New Toy! Finally got my Mac Pro.

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by FluJunkie, Feb 16, 2011.

  1. FluJunkie macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    My new workstation arrived today. In the end, I went with the 3.2 GHz Quad-Core, just couldn't scrape up the cash for one of the hexacore models and everything else I wanted. It's in the following configuration:

    ATI Radeon HD 5870, paired with a 23 inch Dell Ultrasharp - someday, I'll have two.
    10 GB RAM - two of the built-in 1 GB sticks, and two 4 GB sticks from OWC.

    120 GB OWC SSD boot drive
    1 TB WD Caviar Black (from Apple) for Bootcamp
    2 TB WD Caviar Black for Data
    2 TB WD Caviar Green for Backup.
    Currently they're all sitting in drive bays, though if I pick up a fourth hard drive at some point, the SSD will probably move to the optical bay.

    So far, so good. I tried hooking the Ultrasharp up via a mini-DP to DP cable, but it's...fussy. I may stick with DVI. Otherwise, WoW is spectacular, math-intensive programs are fast, and everything is right with the world.

    XBench Scores (vs. My old MBP 3,1 2.4 Core Duo):

    CPU score: 234.37 (vs. 168.14 for the MBP)
    Thread score: 1135.79 (vs. 175.80 for the MBP)
    Quartz Graphics: 358.84 (vs. 182.50)
    OpenGL: 315.99 (vs. 148.41)

    Disk Tests:
    Off the Caviar Black, vs. the Scorpio Blue in the MBP, both 7200 rpm:
    112.64 (vs. 74.53)

    SSD vs. Scorpio Blue:
    350.37 (vs. 74.53)

    As expected, the SSD blows the Caviar Black out of the water on Random disk tests. Now to go install statistics software that costs more than the machine does.

    Using the quick and dirty "How fast is Folding@Home?" metric, this new machine churns through steps in about a third the time as the old one.
  2. mdgm macrumors 6502a

    Nov 2, 2010
    Nice setup!

    I'd suggest having a backup of important data on external disks preferably rotated off-site. Just keeping your backups in the same device as the primary copy of your data isn't the best strategy.
  3. Garen macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2010
    Los Angeles Area
  4. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Yeah... I ditto that.

    If you have a Mac Pro, then by definition you are doing Important Stuff ;) so back it up.

    Ideally, get two disks that are the same, then rotate one off-site periodically.

    If you schedule your back ups for the middle of the night, you can go with cheap USB externals.... doesn't matter how long it takes to copy.

    Congratulations from one Mac Pro owner to another....
  5. Johnf1285 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 25, 2010
    New Jersey

    Just for my own personal quest to figure if I should buy applecare, did you?
  6. FluJunkie thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jul 17, 2007
    Couple answers, a question and a concern.

    First, the question: In terms of better reliability for an internal, "get me up and running assuming its a drive failure and not my apartment burning down" backups, is it better to go with Time Machine, or a regularly scheduled Carbon Copy Clone or the like?

    Second, the concern: When I start up, between the grey screen with the Apple logo and the login window, my screen goes briefly black. My home folder is stored on the data drive, if that makes any difference. Is that...normal? Screen is a Dell U2311H, and the video card is above. It's hooked up via DVI right now.


    - Yes to the offsite backup. Most of my important work-stuff ends up getting sent onto a university cluster. I suppose if the university burns down, that would be bad. I've also got an external drive I use for "Back up, unplug, put elsewhere".

    - I did buy AppleCare. I'm a student, so it was dirt cheap, and with the AmEx warranty protection as well, I'm covered for a ludicrously long time. One of the reasons I love Macs is the ability to take it into the store and go "Fix". It's nice to have that be free as well.
  7. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    If you have the drive space do a Time Machine drive and setup something offsite like carbonite. Time Machine is great when you need to grab a couple files really fast or revert to something you had yesterday but it certainly won't help if the machine catches fire.

    As for the brief black screen my computer does that as well.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Ditto about the backup. Mine is an external drive that normally sits in a fire safe. Just connect the external drive--the Mac knows it's a Time Machine drive and does it's job--then back in the safe.
  9. DeeEss macrumors 6502a

    Jan 17, 2011
  10. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    CCC (or SuperDuper) and the like are the better "Get up and running fast" solutions. Essentially they create bootable clones of your HD. If you need to use them because of a HD failure (or for that matter, any hardware failure that takes your MP off-line and into the shop) you merely plug the external into any borrowed/bought/begged Mac system (can be a laptop) and boot off of the external HD with the backup. The fill-in system then uses your applications, settings, data, to run. Late last year my Mac Pro wouldn't boot up. While it was in the shop, I merely took my backup external HD and booted my laptop off of it. I just continued on running my business from the MBP until the MP came back.

    There are some caveats of course. If you have specialty hardware in the MP, the fill-in system won't have it. Also, if you have software that requires a certain hardware configuration, it won't run. And... if you use a USB external HD, it's slow as molasses. I used a FW HD and performance was acceptable.

    Also, if your data/apps are spread across more than one HD it complicates the process. In my case my non-photographs data and system all reside on one HD, so the bootable backup was relatively simple. My photographic work resides on a 2nd internal HD, and they are backed up to a 2nd external HD. If I had needed access to the photos for those few days I could have, but it would have meant pointing Lightroom at a different location. Doable, of course, but luckily I had other projects I was working on.

    With Time Machine, individual files are more recoverable and in more ways. A good backup strategy probably includes both TM and a bootable backup. They each do things the other doesn't do.
  11. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    For backup, you should have
    - incremental backup (time machine)
    - bootable backup

    And off site backup

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