My New Mac Pro set-up

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by KP Nuts, Oct 14, 2009.

  1. KP Nuts macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Cornwall England
    #1
    OK...
    I've just bought:

    From Apple:
    8 Core Mac Pro 2.26, 16GB Ram, 640GB HD, ATI 4870. 24" LED Screen.

    In addition to this, I've purchased:
    x2 160GB Intel 25 G2 SSD

    I want to use one SSD for the operating system and one for my work in-progress, namely a Lightroom catalogue and what ever FC edit I'm working on.

    As I'm a complete kook and hate opening a computer i'm worried that I won't be able to fit the SSDs - I got the retail version with the 3.5" adapter tray and I'm hoping they will screw in and plug in easy. But after that will the need any formatting or will they just be ready :(

    I really need advice on the best way to set it all up, as I want to move the operating system off the 640GB drive that will come with the machine. Will this be easy?

    Any advice?
    Does anyone have this set up? Does it go fast enough to stop me headbutting the unit - I use a 24", 3.06Ghz, 4GB, 2009 iMac which is ok at best for my 60GB per photoshoot Lightroom galleries..


    Thanks if you made it thus far..:D
     
  2. MacApple21 macrumors member

    MacApple21

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Location:
    Denmark
    #2
    Regarding formation of your SSD's, If a formation is needed, I think OS X will automatically detect the new HDD and ask whether you want to format it/them.
    When you connect a external HDD and want make a Time Machine backup, you're asked to do so, if my memory serves me right
     
  3. Transporteur macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    Finish the install of OS X on the stock 640GB disc, install Carbon Copy Cloner, install the SSD, format it with HFS+ and then clone the install from the 640 disc to the SSD.
    After that choose the SSD as the boot drive.
    That's pretty much it.


    But I've got some thoughts about your drive setup.
    The Intel SSD as a boot drive for the OS is great, but as a working disc for final cut?
    No good choice if you ask me.

    Reading files from the SSD is god damn fast, but writing to it is a little slow.
    I've got a Raid0 of two 1TB WD Blacks in my Pro besides the Intel SSD.

    Here is a little comparison of the speeds.
    Copy a big file from SSD to Raid0: 190MB/s.
    Copy a big file from Raid0 to SSD: 78MB/s.

    Honestly I think that a Raid0 as a disk for FC projecs would be by far better than an Intel SSD.
     
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #4
    You could stripe the pair of SSD's (RAID0 setup under OS X) for both the OS and applications (data too), and use the 640GB as a backup disk.

    It will run fast, and you won't exceed the ICH10R's throughput capability either (660MB/s), as the pair would be capable of ~500MB/s sequential reads. Writes will be ~140MB/s (essentially, what it's capable of as a single drive, then *2).

    Just a thought. :)
     
  5. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #5
    Why would you want to move the OS off of the 640gb to the ssd? :confused:
    Why not just put in the ssd and boot off of the snow leopard install disk and go from there?
     
  6. toonz macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 7, 2007
    #6
    Or look at one of the OCZ Vertex SSD's as they've got higher consistent write speeds than the Intel ones.
     
  7. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #7
    SSD's are the fastest tech for random access. This means it can load an OS faster than any mechanical drive, especially if comparing single disks.

    Ultimately, to each his/her own. ;)

    But if the OP wants to use a pair of SSD's, then a stripe set would give increased performance for both the OS and applications used, as well as increase the capacity. The 640GB would be just fine for a backup drive.
     
  8. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #8
    Could one use the 640GB HD as a data drive (for work). I'd like to build a similar setup as the OP but structure it like how you've mentioned with two SSDs striped. I already use a Time Capsule for my backup drive, so could I use that HDD as a drive for my work files to be saved and opened from?

    (Sorry didn't mean to hijack the thread!)
     
  9. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #9
    You could use the 640GB for a number of different things. Additional data (work that exceeds the SSD stripe), archival purposes, secondary backup, or as a separate disk for Windows (which you'd need, as Boot Camp will not work on a stripe set).
     
  10. Icaras macrumors 603

    Icaras

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Location:
    California, United States
    #10
    Cool, thanks a lot. Yea, you and gugucom helped me out a lot in another thread with a very lenghty and detailed discussion when I asked about Windows and stripped SSDs. Never got a chance to say thanks. :)
     
  11. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #11
    :cool: NP. :)
     
  12. Ace134blue macrumors 6502a

    Ace134blue

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2009
    #12
    Duh. ? Im just saying, if theres no data on the OS, why not just boot off of the cd and install SL on the ssd?
     
  13. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #13
    Using the word boot in the earlier post made me think you were indicating some thing else (boot, not install). Sorry about the confusion.

    But the OP is interested in a pair, so the later is valid. If spending the money, it's a better option to stripe them together as you get increased performance and capacity for a single logical drive. ;)
     
  14. KP Nuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Cornwall England
    #14
    The system comes on Wednesday. I've ordered x2 WD Blacks and will be raid0 both them and the x2 160GB SSD. Might leave the 640gb in there if there's room. I don't even know how many HDs it can take... Such a kook.

