New Mac Pro coming my way. Configuration, upgrade and setup: The road ahead...

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by khunk, May 1, 2011.

  1. khunk macrumors newbie

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    Norway
    #1
    After very happily being part of the iPhone and iPad evolution the time has now come to complete the transformation by retiring my self-built pc and head-first into a mac-pro. As a beginner in the "mac-world" I have done a lot of research to prepare for the grande day when my mac arrives, ups now says schedule arrival 5th May.*
    Main usage will be web design and photo editing in CS 5.5 as well as quite a bit of gaming if time allows...*
    I have listed below my thoughts and "solutions" for my setup and upgrade path.*In this respect i would appreciate any comments, advice or corrections and inputs you guys might have... be it the order of my approach or the solutions themselves!*

    What being delivered on my door is a standard configured new hex-core except from fitted with the 5870 gpu.

    On the hardware side of things I will be installing, over the 4 bays, 2x2gb in raid 0 and 2x1gb hd's, also in raid 0 (software raid) - these are all for general storage as well as my home folder. Apps and system files will be on the ssd drive. I do understand the speed benefits and the risk of raid 0. All other raid setups seems a bit difficult/challenging (read: do not understand....) I will have a time capsule trying to establish a reliable back-up. Furthermore 3x8gb Kingston ram will replace the 3x1 modules originally installed. For OS X and Win 7 i have an ocz ssd disk 240gb vertex 3 to go in the spare optical bay for bootcamp. Any comments on these plans are hugely appreciated...

    My soft-approach - Part 1
    To get the above mentioned working in perfect harmony I will begin by a fresh install of os x on the ssd.*
    How do I ideally delete the original os x install on the Original disk? Or I suppose the raid 0 setup (below) will take care of that?
    How do i set a new boot drive? Does this have to be done both in disk utility and bios?
    Part 2
    Then proceeding with installing Bootcamp.*
    I assume the partitioning will be part of the bootcamp procedure? Should I just give each OS 120 gigs?*
    What about formatting and file systems? Do not understand this too well... For every boot will it automatically start up in os x or can I change a setting (dual boot) somewhere allowing me to choose win or os x during start up?
    Part 3
    Time to move my Home? folder for os x and the user? folder for win away from the ssd disk. Are there updated procedures for doing this? I think I have a few links on how to do it for the os x but not sure about how to proceed with the windows files?
    Part 4
    Time for the raid 0 setup times two. I assume this is pretty straight forward through os x. When the raid is all ready can I still go ahead and partition the two raids in as many parts I prefer?
    Part 5
    Time capsule and time machine. Still haven't investigated this topic too much but will make sure my home folder, photos and web design files will be backed up automatically. I'll probably use my Norton 360 to run scheduled back ups for all win files.

    I am sure there are things in the above mentioned approach i have missed out on, things thar are wrong/or better ways of doing? I have been following this forum loads in my seek for the right mac pro and am overly impressed by the knowledge and experience that exist among you guys. So hope you can still share some of your expertise...

    Thanks big-time
    Edit: jeez that was a long one
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #2
    1. You can erase the HD with Disk Utility but if you are going to use it in RAID 0, then it will be erased anyway.

    System Preferences > Startup Disk

    2. Do you need 120GB for Windows? Formatting and file systems shouldn't be something you have to worry about. You can select the OS you want to boot into by holding alt while booting.

    3. The procedure is the one and the same.

    4. Just use Disk Utility. You can partition the array if you wish.

    5. Are you sure Time Capsule is enough for you? You have 6.24TB of internal storage but TC is only 2TB. It is also slow so personally, I would get an eSATA external or something, preferably RAID 5 if you want even more security against data loss.
     
  3. khunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #3
    thanks hellhammer
    Can you please elaborate? And also suggest a few esata cards?
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

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    #4
    Well, if you fill all your 6.24TB, you can only back up less than one third of that. That means over 4TB of precious data can go missing. Especially because you are going to do RAID 0, you are in great danger of data loss if you don't have a solid backup plan. If one of your 2TBs fails, you will lose ALL the data that was in the 4TB RAID 0 array.

