High capacity hard drive/video card recommendations for 08 Octo Mac Pro?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fs454, Aug 6, 2009.

  1. fs454 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #1
    So the time has come that I bought a 5D Mark II and have begun editing a lot of HD footage, and my Mac Pro's current hard drive setup will not suffice.

    My current setup:
    Bay 1 = WD Raptor X 150GB 10,000RPM (OS, Final Cut Studio 2, Adobe CS3, etc)

    Bay 2 = Apple-supplied WD 320GB 7200RPM (Music/iPhoto libraries, small Windows partition)

    Bay 3 = Samsung Spinpoint 500GB 7200RPM (Media dump/scratch disk for editing, as well as my spillover Applications folder, etc)

    Bay 4 = Empty


    I'm looking to revamp this setup, as I'm struggling in many ways. First off, my main boot drive being the Raptor 10,000RPM was a dumb idea. Yes, it is faster, but I can't install the full OS X, FCS2, CS3 packages and my regular cornucopia of apps without leaving ~1-5GB free. I feel that this kills any speed gain because the drive is full to the brim, and for such a minimal speed increase I'm working with a very very low ceiling of free space.

    I'm considering ditching this and going with a bigger 7200rpm drive so I don't have to worry about running with a filled up drive again.


    Here's my idea. I was thinking of getting a 1 or 1.5TB 7200RPM drive to run the OS on and also store my footage, keep all my applications, downloads, etc. Then I could move my 150GB Raptor X out to bay 4 and make that my project scratch disk for video editing(not sure it'd be big enough for larger projects). And then if I had any money left, I would axe the 320 and put another 1TB in its place. Or I could save money and get that new nVidia card for the Mac Pro (I still have the stock HD2600). I boot windows and play games, but rarely. Would this upgraded video card help with video editing or rendering effects significantly enough to justify the ~$400 pricetag? Or should I save my money and buy camera equipment?


    More importantly, any recommendations for the quickest/most reliable 1-1.5TB drive out there? or should I avoid them? I don't want to spend a ton of money so I'm not looking to do expensive RAID setups or anything, i'm not editing uncompressed.


    Thanks, and sorry for the long post.
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #2
    Before you get good advise on this you should probably give a budget and what kind of capacity you need. But there are some things that will always apply.

    Large disks are faster at the same rpm speed than smaller drives.

    You have 6 SATA connectors which can run 6 Drives.

    Software RAID0 on the Mac Pro is easy to set up with disk utility, free and has virtually no overhead, but it will increase the speed of your drives almost twice ot thrice depending on drive numbers

    So if you have appr. 400-500$ to burn I would buy 2x2TB or 3x1,5TB and stripe them.

    Always think about backup as well.

    If you have 900-1000$ to burn you can go for the above for main data storage and add a 3x80 GB SSD array for booting and apps. Triple striped SSDs will blow you out of the water. Your peak read rates should approach 600 MB/s. 240 GB space should be ok for your apps.
     
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    It's odd to me that you fill a 150GB drive with OS/Apps. I have OSX, FCS (apps only), CS4, iLife, iWork, and Office 2008, and a bunch of utilities and this only consumes 40GB of my 160GB OS/Apps drive. I then put the FCS content and extras on a larger drive.

    If I was you, I would consider trying to keep the Raptor as the OS/Apps and get a pair of WD 1TB Black drives in RAID0 for your content, files, scratch volume. That will give you an extremely fast and large (2TB effective) volume for all your media. It's hard to beat the WD 1TB Blacks for cost, reliability, or performance.

    Then you could use one of your existing smaller drives for booting Windows.

    Cheers!
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #4
    Check your iTunes if it is on the Raptor. A few videos from transcoding may have hogged your drive.
     
  5. fs454 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #5
    iTunes library is on a separate drive. The 2x 1TB in RAID 0 sound very appealing. It's no less reliable than a single drive without backing up, correct? I'm gonna be working out a backup solution but can't do it immediately.

    $300-400 is what I wanted to spend, or less. That triple-striped SSD route sounds amazing, but way out of budget, gotta buy a camera rig and microphone setup for my 5D2!
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #6
    If either of the two drives in the stripe fail, you lose everything... Having said that, I've run RAID0 arrays for many years and never lost a drive (knock on wood). Perhaps an affordable external drive or backups of critical stuff to optical would be a solution?

    Another option is to buy 4 WD 1TB Blacks and run them in RAID 10 as a single volume for all your storage needs. You still end up with 2TB of effective storage but it's mirrored so if a drive fails you don't lose anything. This is great for speed and redundancy but still no replacement for a true backup.
     
  7. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #8
    Definitely not, as it can't cover user error, or things like a blown PSU that takes other parts of the system with it, such as the drives.

    fs454, you'd be better to wait until you can afford to get a backup solution at the same time. If you don't, you do run a risk. I've seen it done for a short period of time, as the backup was usually installed a month or so later (individuals mind you), and didn't have an issue. But the risk is still there, and worse, running without one that hasn't experienced any issues (no matter the array type), can cause complacency. (Ends up no backup system ever, and eventually, something will go wrong).
     
  9. fs454 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2007
    Location:
    Los Angeles / Boston
    #9
    Just for the heck of it I ran WhatSize to see where my space was being taken up. Even though my iTunes library (music and mass-converted TV show seasons for iPhone) is on another drive, it seemed to have been mirroring my conversions, so there was a copy on the main drive and a copy where my real iTunes library is. Very odd, thanks for the heads up, just freed 9 gigs.


    Also, I feel I can go with the RAID setup and the backup solution later as between now and the time I can afford a backup solution, I won't really have any critical files being stored that I can't already backup/already have stored. The new HD footage being stored right now is all experimentation with my new toy before I start shooting some weddings with it!



    Thanks
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #10
    Glad you solved your immediate problem. Always pleased if personal experience helps other folks.
     
  11. wpc33 macrumors 6502

    wpc33

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #11
    If you're hard up for space, try removing unwanted printer drivers and languages. I've used Monolingual several times to success, as well as Xslimmer for apps. You'd be surprised!
    PS: I agree that RAID is a boon, but if you want tons of space on a single drive, the 1.5TB Seagates have been scoring very highly for speed. It's a lip-hair away from the Raptor!!
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Seagate-Barracuda-1.5-TB,2032-5.html
     

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