Optimizing Mac Pro For Photoshop

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by ildondeigiocchi, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. ildondeigiocchi macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    Hey guys I need your help once again. My current hard drive setup is a mess. My SSD boot drive is fine but it's full. My data drive is failing and might die any second.

    I recently decided to take my passion for photography to a pro level and bought a Sony Alpha 900 with some expensive zoom and prime lenses. I'm really enjoying photography with a DSLR. Now the thing is I want to complete my setup so I ordered Photoshop CS5 and Lightroom 3. I really want to be able to do some professional editing with my pictures. I'm currently in college and attending sessions on how to use photoshop.

    So now the question I need help with is this. How can I arrange my hard drives in order to optimize system performance and photoshop also?

    This is my tentative plan.

    Firstly, I am planning to buy a second Intel X-25M 80GB SSD G2 drive which I will use to create a RAID array with the current one I have at the moment after I erase all the data on it. This will be used as a boot drive.

    Then I was thinking of running three or four 600GB Western Digital Velociraptors in RAID 0 as a data storage. Or is there a way to allot a scratch array solely to photoshop? This is what I'm not understanding.

    Also, will I need a RAID card because I know that the motherboard on my Mac Pro has a DATA bandwidth of about 600 MB/s which two SSDs will almost max out.

    I am open to any suggestions on how to arrange new Hard Drives. My budget for my upgrade is about 1200$.

    Thanks again guys,
  2. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar
    0_0 !!!! :eek::eek::eek:

    No offense but your setup is terrible!:( You never want to use Raid 0 for pretty much anything, especially storage. If anything happens to one drive (the drive doesn't necessarily have to die) then all of your stuff is gone. Period.

    I'd say use the SSD as your boot drive, and keep your data on a mirror, that way if one drive dies, the other one will have all of your stuff.

    Also I honestly think once you get more into photography you (like most people) will use photoshop less and less. I don't even use it anymore (except for 3D modeling) all my stuff is done through Aperture (or in your case, Lightroom). Ram and hard drive space is what you will need since your lightroom libraries will tend to get quite large.

    If you get into portraiture you will still use photoshop a fair amount but I'm willing to bet most of your workflow will be in lightroom.
  3. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I have been a pro photog a long time moved to the mainland a few years ago
    and still do some shooting but opened up a production company for pro photographers and doing post production work so I do a lot with PS and LR

    I did a lot of testing on LR and in basic put the cache on a SSD it helps a lot
    the catalog did not matter as much ?
    for now I would say keep the cache on one of the OWC 40 gig for $99 ?
    set the cache to 25-30 gigs and you should be fine


    scratch on a SSD does work but its a who knows if we are killing SSD ? me I dont care its my living but I will still decide in a few weeks if I go back to my short stroked raid 0 setup ? but the more I work with the SSD as scratch the more I like :)

    now for storage ? this is all about future expansion also and security
    I would never tell you to work on a Raid 0 setup do a ton of work and POOF its gone !!

    now even though I said the above about SSD ? they are nice but I would say do the raid first below !!!
    then put the catalogs and cache on the raid until more funds for the SSD come out !
    and point your scratch at the raid !
    in PS you wont notice a huge hit on speed the raid is pretty good at handling things

    I would say get a raid card ?
    I have one of these and like it
    about $519 the battery module is a nice thing to have ? you can get it later I guess if funds get to tight :) but its about $100

    this is the newer cards ! would be nice but its a step up and out of your budget ? in the long run it wont be a big deal I feel
    $780 so a lot more and puts you way over your budget ?
    but wanted to point it out so you know

    for a case I have a few of these and have had good luck with them ?
    case is about $400

    I know this is putting you up at your edge ?

    for HDD
    $129 each
    start with 5 ? if you can swing more ?

    case and card $919
    HDD ? how ever much you can put in but start with 5 so $650
    you are at about $1500 ? but its a killer setup and you can add some more HDD later or use the other channels ?

    still going to need bu though :)
  4. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I think it depends on your level and kind of photography ?
    replacing PS and using aperture or LR only ?? well sure some do it but many do not ! is my point ;) so not trying to be a jerk either :) not at all
    just giving a perspective of someone who makes a living in photography :)

    I made a good 6 figure income doing commercial work and in no way would I ever not use PS ?
    my buds in commercial never replace PS ? and use it extensively
    so commercial work its a big time use since so much happens to images

    I am now more into the wedding industry and its a mixed bag ?
    I do a lot of work for other photogs and most use LR output for proofs etc. some use it for final ? but almost all still use PS for final prints and final album files

    a few I know in model industry also use it super super heavy ?

    not sure about nature people ? I dont do much of that :)
  5. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    one other option would be
    lean down your boot so everything fits get rid of all your documents and music and whatever and put it on a storage drive ?

    and or get a larger SSD and then use your current for LR cache

    then get 4 WD 2TB black HDD and run them in raid 1/0 setup this up with the built in raid abilities of OS X no card needed $750

    get a decent external setup to bu to ? lots of choices here the ones from OWC seem popular ? the mercury raid cases ? or the sans digital has a new 5 bay raid 5 setup that runs off a PM card that comes with it ? not bad for about $329 and fill it with some 1 TB drives
    about $700 total ? with HDD

    about $1450 total and has some backup ? I still like 3 layers of BU ?

