Mac Pro configuration for medical imaging

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by rayomac, Sep 11, 2009.

  1. rayomac macrumors newbie

    Sep 10, 2009
    Los Angeles

    I've been lurking for a while reading posts trying to get as much info as I can. There are still some questions that I hope people can help me with.

    I want to get a Mac Pro for medical imaging. I'll primarily be using Osirix which is a program for DICOM viewing / 3D image processing. I have a plugin that will do advance 3D volume rendering using CPU cores, so fastest CPU speed will be best. Don't know if the GPU will be critical, but I figure it couldn't hurt.

    I will also need windows to access my work network and PACS system. I don't think I'll use bootcamp much, will probably go with Parallel.

    Here are my thoughts for configuration.

    MP 2.93 Octo
    Memory 36 gig (OWC)
    2 x NEC MultiSync 3090WQXi 30'
    GTX 285

    Those are the easy parts. Now I have question about the HD. In general, I want the fastest performance, but DICOM images can be large and I can easily have over 1 TB of data.

    I'm thinking Intel SSD 160 x 2 RAID 0 for boot and apps. Then a RAID 0 for data. But am having trouble figuring out the best configuration.

    I know I can use the 4 drives + 1 optical bay. That gives me 5 drives. So here are some thoughts.

    160 Intel SSD x 2 RAID 0 for apps + short term data
    640 gb (from apple) for Windows
    2 or 1 TB x 2 in RAID 0 for data

    From what I read, windows can't be on a mac RAID 0 array, that's why I'm keeping the 640 gb drive for it.

    For best of both worlds (boot + apps + storage) I like the idea of 1TB OCZ Colossus, but the cost is high and it's not out yet.

    If 2 SSD is an overkill, then perhaps a Intel SSD 160 for boot/app and a 3 drive RAID 0 for data?

    Backup will be external since I've run out of internal SATA ports. I figure I can go with slow Firewire or USB, but an eSATA card (Sonnet E4P PCI-Express card) will probably work better. There should be enough PCI space with both GTX 285 and GT120 installed right?

    I have been reading the postings on RAID cards (Areca 1210?), but I'm getting lost and don't know if that will help in my situation.

    Honestly, this is more of an excuse for me to get the computer of my dreams. There is no question it'll be expensive and an overkill to some degree, but it took me a while to be able to afford something like this, so I figure I go for the gusto.

    Thanks for your thoughts / feedback.
  2. Genghis Khan macrumors 65816

    Genghis Khan

    Jun 3, 2007
    Melbourne, Australia

    nice...ok here we go

    N.B. max memory is 32GB (8 slots x 4GB DIMMs)

    I would seriously consider the NVidia Quadro FX4800 (I think that's the most recent one). It'll be much faster for what you're doing.

    N.B. I think it's possible to have 2 x SSD's in the second optical drive bay. (someone correct me on this if I'm wrong).

    So with that in mind...I'd put the SSD's in RAID 0 in the optical bay, and fill out the normal four slots with 4 x 2TB HDD's. (the more information squeezed onto a disk, the faster that information can be read). I would also put all four of these drives in RAID 0.

    And on a further note, if you get a RAID card, it takes care of the RAID, rather than the processor...and you can also run Windows from the RAID.

    I'm not sure if eSata PCI-E cards work in Mac Pro's. I always thought that very few PCI cards worked at all in a Mac Pro (someone please correct me if I'm wrong here).

    So if you can't get eSata, go Firewire 800.

    Hope that helps :)

    - Michael

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