
    #5
    Is there a major difference between 7200rpm and 10000rpm? I don't want there to be too much noise... for the price of a single 150GB raptor I could get 2x 320GB 7200rpm just about with a RAID 0...
     
  6. kered22 macrumors 6502

    kered22

    Joined:
    May 26, 2006
    Location:
    Torrance, CA
    #6
    I upgraded the stock 250 to a 500 when I got my MacPro, then put in my two SATA I (300 and 400GB) drives. I had originally planned to use my Maxtor 300GB SATA I as my bootup since it had a 16MB cache, but the OEM 500GB Seagate was faster even with only an 8MB cache.

    If one of the SATA I drives die I'll replace them but for now, it's the 500GB for OS X, apps, iMovie and games. The 400 and 300 for FrontRow (well okay I'm using iTheater and MediaCentral as substitutes for now) and if I have to export any .DV files.

    Hopefully Hitachi will put out their 1TB drive before years end. There seem to be a lot of low prices for 500GB drives, so something big seems afoot.
     
  7. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #7
    Cool, someone started a thread that concerns the same issue I'm contemplating.

    I downgraded the stock drive to 160 and plan to use that for Windows only. In the other 3 slots, I am thinking of adding one 400-500 WD to use as a Mac only boot drive, applications and long-term storage. In the other two slots, I might go with matching Western Digital 320's (RE raid models) and set them up with Raid0 using softRaid drivers. Not sure about the details of doing that. According to the softRaid documentation, they recommend setting up the raid volume only on the outside half of each drive. This will supposedly give faster access. The documentations says nothing about what to do with the remaining disk space. I wonder, does that get formatted into yet another volume that can be used for storage? When my drives arrive, I'll probably just stripe both of them into one volume to keep it simple. A 600GB raid volume to use as scratch and video capture should really speed up my process! When I'm done with projects, I'll probably delete the source files and burn the final project to DVD, just to keep the raid drive clear. If I lose the raid due to drive failure, I will only be stuck with recapturing footage as I will store project files on my storage (boot) drive. If I have a major project that I don't want to recapture, I'll probably back it up to firewire.

    As for the 10K Raptor drive, I thought long and hard then decided the noise factor to allow a faster startup just wasn't worth it. Now, if they came out with a 400GB Raptor... maybe. For me, the speed bottle neck is in video capture and transferring large files. I hope the raid will solve that.

    I'm looking forward to what other people are doing with their drive setups. Especially in regards to video and budget. I suppose the answer is to throw four 500 GB Drives in there and stripe 3 of them into one volume. But I don't have the funds to do that. :eek:
     
  8. orangezorki macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    #8
    After the expense of the Mac Pro itself, I'm now a cheapskate by necessity. I've got the stock 250gig WD as my boot drive, a 300gig Seagate I had lying around as a media drive, and I bought a cheapo WD 160gig 8Mb drive for Boot Camp.

    David
     
  9. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #9
    I downgraded to the 160GB HDD Option and chucked it as soon as the Mac Pro arrived (I didn't actually chuck it, it's stashed with the rest of my computer 'bits'). It was actually cheaper to downgrade the stock drive and purchase another drive seperately than to pay Apple for an upgrade.

    I bought a 150GB Western Digital Raptor HDD as the OS X Boot Volume, 2x500GB Western Digital Drives for general storage and 1x250GB for Windows XP.

    The Raptor drive is faaaast. Definitely recommended for general OS X usage. In terms of noise, the Raptor is as silent as any other hard drive I have in there, but read/write noise is definitely louder. I was aware of this when purchasing though, so it doesn't pose a problem for me whatsoever and I prefer the snappy access times. I sleep in the same room as the Mac Pro and even when I leave it on overnight to do some video encoding or downloading, its as quiet as always.
     
  10. robcts thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2005
    #10
    Are your 500GB drives in a RAID setup?

    Your setup sounds like exactly what I want, minus the 250GB for XP.
     
  11. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #11
    Afraid not, the Raptor drive houses OS X and one of the 500GB drives stores all my general purpose stuff (I even moved my home folder over onto it so that the boot drive could be wiped clean at any point and all my documents, music etc would be safe on the 500GB drive). SuperDuper clones the first 500GB drive to the second one every night for backup (this setup means I only ever need to backup one drive, rather than having to back up the boot volume too as my users folder isn't located on it anymore)

    Hard to describe all that, I hope that makes sense :eek:
     
  12. robcts thread starter macrumors regular

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    Sep 10, 2005
    #12
    Sounds good..

    I take it SuperDuper doesn't copy all the content every night even if it hasn't changed? It only copies/updates any changes made, correct? Because if not, I imagine it would take a very long time to copy when you have 100GB+ files :)

    Also - so I know when I get it - how exactly do you move the home folder onto the other drive? Is it a simple drag and drop? I'm asking because I know it has the ~/Library which contains files needed for Apps which would reside on the first drive.. wasn't sure if this would present a problem.
     
