nMP - Storage questions

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by nt-tim, Jan 3, 2015.

  1. nt-tim macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    #1
    Hello,

    I have been following this group for a long time and just ordered a refurb base nmp. I obviously need more storage and was curious the best, most affordable options you are using.

    I was thinking a Lacie thunderbolt 2 disk drive (knowing that tb2 at 20gbs won't work with a 7200 disk drive). It's affordable and has a lot of space.

    I take it most of you are keeping your OS and software on the 256gb flash and storing all of your media on the external drive?

    Does this work well? I am just a consumer with a lot of images and will use it to make movies and media projects for our family.

    Should I just see if Apple will upgrade my refurb computer for the same cost as ordering the config? Like a 512 or 1tb?

    Sorry for all the questions, I am just looking for a good opinion. Thanks!
     
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #2
    Why do you say this? Of course it will work.
     
  3. nt-tim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    #3
    I mean it won't work at 20gbs and will limit at 6gbs.
     
  4. AidenShaw, Jan 3, 2015
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2015

    AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #4
    And what's wrong with that? The max for almost all SATA drives is 6Gbps¹ - spinners or SSDs. And the fastest spinners are short of 2 Gbps.

    There's an interplay between bandwidth (max MB/s) and connectivity (max MB). The choice depends on the application.

    I have some systems with direct 12 Gbps connections to every disk - these need IO bandwidth and cost is no object.

    I have other systems with 100 disks sharing a 24 Gbps link (4x 6Gbps SAS). These systems need many TB of storage, but the typical load allows for over-committed IO links.

    Step away from the raw specs, and ask what you need for your applications. You might realize that 5900 RPM spinners are perfect for you, and much cheaper than paying for bandwidth that your applications don't need.

    ¹ 12 Gbps is here for SAS, and starting to appear for SATA.
     
  5. PhiLLoW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    #5
    I store my Media that takes up a lot of space on a good old 3 TB USB 3.0 HDD with external power supply. Bandwidth is more than enough to store music, images and several .iso.
     
  6. nt-tim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    #6
    Thanks for the time you both took to respond. So you think I will have a good setup running the OS and other software on the 256 flash and all media on a spinner?
     
  7. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #7
    What are your media applications? In many cases, adding RAM is far more important than fast disks.
     
  8. shaunp macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2010
    #8
    I have a 512GB internal SSD, but I can't see a reason why I couldn't live with the 256GB. I have all my photos on external storage and only store my OS, apps and Lightroom catalogue on SSD.

    Given the price difference between thunderbolt and USB 3.0 why are you considering Thunderbolt? Do you REALLY need it? Something like the Western Digital My Book Duo 4TB may suit your needs very well and won't break the bank.

    The WD drive (according to their website) will sustain around 290MB/s for sequential I/O, and costs £245. That should be enough for most home users. I have a Promise Pegasus 2 R4 and this can sustain just under 600MB/s, but it costs £1200. I also have a startek 2-bay thunderbolt enclosure with a couple of 1TB Samsung EVO 840 SSD's, and I get around 330MB/s - I think it costs around £300 for the enclosure. What this shows is there's not a lot of a performance difference between thunderbolt and USB 3.0 at the low-end when comparing sequential I/O, but if you spend a bit more on the controller then thunderbolt is the way to go. However I wouldn't recommend spending that much on storage unless you really need it and can write off the expense against tax.
     
  9. nt-tim thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2015
    #9
    Awesome, this is super helpful insight! I haven't seen many post on this so I am grateful.
     
  10. PhiLLoW macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 31, 2014
    #10
    it works absolutely fine this way.
     
  11. GoKyu macrumors 65816

    GoKyu

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2007
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #11
    I'm saving up for a nMP, but I've been thinking about the lack of internal storage for it.

    Got a deal on a Seagate 4TB NAS, which is working great on my Mac Mini to store all my media and backup files - it's even got my iTunes library on it, and there's no major lag when first accessing it after a period of time (like I tend to get with external USB hard drives.)

    I'm pretty well set for when I upgrade :)
     
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #12
    I would suggest looking at large external USB3 drives like 4 or 5TB drives from Seagate or WD. Cheap and effective ($100-$150). Thunderbolt is great but you're paying a bit of a premium for performance you can't use if you're connecting a single large drive. If going RAID for added performance with multiple drives, then Thunderbolt makes sense and the OWC Thundebay 4 (or IV) is ideal. The thing is, you can start out with a single USB3 drive now and add more when you fill it up and/or ultimately move the drives to a TB enclosure later if you want.
     
  13. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #13
    Piggybacking off of OPs question (because I didn't want to make a new, similar thread), does anyone know if there are any external enclosures for the PCIe SSD that comes inside of the nMP? I'd prefer Thunderbolt (if only due to TRIM support being unavailable over USB). Looking online, I haven't found any, aside from a pretty expensive USB 3.0 enclosure from OWC.

    I just ordered a nMP (still waiting for it to arrive, thanks Adorama), and also a 1TB SSD from Amazon. I'd like to be able to use the stock 256GB drive with said enclosure. Thank you!
     
