Mac Pro hd upgrade question - partition 1 or get 2?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by thefilmmaking, Jan 21, 2010.

  1. thefilmmaking macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    Hey guys, I have a Mac Pro 1,1 2x3GHZ with 1HD (500GB) model ST3500641AS.

    I want to add an internal HD or two, but I was wondering if I should simply buy one 1 TB hd and partition it into two separate 500GB partitions (one for SL and one for Windows)?


    Is it a better idea to get two separate 500GB hard drives and install each OS onto the individual drives? And I don't know much about RAID set-ups so I don't know if I'd wanna go that route (I dn't have a RAID card, if that makes a difference).

    I will be editing HD footage on the Mac side and producing music on the Windows side. And I will probably format the original 500GB hard drive and use that as storage. Let me know if that's a good idea as well.

    also, the two hard drives I'm looking into getting are:

    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3
    SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD103SJ 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache SATA 3
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    One drive, OS X + Windows = Boot Camp.

    It will work, but I don't care for it myself, as there's a greater potential for one go wrong and damage the other OS install, and nothing works properly if at all. If the drive dies, both OS's are gone, and any data on it as well. You need a backup anyway, no matter what you do.

    This is the better way to go IMO, as it keeps them completely separate. If the partition tables are damaged or drive dies for one, the other OS isn't affected, and you're still able to boot from the remaining OS if needed to assist in getting things back up and running (i.e. net access for downloads or research).

    Separate drives for OS installations doesn't require RAID. But given you're going to be doing HD editing, you need better throughputs for drive data. A single drive is too slow to get a good workflow.

    RAID can provide that. As mentioned earlier, you do need a backup drive/system in place, whether a single drive or RAID is used (RAID /= BACKUP. ever). You only need it for HD video, so it will only need to be for OS X.

    You have 2 basic options:
    1. Software based using the logic board, and OS X (0/1/10 are possible).
    2. Hardware controller (there's Fake RAID and true hardware RAID controllers, so be carefull, particularly if you run a parity based array, such as 5/6/50/60 if supported by the card).

    I'd recommend taking the time to read the RAID wiki, and go from there, as you do have to do some research.

    If you want to edit audio rather quickly, an SSD would be the best choice here, and you can store finished data on the 500GB mechanical.

    You'd still need something for backup though, and an eSATA card + PM enclosure would be the least expensive way to go, assuming a single drive won't suffice (i.e. not enough capacity).

    I wouldn't recommend Samsung or Hitachi drives (SATA), and I'm not that confident in Seagate's consumer models recently either (7200.11 & ES.2's of the same era, as both had significant firmware issues).

    If you go with consumer drives, I'd go with WD 1TB Caviar Blacks, as I've not had any issues with them so far. Better warranties, and specifications as well (namely Unrecoverable Bit Error is 10x better than most consumer drives).

    If you go with a RAID controller, you need to run the enterprise variants to avoid issues with recovery timings (differences in firmware designed specifically to work with hardware controllers), as well as better rated to take the abuse (more stable and reliable than their consumer counterparts).
  3. thefilmmaking thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 2, 2008
    First off, thanks a lot nanofrog. You really provided lots of helpful info I couldn't find after long searches. Now with a couple of more questions...

    Performance-wise, is the partition route going to cause slower performance than the separate hard drive route?

    This seems like the best option if I were to do RAID0, but would it be more sensible to do a RAID0 of two 1TB hds rather than simply buying a 2TB hd?

    Would I have to get a higher performance SSD like the Intel versions that people talk about here on the forums? And also, would I be able to buy an eSATA card for my MP 1,1? Because I was looking it up recently and couldn't find any options to go about doing this.

    What was selling me on the Samsungs was the benchmark tests here:

    and according to that benchmark and other reviewers, the Samsung would be noticeably faster than the Caviar Black at essentially the same price. Or is this not going to be a noticeable difference?

    Would this also be a concern for the Software based method?
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    :cool: NP. :)

    For the OS on the inner tracks, yes.

    A stripe set is NOT made up of 2 partitions on the same drive. You need separate drives to obtain the performance increase, as it's the parallelism of multiple members that generates it.

    The general consensus, is Intel's seem to be the best overall SSD right now.

    Yes, you can get a 2 port card (example), based on the SIL3132 chip (SIL driver site). In the case of Snow Leopard, the drivers available are Beta, and do NOT support any RAID functions. So I presume that will also mean JBOD is out, as it's not stated as supported. :( Thus you'd have to use the drives as individual units, assuming you'd be using a PM enclosure (split the directory structure up amongst the drives in the backup software).

    A few others have had to use other drivers just to get the card to work (Sonnet), and it's possible those might offer those features. But no one's mentioned it's available in the Sonnet drivers IIRC.

    It's not about the speed, but the reliability. Samsung and Hitachi's only have a 3yr warranty, and they tend to die faster (lots of bad sectors, particularly in a software RAID from what I've seen).

    They're consumer models, and aren't really built for RAID. It's possible to use them in some situations (namely software RAID), but they carry a greater risk (general statement, as the Samsung is worse than others, given the shorter lifespans being reported). Also remember, the risk of a drive failure increases with a stripe set compared to a single drive.

    Not really, as the recovery is still handled by the logic board and OS.
  5. xgman macrumors 601


    Aug 6, 2007
    mac pro does what no other mac does. multiple internal drives. nuf said.

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