Looking for opinions of my planed drive layout

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xyzzy-xyzzy, Oct 3, 2010.

  1. xyzzy-xyzzy macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    I'm looking for opinions for my drive layout for when I get my 3.33 6-core (with 12G or 24G of memory -- I haven't decided on that yet).

    Bay 1: 120GB ssd - Boot drive

    Bay 2: 2TB hdd
    Partition 1 - 1880GB - home dir, my apps, data, etc.
    Partition 2 - 120GB - scratch (no immediate plans)

    Bay 3: 2TB hdd
    Partition 1 - 120GB - bootable backup of bay 1 ssd
    Partition 2 - 1880GB - backup of bay 2/partition 1

    Bay 4: unused - for future expansion -- see comment about Windows below

    External Drive - 2TB hdd - 2nd backup (same as internal bay 3)
    Partition 1 - 120GB - bootable backup of bay 1 ssd
    Partition 2 - 1880GB - backup of bay 2/partition 1

    Note that I specifically partitioned bay 2 the way I did so that the bay 3 backup partition is the same size as my main bay 2 partition and can also backup the boot drive. Of course this backup boot doubles as an emergency boot drive if the ssd fails and/or if I have to undo a "renegade" installer. The external is a backup of the backup which is only on line if needed.

    The reason I wanted the ssd as the boot drive is for quicker boot times and app launch times. Indeed I'll probably also put my own login/startup items and frequently used apps (e.g., the browser) on the boot ssd. I prefer to not to have any raid setups. I don't think I need it.

    Eventually I may want to add Windows 7. But I'm undecided as to whether I should just stick in on distinct drive in bay 4 or split the 120 ssd into two 60GB partitions and stick OSX in one partition and Windows in the other 60. Whatever scheme I do for Windows can someone tell me if the various Mac disk copy utilities (like CCC) can back up a Windows partition? And which scheme would be better for Windows?

    So does anyone have opinions (the pro's and cons) on this arrangement?
  2. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    your scratch on the same discs as the data is a bad thing :)
    and as the second partition it would be the slowest ?
    if anything

    bay 2 partition 2 bu of your boot and
    bay 3 partition 1 your scratch

    I would not partition a SSD drive ? just keep is as is for windows just stick in a fast disc in bay 4 call it good ;)

    those are my only thoughts as what to change ;)

    not up on the windows stuff and what copies what to much ? as I dont have windows except for quickbooks and thats on parallels ? so others will have to chime in on that one ;)
  3. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    You can use WinClone to clone your Windows partition. If you're going to use Parallels, then it will be backed up with Time Machine or other backup utility (it just creates a folder, not a partition)
  4. mjsmke macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2010
    Why not keep your apps on the SSD for speed?

    And instead of partitioning your external drive to back up your boot drive + data why not use Time Machine to do it all for you?
  5. mmulin macrumors 6502

    Jun 22, 2006
    1) put the scratch on a separate drive (i.e. Bay4). If really used it will task the entire disk to its knees eventually.

    2) why not just mirror the drives in Bay2 and Bay3 via RAID once you did 1). Most effortless backup option you can do.

    3) agreeing with the caller to put your applications on the SSD. That way you really take advantage of your speedy drive unless you only want the OS to boot fast.

    4) keep most of your home on the SSD and just move the actual content folders to another drive (i.e. Documents, Music, Movies, etc).. Library, Preferences, and the like will be access when your applications start up. So again, adds to a snappy system. Nice side-effect, your MP will run more quite, the less it needs to access traditional HDs.

    5) the bootable backup, I would keep on the external

    6) if you don't use W7 for anything productive, requiring speedy disk performance, just stick it on a separate partition in one of the other bays. Splitting your SSD for it, seems a waste otherwise. Remember, SSD will start to perform badly once it gets nearly full.
  6. xyzzy-xyzzy thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 19, 2010
    I'll try to summarize/answer/address my views on what has been posted in this thread up to this point (in no particular order) [oh, and thanks for all the comments]:

    1. The scratch is just used as a temporary "sandbox" to "play" in. It's not to be backed up. Speed is NOT a criteria. So I think there's nothing wrong making it the 2nd partition on my main disk. I don't want to put the boot backup partition there because I want to only access the single physical backup disk only when I'm backing up or need something from that disk.

    2. I had stated in my original post that I'll "probably also put my own login/startup items and frequently used apps (e.g., the browser) on the boot ssd". The intent is to speed (1st?) launches. So I basically agree with the comments about that.

    3. I prefer to not use time machine. I tend to do backups on a uniform schedule, have no desire to have versions of updates, and don't want TM competing for resources. It's the way I've always done backups. But I haven't precluded playing around with TM just to see what it feels like.

    4. The raid mirror idea for the backup of my main disk is something I hadn't considered. So that might be a cool idea. Thanks for that suggestion.

    5. I DON'T agree that I should keep most of my home directory on the ssd. While ~/Library would be accessed faster it is always changing (particularly ~/Library/Preferences and ~/Library/Application Support -- and to a lesser degree Documents, Music, etc.). My reasoning for putting frequently used apps on the ssd and not the home dir is that apps are generally read-only. Other stuff in the home dir is read AND written. As I understand it it's better, over time, to try to minimize the writes to an ssd. It may be a long time with the current ssd controller(s) but it's not infinite. I've never used and ssd before so I'm a bit paranoid about degradation.

    This line of thinking is why in my original post I said I hadn't decided on 12G or 24G for memory. I'm thinking that 24G would require less paging then 12G and thus less writes to the ssd, again maximizing its performance over time. Paging impact degradation was the first thing I thought about when I first even considered using an ssd. Once upon a time I was considering a VelociRaptor as my boot disk until I became aware of the wonderful world of ssd's :D

    Basically I think it's all a set of trade-offs on how much you want to impact the ssd. Is this line of thinking wrong?

    6. Bootable backups -- my described setup would have both a internal and external bootable backup.

    7. Windows 7 -- looks like the general consensus for this is to stick it on a separate disk. Sounds good to me.
  7. bobbydaz macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    For me I think your planned set-up over complicates things. This is how I would do it.

    1. Boot/Apps

    2. RAID 1 Data/Home directory

    3. RAID 1 Mirror of Bay 2

    4. Scratch

    External - Bootable backup + backup of Bay 2
  8. johnnymg macrumors 65816


    Nov 16, 2008

    Why RAID 1 and not 0?

    I'm planning something similar except I'll use an external RAID 0 for most of my data. I'll probably just make the external data drive a clone of the internal data drive. That way I can easily use the data with my MBP's.

  9. bobbydaz macrumors regular

    Jan 24, 2009
    i think the op favours safety over performance. Personally I would go for RAID 0 and just have an external backup plan.

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