Pondering Hard Drive setup

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by flyingscott, Jul 20, 2009.

  1. flyingscott macrumors regular

    flyingscott

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2007
    Location:
    Michigan
    #1
    Well, as I sit and type this, I can hear one of my hard drives making a not so friendly clicking noise... have no fear, I am backed up and ready for a brick at any moment.

    I've decided not to mess around and just going to refresh my drives (all of them). Which leads me to my question...

    I have a MacPro (early 2008) with 8GB of ram. My current HD setup is this:

    First Drive: 500gb Western Digital (boot disk)
    Second Drive: 500gb Seagate (used for FCP and Photoshop scratch)
    Third: 160gb Western Digital (Boot camp disk)

    I know I have a slow setup, and was hoping to coordinate the hard drive upgrades when snow leopard was released... but can't wait for that now.

    So, I'm looking for a more optimized, FAST, setup... Given that I you FCP and PS as my main apps, what specific drives would you recommend and in what configuration (raid?).... again, looking for best balance between performance and reliability.

    Thanks in advance for the help!
     
  2. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #2
    For booting I would use a RAID0 array of SSDs. For volume storage a 1-2 TB Disk and for Bootcamp an SSD or HD depending of needs and budget. Remember you have at least one spare ODD-SATA port that can be used to run a fifth disk. So if you have more mass storage needs you can go up to 2-4 TB. You can also run Bootcamp from a bigger and faster SSD RAID0.
     
  3. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular

    flyingscott

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    #3
    Which SSD's would you recommend for the boot disk?
     
  4. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #4
    I'm using two 64 GB Super Talent UltraDrive MEs currently set for 128k stripe size. They are from the BDIX sub series with the newest 1571 firmware. They read slightly slower than Intels but write faster. And they are much better $/GB.

    I'm happy with them and there are bigger 128 GB and 256 GB drives available if you need them. There are supposed to be new Intel drives to come which will be more expensive.
     
  5. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular

    flyingscott

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    #5
    What type of enclosures/adapters are you using for Talent UltraDrive MEs used in the MacPro?
     
  6. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #6
    Just thought I'd add in my particulars to help you make a more informed decision.

    Current setup: 74 Gig Raptor (Boot, Disk 0), 500 Gig Seagate (Apps, Files, Users folder Disk 1), 750 Gig WD (Music Creation, Disk 2), 400 Gig WD (Windows XP, Disk 3). Original 320 gig WD (Optical Bay 2, Backups).

    I just ordered two WD 1TB Cavair Blacks to replace the 500 and 400 in there. I will probably put those smaller drives into an external enclosure for a JBOD backup of some kind.

    Also, this Tuesday (tomorrow), Intel is supposed to come out with its next generation 34nm SSD's, which include a larger 320 gig size. I will probably get two 80 gigs and RAID-0 them to replace the 74 gig Raptor boot drive.

    Just something to think about. Of course, everyone's situation is different, so mileage may vary. :D
     
  7. Chad H macrumors 6502a

    Chad H

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    #7
    I thought the new Intel SSD's were going to have a price cut?
     
  8. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #8
    I tried the OCZ brackets but they did not work as expected. So currently I know only of the ICY BOX units that actually work. They are hard to get in Germany though. So provisionally I have fitted the SSDs directly to the #1 and #2 slot connectors with card board distance pieces under the tops. They are both held in place by double sided sticky tape on the card board shims and by a polythene foam stick between the the front fan unit and the SSDs. So it is a provisional but redundant fixture. The optical bay and the SSDs stay very cool in my Mac Pro. No comparison with the HDs.
     
  9. Zerozal macrumors 6502

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    PA
    #9
    Just wanted to chime in here with my setup as well. I considered SSDs, but for my purposes, they are still way too low on the value scale, and IMHO, too "new". I'll give them a few more generations before adding to my system.

    Like you, I wanted a high performing, fast disk setup, knowing that the new Mac Pro are pretty much speed limited by the IO, not the memory bandwidth or CPU speed. After considering a lot of options, this is what I went with:

    Bay 1: Western Digital 300GB Velociraptor, 10,000rpm (Boot, OS, and applications)
    Bay 2 and 3: 2x Western Digital 1TB Caviar Blacks, RAID 0 striped (Data, photos, music, documents, Lightroom Catalog, VMware virtual macines: general working space)
    Bay 4: Stock 640GB paritioned; (Bootcamp for a Windows 7 installation and a second partition for a full (at least for now) Time Machine Backup of all the other drives).

