Various Apps, need best speed

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by matteusclement, Jan 24, 2009.

  1. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    I started video ages ago but the monumental moment was the switch to mac.
    I started with a 20" Al. iMac with 4 gigs of ram. Started off okay as I was still doing standard definition. Then I went hi-def and I fall asleep during rendering times. It's time to go pro.

    I will be getting a 8 core 2.8ghz mac pro with 32 gigs ram and 512 video card (NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB)
    What I am asking you guys is what hard drive set up (Solid state and Normal Hard drive) will help accelerate the rendering time?

    Here's what I think:
    (P.s - I avoid raid only cause i am unfamiliar, please try to win me over)

    Drive 1: SSD 80gig
    used for OS & Apps

    Drive 2: SSD 250gig
    Used for CURRENT project of the week. Used to read info.

    Drive 3: 10k RPM drive 500-1000gig
    Scratch Disk for writting/rendering projects

    Drive 4: Storage

    What you think?

    Keep in mind that I also use shake, quake, logic 8, PS3, and crunch alot of DVD's to video.
  2. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    looks like allot of that stuff is overkill and will not noticeably make your render times faster.

    Instead of all that ram and SSD drives get a faster clocked CPU or just wait a bit for the nehalem chips.
  3. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    extra .4ghz?

    upgrade the cpu's?
    will that extra .2 or .4 ghz make a diff?
    i mean, it will but the price increase is madness.

    when are the new processors coming out?
  4. wizzracer macrumors 6502


    Sep 17, 2007
    Dallas, Texas
    SSD is not going to be fast when you put it up against a RAID 0+1 setup. I would buy 4 drives and Strip drives 1-2, and mirror drives 3-4. The money you save can buy a Internal scratch disk, or a External one.

    RAIDS are fast, Reliable and offer solid back-ups, which can repair a broken set quickly. If the need comes up. I have been running them for years, and only had one fault. One drive failed, I took out the old one, put the new one in. rebuilt the mirror all in about 40mins.
  5. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Not really that much difference, but 32gigs of ram is still a pretty high price too and it won't make any difference on rendering speed.

    You might be better off seting up a render farm using Qmaster with Shake or Maya that you can use your other macs and pc's to crunch.

    I would also get the 3870 instead of the 8800gt.
  6. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    ack, raid!

    so... because i know nothing about RAID I have to ask:

    do I need a raid card?
    what's the costs?
    Do i have to get apples raid card or is there a 3rd party one?
    how do I set that up?
    will the speed of the drives matter?
  7. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Render times are not really effected by drive speeds or a whole bunch of ram.

    It's how fast your CPU can crunch the data.

    A normal hard drive and a nice amount of ram say 4-10gb will be pretty much the same speed as crazy raid setups and 32gigs of ram.

    There are advantages to extra ram and faster drives, but not really when it comes to rendering.

    I have my mac pro running Compressor and 2 instances of Handbrake at the same time and using almost using 100% of my 8-core CPU power but I still have 5gigs unused out of the 8gigs of ram I have installed.

    You could look into hardware powered render accelerator cards maybe if you know what type of format your using.
  8. frimple macrumors 6502

    Nov 18, 2008
    Denver, CO
    You're ridiculous. You're comparing one drive versus a RAID setup? Regardless, I would set 4x X25-M's in whatever RAID combo you want against 4x 15k Cheetah's in the same configuration any day. SSD is superior period(.) Here's a link to an absurd example

    I think that your render times are dependent largely on the processors. Wait for the new Mac Pros to get your best performance boost. SSD's are nice for OS/App drives as the random access time is usually .1 millisecond and sequential read is insane (typically around 200 Mbs/sec). I think that for your application though it's just not there yet. I'm sure you're aware of the MLC vs SLC semantics, however you mention in your post that you're looking at a 250Gig SSD. That capacity means MLC and it also means it's a non intel drive. SSD's are so new that I really caution people against buying a re-branded second rate drive. Intel at the moment has the only drive controller that can get decent write performance (Samsung has only posted FUD as of this post), and they only make drives with 160Gig capacity ATM. If you go SSD (as I did, and I recommend it) don't skimp. At this point you're an early adopter and you're paying the premium.
  9. matteusclement thread starter macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    It all makes sense now

    I feel like I have a better grip and am relieved I don't need to make a monster to do my job well.

    The render is just such an issue because I waste so much time WAITING.
    So 12 gigs of RAM it is.
    8 core it is.

    But now you have piqued my interest with this rendering accelerator.
    I capture in FCP using an apple intermediate codec off of my canon HV30 in HD. Does that help? Could I be using a better quality codec?
  10. sidewinder macrumors 68020


    Dec 10, 2008
    Northern California
    I'd go RAID 1+0 before I would go RAID 0+1....

  11. Chaos123x macrumors 68000

    Jul 8, 2008
    Just get the standard config Nehalem setup when it comes out.

    Get like 8-16 gigs of ram.

    And a extra hard drive.

    Just wait and use your imac till Nehalem comes out.

    It can't be to long now.

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