Ssd combined with sata HD

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Olegphoto, Dec 23, 2010.

  1. Olegphoto macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2010
    Hi, if i use an SSd as my boot drive on my mac pro and i use the other 3 or 4 bays with sata HD for storage.
    1/Wiil that increase the spead when I'm using Photoshop CS5? (even if I open a file from one of the sata drives)
    2/If I use the ssd in the optical drive will the drive perform the same as I would put it one of the 4 hd bays?

    I just bought a new mac pro 2.8 quad with 3 gb ram memory, I'm waiting for 8 gb ( kingston) to arrive I'm working with Photoshop cs5 and it's slow.
    3/ I heard I can upgrade the processor, can somebody tell me how it works?
    4/ would the upgrade make my cs5 work faster?

    Thanks in advance

    Mac Pro * Mac OS X (10.6.5) * Own a Mac pro book *
  2. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    1. Using an SSD as your boot drive will improve the performance across the board for several applications, not just Photoshop. But also keep in mind that if you're working on large files, a scratch disk (separate from the boot drive) dedicated to Photoshop helps immensely. I have even heard of some people that even go as far as using a second SSD for a Photoshop scratch disk, but I suppose that really depends on your funds.

    2. I don't see any reason why the performance would be any different. All 6 drive controllers are identical. If you're running with 3GB of RAM now, you'll definitely start to see an improvement in performance in Photoshop (especially the 64-bit version).

    3 and 4. It's physically possible to upgrade the processor, though the chips are expensive and the firmware's CPU compatibility is somewhat limited. But in all honesty, your CPU isn't the problem here. Large PSD files eat RAM and need fast disks for better performance. Those are the two primary areas you should be concerned with.
  3. Olegphoto thread starter macrumors member

    Dec 23, 2010
    3 and 4. It's physically possible to upgrade the processor, though the chips are expensive and the firmware's CPU compatibility is somewhat limited. But in all honesty, your CPU isn't the problem here. Large PSD files eat RAM and need fast disks for better performance. Those are the two primary areas you should be concerned with.[/QUOTE]

    Ok, so if i understood well
    i will start increasing RAM TO 8 or 10 gb question:
    1/ Can I use my 2x4 gb ( Kingston) and add the other 2x 1 gb memory ram in the other two slot that came with the macro ?

    If 10 gb are still slow I will upgrade to 16 gb. And try the ssd as my boot drive. If it still runs slow I will add a second ssd for scracht disk only for Photoshop.
    Thanks and merry Christmas
  4. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
    1) Yes overall performance of PS will increase, however, because files that are being opened/saved are on rotational drives, the open/save process won't get the full benefit of the SSD. No worries though....the SSD will still help. The downside of the SSD is that most people move data off to other drives, where in the end, you don't get the fast read/write performance when opening/saving files. PS for example is also badly coded. Open/Saves are still single threaded.....doesn't matter how many processor cores you through at it.....cores won't help. Crazy!

    2) I'm running a 2010 Mac Pro 2.8 Quad right now, with the OWC 120 Mercury Extreme in the lower otibay. All SATA ports on the Pro are the same, so putting it in the optical bay frees up all 4 drive bays (which I have 4 x 2TB in).

    As for memory....if you can afford it....go with as much as possible. I went with 16GB of OWC RAM for a little over $ much RAM as possible is best so that PS doesn't have to swap to disk (unless you get into setting up a fast scratch disk). To me, 8GB is low....minimum I think for any PS work is 16GB. I'm a web developer, so 16GB is fine for me (for now). I was coming from a 2006 Mac Pro with 11GB of RAM...the extra 5GB is awesome.

  5. ycookmd macrumors newbie

    Sep 12, 2010
    You might consider using the lower optical bay for the SSD boot drive, and putting 4 hard drives in the internal bays.

    A nice setup might then be to have bays 1&2 in a RAID 0 array for performance, with bay 3 for TM backup and bay 4 for CCC backup. You could then use the RAID 0 for your large photo libraries and still get a little performance boost.

