Hard drive setup - int/ext - MacPro 2008

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sbab, May 7, 2013.

  1. sbab macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2012
    Have been an interested reader for a while.
    Over the time I've liked some suggestions mentioned here and I searched ebay etc for the parts.
    I've collected a few of these, I've added them to the mac pro as they were talked about and some might be old hat now and definitely not leading edge but it is what I have to work with.

    It all started with a spinning beach ball on the screen, I learned to hate it, spinning away taking up my time, I had to get rid of it. Unfortunately I caught the upgrade bug at the same time.

    It's not like I use the computer for a living, no big deal stuff at all but I want a computer that jumps when I say so.

    I started by installing more ram, it now has 12gb
    A SSD boot drive, it has to be SATAIII
    Hard drives, not 320 or 500gb, lets go 2TB and SATAIII
    But the mac pro is only SATAII, however there is a card you can buy so the 4 internal hard drives are SATAIII, ATTO H644, I got a used one and installed it
    The ATTO card not only has an internal port it also has an external one (mini sas), what could I use that for, how about another 4 SATAIII discs.
    So I had 10.6.8 on the internal boot disc, how about I put 10.8.2 on the external drive, using a SSD SATAIII.
    Whilst I'm at it fill the ext box with hard drives 2TB and SATAIII.
    The ext case holds 4 HD's and has only a mini sas connection on the back panel.
    It eventually came to this and it all works, I don't know how fast it is SATAIII or not but I don't have too many beach balls!

    I also installed a new/used graphics card an apple HD5770 powering two used 27" apple cinema displays.
    I also bought a used pair of 3.2 cpu, not installed yet, maybe never.
    Thats my holiday money gone, so instead of a holiday I'll work/play with the computer...sad case!
    Please don't mention raid I got burnt many years ago.
    Not being an original thinker I've searched the forum for ideas with no luck, so I'm now asking for ideas.

    Macpro3,1 2008 2.8ghz

    To summarise:
    OS 10.6.8 Boot SSD - 120gb SATAIII OWC
    User data for SSD - 2TB SATAIII black caviar
    TBA - 2TB SATAIII black caviar
    TBA - 2TB SATAIII black caviar

    OS 10.8.2 Boot SSD - 240gb SATAIII OWC
    User data for SSD - 2TB SATAIII black caviar
    TBA - 2TB SATAIII seagate
    TBA - 2TB SATAIII seagate

    Backup has to be included in there somewhere.
    Yes, there was a good deal going on for the caviars and the seagates with free postage.
    How would have you guys done it?
    Where to from here?...No raid thanks
  2. zeeshanaayan macrumors newbie

    May 4, 2013

    Woow Harddisk came in TB. Great Technology
  3. Tesselator, May 9, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    You ask for ideas and direction but you don't say where you wanna go nor what you wanna do.

    Also get it out of your head about RAID. Fine, you had trouble with it once in the past. This means that the odds of that happening again are significantly lower! Get over it! Especially you use your machine for "no big deal stuff" so none of it matters anyway. :p
  4. sbab thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2012
    Didn't like the tone of that reply.

    Anyway, this is what I'm trying to do...

    The uses for my computer are of a general nature, itunes, photos requiring storage, database, spreadsheets and photoshop where I do the occasional photo touchup.
    The computer has two systems on it, one snow leopard (int) the other mountain lion (ext). SL is still my main system, I'm trying ML but I have a few rosetta run programs I'm reluctant to let go of until I find an alternative.
    After I eventually adopt ML I haven't thought of what next, I want to get this part working.

    Where am I heading...

    At this stage I'm happy with the computer but work is still needed on the setup. I don't have a backup yet. As a temp measure I have used each the 2TB HD for backing up the boot and user drive. Imagine a 120gb SSD being backed up to a 2TB HD!!!
    I'm thinking I should have bought a 3TB HD partitioned it and put both backups on it!

    What am I asking…

    I'm no expert. Most of the gear I bought came from a photographer/video guy and it even included an apple mac pro video card!
    i thought with the ATTO card the speed would be more than adequate for my needs plus its used on all the drives both int/ext .
    I'm looking for ideas to finish off the computer running the two OS with backup, if I've got it wrong tell me, if it can be done better tell me. What you would do?

  5. TheEasterBunny, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 10, 2013

    TheEasterBunny macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2013
    "What would I do?"

    1. I would skip the ATTO card.
    2. I would use RAID0 on the SATAII provided.
    3. I would look for faster, less expensive rotational drives.


    1. Because you will not gain much, if anything, from the ATTO card over RAID0 on SATAII.

    2. RAID0 will almost double the i/o of the array. In this case the Caviar Black drives would have a potential of R/W speeds close to 300MB/s. Instead of their posted 150MB/s. SATAII can hit 300MB/s. If the drive without RAID0 can only hit 150MB/s, why bother with the expense of the ATTO card? (Link)

    3. Caviar Black drives are not a very fast rotational drive. I have a white label (generic) 2TB that hits 200MB/s without RAID, on SATAII. There are some Seagate drives that cost less and are faster.

    That's what I would do.

    If you have faster processors, put them in!
  6. Red Sector A macrumors newbie

    Apr 14, 2013
    Why not RAID?

    I've installed 4HDD & 6SSD into my mac pro(E2009).


    Areca 1880i:
    Samsung 840Pro x 4 360G RAID5 - OSX System/Application/Users
    Hitach HDD x 4 6T RAID5
    3T - Media/Library
    1.5T - Windows Users/Program files
    1.5T - Time machine for OSX System/Applications/Users
    Secondary Optical bay standard SATA2:
    Apple 120G SATA2 SSD
    40G - Rescue OSX System
    80G - Bootcamp Windows 8 System
    Bay1 standard SATA2, routing from Maxupgrade mounter:
    Intel 80G SATA2 SSD - Scratch/Temporary
    My policy for high-availabilirty is simple, "always have at least one spare HDD".
  7. Tesselator, May 10, 2013
    Last edited: May 13, 2013

    Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    That's because the tone is set by you yourself.
  8. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Ya, system configurations are extremely varied and a lot of the choices made are based on just two factors. Benchmark results, and personal preferences. The personal preferences are usually a result of some formula containing time over budget. Configurations are usually modified over time and progress in steps. Try one thing and then either add to it or reconfigure differently - and on and on.

    Some people get ideas from reading forums or getting to know a wide variety of existing products, others by asking others to do the thinking for them - and of course combinations therefrom. All of which have pros and cons associated with them.

    In your case the 1st thing I would do would be to ditch the 120GB SSD and replace it with something closer to a 500GB model. I would partition that into two for the two OSX versions. I would then RAID0 the two 2TB drives to use as project and data drives. Further, I would purchase a 3TB or 4TB drive to use as a time machine backup and call the system complete. :)

    As my storage demands increased I would replace the 2TBx2 RAID0 with a 3 or 4TBx2 RAID0.

    The time machine drive would be external and in a cradle (dock) where I could easily make iterations and keep one or more generally off line.

    Those would be my primary steps towards a solution concerning storage. That of course leaves the question of GFX acceleration and RAM.
  9. violst macrumors 6502


    Jun 14, 2012
    Thats spot on solid advice. exactly what I was thinking myself.
  10. sbab thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 25, 2012
    Ok, I'll take your advice.
    I will need some help.
    I'll start a new topic when I've got some more time.

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