Mac Pro Configuration Advice Needed

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by purdueboiler87, Apr 11, 2007.

  1. purdueboiler87 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2005
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #1
    I am thinking about upgrading my G5 to a new Mac Pro here in the near future. I basically surf and will have all the CS3 applications on it. I want to get more involved with HD video stuff. I also want to run Parallels and will probably load Vista to play with. All the "real" stuff will be done on the Mac. I'm not sure which model I will get yet but I plan to have at least 5 gig of RAM in it. I have a 3TB NAS so I am not worried about backup. A couple of questions though.

    1. I was going to stick with the 250 gig drive it ships with and use this drive as my Windows partition.

    2. Should I get a 150 gig Raptor for the boot drive? Some of the numbers I saw on Barefeat show that the Raptor is not that much faster than regular 7200 RPM drives. But searching here a lot of people love the speed of the Raptors. I guess I was thinking a Raptor for a boot drive and loading all my applications and then getting another 750 gig drive for data/video. I was going to move my User folder to the 750 gig drive. Is this what you would do? Other option would be everything installed on the 750 and no Raptor.

    3. Video card upgrades. I see a lot of people recommend upgrading the card. I will not be playing games on this but will an upgraded card help with rendering video or using Photohop and/or Lightroom?

    I know this comes down to what you want to spend. I like to have a nice machine but if I am spending money on drives that will speed things up by a second, I would rather put the money towards the memory or other things. Thanks for the advice.

    Bob
     
  2. dartzorichalcos macrumors 65816

    dartzorichalcos

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2007
    Location:
    Atlantis
    #2
    How much are you willing to spend on the Mac Pro and are you going to wait for Leopard and Stoakley-Seaburg platform?

    If you can't wait, how about these configurations.

    Refurbished Mac Pro Quad 3.0GHz Intel Xeon
    Two 3.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon processors
    2GB (4 x 512MB) memory (667MHz DDR2 fully-buffered DIMM ECC)
    250GB Serial ATA 3Gb/s 7200-rpm hard drive
    16x SuperDrive (double-layer)
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT graphics with 512MB memory
    • Save 15% off the original price
    Original price: $3,849.00
    Your price: $3,299.00

    or this:

    Two 2.0GHz Dual-Core Intel Xeon Mac Pro
    2GB (4 x 512MB)
    250GB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    ATI Radeon X1900 XT 512MB (2 x dual-link DVI)
    One 16x SuperDrive
    Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse - U.S. English
    Mac OS X - U.S. English
    Subtotal: $2,748.00
     
  3. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #3
    If you want a snappy boot drive get two raptors and raid them using disk utility.

    I have dual 150 raptors and it is blazing fast.
     
  4. PowerMike G5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2005
    Location:
    New York, NY
    #4
    I agree ... the Raptors as a boot drive are certainly the way to go ... your machine just feels snappier ...
     
  5. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #5
    I started with the stock 250 and later got 4 seagate 750s for a 3TB raid.
    I don't think it was slow with the 250, but the raid is nuckinfuts. :cool:

    I don't really like Raptors because of the price and the small gigs.
     
  6. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #6
    They are available at new fairly cheap compared to when they first came out.

    150Gb $179 after rebate
     
  7. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #7
    I think I paid around 270 from New Egg. I only did that like, 4 or 5 weeks ago.
     
  8. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    For a WD Raptor 150Gb or for the 750Gb Seagate you mentioned earlier?
     
  9. Lycanthrope macrumors 6502a

    Lycanthrope

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2005
    Location:
    Brussels, Belgium, Europe
    #9
    I'm also mulling over my Mac Pro purchase and I was thinking that as you have to take the 250GB in the basic spec then you may as well upgrade it to a 500GB disk for the extra $129 and then get a Raptor as boot disk afterwards.

    Seems logcal because a 250GB disc would really be wasting a drive bay in the long-run.
     
  10. mustard macrumors 6502a

    mustard

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2005
    Location:
    NJ
    #10
    If you are going to go for speed get two raptors and raid them.

    My setup:

    Bay 1 - Raptor 150Gb Raid 0 (Disk 1 of 2) for boot drive
    Bay 2 - Raptor 150Gb Raid 0 (Disk 2 of 2) for boot drive
    Bay 3 - Original 250Gb - Windows XP Drive
    Bay 4 - Seagate 250Gb - Scratch disk

    External - LaCie s1s 2tb Raid 5
     
  11. mcgratma macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2007
    #11
    Powermike - like Purdueboiler, I'm about to upgrade with a config similar to your own. The RAID 0 lack of redundancy does worry me though. Question - can I mirror the RAID 0 to an external drive (creating a RAID 10) without losing the striped speed gains? Question - are you running both OS X and applications on the Raptor (ie just data on the RAID) or only OS X?

    I know these may be a silly questions; pls excuse the newbie. Thx :)
     
  12. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #12
    This seems to make sense. Or does it? These days you can buy a 500 GB drive from Newegg for what Apple charges for the 250-->500GB upgrade. So why not go with the stock 250GB and get a 500GB (or bigger) drive from Newegg?! That way you essentially get a 250GB drive for free! You can hold on to it until you're ready to fill up all your bays with higher capacity drives, at which time you can buy an enclosure for it and use it as a backup drive.
     
  13. killr_b macrumors 6502a

    killr_b

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    Location:
    Suckerfornia
    #13
    Sorry, for the Seagates.
     
  14. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #14
    For pretty much all 2D work, having a better 3D card will make no difference. The 1900XT would be a waste of money for Photoshop or Lightroom use.
     
  15. Keebler macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #15
    Hi Killerb...

    I have to step in and ask a question - which RAID format did you use? striping?
    I picked up my mac pro today. a 250 for the main drive and 3 500s for video editing. i was thinking of using 2 in a RAID and the other to back that up? does that make sense?

    Thanks in advance. I've read the many posts, but alas, confused I remain :)

    Cheers,
    Keebler
     
  16. daveL macrumors 68020

    daveL

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Location:
    Montana
    #16
    First, you can't RAID 0 (stripe) across 2 drives and then RAID 1 (mirror) them to a single drive, even if the single drive has the same capacity of the 2 striped drives together. Second, this is host-based RAID, i.e. OS X is doing it in software. This isn't too much of a CPU hit for RAID 0, since the same amount of data is being read / written. However, when you go to RAID 1, you are doubling the amount of data, and the number of I/O operations, the OS is performing. This will increase OS overhead and slow down write operations. The upside is that the OS will do reads from both sides of the mirror, so you essentially have twice as many spindles to read from, without much additional OS overhead. So, if you are doing lots of reads, and not very many writes, RAID 10 will perform well, with little overhead. If you do a lot of writes, it's bad news (compared to no mirroring). Again, the above is for host-based RAID 10. If you have a hardware RAID controller with non-volitale write cache, there won't be a noticeable delay on write operations to the mirror.

    HTH
     

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