Question about my soon to be HDD set-up

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by latech, Aug 23, 2010.

  1. latech macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Just purchased the 3.32 quad and i'll have a OWC 60gb SSD for boot/app. I will have the 1TB that comes with it and additional 1TB WD Caviar Black and (2) 2TB WD Caviar Blacks. My question is should I Raid the two 1TB into 2 partitions for Scratch & Data and have one 2TB for my magazine layout and the other 2TB for back-up. My main work is CS5 and most PS files never get above 1gb. Or do I not even need to worry about Scratch and keep 1TB OS backup and 1TB for data/media. I'm coming from a 2.5ghz G5 and wanna make this thing ROCK so any help or guidance will be greatful!
  2. darlenea macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    How much Ram

    How much Ram will you have? Darlenea
  3. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
  4. Loa macrumors 68000


    May 5, 2003

    IMO, don't bother with scratch if you have 12GB ram.

    Your Mac will Rock if you set it up correctly with the SSD, and use the fastest partition from your RAIDs for your primary data.

  5. statistical macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2010
    A bit confused

    I'm new to macs and have been thinking about a Mac Pro but I thought that they could only take 4 drives internally?
  6. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    You can place the SSD in the second optical bay to free up that 4th drive
  7. statistical macrumors newbie

    Jul 9, 2010
    Thanks for that, I just saw it in another thread.:)

    Makes my Mac Pro a bit easier to define now, 2 SSD in the second optical, 4 x some kind of HD and an external blu-ray for windows.
  8. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    not too sure if you can put 2 SSD in the optical bay...i could me mistaken
  9. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    not sure if you mean data as in BU ? but I would not do the same physical HD for both data and scratch ? using one for scratch the rest for BU is fine

    short stroke it or partition it into two make the top one about 100 gigs the bottom 900 is then for your BU (Back Up)

    this will give you a faster scratch for PS work not effect your BU at all

    a lot of options here is one with the stuff you have
    SSD boot (off the extra SATA ? in the optical bay)
    I would say depending on your storage needs ? which would be good to know :)

    1) wd 2TB black
    2) wd 2Tb black raid 1 setup of two 2TB WD blacks for data that way if a HDD dies you dont go down and can keep working and not loose time !
    also try not to let these get over %60 full ever ! they will slow down some say %50 :) thats even better if you can

    3) 1 TB WD black two partitions 100 gig scratch and 900 gig data BU from your raid 1 setup or your main working files

    4) stock drive partition two 100 gig top make a clone of your boot drive ! this way if your boot dies you can quickly switch and be working again a program like CCC on schedule will do this the extra can be a time machine or second BU set?

    if you think your files are going to be more than 900 gigs of stuff ? remember try not to get your main working drive to full !
    you could do is with slots 3 & 4 take those extra two 900 partitions left over and raid 0 them for time machine or BU
    but if you do this you will have to put one more external of some kinds on their to have a solid BU not relying on raid 0 :)

    that external could be a FW800 or esata setup ? lots of options here
    wife uses both FW and eSATA
    our reason for one set of FW BU is we can drop this on any mac if we need to and get files out to clients ! and not need to worry about eSATA
    we can even run this off a laptop if we have to !

    this of course does not include off site BU :)

    for files under 1 gig Iyou could just point your scratch at your BU drive and you should be fine
    a quick side note since your files wont go above 1 gig you could put the scratch on the same as your files ? but you might take a hit in writing files or reading files from disk ?
    when and if you hit the scratch doing other things you wont notice much of a performance hit then !
    my wife does our design side and she opens and works on about 30-150 PS documents a day in the range of 80MB to 300MB the ones that take longer are of course ones with more text !
  10. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    a quick thought here your scratch can effect performance ?

    PS always sets aside a piece of scratch think of it as getting ready :)

    just select a drive you do not use in your workflow ? such as a BU or a dedicated partition on a BU is best

    but do not ignore it ? why take the hit when you dont have to !
  11. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    SSD boot/app in optical bay. Then i was thinking of RAID my 1 TB Blacks for Itunes, and just basic storage. Then using a 2TB Black for storing my magazine that I design which is only around 750gb, and then having my other 2TB Black for TM.
    Does this sound good or is there something else i should do?
  12. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    only questions I would ask to make you think :) and this is coming from my perspective of I do this daily for a living not as a hobby :) so some looking at this might have dif needs about down time ! :)

    do you have a BU plan other than TM ?
    I really really dont like only one set of BU if something happens to that time machine disk you are running on your only set !!!

    if your boot dies ? how quick can you be back up and running ? recovering from Time Machine can take a bit ? having a clone might be nice cause you can be up and going again in seconds and what disc will you put that new boot on ? this is where a dedicated clone partition is nice !!!!

    if your working files for your magazine ! if that HD dies ! how quick can you be back up and running ! and where will you recover those files to ? meaning do you have a disk ready or will you put them on your itunes general disk till you get a new one ? if that works cool but also again that one BU only for my living is scary with HDD being so cheap !!

    in your setup you just mentioned as long as your PS work is really just coming off your magazine WD I would point the scratch at the raid with your itunes etc.. ?
    that could work just ask yourself those questions :)

    also I think its important for people to be comfortable setting up and knowing their system ! so if things get to complex for some people ? well that wont work either !!!

