Retina iMac and work flow

Discussion in 'iMac' started by wrz0170, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. wrz0170 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #1
    Hi everyone,

    My Wife and I are ready to get the retina iMac as our mid 2010 Macbook/pro are getting long in the tooth. She is into amatuer photography so we figured it would be a good fit along with our other needs; surfing, second "TV", occasional gaming.

    Config we are looking at:
    i7 4.0
    M295x
    Stock ram with the intention of DYI upgrade to 24gb. Maybe max out.
    Still debating 1tb fusion or 512 flash. Not sure where to go with that yet.

    Questions come in to play with work flow and efficiency and whether we could do a little better. We currently have a Netgear ReadyNas 400u with 2 x 2tb drives (one is a mirror). We store JUST our photos there. No other files. She hasn't committed yet to PSE or Lightroom to access photos. We also tried Time Machine with the NAS but sometimes I wonder if it even works.

    Would it be a good idea to get a TM, separate from the NAS? We currently have an older Airport Express so it would be kind of an upgrade going with AE/TM combo.

    Is there a better work flow/arrangement for our photos/files, etc that we should look at? Not afraid of other updgrades if those upgrades would protect our photos and other data.

    Thanks!!
     
  2. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Location:
    Tasmania (AU)
    #2
    A Time Capsule is a NAS, only relabelled to make people think it's a "magic backup device" (a common Apple naming tactic). That said, you typically won't get much support from Apple trying to use any other network-based storage than a TC, and despite their lack of an in-built modem, they're fairly decent networking devices. Only one drive, though, and you can't switch it out without breaking the warranty.

    If you check the drive of your NAS, there should be some DMG files there named after the systems you're attempting to back up to it. Double-clicking these should mount them as drives, and if you dig into the contents you should be able to locate a list of folders named after each backup time/date that's been performed.

    If you do decide to go with a TC, you'll want to configure it as your primary wireless access point, taking over the job your current WAP is performing. In most cases this will in fact be your only option, but given the speed reduction you'd take by setting it up as a client of your existing WLAN, that's no biggy. If you're currently running things off your old Express, then you'll likely notice an improvement on local transfer speeds at the very least.

    Time Machine (the actual backup software your OS comes with, as opposed to the Time Capsule device) won't backup from network locations - for example, it'll ignore the photos stored on your ReadyNAS. With the mirror setup, that doesn't sound like a big problem.

    Exactly what are you using as a router at the moment?
     
  3. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #3
    First off, I'd suggest getting 16GB RAM directly from Apple, the prices are pretty reasonable. 32GB from Apple is daft.

    Besides, it's easier to go to 32GB from 16GB, because if you go with 8GB, it means you've to remove the 2x4GB sticks that came with it and buy another 4x8GB of your own. 16GB from Apple gives you 2x8GB, so if you want to go 32GB, you just need to buy another 2x8GB yourself.

    My own retina iMac is an i7/32/512/M295X config, and I love the 512GB SSD. Go pure SSD all the way for pure speed and reliability. You can always use external storage.
     
  4. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #4
    I do a lot of work with Adobe CC, Aperture, FCPX, etc. I have just streamlined my system, fewer drives, etc. Here is my workflow: 5K iMac w/i7/32GB/295/1 TB SSD. 1 TB LaCie SSD drive as a scratch video, photo, project, drive. Another SSD drive for iTunes. All three backed up with Time Capsule. Additional spinning RAID drive for archives and a second back-up of my 3 drives that are in daily use. Everything backed up with Back Blaze. My system is probably overkill for many, but it works well for me.
     
  5. IHelpId10t5 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2014
    #5
    I agree with Bomb Bloke that you need to carefully consider how your TimeCapsule (TC) is used. If your TC is a newer model then it should be used for your wireless router as well.

    It's unfortunate but true that although the current home Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices are a great solution for mass storage, they are very tough to backup easily. And, RAID is not a backup (certainly desirable for reliability though).

    Therefore, I would highly recommend using a TimeCapsule for your wireless router and local backup. And, subscribe to a cloud backup service like Backblaze for off-site backups.

    However, to make these great technologies work for you, you will need to use Direct Attached Storage (DAS) instead. The reason for this choice is that both TimeMachine and Cloud back services will happily backup DAS but not NAS devices.

    Products such as the WD Thunderbolt Duo are great for this because they are DAS devices, that also offer RAID for redundancy, and use Thunderbolt for fast throughput and connectivity. And, they show up as locally attached devices that can be backed up easily.

    It sounds like you are carefully considering your options so I hope this helps in your considerations.
     
