Storage Hardware Dilemma

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by Prodo123, Oct 6, 2012.

  1. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #1
    So my good old 500GB Momentus XT is at its limits. I never expected this day to come but it's finally completely full to the brim! It's not dead yet, so it's still usable, but the fact still stands that I need a new internal hard drive to accommodate my storage needs.

    Two common capacities exist above the 500GB mark: the 750GB drives and the 1TB drives. The 750GB comes in 7200RPM and in the Momentus XT 8GB SSD flavor, while the 1TB SSD comes in with 5400RPM with no SSD cache.

    I've been using the Momentus XT for 3 years but I really haven't seen its practical advantage (or at least haven't noticed it after growing used to it). So I'm debating whether to get the WD Scorpio Blue 1TB 5400RPM or the 750GB Momentus XT 2nd gen.

    I have managed Aperture libraries that I separate into many different libraries for archiving purposes on a stationary external at home and keep a main work library on my laptop. I've been trying my best to keep the growing number of photos under control but now it's just impossible!

    So the big dilemma is, which would be better for me, performance or storage?
     
  2. 100Teraflops macrumors 6502a

    100Teraflops

    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2011
    Location:
    Elyria, Ohio
    #2
    I vote storage! I keep a main library on one drive and use two drives as my backup solution. I posted questions about storage a year ago and the responses were: one can never have enough storage with a growing library. The people who respond with that response are correct, my library continues to grow rapidly. Hope this helps!
     
  3. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #3
    How about switching your optical drive for a second hard drive? They usually include a housing for the optical drive bundled with the new drive caddy. I have been running my MBP with 2 drives for a year now (SSD for startup/apps, HDD for files) and benefit from both performance and storage.
     
  4. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    We keep all our Lightroom libraries on external RAID 1 pairs. Inside our MBPs we have only SSDs. The SSDs are large enough for OS, apps, some data (email, contacts..etc.) and the rest of the SSD is for file collection in the field. We each have over 600GB for field collection. We each easily do 2 week trips and import the raw files to the SSD. When we get home we finish the editing and move the final photos to the LR libraries on the external drives which are backed up by Time Machine to other external drives.

    Consider not carrying libraries of completed photos with you in a laptop. Only carry copies of enough shots to show off your work or to meet a specific customer. Leave the rest back safely on redundant storage at home. That will greatly drop the storage needs on the laptop. Then a 750GB or 1TB internal drive or SSD should give you plenty of storage away from the desk.
     
  5. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #5
    I for one use my optical drive frequently for music CD ripping and consider it a necessity for any and all standard laptop.
     
  6. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #6
    My hard drive bracket came with an external case for the DVD drive. Having a second hard drive/SSD in your machine is really much more useful than an optical drive. I'd rather plug in the external DVD drive every once in a while than forego a second internal storage device.
     
  7. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #7
    Then my dilemma becomes whether to carry a external ODD or an external HD.
    I'd rather have the convenience of the ODD.
     
  8. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #8
    Do you really use your DVD drive that often? Plus, having two internal disks is not the same as carrying around an external hard drive every once in a while. Having an SSD and a traditional hard drive connected at full speed is a lot more useful, trust me.
     
  9. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #9
    To carry around an external is to carry around an external. It's the same thing; it's an accessory that takes up space in my bag.
    And yes I do use the CD drive that often.

    If I were to use a dual-drive solution, I'd prefer to set it up as a RAID 0 array to keep a single partition across the disks, but then again the reliability drops with RAID 0.

    I'd prefer this thread not turn into a ODD vs dual HDD thread. What I'm looking for is a single drive solution, and that's that.
     
  10. george-brooks macrumors 6502a

    george-brooks

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    Oct 31, 2011
    Location:
    Brooklyn, NY
    #10
    If you're storing a lot of photos, I wouldn't bother with the internal drive in the first place, especially on a laptop. 750GB is not enough space and 1TB is not worth 5400RPM. Why not get a nice, big FW800 or thunderbolt drive dedicated to file storage and keep your internal drive clean.
     
  11. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #11
    Like I said, I have a 2TB FW800 and 3TB Time Capsule to offload my archive libraries.
    Working libraries that I need to take with me has to stay on the internal.
     
  12. The Mad Kiwi macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2006
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    In Hell
    #12
    Really, I haven't used one of those silver disks for years. You could just buy your music as a download and dump the drive.
     
  13. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #13
    A RAID0 or a JBOD is not what you'd want with this configuration, the best bang for the buck is SSD for speed + spinning platter hard drive for storage. This will significantly speed up your computer while still giving a lot of storage.
     
  14. Designer Dale macrumors 68040

    Designer Dale

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    Location:
    Folding space
    #14
    You are limited in your choices because you want maximum internal storage without replacing the internal optical drive. You can get 1TB drives from HGST and Western Digital, but they run at 5400rpm. WD Green drives run up to 2 TB in a 2.5 in form factor. I think they are an "As fast as need be" technology that maxes out at 5400rpm. I think the Momentus XT hybrid drives are a bit hyped. The Scorpio Black is probably the best around at 750GB and is cheaper than the Momentus XT.

