Mac Pro Hard Drive Setup Advice

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by krell100, Aug 23, 2007.

  1. krell100 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #1
    Hi All,

    I have a 2.66Ghz mac pro with 3Gb of Ram. I am planning on installing Leopard (when it appears) onto a RAID array and having a third drive as a backup. A fourth drive is my Windows XP game drive. So this is the plan at the moment:

    BOOT VOLUME (LEOPARD)
    RAID '0'
    BAY 1: SEAGATE 320GB
    BAY 2: SEAGATE 320GB

    BACKUP VOLUME (TIME MACHINE BACKUP)
    BAY 3: WESTERN DIGITAL 250GB

    WINDOWS XP (GAMING)
    BAY 4: WD 120GB

    I do pro graphics using CS3 (InDesign mainly) and Pro audio using Logic. I want to get maximum performance from my MP.

    Do you see any problems or a more optimal way of doing this? Will the Raid 0 array work as a boot volume and will it increase the performance of the machine? Has anyone else had experience with this type of setup?

    I've trawled the forum where there are numerous HDD threads but nothing that specifically has this setup.

    Any and all comments much appreciated.

    krell
     
  2. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #2
    I would strongly suggest getting a 750GB disk (or larger) for your time machine backup drive. You've got 640GB in a RAID0 which is obviously not fault tolerant and at increased risk of failure as opposed to a single disk.

    Using Time Machine with its fancy 'recall from the past' feature is going to require much more storage to achieve than the volume of data you're backing up.

    Of course if you're prepared to lose the data you haven't backed up then a smaller drive could be fine.

    Yes RAID0 will work and give better performance.

    I decided on a compromise on my new setup. I have 2 500GB drives, which I used to create a 300GB RAID 1 for boot and applications and a 400GB RAID 0 for the Aperture library and scratch space. Obvioulsly the RAID 0 gets backed up frequently.

    This has the advantage of giving extra performance to Aperture (and it does make a big difference) and that if a disk fails then I can just boot from the other disk, and restore the data from the RAID 0 backup easily and carry on until I can get the disk replaced.
     
  3. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #3
    If you do frequent backups, sure go with a RAID0. But you don't have any externals, and your backup is only 250. I don't like the sound of it.

    Here is what I did and I get some pretty noticeable (objective and subjective) speed boots off the base config.

    Bay 1: 10k rpm Raptor boot, un-partitioned

    Bay 2: RAID0 320gb Seagate
    Bay 3: RAID0 320gb Seagate
    ----- Partition 1: 50gb Scratch Disk for whatever program needs one
    ----- Partition 2: Frequent Access Work files
    ----- Partition 3: Frequent Access personal files (music, pics, bullcrap, porno)

    Bay 4: Seagage 250 (stock)
    ----- Partition 1: Backup of Boot Drive (weelky)
    ----- Partition 2: Fresh Installation of OSX I use for testing and experiments, Leopard when it comes out
    ----- Partition 3: VMWare Virtual Machines of XP


    FW800 External 1: Backup of Work and Personal Files (daily), misc storage archives
    FW 800 External 2:
    ----- Partition 1: Backup of Boot drive (weekly)
    ----- Partition 2: Backup of work and personal files (weekly)


    So with this set up, I boot and run my apps off the Raptor, and then my files off the Raid0. All the raid0 data is in 4 separate locations, so I am not worried if the raid fails. I can just re-create it and copy the files back.
     
  4. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #4
    I have just got a new 2.66 Quad Mac Pro.

    I use Adobe Photoshop CS3 and Final Cut Pro mainly when i work.

    I came across this thread and it interested me as im currently shopping for a couple of new internal drives.

    At present i have the standard 250 gig HD that came with the Mac Pro and was looking to get at least one other 250 or 500 gig HD.

    What would anyone recommend i do, and how would one recommend setting up my HDs to be best suited to my needs for video editing?

    If i were to use a RAID configuration would i have to reinstall the OS? or can the new drive be set up to joint the existing drive?

    Any recomendations on Scratch disks as well?

    Thanks in advance.
     
  5. krell100 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #5
    Thanks for the replies!

    I think you can set up a RAID 1 (mirror) but a RAID 0 has to be done at installation time though I'm far from an expert on this.

    Sean, how come you went with the Raptor as boot rather than a RAID0? However do you keep track of all those partitions... and why have them?

    Just how 'fault tolerant' are we talking about with a RAID 0? Is it worth the 'risk' in performance terms?

    RAID, Partitions, scratch... man this is more complex than I thought. I guess I'm wanting to get around the limitations of the HDD performance to get the most out of the MP... and have a simple backup solution that I can set up and forget (Timemachine). Obviously bay 4 is my XP disk so is out of the equation...

    Cheers
     
  6. krell100 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #6
    Links

    Incidentally, these are links I've read in relation to this topic.

    http://www.macworld.com/2007/05/secrets/june07geekfactor/index.php

    http://www.macworld.com/2006/10/features/macprohd/index.php

    Notice on the chart at the bottom of the second link the amazing performance boost from using a RAID, in fact the article says:

    "Adding just one drive (available for $90 or less online) gave us a lot more bang for our buck than the $800 processor upgrade available from Apple."

