Question re: storage

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ravich, Jun 18, 2013.

  1. Ravich macrumors 6502a

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    #1
    I completely stopped following the Mac Pro news perhaps over a year ago, and all of a sudden a few days ago my friend told me that the Mac Pro had been updated. My original reaction was "yeah right," but I took a look at the Apple website and saw that they've lined up a complete overhaul.

    What I wanted to ask is why the internal storage thing is a big deal. Dont the thunderbolt capabilities mean that you can just buy external enclosures and use whatever hard drives you want at no loss of bandwidth or speed?


    Maybe I'm missing something, though. Are thunderbolt enclosures not available for reasonable prices yet? Is there something that would make SATA III faster than thunderbolt?


    Just trying to get myself updated.
     
  2. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #2
    In my case, the question is how I would switch from a full sized PCI x8 lane Areca RAID card inside my current Mac Pro to a Thunderbolt x4 lane connection. If Apple or some 3rd party makes an expansion kit that fits my RAID card, using perhaps two of the six available Thunderbolt ports, it might work fine. So long as I can attach 16 disks in a RAID box, I could use one.
     
  3. Radiating, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    Radiating macrumors 65816

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    #3
    Thunderbolt 1 is pci express 4x, thunderbolt 2 is pci express 8x.

    The general problem people have with external stuff is that it makes more clutter and some people are annoyed that it is going to be expensive for the first year or two.

    The thing is that by going external you can support 60 pci cards compared to the previous 4, so it's better and you're not providing any extra space for unused slots. On top of that you're more flexible.

    Considering that the footprint of an equally configured 2013/2014 Mac Pro is smaller I don't buy the clutter argument at all.

    My only criticism is that the thunderbolt enclosures need to get 75% cheaper ASAP and egpu driver support needs to improve. If I were Apple I'd release my own enclosure pay to have drivers writen.
     
  4. Ravich, Jun 18, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2013

    Ravich thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    Yeah, the clutter argument seems a bit silly, seeing how the hard drives dont magically take up more space when they're outside of the machine compared to inside.

    I suppose it is more inconvenient to have to come up with an organized setup for an arrangement of hard drives that arent inside the machine, and cooling is no longer taken care of without the HDDs being inside, but ultimately this seems quite a bit more versatile than the current mac pro.
     
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #5
    I haven't found that information anywhere. All I see is x4 PCI Express 2.0, and:

    "At the physical level, the bandwidth of Thunderbolt 1 and Thunderbolt 2 are identical, and Thunderbolt 1 cabling is thus compatible with Thunderbolt 2 interfaces. At the logical level, Thunderbolt 2 enables channel aggregation, whereby the two previously separate 10 Gbit/s channels can be combined into a single logical 20 Gbit/s channel."

    Where have you found information that TB2 will be PCI Express x8 lanes?
     
  6. VirtualRain macrumors 603

    VirtualRain

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    #6
    Probably not cheap... http://www.areca.com.tw/products/thunderbolt.htm

    Although, unless you really need 20TB of RAID5 in a single array, you'd be better off to go with smaller arrays in a couple of enclosures.

    You're right... there is a misconception that TB 2 is PCIe 3. It's simply TB 1 with the two channels combined to allow for DP 1.2 4K video.
     
  7. wonderspark macrumors 68030

    wonderspark

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    #7
    I already have my wonderful Areca 1880ix-12 and RAID storage, so it would be silly to buy another RAID storage solution that is no better than what I have already... I would just need to put my current Areca card into an external enclosure via TB, which I still believe will take up two TB cables.

    The annoying part is that a new Mac Pro will take me from two pieces up to three pieces. My Mac Pro and large RAID box connected by two mini-SAS cables will become a new Mac Pro, an external PCI expansion box via two TB cables, and my RAID box via two mini-SAS cables. The desk space saved by a smaller Mac Pro is just converted into clutter.
     
  8. dmax35 macrumors 6502

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    #8
    How expensive are their products? They make some nice stuff.
     
  9. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #9
    • USB3 is close to the same speed as SATA III and faster than your current SATA II.
    • TB2 drive enclosures are still too high but won't be for long.
    • It's not a big deal that there's only one or two internal SSDs in the new MacPro6,1.
     
  10. Radiating, Jun 19, 2013
    Last edited: Jun 19, 2013

    Radiating macrumors 65816

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    #10
    Ohh well then. I've looked into thunderbolt 1 extensively and have done several external pci card setups, and knew thunderbolt 1 was pci express 4x with 10gbps bandwidth. So I assumed when they said thunderbolt 2 was 20 gbps that meant it was full 8x.

    Interesting. Looks like they just enhanced it so far. Now with that said even with PCI express 4x you can physically use your 8x Areca RAID card over thunderbolt without any issues, I've used 16x cards of thunderbolt 1, and you could independently write or read 14 different hard drives without any slow downs in any normal usage scenario, so you likely wouldn't notice any issues with 16 hard drives unless you're running the best drives and have them all set up independently in some sort of very unusual array.

