Configuring a Mac Pro for image editing

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mahombi, Sep 17, 2010.

  1. Mahombi macrumors newbie

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    London, United Kingdom
    #1
    I recently invested in a Mac Pro after migrating from a PC. I bought it for the specific purpose of image editing,so would like to optimise it for working in Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom. I am however, unsure of the best arrangement. Other than to add additional hard drives, I have yet to use the Mac at all, so it remains as it arrived from Apple, i.e. PS and Lightroom yet to be installed. I thought this would be a good starting point for configuring it.

    My hardware set-up is as follows: 2.66GHz 8 Core Mac Pro, 8 GB RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4870 graphics card, 1 TB hard drive. I have since added three more 2 TB hard drives.

    My image library currently resides on an external 1 TB hard drive, which is backed up on a second external drive. I was considering moving the library over to one of the 2 TB drives, if only for neatness and convenience.

    My all encompassing question is, what arrangement should I be going for, bearing in mind that there needs to be a backup strategy? Additionally, what about partitioning one of the drives for scratch? Which drive and how much of it? Should PS and Lightroom be installed on hard drive 1 (the start up disc)?

    It will be obvious by now that my computer literacy is minimal, so I'd be grateful for any advice to be in simple language. I'm sure someone will recommend the diglloyd site which I have already done. It certainly does have a wealth of information on the subject, but a lot of it was too technical for me. Reading it sent my head into a spin.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #2
    check out this long thread
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=998644

    has lots of good info ;) and might be a fun read :)

    I dont write well sorry :)

    also sometimes tech stuff needs to be read a few times then it starts to make sense :)

    but on to try to answer your questions :)

    I am a photographer and also have a post production company that works just with photographers :) so lots of experience with LR and PS

    not sure the 2TB drives are you bought ? just curious :) as it would help with the configuration ? and the 1TB drive ? what model :) also what is your external storage ? as in how many GB and connection :)
    which one is your boot or main info on ?

    yes install LR and PS on the main boot drive :)

    when you say external ? I take it thats a FW or eSATA or USB ?connection or something ? and not a raid card ? but lets find out what HDD you have first :)


    CS5 wants more ram ! and can use it so 8GB is a fine starting point
    read this
    http://forums.macrumors.com/showpost.php?p=10995187&postcount=83

    depending on your image size ? you might need more if any of your files are above about 100 megs ever more memory might help ? its about checking the efficiency in that link I just posted :) to find out if you need more ever

    if you want LR to really move along get a SSD drive you can get the 40 gig then set your LR cache to 25 gigs and point it at the SSD this will help you out quite a bit
    if you are not sure google this but basically you go up to the menu in LR and choose "LIGHTROOM" then go to "Preferences" and the 4th tab over at the bottom is where you can point your scratch where you want ! and how much data you want it to be

    the SSD will be the best money update you spend on speeding up LR image to image meaning in develop mode it takes a bit to get the sliders white to start editing just putting the cache on SSD can cut that time in half !

    in LR building standard previews is what develop module uses and the 1:1 previews if you use the Grid ir Library mode !
    if you swtich back and forth build both previews before working :)

    its best to keep your boot drive as lean as possible so try not to fill up the documents folder and such but keep that info on the storage HDD

    I am going to guess your 1TB is your current Boot drive ?

    so option 1 ! good basic setup but its lacking a boot clone ! I think this is handy to have and good to get going should something happen ? time machine will take care of this but its a good idea to do this !
    you can use a program like super duper or CCC to make a clone image and put it on your data drive ? more on this if you want :)
    bay 1) 1TB boot
    bay 2) 2TB 2 for your images and all documents never try to go above %60 full with this ever :) as it will get quite a bit slower
    bay 3) 2TB for Time Machine
    bay4) 2TB partitioned into two parts the first one or top one is scratch set it to say 100 gigs then the other bottom part use for BU of your bay 1 drive using something like super duper or other clone drive

    use your external as a archive type HDD holding a BU of your stuff off line and safe :)

    option 2

    so
    bay 1) 1TB boot
    bay 2) 2TB 2 partitions first one say 1700 GB for your images and all documents the second say 300 GB and use a program to make a clone of your boot drive
    bay 3) 2TB for Time Machine
    bay4) 2TB partitioned into two parts the first one or top one is scratch set it to say 100 gigs then the other bottom part use for BU of your bay 1 drive using something like super duper or other clone drive
     
  3. Mahombi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Sep 17, 2010
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    London, United Kingdom
    #3
    Thanks for your assistance Honumaui.

    Right. The 1TB drive is the one which came built into the Mac. It's a Hitachi, but I don't know what model, other than the number which comes up in Disk Utilitiy. That is HDE721010SLA330. It's a 7200rpm SATA disk. This is the boot drive

    The other three hard drives are third party bought. They are Hitachi Deskstar 2TB 7K2000 SATA 300 32MB drives. These are currently empty and doing nothing.

    My two external drives are each 1TB Seagate Freeagent Pro drives. These two have been connected up to my PC. They are currently connected via eSATA, although they can be connected via USB and I think, Firewire.

    I have no RAID card.

    My images are regularly reaching way over 100MB when I'm working on them. With the layers in tact, they have reached over 700MB.

    I think I'd like to keep my images entirely separate from my other documents, so perhaps I should get yet another external for just those. What do you think?

    Your advice looks very interesting I will study it to absorb it. Then perhaps I can get back to you if I need any clarification?

