Optimum Hard-drive Configuration?

andym172

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 24, 2003
335
3
UK
I currently have a 2.66 Mac Pro, with standard 250GB internal drive, and two 300GB external drives.

I'm heavily into digital photography and process many 10mb+ RAW files, and 70mb+ TIFF files in Lightroom and Photoshop.

The standard hard-drive is noisy as hell and I'm considering getting rid. The external drives are chocked full of photos etc. Both of these are now a couple of years old, and I may consider updating.

So, I'm looking to buy a few hard-drives; a couple internal, and a couple external.

Having just bought Leopard, one external will be used solely for Time Machine, the other external for current stored data.

The internals will be used for day-to-day use. I'm told I should have a relatively small but fast (10,000rpm?) drive for Photoshop etc.

Is there a drive people specifically recommend? Quiet and fast?

Then, I wanted another speedy internal drive, possibly around 500GB to store day-to-day stuff, ready to be backed up via Time Machine.

Is there an optimum setup people would recommend, and brands I should aim for?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated :)
 

flyinmac

macrumors 68040
Sep 2, 2006
3,577
2,452
United States
I have a 500 GB hard drive from Western Digital installed in my system. I never hear anything from it.

It's 500 GB, although the formatted capacity is 465 GB due to the normal discrepancy between calculation methods.

It's very fast, and seems quite responsive.

I purchased it here:
http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Western Digital/WD5000AAKS/

It looks like the current price is $115.

Here's it's details from my system profiler in OS X:

WDC WD5000AAKS-00TMA0:

Capacity: 465.76 GB
Model: WDC WD5000AAKS-00TMA0
Revision: 12.01C01
Serial Number: Deleted From Post for obvious reasons
Native Command Queuing: Yes
Queue Depth: 32
Removable Media: No
Detachable Drive: No
BSD Name: disk1
Bay Name: "Bay 3"
OS9 Drivers: No
S.M.A.R.T. status: Verified
 

dogbait

macrumors regular
Feb 4, 2005
135
10
London, England
I find the Seagate 7200.10 pretty quiet, certainly quieter than the 250GB Seagate which came with the Mac.

Whilst 10000rpm drives once held the speed crown, regular 7200rpm drives have caught up. I would recommend (as an ideal setup) a RAID 10 array consisting of four disks in your Mac. It will be a stripe of two mirrors ideally (RAID 0 array consisting of two RAID 1 arrays).

That will give you transfer rates far in excess of any 10000rpm disk, and fault tolerance enough to lose up to two disks (provided they are not in the same array). You'll still need an external disk for time machine.
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
Current setup:

Disk 1 - 750gb boot
Disk 2 - 500gb (RAID1 with disk3)
Disk 3 - 500gb (RAID1 with disk2)
Disk 4 - 500gb - was backup, now time machine

Problem #1: Disk 4 is not big enough for time machine - it won't run.
Problem #2: A lot of my data is in home folder, which is not on the raid array

Query:

Should I:

1) Get another 750GB or 1 TB disk and swap for disk 4, used as time machine, keeping RAID1 for some data
2) Get another 750GB disk and RAID 1 the Boot/DATA disk keeping all data, then use a RAID0 array of 3 and 4 for time machine and swap file
3) Other idea?

Would prefer not to have to buy 2 more disks, and would prefer not to use external drives if possible.

Appreciate any input.
 

l33r0y

macrumors 6502
Aug 7, 2007
288
0
I currently have a 2.66 Mac Pro, with standard 250GB internal drive, and two 300GB external drives.

I'm heavily into digital photography and process many 10mb+ RAW files, and 70mb+ TIFF files in Lightroom and Photoshop.

The standard hard-drive is noisy as hell and I'm considering getting rid. The external drives are chocked full of photos etc. Both of these are now a couple of years old, and I may consider updating.

So, I'm looking to buy a few hard-drives; a couple internal, and a couple external.

Having just bought Leopard, one external will be used solely for Time Machine, the other external for current stored data.

The internals will be used for day-to-day use. I'm told I should have a relatively small but fast (10,000rpm?) drive for Photoshop etc.

Is there a drive people specifically recommend? Quiet and fast?

Then, I wanted another speedy internal drive, possibly around 500GB to store day-to-day stuff, ready to be backed up via Time Machine.

Is there an optimum setup people would recommend, and brands I should aim for?

