photographer in need of assistance with mac pro 2008

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by chris5084, Aug 30, 2009.

  1. chris5084 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #1
    i have a macpro3,1 with dual 2.8 quads and 8gb of ram. i haven't upgraded the GPU and i am rethinking that. my MBP late2008 with dual GPU is running just as quick as the mac pro.......

    my mac pro is an editing machine only. i have photoshop, lightroom and illustrator. its a good machine, but i know it can do more. a

    any help would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. bozz2006 macrumors 68030

    bozz2006

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2007
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #2
    what kind of help would you like? and what programs do you use? and how do you utilize them?

    some suggestions:
    *video card, as you mentioned
    *more RAM never hurts
    *an SSD to boot from or several SSDs set up in a RAID 0 to boot from
    *several large hard drives RAIDed and partitioned to run the data and/or OS from the outer areas of the platters. It's always helpful to keep the home folder on a different drive than the boot volume.
    *dedicated scratch volume on disks other than the boot volume or any data volumes that you may need to utilize while working.
     
  3. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #3
    Those applications benefit from RAM and fast storage I/O almost exclusively (I mean besides CPU clocks). It you have an extremely precise stopwatch you might be able to measure the difference in GPUs - maybe. :p 8GB isn't that much for those apps (LR and PS) if used aggressively. I have 12 GB and when PS'ing heavily I sometimes wish I had more.

    Drive speed is the other thing. SSDs are too small but might make good scratch disks - especially if the boot and data volume is a 3 or 4 drive RAID0. ;)
     
  4. chris5084 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #4
    I thought Photoshop could only handle 4 gb of ram? Sorry for sounding like a newbie, but I guess I am. I've always heard raids weren't as stable.... But how unstable, if that can even be answered.

    I have 4 1tb drives in it right now. 1 for current work, OS and apps. 1 for time machine, and the other two for older shoots. The older shoot HD's are about 1/2 full.

    If that is an ineffeciant way to run them, please let me know. Without breaking the bank, what would you guys do? 12gbram and .........
     
  5. chris5084 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2009
    #5
    Also , I'm not a heavy photoshopper. I try to get it right on the front end, so no heavy actions or processes are occurring.
     
  6. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2008
    Location:
    Japan
    #6
    Well PS can use like 3GB but it's per file AFAIK. And also somehow undos and such can consume all of your system RAM. I start editing a 12 MPx image with 10 or 11 gigs free and 10 layers and a 100 edits later all 12 GB is consumed. It doesn't use the scratch disk yet but the OS starts paging out. PS scratch gets used when the image being edited itself becomes more than about 3GB - which is seldom to never.

    RAID stability is a pretty big discussion topic here at MR. For me the bottom line logic goes like this:
    • All RAIDs need to be backed up.
    • Backups only take about 5 or 10 min. a day after the initial procedure.
    • If a RAID is backed up and can be restored in about an hour then the only people who need to worry about RAID stability are those who can't afford to lose a few hours of work or can't afford to have their RAID off-line for an hour while restoring it. (That would be Banks, financial institutions, insurance companies, hospitals, large multi-user facilities, etc.)

    All that and to consider that when you juggle all of the variables RAIDS might even be more stable than single drives - even RAID0 which is "supposed to be" the most dangerous. Then there's anecdotal information like 20 or 30 % of the people here are using RAID0 with no troubles. Or that I've maintained a RAID0 on one home system or another for 10 or 15 years and never had a failure. Though in the light of full disclosure I have had at site installations with really large RAID sets (many many drives) but it still was not very common.

    The 1/2 full drives is about right. The rule of thumb is that after about 50 ~ 60% full drives start losing a lot of performance, getting into fragmentation troubles, and becoming prone to critical errors. So 50% is good. Still 4 1TB single drives is kinda inefficient on the performance front. If it were me I would put all four into a RAID0 and buy a 1.5TB or 2TB external drive for backups. If you wanted to trick out the total setup then maybe an SSD as a boot drive tucked up in the open ODD space. Ones big enough for the OS are pretty expensive but... Either way. The OS, PS, and etc. will be nice and fast on a 4-Drive RAID0 too so it's not so much of a worry.
     
  7. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #7
    I would agree with Tesselator in most points. My preferred setup for your use would look like this. Two 80 GB Intel 2nd Gen SSDs RAID0 for boot drive and apps which will hold anything you throw at it with your typical use. One of those could be in the optical bay to utilize that SATA port. On port 2 and 3 I would use another SW RAID0 from 1,5 TB disks for data from shots you are not working on. Drive 4 would be my 2 TB backup drive until the data drives are so full you have to go to external storage. That setup may cost you 700$ but if would seriously rape your current system.
     
  8. wpc33 macrumors 6502

    wpc33

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2006
    Location:
    Vancouver, BC
    #8
    The OP has an '08 MP has an ATA port in the optical bay(two SATAs on the logic board). I'm correcting for the OP's sake, of course. :)
     
  9. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

    Joined:
    May 21, 2009
    Location:
    Munich, Germany
    #9
    I was only referring to the suitable location of the SSD. The 2006 MP has two ODD SATA ports which are not used on the logic board. They are located immediately near the PCIe power ports you use for graphic cards. A 60 cm 90° SATA cable will be long enough to run from there to the ODD bay where the SSD can be connected to the Molex power with an adaptor. In fact you could use both SATA ports for the boot SSD RAID0 but it would require more modifications to the fan unit. A second 90° SATA cable will not fit there for space reasons and it means you have to make a little cut out in the plastic frame of the fan unit to acomodate the connector without damaging the logic board. But that setup would enable you to get a 4 TB backup capacity with a third RAID0. :D
     

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