Mac Pro 2013 / Fast External Storage

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Mecio, Aug 31, 2014.

  1. Mecio macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #1
    Hi all,

    I just got a Mac Pro 2013 6 core with the 500gb ssd and looking for advice how to best setup external storage for fast access and secure backup.

    Primary use will be Photoshop (large files) with some video editing in FCP.

    What I am looking for is:

    a: A working drive for current project files, looking for read / write speeds in the 700's or higher. (After a project is finished it will be archived on a NAS)
    b: Backup drive of the working drive above.
    c: Timemachine backup of Mac Pro's internal drive


    One of the options I looked at for the working drive is the Lacie little big disk thunderbolt 2. It seems extremely fast but quite pricy for the amount of storage?

    Another option is raid storage with hard drives or ssd's, for example one of Promise solutions or the OWC Thunderbay 4. This could either be setup as raid 0 with an additional backup connected or raid 5 for slower speeds but redundancy. Are there other raid options out there that would be more suitable / better / cheaper?

    My boot drive on my old mac pro is on a 250 ssd and is almost completely full so I don't think the 500gb internal pcie ssd would be big enough to host project files, unless the system would get slimmed down by moving home folders and mail boxes externally?

    Any advice much appreciated!
     
  2. iBug2 macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2005
    #2
    You can achieve 700MB/s easily with regular drives instead of SSD. If you go the SSD route, the price will be higher like in the case of Little Big Disk 2. You can buy Lacie 5Big TB2 or TB1 version, both will be higher or equal to 700 MB/s and you'll get a lot of storage space.
     
  3. slenpree macrumors 6502a

    slenpree

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    Apr 13, 2010
    Location:
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    #3
    I think you'll struggle to get 700MByte/s with mechanical drives. You would need to write data across approx 4x 7200-rpm drives or 6x 5400-rpm drives simultaneously and so to get resiliency you would need 8-12 drives in total.

    If those speeds are a must, you could look at two SATA-III AHCI SSDs in RAID-0, or a single PCI-E NVMe SSD with no RAID or though two of these in RAID-1 would give you some resiliency. Both of these solutions require thunderbolt and are going to cost you if you need over 1TB of storage.

    If space is more important than speed then seagate do a 4TB bus-powered USB3.0 drive (Backup Plus Fast) which has speeds of about 220MByte/s. It's two slim 2TB 5400-rpm M9T's in RAID0 which give you the performance. This is what I would use as a backup drive on a desktop; since a backup finishes when it's finished. As long as it doesn't take so long to finish an incremental backup that it has to pause the next one you should be fine!

    Hope this helps a bit

    Jonny
     
  4. rei101 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2011
    #4
    I would get a raid 0 with 4TB drives in Thunderbold, I do not recall what brand we are using in my office for video editing but for Photoshop it would be like going to the supermarket in a Mc Laren. And we are using iMacs, not even the new Mac Pro.
     
  5. hfg, Aug 31, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #5
    I find the OWC ThunderBay IV to be quite versatile with my all-SSD iMac.

    I have it configured with:
    -- a pair of fast 840 Pro SSDs in RAID-0 for my Aperture library,
    -- a hard disk for boot-SSD clone and archive documents and files,
    -- a large hard disk for first-level Time Machine backups.

    I then also have Time Machine backups to a NAS located elsewhere in the house.
     
  6. wesk702 macrumors 68000

    wesk702

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    #6
    Anything 700 is gonna cost you if you want big storage size also.
     
  7. VirtualRain, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #7
    First of all, shame on you for not getting the 1GB internal SSD. :p :D Seriously though, that was not a wise option to forgo given your requirements here. It's 1GB/s and would have cost you an extra $500. There's no solution that will get you external storage at 700+MB/s for less than that.

    You absolutely want to be working off solid state for the random access performance... if you don't have enough capacity on your internal, then you will need something external. A Thunderbay 4 with a couple of SSDs in RAID0 is probably your best bet. Combine that with a couple of spinners in RAID0 or RAID1 (depending on your risk tolerance) for archival/backup and you should be golden.

