Question before ordering from OWC

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Zombieslayer240, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. Zombieslayer240 macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    I have a couple quick questions before purchasing a new MP, a 6-core Westmere. I'm usually nervous about buying computer products from non-apple, but the total cost of my customization was a little higher than I would be willing to fork out, leading me to find the (reputable as per posts recommending the site) OWC supplier.

    1) Would installing 3rd party memory and internal hard drives void Applecare warranty?
    2) How easy is it for a non-techie to install memory and internal HDDs without a great chance of ruining something? Are there any good guides/explanations/tutorials for said procedures that can be recommended?
    3) Would this: World Computing/1333D3W4M12K/ be the most appropriate/RELIABLE memory alternative to the memory offered on Apple's customization page? (it's like 600 dollars cheaper...) Would it essentially be the same? I'm looking for 3x4Gb memory...
    4) Through the OWC website, can anyone recommend the best (I'm looking for reliability here, not like the fastest but most comparable to Apple's HDD option) HDDs for a 1Tb internal drive for Bay 2 (this would act as a backup drive for the HDD in Bay 1 that comes standard) and also a 2Tb internal drive for Bay 3 (this would be a "storage" hard drive). Is this even the most appropriate setup for what I am looking for? (Bay 1: "main" hard drive, Bay 2: constantly backing up Bay 1, Bay 3: dump stuff for storage)
    5) I am also tossing around the possibility of getting an internal blu-Ray burner for optical drive 2, either now or in the future... Can anyone recommend a product or two to look at (from the OWC website of course)? Would this be easy (if at all) to install?

    I just need some help in planning out my purchase so it will fall down into a lower price range and don't know much more than what I have been reading about them and researching info in regards to my questions. Any answers/solutions/suggestions are very much appreciated! I hope to make my purchase (at least at apple store) later today.
  2. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    No, but the parts you install will not be covered by AppleCare. However, most manufacturers give 3-5 year warranty to their HDs and RAM usually has lifetime warranty

    OWC installation videos. That's for 2009 Mac Pro but they should be the same from inside

    Yes, that will work fine. Digital/WD20EARS/ Digital/WD10EARS/

    As you don't need fast drives for those purposes, you should be fine with Caviar Greens. Due to their lower speed, they should last longer
  3. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    I might say but the HDD through Newegg instead ?

    the other stuff from OWC though :)

    your bay 3 dump stuff ? are you going to back this up ? or is it stuff you can loose and you wont miss it ?
  4. Zombieslayer240 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    I mean yeah I would miss it but its not top-top of the main reasons I'm getting a MP is to run higher-end video editing software (ie FCE and the like) and scientific/research programs (from aiding it compiling research data to molecular visualization). These things I will be easing into over the next year or so and will use more frequently once I get used to them.

    But I need a new computer for school right now and the MP seems the best option in my opinion. For the most part I will be using it as my personal computer from browsing the web to games to school work, but soon I will be exploring the stuff my (broken) MBP couldn't even begin to handle, such as video editing beyond iMovie (I will need to see clear details whilst editing through raw video files ranging from 5-15GB). Then there are programs I've started looking at that consist of stuff ranging from 3D stereo modeling, analyze biological pathways, compile raw research data and help set it up to present, display dna in high def, stuff like that.

    My current plan:
    Bay 1: 1TB Caviar Black 64mb HDD (for main programs, main use I guess a la papers and powerpoints; mostly school material until I get into the video/science programs)
    Bay 2: 1TB Caviar Green 64mb HDD (to back up Bay 1 stuff)
    Bay 3: 2TB Caviar Green 64mb HDD (storage, ie prob dump my ~150 gigs of itunes music on it, movies/tv shows, and larger files that I don't need at the moment)
    Bay 4: 1TB Apple HDD (the one that comes with the 6-core...was thinking maybe to backup a large collection of family movies from dvds and toss them on there for future burning onto other media format)

    With this in mind, are there any changes to what I planned on getting (in terms of memory/harddrives) to better benefit my future plans? Will I need a SSD for stuff like that which is visually intensive? An additional backup harddrive?

    And can someone explain what a RAID setup would be like? I've been trying to understand it but can't quite comprehend the overall concept...should I look into some sort of RAID setup for when I start messing with large files which rely heavily on high-quality/definition video visualization?

    Thanks again for everyones help :)
  5. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    when you say
    Bay 1: 1TB Caviar Black 64mb HDD

    whats the 64mb HDD for :)

    got to finish a big job ASAP so will be back to answer more

    how much data total do you have or need to have on disc ? :)
  6. Zombieslayer240 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    Sorry typo :rolleyes:
    Well I was shooting for 3tb of data (4tb if you count the 1tb drive pre-installed by Apple) and would really like to have a somewhat decent backup option (schoolwork=can't lose a lab paper last minute :eek:) that's also affordable. I currently have two old external drives I used for my MBP (1 as backup and other to dumb data/files) that are both 250gb but I think one of them is starting to crap out....
  7. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    It's 64MB of cache.
  8. Zombieslayer240 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 17, 2010
    Yeah that's what I meant to say... Typing long paragraphs out on an iPad takes some getting used to :p
  9. rdru macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2009
    The Apple's 1TB disk is usually the Caviar Black. It is one off the fastest consumer drives. The Green series are low voltage, 5400 RPM drives. All are SATA II 3Gb/sec except the WD1002FAEX which is SATA II 6Gb/sec. Since the Mac Pro has only SATA II and the drives maximum throughput are below 150MB/sec that does not matter for you.

