Mac Pro Build

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by TheBritishBloke, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. TheBritishBloke macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #1
    I'm hoping to get a new desktop sometime in the near future. And I've been looking at purchasing this :

    8-Core 2.26Ghz
    8GB RAM
    1 x 640GB HDD
    2 x GT120's
    1 x Superdrive
    Airport Extreme Wi-Fi card
    I already have two samsung 23" screens which I will be hooking up to the DVI ports.

    I was looking to possibly get this, and then taking the standard HDD and putting it into Drive 2. I was going to purchase the following separately:

    1 x Intel X25-M G2 80GB (Will go in Bay 1 as Boot drive)
    1 x 500GB WD Caviar Green (Will go in Bay 3)
    1 x 1TB WD Caviar Green (Will go in Bay 4)

    I was going to use the X25-M for the OS and documents alone.
    The drive it comes with would be put into drive 2, and I would store all apps, videos, music etc on there. I was hoping if I could possibly run RAID1 without the stupidly expensive RAID card from Apple so that I could setup a mirror system between the Intel, and the drive it comes with so that they are setup to mirror with the 1TB Drive. Or possibly having a mirror system just from the time machine backup drive.

    The 500GB Drive would be used as a TimeMachine backup and as an extra storage drive in case the other one does end up full.

    I was wondering if anyone else has a setup similar to this? Or any comments on any changes. Also any input on the RAID would be greatly appreciated.

    I was also curious : As the new Mac Pro has the processor tray instead of the riser cards now, do the sticks of RAM still have those heatsinks on them?
     
  2. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #2
    Why two GT120's? It has a DVI and a MDP port, so you just need a MDP to DVI converter instead of another graphics card.

    No heatsinks on the ram now. Also by going to 8 you are losing the triple speed as it is 4 x 2GB.
     
  3. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #3
    True. OP, you may want to buy 3 x 2GB or 3 x 4GB instead.
     
  4. TheBritishBloke thread starter macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #4
    Because my desk is right next to my LCD TV, I was planning to hook it up to there too via a DVI to VGA cable (I've got millions of them) Along with hooking it up to my two 23" monitors :p

    I was aware that the 4th slot killed speed, but didn't think having 4 sticks screwed it?

    So may it be more worth me getting the standard 6GB, then buying this :
    http://www.crucial.com/uk/store/mpartspecs.aspx?mtbpoid=CC3E3949A5CA7304

    Taking out 3 of the 1GB Sticks (Leaving 3 in slots 1 2 and 3) then putting the 3 x 2GB Sticks in slots 5 6 7?

    Also, anyone got any input on the harddrive/RAID setup?
     
  5. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #5
    Well you don't lose that much by not being in triple channel.

    If you need more than 6, 8 may do it. Better to have more ram and lose triple channel than to page out.

    If your needs don't go over 8GB, then just get the 8. If it bothers you, just order another 2x2GB for 12 and call it good.
     
  6. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #6
    500 GB WD Green would be a waste IMHO. Bigger drives are so much faster and do not cost much more. I would recommend 2x 1,5 TB or 2TB.
     
  7. TheBritishBloke thread starter macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #7
    That's actually.. A really smart... Idea..... LOL. Saves me about £30, and there's 3GB more RAM in there.

    Would it be fully compatible if I did that but just took one of Apple's 2GB Sticks out of the 4th slot and stuck it in the 7th slot and the 2 x 2GB of mine in slots 5 and 6?

    EDIT : Would actually save me £40 :) Could buy another 2GB Stick for that.. LOL
     
  8. TheBritishBloke thread starter macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #8
    Problem is, from past experience I only trust WD now. Every other make I've used the headers have slammed off and screwed me over. WD only sell 1 kind of 1.5TB Drive which is £85, compared to £45 for the 500GB. I can always go for the 1TB version though, which is £58. Would you prefer the Caviar Blacks though for the extra performance? Regardless of them being louder, eating more power?
     
  9. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #9
    Mix and match, haven't heard of any problems with the octo.
     