  6. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #6
    I would like to add a couple more thoughts. For work flow, do you really need a a NAS? Having one or two externals directly connected to your iMac backed up by TC/TM and then Backblaze may be better for workflow. Most NAS make an excellent way to share iTunes libraries, etc., but they are lacking for editing or other workflow. A couple companies make a NAS for SOHO's, LaCie for example: https://www.lacie.com/us/products/range.htm?id=10007
     
  7. wrz0170 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #7
    Right now, we just have an older AE and the Negear is directly connected to that. If the AE/TM is the better route to go, we would eliminate the stand alone AE from the equation. Of course, to make things a bit more interesting, the AE is also connected to our TV (we don't have cable/SAT) so it can't move far.

    The iMac will be going upstairs. So it may be a bit of a puzzle of what goes where. I do like the idea of a a direct connect drive for faster access to our photos.

    We are not well versed in things like this so we appreciate the help!
     
  8. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #8
    You will find that if you purchase a new TC/AE along with the new iMac that your WiFi range will greatly increase. The new WiFi technology is a substantial upgrade but you will need both the TC/AE to see the improvement. If your TC/AE ends up near your iMac you can always use an ethernet cable.
     
  9. phpmaven macrumors 68040

    phpmaven

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    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    San Clemente, CA USA
    #9
    Probably? :D
     
  10. rdowty macrumors 6502a

    rdowty

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    #10
    I'd be careful. I have the newest version of Time Capsule and since Yosemite it has been almost completely useless. Backups never work, file access is problematic. I went so far as to reset the router and format the drive. It worked after that for a few days and then it would no longer backup. If you do a search for Time Machine issues with Yosemite you'll see what I'm talking about.

    Having said that I'd buy one and keep an eye on my return date. When they work properly they're great.
     
  11. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2011
    Location:
    Chicago-area
    #11
    :eek: Old Fart prerogative. :rolleyes:

    ----------

    I haven't heard of that problem before .......
     
  12. wrz0170 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #12
    Let's say we get the TC/AE combo and take out the old AE. It would reside downstairs because our main TV and :apple:TV depend upon it. Would the Netgear be better served to move it upstairs with the iMac, direct connect?
     
  13. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Chicago-area
    #13
    You will want an Apple TV to connect to your TV. You can turn an Airport Extreme into a network extender.
     
  14. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

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    Feb 12, 2015
    Location:
    Tasmania (AU)
    #14
    You "just" have the Airport Express? Are you telling me you don't have an internet connection at your property, or is there eg a wifi modem/router combo device lurking somewhere that you've forgotten about?
     
  15. driftless macrumors demi-god

    driftless

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    Chicago-area
  16. wrz0170 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #16
    Well, the cable modem supplied by the internet service provider and from there, hooked into the older AE. Direct connect now is :apple: TV, Netgear NAS and the PS3. Apple tends to be a bit stingy with the ports :D
     
  17. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2015
    Location:
    Tasmania (AU)
    #17
    Wait, so the TV/NAS/PS3 all plug into the... Express? I reckon driftless might be right in guessing that's really an Extreme.

    So yeah, either way you could simply replace your current Airport Whatever with a Time Capsule. Rip it right out and put the TC in its current position. Plug the ATV and so on into that. If you're thinking the ATV "specifically" needs the AE to use Airplay, that's not the case.

    The older AE can then go where ever you wish to put it. Have it extend the TC's wifi network. Unless you have a use for those Ethernet ports, don't stick it right next to your computer, though - it'd do more good "in between". Depending on its age, it may do more good "turned off".

    If you only wish to use the Netgear from one computer, hook it up directly to that one computer. If you wish to use it from multiple systems, you'd hook it into the Time Capsule.
     
  18. wrz0170 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    #18
    My apologies!! You are indeed correct. I have the Airport extreme. Albeit an older one. I got caught up in the wording.

    Eventually we will get rid of the laptops once we know all data have been moved over to he iMac. So it will be just the iMac. So I guess I can just plug the Netgear directly then.
     
  19. Bomb Bloke macrumors regular

    Bomb Bloke

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    Feb 12, 2015
    Location:
    Tasmania (AU)
    #19
    Truth be told, depending on the exact age of the Extreme, you could probably just plug a Mac OS Extended (Journaled)-formatted USB hard drive into it - the result would be pretty much the same as having a Time Capsule, and Time Machine would accept that as a valid backup destination. Doesn't work with some of the older models, and it happens not to be an option at all for those who have an Express (as they can't share drives - only printers).

    Odds are you'd still get better performance out of a new Time Capsule in terms of wireless network speeds, but that does mostly rely on your other wireless devices (eg your computer and laptop) implementing the same new technologies as are in the later TC models. Time Capsules and Airport Extremes are very nearly the same - one has a drive built in, one doesn't, but both can share them via USB - so the main difference in performance comes down to their age.
     

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