    EDIT: Everyone has a different backup strategy, but here's what I do...
    1. Time Machine of my SSD (active library) so if I accidentally screw something up, I can go back in time ;)
    2. Archives stored onsite - for me these are past photo libraries that I rarely access
    3. Archives stored offsite - this is a copy of #2 stored on USB3 externals that are stored at another location
     
  8. Mecio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Nov 24, 2011
    Location:
    London
    #8

    Haha yes I know... 1tb internal would have been the best. I actually managed to pickup a good deal on ebay so didn't have the option to upgrade. Once there are 3rd party solutions available I might go down that route.

    It seems from the suggestions above the thunderbay is a good way to go. Question is if 2 ssd in raid 0 would be a lot faster than say 4 drives in either raid 0 or raid 5? I know the raid 5 would be a bit slower but I wouldn't then need a backup for the working drive as those files would get backed up to a nas regularly anyway. (with a raid 0 I definitely would want constant backup).

    What sort of speeds would I expect from 2 ssd's in raid 0 compared to the hard drive option? Would the random access performance make a big deal with opening large files or several medium size files?

    Many thanks!
     
  9. doc4x5 macrumors member

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    Jul 15, 2008
    Location:
    the great Pacific northwest
    #9
    another vote for OWC Thunderbay

    I also recently got a 6 core new Mac Pro, and yes, I got the 1TB SSD, but don't mean to gloat :).

    On the advice of Lloyd Chambers, I got a Thunderbay with four 4TB hard drives, one holds my photos, another is a backup, one is Time Machine, and one is a partitioned one that holds photos and a back up of the SSD. Thunderbolt is fast and simple. For additional backup I use a dock for hard drives. Photoshop CC and Lightroom and its catalog reside on the SSD. The whole thing is pleasant to use.

    Eric
     
  10. prontojr macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2014
    #10
    i think ext storage is not related to your mac model
     
  11. VirtualRain, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2014

    VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #11
    For sequential I/O...
    2 SSDs in RAID0 could do as high as 1GB/s
    4 HDs in RAID0 could do as high as 600-700MB/s
    4 HDs in RAID5 could probably do 400MB/s (just guessing)

    So for copying/moving large files, the SSDs are perhaps twice as fast.

    The problem with HD's in random I/O...
    (which is never advertised but more important for workflow related I/O)...
    2 SSDs in RAID0 can probably offer 20MB/s in random I/O
    4 HDs in RAID0 would offer only about 0.5-1MB/s in random I/O

    This is why HDs suck and SSDs rule at this kind of workload... 20-40x better at the kinds of storage tasks involved in most workflow.

    I believe that RAID5 is not a good option for a number of reasons. First, it's all about business continuity... it's not a backup. It's designed to allow you to keep working in the event of a drive failure. It's worth noting that the performance during a rebuild can be horrible and the length of a rebuild so long, that most professionals would prefer to take the hit on downtime to restore from a backup rather than suffer through the rebuild process. And now, the chance of a rebuild working with large consumer drives (3TB+) is so poor these days that no one should be using RAID5 with drives that size - the chance of an unrecoverable read error is almost a certainty with drives that size which results in a halted rebuild and a loss of the entire array. Of course you could buy enterprise grade drives for double the money, but then you'd still be better off running consumer drives in RAID10 for the same investment. So in my opinion, the only viable RAID option with large drives is RAID10 and that's expensive so you really need it to justify it (e.g. business would suffer if there was any downtime). For the average SOHO user, RAID0 DAS is king with backups to JBOD disks or a NAS.
     
  12. hfg, Sep 1, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #12
    For those thinking about the ThunderBay IV ...

    I ran some sequential speed tests with 4 ea. HGST Deskstar NAS 3TB drives installed running on a iMac:

    First one is using all 4 drives in RAID-0 using Apple OS X sw raid [12 TB] -- 605/622 MB/s

    Second one is using all 4 drives in RAID-5 using SoftRAID [9 TB] -- 454/453 MB/s
    ( http://softraid.com )


    EDIT: Third one is a test with 2 SSDs (840 Pro) in RAID-0 in the Thunderbay IV -- 680/754 MB/s


    -howard

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  13. rueyloon macrumors regular

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    Sep 24, 2013
    #14
    Actually how fast can the computer "grab" the data anyway ?
     