    Thanks for all the advice and if there's anything you think I will need to know please post it :)

    Cheers

    Kirstin
    www.kirstinprisk.co.uk
     
  15. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #15
    If you plan to run the SSD set and the WD set simultaneously, you will have a problem with throughputs. The ICH10R is limited to a max of ~660MB/s, and you'd be pushing over 750MB/s (throttled). To solve it, you need a separate controller of some kind, preferably one that doesn't have boot drives on it (adds to the cost, if you can even find one that meets your specific needs). I seem to recall 2 port SIL3132 based cards (PCIe 1x) that can be had for ~$25USD (example). The ports can be configured for internal or external as well (not both), but that would be perfect for running the WDs on internally for OS X. SIL (Silicon Image) has released drivers that work now (SL), and I beleive it will work in an '09 now, even in Leopard (others that tried had issues previously, but seemed driver related to me).

    If you don't think you'd end up throttled, you can skip the card, and attach everything to the logic board. But you're the only one who can say for sure that this won't happen. My suspicion however, is it will. You'd get a bandwidth collision as you're reading an application off the SSD set, and writing data to the mechanical set (WD's). Assuming this is what you're planning. BTW, what are you going to do for backups?

    As per the 640GB drive, place it in the empty optical bay as mentioned before, and use it for your Windows drive. It really is the simplest, and least expensive way to do this (no expensive cards required, as it's been mentioned that bootable cards are hard to find, and typically very expensive for what you're wanting to do). If you wanted more ports and array types you're not currently showing interest in, it's another story.
     
  16. KP Nuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Cornwall England
    #16

    Thanks for the post. Sounds ridiculously complicated. Maybe I should raid the SSD's and just use the WD Blacks as work in progress drives? I wish some of you guys lived down the road..

    Storage:
    I have a Qnap TS639 with x6 WD Greens in Raid 6 connected with Gigabit Ethernet for storage. I don't like using the server for WIP as it seems a little laggy.
     
  17. talbalos macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 16, 2008
    #17
    I don't see any advantage to using SSDs other than a faster boot time. Once the OS and app are loaded into RAM, the necessity for hard drive access should be minimal especially with 16 GB of RAM. I have 16 GB's of RAM in my Late 2007 8 core Mac Pro and I hardly see page outs when I'm editing video or still images.
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #18
    The setup I described actually isn't complicated. I guess it could look that way, as I was trying to explain the reasoning behind it.

    Essentially, I'm figuring you'd end up with the system trying to access both arrays at the same time. But the bandwidth of the ICH10R <SATA controller on the board> (if everything is attached to the logic board), has a limit of 660MB/s. In the instances where both sets are accessed at the same time, you'd loose performance, as both sets would be capable of ~750MB/s. ~100MB/s more than the logic board's controller can handle. So you will end up being slowed down (throttled).

    The simple solution is to use a SATA card, that won't be needed for booting (no boot ROM required), just Mac operation (drivers only).

    If you need help, someone (or more likely multiples), can help walk you through it as you go (just make sure you have net access on another machine, so maybe borrow one if it's a lone system). :)
     
  19. Billfish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, Fl. USA
    #19
    Your doing the right thing by researching before building. I just finished setting up my Mac Pro and am very happy I spent a couple of weeks reading stuff around this site and many others. Do what you want but this is what I did... Stick the SSD (1) in the extra optical bay, no adapter tray needed, load the install disk and install the system and apps on the SSD. Then stick in your hard drives, (enterprise HD's) stripping 2 is ok, 3 way better and 4 is fantastic. All data and work goes on there. That's what I did and it will speed up Photoshop and Final Cut more then anything. 4 stripped HD's will be way faster than using SSD for data, and cheaper too. With 16 GB of ram, you don't need a scratch disk. Get an esata card for external HD back up and running windows if you have to.
    Mac pro is so easy to open up and install hardware you can almost do it in the dark. OWC has great free videos for installing everything I just mentioned. Good place to buy these things too.
    Good luck and enjoy.
     
  20. KP Nuts thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2009
    Location:
    Cornwall England
    #20
    OK, so I have x2 WD 1TB Blacks. x2 160GB Intel 25 G2 SSD's, and of course the Mac Pro with 16GB ram, 640GB HD and the 8 cores..

    it's all boxed, fresh and waiting for configuration. What would you do, lets face it, I'm going to do exactly what your suggest. Please link to any 'Sata' cards you recommend - I don't even know what they are... I do have a nerd friend who will help configure this but he isn't an expect nor does he have experience with this set-up.

    Thanks
    kp
     
  21. nanofrog macrumors G4

    Joined:
    May 6, 2008
    #21
    SATA/eSATA card. You can use 2 ports on it (internal in this case, which you'll have to set the jumpers on the card), not 4, as it doesn't have the PCIe lane count to run more.
     
  22. Billfish macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Miami, Fl. USA
    #22
    The 4 Port eSata card that I recommend for external drives is sonnet tempo at OWC. Super easy install. Watch the videos on OWC.

    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Sonnet Technology/TSATAIIE4P/

    Check out the information at the macintosh performance guide.

    http://macperformanceguide.com/

    That site will bring you up to speed with a lot more info than I can give you here. I did most everything he suggests and it worked out fantastic.

    Good luck, have fun.
     

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