Options for migration to new Mac Pro

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by darkgoob, Oct 26, 2013.

  1. darkgoob macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2008
    What are my options in moving to the new 2013 Mac Pro for an external storage system?

    My requirements for an external storage/RAID system to meet or exceed every current feature and quality of my 2009 Mac Pro:

    • minimum two optical bays and three 3.5" HDD bays
    • for each drive in the enclosure, the minimum data bus performance must be equal to, or exceed, the maximum data bus performance of the current 2009 Mac Pro, even when all are simultaneously in use
    • the external RAID must be coverable under AppleCare
    • it must be physically impossible for the drives to become disconnected while in use (i.e. any cables connecting them to the machine must at minimum be able to lock into place so that they cannot be disconnected without a key or lock combination being known; 2009 Mac Pro has a "lock" on its door handle that prevents anyone from being able to open it and remove the hard drives or connect them to another system; this is a minimum requirement for security reasons)
    • the cable used must be highly shielded from EMF interference/mild EMP from solar storms etc. (2009 Mac Pro does not need this due to internal drive design)
    • the RAID housing itself must be constructed of at least 1/8" aluminum or similar metal to provide EMP shielding to the hard drives inside (2009 Mac Pro offers this level shielding already)
    • the ports on the RAID enclosure must be inset the at least 1/8" thick metal of the case itself, such that the physical insertion and wiggling of the cable's end in the RAID's connector cannot cause the connector to wiggle or bend against the internal PCB of the RAID enclosure (2009 Mac Pro offers these types of extremely high durability ports, but no RAID system I've ever seen has them)
    • the RAID enclosure must have an internal power supply and use a standard "universal" power cable
    • the combined power usage of the RAID enclosure and the 2013 Mac Pro must not exceed the combined power usage of the 2009 Mac Pro
    • the combined decibels of the RAID enclosure, cable(s), and the 2013 Mac Pro must not exceed the combined decibels of the 2009 Mac Pro
    • the RAID enclosure's price must not exceed $500 without drives, in order that the combined price of the base-model 2013 Mac Pro and the RAID enclosure not exceed the price of the current mid-tier ($2999) Mac Pro plus a secondary GPU card and 256GB SSD upgrade
    • the RAID enclosure must be something I can go demo in person at the Apple store so I can see it up close and personal before committing to buy it

    I can live without any PCI slots but I cannot live without my 12TB of online storage and BluRay backup & DVD/CD duplication system, all of which are INSIDE my current Mac Pro.

    Apple has made a lot of claims about how much smaller, quieter, and lower power the new Mac Pro is. Well, yeah, if you take out six drive bays, it would be. But what about those of us who bought the Mac Pro specifically to have those drive bays? I looked at DROBOs etc., but I realized compared to a four-bay DROBO and dual external optical drives, a Mac Pro didn't really cost that much more, and I got a whole computer with a rock-solid power supply, super-high-quality construction, all internal parts covered by Apple Care, and PCI slots. This has all been hugely useful and it's been the best computer I've ever owned, by far.

    So how small is the new Mac Pro once you add the type of external drive enclosure that I mention? What kind of build quality do these external drives have? I have had horrific experiences with external drives. Their cable connectors go bad, their power supplies fail, their port connectors are flimsy pieces of crap held to the PCB by nothing more than cheesy plastic clips and/or thin pieces of solder and sticking out through poorly machined holes in the chitanium enclosures. These poor quality of external enclosures and bad reviews and high expense of things like the DROBO are the reasons WHY I bought a Mac Pro in the first place.

    Of course, I want to get the 2013 Mac Pro for its sheer speed. However I'm apprehensive about trusting any crappy POS external enclosure I've never seen before and just order off the internet. I've used a RocStor ArcticRoc FW800 for my Time Machine backup drive. It's encrypted which hurts performance but that's OK for my backup drive, it doesn't need to be fast. Sure, someone could just unplug it and attach it to another computer, but they would then have to also decrypt it. I don't want to have to have my main drives be encrypted however, and yes I know this is less secure, but for my purposes, a physical locking mechanism is quite enough.

    So what are my options?
  2. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Based on your requirements...you have no options.

    - AppleCare? No, Apple doesn't make a RAID enclosure anymore.
    - Positive locking cables? Nope.
    - Demo @ Apple Store? Nope.
    - Under $500 for diskless array? Nope.
    - Optical bays? Nope.

    That's 5 requirements shot down, not going to bother with the rest. It sounds like you're trying to justify keeping what you have, and that's fine.
  3. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    I'm going to use old mp as a server. Think lots of people have the same idea. I know the optical drives show up fine in target mode. Not sure about over a network, but will prob find out soon.
  4. darkgoob thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2008
    I see. I guess there is no way to replace a pick-up truck with a sports car. Unless you never needed a pick-up truck in the first place.
  5. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    There's a lot of ways to do what you want to do, it's just that your request that it be under an Apple warranty and be purchased at the Apple store makes things... difficult.

