Need some SSD/Raid + RAM advice quickly

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by vogelhausdesign, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. vogelhausdesign macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus, Ohio
    #1
    Hey guys, I'm about to buy my first SSD(s) and some new ram for my 2010 12-Core. I really need some buying advice right now as I'm looking for increased performance for 3D/Graphic Design;

    http://eshop.macsales.com/basketHandler.cfm?get=9AC9A152-F7E4-684A-CF4DD5A01CF96694

    2 OWC Mercury Extreme Pro 60g SSD's
    16g OWC RAM (4)4G Modules ( So i can expand later )
    Multi-mount to mount them in the optical bay

    I feel like I'm missing something here, do I need cables to power them?
    I'm using soft-raid 0 on these drives, is that OK? Do I need a raid card?

    I found this SSD at microcenter, 8gigs more memory and they're sandforce, are these slower?

    Should I just buy a 128 RE boot drive?

    http://www.microcenter.com/single_product_results.phtml?product_id=0351760

    I'm running out of storage space, I'm a music collector and I work with large files.

    What should I buy? help!


    Here is my system setup currently. If you were me, what would you do..I'm on a budget but I want to get the most of my machine, it needs to be snappier!

    12-Core 2.93 mac Pro 5.1
    Stock 6gig apple Ram
    Radeon HD 5770
    4.5TB across 4 HDD's
    ACD 30"


    Thanks everyone, nano I could really use you on this one!
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    Finland
    #2
    How much do your apps take? SSD isn't the best solution for storage so if 60GB is fine in terms of apps and OS X, get one of those. If not, then 2x60GB or 120GB. Software RAID is okay for RAID 0 and 1. OWC is actually 64GB too but some of its capacity is for over-provosioning. It's the same case with the other drive, they just advertise it as 64GB even though in real life it will have less.

    If you need more raw storage, then invest on an eSATA PCIe card and get some more HDs, preferably 2TB each. SSDs are way too expensive to be used as storage. They are the best for OS+apps.
     
  3. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    #3
    I want to softRAID SSD's for boot/app performance, I can move to HDD's externally for more storage space for now and the future.

    What I wanted to know was A) are these Mercury extreme pros OK in softraid 0 to boot from. B) if I need anything else to make this work, IE; cables, raid card. C) if Id be fine performance wise with the microcenter SSD's, same size but paired its $90 cheaper

    BTW, I'm using 130g on my HDD boot drive, that includes 30gig bootcamp win7 and more apps than I even use currently.
     
  4. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #4
    Ditto SSD for boot and scratch cache can work good for SSD also ? but not sure your applications can benefit ? PS does LR does those are the ones I know :)


    but I would say get the memory
    get the SSD for boot and keep your boot lean only aps and OS on it

    snapier ? storage WD black are pretty quick the next step is a raid setup using Areca to speed up storage ? but is this needed that is the question again some things dont really need faster storage so ram and or SSD boot will give you a snapier system with minimal $$


    not sure how much storage you need ? but for your storage drives try not to go ver %60 full ever or they really start to slow down
    boot never go over %50 even with SSD keep some room for virt/paging memory
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    UK
    #5
    The problem with a RAID0 out of two SSD's and your current 4 disc storage solution is the bandwidth limit of the internal SATA ports.

    The Mac Pro's controller is good for about 660MB/s, so 4 mechanical drives and a single SSD are just about to saturate this limit (provides that you access all drives simultaneously).
    I've got such a system running (single SSD for boot + 4 mechanical drives), and it runs just fine.
    With 2 SSD's and 4 mechanical drives you are way above the throughput limit.

    In addition to that, the OS doesn't really benefit from striped SSD's, so I'd recommend a single (at least 120GB) SSD for boot and apps.

    If you want to use a RAID card (for hardware RAID), you always have to keep in mind that your system won't sleep properly anymore, so you'd have to shut it down properly.
     
  6. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    #6
    Good to know.. Would I have seen much of an increase in speed with Raid-0 SSD's vs 1 SSD boot? What single 128g+ SSD do you recommend? I'd like to avoid buying a RAID card, I really don't need one.. everything outside my boot is just storage really.
     
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #7
    As I said, there isn't much point in striping to SSD's for boot drive purposes. You can do it, I doubt that you will notice the difference, though.

    Although I haven't tried one (yet), I'd recommend a Sandforce based drive (such as OCZ Vertex 2(E) or OWC Mercury). They are the fastest (SATA II) drives you can get, are extremely cheap these days and you don't have to worry about TRIM or such.

    Personally, I use a 160GB Intel G2 which has served me very well over the past 16(ish) months. Never had a single problem with it, but they are still very expensive and, in fact, slower than the previously mentioned Sandforce drives.
     
  8. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    #8
    What about cables? and Mounts? I'm planning on going with the OWC Mercury pro 120g now.

    Nobody has mentioned upgrading my GPU to the 5870 yet haha
     
  9. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #9
    I assume that you have a single optical drive only, is that correct?

    In that case, you have several options;

    - 5.25" to 2.5" adapter (these ones generally allow you to put up to 3 2.5" drives in a single 5.25" bay)

    - 3.5" to 2.5" adapter (good for up to 2 2.5" drives) + 5.25" to 3.5" brackets

    - Icy Dock SSD mount + 5.25" to 3.5" brackets

    - just letting the SSD lay in the ODD bay without any mounts

    There are really a lot of options for mounting a SSD in the ODD bay. I went with the Icy Dock route. If you're purchasing from OWC anyway, you might wanna check out their dual mount. It's not the cheapest, though.

