Optimal HD Config. for Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by xmacprox, Apr 8, 2008.

  1. xmacprox macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2008
    I am awaiting the delivery of my new Mac Pro Octo w/ 8800GT (first-time Mac user).

    I ordered a Samsung Spinpoint 750GB hard drive and am seeking some advice as to the most optimal way to configure my hard drives and any partitions.

    I believe I will need 3 partitions:
    * Leopard OS (HFS+)
    * Win XP Pro - not using it frequently (FAT32/NTFS?)
    * File storage, esp. videos which I need to edit (HFS+)

    From what I have gathered in reading the forums, I'm assuming the best method would be:

    1. Spinpoint 750GB
    [600 GB - HFS+]
    -Leopard OS
    -Storage of all media & personal files
    [150 GB - FAT32]
    Win XP Pro (using via Boot Camp and/or Fusion)

    2. Apple HD (stock) - 320GB - HFS+
    -Non-critical file storage
    -Videos to be edited (assuming it is better to be on a separate physical HD)

    3. WD My Book (ext. HD) - 320GB - HFS+
    -Time Machine

    Also, some questions I have:
    1. Would I just slide in the new 750GB hard drive and use the recovery cd, or is there a tool to copy the contents of the stock HD over to the new one (after partitioning/formatting)?
    2. Would it be better to use FAT32 or NTFS on my Win XP partition? (I don't believe I'll be needing to access files when using Leopard, and I wouldn't have files over 4GB)
    3. If I do end up using Win XP via Fusion, will it be significantly slower since it is on the same physical HD?
    4. Is there any compelling reason why I should purchase Parallels over Fusion?

    Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!!
  2. oban14 macrumors 6502a

    Jan 4, 2008
    I'm pretty new to macs, but I did the same thing recently and it worked for me. This is what I did:

    1) Put in the new drive.
    2) Boot up.
    3) Run disk utility.
    4) Click the "restore" button.
    5) Use your current boot drive as the source drive and the new drive you want to use as the destination drive.

    Once it was completed I pulled my now "old" boot drive and the new one worked just fine. I was nervous but I formatted the old one and I haven't had any problems since.

    Personally, I would use the 320 for XP. I just don't trust Microsoft sharing a hard drive with anyone. Also, you might need a larger drive for time machine if you want to backup everything.

    I plan on buying VMware and using bootcamp - I've heard VMware lets you run the bootcamp partition as a virtual session. Not sure if Paralells has the same functionality or not.
  3. xmacprox thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2008
    After reading some more posts, one of the things I'm worried about is that allotting 320GB for Time Machine will not be enough. Performance-wise how much of a difference would it make keeping the stock Apple 320GB HD as my Leopard boot drive, instead of the new Samsung Spinpoint 750GB HD?
  4. StrongBad macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2003
  5. brand macrumors 601


    Oct 3, 2006
  6. StrongBad macrumors member

    Jul 29, 2003
  7. czardonic macrumors member

    Feb 6, 2008
    Recently having posted nearly the same question, and having received zero responses, I hope folks will get back to the OP's original question. Please.
    About the only difference is that I've got the hardware right here in front of me. Just waiting.
  8. iSee macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2004
    They are pretty much comparable. Parallels integrates better with OS X, though: For example, they both allow you to specify folders from your Mac partition to appear as drives in a Windows VM. I use this a lot because I don't want to keep any data files on the Windows drive. VMWare is a little flakely though. Sometimes files get "stuck" as inaccessible and I'd have to reboot the VM to regain access. Also, in "Coherence" mode in Parallels (called "Unity" in VMWare), Parallels keeps the Windows apps from interfering with the OS X dock. Also, the shared folders are faster in Parallels. On the other hand, VMWare definitely runs processor intensive things faster than Parallels.

    Parallels has that same feature.

    Having worked with both, I'm not sure there is a right answer in the Parallels vs. VMWare debate. They each have their pluses and minuses. And unfortunately, I've run in to various bugs/stability issues with each of them. Which one is best probaby depends on exactly how you will end up using them.
  9. xmacprox thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 8, 2008
    I get my Mac Pro in the mail today. I'm debating whether I really need to swap the stock HD to the Samsung Spinpoint 750GB I purchased. Can someone advise if the Samsung HD has a significant performance boost over the stock HD (utilizing it as the boot drive)?? Also, does one or the other possibly have less reliability? I appreciate the input.
  10. big dainjerus macrumors regular

    Nov 9, 2007
    I believe the samsung would be a lot faster than the stock drive. I haven't read a single post on here yet that says "yeah that stock drive sure flys!" I'm going to buy a couple 1 tb samsungs and maybe the 640 wd as a boot drive when I get my mac pro.
  11. nihilisticmonk macrumors 6502


    May 4, 2005
    My drives are as follows

    1) 230gb WD: Contains OSX, Apps, minor files & documents

    2) 320gb Western Digital\
    3) 320gb Western Digital/ These combine to a 640gb raid0 Keep all media files on here (tv shows, movies etc). Backups of applications & my downloads folder point to this. Media folder is set not to backup to time machine.
    Aperture library is also on this. And handbreak will rip from this partition to the 1st hdd (spread the i/o pain).
    4) 500gb WD Drive (Vista)

    Ext) 500gb WD Book drive for time machine, and an aperture vault.
  12. jamesdmc macrumors 6502

    Oct 17, 2007
    Thanks for the explanation of the process. Seems simple enough. One question though: once you pulled the original drive out, did you put the new drive in drive bay 1? I think I read somewhere that the boot drive has to be in drive bay 1.

  13. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    false. doesn't matter at all.

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