Experience w/ X25-E, 6GB RAM external RAID

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by percival504, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. percival504 macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    and a request for advice. Hello, all and TIA to any who respond with advice. B/f I explain my configuration, let me just state that I spend approx. 14-16 hours a day using VMs w/ Windows XP and that the need to use VMs (and the concommitant Windows delays) led me to an obession w/ performance. In my profession, time is quite literally money and so money spent on my computer (h/w and s/w) is regarded as an investment. Here is my current set-up (and yes, its very portable):

    17" MacBook Pro Santa Rosa 3,1 2.6Ghz

    6GB RAM (G.Skill)

    X25-E internal boot drive

    2 x WD Scorpio Black (320GB) RAID 0 in an Addonics dual portable RAID enclosure (I run them JBOD and I use Apple Raid)

    Sonnet Fusion Sata Tempo Pro Expresscard/34.

    I have tried other drives and combinations (I tend to be skeptical of the hyperbole so often found in reviews) and these are the items that performed best.

    Oddly, the X25-E writes (IOPS) faster than it reads and only shows 31 NCQ. The Scorpio Blacks just rock, they are great HDDS, but the Intel is truly a superior (qualitatively) drive. 6GB RAM works -- I saw my usage go to 5.8GB today and I really wish we could use 8. Long and short - X25-E, worth it (here's a link to the X25-E results http://db.xbench.com/merge.xhtml?doc1=343395) - 6 GB, worth it - Scorpio Black external raid, worth it - Sonnet Sata Tempo Pro, worth it.

    My questions relate to optimizing the performance of VM Ware. Qs: I placed the c:/ drive of the VM on my boot (X25-E) drive and the "my documents" folder on the RAID volume, but the VM still grew to 10 GB w/n 2 days so I have to move it. I cannot do more RAM and I cannot find a faster boot drive. I've tried ZFS, but OS X doesn't support 64-bits or full tuning yet and so the benefit is lost. I think that I still want to run the VM fron a drive capable of high IOPs (I have an MTRON 3500, but I recognize the value of IOPS now as the X25-E is nearly impossible to stump; when I hit 5.8GB RAM usage I just happened to have checked out the Activity Monitor, otherwise, I wouldn't have known -- none of the approx. 15 apps. that were open slowed down). Can anyone advise me whether I should get an X25-M or X25-E to store and access the VM or does anyone have another suggestion (other than buying a Mac Pro, 2009 2.93 17" MacBook Pro and/or just appreciating what I've got - though I do appreciate what I have already)? Again, TIA.
  2. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  3. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    If your obsession is with windows running at it's optimum performance...
    Why would you be running it as a virtual machine?
    Why not set it up via Bootcamp? It'll be much faster!!
  4. percival504 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    B/c I work 14-16 hours a day more

    and I cannot bear Windows. I recognize that I could use Bootcamp but I choose not to. Really, thanks for the advice, but I'd rather have your opinion on the original question. After all, we're all entitled to make choices and you may or may not agree with that choice or the reason for that choice, but to the extent that it does no harm, is it of any moment to anyone else?
  5. percival504 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    also, let me clarify -- my obessession is not w/ Windows

    running at its optimum. My obsession is with Leopard running at its optimum -- that includes running VMs. But I wouldn't need to use VMs if I werent running other Leopard applications the same time.
  6. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    Isn't the internal SATA Controller for the first rev mbp limited to 1.5/Gps anyway? I know i'm not getting full performance from my Penryn Macbook Pro and x25-m because of this bottleneck, if it could even go faster.
  7. percival504 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009
    It is 1.5 but the random read/write speeds are 5/4 figures (more)

    while running full blast I usually see 11K/3K (for some reason writes are in the 11K range while reads are in the 3-4K range) -- sequential sems to be limited to about 135/145; for example, at the same time that I was writing this, running VM Ware, MsS Word, Outlook, a program that runs from the office's server, streaming iTunes from the external RAID, I got the following results from disktester:

    => Allocating maximum size contiguous file on "X" (29.4GB)...7.78GB (26.5% of volume size)

    (1) Contiguous space equal to 26.5% of volume "X" was allocated. Depending on the location of the contiguous space (which disktester cannot determine), TOP SPEED MIGHT BE AS MUCH AS 58.8% FASTER (worst case, sequential). To avoid this ambiguity, test a freshly-formatted volume.

    => Random writes and reads will be psuedo-randomly spread across a test file of size 7.78GB.
    4000 writes...10282 writes/sec...4000 reads...2732 writes/sec

    ======= Wednesday, February 11, 2009 1:01:42 PM CT, volume "X" (29.4GB) ======

    --------------- Random Results (7.78GB/4K, 4000 io, 1 iteration) ---------------
    Writes per second: 10282
    Reads per second: 2732

    Command "run-random" executed in 2.36 seconds.
  8. percival504 thread starter macrumors regular

    Feb 10, 2009

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