Q: Mac Pro Drive Setup

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by cosmichobo, Nov 4, 2017.

  1. cosmichobo macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #1
    G'day,

    I am about to become the owner of a MacPro5,1 2.8GHz. Yay! (Upgrading from an iMac9,1)

    Aside from "normal" computer activities (email, web, photos etc), I will also be using it for video editing (including capture) and a Plex/media server. As such, I am trying to figure out the best drive configuration for the 4 bays.

    Currently, I have an external Raid 1 Firewire drive with 2 x 1TB "WD Green" drives as my scratch disk, and 2x 4TB MyCloud NAS drives for Plex / iPhoto etc - though currently only using around 2.5TB in total.

    What I was thinking of doing was taking the MyCloud drives out of their boxes (as I'm not happy with the non-Mac file system) and putting them both inside the Mac Pro. I was thinking I would Raid 1 them - but wasn't sure if that would actually enhance speed/etc, or just serve to halve the data and offer a redundancy if one dies?

    Equally, I was going to put the scratch drives into the Mac Pro, still as Raid 1... however that would mean I would have to run the MacOS via one of those 2 Raid arrays - either on the Media drive or the scratch disk...

    The external drive has served well as a scratch - hasn't given me any issues... But I figured it would offer some speed benefits being inside rather than external. Is the difference really MASSIVE or not that big a deal? If I did keep the scratch disk external, I've also got several other 1TB drives to use for the MacOS/Apps etc... (And yes, I know SSD is killer, but AU$700 was already above my budget, so I wont be doing any upgrades in the foreseeable future).

    Decision decisions! :)

    Thanks for any advice.

    Cheers

    cosmic
     
  2. wonderspark macrumors 68040

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #2
    With the given drives and no new gear, you should put all four inside the bays.

    Make one 1TB drive for OS and apps, the other 1TB for scratch and exports, and use the two 4TB drives for main media and backup clone. No need to RAID 1 them, just daily clone, scheduled with Carbon Copy Cloner CCC. Format all as GPT type HFS+.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 5, 2017 ---
    You should have one more drive, one that comes with the Mac Pro, right? If so, use it for the OS and apps, and put one of the 4TB drives in the optical bay space, or put the main OS drive up there.
    --- Post Merged, Nov 5, 2017 ---
    In case you have 5 total, you can RAID 0 the two 1TB for faster scratch volume. Save work to the larger media drive daily.
     
  3. cosmichobo, Nov 5, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2017

    cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #3
    Thanks for the reply, wonderspark!

    Ahhhh - Had forgotten about the optical bay(s). I need to keep 1 bay for the Superdrive, but yes - could use the other for another HDD!.

    Just thinking aloud....

    1 x 320GB Barracuda (2006) (spare, no case)
    1 x 1TB Barracuda (2008) (Old backup of iMac, no case)
    2 x 1TB WD Green (2011) (current Scratch, firewire 800)
    2 x 4TB MyCloud (2014/15) (NAS)
    1 x 2TB WD Elements (2015) (Time Machine)
    1 x 1? 2?TB WD Elements (2016) (spare)

    The machine is coming with 1 x 1TB drive - I'm expecting it to be the original drive (ie 7200rpm, 2010 era) but time will tell. I'm assuming the WD MyClouds will not have an issue being reformatted for Mac. Couldn't find any documentation. The 2TB Elements Drive is my Time Machine backup, and the other didn't end up being used for its original purpose so is spare, but I imagine both are Green drives - so no speed benefit to be found.
     
  4. h9826790 macrumors G5

    h9826790

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #4
    I will do it in other way. Because I don't think you really need this total storage size.

    You have a 320GB Barracuda and a WD Elements spare dive.
    2TB Time machine is a bit small if you have 2x 4TB HDD
    It's interesting to use one of the lowest performance HDD to be scratch. And even put them in RAID one to store some temporary data.

    If I were you, and money is really that tight. I will sell all unused HDD, and get the cheapest SSD. A 128GB SATA SSD is just about $40 (in fact, I got my for just $30), I am sure if you sell some TB size HDD. It's very easy to get $40. In fact, it's totally possible to trade some HDD into a 256GB SSD.

    128GB is enough for OS already, however, 256GB will be much better in general. You don't need ay super speed SSD, just the cheapest SATA SSD is go enough for OS operation, or storing the frequent use apps.

    For these resource. I may
    1) put the largest HDD in the internal bays (e.g. 2x 4TB + 2x 2TB)
    2) trade the remaining into a largest + cheapest SSD you can get, and put that inside the optical bay.

    Besides, I also won't use RAID 1. For me, RAID 1 is mainly to keep the system alive. Since the above setup will only run one SSD for for system. So, RAID 1 is not doing much. For data drive, using clone or Time Machine make more sense to me. A RAID 1 array won't help anything if you accidentally delete a file, or even worse, over write it.

    For me, I will try to get a 256GB SSD if possible. Use it for both OS and primary scratch drive. I know it's not generally recommended. However, for SSD, it doesn't really that matter. It's designed to handle multiple random read / write. At least I did that for years, and my SSD still in good shape.
     
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68040

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    Yes, I'd see about getting a 256GB SSD for OS. They are cheap, and make boot time just 11 seconds, and apps load so fast, too. I could not go back to HDD for the OS.
     
  6. wonderspark macrumors 68040

    wonderspark

    Joined:
    Feb 4, 2010
    Location:
    Oregon
    #6
    Are all these drives listed bare HDDs, or are some in their original enclosures, like the MyCloud drives?
     
  7. cosmichobo thread starter macrumors 6502

    cosmichobo

    Joined:
    May 4, 2006
    #7
    A SSD is certainly going to happen at some point... I need at least 160GB to fit my System, Library and Apps folders, so 256GB would be for the win. But to give a comparative - I paid AU$697 inc postage for the MacPro5,1 - To get a 256GB SSD, and a bracket for it off eBay would cost at least AU$100. Yes, that's not mega$$, but it's 1/2 a week's grocery shopping, etc etc etc with 5 mouths to feed. So the SSD will happen, but probably not at least til early-mid next year or so.

    wonderspark - the first 2 drives in my list are "bare", the rest all have some kind of enclosure. I am hoping that the WD MyCloud NAS drives can actually be re-homed in the MacPro. The 2 x 1TB Green drives were from WD MyBook enclosures - no dramas there putting them into other enclosures. But, I don't know if the NAS drives have anything "different" going on..?
     
  8. devon807 macrumors 6502

    devon807

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Location:
    Virginia
    #8
    As long as they are standard 3.5in mounting standard, they should work just fine. NAS drives are usually no different from regular hard disks.
     

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7 November 4, 2017