    There are several solutions from companies like Drobo who offer faster speeds than your current Mac Pro over Thunderbolt. The price is going to be more, but the performance will be way better. You just have to be willing to forgo the Apple direct sale, and pay a little more. But with the Drobo you could even re-use the drives you have now on your Mac Pro (as you could with other solutions.)
  6. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Personally, having used Drobo in the past and reading current reviews of the Drobo 5 models, I don't recommend them if you're looking for performance. I got rid of my Drobo because it was just too slow.
  7. goMac macrumors 603

    Apr 15, 2004
    The benchmarks I've seen on the Drobo 5 over Thunderbolt are still far beyond what you would get on internal drives. If you were running on FW800 or USB 2.0, that would be much slower.
  8. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    And there are much faster solutions than a Drobo 5 over TB. :)


    The random I/O is were the Drobo 5 just keels over, but in general it's still a bit slower than other solutions. Considering the price of the Drobo 5, that's a hefty price to pay for something so slow.
  9. VirtualRain macrumors 603


    Aug 1, 2008
    Vancouver, BC
    :eek: :eek: Am I the only one that finds this bizarre?

    This is either a masterful act of trolling, or you're serious. :confused:

    Why do you even need a new Mac Pro? All your requirements point to keeping your existing system. Burning DVD's and Blurays and moving large files around on massive volumes doesn't require a bleeding edge workstation. What are your real working requirements?
  10. cmanderson macrumors regular


    May 20, 2013
    No, you're not the only one. Bizarre isn't quite the word I was looking for, however.
  11. ma2ha3 macrumors regular


    Mar 13, 2007
    New mac pro are not for you. It is for fashion house, designer companies to show off their design. How cool their office or shops looks with the new mac pro.

    Build your own mac pro with pc parts. You can fill it with dozen of hdd.
  12. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I think you forgot some "requirements":

    • It must be silver in color
    • It must be rectangular
    • It must be exactly the same size as a 2009 Mac Pro
    • It must have big handles on the top and bottom
    • The model number must be "4,1"
    • It must have my exact serial number
  13. Michael73 macrumors 65816

    Feb 27, 2007
    I gave that some serious thought but aside from the aesthetics of keeping a giant box around, personally what I need is someplace to house my drives with a fast connection to the nMP and (unfortunately) a drive for the very occasional times I have media or need to burn something.

    Through a ton of research I think I can get everything I need with a Drobo 5D and when I purchase the nMP, the $79 external superdrive.

    Also, and I don't think this gets a lot of play, MPs are seriously power-hungry not to mention they put out a ton of heat. My Cyberpower UPS says between my 30" ACD and MP 3,1 I'm using ~450Kw. There is no reason to keep the old MP going once I get the new machine when all I need is a RAID array and a simple disk drive.
  14. aggri1 macrumors 6502

    Jul 21, 2010
    Wow, 450kW! Have you overclocked it? That's about nine times more power than my CAR can make! I bet your room heats up quickly...


    "kilowatts"? Why are units of power so hard to get? I see them wrong all the time... "I used X kW in one day", eh no, you mean kWh, and so forth.
  15. haravikk macrumors 65816

    May 1, 2005
    Keep everything in your Mac Pro case, buy one or more of these and either fix them yourself onto PCI brackets, or buy some pre made SCSI panel PCI brackets from the same site.

    This way you get the physical protection and drive capacity of the current Mac Pro for under $500. Those controllers do hardware RAID, or can do JBOD to allow access to optical drives (so you'll probably want at least two).

    Plus if you strip out all the other Mac Pro components, or get an empty Mac Pro case second hand from somewhere, then you should be able to find brackets somewhere that you can use to fill up the empty spaces for RAM, processors, PCI cards etc. I'm not completely sure if the current Mac Pro power supply can be easily swapped for another, but with power splitter and adapter cables you should be able to get all the power you need.

    Actually this solution meets nearly all of your (presumably joking/criticising?) requirements, including previewing it, as you've already got one ;)
  16. Yahooligan macrumors 6502a


    Aug 7, 2011
    Someone left out the decimal in their post (Or didn't see it when they looked at the UPS display). My UPS says I'm using 0.259Kw (259W) currently. That's not too bad, IMO, considering everything I have connected to it.
  17. d-m-a-x macrumors 6502

    Aug 13, 2011
    My jobs have a beginning and an ending. Current jobs will be on the nMP and when they finish, transfer to old MP - then burn the blu ray discs and put them in archive. This will minimize up time and electricity bills, also keep the 256 solid state with plenty of free space

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