Mac Pro with RAID card and Final Cut Studio setup questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by fluffyroo, Jul 8, 2008.

  1. fluffyroo macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #1
    Hi there, this is my first post on these forums but I've been lurking for about three years now. Anyway, I have a sort of specific request that I haven't seen discussed on these forums yet.

    I have an original mac pro 1,1 Quad 2.66Ghz with 5GB of RAM, ATI x1900XT, an Apple RAID card, the e-sata extension cables, and lots of hard drives to throw at it! Currently I'm running in a RAID5 with four 320GB Seagate drives, but I'm trying to find out what would be the best setup for Final Cut Studio. The manual and several online resources strongly suggest using a separate drive for the Scratch Disk for FCP.

    So the question is, what's the best combo for me? Some options I've thought of so far are:

    1. Run a RAID0 with the four 320GB drives as the scratch disk, and have a 500GB e-sata boot drive. Then purchase a 1TB and 500GB for time machine backups though Airport Extreme.

    2. Run a RAID0 or 5 internal boot drive, and use an e-sata scratch disk. Then purchase a 1TB drive for backups on the Airport Extreme.

    Currently I have four 320GB drives and a 500GB drive. So I guess my real question is, which combination will give me the best performance? (personally I'm leaning toward the latter option as it is the cheapest, heh.)

    Sorry for such a long first post, but I wanted to be thorough. Oh, and thanks for any help you guys can give me!
     
  2. matt321 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #2
    Well Raid 0 will be the fastest, hands down (since Raid 5 has to update the parity on every disk.) The fastest solution might be a mix... No doubt having 4 disks in a raid 0 for scratch will be fast! But having a boot drive external will slow the application stuff down. What you might consider is having two Raid 0's, one for boot (with FCS installed on it) and one for scratch. Then have an external for time machine that backs up the boot drive.


    My only question would be how big are the files you typically use for FCS? 600Gb may not be enough...
     
  3. fluffyroo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #3
    Hey thanks for the reply!

    So, technically since the "external" drive is e-sata, there shouldn't be any slowdown, since it's using the Mac Pro's on board SATA controller right? I'm currently attending the university here, so some projects will be through school. Most are going to be with my Canon HV20 though shot in 1080 with the 24p pulldown applied in compressor. So I already know I'm going to have the raw data, then another folder in the scratch disk with the Compressor data. I'm really excited to learn this software too, I just wanted to make sure my setup was perfect beforehand.

    In any event, I'm not sure if the Apple RAID card can do two RAID0 arrays, can anyone confirm this? That would totally be the best solution to go all internal. I could do two 500GB RAID0 for bootup, and two 500GB RAID0 for scratch disk. I suppose I could also go big and have a 1TB boot disk and three 500GB in RAID0. I guess I just need confirmation that you can either have two RAID configurations, or RAID three drives and use one for boot. Again, thanks for your help!
     
  4. matt321 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2007
    #4
    You're correct about eSATA in that, externally, there should be no slow down. However, I'm one for caution and would hate to have an external boot drive for day-to-day stuff. As for the Raid controller, it should definately do two Raid 0's. If Disk Utility can do two Soft Raid 0's, it would be stupid that the Raid controller couldn't do the same.

    As for putting 3 drives in a Raid, that's not a problem.
     
  5. fluffyroo thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2008
    Location:
    Columbia, MO
    #5
    Awesome, thanks again.

    So I think what I'm gonna do for now is have a 2x320GB RAID0 boot drive and 2x320GB RAID0 scratch disk.
    As soon as I get more funds, I'll invest in more hard drive space (looking into four 1TB drives!).
    And for now, if I run out of space on my internal scratch disk, I can use the spare 500GB e-sata drive.

    Anyway, now I get to back everything up for the transfer, yay!
     

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