  14. burnsranch macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2013
    #14
    I just upgraded my Mac to a base nMP a couple of weeks ago. Have a seven year videos project I needed to move into FCPX databases and was looking at a rImac, but went with an base nMP as more of an impulse buy.

    I like the design concept of inline storage. It forces me to be a little cleaner about my files structures. The bulk of my Videos are on a 12TB usb3 raid drive, and I have 4 tb thunderbolt that is my working drive.

    Compressor caches its work in the user libraries, so I was forced to move my user directory to my thunderbolt raid drive as large videos filled up the 256g SSD drive. I like that concept better, because if I need to reload the system, there really is nothing on the nMP. Performance wise, I really could not measure in real differences between having my user directory on the SSD or the thunderbolt raid drive.

    I plan on buying a Raid SSD drive in the future and build it up to 4TB. I have not seen a real long range design plan for the nMP and I did not realize I was getting into the early phases of the modular concept. I am not really sure Apple had designed the system to run efficiently with the user directory on external drives. I sure did not see any place where they recommend this, but if put my photo libraries in my home drive and use my home movies folder for a scratch directory the 256g SSD runs out of space quickly.

    I really like the concept of the user directories on separate drives. This should allow me to have a production user on one drive, and a beta test user on another drive. This way I do not get the projects intermixed as easily. I am not sure how stable this will be with the OS.

    While it is tempting to upgrade the internal SSD, it sort of defeats the concept of a modular design. If I was doing this commercially it would be create to plug in a customers drive, log in to that customer users and and unplug it when I was done. It would even be more useful if the user directory was portable between machines, so my customer could just pick up a drive and plug it in in their machine.

    I don't think this is the direction Apple wants to go, as they are sold on a the cloud as a consumer backbone, but I don't think most people really want their data on a cloud. The reality is unless you own your intellectual property, you do not own it. There is no ownership on the cloud.

    I have been importing videos in to FCPX for about three weeks now, the nMP as been running close to 100 percent most of the time. It is an impressive machine.

    The bottle necks have been disk to disk transfers. I have not sorted out transfer rates to understanding how to plan my long term design plans, but working off of internal storage is a different design than external storage. As I work with more HD video I am moving big files and large amounts of data. I sure would like to be all TB working drives with the usb drives as backup devices.

    The biggest frustration is the lack of long term visibility from apple. It is a big job moving 20 TB of data around and I try to design so I can buy cheap technology in the future as much as possible. So far I have decided to keep the 255gb internal drive and put my user directory on the fastest external drive I can afford. I am not really sure this is the correct direction either.
     
  15. BeatCrazy macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 20, 2011
    #15
    I have not seen one for sale, but according to another poster here, OWC will be offering one for the nMP soon. They already offer a similar product for the PCIe drives that come in older MacBook Airs and Pros.
     
  16. SuperMatt macrumors 6502

    SuperMatt

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2002
    #16
    If you buy the OWC internal SSD upgrade for the Mac Pro, they include an external USB enclosure for your original SSD. See here:

    https://eshop.macsales.com/preorder/OWC-Aura-SSD-for-Mac-Pro/
     
  17. itcrashed macrumors regular

    itcrashed

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    #17
    Envoy Pro $80:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/OWC_Envoy_Pro/

    Only catch is you have to find a way to remove the heatsink off the SSD, which from all accounts I have seen on this forum, is very difficult to remove.
     
  18. MMcCraryNJ macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2012
    #18
    The fine print on that product reads, "IMPORTANT NOTE: Compatible with the Flash SSD module used in the 2012 13" and 15" MacBook Pro with Retina Display models only and NOT for use with any other SSD modules"

    That's the "Envoy Pro". However, there is another one on their site (which is the one I mentioned) called the "Envoy Pro EX", seen here:
    http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/MAU3ENPRPCI/

    It's $137.50, as opposed to $80. The SKUs are different, so it's a different product. It's the same exact dimensions and weight, so I'm not sure if you need to remove the heatsink or not, but the chipset used differs between the two (that's the only difference I can spot on the specs page).

    Right now, it's A. Expensive and B. USB 3.0, which is fine for speeds but won't enable TRIM support. I want something like this, but Thunderbolt. I'd pay this amount for a Thunderbolt enclosure, but the fact that it's only USB 3.0 means it's a tough sell for me personally.
     
  19. itcrashed macrumors regular

    itcrashed

    Joined:
    May 4, 2010
    #19
    Good catch!
     
  20. Freyqq macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2004
    #20
    If you look at benchmarks, USB 3 can hit about ~400MB/s+ in real life testing. If that is enough speed for you, then go USB 3. Even 2 7200rpm hard drives in raid 0 are slower than that speed. You'd also save a lot of money. Finally, thunderbolt is an uncommon standard that apple may one day drop for another, just like firewire. USB isn't going anywhere.
     
  21. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #21
    I've only seen 400MB/s from USB3 in a couple of reviews. Very few USB3 enclosures seem capable of that level of performance. For example, I purchased a Mobius 5-bay USB3 enclosure and with 4 drives in RAID0 it would only muster 250MB/s. Many USB3 multi-drive enclosures are simply gimped. However, as you say, even 250MB/s is still plenty of bandwidth for a single drive and even a couple of drives in RAID0.
     

Share This Page