New to MP - setup help

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by gxgn, Feb 11, 2011.

  1. gxgn macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    Hi, I just ordered my first Mp, a refurbished quad 2.8 (2010).
    I am going to use this mostly for photography. Lightroom 3 for the most part and some PS.

    From what I've learned here (philipma1957, nanofrog, Honumaui and many others - I owe you a lot) I think I need serous upgrade to memory and storage.

    So here is where I am looking for your further guidance:

    1. For memory I am thinking to go with 4x4GB 1333 ghz (the supertalent link philipma1957 posted). Should I bite the bullet and buy 2x8GB so I am more flexible for future upgrades?
    Is someone thinking the OWC worth the premium for the lifetime warranty feature?

    2. For storage, I was thinking to have :
    One 60Gb for applications
    One 40Gb for cache for LR (is there an option in LR to designate this as the cache space?)
    Keep the standard 1Tb I got with my Mac and add one more to use in raid 1 for backup and to save all my pictures.

    I would appreciate if you can coach me on how to spend my money. I don't want to spend a lot and I don't need the fastest machine out there but I need something I know I can trust and it's not super slow.

    Thank you all!
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    1. 2x8GB is good if you are planning on adding even more RAM although 16GB should be plenty for photography. What is the price difference between 2x8GB and 4x4GB? IMO you should be fine with 8GB, you can always add more if needed.

    2. I don't know can you set the SSD to be your cache but at least with Photoshop, you can use the SSD as a scratch disk to improve the performance. Having an SSD for that will definitely improve the performance.

    RAID 1 is NOT a backup. While it will clone your data, it does not protect you against brain farts, i.e. if you delete a file, it will be gone even if you had RAID 1. I would use a regular backup instead, e.g. Time Machine or Carbon Copy Cloner
  3. MattDSLR macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2011
    I would go with at least 16 gig plus give yourself room for more
    I use the same programs as you do and run 8 gig of ram
    If I export folders from light room for my clients and resize the photos my memory is used to max my computer can do only 3 folder exports at once and I can't do anything else or it freezes on me
    If I don"t resize images than it's ok
    If you run Photoshop and LR at the same time with multiple layers you run to the same problem
    So 16 min and 24 gig plus for smooth running it would be my recommendations.
    Hope this helps
  4. initialsBB macrumors 6502a

    Oct 18, 2010
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    If you can stretch your budget then definately get 2x8 RAM, but I'm using 4x4 in my MP: it was cheap and runs great evens with Photoshop & Aperture running together with Safari, iTunes, et al.
  5. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    get the 2x8 depending on cost and if its needed ?
    memory wise I went with transintl this last time and no problems was quite a bit cheaper than OWC which is the company I have used all the previous times :)

    depending on your file size you work on ? 16 might be plenty if the price difference is more than $100 to update to 8 gig sticks then I might say pass ? again depending on the files and size you work on ? as you might need more

    check this thread out for checking PS efficiency

    your 60 for boot is tight maybe ? I would say get the 120 for boot and in that thread above I also mentioned it depends on how you use your machine for LR ? doing raw moving on or a go to catalog you use a lot ? this will determine your cache size and such
    and yes its easy to set in preferences :)
    so a 60 might do it for cache scratch for PS double use this drive :)
    or you might want to jump to a larger one depending on how you use LR

    ditto raid 1 is not bu its just a safety net to keep you working should a drive fail

    you really want a solid BU plan
    one that allows you to work on your images in some manner thats about as fast as what you have now
    think clone the drive for this

    a incremental BU like Time Machine to get files back in case you mess up and need to go back a few hours or days

    and off-site to protect you from theft or fire or ?
  6. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Virtually all decent memory suppliers (OWC, Crucial, Trans Int'l, etc.) offer a lifetime warranty on RAM. This isn't exclusive to OWC. But uniquely, OWC does offer a trade-in rebate program to get money back on your unused factory Apple modules (it isn't much though).
  7. gxgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
  8. DanielCoffey macrumors 65816


    Nov 15, 2010
    Edinburgh, UK
    I am using the OCZ Vertex2 120Gb SSD which is 3.5" and fits directly into the MP caddy.

