Question about hard drive speed / increasing performance

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by badlydrawnboy, Jul 2, 2012.

  1. badlydrawnboy macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    I have an Early 2008 Mac Pro (3,1) 2x 2.8 Ghz. I am currently using a 240 GB Mercury Accelsior PCI SSD as my boot drive (with OS X & applications) and triple RAID0 (with 3 750 GB Western Digital drives) as my Data drive (with docs, pictures, video, music). I have 18 GB of RAM.

    I do a lot of photography work so I am looking to optimize performance in Lightroom and Photoshop. I also want a little more space on my Data drive.

    I'm considering two options:

    1) A single Hitachi 4 TB (7K400).

    2) A RAID0 with 2 x 2 TB Hitachi (7K300) drives.

    Which would be faster? I'm pretty sure it would be the RAID, but I wanted to double check.

    Any other ideas for increasing Photoshop/Lightroom performance?
  2. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    In terms of raw performance, the stripe set (RAID 0), assuming the disks used are any where near the same generation (not new vs. say 10 years old drives). Just keep in mind however, it's not as reliable as a single disk.

    A proper backup system is required regardless of the storage configuration, but it's even more important when running a stripe set as your primary volume since your data is in greater peril (data loss) on a daily basis.

    Please understand, I've seen too many users' running stripe sets with insufficient backup systems, or worse, none at all, on far too many occasions. So I find it necessary to warn those of it's perils.
  3. badlydrawnboy thread starter macrumors 65816

    Oct 20, 2003
    Thanks for the caution. I have redundant back-up systems: Time Machine, a daily clone of my data drive to an internal drive inside the Mac Pro, a twice-weekly clone to an external FW drive that I rotate off-site, and a 3-4x daily cloud-based back-up with CrashPlan.

    I think I've got the back-up covered!

    I'm going to stripe two brand new, identical drives. Probably the 3 TB Barracuda, unless someone has a better recommendation.
  4. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    I'd recommend going with Western Digital rather than Seagate, as they have a lower rate of failure (i.e. seeing recent Seagates <~2008 - current> with more than 30% failure rates, Barracuda's in particular).
  5. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    Have you considered using an enterprise-class HDD?
  6. macuser453787 macrumors 6502a

    May 19, 2012
    Galatians 3:13-14
    I assume you meant 7K4000 and 7K3000...? Those are both enterprise-class drives (Ultrastar), which as I understand it may be better in the long run especially for RAID. And just FYI, both of those are made in various capacities, including 3TB (see attachments). :)

    Attached Files:

  7. codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009

    I'd love to see a ~30% failure rate with Seagates. I've personally experienced a >70% failure rate with their 1tb drives. Firsthand failures in my own machines - no RAID, no weirdness, just basic file use.

    The few I have left are used as backup drives (duplicates, really) so there's virtually no impact to me if they fail.

    If Seagate sent me free drives for life, I'd sell them on ebay and buy anything else.

    Oddly, I've had a couple of FreeAgent portables (2.5" drives) that have been rock solid. I've never opened them but recall that some early ones had Samsung drives in them. Go figure.
  8. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Not sure what your sample size is, or from what era, but it's bad regardless.

    Even their enterprise drives are total crap IMHO (not as publicized as the consumer models, but these were horrible as well; search "boot of death" and see what you find :eek:).

    I've not used them personally nor recommended Seagates since 2008, and I've kept up with them. If you sift through newegg's reviews for example (toss out 5 stars due to newegg, even though the disk was DOA sorts of things, you'll see horrible statistics - this is part of what I've done to keep up with newer models BTW).
  9. codymac macrumors 6502

    Jun 12, 2009
    Just for grins, I'll expand on it. I jumped on the $59/1tb Seagates when they hit the shelves.

    I just recounted. 8x failed 1tb (7200.11/7200.12), 2x 7200.xx still running, and 1x 1.5tb (don't recall the model) still running.

    All 1tb drives were attached directly to onboard controllers (Intel/JMicron) in a few different machines at different locations, purchased new OEM in the last 2-3 years (IIRC), and generally failed 1-2 years post-install (although I have to admit to not tracking it).

    It's been bad, unacceptably bad. Replacements have all been WD with the exception of a Sun-labeled Seagate in one case (because it was handy).
  10. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Definitely bad.

    Smaller sample throws the numbers, but any reasonable person would be seriously frustrated with Seagate's products, regardless.

    I've run into similar, but they were the enterprise variants of the 7200.11 & .12.

    No real difference. Turn the system off for some upgrades or maintenance, and try to restart the system - wasn't happening. Eventually every single one was replaced, and when the replacements failed (warranty units from Seagate), the client finally listened to me and bought WD's.

    Had I'd gone by a couple of these sorts of instances, the % would also be much higher. So I sought out further information and larger samples myself. And that's where digging around newegg's reviews come in handy. It requires going through each post to verify if it really deserves the rating (i.e. DOA product with 5 star rating due to newegg's return policy), but it will give a more accurate result. ;)

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