    I'm not familiar with the Areca raid card but I suspect that it's going to be the bottle neck way before thunderbolt is. If your read and write speed are less than 1.6 GB/s then you will have no issues at all, which is a really extreme read and write speed.

    There are very few PCIe cards that actually use more than PCI 4x speed for more than a brief instance. Even video cards that use full PCI express 16x will only show the smallest slow down over PCI express 4x.

    For example, a GeForce Titan works just fine over thunderbolt 1 with around single digit percentage point slow downs, which isn't bad. You'd experience more variation from card to card than from thunderbolt 4x to internal 16x according to the passmark database.
     
  11. sparkie7 macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    #11
    The reason the Darth Vader Trash can is so dam small, is b/c  wants everyone to have their data on the "cloud". So they can give your data to the US Govt agencies. There, I said it.
     
  12. subsonix macrumors 68040

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    #12
    That's funny, I don't believe they offer anywhere near the same amount of data that you could fit in one of these. Not to mention throughput.

    http://www.netstor.com.tw/_03/03_02.php?MTA4
     
  13. Sharky II macrumors 6502a

    Sharky II

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    #13
    I'm not just worried about the cost of, say a 4xHD/SSD external thunderbolt enclosure... but the noise that one of those will generate. The cool thing about the old Mac Pro is that is also handled the cooling for the internal HDs.

    External HD caddies are notoriously noisy, with cheap, crappy fans. No point in having a super quiet, sleek Mac Pro then a noisy as hell HD enclosure (or a bunch of them). I think my WD MyBook Pro is noisier than my whole Mac Pro 3,1 - the sound is definitely more noticeable and annoying at least.

    I hope Apple have some sort of thunderbolt HD solution of their own.

    I can't get to get a new Mac Pro, by the way!
     
  14. sparkie7 macrumors 68000

    sparkie7

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    #14
    The thing is the old Alu enclosure is able to store most of one's storage and cards in one box. Where as the trash can is going to be surrounded by lots of ugly boxes. A messy sight :mad:
     
  15. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #15
    I think the issue that irks many is the lack of internal storage combined with the lack of upgradable GPUs and the lack of PCI-E slots. It's a triple whammy and not in a a good way. Those GPUs have a proprietary form factor and, as Apple has always done in the past, expect whatever scant BTO GPU options they offer to be priced into the upper stratosphere.

    On a lower tier of annoyance is the presence of only four RAM slots, resulting in the need for higher-priced, higher-density RAM sticks. And for professional audio, the lack of FW800 sucks. TB introduces undesirable latency.

    Sometimes, you just have to wonder "WTH were they thinking?!?" --Case in point: take the new AirPort Extreme / Time Capsules. Why the hell did they omit USB 3.0 ???? Nearly, if not ALL new wireless-AC routers have USB 3.0. Are they that hard up for cash that they needed to skimp out on USB 3.0 ?
     
  16. subsonix macrumors 68040

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  17. Wild-Bill macrumors 68030

    Wild-Bill

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    #17
  18. Tesselator macrumors 601

    Tesselator

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    #18
    So don't buy ugly. Buy pretty. Here, this one almost seems to match the design:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. subsonix macrumors 68040

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    #19
    Why? It doesn't makes sense, first of all the bandwidth is vastly larger than Firewire (25x), secondly that adapter is a recommended route by for example Metric Halo to use with their Firewire interfaces.

    Here's RME running 196 channels of playback and 192 channels of recording on Thunderbolt simultaneously on a MacBook Air.

    http://www.rme-audio.de/forum/viewtopic.php?id=16182

    Here's another example of ProTools running on the Omni Thunderbolt interface on a MacBook Air and recording 64 channels.

    http://www.youtube.com/results?sear....0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0...0.0...1ac..11.youtube.
     
  20. AlexMaximus macrumors 6502

    AlexMaximus

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    #20
    Will that help that latency ??

    .."TB introduces undesirable latency"..

    True on all points. Well, looks like we have to live with it or switch.

    Anyways, I have found this puppy here for a storage solution.
    I kind a like the combination of TB and Raptors in a Raid package...

    Do you think this one may work for audio? It should be a lot faster though...

    http://www.anandtech.com/show/6216/western-digital-my-book-velociraptor-duo-review

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbnyFq026KE

    Its black so it fits the design

    let me know what you think

    :apple:
     
  21. subsonix macrumors 68040

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    Feb 2, 2008
    #21
    From Metric Halo, regarding the Apple adapter, TB display and Echo Sonnet Express Card Thunderbolt adapter:

    http://mhsecure.com/metric_halo/products/thunderbolt.html
     

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