Best Hard Drive Setup?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sammyman, Nov 3, 2010.

  1. sammyman macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    I am planning on definitely getting 1 SSD drive.. Maybe a 120GB to fit my apps and OSX.

    The rest is a mystery. What is the best setup?

    1. 120GB SSD (installed in the 2nd Drive Bay)
    2. 2TB Master RAID 0
    3. 2TB Master RAID 0
    4. Scratch Disk (What size and kind of drive is the best? 60GB SSD?)
    5. 2TB Time Machine?

    What kind of hard drives do you all use in your dream Mac Pro setup?
  2. khollister macrumors 6502a


    Feb 1, 2003
    Orlando, FL
    A lot of this depends on what you are going to use the machine for & what SW you run.

    120 GB SSD is fine for boot+apps (that's what I have and you could probably get by with a 60)

    Definitely want the biggest drive you can get for TM. I am using Samsung 5400RPM drives for backup and TM - they are cool, quiet, cheap and pretty fast considering the rotational speed. WD Green would be fine also.

    You said scratch drive - are you running Photoshop? If so, a 40 would likely do it.

    I would use either WD Caviar Blacks or Hitachi for data, BUT...

    I would think again about the RAID 0 stripe - it is somewhat faster but much riskier. since both drives have to operate to access the data, the failure rate is worse. You should also not really use the WD consumer Caviar drives for RAID 0 or 5 - TLER is disabled and you could have trouble. The RE enterprise drives are the suggested solution - quite a bit more expensive.

    Unless you are doing video editing where you need the speed, I would avoid striping your data drive. If you are a heavy Photoshop user that hits the scratch disk often, your better bang for the buck is to get 2 40 GB SSD's and stripe those.
  3. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    Yes, I am running Photoshop. My wife is a professional photographer so she really needs the beast. I feel bad watching her edit pictures on her mac mini :eek:.

    I will keep my eyes out for a deal on some of the Caviar black drives.

    Ok, no on RAID 0. I hate the idea of more drama. I really need something more safe, NOT slightly faster and more risky. What RAID would be the safest? I thought it was safer to do RAID so you have two copies of the data??? If not, I will take your advice and have two scratch disks.

    For some reason that seems like a waste of the space... Does it really make a huge difference in the performance of Photoshop? I guess I could still have one big fast 2TB for data, a 2TB for Time Machine, and still have room for a boot disk SSD.
  4. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008

    safest raid ? some options
    Raid 1/0 or raid 10 same difference but can be done with no hardware card with just the OS so easy and cheap and reliable

    raid 5 or 6 is nice but needs a card so external case and card base price $1000 without HDD with some RE3 a about $2000 total so you have to be ready to make the commitment

    so without knowing how much storage you need or how large files she works with or any album layouts etc.. ?

    going on a starting point which might change with the above info :)

    depending on needs start with raid 1 on some WD 2 TB HDD still will be fast and safe
    get a 120 for Boot and OS

    WD Black HDD in 2 TB size for backing up the raid 1 to this will only be used incase your main HDD fails ! so a fast HDD is nice
    you can partition this with a top partition of 200 gigs and use this for a scratch disc for PS
    and the rest for your clone BU

    also remember you dont want to fill up a HDD you work on over %60 better at %50
    so that bu will have plenty room left over

    get a nice external case something like a 4 bay case from OWC the mercury use this for time machine
    this is used to get files you need back think Human error here :)

    if you get one filled with large HDD like the 2 TB you can run it in raid 5 and get 6 TB of storage you could say use 3TB for time machine and the other 3 for archiving work ? again lots of options here

    if she works in LR
    get a SSD for the cache and second use as scratch for PS
    if you go this route use the SSD as first scratch and the 200 gig partition for the second !

    bay 1) boot SSD
    bay 2 & 3) your raid 1 storage
    bay 4) your clone BU

    the only thing missing in this scenario that is a must is a clone of your boot drive !
    you could put one in the extra optical bay or use that for a SSD scratch

    we can fit the boot clone in :) but need to know does she work in LR
    how big files ? how much storage

    this should be a good start

    I work as a Photographer and also have a post production studio that does album design and PS work for pro photographers :) so do quite a bit of work in PS and LR :)
  5. sammyman thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Mar 21, 2005
    So she is using lightroom more and more. But most of the processing is still happening in photoshop I believe. Maybe 85% photoshop 15% LR.

    Another thing is that we have an external NAS. It is a 4 bay synology NAS that we will use to back everything up as well. Currently it is RAID 5 with around 4TB space.

    So I have 5 spaces with the drive bay....
  6. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    If you're after some speed + redundancy, and don't want to go with a RAID card (i.e. RAID 5 or 6), then a level 10 is your best solution (can use Disk Utility to do it). Performance would be that of a 2x disk stripe set, so figure ~200MB/s (assuming the disks are capable of 100MB/s each).

    So you could do the following:
    • Empty Optical Bay = SSD for OS/applications
    • HDD bays 1 - 4 = RAID 10 for Primary DATA
    • eSATA card = 6.0Gb/s newertech (no Port Multiplier support)
    • External SSD = Scratch space (attaches to the eSATA card)
    • NAS = Backups
    You can even use an external disk (cheap mechanical) for an OS/applications clone.
  7. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I might use that NAS for time machine if you can ?

    I might ask again though :) how much storage does she need and how much storage for the coming season ?

    some of our east coast clients are slowing up their season but you get a rush of Xmas deadlines for albums
    some of our west coast people are still going good and the hot zones are ramping up
    but try to figure from now until next year cause once in season if busy you dont want to be messing with trying to expand your system
    you dont need to go 2 years out just one season !

    so if you can get away with just over 2TB of storage ? then a 4 disc raid 10 setup using WD 2 TB HDD will be good
    remember dont over fill them !!! so 2.5 TB is about all you want to fill that 4TB raid 10 up to !!! keep it fast :)

    I would get a PM card though and get a PM sans digital case and put a few HDD inside or be ready to do this :) keep your main working drive clean and depending on how you want to archive stuff it offers a option down the road

    on the LR thing depending on if she shoots raw ? I would say if not get used to it much more control and better output quality
    and getting to know LR might take a bit but the speed will come back when working with a wedding !!! so get on that learning LR

    cause of LR I would be using a SSD cache drive the size will depend on how big her edited down weddings are ?
    the cache files run about 5-9 megs depending on camera ? so a 40 gig SSD might do it since most work on a wedding get the raws to JPG and are done !

    if you use LR as a DAM setup then you want a bigger cache setup

    also note when building previews the standard are whats used in develop module and the 1:1 are whats used in the loupe/grid mode

    so building the correct previews can effect speed :)
  8. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    if she gets into this more I would say get a quality monitor with good hardware calibration like a NEC PA model !!!!

    knowing your color is nice :) also get a good lab some of the big ones like Millers are good but find a good lab dont do the cheap route of sams club costco walmart stuff :)

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