    The Green drives are much slower than the regular drives. Follows the list with current NewEgg prices (shipping is not included and some of them are free).

    ECO drives:
    Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EARS 1TB 64MB Cache -Bare Drive $70
    Western Digital Caviar Green WD10EADS 1TB 32MB Cache -Bare Drive $80
    Western Digital Caviar Green WD20EADS 2TB 64MB Cache -Bare Drive $130

    7200 RPM drives:
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1001FALS 1TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache -Bare Drive $88
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD1002FAEX 1TB 7200 RPM SATA 64MB Cache 6.0Gb/s -Bare $90
    HITACHI Deskstar H3IK20003272SP (0S02861) 2TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache $130
    HITACHI Deskstar HDS722020ALA330 (0F10311) 2TB 7200 RPM 32MB Cache -Bare Drive $130
    Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS 2TB 7200 RPM -Bare Drive $180

    I would go with all drives of the same kind. Either the Blacks or the Hitachi. If one fails you have many options to replace while getting a new one, or even have
    an extra as spare.

    For comparisons go to:,50.html
    The Blacks are faster than the Hitachi. The Hitachi 2TB is a very good deal.

    Your best setup would be 1 OWC or OCZ Vertex 2 SSD as boot + applications drive and Apple supplied 1TB drive (WD Black) + 2 Hitachi 2TB or 2 WD Black (1TB or 2TB). If you decide to skip the SSD for now then add 3 of the same drives.

    The HDD slots are all the same for the Mac Pro. There is no difference between them.

    You could setup a RAID 0 with 2 drives for scratch and files that have to be accessed fast. Another one to backup your important data with Time Machine and one for your system with lots of space for other stuff.

    RAID (redundant array of inexpensive disks) is a technique to use a set of (similar) disks as a logical one. Essentially the disks can be combined for more speed or for redundancy or a mix of both.

    RAID0 is for speed and no redundancy. 2 or more disks are joined and every file is striped over all disks in the set. If you have n disks the reading and writing throughput is multiplied by n. It can be implemented by software as is in OS X. If the disks are of different sizes they consider all to be of the smallest size. If one drive fails, the contains of the whole set is lost. So if you want RADI0 for performance, better have all your important data backup to another disk.

    RAID1 is meant for redundancy. 2 or more disks are joined and every file is replicated over all disks. The write speed is as of one disk, but the reading can be multiplied by the number of disks in certain restricted circumstances.

    RAID0+1 and RAID1+0 combination of the above techniques. OS X supports 1+0.

    There are other RAID levels but in the Mac Pro only with a RAID controller card.
    The RAID5 is the best alternative, it sustains 1 drive failure and provides n-1 increase in throughput.

    Using SSDs in RAID0 is highly recommended since the SSDs have not moving parts the probability of failure is way lower than standard HDD. For maximum performance you should get 2 SSDs in RAID0 for your boot drive containing OS X, applications and scratch space for applications that requires frequent and fast disk access.

    For detailed info on RAIDs see:

    PS: I am not a native english speaker, so sorry for any bad wording.
  10. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    isn't it bad practice to buy the same type/brand/batch of hard drives?
  11. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    AHHH that makes sense now :) hehehe could not figure that out for a moment :) never thought to put that down :)
  12. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    just a couple thoughts ?

    the raid 1+0 or 0+1 its good to note never do 0+1 :) not saying the OP was saying to do this :) he was just pointing it out
    but just good info to know

    the other part of raid 0 for boot ? I disagree with boot in raid 0 has been shown many times to not be that big of gains ?
    and pointing your scratch to your boot is not the best ? while some do this ? their are better ways ?
    if I had two SSD one for boot the other for cache/scratch you will get better performance ? this is from my own testing with LR and PS

    I tried raid 0 boot scratch and it was slower than single discs in each configuration

    also boot is a luxury ? yes its nice and might be good ? if you launch and relaunch a ton of applications all day long ? I tend to only have a dozen or so open and they tend to stay open

    also depending on size ? if your scratch fills up you can choke out your OS a bit ?
  13. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    YES & NO :)

    many have theories :) if you are buying for raid its best to have them the same

    I prefer if one is for BU and one is for storage to break them up though ?
    so really depends on useage ?

    I have 17 of the same HDDs for two 8 disc raids ? one is a spare but its in use ? I figure load some longer term stuff on it family pics and such then it sits their if I need it I have it ?

    my time machine box uses Hitachi I also have WD in another box and seagate in another ?
    not by intention to pick those brands but by choice of the HDDs at the time
  14. Vylen macrumors 65816

    Jun 3, 2010
    Sydney, Australia
    Buying the same type/brand is fine...

    Same batch, possibly not. If you buy the same batch then if one of the drives fail, there's a higher chance that the others will as well since they were manufactured/packaged/whatever at the same time.

    Some people go out of their way to buy their drives from different places or different times because of the above.

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