    This is what got me thinking about doing this......
     
  7. dkoralek macrumors 6502

    dkoralek

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2006
    #7
    It all depends on priorities and what you do. Obviously, the more disk intensive your workflow is, the more you will benefit (and that's what you'll notice with the chart in the article you posted).

    The majority of the work that I do is computationally (and potentially memory) intensive, so RAID didn't make much sense for me.

    cheers.
     
  8. krell100 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2007
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #8
    OK that makes sense. The HDD in my machine makes a lot of churning, seeking style noises so I'd guess I'm using the disk quite a bit, especially since all the files, apps and OS are on that one drive! But if the HDD is essentially the bottleneck in a modern (fast) computer then surely any system would benefit from RAID? Especially if the OS is on it??

    Cheers for the reply
     
  9. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #9
    So say i buy two new 500 gig HDs.

    Can i keep my existing drive as it is then add the two new drives as RAID0.

    I would then use the existing drive for the OS and the Apps, and then partition the new RAID0 similar to Sean Dempsey, 50 gig scratch disk, then the rest split between work files and personal files.

    Is this a possible solution?
     
  10. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #10
    Yes, that would work (I wouldn't split up personal/work like Sean does...), but you still don't have any backup. To find out how likely a failure of a RAID 0 system is you multiply the number of discs by the likelihood of one disk failure. With this setup you double your risk with NO backup.

    I would suggest the following with the equipment you're planning to buy (I'm a sucker for simplicity):

    $200 Raptor X (the size of your choice): boot and scratch
    $120 500: RAID 0
    $120 500: RAID 0
    FREE 250: Win XP

    total: $440

    This plan leaves no room for backup, necessitating an external drive (or drives) totaling 1TB+ (you can set up multiple externals in JBOD for time machine.) You could, of course, put a 1TB drive in the 4th slot (at a cost) and use that in a RAID 1 of the RAID 0. Windows could be setup on a partition of the RAID 0 drives (creating another RAID 0 for XP.)

    I currently do the following:

    160gb (original disk)
    50gb mac OS X boot
    110 Win XP
    320 RAID 1
    320 RAID 1
    75gb external NDAS
    But that doesn't get great performance; only threefold reliability.
     
  11. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2006
    #11


    I just wanted to run my OS off a single drive. I had read a few comparisons of the Raptor vs. a Raid0 and just wanted to have it in there. Plus I like the small size. My boot drive will never be more than 30 or so gigs.

    As far as the rest of the partitions... how does a person keep track of more than a few folders? Most of them don't even show up in my finder sidebar. It goes:

    -Macintosh HD
    -Work Files
    -Personal Files

    The rest of the partitions aren't there. Anything I would need has a shortcut down in the dock. It's no more complex to manage than a single drive.

    Also, I partitioned the drives because I read a different article about using the physical distance from the center of the platter to increase performance, having the inner rings be faster than the outer. No idea if it's true, but that's how it did it.

    At any rate - it runs fine, the only thing I may change someday is using a raid1 with my FW800 externals, so each external is a mirror of the other.
     
  12. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #12
    I have huge externals for backing up. I am just trying to sort out getting my Mac Pro fully optimised fro use, thanks for the advice and concern.

    I also have no use for windows at the moment so i dont have to take into consideration a windows partition.

    I return to my original question....

    ..I dont wish to reinstall the os and all my apps again so i only want to add other drives to the standard config e.g. Add two drives in a RAID0 (backing up externally).

    If i do add two 500gig drives in a RAID0 config can i then simply shift all my files to the RAID0 and leave the apps on the original HD, will this increase my performance?
     
  13. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #13
    Yes.

    I did something like this.
    Move all of your files except for the library, applications, and home folder to your RAID 0 setup. Then create aliases of these folders (they should still be "music", "photos", etc) and move the aliases to where the original files started from. This will preserve any auto-save locations (i.e. in pages, the default save point is in your documents folder on your boot drive–this will redirect that to the RAID 0).

    You can also move the entire home directory, by installing the OS on the RAID 0 and then removing a bunch of files, but AppleCare doesn't support that (I asked).
     
  14. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #14
    I dont know if i am reading this correctly....

    ... you say to move all files except library folder, apps folder and home folder to the new RAID0....

    All of my files are stored in the home directory folder, in music, documents, pictures, movies, desktop etc.....

    so why would i only want aliases on the RAID0 surely i would want the aliases on the boot drive (250gig standard) and the actual files on my RAID0???

    Correct me if i am wrong?
     
  15. termina3 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2007
    Location:
    TX
    #15
    Sorry if I wasn't clear. The above is correct.

    1) move all folders to the RAID 0
    2) make aliases of all folders on RAID 0
    3) move aliases back to where the originals used to be
    4) rename aliases so that they're identical to the originals
     
  16. anim8or macrumors 65816

    anim8or

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2006
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #16
    Thank you very much i'll give it a try once i get my drives and let you know...!
     

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