ssd for 4.1

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by glip, Mar 7, 2017.

  1. glip macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #1
    I presently have a 2009 mac pro 4.1 2.66GHz. 16MB ram. I primarily work with PS& LR often with large files 1-3 GB. I currently have my system & apps on a 240Gb sd drive; my files on other drives.

    It was suggested to get a 2nd ssd drive to use as a scratch disc. I have been looking at the OWC 240 GB ssd Accelsior S https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDACL6GE240/.

    My questions are

    1. Should the scratch be on a ssd for faster operations?
    2. what to put on the faster ssd, (accelsior S) , the system and applications or the scratch disk. ( I am guessing the system)
    3. If I splurge to get the even faster Accelsior E2 800MB/s- will that actually make a big difference on my machine> https://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/SSDPHWE2R240/ Or is it overkill?

    Just tired of waiting for LR previews and PS operations.

    Thanks for your help.
     
  2. orph macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2005
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    UK
    #2
    Hi i assume your talking about PS & LR CC, depending on workflow a SSD scratch disc can help a lot.

    id also like to mention that the PCI SSD + a CPU swap may be a good option and cost about the same (as the Accelsior E2) . a X5677 cpu 4 core 3.46GHz is worth thinking about for the apps you listed it's the fastest option and :D fairly cheep on ebay now.

    you hit diminishing returns with drive speed and greater gains may be seen with a SSD & CPU upgrade than a super fast SSD.

    and watch activity monitor to see if your using more than 16GB of ram if so a 32GB ram kit from ebay is so cheep now and relay worth thinking about.

    also want to mention that checking Photoshop/LR preferences are set to optimal settings can give gains.
     
  3. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #3
    yeah honestly i think you'll see much more benefit from more RAM than a scratch disk. with how much RAM for these things costs nowdays its a no-brainer. I recently had a friend who does a lot of graphic design upgrade to 48GB RAM and I think it cost her like $120 for a 6x 8GB sticks upgrade.

    cpu would also be a nice upgrade. I'd go RAM first, SSD second, CPU third. im not a big fan of the accelsior series... for that price it should have way higher performance than it does - i use a RocketRaid card in my machine which is SAS2/SATA3, and I routinely get 950MB/sec with two SanDisk extreme SSDs
     
  4. JedNZ macrumors regular

    JedNZ

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    Deep South
    #4
    I have a Samsung 850 EVO 500GB in an Accelsior S SATA II PCIe card for my boot drive, sitting in PCI slot2. But it is only nominally faster than when I had the SSD in one of the direct connect bays (SATA II). So I kinda think a scratch SSD in an Accelsior S PCIe card might actually be a good idea, as that way those large/numerous PS/LR files would gain the most speed advantage.

    On my system I also have a Samsung 960 EVO M.2 NVMe blade (PCIe adapter) in a Fusion Drive with a 2TB HDD as my User data and scratch disk, and see some pretty fast file transfers (occasionally) but only because the FCP/Motion/PS files I'm working with aren't as big or probably numerous as what you're using. But this kidney setup could be useful to you. NVMe M.2 blades are expensive and a little more cumbersome though (read my experiences here).
     
  5. orph, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    orph macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2005
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    UK
    #5
    well you will only see a benefit from a ram upgrade if your working on projects that use more ram than you have ie swap happens.
    the only way to know if you need more ram is to watch activity monitor while working to see if you have a large amount of "swap used" (a small amount is ok).

    a scratch disc can help a lot with some workflows in Photoshop/LR and relay any adobe app. i do suspect that you will have a benefit from a SSD & a PCI SSD may help but the Accelsior S i suspect will relay be overkill and that you will be relay limited by your CPU speed.

    if you can upgrade your cpu from 2.66GHz to something like the X5677 3.46ghz your relay going to gain a lot of speed/CPU power in single and lightly threaded task.

    PS/LR still today are mostly lightly threaded so i think you will relay see a gain in speed from that.

    the advice is safe gess not knowing your workflow, the only thing that nags at me is if your settings are defult the the OS drive (your SSD) is the scratch disc so im not %100 on how much befit you will get:confused:

    so id say CPU upgrade might be relay worth thinking about

    edit
    just seeing your ram full is normal in osx, it's only when you see swap being used a lot that you have a problem.
    ps i got 32GB ram from ebay for £45
     
  6. glip, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    glip thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 10, 2011
    #6
    Thanks for all your suggestions. Glad I asked even though some of the terminology I need a glossary for. I had no idea you could just swop out a processor. Found the X5677 3.46ghz on ebay and if I find a "how to install" on youtube, and get up the nerve, I will give it a try. In the meantime, I will watch the activity monitor (which I haven't done) and get the ssd in the pci slot and use that as my scratch disc.

    As to my workflow, I just load the files on to the hard drive and then into LR and PS. I presently have my scratch disc on a different volume. I also need to upgrade to a large drive for my files. Am thinking of a 5TB as I like them on one drive - organization has always been a problem.
     
  7. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #7
    ^^^^To use that CPU, you'll need to update the firmware to a 5,1 cMP. Lot's of DIY threads here describing on how to do that. On a single CPU 4,1 cMP the CPU swap is really quite easy with the proper tools, supplies, and patience.

    Lou
     
  8. JedNZ macrumors regular

    JedNZ

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    Dec 6, 2015
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    Deep South
    #8
    (Whisper: I love my single CPU X5680 3.33GHz Hexa-core. If you stretch to a 6 core, then go for it!)
     
  9. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

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    Tempe, AZ
    #9
    If he's editing 1-3gb sized files like he said then I guarantee you there is swap usage happening and a whole lot of it.
     
