Mac Pro-multiple hard drives,boot drive, internal raid

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by jcrew2, Jul 11, 2009.

  1. jcrew2 macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    Ok I just got a used mac pro quad. I plan to use it for video production- final cut pro, pics - aperture, and music production- protools. THe computer came with 3 - 10k rpm 160g hd's. Two of them are set up as a raid 0. I like the idea of having a faster drive as a boot drive, but 160 seems kind of small to me as the drive to run memory hungry apps and the operating system. Am I right? I could go to a 300g 10k rpm drive. I am also thinking about getting a bigger drive, say a 750g or 1 tb 7200 rpm. Should I use this as the boot drive or as a secondary storage drive?. If it's the boot drive should I add the other 160g 10k drive to the raid or keep it separate? I assume that neither way would be wrong, nor create a problem, but since I haven't put anything on it yet, I'm wondering what would be the most efficient way to manage my files and get the most out of my computer.
  2. Inconsequential macrumors 68000

    Sep 12, 2007
    For video you want RAW MB/sec so the three 160Gb 10Ks would be quicker than a single 300Gb Velociraptor.

    But yes, the 10k RPM HDs for boot /apps, 1TB 7200s for data.
  3. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Did you get messed up? The second statement, as far as I know, kicks the first in the teeth.

    One drive for boot and applications, RAID the 10k drives to RAID 0 and keep a larger drive to back up both your boot/app drive and RAID.
  4. jcrew2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    "For video you want RAW MB/sec so the three 160Gb 10Ks would be quicker than a single 300Gb Velociraptor."

    Ok let me write this out in a way so I won't get it too mixed up. Hopefully this will help me better understand your answer and others. I'll put it in a couple of scenarios, and then maybe you can explain more from there, like which is best or even suggest a different setup.

    Setup 1 (current) - 160g 10k rpm boot drive, 2 - 160g 10k internal raid, 1tb 7200 rpm internal storage drive

    Setup 2 - 300g 10k boot drive, 3 - 160g 10k internal raid

    Setup 3 - 300g 10k boot drive, 2 - 160g 10 internal raid, 1tb 7200 storage drive

    Setup 4 - 1tb 7200 rpm boot drive, 3 - 160g 10k internal raid

    I assume that setup 3 is optimal of the choices, but I could be wrong especially if a 3 hard drive raid is much better than a 2 hard drive config. Either way, is either of them significantly better than the current setup?
  5. jcrew2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    I also want to know how I should distribute my files? Do I keep music and video files in the same location? What about a separate external hd for the music files?
  6. jcrew2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    I just read a few related posts and found out that some are saying that using a raid array is not any better than running the drives independantly. WHat's the deal with that?
  7. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    Hard drives' data tranfer rates are directly proportional to where the data is on the disc, as "data density" and rotation are kept constant over a hard drive platter. RAID really depends on what a person's needs are.
  8. Boneoh macrumors 6502


    Feb 27, 2009
    So. Cal.
    I guess that others have their own opinions on what is 'better'.

    Better for me is an SSD for OS X and my applications and 3 drives in a Raid 0 array for all of the user files, photos, music, video, VMware images, etc.

    I have an external Raid 1 array for Time Machine. Critical files also get backed up to external firewire and USB flash for off-site backup.

    At some point, I will add a fast 1 Tb drive internally for Time Machine and selective backups. I find Firewire slow and USB flash drives are painfully slow...
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Using the existing drives,

    160GB disks: RAID 0 of all 3 of them (~468GB total). -- Use for OS, apps, and data.
    1TB disk: Backup. You need this, and not an option. If you choose not to heed this, you will get burnt. Just a matter of when. :eek: ;)

    I've no idea of your capacity needs, and you want to think about this carefully. RAID can help the throuput immensely, and 10K drives are usually better at random access than their 7200 counterparts. SSD is even better at random access, but not cheap. So budget is a major factor not given as well. Budget and capacity go hand in hand, unfortunately. :rolleyes: :p

    To me, 468GB seems small, given the usage description. So upgrading the disks to larger capacity models seem in order.

    Which model MP?
    Do you have any room internally for any other drives (empty optical bay for example)?
    Capacity needs?

    I can't offer much more without such details. :)
  10. jcrew2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    Something else I am thinking...the 1tb 7200 is where I'll store raw data like captured footage, photos, and music files. I do rendering or processing of any sort on the raid array correct?

    In the current setup, thats a 320g 2-10k hd raid, which leaves 1 - 160g 10k hd for os and apps. Nanofrog you're saying I should raid all three 10k drives and use them for os,apps,process data(rendering) correct?

    Do you think there would be a big difference in the performance of one setup vs the other? Either way I will add a 1tb drive for storage and/or backup. Actually I could get an external hd for backup leaving more room for storage data right?

