What do I do with standard 320gb drive?

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Jebaloo, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Jebaloo macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    Hi - I'm just working out how to spec my system and need a little advice:

    I know that getting the HDs from apple is bad value for money, but I don't know what I'll do with the shipped 320GB drive once I install the 1TB drive that I'm going to buy separately. Ideally I'd like a 1TB drive, and two smaller faster drives for scratch disk - I've not real use for the 320 GB drive.

    I had previously been thinking about getting two raptor drives and setting them up as a RAID to make a super-fast scratch drive, but more recently on the forums I've been seeing a lot of comments that current 7200 rpm drives are better value, and very fast compared to the 10,000 rpm raptor drives.

    What I'm trying to work out is, could I somehow use the shipped 320GB drive as a fast scratch disk in RAID with another third party drive that I buy? Would the other drive need to be the same size?

    In general, if anyone could give me advice for a good value HD setup for photo/film production, that'd be very helpful.

    Thanks ( I know there are a lot of threads at the moment grabbing your attention, so thanks again :)
  2. MikeL macrumors 6502

    Jan 22, 2003
    Bloomington, MN
    Give it away. That's what I'm doing with mine. I've got 2x750GB and 2x500GB that'll be going in my MP. To me, with how dirt cheap storage is at the moment, having 320GB take up an internal bay is a wasted opportunity.

    I suppose my other option is to stick it in a USB2/eSATA case I have laying around and use it as a laptop backup drive. I'm using a 160GB for that now.

    Too many drives, not enough SATA connectors...
  3. CWallace macrumors 603


    Aug 17, 2007
    Seattle, WA
    You could use the 320GB drive to hold your OS and applications, a separate 1TB drive to store data, and then two high-speed scratch discs.

    Or just use the 320GB for the OS and the 1TB for apps and data. Makes OS upgrades easier - no need to back-up your data. :)
  4. oceanzen macrumors regular


    Dec 4, 2006
    Madrid, España
  5. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    That sounds like a pretty good idea.

    It finds good use for the 320Gb hard drive, but surely it'll be pretty empty with just the OS and applications on it. Even Final Cut, CS3, etc don't take up THAT much space! Good idea though.
    Would it be pretty simple to do? Can you think of any obstacles, potential complications with this setup for future use, updates, moving files, installing new stuff etc? I'm pretty good with computers compared to my pals, but no genius.
  6. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    I think they get used on a temporary basis as the data passes over them. Correct me anyone though, as I may be wrong.
  7. ZachPruckowski macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2007
    What I did with my 1G MacPro's 160GB drive was buy another and RAID0 it, keeping a 400GB one for media. A 320GB drive can be had for super-cheap ($70-80), and a RAID0 gives you 640GB. Yeah, it's software RAID, and there's the slightly higher failure chance, but it's a nice way to get performance and space.

    Another option is to use your spare 5.25 inch bay to hold a HDD instead of a second optical drive. Given that you can steal cables that come with your retail drives (the drive chassis on the Mac Pro is cable-free), it's not a terrible option. I'd have to dig out the manual or something, but there are two onboard SATA ports which are supposed to be for SATA optical drives. I think the superdrive in the new ones is still ATA (mine from a year ago is, and I can't find anything to say this one is SATA), so both those ports are free.

    You could drag those two SATA ports to a cheap $20 eSATA pass-through, and toss the drive in an eSATA enclosure.

    Finally, you could just ship it to me (PM for address). I don't really need it, but I'll use it to replace my 250GB Linux/Windows/VMWare drive.
  8. Maddler macrumors member

    Sep 28, 2007
    If I install the RAID card, can I then stripe 4 1TB drives together as RAID5 and use that as my boot drive? My media/scratch is on an xserve raid.
  9. krunk macrumors regular

    Jan 29, 2004
  10. netnothing macrumors 68040


    Mar 13, 2007
    The 320GB drive only has 8MB cache, while a 500GB has 16MB cache.

    I'm thinking don't keep the OS and apps on the 320....that extra cache from a 500GB drive might help speed things up.

