iMac i7 with SSD or RAID Stripe via Firewire 800?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by martinomac, Aug 11, 2010.

  1. martinomac macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010

    I'm going to be purchasing my first Mac in a few weeks - I can't wait, but I'm debating about a few options. I will be primarily running PS/LR (large volume approx 10k-15k RAW images) and occasional Final Cut Pro HD video editing.

    I have read many posts and many love the idea of SSD combined with 2 TB HDD but the extra cost for it is killing me as I don't have unlimited budget. Otherwise, I'd just get a MBP, plus I don't have a good monitor and the 27" looks amazing.

    I had spoken with an Apple rep and I told him my dilemma and he actually suggests sticking with the 2TB HD and getting 2TB RAID stripped via Firewire 800.

    This would be more economical, but I don't want to be disappointed with any lag in LR when viewing 1:1 or whipping through images.

    I'd love to hear your suggestions.
    Great forum btw.


    ps. I'd get the 27" iMac 2.93GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 with 1 or 2TB, 4GB RAM (will be ordering another 8GB from OWC)

    Also, what would be the best setup:
    SSD option:
    OS/Apps/Scratch/LR previews on SSD and images on HDD

    OS/Apps on HDD and Scratch/LR previews on FW raid
  2. cluthz macrumors 68040


    Jun 15, 2004
  3. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    SSD as OS, 2Tb HDD for scratch. If you're under a budget, (an you can stomach it) buy just the 2Tb option, purchase an SSD separately and install it yourself, there are guides on this forum.
  4. martinomac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    oh man, don't think I could stomach a self upgrade. Thanks for the tip.
    Do you think that just 2TB HDD (no SSD and FW raid) would be suffice?
  5. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

    May 6, 2008
    Me neither!

    Owing to the density of data at that platter size, the I/Op/s should be pretty decent, I'd say go with the 2Tb option, and use an external FW800 / 1Gb NAS drive (I assume it'd be 1Gb?) as a scratch?

    RAIDing external drives is silly because of the bandwidth limitations USB2 / FW800 present.
  6. martinomac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    thank you for your suggestions. Wondering if there any photogs out there that have same dilemma.

    thanks again
  7. blackmtn macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2010
    Northern British Columbia
    I'm in the same quandary. The SSD option is too much for me, at that point I may as well buy a MP!

    As someone above noted, the density on the 2TB drive will be quite high, so I plan to partition the first 50gb as my scratch drive and install the OS/APPS and put data in the remaining part. Keeping the scratch on its own partition right at the front of the drive will ensure that the scratch area is always using the fastest (outer tracks) of the drive.

    I am also considering purchasing an external SSD and using it via FW800 as my OS/APPS drive and putting just data on the 2nd partition on the 2TB drive.
  8. djc6 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 11, 2007
    Cleveland, OH
  9. martinomac thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 10, 2010
    How do you make a partition right at the front of the drive? Sorry, I'm new to Mac's.

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