    so you could also do WD 1 TB and do raid 1/0 about $370

    and then get a decent external case nothing fancy ? $100 ?
    and a few WD 2TB drives ? dont have to be black its just BU ? so figure greens wold work ? $250 and a case for $350 total ?
    I might even say just buy two decent FW externals ?

    now you only have about $750 or less in regular HDD giving you some money for SSD stuff ?
    and 2 TB of quick storage that has some safety and 2 layers of BU

    and get some more memory this will help you out a lot !!! looking at your sig 6GB ? I would say get up to 12GB min better to have 16GB if you can
    not sure what your sticks are but you might be able to just add two 4 gig sticks and be good ?

    this last setup might be the best really since it gets you memory some SSD and some storage ?
  6. ildondeigiocchi thread starter macrumors 6502a


    Dec 30, 2007
    Thanks for your input guys.:) Just wanted to clear something up ... when I said I would use the Velociraptors as storage I meant as my main data drives with MAC OSX home folder on it. Would this be recommended?
  7. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    you could put your home folder on them ? :D

    raid 0 still a bad idea :eek:

    just consider looking at your sig line with your mac specs more memory for PS is going to help the most :)
    not sure what your current configuration of storage is ?
    and how much you think you are going to want/need ?
  8. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    No offense, but for someone that doesn't know how to use PS or LR yet, maxing out your machine for even the most extreme user isn't really where you should be spending your money. Learn PS and LR first, then upgrade your machine. Especially if you're not making money with this venture yet . . .

    You can still do "professional" editing without RAID, without an SSD and even without a Mac Pro!
  9. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    RAID 0 is for performance. just because the data is inaccessible if one drive goes doesn't mean it's pointless. if you have a backup solution, it's not a huge deal.

    anyways, RAID isn't necessary. just use the SSD for OS, apps, and swap, and put everything else on an hdd. worry about mirroring and striping when you get paid work. buying expensive equipment doesn't make anyone "pro".
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    You can get the card cheaper from newegg, or ewiz (cheapest out there, and I've used them whenever possible; they pull listings when out of stock, and don't restore them until it's back in). BTW, they're an authorized reseller for Areca products.

    It depends on whether or not the data and time spent repairing it are critical to the user (repair array + restore data off of backup/s + reperform work that got lost between the last backup and array failure).

    If someone's earning a living with the system, their time is usually more valuable, so a stripe set for Primary Data isn't a good idea. For an enthusiast/hobbyist, it may be an acceptable option. ;)
  11. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I was showing the X version though since it has 2 x SFF-8088 and the external case has the same and comes with cables makes a nice clean setup thats easy to do :)

    the same card at newegg is more :) the other place is not showing it :)

    same card dif connectors though :)
  12. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Missed the "X" in it (quick glance at the link code, and didn't catch it). :eek:

    But it can still work if an internal + external configuration is desired, or on a tight budget if you get the correct cable and run it out a PCI bracket (slot 3 or 4). One external cable, an internal version of the card, less expensive enclosure (4bay), and internal HDD adapter kit will come in cheaper ($865 + disks and shipping vs. $1013 + disks + shipping). The $148 difference could matter to some, and still be a viable solution (same redundancy and performance possible). You just sacrifice Hot Plugging for the HDD bays, as the MP doesn't have an Inrush Current Limiter (which does exist in the Sans Digital enclosures or backplane enclosures that you add to other cases).

    Shutting down, replacing internal disk/s, and rebooting isn't that big a compromise IMO for a DAS implementation (non-networked, single user access), especially given the others possible to use a MP to suit specific needs (HDD bracket adapter kit,... type of add-ons for otherwise simple upgrades in other systems). ;)
  13. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    yeah I put the X in stealth mode to trip ya up :) hehehehehehehe

    I figured that ya missed it

    true about the 4 bay ? I guess its always about that awful thing MONEY !!!
  14. chrono1081 macrumors 604


    Jan 26, 2008
    Isla Nublar

    I should have worded better. I was implying that as he gets better with photography (sorry OP I don't know your skill level so I will assume beginner) that he will use photoshop less and less and lightroom more since he will be getting the shots pretty much the way he wants them in camera and won't need to do many corrections. I know what you are saying though as far as commercial and portraiture and such. Photoshop is a big part for those types of workflows.

    @the OP. One thing too, make sure Lightroom is what you want to use. I used to love Lightroom until Aperture 3 came out, then I switched completely to A3 and haven't looked back. You may want to try both to see which one works for you. They both do pretty much the exact same thing, but the interfaces are different.
  15. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    yeah no worries man ;)

    as I say I think LR gets most people their for proofing and only final images need to be brought in final meaning going in album or print and just 4 years ago you had to run some kind of action etc.. on them !!!! to get some pop
    and adjust its true sadly it seems many shoot now with OH I can fix that later or its close enough ???
    but thats another thread :)

    and modern raw programs are getting so good :) but I did have a good thread on DWF about how they are trying to do to much and loosing ?

    the speed on them needs to get back to C1 V3 days !!!!!

    I do think its good also for people to try all of them I still dip my toes in Aperture but prefer C1 for my own stuff and some clients and others use LR and LR works well for my main flow
    Aperture does a few things that LR does not and vice versa and throw C1 in the mix :)

    I wish you could take the shortcut programing of C1 and the output cause I think its superior and take the ulitmate control of color out of Aperture and the brush and gradient tools out of LR and combine them into a program that is as fast as Bibble :)

    AHHHHHH the perfect raw tool sadly does not exist YET

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