  11. Luis Ortega macrumors 6502a

    May 10, 2007
    Fetcham Surrey UK
    Why not just upgrade the 320 to a 500 at the time of purchase so you can use it and not waste the drive? It's a cheap upgrade.
  12. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    I suppose I could just use it for extra storage space, the 500GB that is. That and a 1Tb would be pretty useful.

    If I were to do RAID on two small drives, what type of drives should I get? (any links would be great)

    With so much data, how big would my time machine drive need to be? This will be my first leopard computer and I'm keen to take advantage!
  13. astrostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    No, it's not a cheap upgrade. $100 to upgrade 320 -> 500 GB is enough to buy an extra $500. It's cheaper to buy a 500 GB separately and sell the 320 or use it for some other purpose.

    In my ancient G4, I have 2 120 GB drives (hardware limits me from going any larger). I plan on purchasing 2 500 GB drives in addition to the 320. One 500 will be OS, apps, data, etc. The second will be Time Machine backup. The third will be used for downloads data storage such as ripped movies for iPod, as scratch disk, and as temporary storage with massive photo projects (like my last trip ended up with 20 GB of stuff that on my laptop was horrible to deal with). This will be a huge increase in storage space for me, and I don't think I'm going to fill it up for a long time.
  14. peejack macrumors 6502a

    Aug 7, 2007
    I dont think the 320gb drive being 8mb cache would make that much difference to apps and os speed.

    I was thinking about buying a 32gb 10,000rpm WD drive for os and apps then have the 320gb drive and buy another 500gb drive for storage etc... good idea?
  15. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    Thanks for all your input, but everything seems to be pretty contradictory. I think I may be even more confused now!

    So you think that the 320 drive would be good for OS and Applications (any spare space I could use for archived data that I wouldn't be accessing simultaneously, so as not to waste good space)?
  16. astrostu macrumors 6502

    Feb 15, 2007
    If you've made the decision to keep the 320, I think the concensus is that unless you're a real disk I/O power user, you can keep the OS and apps on the 320 or not, it's up to you (though the question is, how do you have 320 GB of OS and apps?). If you are a power user, then the 16 MB cache vs. the 8 will be a benefit to you and so you may want to keep it on a larger drive that has a larger cache.

    For most purposes, I think it's really just up to you with arguments on both sides.
  17. SDAVE macrumors 68040


    Jun 16, 2007
    Put it in an external USB2 enclosure and use it as a backup drive...best option.
  18. Jebaloo thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 12, 2006
    Right, thanks. I don't have nearly 320 of OS and Aps! That'd be pretty crazy. I think I might get the 500 and use for OS, Aps, and Archive file storage.


    Shipped 500GB (Or, shipped 320, sold on ebay, and then new 500Gb third party drive purchased in replacement)
    3rd party 1TB drive
    2 x small drives for RAID Scratch disk

    externals for back-ups and time machine.

    Still not sure what two drives to get for scratch disk.
  19. jnc macrumors 68020


    Jan 7, 2007
    Nunya, Business TX
    I'll take it off your hands for the price of postage mate :D
  20. KevinPlusPlus macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
    Do we know what brands of drives Apple has been using for each of the different sizes?
  21. awad macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2006
    i got the 500gb one as it was only 90 extra with the student discount, could i partition the drive and use half as a scratch disk for photoshop?
  22. McGiord, Jan 8, 2008
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011

    McGiord macrumors 601


    Oct 5, 2003
    Dark Castle
    IMHO: use it as a BootCamp disk, if it's possible and you are interested in doing so.
  23. ZachPruckowski macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2007
    I don't think it would help you much. You'd wind up reading/writing to two disparate spots on the drive, forcing it to do a lot of seeking, and actually costing you time.
  24. awad macrumors member

    Sep 4, 2006
  25. imacdaddy macrumors 6502a

    Feb 2, 2006
    Just wondering why you need 2 scratch disks?

    Separate question, if scratch disk is even necessary these days if one has +8GB of RAM?

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