    I have this setup using a smaller OWC SSD for the boot drive and 4 x 2 TB Caviar Blacks. It works pretty well and wasn't that expensive.
  6. stevelam, Dec 26, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2010

    stevelam macrumors 65816

    Nov 4, 2010
    total BS statement. 16gb MINIMUM for PS work? you're a web developer, not a photographer. even then, 16gb is generally overkill. most of the time you'd be arranging design layouts on a 960 grid and minor photo touch ups, not playing around with numerous massive raw high res photos open at the same time all with multiple complicated layers.
  7. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
    Ok thanks for letting me know how I do work, appreciate it. Send me your email so next time I need to figure something out I can run it by you first, since you seem to know exactly how I work.

    I have full client layouts in single PSD files with easily 60+ nested layers. I can have a single client's layouts for their site and an email campaign open utilizing 5-6GB of RAM easy.

    Does PS need 16GB of RAM....not all the time. I do have to edit product shots for clients that come to me in large 100MB+ PSD files. Having to open/proof/adjust/edit 10-15 of those at a time will eat away at RAM.

    Having 16GB gives me PLENTY of breathing room with all the other apps I have open. With 11GB of RAM in my 2006 Mac Pro there were days where I was down to 1 GB free. RAM prices have been dropping rapidly this year. Why not get more than you need, just in case the day comes where you do need it.

    I don't come to these boards to make this crap up? What purpose does it serve.

    Hey, BTW, I have a few 2TB drives in this machine, but they aren't full. Should I trade those in? Would that be BS too?

    (moving to MS Paint soon with 128K RAM)
  8. josh8711 macrumors member

    Dec 21, 2010
    I think you only need 512mb of ram but I could be wrong
  9. Honumaui macrumors 6502a

    Apr 18, 2008
    the thing about PS is you need to check your use

    I have 24 gigs checking what I use for the most is about 18-19 gigs so 24 gives the safety net I want with 8GB sticks was easy and the right choice for me

    learning to check PS efficiency is key learn about the info tab and checking the scratch sizes you can google this I have explained it before here :)

    once you have this figure out what your complete machine is using then ! you might be doing a ton of other things on your mac so lets say you use 7 gigs in PS and your machine is about 5 gigs most of the time well duh then you want at least 12 gigs so go with 16 or something ?

    pretty easy to do and understand YOUR NEEDs not what someone else tells you you need !!!

    OK scratch the second you open PS it allocates scratch so its important to have it on the fastest drive you can
    also you do not want that scratch on a drive doing other things if you can help it ?
    BUT PS is very good at allocating scratch along with your working files so not all is lost

    the idea is have enough memory where you do not need scratch that much

    so dedicated SSD scratch is a good idea IF YOU NEED IT but not sure how SSD hold up ? my thought is they should and 3 year warranty :) by then something better will be out
    so for $99 for a 40 gig SSD from OWC that dedicated scratch for PS might be worth it

    but also read about how ICH can only handle so much bandwidth NanoFrog did a good write up on this so you dont want to go putting more than two SSD on the main connections inside your mac 3 of them will throttle ! I posted my findings from aja on this as have others :)

    so in recap
    check PS efficiency see how much memory you need for PS then see how much you need using activity monitor TOTAl meaning PS use + computer use
    get as much as you can afford !
    how much PS work do you do ? $99 might be worth getting a 40 gig SSD for scratch ! one tip always point to a second scratch in PS settings though !!

    make sure you are running SL and CS5 and in 64 bit mode also to get the most out of PS speed
  10. bearfacekilla macrumors newbie

    Aug 18, 2010
    Kind of Related

    I just got my new Mac Pro and have a question about the HD setup. Planning on having an SSD boot drive (120gb) and two 2TB HDs in the drive sleds. I have about 1.5GB data that I want internally but also have an extra 640GB HD. Could I use the extra 640GB in raid0 with one of the 2TB and use the other for backup? Would this give me much of a speed boost? Thanks!

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