  10. maccer99, Mar 8, 2017
    Last edited: Mar 8, 2017

    maccer99 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2015
    #10
    I've been going through random boot and crashing/sleep resume issues with the Accelsior E2 and now a nightmare with it not even being picked up by the Mac, so I'll personally be steering clear from using Accelsior E2 as a boot drive again. The drive cannot be older than 2 or 3 years. If you ever have issues with it, it's not as simple as throwing into an enclosure, since it's actually 2 drives in RAID 0, not one simple drive.
     
  11. glip thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #11
     
  12. glip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #12
    Just checked that out and with no other programs opened, I'm using 13+ GB with "kernal_task" being the biggest user. Now what to do? One question leads to a hundred.
    upload_2017-3-8_13-46-39.png
     
  13. h9826790 macrumors 604

    h9826790

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    Apr 3, 2014
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    #13
    Anyone know how PS use scratch disk? It will use scratch disk even free RAM avail? I think we have to know this before we decide if more RAM / faster scratch disk help more, or we must have both to remove the bottleneck.
     
  14. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

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    Tempe, AZ
    #14
    its kind of hard to explain easily but for all basic intents and purposes you can ignore the "memory used" part. if you look carefully, you'll see that all the numbers listed on the right column add up to 13.52 gb... just shy of the 15.3 showing used. OSX uses a variety of cacheing mechanisms to ensure that it has what it needs to get things done, so what you're seeing there is basically the system "reserving" space for tasks (for example file cache in right column) which it will happily give up if the system demands it. Older versions of OSX activity monitor used to call this "Inactive Memory" - showing as reserved but not actually being used. I remember in older OSX like Lion I used to have to force purge this quite often as it was very grabby about memory - something they have greatly improved since then.

    the statistic you want to be looking at is the "memory pressure" along with "Swap Used" - and as you said you have nothing running, 4.3mb is probably about normal for that configuration. the best way to really check on that usage is to tab over to Activity Monitor after you've been working for a while in PS and LR and see what those two statistics are telling you.

    this article is a little out of date as it pertains to Mavericks, but, it does do a good job of explaining how to understand memory usage on modern macs, far better than my sad attempt above:
    https://arstechnica.com/apple/2013/10/os-x-10-9/17/
     
  15. orph macrumors 6502a

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    UK
    #15
    @glip 4.3mb swap used is fine, kwikdeth linked a relay nice article on it im reading it now :D got to say im a tad out of date on this

    i think i may have been pushing scratch disc to hard :S i suspect CPU might be the best gain in speed and looks like your ram is fine.

    flowrider is correct thanks for pointing that out

    @JedNZ :/ a faster 4core for the apps listed will be far better than a slower 6core that costs more look at the apps listed.
     
  16. Theophany macrumors 6502a

    Theophany

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2008
    Location:
    NW London.
    #16
    For the price you can get the faster W3690 (3.46Ghz) if it's a single CPU cMP and you don't need more than 56GB RAM. I just bought one on eBay for £120. :)
     
  17. glip thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    #17
    Thanks again to everyone. Kwikdeth, I read and understood your post about the memory, thanks for taking the time to write it. I am actually taking most everyone's advice. I whispered nice things to my mac and then successfully upgraded to 5.1., just ordered a W3690 from ebay. Will order the ram once that is in and working and will delay the scratch ssd for now.
    I did find a puzzling claim from someone selling an upgrade on ebay. Is he correct?
    This auction includes 24GB of RAM, WOW! (8gb x 3). Oddly, all 2009 mac pros have only 3 memory controllers, even though there are 4 slots. Many people don't know it, but for ideal memory performance, the mac pro runs with slots 1-3 filled with identical DIMMS, and slot 4 empty (otherwise one of the controllers has to handle 2 dimms, slowing the whole memory subsystem down...) I am selling the IDEAL memory configuration available for this tray/mac pro. By using only 3 DIMMS you will get the memory to perform at top speed. This tray and memory combination will run at 1333mhz, fastest possible on the system.
     
  18. flowrider macrumors 601

    flowrider

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2012
    #18
    ^^^^Yes, it's very correct for the 4,1 and 5,1 cMP.
    Do a search and you'll see there are many posts on this.

    Lou
     
  19. kwikdeth macrumors 6502a

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    Feb 25, 2003
    Location:
    Tempe, AZ
    #19
    yes that is correct. it never made any sense to me why they put 4 slots in those machines. to be a little more accurate though, its not 3 separate memory controllers, but the memory controller is triple-channel. desktop machines like the imac are two-channel, hence 2x or 4x slots on those machines. The E5s in the new mac pro are quad-channel, so once again the amount of memory slots makes sense for the CPU.

    also one thing to note - depending on your current CPU, the memory may not run at 1333mhz. Different CPUs from that generation either ran at 5.8 or 6.4ghz QPI, which would also determine your memory speed. Even within the same generation of Mac, the lower end Pros would only be able to run memory at 1066 and the higher end CPUs would run at 1333. This was less of an issue with the hex-core CPUs but just passing on the info so you're aware of it.
    You can see this in this chart from wikipedia, under the "Memory" column:
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_...cessors#Xeon_5000-series_.28dual-processor.29
     
  20. orph macrumors 6502a

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    Dec 12, 2005
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    UK
    #20
    i got 32GB of ram for £45 (a year or two ago)
    the ram is cheep now, the 3 ram stick thing is misleading you have the potential of something like 2.3% speed ram loss (not say render time) by ruining 4 sticks of ram but you will have a much worse time with to little ram.
    1066 to 1333 is a nice plus but not a game changer in speed,
     

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