    I used to hear people telling others they have to do this huge major complex off site BU of bringing over discs to a friends every week exchanging them etc.. ? yeah thats all good but if you dont end up doing it !!! wont help you out so I am not saying my setup is the only way :)

    just trying to give you some questions to think about so if something happens you wont be freaking out :) then again I am someone that tries to practice things so I do check my recovery and practice getting on my BU system and make sure it works !!

    hope this helps ya out :)
  13. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    ya need Nanofrog to jump in and give you some more options :)

    I can write up other ways ? but having a few others input is important as it gives you another view !!!
  14. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Thanks Honumaui,
    Thats why i joined this forum because i'm not sure how i should set up this new system. I do have an extra external drive that I didn't mention that is a 1TB G-Drive. I don't care how I have to set it up as long as my magazine work is safe, everything else is just stuff. I've never RAIDed or Mirrored or anything, have just worked off a hard-drive and made a back-up to an external.
  15. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I might ask then how much space does your magazine work take up ?
    lets get this part first :)
    also how much STUFF :) do you have meaning your music etc..

    I can say since I do this for a living my wife also ?
    I have her stuff set up pretty much how I described above

    her work being on a raid 1 the speed is enough for her since she is not like me opening tons of images etc. its more layouts so 2 seconds for 60 layouts is only a minute if we cut that in half its not a huge savings at the end of the day ? but if a drive failed and she lost even a hour using time machine it would throw her day off and the freaking out and getting it back and thinking what did I change ? cant remember OOOOAAAHHHHHHH
    thats reality :)
    and I say that hour lost is more than a hour cause now you have to recreate and put others behind so that one hour can become 4 or more

    so its a balance of saving time and being safe
  16. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    Are you using the software professionally (earning a living with it), or as an enthusiast/hobbyist?

    A simple solution with what's listed, would be the following:
    • Empty optical bay = 60GB SSD boot/application diskoptical bay)
    • HDD bays 1 - 2 = 2x 1TB Caviar Blacks in a RAID 0 for scratch only
    • HDD bay 3 = 2TB for Primary Data (single disk)
    • HDD bay 4 = 2TB for Backup of Data
    Primary data is a bit slow, but you need to have a backup of some kind, and there's nothing else listed here.

    And if you're a professional user, you really need to be looking at redundant levels of RAID, which may mean a proper RAID card (there's other ways too, such as external for backups and scratch, and use all 4x HDD bays with identical disks for a RAID 10). There's definitely options, but it's going to mean more money = the trade-off for improved reliability combined with speed.
  17. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Honumaui, my magazine takes up about 250gb, I have 100gb of music and say 50gb of just stuff...

    Nanofrog - yes I do make living with this (part-time), thanks for your listing of what I can do, I also have a 1TB external as well that I'm currently using for Time Machine. Do I need 2TB Raid 0 for scratch only if I have 12mb for memory and most photos never go over 100gb or so, most are 10-25gb.

    I've looked at the OWC Mercury Elite-AL Pro Qx2 for external BU, but seeing how I just spent a small fortune it'll have to wait a little bit.
  18. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    here is my thought :)
    since your files total about 400 gigs that fits with my original idea above of the two WD 2TB in raid 1
    but I would put everything on the 2TB raid 1 ? 400 gigs on a working 2TB is fine once it climbs to a TB or just over then we can look again at what to do

    why ? again if a HD dies you keep working and have no down time while working so you can finish what you need then get it replaced ASAP but at least its a bit less a shock if you are doing stuff to loose time

    also you mention not doing this raid 1 before ? no problem its super easy to do

    I do want to say raid is not back up !!! it never has been it never will be and that means any form of it !!!!!
    it can help protect you from a disc failure and thats about it really as far as data security you always need a back up !!!

