2009 HD Config (With SSD) Help

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by MacACK, Jun 26, 2009.

  1. MacACK macrumors newbie

    MacACK

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #1
    I know this has been asked several other times in other ways... and I have collected some very good ideas from other posts.

    But I am looking for some specific guidance. I am purchasing a 2009 Mac Pro to be used for Photography and HD Video editing. I want to build this with the appropriate balance of performance and storage capacity (knowing I can always add external storage later - I just dont want to right away).

    The thing is - I have access to 3 OCZ Vertex 250 gb and 3 WD Black 1TB Drives.

    I dont think I want to put all 3 of either OCZ in - but want a mix of both for the storage / performance blend I am after.

    I was initially thinking 1 Vertex for boot drive then the 3 1 TBs for data / photos / video etc.... But I could go with 2 OCZ (Raid 0) for boot ... or 1 OCZ boot and 1 OCZ swap for Photoshop. Or... So you can see I am on the fence on the final config.

    I would love some recommendations of the 'perfect' mix for my goals of internal storage and performance (and always like understanding how people have divided up data / boot / etc.)

    Thanks!

    MA
     
  2. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #2
    Hello,

    Really depends on your budget (but let's forget that for a moment) and the amount of data you have to store/work with.

    An SSD as a boot disk is a great idea, but won't really speed up your work if you have adequate RAM. With enough RAM your OS won't need to use as much virtual memory, nor will it need to use a scratch disk for PS.

    Like you suggested, I'd go with the 3 Blacks in a RAID0 set-up (provided that you have another disk for back-up), and optionally 1 SSD as boot (or, like I'll do with my own RAID: put the system on the RAID itself and save hundreds of dollars on a SSD you won't need).

    If money is no object, then RAID0 those 3 SSDs for boot and data. But IMO a good 3-4 disk RAID0 set will give a similar performance to a SSD, and give you a lot more space to work with.

    A lot of people think that SSDs are magical. But using 2 RAIDed SSDs as boot will give you a very small speed increase compared to a single SSD. And don't forget that if you have enough RAM, SSD as boot drive won't give you anything esle than: a fast boot-up time (meaningless), fast app load times (meaningless) and overall snappiness (which is good).

    In the end, with enough RAM, your SSD boot drive won't help you at all with your actual work. SSDs or RAIDs of regular HDs for data storage will help speed up your work considerably though.

    Loa
     
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    HD Video? How much? 1080P?

    If you answered "yes, lots, yes" then RAID0 all three of your SSDs together. Any other configuration in this case would pale in comparison, I assure you!
     
  4. MacACK thread starter macrumors newbie

    MacACK

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #4
    Thank you for the responses! So the Vertex and Blacks will not cost anything (long story). So this really is a question of finding the perfect balance of performance and storage.

    To answer the question - video will be 1080p...but will be home video shot on my HF-S100 and will not involve 'pro quality' editing work.

    What I was initially thinking was:

    Disk 1: 256 GB Vertex
    OS / Apps Partition
    Swap / Scratch Partition

    Disk 2/3/4: Raid0 1TB Blacks
    Home Directory
    Media (photos + videos + music)

    Would I really be better served with since the Vertexs are freebies --

    Disk 1 : 256 GB Vertex
    OS / Apps Partition

    Disk 2 : 256 GB Vertex
    Swap / Scratch Partition

    Disk 3 / 4: Raid 0 1 TB Blacks
    Home Directory
    Media (photos + videos + music)

    Note: I will have external storage for backup / time machine
     
  5. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #5
    +1 on that!

    OP... RAID your SSD's and don't look back.
     
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    Yup! In terms of speed:

    1 Single SSD 2 or 3 drive HDD RAID0
    2-Drive SSD RAID0 5 or 6 drive HDD RAID0
    3-Drive SSD RAID0 8 or 10 Drive HDD RAID0
    • Where the HHD is a fast 1TB 7200RPM or a 500GB per platter drive at 5400+.
    • When 500GB per plater drives which have a 7200 RPM start shipping then the
      above scale will likely change.
    • 10000RPM and 15000RPM drive perform better but have a reduced size and
      and increased cost.
    • Drives with a smaller capacity in the 7200RPM case are much slower if they
      use lower density platters and not just fewer platters!
    • And also where the SSD is the fastest model available as of 07/2009.
    Those are HUGE performance differences!