    As for the memory, MPs prefer ECC memory but registered is optional (you can't mix and match though - all modules must match type). I am currently using 3x4Gb 1333 ECC registered (the same hynix type as you looked at) since it is what I ordered. Apparently ECC non-registered is cheaper and just as effective in normal use but my order had shipped by the time I was told that.
  9. gxgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    Would anyone here advise to wait with the SSD for the new generation?

    What would you suggest for storage/backup? 2x1.5TB maybe?
    Any particular models that someone recommends?
  10. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    at this point I would wait for the next gen SSD you are close enough :)

    I would get the OWC most likely on the next gen will have to wait and see pricing ?
  11. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    memory I would stick to transintl or OWC myself

    pretty good rep in the field with both of these companies
  12. MattDSLR macrumors 6502

    Jan 23, 2011
    why not kingston
    well build with life time warranty
  13. philipma1957, Feb 11, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 11, 2011

    philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    why not the new western digital 3tb hdds they are very good I have been using them:

    or the hitachi:

    I have not tried the hitachi
  14. gxgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    RAID setup help

    Hi, I finally got a monitor (NEC 27" PA) tonight and was able to turn on my new MP. I also upgraded to 16 GB RAM and 2 additional drives.

    So these are my drives now:
    bay 1. 1TB WD Black (came with the machine)
    bay 2. 2TB WD Black
    bay 3. 2TB WD Black
    bay 4. empty

    I plan to buy a SSD in the future when the new series come out and get tested.

    Can someone here help me with the best setup for my needs? I have about 800GB of pictures that I need to keep safe. I use the machine for LR and PS mostly.
    I was thinking to combine the two 2TB drives in RAID 1 and store the LR catalog, cache and all my pictures on this raid, while keeping the 1TB for applications (I know I don't need that large for this).

    So what is your advice in order to keep pictures safe and get as much performance I can before I get a SSD?

    Thank you!
  15. satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    When you get a chance put another hard drive in the forth bay. Then use something like this to put inan SSD. Then use the SSD as a startup drive and point the movies, music, pictures, etc. to that drive.
  16. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    Raid 1 is not backup :)

    so I would just use one drive for storage the other to backup to
    before you get your SSD this is what I would do

    remember that you never want to fill a regular HDD over %60 for storage some say %50 and thats even better :)

    I would partition that 1 TB in half and put the OS on the outer half (the first part you see in disk utility) to keep the speed up a little better
    you can always use that extra space for some archive type files or something ?

    so I would partition one of the 2 TB drives into two parts the first part about 200 gigs and use that for your LR cache and then set your LR cache to say 60 gigs then also set this for PS scratch disc as the first choice then the second choice set your main storage HDD now use the extra part of that drive for time machine 1.8TB left over (before format sizes)
    this will help you a bit with LR speed getting the cache on a dedicated HDD but nothing like a SSD :)

    the reason I say time machine and not a clone is it can also be backing up your boot drive which is important

    in the future I would get another HDD inside maybe a 3 TB for time machine and a SSD when the next gen come out put it in the optical bay and use it for LR cache and PS scratch and then put those two 2 TB drives in raid 1
    not for backup purely for safety of a HDD failing ? but not needed just one of many ideas you could do :) if you do that though then get a external solution for backing up to :) and think about off site backup to be safe ? a HDD goes to a friends house parents house somewhere safe and off site

    or just add the 3TB for time machine and keep the two discs like you have them then make that extra partition a clone of your boot drive ? that way if a boot disc dies you can be up and running in minutes ! set something like CCC or super duper to clone nightly !

    sounds like a nice setup :)

    curious if you got the SV for the PA montior ? I can say the SV software and their puck is very nice and worth getting for those monitors !!!!!

    I know NEC had that free hood deal also if you bought a monitor ? not sure if it was just the SV or the normal PA as well ?
    I love and use hoods and once you use them you cant get along with out them :) IMHO :)
  17. gxgn thread starter macrumors newbie

    Feb 11, 2011
    Thank you Honomaui. I will follow your advice with the partitions.

    Yes, I went "all in" with the monitor and bought the -SV. I didn't get the chance to calibrate the display yet. And yes, I know about the hood, I will apply for the rebate.

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