Best hard drive/OS set up in Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by msmth928, Jun 10, 2009.

  1. msmth928 macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2009
    Wondered what you all thought on the best set-up for a 3 drive system. Here's what I had in mind and my reasons - interested in your thoughts!

    Drive 1
    250GB, 7200 rpm 16mb Cache
    My intention was to use this for the OS and apps, create a partition and then use time machine to keep 'back ups' of it (is that possible?) - so use it like windows restore if needed.

    Drives 2 + 3
    500GB, 7200 rpm 16mb (may even be 32mb) cache
    I thought I'd set this up as Raid 1/mirror, so I have two copies. Move my 'home' folder here (how do I do that btw?) So all my emails, documents and files will go here. Anything that I need back ups of will be backed up to DVD.

    This set up is more for convenience than anything else, just means that when I go away I can take one of the raid drives with me or leave it down my mums, so my data is relatively safe. And with the OS on a separate drive, it means if I ever need to reinstall the os (after perhaps it getting totally screwed up) all my files/emails etc are untouched. However I'm fairly new to Macs so am open to suggestions!
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    I'm not quite sure whether or not you can run Time Machine on a different time partition (I suppose in theory, you could), but I wouldn't recommend it regardless for performance reasons.

    Why? On a single drive with two partitions, it will not behave as two separate hard drives. A hard drive can't read and write simultaneously, which means your overall OS performance would slow down quite a bit whenever something gets copied to Time Machine partition. The drive would have to read the data and then copy back to itself on the second partition hosting the Time Machine (slow process on a single drive...). Keep in mind that this same drive is running your OS and apps. Simply put, if you want to use Time Machine, dedicate a drive to it.

    Hard drives are cheap. You can get 1TB drives for under $100 now.
  3. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    I suppose that system works for carrying your data around on the HDD's...

    but as said above, it's kinda clumsy as far as performance goes...i'd recommend...

    Drive 1: 250GB HDD - Mac OS, Apps/Bootcamp Partition
    Drive 2: 500GB HDD - Home Folder
    Drive 3: 500GB HDD - Time Machine
  4. Semiopaque macrumors regular

    Oct 7, 2008
    Totally agree on looking at 1TB drives, assuming you don't already have 500 GB in your proposed set-up. The cost difference when weighed against the capacity almost makes it a no brainer.

    A lot of what you are trying to setup depends on what you are using the computer for and how much data you have now and plan to have in the near to mid term future. It might make more sense to just have two 1TB drives and put everything (OS apps and data) on one drive unless you need additional performance, and then Time Machine it all to another drive.

    Add a third drive if you want and just clone the first drive every so often and keep that one in a separate location if you feel you need that added security. If you plan to access the data from a Windows only machine from a second location, though, that would change things as well.
  5. msmth928 thread starter macrumors regular

    Jun 3, 2009
    I forgot to say, I already have these drives - bought them all less than a month ago for my PC :eek:

    I do have an older 320GB drive too, but it's noisy and I was going to put vista on that for when I need to get access to my old emails (which I can't seem to get onto the mac).

    I didn't stop to think about TM on a partition slowing the drive down - that's a good point.

    I guess what I could do then, is try to get my emails onto the Mac (try converting to Firefox email then to Mac FF and then to Mac Mail) and then use that 4th drive for TM back ups of the OS hard drive.

    So I'd have

    Drive 1
    OS + Apps

    Drive 2+3
    Raid as mentioned

    Drive 4
    TM of Drive 1

  6. XianPalin macrumors 6502


    May 26, 2006
    I'd suggest the fastest drive you can get for the primary drive. I'm running a 640GB Western Digital, and sometimes wish I'd bought a velociraptor or something quicker. Maybe I just need to do a clean wipe, but lately the hard drive has been a huge bottleneck when doing things.

    My friend suggested getting a SSD for the main drive and then huge drives for the rest. I'll probably wait until they come down in price, as it was about $400 for a 32GB drive, but it seemed like a pretty decent option. The drives he mentioned were Intel X25-E I think.
  7. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003
    I agree: hard drives are very often our biggest bottlenecks.

    There are a few discussions about SSDs in here, but a SSD as a boot drive sounds good to me. Check out the X25M, 80GB at around 325$.

    Or, if you have the room, a RAID0 set would be nice too.

  8. dukeman macrumors member

    Feb 5, 2007
    My setup is:

    WD Raptop 150GB 10k - OS X, Apps, some docs

    WD 500GB 7.2K - Remaning Data / Doc / Video Files (I store them here, usually copy to raptor when editing / rendering)

    WD 500GB 7.2K -hooked up USB - TimeMachine

    Windows Server - Backup of everything JIC TimeMachine goes down
  9. dekka007 macrumors member

    Jun 6, 2009
    Looking at the following setup for SSD in Mac Pro 2.93 Quad next month.

    1: Intel 160GB SSD X25M - Software RAID 0
    2. Intel 160GB SSD X25M - Software RAID 0
    3. Intel 80GB SSD X25M - Bootcamp Dedicated

    I have a Intel 160gb SSD X25M in my Macbook Pro - Has not given me any problems apart from hurting the wallet.

    I hear so many stories about non Intel SSD's giving problems with slow down after use and Bootcamp issues. I believe Intel still has the fast performance Random Reads/Writes.

    My question is would u change the Brand model from Intel on the above RAID 0 or leave it with those 2 drives and the Dedicated Bootcamp leave it with that one or a 150gb WD 10,000RPM.
  10. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003
    In theory no: the newer OCZ vertex drives are faster, but there are, as you said, reports of problems... I hope those quality variations settle down soon.

  11. OZMP macrumors 6502

    Feb 18, 2008
    I use 7200.11's, will be getting 7200.12's next. I noticed a MASSIVE differenced compared to the standard 7200.8
  12. diotav macrumors 6502a

    Aug 9, 2005
    I thought Bootcamp requires the same drive as the Mac OS?
  13. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia
    #13 can run it on any drive you want (it gives you a choice when you create the bootcamp drive). you may even be able to run it off an external drive.
    although, most people run it off a partition on the OS X drive because it's faster to. (the reason being that you want to run your stuff on as many HDD's as possible whilst in OS X or windows. so as the OS + Apps tend to take up the least space, there's room to share the drive amongst both OS's)

    sorry, if that's a bit long winded, but hope it helps.

    in a RAID, it's ideal to have two identical drives

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