  13. Nick T. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2006
    Location:
    SoCal
    #13
    I'm curious about the startup speed comparison between the 10,000rpm WD Raptor and the 7.200 WD Caviar hard drives.

    The Raptor has a 4.6ms seek time and 150MB/sec xfer rate. This drive is reportedly very noisy.
    The Caviar has an 8.9ms seek time and 300MB/sec xfer rate. This drive is reportedly very quiet.

    Has anybody done any actual timing comprisons?
     
  14. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #14
    SuperDuper has a very useful feature called Smart Update where it'll only update what has actually changed. I have my Mac on 24/7, so I've scheduled it so that SuperDuper automatically does a Smart Update Mon-Sat at 4AM and a full erase and copy on Sunday at 4AM (This isn't really necessary, but I like to know a full copy is performed every so often just for my own peace of mind).

    In terms of moving your home directory, I did this straight after a clean install of OS X to minimise the chance of problems, but its pretty simple as the main part is just to create a new folder for your user account, copy over your existing data to it and change the OS X pointer to your user account with NetInfo Manager, then to be complete, you can create a symlink via the Terminal so you have an icon in the 'Users' folder which automatically bounces over to the new location as required. I prefer it this way as your boot volume doesn't actually contain your music/photos/documents etc, they're all safely squirreled away on the other drive. The full guide to moving your home folder can be found here

    The Raptor is noticeably faster in terms of general OS X use and 'snappiness'. The very low seek time accounts for this mainly. I wouldn't worry about the difference between 150MB/sec and 300MB/sec as Hard Drives aren't fast enough to even get close to 150MB/sec, it's only when you have a number of drives moving a LOT of data about simultaneously that you might see a benefit to SATA-II's 300MB/sec. It's just not an issue for me with a single user system.
     
  15. THX1139 macrumors 68000

    THX1139

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    #15
    I'm wondering if going with a faster boot drive is better than setting up a Raid0? The 150 raptor costs just as much as two 300GB drives and is probably slower than setting them up as raid0. I'm not sure if you can boot off a raid partition. I read one post where you can and another that said you can't boot off Raid0.

    Another senario would be to use the Raptor as boot drive and then raid those two 500's, then backup to an external via firewire? That will give you speed on all the drives.

    Trying to decide the most cost effective solution for myself. Maybe buy a Raptor for Applications and OS (the 75GB is probably enough), then do 2 drives for Raid0, then backup weekly to firewire drive?
     
  16. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

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    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #16
    I kinda prefer the one-disk solution provided by the Raptor drive, purely out of simplicity, but its also because I'm a bit uneasy about RAID.

    Could someone please explain how RAID works on Mac OS X? I'd be quite tempted to run a RAID array for my general storage drives, but I'm worried that if I erased my boot volume and re-installed OS X, would the RAID drives still know they are a RAID array? The reason I'm unsure is that I'm almost certain that the Mac Pro doesn't offer a hardware RAID solution, and is done purely through software, so if you delete and reinstall the software (ie, OS X), it will forget the drives are a RAID array and end up corrupting everything?

    (Again, hard to describe, I hope that makes sense)
     
  17. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #17
    i currently have an esata storage unit with 3 x 500 GB HDs connected to my G5..works great..solid so far..no complaints..was fairly cost effective to do.

    BUT, when i get my macpro in the new year (hopefully), i'll be adding as many large drives as possible.
     
  18. Transeau macrumors 6502a

    Transeau

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2005
    Location:
    Alta Loma, CA
    #18
    Raptors are "clicky" to start with, RAID-0 them and it's twice that.
    The only noise coming from my box is the Raptors seeking...

    Here is my setup:

    2x 150GB Raptors as the boot drive
    2x 300GB Seagate 7200.9 as "Video Editing"

    4x 250GB Seagate 7200.9 in an Infrant ReadyNAS NV for network storage.

    Like I said, the Raptors are loud. but at least you can't hear the spin.

    As for what I ordered, I picked up the bare system, with the addition of the X1900. I sat the stock 160GB Seagate and the two 512MB DIMMS aside in case I ever have to sent it in for service. Then I put in the 4 drives, 6GB of memory and 3.0GHz CPUs. (it was cheaper to get the CPU's, Memory and drives via my normal hardware distributor)
     
  19. irishgrizzly macrumors 65816

    irishgrizzly

    Joined:
    May 15, 2006
    #19
    If Apple's drives are so noisy, can you see them being replaced in the stock Mac Pro soon/later?
     
  20. NATO macrumors 68000

    NATO

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2005
    Location:
    Northern Ireland
    #20
    I don't think Apple's drives are noisy at all, I'd say they're among the quietest around as they seem to be either Seagate or Western Digital (who always seem to make quieter drives according to reviews), it's just the Western Digital Raptor drive which would be considered 'noisy', but its a drive that you have to purchase seperately and the extra noise is a given considering the level of performance delivered.
     

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