    I don't do a lot of work in Photoshop (GIMP for me, actually), so I didn't feel it necessary to dedicate a seperate drive for a scratch disk.

    As far as reliability, well there's no getting around backups. I use 1 partition on the 640GB for Time Machine of the system drive and all my photos, data, etc., and another external hard drive that is kept offline and only connected when updating the backup. Between those 2 backups, I feel that I have sufficient restore capability in the event of a RAID 0 failure.

    I'm very happy with the overall performance--no complaints!
     
  10. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #10
    http://www.techpowerup.com/99662/More_Details_on_Intel_s_34_nm_SSDs_Emerge.html

    Yes, when they finally arrive they will be ok if those prices are materialising. Sizes are arranged in multiples of 80GB though. 80 GB would be too small for me and I would have to buy 160 then which is more expensive than 125. But all together a good option to have.
     
  11. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular

    flyingscott

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    #11
  12. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #12
    I thought that as well, but honestly, I have two 80GB drives in RAID0 and even with FCS, CS4, iWork, iLife, and Office 2008, I still am only using 60GB of storage. Of course, I put the FCS content on my 1TB Black, but all the apps themselves are on the SSD's. So while 160GB is very nice, I think I and most people could probably get by with just 80GB for OS/Apps if absolutely necessary.

    However, the 160GB ensures I can have enough SSD storage for all my active project media as well (scratch) which is pure luxury! :D

    BTW, OP... see what the rumored next-gen Intel drives bring tomorrow... Even the current gen is great... Lots of people are enjoying great success and performance.
     
  13. Zerozal macrumors 6502

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    #13

    No problem at all. It looks bulky, but it's deceiving because the drive itself is a 2.5" drive in standard 3.5" "clothing", including the heatsink. It lines up perfectly, attaches to the sled, and slides right in with no issues.
     
  14. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular

    flyingscott

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    #14
    So, I think I will wait to see what intel has to offer tomorrow... but I am a little hesitant on the SSD. Would love the performance, but still pretty new.

    I may go with a raptor as my boot... 2 samsung f1 drives in raid 0 as scratch for FCS and photoshop.

    I deal with a lot of prores video, and some of my files are 30+ gb each. I'm wondering if I work off two drives in raid 0, will it REALLY increase speed from a practical standpoint? or am I just wasting my time with the raid. It seems like my bottle neck is my drives when it comes to compressing, so thats why I ask.

    Newegg has a deal where you get a 500gb free with a purchase of an F1...

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822152119

    Which could be used as my windows drive, or just sell them.

    Hmmm, what to do, what to do...
     
  15. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #15
    I think that those SSDs are pretty mature technology. They have been in laptops for almost two years and they seem to have ironed out the firmware bugs of initial versions. In terms of reliability they should be head and shoulders above the high speed hard drives and performance wise there is no question of their superiority. What you pay more in initial cost you will partly save by energy saving over the years. Weight and noise are also factors to consider. The hard disks were the last things that were audible in my Mac Pro. That is now gone, except when I run Vista.
     
  16. TK2K macrumors 6502

    TK2K

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    Jun 4, 2006
    #16
    The problem with SSDs is they still suffer from the write hole, apple itself recommends you don't use them for data storage, ONLY replaceable systems like apps and OS
     
  17. gugucom macrumors 68020

    gugucom

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    #17
    I do not keep any significant data on my boot drive and do make backups. I also live in a country where power failures are practically unknown, that doesn't concern me much. I believe I have greater probability of a hard drive failure than a power out.
     
  18. TK2K macrumors 6502

    TK2K

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    #18
    Well in that case look at one of the intel SSDs, they are the top of the line performers
     
  19. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #19
    If you don't go SSD, then I think 3 Samsung F1's in RAID0 for everything would be better than a Raptor and 2 Samsungs.
     
  20. flyingscott thread starter macrumors regular

    flyingscott

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    #20
    when you say everything, you mean boot and storage? and then just backup daily?

    So my system would really only look like two drives, RAID0 and backup... I like the idea.

    Do you think this would give me best performance and still be reliable for day to day?
     

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