Bought a new MacPro and have some HDD Queries...(audio work related)

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Drummy, Aug 30, 2010.

  1. Drummy macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010
    I just splashed out considerably and purchased a new Mac Pro for my audio work (mainly creative music; writing, production, using lots samplers and plug-ins, that sort of thing). I went for the 6 core 3.33GHZ with 8GB RAM and 3 bays of 1TB HDDs. I'm thinking one HDD will be OS, applications, iTunes, vids, iPhoto, docs ect. everything you would find on a normal HDD for comp...the second i'll use to run all my audio projects, and the third for all my samples for the MIDI driven orchestras, drum kits etc.

    My first question is would any one advise me different to this HD arrangement for my purposes.

    Secondly, I'll be wanting to back everything up with Time Machine; what 3TB external HDDs (USB, FireWire, Network or Wireless etc.) are there available/recommended that might not be widely listed (I've had a look but the choice for 3TB seems fairly limited).

    Thirdly, there is some data that I'll want not only on one of the HDDs in the Mac, and in Time Machine, but able to move around aswell on a 500GB Portable USB GDrive. I'll want the content synced with my MacPro; what programmes exist that can do this.

    Thanks for your time(s) in reading this, and, in advance, for replying!

  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Setting aside different drives work. Some people will want to get SSDs and such for a boot volume, but that gets expensive. You could consider a RAID card and getting a 4th 1TB drive and using RAID 5; you'd then have one big 3TB volume which you can partition. RAID 5 isn't a backup, but it's a security in-case a drive fails and it's faster than each drive by itself.

    Well again here, it depends on your budget… you could get a Drobo, but that's only only expensive, it's not very fast. On the plus side, it's easy to use. Alternatively you can get an external RAID enclosure, get a couple drives and use eSATA or FW800. The thing with this for Time Machine is you'd want an enclosure that has it's own RAID built-in and not one that relies on the controller in your computer.

    ChronoSync will do this for you.
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    What about an SSD for your OS/Apps? Ideally you'd run enough SSD storage to house your data as well (at least your active project(s)).

    Assuming you blew your wad on the computer and didn't leave much budget left over for storage optimization (shame on you :p)... try to get at least one modest sized SSD for your OS/Apps.

    I would then use two of the 1TB HD's in a stripe set for added performance for all the audio project files and your sample libraries. You don't need to keep these on separate drives.

    I would then use the remaining 1TB drive as a Time Machine drive to backup the SSD and your audio projects (I assume there's no point to backing up the sample libraries?).

    If you can't afford even a modest SSD (what the hell were you thinking? :p) then at least stripe those 1TB drives together in a software RAID0 setup for added performance.

    The performance would be significantly improved compared to what you are proposing.
  4. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010
    Thanks guys! With regards to the SSDs, I am planning on replacing my drives with SSDs, but only when they come down in price pretty significantly. I am aware of the significant performance enhancement that they provide, and how amazing a technology they are, but over £1000 for 512GB?! Give it a couple of years I think ;)

    As for the distribution of audio and samples on the same HD, I'd have thought that running samples and audio playback from the same volume, specifically if you are on a project that has lots of both, would cause much the same problem as running audio recording and audio playback from the same this not the case?

    Finally, how would I make this RAID0 configuration, and effect would it have on the configuration I have proposed?
  5. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010

    Can anyone offer an answer to the above?
  6. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2010
    Ive also just also bought a Mac Pro for mainly audio and media, I went for a 2ns hand / used 2008 Mac Pro running Logic with all my plugins (Native Instruments etc)

    Anyhow my plan is similar to what Virtual Rain has suggested (in fact he has helped me a little)

    1) Optical Drive (spare) - 128GB Vertex 2 SSD. This will be the boot drive with my apps, email and active Logic Projects

    2) HD Bay 1 - Audio Projects and Sample Librarys (1 or 2 TB Drive)
    3) HD Bay 2 - Media (All my encoded film / TV series for Apple TV) 2TB Drive

    I am not up to scratch with raid etc but the spare 2 drives bays I was going to somehow backup all three drives but not sure best way to do this.
  7. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2010
    Another way I am thinking (thanks to another thread) that may interest you is a RAID 1+0 configuration

    e.g. if you bought 4 1.5 TB drives

    Use 2 of the 1.5 TB drives for all your needs below in RAID 0 i.e. one big 3TB HD however you will be gaining faster performance as using two drives to read and write to.

    With the other 2 drives you mirror the above so you have a backup. If any one of the 4 drives fail you will still have a fully functioning system.

    Maybe RAID experts can chime in here but I guess this is a good setup as you will have faster performance and mirrored backup, guess its a good alternative to RAID 5 but withought the expensive card
  8. Drummy thread starter macrumors member

    Jun 20, 2010
    I see what you guys are saying, and the SSD advice was very useful and has prompted me to get one as a boot/os/application disk. I am very much looking forward to seeing lightening fast load times etc! I am still a little skeptical about running the SSD as an audio playback volume and will have to try it out myself before I subscribe to that set up for my active projects. As for whether one runs sample and audio on HDDs separately or together, it has to be a matter of personal preference/requirements I think. Many sample libraries now come in between 20GB and 200GB, and sometimes this is even the range of different editions of the same sample library (EWQL Symphonic Orchestra for example: Silver edition = 11GB, Platinum+ edition = 192GB. I for one am sick of not having space for the option to go for the bigger libraries. This coupled with the increased efficiency of not having the same drive dealing with audio recording, and audio and sample play back, makes this the best option for me I think.

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