Any advice would be hugely appreciated :)
You have 4 drive bays in the Mac Pro. Why go for anything external, using the slower interfaces (USB2/FireWire)? Especially when using a drive for time machine, you'll want to use that on the widest interface (SATA300) of the Mac Pro internal bays.

If you need to take a drive offsite on the odd occasion, you can always put one of the drives out of the case and put it in an empty drive case.

That is the optimum in terms of performance. Seems crazy to spend money on a high performance drive but use it on a slow interface.
 

Macinposh

macrumors 6502a
Jun 7, 2006
700
0
Kreplakistan
I would recommend (as an ideal setup) a RAID 10 array consisting of four disks in your Mac. It will be a stripe of two mirrors ideally (RAID 0 array consisting of two RAID 1 arrays).
Seconded.

Been running raid 10 setup now for a year (4x500Gb maxtor prolines) for PS CS3 and LR and am a happy camper.
But,honestly,have to say I have a slightly queasy feeling in my stomach because apple doesnt officially support that said raid10 in their software raid.
So every time I do a firmware update or a regular update,there is some extra sweating.

But.
That sweating and moving more to video editing is resulting that I will soon move to a internal 4 disk raid0 and external eSata raid5 box for backups.
I allready have a 160gb in the dvd slot,wich will be replaced by a 1TB disk to act as the Raid0s backup. Maybe i will try to cram another 1TB disk there as well and use external DVD player wich I have laying around.

We´ll see.

Andym, the new perpendingulars are close to raptors in speed nowadays,with a lot more space and less noise. You prolly could get 2 small perps and do a raid0 on them for the same price as raptors.
Quiter and faster. Maybe something to consider?
 

termina3

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2007
1,078
1
TX
Current setup:

Disk 1 - 750gb boot
Disk 2 - 500gb (RAID1 with disk3)
Disk 3 - 500gb (RAID1 with disk2)
Disk 4 - 500gb - was backup, now time machine

Problem #1: Disk 4 is not big enough for time machine - it won't run.
Problem #2: A lot of my data is in home folder, which is not on the raid array

Query:

Should I:

1) Get another 750GB or 1 TB disk and swap for disk 4, used as time machine, keeping RAID1 for some data
2) Get another 750GB disk and RAID 1 the Boot/DATA disk keeping all data, then use a RAID0 array of 3 and 4 for time machine and swap file
3) Other idea?

Would prefer not to have to buy 2 more disks, and would prefer not to use external drives if possible.

Appreciate any input.
a) you're hijacking the thread

b) you can move data from your home folder–the "videos", "photos" docs" folders to your RAID by aliasing them. This will keep all of the current hierarchies in place while backing up that data

c) you could, without buying any drives, "lose" 250 gigs (or even better, partition that 250 off for boot camp or something) and RAID 10 it all... you'd get quick speeds and complete redundancy. If you have less than 1TB of data this is probably your best bet.

d) if you work in aperture, don't use timemachine. apparently the auto-updates mess with the file system or something (it's over my head). if you really want time machine you could get an ext. 1tb drive.
 

pprior

macrumors 65816
Aug 1, 2007
1,440
8
Sorry about hijack - thought I was within the scope of discussion.

I've ordered a new 1TB drive and will use that for time machine. Will look into the alias idea you mention to put data on the RAID array but still have it in my home folder, I don't understand how to do that yet but thank you for the suggestion.

Raid 10 sounds great, but i'm nervous as it's not supported by apple and I'm trying to keep my system as kosher as possible.

thanks and again I apologize to the OP if I stepped on any toes.
 

termina3

macrumors 65816
Jul 16, 2007
1,078
1
TX
I've ordered a new 1TB drive and will use that for time machine. Will look into the alias idea you mention to put data on the RAID array but still have it in my home folder, I don't understand how to do that yet but thank you for the suggestion.
The aliasing isn't technically supported by apple, but it's the closest thing I could do to get my info on the RAID 1.

Steps:
  1. Create a folder ("movies", for ex.) on the RAID you want to store files in
  2. Move the files in the home folder to the new RAID based folder
  3. Delete the home folder
  4. replace the home folder with an alias (of the exact same name of the original) that points to the new raid folder
  5. Repeat as necessary

Oh, and if you have money to waste you could get the $1K RAID card. that supports 10 all the way
 
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