    Here is one eSATA PCIe card. It is 6Gb/s but SATA is backwards compatible so you can use SATA 3Gb/s devices too.

    You could get e.g. this and then four of these. I know you are from Norway but there should be something similar available in Norway too.

    That enclosure does not support RAID 5 but what RAID 5 would do is: One drive is used for parity which means that one drive (doesn't matter which) in the array can fail without any data being lost. It adds another layer of security although it may not be necessary for you.

    Of course, the main question is, how much storage do you really need? Is 2x2TB + 1x2TB (i.e. 6TB) an overkill for you or do you really need that? If you don't need more than 2TB for instance, you could just get 2x1TB and then use 1x2TB for backups.

    However, remember that backup plan is the wrong place to cheap out at.
     
  5. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #5
    The eSATA card is fine but won't work with the enclosure you linked. This enclosure (I've got the same BTW. and can recommend it) requires a PM eSATA card, otherwise the enclosure acts as a single drive enclosure.
     
  6. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #6
    Ahh, thanks for the correction. Since you know more about this kind of stuff, can you recommend OP a PM eSATA card?
     
  7. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #7
    Easy-peasy. You weren't that far off: Click:D

    Same card but with PM support.
     
  8. khunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #8
    If one disk in a raid 0 fail - they all fails OK.
    Does this means that all contents on all drives are erased and not available for recovery? Or is it only the one disk with the failure that goes to waste?
    So to balance my setup I can have the 2x2gb for storage in raid 0 and then 2x1gb internals for back up AND include an esata card with two external 1 gigs drive for a total of 4 gigs back up?
    Sorry did that make sense?
    Edit what is a PM card? OK Port Multiplier for up to 5 drives
     
  9. khunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #9
  10. Hellhammer, May 1, 2011
    Last edited: May 1, 2011

    Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    #10
    All data in all the drives of that array will be lost. Like I said, if you have 2x2TB in RAID 0 and one the drives fails, you lose ALL 4TB, not just 2TB. Data recovery may help but NEVER count on it. Besides, it's a lot more expensive that a solid backup plan.

    Well, if you want to have 4TB of storage, then I would suggest 2x2TB in RAID 0 and then the 4-bay enclosure I linked. If you're already over your budget, you can get 2x2TB for the enclosure first and then add drives later on if needed. You can use the stock 1TB drive with another machine or just stick it in the Mac Pro and get 5TB.

    That is PCI, not PCIe so it does not work. OWC ships internationally too though.
     
  11. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #11
    That is a PCI card, which isn't compatible with the Mac Pro. PCI got replaced by PCIe about 6 years ago. :rolleyes:

    Anyhow, if you don't want to settle for the OWC card, you've got other options.
    The Highpoint RocketRaid 622 has two 6Gb/s eSATA ports but doesn't offer PM. Goes for about 50€.

    The much cheaper options is this card: Click.
    It's a SIL3132 based 3Gb/s card that supports PM. I've got that card in my Pro and it works very well. The only drawback is that the card has a maximum throughput of 115MB/s. Sufficient speed if you don't run a RAID setup of any kind and probably sufficient for backups anyway.
     
  12. khunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #12
    http://www.highpoint-tech.com/USA_new/series_rr600.htm
    Correct me if I am wrong but doesn't it says that includes PM - up to 10?
    But I can't see it supporting OS X?
     
  13. Transporteur macrumors 68030

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    #13
    I just hate the Highpoint website. So confusing and so little information. :mad:

    Check out this card: Click
    Now if I'm not totally mistaken that is the 622. I'm not sure why Highpoint doesn't bother to give a detailed product specification for their Apple supported cards.

    Edit: And Highpoint says nothing about PM for that card on their Apple specific site. Now that doesn't mean that the card doesn't support it. It just shows how terrible Highpoint's spec is. And from what I've heard from nanofrog, their support is even worse.
    You can check out their other cards as well if OWC or the SIL3132 card are no options for you.
     
  14. khunk thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #14

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