nMP - what to do with internal drives

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by stix666, Jan 15, 2014.

  1. stix666 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2005
    #1
    I'm a prosumer interested in getting the nMP for editing mostly 1080p. I currently have a 4,1 mac pro (hex 3.46) but like the smaller form factor and lower energy requirements of the shiny new model.

    I currently have 1 internal SSD for the OS, 1 SATA 7200 HDD for user data, 1 SATA 7200 HDD for scratch and a couple of drives that archive old projects so aren't being used much.

    What would be the best value external option for the user data drive and scratch drive? TB2 seems a bit overkill - I wonder how well USB3 would work compared to the current internal SATA setup. I also wonder if there'd be any performance gains in using a SSD for either scratch, user data or both?

    With a HE discount I estimate the cost to me of getting the base nMP after selling the oMP will be around £800.
     
  2. ytoyoda macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2013
    Location:
    Tokyo
    #2
    If you use those 2 HDD as single drives ( not raid ), just purchase USB 3.0 external enclosure and move them. Maximum read/write speed of HDD is about 200 MByte / sec. max. So USB 3.0 is just enough.
     
  3. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #3
    I don't know how large your current SSD is, but if you get the nMP, you'd be best off getting a large enough SSD to host your OS/Apps/Scratch/Data... that is, move your entire workflow to the internal SSD. Of course, when I say "Data" you'll have to be pragmatic about how much of this data you keep on the SSD. Minimally, at least the amount you need to work with on any given day (preferably a week or months worth). Ideally then, you only need spinning disks for archived data and any media library you might have.

    To be honest, if you have a few older SATA drives, you might be better off replacing them with a new single 3 or 4TB drive... consolidate and simplify (and replace old drives on your schedule - not theirs).

    You can get a nice USB3 3TB drive for around $129.

    Alternatively, if you really just want an enclosure for your existing drives, the Oyen Digital Mobius is a good value and comes with positive reviews.

    Even cheaper is a single USB3 enclosure. Or one of these with trays if you want to swap drives in/out.

    Have a look on Amazon there are hundreds of possibilities at every price point.
     
  4. ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #4
    Yes you should consolidate if possible in order to avoid the rat's nest of cabling, multiple power supplies, multiple switches, multiple data cables. Also I would focus on drives and enclosures known to be quiet, or you will be ruining the rather impressive silent performance of the nMP.
     
  5. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Location:
    near Spokane, WA
    #5
    That's a perfect solution for the 4 hd's already in my Mac Pro. I'm bookmarking that for when I buy down the road.

    Thanks for the link, VirtualRain.
     
  6. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #7
    Some people say "move everything to one large drive" as if that's the best logical solution. For many of us it is not. I have 6 drives in my MP towers and like things separated. I don't want my stock audio and visual assets on the same drives and my projects. As well I don't want my media scratch shared with any of that. Separate SSD for photoshop scratch works best as well. Not to mention a separate SSD for boot and apps. Oh and a separate drive for my personal stuff like movie and music and photos is a must. The lack of internal storage options in this new iCan is the worst part about it.
     
  7. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    Aug 1, 2008
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    The main reason we have things on different drives, is not because it makes sense, its because over time, we've collected a variety of drives, and it pains us to have to send any of them to the recycling bin. However, it does make sense to consolidate and simplify storage to newer larger drives for reliability, performance and to reduce clutter and power consumption (and the need for expensive and unnecessary multi-bay enclosures).

    Besides, the difference between a volume, partition, or folder is just semantics (e.g. they're all just a container for your files). Whether they live on separate media or combined should be irrelevant as long as there's enough space.

    I know a lot of people disagree, but I also believe having a separate drive for Photoshop scratch is also pre-SSD school of thinking that just hasn't gone away. Modern SSDs can easily handle any scratch duty and OS/Apps without any negative impact, especially if TRIM is enabled.
     
  8. deconstruct60, Jan 15, 2014
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2014

    deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #9
    this overlooks several critical factors.

    a. the size of the non SSD drive. 1TB "user data collection" (about 50% full) and a 1TB scratch drive (that is filled 20% ) would not be a good thing to consolidate onto a single SSD.

    b. Filling SDD or HDD to the brim with data is a dubious idea. Neither one behaves better in those conditions and claims of magic incantations (TRIM) change that are suspect. If given the File system and HDD/SDD room to work they tend to do a much better job. Back them into a corner and they then not to over the long term.

    So trying to create the biggest mega pile is bad idea. penny wise, pound foolish.


    c. The Mac Pro was not designed for bulk data storage. If have bulk and especially archival data ( and face it large personal iPhoto and/or iTunes media libraries are primarily archival ) far more naturally belongs outside of a Mac Pro than horded inside. There is only one internal device and the $/GB is definitely not favorable to large numbers of GB.


    Again the access patterns and integration with back-up are seriously relevant issues being swept under the rug here.

    Back-up cloning two 2TB drives to a single 4TB sure. Two 1TB drives that are typically accessed concurrently during the user typical workloads.... a very bad idea to consolidate down to just one spindle and more traversal disk head action.
     
  9. sigmadog macrumors 6502a

    sigmadog

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    Feb 11, 2009
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    near Spokane, WA
    #10
  10. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2007
    #11
    I'll probably get hammered for this suggestion, but I'm in a similar boat and got myself a Drobo 5D which has a TB1 connection and is reasonably priced.