    I'm out of space, too. I have elected to go the Optibay route with a 120GB SSD in the original drive bay and a WD Scorpio Black 750 in the optical bay. I have an eSATA card in my '08 MBP and use a LightScribe external burner. My internal SuperDrive is threatening to fail anyway. Next step for me is a 512GB SSD for my Aperture Library either on the eSATA bus or Firewire 800.

    Dale
     
  15. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

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    Nov 18, 2010
    #15
    Then with that configuration, the dilemma of storage vs. performance comes back... not to mention price and the discomfort of managing multiple partitions.

    Thank you, I will consider a Scorpio Black as well.
     
  16. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

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    Sendai, Japan
    #16
    No, it doesn't if you manage storage properly (you have to do that anyway with external drives which are slower than internal drives): you have the benefit of fast storage when you need it (e. g. my apps are on my SSD while my iTunes library is on my traditional hard drive). You're right that you have to spend some effort to think things through, but it's not that difficult. For sure it's not more difficult to decide which data to put on an external hard drive. And you're vastly overestimating the effort of managing multiple partitions: I've used symlinks to move certain directories off the SSD. I never ever have to think about once again where my Documents folder is: it's in my home folder. The fact it's a symlink which points to the slower hard drive is completely irrelevant, this is handled transparently by the OS. The only time I have to make a conscious decision is with my photo library: I have a fast one and a slow one.

    If you add an SSD to complement an existing hard drive (as was the case with me), the costs are also not that much higher, you can get ~128 GB SSDs for about the same money that you pay for higher capacity 2.5" drives. Although I would suggest you look into 180 GB or better 240 GB SSDs to have enough room to spare.

    Overall, I think you have to plan how to store data anyway. Storing everything on one drive is simply not possible for many of us (most of the TV episodes I've bought off iTunes sit on an external hard drive), so tiered storage is a fact of life. While SSDs may make some things more complicated, the fact that they speed up your machine by the equivalent of 2 CPU generations in many instances or more makes them worthwhile. Rebooting takes ~15 seconds. Launching apps is instantaneous as long as the data they load sit on the SSD (e. g. Mail). Copying files is very, very fast. Even copies between my SSD and my spinning platter hard drive are very fast since the hard drive does not have to seek all the time.
     
  17. Prodo123 thread starter macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #17
    To get a 1TB total storage in your configuration I would need at least 128GB of SSD and 750GB of HDD; when combined that's a good $300-400 spent on storage.

    Whereas 1TB HDDs are $120.

    Not to mention that most benefits of the SSD won't matter on this system since my masters would be in the HDD, not the SSD; there is no visible advantage in going that route except for faster program load times, which are fast enough to begin with (2 secs for Aperture, 5 for PS).

    Honestly I'd rather get 16GB RAM and a big HDD than go the SSD+HDD route. I don't really mind how fast a program opens, I only care about how fast it runs.

    Enough on this topic.

    Other than sequential transfers, where the Scorpio Black is faster by 15MB/s for both read and write, the Momentus XT seems to be the best performing HDD around. But again for sequential reads, the Scorpio Blue is equal to the Momentus XT, so I think I'll go with the 1TB Scorpio Blue.

    Thank you for your suggestions!
     
  18. Mike in Kansas macrumors 6502a

    Mike in Kansas

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    Sep 2, 2008
    Location:
    Metro Kansas City
    #18
    You can get a 128GB SSD for ~$100 these days and a 1TB Scorpio Blue for ~$100 as well if you just shop around a bit.

    Having your masters on an internal HDD and your Aperture library on your SSD will give you a very good user experience. I have my masters on an external FW800 drive and my library on my internal SSD and it is zippy; having the masters on another internal drive would be even faster. The other benefit to the SSD is that things like brushes, blur and noise reduction are a lot faster too, as is zoom to 100% and back again. Ditto with moving across the image at 100% - there is minimal lag with an SSD versus a HDD.

    By relocating your Home folder to the HDD, you don't even have to think about where you store your documents. It is seamless; all you worry about is which folder you put things into (Music, Pictures, Movies, etc.). The ONLY item that I have outside my file structure is my Aperture library - everything else either goes into my Home folder (on my external FW800), or is in the App/Developer/Library folders on the SSD. In your case your Home folder could reside on your internal HDD, and the App/Developer/Library folders on your SSD.
     
  19. OreoCookie macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2001
    Location:
    Sendai, Japan
    #19
    I don't know where you buy your computer hardware, but a high-quality 120 GB SSD (Intel 330 series) costs ~90 € here. Although I'd go for the 180 GB model for 120 €. A1 TB hard drive costs another 80~90 € (750 GB models aren't that much cheaper) and I paid 35 € for the hard drive bracket and optical drive case.
    My »fast« Aperture library processes everything a lot faster. (On my machine, Aperture is the only application that really taxes my system.) But also switching between mailboxes containing thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands of mails is much more fluid. There's a reason why anyone who has put an SSD in his machine (or got a machine that came with an SSD) is recommending one to you.
     

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