  10. TheBritishBloke thread starter macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #10
    Good to hear. I'm largely going for the octa, as it's not ridiculously restricted to 8GB RAM (I heard OWC offers 16 for it?) and the benchmarks are much lower. Granted the octa is much more expensive, but hopefully it will be a future-proof investment.

    Anyone got any thoughts on the RAID side of things?
     
  11. surflordca macrumors 6502a

    surflordca

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    Nov 16, 2007
    Location:
    Ontario, Canada
    #11
    The average user would never notice the speed difference...
     
  12. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #12
    I don't know what I would buy if I had to do it now. The quad would be great, although the limit of 16GB of ram seems like a ceiling, however by the time I need more I would probably need a new computer.

    The octo sounds great, but I don't like the 2.26 vs. the 2.66 for single threaded apps. Then again when most things are written to take advantage of more threads, you would probably need a new computer. I like the more ram capabilities, but see above. Also upgrading to 2.66 or 2.93 is too much $$.

    I am just glad I got my 2.8 on Apples end of life deal. Eliminated the above headaches. I would probably get a quad today and do 12 GB of ram. Maybe a 2.93 quad.

    RAID I am new to, so no help there.
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    With RAID, you want to use identical drives for both performance and capacity reasons. That is, if you mix SSD with mechanical, the mechanical will drag the throughput down significantly. With different mechanical drives, the unit with the worst specs (slowest), will dictate how the other drives will perform as well. This is also the case with capacity. So if you use a 250GB with a 500GB disk for example, you'd only be able to use 250GB of the 500GB in an array. Now it's possible to use the remaining capacity via a second partition, you wouldn't want simultaneous access if you value performance. You'd also run into the fact the second partition is on the inner tracks, which are the slowest.

    So what you're proposing won't work on multiple levels.

    Use the SSD as a boot disk.

    Then stripe (RAID0) the 500GB + 640GB (or better yet, make the second drive another 640GB for identical performance characteristics). Use this for applications and data. I think the 640GB is a Caviar Blue (green is slower spindle speeds <rpm>)..

    And use the 1TB for backup.

    Hope this helps. :)
     
  14. kellen macrumors 68020

    kellen

    Joined:
    Aug 11, 2006
    Location:
    Seattle, WA
    #14
    Thats what I was trying to say. I thought it was around 3 percent or so.
     
  15. TheBritishBloke thread starter macrumors 68030

    TheBritishBloke

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2009
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #15
    I was considering that since your first sentence :p. I may get a secondary 640GB to use with the one I get with the Mac Pro. And may use the :
    1st 640GB for Timemachine
    2nd 640GB in Mirror with first one.
    1TB Drive for all applications and videos/music etc.
    Would this work well?
    Is there a way to setup the RAID1 in software rather than a RAID card?
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #16
    Most software isn't written to take advantage of triple channel at all. Dual channel, which is what happens when the 4th DIMM per CPU is inserted, will suffice for most anything right now.
     
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #17
    I still think you'd be better off by using RAID0 on both of the 640's. The sequential throughput will certainly improve, as will the random access throughput's, though not nearly as much (it's not 1/2 of the random access of a single drive used). Sequential in a stripe set, effectively is. So if the 640 is capable of say 100MB/s, then a 2 disk stripe would essentially run at 2x the speed, so 200MB/s per the example.

    Use the 1TB for backups. You could also make a duplicate of the TM drive on the NAS you mentioned. This would give you a second copy, which you seem intent on. Personally, this would be the way to go. If not, just get a 2nd 1TB, and set TM to write to both. This would prevent the accidental deletion of a backup file, say when it gets near full (house keeping), from being duplicated if it where in a RAID1. Worst case by using 2 independent drives, is you still have the backup on one of the disks. RAID1 however, it's GONE. This is where user error is your enemy with this array type, and I've seen it happen. So don't do it.

    RAID1 can be done in software RAID. It's meant for servers (OS & server software), as it can't be allowed to go down. Again, it's NOT meant for BACKUP. I really can't stress this enough. ;)
     

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