    I know and understand why some people don't recommend it, but I think it's a great solution in the right circumstances.
     
  11. JesterJJZ macrumors 68020

    JesterJJZ

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #12
    Quite the opposite. If everything was SSDs, maybe to some extent. If we're dealing with large HDDs containing a lot of media files that need be accessed simultaneously, having separate drives for project files, assets, cache/scratch/autosave, can mean all the difference. Different applications benefit from different optimal configurations. With something that's being labeled as a professional machine, it lacks configurability, something that in my opinion is pretty crucial to the professional market.
     
  12. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #13
    I feel the same way. Somebody should just build a can full of drives that fits underneath with a thunderbolt connector.
     
  13. lesferdinand macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 17, 2013
    #14
    Isn't the fact that that's actually an option testament to the flexibility (when it comes to storage at least) of the nMP?

    I can see that it's not for everyone, with the single CPU socket, proprietary GPU cards and 64GB RAM limit among others, but as a former (PC) tower user, I don't really understand the fixation on internal drives. The fact that that's currently the norm has more to do with historic I/O limitations rather than usability.
     
  14. canyonlight macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona
    #15
    CalDigit T3

    It's perhaps a bit of overkill, but I have purchased a CalDigit T3 as a replacement for the three hard drive slots that are not in the nMP. Will get the results when nMP is delivered (apparently in February), but it looks like a great solution.

    http://www.caldigit.com/T3/
     
  15. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #16
    People complain about "upgradibility"/"flexibility" but it is often really just about cost. Can do lots of system augmentations, but it is cheaper to piggyback off of a bigger power supply and shared connectors.
    It is also cheaper to integrate the LCD panel but don't bother them. Panels ... internal evil. However, the rest has to be in one box. Just flip flop when on either side of those two issues.


    Capacity limits also. If wanted 500GB and there are only 128GB drives then need to cobble together 4 of them to get to 500GB. That kind of cobbling for those capacities are long gone.

    I think the previous Mac Pro has some marketing text about being able to stuff 8TB of storage into the the enclosure. Now that is about 1TB at a substantially higher cost.

    For folks with local storage needs in the 500-2TB range it is largely a non issue. For folks directly attaching collections of 8-10TB there is grumbling because there are a bit of interface adapter issues.
     
  16. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #17
    Yes, it's like a car without a gas tank, that allows you to tow anything from a bucket to a huge underground tank behind you, as you happily drive down the road.
     
  17. deconstruct60 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2009
    #18
    Not even remotely like that. A car without a gas tank won't even run (presuming it is an gas operated engine).

    The Mac Pro will run. It does have substantive internal storage capability that far surpasses what need to boot the OS and storage some applications.

    It is far more the case that the new design will make folks address what is really necessary to be local and active and what is large and/or inactive. Folks who need to share data with multiple workstations are far more likely to have already addressed this.

    Some of the disconnect here in the forums is "one-man-one-instrument" bands versus "multiple ensemble multi instrument" bands.
     
  18. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #19
    But today many people need 8 to 16 TB, and are "cobbling" 2 to 4 TB drives together.

    Are you saying that the new Mini Pro has solved yesterday's problem? It looks like that to me.
     
  19. Larry-K macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011
    #20
    I'm sorry, I meant a car with a 2 Gallon Gas tank, although we have lots of Teslas motoring around here.
    Well, that's not necessarily true, 1TB may be enough for you, you're not everyone. I've already heard a couple of 3D artists complaining it's not enough, and it's not unusual for the system and scratch needs to exceed a hundred gigs
    Call me selfish, I like my own scratch disk, and I don't like it dragging it around on the end of a cable, and no, no one else at the office or home uses my MacPros, they're configured to be efficient for me.

    All they have to do is stick a few SSDs in another can, and stick it underneath, I can access Mass Storage over the network, for all I care they can stick a Folger's label on it. I need one less GPU and one more SSD, but that's just me.
     
  20. FredT2 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2009
    #21
    Do you have it yet? Be sure to come back and tell us more about it.
     
  21. canyonlight macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2011
    Location:
    Arizona
    #22
    CalDigit T3

    Yes, FredT2. I have received the CalDigit T3. I have set it up, re-formatted the hard drives, and used SuperDuper to copy and update the contents of the existing extra hard drives in my 2008 Mac Pro.

    So far it has performed flawlessly. And CalDigit has been fast to answer a couple of support questions I had.

    Very happy with it at this point. Now I just need to receive the nMP and plug it in to a TB port.
     
  22. Halon macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2013
    Location:
    Dallas Texas
    #23
    Do you plan on running bootcamp? Im trying to find a storage solution that will also allow me to run bootcamp on 1 drive.

    thanks
     
  23. Killerbob macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    #24
    I am not sure I would install an SSD into a TB1 enclosure... Especially if I was installing Boot Camped Windows on it - I would wait for TB2 enclosures.

    HDDs are fine with USB3 or TB1, but even if you just Raid0 them, bandwidth start running out.
     
  24. theSeb macrumors 604

    theSeb

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Location:
    Poole, England
    #25
    That depends on how many drives you put into RAID 0. It will take quite a lot of HDDs to run against TB1 bandwidth limitations.

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/4489/promise-pegasus-r6-mac-thunderbolt-review/6
     

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