    1. The screaming system would be to RAID all 3 of your SSDs together in RAID0 and use the Balck for finished project storage, MP3 files, and movie downloads. :) Optionally you could even add a second Black by putting it under the Optical Drive in the open bay there, and RAID0 the two black drives as well.

    2. The second best setup where you gain an extra terabyte of storage at the cost of a lot of speed would be 2 SSD RAID0 and 2 Blk HDD RAID0. (Again with the optional black drive to make it a 3-drive RAID0)

    3. The third best setup would be 1 SSD and a 3-drive Blk HDD RAID0. Pretty much both storage items here will be nearly identical speeds. The blk RAID0 strip wll be faster then the single SSD at most things and slower at some. (considering the optional bay this becomes the identical setup to #2 above)

    For number one don't worry about dividing anything up. Just use the single 700gig (690?) default volume (partition 0) after RAID0ing them.

    Actually it's the same for all of these configurations. Don't make partitions unless you want to degrade performance. I know this is the opposite of what we're told but that's old-school and no longer true in systems with 8, 12, or 16 GB of RAM. If you're running with 2GB or 3GB of RAM in this system then make your scratch partitions and etc. on any rotational storage devices. It may help if you work on large files. In 4 to 6 GB of RAM it becomes a question of what you do with your machine. Over that and it's really no longer true at all in 95% of the cases.

    Short-stroking is another option but it's a waste. It involves making partitions. Basically you profile your HDDs and find out where the speed starts to drop 0GB ~ 1000GB across the platter - something like the red graphs here. Then you make one partition of that size and leave the rest of the drive as unused area. In other words your 1TB drives become 400GB drives or something like that. You can then RAID all three of them together for a nice fast RAID0. 3x400GB = 1.2TB. This short-stroking will likely not be faster than the first 1.2 TB of all three drives normally used in a RAID0 tho. It just ensures that the complete RAID0 stripe is fast and prohibits the system from deciding that it wants to use a slower area - which happens sometimes.


    .
     
  7. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #7
    Hello,

    With money not being an object, go with Tess's suggestion:

    RAID0 your 3 Vertexes + RAID0 your 2 Blacks.

    But to finish Tess's idea: I'd short-stroke your black RAID0 into 2 1TB parts, with one for regular (very fast) use, and the other one for back-up (a bit slower, but who cares) use.

    You'd have:
    -700GB of uber-fast OS + all the files you're currently working on
    -1TB of very fast storage for the rest of your stuff
    -1TB of fast storage for your back-up.

    Loa
     
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #8
    Well if you're going to use 1TB for backup (given two 1TB drives) certainly and by all means do NOT RAID them together! That would be like keeping a "backup" on the same drive as the original. Not much use.
     
  9. MacACK thread starter macrumors newbie

    MacACK

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #9
    Thanks guys I really appreciate all the information you are providing me. So is this the final?

    Disk 1 / 2 / 3 : 250GB Vertexs Raid 0
    Disk 4 / 5 : 1 TB Blacks Raid 0 (didnt need that second optical)

    I wont use the internal drive as backup - I have an external solution that is servicing the home network fine now (2TB Storage).

    MA
     
  10. Loa macrumors 65816

    Loa

    Joined:
    May 5, 2003
    Location:
    Québec
    #10
    No problem!

    Just a reminder if you didn't know: you'll need some sort of system to physically mount your 5th drive in the second optical bay. The cable (sata and power) are already there.

    I've ordered this http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Noiseblocker/HDC65/

    from OWC because I like the noise reduction and the ability to mount a second drive. You can probably find something a bit cheaper to mount a basic 3.5in drive.

    Loa
     
  11. stormtroopar macrumors member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2009
    #11
    A side question but related to the OCZ vertex drives I suppose.. :) ... just want to know if these drives are fine with bootcamp? I know people have been having problems with the Intel ones so I was wondering if people have been using these Vertex drives with a dual OSX and windows boot.

    Thanks.
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    I think any issues with SSDs and Bootcamp are ancient history now.
     
  13. MacACK thread starter macrumors newbie

    MacACK

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2009
    #13

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