  14. Mecio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    London
    #15
    What kind of speed are you seeing with your 840 pro ssd raid 0?

    It looks like your setup might be the way to go…

    ----------

    Does anyone have experience of the promise?

    Is it faster / slower than the thunderbay and do you know if there is a diskless version available in the UK?
     
  15. hfg, Sep 2, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #16
    Here is the sequential DiskSpeedTest of the 840 Pro SSD RAID-0 (2 drives) in the ThunderBay IV on my iMac:

    680 / 754 MB/s

    Note: I get the same results with the same SSDs in a Akitio "Thunder Duo" enclosure.


    .
     

    Attached Files:

  16. Mecio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #17
    I have a 500gb samsung 840 evo. Would it be a good idea to buy another one and raid 0 them or would a pro (either 840 or 850) be much better?
     
  17. hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    Cedar Rapids, IA. USA
    #18
    Technically the 840 Pro and 850 Pro SSDs will do better than the EVO on benchmark tests. Whether you would actually notice the difference will depend entirely on what you are doing with them. Using RAID-0 will be noticeable with large sequential file transfers such as video and large photo RAW files. However, again technically, for normal OS X system use, the mostly random small files should perform better on a fast single SSD since there isn't the coordination overhead of the RAID-0 algorithms.
     
  18. Enrico macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    Milano / Roma
    #19
    In which cases, regarding Raw files, would you notice the difference of Raid0 vs single SSD?
     
  19. hfg, Sep 3, 2014
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2014

    hfg macrumors 68040

    hfg

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    #20
    I did evaluate my Aperture Library performance on both a single SSD and a RAID-0 SSD array and felt that there was enough improvement that I currently host my Aperture Library on a 1 TB RAID-0 SSD volume on a Tempo Pro PCIe dual SSD card. I have been tempted to put just OS X and related files on a single SSD, but to keep it simple, especially for cloning and backup, I simply put everything including booting on the RAID-0. I have been running this for 1.5 years with no problems in a 2012 Mac Pro with a pair of Crucial M4 512GB SSDs. :cool:

    I do a daily clone of the SSD array to a local bootable hard disk, as well as hourly Time Machine backups alternating to a local hard disk and 2 different NAS systems. I keep a "off-line" copy of the Aperture Library on a portable LaCie "Rugged" SSD. As mentioned above, I have a backup computer system using the iMac and ThunderBay IV configured exactly as my Mac Pro.
     
  20. Mecio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #21
    I read somewhere that the evo's are not suitable for raid-0. does anyone have experience of this?
     
  21. Enrico macrumors 6502

    Enrico

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    #22
    +1

    It's not clear to me if it's due to the drive itself or to the enclosure you put it in.
     
  22. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #23
    I have two 1TB Samsung 840 EVO's in this:


    http://www.akitio.com/portable-storage/neutrino-thunder-d3

    Total cost was just over 1K for the setup. I use it for super fast VM's. I got tired of spending hours waiting for my VM's to expand when I needed more space, copying new ones, etc.... I haven't noticed any issues with them in RAID 0, but then I guess I haven't spent any time researching so I might be missing the signs of the issues....

    I then periodically back the entire RAID-0 up to another 2TB drive just in case.

    The numbers posted earlier in the Thunderbay IV are almost exactly what I get with the above....

    (I should also mention I actually bought my Thunder D3 from Monoprice to save a few bucks especially when Monoprice had a 10% off sale: http://www.monoprice.com/Product?c_id=113&cp_id=11307&cs_id=1130705&p_id=10996&seq=1&format=2)
     
  23. Mecio thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #24
    Thats looks like a good one too! But I think with the thunderbay 4 having thunderbolt 2 and 4 drives I might opt for that. Any other suggestions on enclosures or ssd drives for the raid-0?
     
  24. Mecio thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2011
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    #25
    Thanks for the advice and great info, I get your point about the rebuild and performance loss so will stick to two drives in raid-0 with another drive as backup for those. Will put them in Thunderbay 4 and just get a cheap usb3 drive for extra backups if needed.

    As I got one 840 evo already I'm going to get another one for the raid and hopefully there won't be any issues.

    I'll post back some numbers when setup, thanks all for your help!
     

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