SSD RAID for PPC G5

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by disconap, Dec 15, 2009.

  1. disconap macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    So I know I need to upgrade my tower, but I wanted to wait until CS5 comes out, as that will be the first time I'll actually need an Intel Mac/Snow Leopard. Since I can wait, I'd rather do the full upgrade in a year or so and get whatever is top of the line at the time (instead of, for example, picking up a quad core Nehalem now just to have the 6-cores come out in spring or summer). So my thoughts for boosting my system, which I can do for an affordable rate:

    Go from 6gb-->8gb RAM
    Replace my 1tb (2x500mb) 7200rpm HDD RAID0 with a 60gb (2X30gb) SSD Raid (OCZ, higher mid end drives with rates in the 200-250read/100-135write range)

    The RAM is debatable, though for heavy design work it will help, but the SSD is the question: will the speed bump be worth it? The plus is that I can do the SSD RAID for around $200, it is obviously transferrable to whatever I get next (or a laptop or whatever), and the resale will probably still be decent on them in a year if I decide to dump them in favor of something else; the minus is obviously the size (though it will just be a boot drive) and that I have NO IDEA if I will notice much of a performance increase on a dual 2gHz G5. Anyone have any experiences with this set-up?
     
  2. Moof1904 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    May 20, 2004
    #2
    Why not a velociraptor hard drive instead of an SSD?
     
  3. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #3
    SSDs are faster and have a longer lifespan. And actually, to get two VRs would cost me more than 2 SSDs, and I'd get better performance out of the SSDs. Less storage space, sure, but SSDs don't suffer from the speed loss from being packed 50-75% full, so for just a boot drive SSDs make more sense to me...

    (plus less heat generated and energy consumption, and quieter)
     
  4. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #4
    Sorry, but it sounds like a waste of cash to me.

    You cant get past the whole G5 chip bottleneck.

    What are you doing with your G5 now?
     
  5. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #5
    Mostly InDesign and Flash and some audio editing professionally, then the general stuff (web, email, movies). I'd love to cut out some of the lag time with Flash and INDD when swapping between documents, that would save me an ENORMOUS amount of time wasted, but yeah I'm trying to figure out if the SSD drives will accomplish that or if that's all processor lag (in real world terms, not benchmark). I know I can swap the drives forward into my next tower, but if it won't improve the system then I can probably get twice as much storage for the same price by buying SSDs when I upgrade.

    A 60gb total volume isn't that appealing otherwise, though moving the 1TB raid to active files and scratch will be an improvement over my current set-up as well, so really I was just hoping one of the few PPC people left could attest to whether or not a mid-to-high end SSD is worth it in these systems...

    And no need to apologize; the only reason I'm considering it is that they would be very useful in a Mac Pro tower, I wouldn't be selling them on with the G5 when I upgrade. ;)
     
  6. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #6
    Yeah, that wont help with flash or ID files, they arent accessing the disks.

    Heck, I dont see you doing anything that even warrants a tower.

    We had thats same slow swap app issue with our G5 towers, so 2 years ago I replaced them with AL iMacs.

    Night vs Day.

    iMacs made the G5s look like they were standing still. We had Dual 2.0s with upgraded ram, upgraded drives and upgraded video, still didnt matter.

    In our studio we run the entire Adobe Creative Suite + Quark 8 on a 2.4 AL iMacs w/6 gigs ram and it handles it all without even breaking a sweat. And I'm talking multi hundred meg Photoshop files and 100+ page Quark files with gigs of links. Not some crappy little 72 dpi web graphics and a few 3 panel brochures.

    I will never buy a tower again.
     
  7. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #7
    I mostly need towers for storage as I run my whole company off them. FW and USB just don't cut it for file transfer or working files (especially audio). I drool over the new imac, i7 and a gigantic screen would be amazing! But I'd have to keep my current rig if I bought that as I have about 6tb of esata externals and nowhere to plug them into an imac. ;)

    Seriously, if Apple put esata on a mini I'd even consider that (I'm a loyalist, my new Dell Mini is not a move to hackintosh, just a stopgap until Apple puts out a netbook or tablet). But I also like the towers for longevity, as my current rig still holds up damned well over most of the macbooks and even macbook pros that others bring in the office, and it was purchased almost 7 years ago...
     