    For a single SSD in the ODD bay you don't need additional cables. There is a cable already waiting for a new drive. :D
     
  10. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    #10
    Cool , I'll stick with the multi mount for now incase I ever want to double up the drives. Price for GB, whats the best, in your opinion, SSD

    No cables needed for the single SSD? Ok. So lets talk about GPU/RAM

    I plan on buying 16G 4x4g Modules, I used Cinema 4D/CS5/ handbrake and RealFlow 5. Would you suggest buying more RAM than 16g? I know it's dual channel right now.. I just dont have the funds to buy what I want, tri-chan 24g.

    Would I see any benefit to keeping the OEM apple 1g modules and making it 4channel 20gig total, 4G(4) + 1g(4) ?
     
  11. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #11
    OWC is currently on sale, 120GB for 240$. I would grab that one, it has the best Mac support

    I'm pretty sure they would run in dual-channel if you install them in correct slots. I would do that as 4GB more RAM is always 4GB more and the more, the better ;)
     
  12. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    #12
    awesome! Ok, then that settles that.. Now.. can anyone thing of anything else that I'm overlooking? would selling my 5770 and replacing it with a 5870 be wise? Should I wait until newer cards are available? Not too impressed with the 5770 I have in my main machine, but it works.

    thanks hellhammer /m\
     
  13. minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 26, 2010
    #13
    Just a comment, but you do realize that with a raid 0, you'll see an increase in I/O performance but you increase the odds that you'll loose data. If one disk fails in the array, then you loose everything.

    Make sure that you make regular backups of that raid to another drive.
     
  14. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    #14
    Thanks Mini, I'm actually going to buy a single 120g SSD
     
  15. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

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    Apr 18, 2008
    #15
    I am more for raid 1 with boot for safety :)

    but the old if you loose HDD you loose everything ? same thing if you run a single HDD ? it fails you loose everything :)

    just funny to hear that all the time about the dangers :) I say danger of any drive that is not redundant is more dangerous ?

    which can be fine for some things :) but not others so better to know why you want to run raid 0 :) and if you really need it
     
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #16
    The only reason to RAID 1 an OS disk, is for high availability (i.e. 24/7 operation, such as a server). Otherwise a single disk is fine, as the data can be restored off of the original media or an external clone (for media restores, it assumes downloaded software was archived to something, such as burning a CD or DVD). Saves an HDD bay, which could be handy for another purpose, such as a RAID installation for primary working data. ;)

    So single OS/application disks are common for workstations (there are exceptions where RAID 1 might be a suitable choice, but it's no where near that of servers).
     
  17. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2008
    #17
    yes and making a living I want high availability or safety :)
    here is my side of it :)

    still clone always treat any raid setup as a single source ! and BACKUP !!
    RAID IS NOT BACKUP !!!! OK that said :)


    yes you can restore but if you are in the middle of something and you go down !!! big time waster and you loose what you were working on since last save

    lets say you tweak a couple actions in PS and save them back out you could loose those ?

    also emails are usually on your boot on the macs and incoming outgoing ? loosing even a few hours while not a big deal is a pain pull them down again etc..

    yes a single disc is fine but raid 1 is not a bad idea when making a living and you want NO down time

    I say its like modern run flat tires ! yes I prefer a spare in the trunk but if I lived in a cold rainy area I would rather have my wife have her car have run flat tires so if we got a flat she can be safe and get home ! thats the best analogy :)

    doing long uploads to some companies that dont have a way to restart the upload !! stupid but its out their ! and also uploading over night or backing up overnight !
    if you were not their got their in the morning to a dead machine ! big pain

    again we upload a lot overnight as example 1600 images will be going up tonight ! I need to make sure they get up !!!
    I have decent connection times but cant wait for faster :)
    [​IMG]

    anyway things like that are good reason for some like me to use raid 1

    I have known a few photographers that have had boots fail and its a pain for them cause of the mental break in the day !! meaning it throws them off their game and they get computer crash shy !!!
     
  18. nanofrog macrumors G4

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    May 6, 2008
    #18
    As I said, there are instances it's a good idea (critical usage, and long running processes that make high availability a good idea, as it can keep going in the middle of the night).

    What I was trying to get at however, as the OS/applications data is quickly restored and HDD bays at a premium (time is really short when a clone is on hand), the compromise tends to be towards just running a single disk.

    But Yes, it's a bit of a pain to restore a busted OS/applications disk, and if in the middle of some work, may have to be re-performed.

    As per email, I leave copies on the email server (not sure if you have this option).

    In your case, it seems you're running it often enough that the lost time is worth more than the cost of solving HDD bay issues for the RAID implementation.

    As per the backups and whatnot, I was only limiting my comments to RAID 1 as an OS/applications disk (presumes that all the data on it is easily restored off of media or better yet, pop in a cloned disk and go). So a backup is considered unnecessary (any files that could be lost were directed to other disk locations, and remain avialable - the clone even saves having to go back and direct applications where to find these files, which I dearly love ;)).
     
  19. vogelhausdesign thread starter macrumors regular

    vogelhausdesign

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    Columbus, Ohio
    #19
    Back to SSDs :) Anyone want to weight in on the best price+performance:gig out there currently? Any dos and donts with Ssd ? Can I secure empty trash from them?
     
  20. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #20
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/SSDMX120/

    10$ more than OCZ Vertex 2 but what I've heard, the OWC support for Mac is superior as they seem to be specifically made for Macs (in terms of firmware)
     
  21. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #21
    When you delete your SSD (for partitioning or whatever), don't overwrite it several times with zeros. Other than that, you can do everything you do with your mechanical drive, which includes secure emptying the trash.
     
  22. johnnymg macrumors 65816

    johnnymg

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    #22
    OCZ vertex 2 drives are one of the best price/performance drives. :)
    Available in 2.5" and 3.5" flavors and multiple sizes. I'd recommend the 120 for the boot and 60-90 for the scratch.

    cheers
    JohnG
     

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