    Question: Lets say I choose to change my setup a few months in, will I be able to restore everything back to where it was from my backup drive or will I have to reinstall all apps and os from their original disks, then update them, then use my backup drive to restore my previous files and settings?
  11. Tesselator macrumors 601


    Jan 9, 2008
    Hmmm, however you end up doing it know that after about a year of using the machine your Users folder will be about 150GB, your Applications folder will be about 100GB, and your Library folder will be about 100GB. All the other system folders might total to 50GB at most. The Users folder can be relocated off the main boot drives - tho I haven't personally tried it. So that means you're going to need at least 250GB for the system drive. Since a drive loses performance as it gets filled up it's technically recommended not to fill a drive which you're depending on for performance more than about 50% or 60%. So this would indicate that the boot drive should be at least 500GB. And that's IF you relocate your Users folder to another drive. If not then that would imply that the boot drive should be about 750GB ~ 1TB.

    I'm booting my system off of a 4.5TB RAID0 3-Drive array and am very happy. :)

    nanofrog's recommendation makes the most sense so far.
  12. jcrew2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    So using the 3-10k drive raid for apps,os, and data, along with a 1tb for storage and backup would be the best setup based on what I have now.

    After reading a few posts I was thinking about getting a 1tb 7200 drive for apps and os, using the 3-10k drives as a raid, and a 1tb external hd for storage/backup. I would have to purchase an external but the cost isn't bad.

    Can you elaborate on my question about restoring data from backup, and reconfiguring my system if I decide to make changes later?
  13. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003
    I'm finally up with my 2TB RAID0 4-Drive array and I must say I'm pretty disappointed with snappyness. Compared with my old single-drive set-up, I see a 0% gain in snappyness. Of course, snappyness doesn't mean any improvement in actual working speed in your apps.

    In that sense, using a single 1TB drive for your OS to have more disk space for your working files on your RAID seems like a good decision.

    But remember that a RAID0 will only help you if your HD is your bottleneck.
    One of the reasons I wanted a RAID0 was to speed up my photoshop open/save. I regularely work with files that are close to 500MB, and opening and saving them can take quite a while even on a MP.

    But I've since discovered that saving/opening big files in PS is CPU dependent. I've seen about a 5% gain in open/save times. Wow. How impressive! sigh

    So before "trapping" yourself into a 450GB data volume, make sure that the RAID0 will really help you. I'm pretty sure it will, with the type of work you'Re going to do, but until Adobe updates PS, it's not making a significant difference for me.

  14. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Yes. :) The increased throughput can be applied to all of these functions this way.

    Yes, the performance would be notable. :) Especially for sequential throughputs, and even random access will benefit somewhat (depends on specific drives). The 10k rpm units should do fairly well in this regard. ;)
    By cloning, you won't have to reinstall anything to the new drive(s). But, this does require that the new drives can be attached to the system before pulling the existing drives in the stripe in order to perform the clone.

    Unfortunately, due to limited space and SATA ports, you'd likely have to pull the existing array out, and install the new drives first. So the OS would have to be installed off the OS Restore disks. Once done, you restore the backup copy on the 1TB to restore settings, apps, and data. It's not difficult actually, and works well. :)
  15. jcrew2 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2009
    Why not get a 7200 1tb for os,apps and such and raid the 3 160g 10k drives. Then use an external 1tb drive for backup and storage? I guess I mean why would this not perform as well?
  16. Dr.Pants macrumors 65816


    Jan 8, 2009
    This is what I would do in your situation - the only reason I say this is that the RAID-0 can be your scratch disc for FCP and protools, which the media files being read will give greater productivity then reading the app.
  17. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    By doing this, you get a slow down on OS and particularly the app you're using.

    Also, keep in mind that the idea (and need) for scratch drives, where due to past reasoning. At the time, memory was awfully expensive, and too limited in systems. So the scratching of data (parsed to disk first), was the interim solution. Now is different. Memory prices have fallen enough that obtaining adequate memory isn't a big deal. A few hundred these days, vs. more than the machine back then. :eek: :D

    So you can combine the OS, apps and data on the array, and get the performance boost out of it for all. :)

    Now doing this can have a potential issue with simultaneous access (many different requests for data access slow you down), but that would be due to a different usage pattern than what you describe. That is, while rendering, the OS isn't going to be accessed often, and assuming you're spending your time on the render program, other applications won't request data either (not being used, if even loaded). So it happens to work out.

    If you were trying to use the system as a database server while rendering at the same time for example, then you'd see what I'm talking about. :p The solution at this point, is to add drives to the array, and almost certainly use a different array type, such as 5/6/10/50/60 (uptime and redundancy are almost certainly required, not optional). If something like this were to happen, it's simply poor planning by whomever implemented the system. :eek: :D :p

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