  8. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #8
    Well, you arent just looking hard enough. =)

    New mini "server" has dual SATA internals and no optical.

    Saw a posting on another board where the user took the mini and ran a SATA cable out the front to a 4 bay case.

    Heres what it looks like: http://www.diatomdesign.com/images/serverraid.jpg

    Case is a Promise SmartStore DS4600, with FW800 and eSATA.

    FW800 sustained 66.3MB/s
    eSATA sustained 134.7MB/s

    Using a RAID 5 with 4 1TB drives.

    http://www.provantage.com/promise-technology-ds4600~7PROM1C5.htm

    OWC has a similar case: http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Other World Computing/MEQX2KIT0GB/

    New iMacs have eSATA optical, when I finally plunk down the $$ for one I'm going to pull the optical and run this same setup.

    Ive got a FW external optical for when I need it (rarely)

    And not that I doubt you, but I doubt that your Dual 2.0 G5 does anything as fast as a new MB/MBP, sorry, it just cant keep up...
     
  9. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #9
    Holy crap, Badger, those set-ups are awesome, cheers for that! And that might be a pretty solid option with the imac/esata combination, though I'd be completely sold if I could put the esata optical in one of the drive bays (I work in music as well as graphic design, so I still need an optical drive, though for the wasted bay I suppose a USB dvd/cd drive would make more sense). You've definitely helped me rethink my upgrade plan. :)
     
  10. Badger^2 macrumors 68000

    Badger^2

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Location:
    Sacramento
    #10
    they make cases for the crappy slot loading optical drives, not that I would keep mine

    a new full size CD/DVD burner is $30, toss in a 5.25 case for another $20 -- 3 X as fast as the slot load that comes in a MB/MBP/iMac/mini.
     
  11. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #11
    Yeah, I've got optical drives just collecting dust around here, so that's not a problem. Would have to buy a port multiplier though, since all my esata are dedicated channel running on PCI cards, but that in combination with the imac and mod would still be cheaper than a Mac Pro...
     
  12. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #12
    And with sincerest thank-yous for pointing those options out, Badger (honestly, I am seriously debating my upgrade path when I get there, I might even consider a mini once they upgrade the CPU), is there anyone with any experience with SSD boot drives in G5s? Since I can still swap them into a new system when I do upgrade, I'd still be interested if anyone has had any experience with them; I realize it won't make a world of difference, but I'm thinking in CS4, with the RAM swaps alone (especially with Photoshop), it might speed things up enough to warrant the price tag.
     
  13. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #13
    For anyone reading this thread, I found the following:

    http://blog.macsales.com/2669-a-fresh-look-at-the-old-rules-of-upgrading#more-2669

    So benchmarks show an improvement on a G5 imac, so there's sure to be one on a tower, but on the earlier models (such as mine and the imac in the test) the SATA-I interface does limit the improvement, as does the processor bottleneck. Still, based on this and a couple other posts I've found, it seems like opting for the SSD RAID does make sense, provided your upgrade path will make use of it as well (as it will make a much larger difference in an Intel Mac)...
     
  14. disconap thread starter macrumors 68000

    disconap

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #14
    Just to update--so I've had the RAID in for a couple weeks now, a pair of OCZ Vertex Turbo 30gbs. I've trimmed my used apps and OS to around 35gb, leaving a decent amount of free space. I left the user folder on the system drive (debated moving it to the storage/cache drive, but figured the whole point is performance, so why dance around it?) and set up a script to automatically run noatime (and, for now, have turned off spotlight).

    There is a HUGE difference over my 1TB RAID0. Boot is about 1/2 the time, apps open faster and are far, far more responsive (InDesign went from 30-45 seconds to 5-15, and the pages panel now lags far less), the machine is quieter and runs a lot cooler (and will be almost silent once I move the storage drives to the eSata box), and everything is just...snappier. No problems formatting, just thinned my original drive and used Carbon Copy Cloner.

    One note--didn't buy trays, was going to stack the two drives on top of each other using the G5's round drive screws to allow for airflow. Screws wouldn't fit, so currently they are stacking using hollowed out packing peanuts. Will definitely try to find a more permanent solution to this...
     

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