    Thanks again.

    Regards

    Mahombi
     
  4. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #4
    those are good drives :)

    if your files get that big do yourself a favor get at least 24 gigs ?
    working with 300 gig files I get into the 17-18 gig of memory used all the time

    you could keep your other stuff on one of your external and back up to the other external ? and include that in your time machine also ?
    esata is best :)
    so you do you have a card then for the eSATA slots for the externals ?


    curious then how much storage do you need ? as in how much is used now and what do you think you need for the next 8 months or so ? as you get more images etc..
    do you work on files then burn them off or archive them somehow ?

    I know my client files tend to get to a certain size then I archive for a while then delete ?

    my own work I always keep so I have two situations :)
     
  5. Mahombi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #5
    When you say "get 24 gigs", I'm assuming you mean get that much for storage.

    I don't yet have an eSATA connection for the Mac. Something I will have to consider I think.

    As for storage, I do the same as you. My housekeeping is a bit of a mess actually. I could do with dumping a number of copies of images. I'll deal with that when I've finished organising the Mac.

    I'm wondering if I should replace the boot drive with a 2TB drive like the other three (just for continuity really). Would it be straightforward to load the contents over from one to the other? Given that that's the drive with all the guts of the system on, would I be walking through a minefield? My naivety is raising it's head again!

    Mahombi
     
  6. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #6
    Ima gonna give you the best advice:

    Off to a good start

    Take one of the drives back. OS X and apps can easily be under 100 gigs, or even 60 gigs if you are smart. Get a SSD for your boot drive, a 60 gig drive is around $150, which is almost the cost of a 2TB drive. Then, use the 3 bays for the 6TB of storage. You gain NOTHING by having a huge, empty system drive.

    I'll explain the drive setup down below.


    With 8 gigs of RAM, you aren't going to hit the scratch disk much, if ever. I'd say never. So don't worry about partitioning it.

    Here's how I would set up this mac pro

    Tray 1: 60gb SSD with OSX and your apps installed, including Photoshop and Lightroom.

    Tray 2: 1TB Drive in a "raid 0" striped set
    Tray 3: 1TB Drive in a "raid 0" striped set

    Tray 4: 2TB drive that backs up the "raid 0"

    External FW800: 2TB drive that backs up the "raid 0" nightly.


    That's all you need, this machine would FLY and do everything you need for the next 5 years.


    If there's anything you don't understand, let me know and I'll clarify.
     
  7. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #7
    Also - you don't need a raid card to use the Mac Pro trays to make a raid, you can just use the OS X software raid.
     
  8. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #8
    24 gigs for memory :)

    the SSD boot thing is a nice luxury ? but IMHO its just that a luxury ? if you have the extra money its worth it though :)

    having a empty system drive ? well it keeps it quicker ;) and you can partition it use the other half for BU also or archive ?
     
  9. Mahombi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
    Well that was an embarrassing error on my part. I read that as 24TB instead of 24GB. That's why I wandered off in the storage direction. I think I should go and lie down for a while.
     
  10. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #10
    did you read the size of his files ?
    here is what he said


    show me a snapshot of your memory using activity monitor using 8 gigs while working on say a 500 meg file !

    here is mine from a 300 meg file
    [​IMG]
    a lot of my files at 180 megs tap out 14 or more gigs all the time when doing stuff :)

    WOW 5 years huh ? good thing you know what he needs :) eheheheh
     

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  11. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #11
    only reason I thought you said the externals were eSATA but was that to your PC ?


    :) we end up for our clients moving stuff to a archive drive ? we get to the point if we loose it no biggy job is done and closed but sometimes its nice to go back and see things etc.. low priority no backup etc.. for our archives of client files that are finished :)

    if its on the 1TB ? just leave it ;) no worries why complicate things till you get more comfortable doing things with the mac and take one step at a time :)
     
  12. Mahombi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    Yep. Only to my PC...for now!
     
  13. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #13
    is this a hobby or a living ?

    only reason I ask is the risk factor :) I am not against raid 0 but in a work environment not a fan for main storage ?
    that said I am not a fan of a single disc as main storage in a work system either :)

    at 47 and make a good living doing this down time to me is not worth it the wife is a life long graphic designer and we got married started our own company over 12 years ago :)

    the way I/we look at it if you go down and loose say 3 hours work you then loose that 3 hours and the 3 hours it takes to recreate it and more hours cause you are now behind and the stress of loosing that creative work !

    in a system where your storage is on a raid 1 or raid 1+0
    both of which you do not need any fancy cards etc.. your work is safe from a HDD failure you still need backup !!!!
    so if a HDD fails you keep working order another one and get it going back on YOUR TIME not OH MY GOSH I promised this in 3 hours to my client for the deadline they had !

    even two 2TB drives in raid 1 for a working person can be a OK setup if you prefer the security :)

    the idea of backup to me is also about if your main storage goes down you work on your main bu but you still have one more ! so I prefer the 3 layer of bu !! better safe than sorry


    I like time machine cause of its one hour one day thing :) works nice I also like a regular bu system that is quick enough I can work off in a pinch if I have to :)

    and one more of off line off site storage
     
  14. Mahombi thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14
    Not sure if you're are asking me or Sean, but for my part, it's a living.
     
  15. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #15
    YOU :) since you started it ;)

    having a HDD fail is rare but it happens :) also its the same reason I carry insurance on my office ? I hope to never use it but if I have to I am sure going to be glad its their !
     

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