    I do think a solid raid card like Areca are good to get but I think you can cross that bridge later :)

    the idea of the two other 1 TB drives as I mentioned with the partitions would again give you a nice dedicated scratch that will help when needed but does not take up any space that can be used for other stuff :)
    and the other partition will give you that drive clone should something happen to your boot ? hope not but better to have insurance than wish you did !
    the bottom half of the scratch drive I would set as a normal backup of your data remember 900 gigs your data fits fine on that :)
    and your partition below your extra boot I would set up as time machine

    the reason I would do this is you control the time that you do a nightly backup of your main working files and it will never get in the way of your scratch ! time machine might kick in when you are working ? it wont really matter but why let it happen :)

    your clone you control when it backs up ? I would do it nightly also and this way your time machine drive is free to work as it wants

    also if something happens to a HD in your system you should be able to keep working and finish your job
    if a 2 TB drive dies you keep working ?
    if your scratch drive dies ? no biggy reassign your scratch and you still have time machine
    if your time machine clone drive dies ? again no problem you still have access to your BU files should you need them

    your 1TB external I would then hook up weekly and do a BU of working files and put it away some where safe ?
    this 3rd layer is handy to have off line and off the computer
    I would say do it nightly but really who is going to do that ? do something you know you will actually do !!!!! once a week or after a huge job ? again this is like flood insurance on your home to back up your regular insurance :)

    so once your data grows past the point its not really fitting on your system ? I would say start archiving stuff onto externals ?
    you could get a nice PM type case and put HDs in so you can access old client stuff when you want or even put them on FW drives ?
    depending on the need of your old files ? if they are truly scrap after you are done thats your call to know what you can delete or not worry about :)

    we archive stuff using our OLD hds as we update to new HDD our old stuff is copied to the new HDD and the old stuff sits where it is and gets put away !
  19. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    as a option I hope nanofrog does not mind me using his setup :)
    with a small modification

    I might say use this but take bays 1 & 2 and modify them :)
    those two 1 TB drives and do the partition thing with them so you have a 100 gig partition and a 900 gig partition on each one

    I would then use one as a clone and one as a scratch again like we did in the other setup !

    bay1) 100 gig partition holds a clone of your OS the 900 gig partition holds your personal data 100 gig songs and 50 gigs of other
    bay2) 100 gig partition dedicated scratch 900 your backup of your personal stuff

    your external drive is now a time machine backup !

    when your data grows which it sounds like you wont outgrow this setup for a while just get a 3TB external and that becomes your time machine ! that should last you a long time

    this setup also would be fine it has pros cons of your work is separate from personal ? it can grow a little longer but if a working HD dies You might loose a hours or so of work time machine will pick it up one hour in !
    so you are not loosing that much in time and the upside no reconfiguring later as your needs grow ! we might say it "Scales Better"
    so the fear of a HDD dying vs reconfiguring later is balanced out :)

    and again if a HD dies in this setup ? really no problem with finishing your job you are on !

    hope that makes sense

    what ever way you see more comfortable with setting up would be the one I would choose
  20. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    The dedicated scratch will improve performance for at least some of your applicationsd (Photoshop is a major one that would).

    Given the inability to get the OWC Qx2, what kind of budget are you working with?

    When you're earning a living with such a system, the use of a RAID card such as a model from Areca begins to make sense (can increase both performance and reliability simultaneously, but will also require more disks). Unfortunately, they're not cheap by most people's standards. Then there's enterprise drives, adapters, enclosures, and cables to deal with as well.

    ATM, I presume this isn't currently an option. So you could go with what I listed earlier, and save up sufficient funds to do better. Hopefully it will coincide with you moving more into this as your sole means of earning your income (more urgent need for a better solution + influx of funds).

    What, create 2x stripe sets on a single pair of disks?

    Assuming this is correct, you're using the 200GB partition (100 + 100) for a clone; that's putting a backup on a stripe set..... Not a good idea IMO.

    Get a cheap external and use that for a clone location instead or use a partition on the backup or data disk (at least these options have the risk level of a single disk, which a stripe set doesn't).
  21. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    NO NO not saying that :) I would agree with that and I would never do that :)

    my setup I mention below again :) bolded the parts you had in question
    I say use that inner 900 for personal data and bu to the other disc since so little personal data and the inner is still going to be plenty fast :)

    bay1) 100 gig partition holds a clone of your OS the 900 gig partition holds your personal data 100 gig songs and 50 gigs of other

    bay2) 100 gig partition dedicated scratch & 900 your backup of your personal stuff

    this way each one is its own stand alone drive still no raid !! only partitions

    does that make sense now :)

    also the reason I did the BU to the lower part of the scratch is you control your BU time of your personal data so it never gets in the way of scratch
    and if you are listening to music it wont get in the way of your scratch as its coming off the other drive

    really the scratch is only for PS and since PS even on launch grabs a piece of disk no matter what ! might as well have a small dedicated piece for it !
  22. latech thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 22, 2010
    Thanks soooo much guys for you input, you both have been truly helpful.
  23. nanofrog macrumors G4

    May 6, 2008
    This would make better sense from a risk standpoint, and as it's not simultaneous access, won't cause a performance reduction.

    It would also be possible to stripe the 2x 100GB partititons for scratch (should be able to maintain ~170 - 200MB/s, depending on the exact disks used).

    Keep the 900GB partitions used as you mention or even one as Backup 1, and the other as Backup 2 (not a mirror, but only via Backup software).

    At any rate, there's a few good ideas/solutions in this thread for latech to consider. :D

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