View Full Version : Help building G-4 for Photoshop

Drew Endicott
12-10-2000, 05:38 PM
I am trying to put together a G-4 workstation to work on large photoshop files.
I am going to order a new dual 500 G4.I would like install 1 to 1.5 gigs of RAM and an internal Riad.I am thinking it would be better and less expensive to buy a stripped down system from Apple and do the upgrades myself.

I am a prof. photographer not a tech head.I could use some good advice on putting together a kick butt Photoshop Machine.

12-11-2000, 09:01 AM
You have come to the right place.

1.5GB of RAM = 2x256 + 512x2, 222spec.
For the PREEMO RAID you will want 4 x15K Cheetah and the ATTO U160 dual channel card. I think this runs $2600 - of course this is the ultimate RAID. Your system will not boot off a stripped RAID. You may want to go 2x18G striped for speed and 2x18G mirrored for redundancy. Not sure about heat issues, but these drives would rock. I would make a boot paritition, scratch partition and data/file partition. A better deal is on the Cheetah 36GB 10K drives. You could even boot off your stock IDE/ATA drive. Your system will handle 4 HDs on the bottom, but you could shove 5 in, but that may be pushing it.

If you get a new system you may want to get a DP G4. There are no processor upgrades yet, so you may have the G4-400 for longer than you want. I would get the 450DP because you can save money and get 99% of what you want.

It really depends on your budget. The MilesU2W card is nice and a single channel U160 card would probably work well and cost less. If you do ANY 3D work get the RADEON (its great for games to). I think the ORION/RAGEPRO128 is nearly the same speed in 2D. You could always add second display later.

Have fun storming the castle!

12-11-2000, 03:58 PM

you need SDRAM from our SDRAM page (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?yosemitesdram.html) for Sawtooth. Now is a great time to buy. It has never, ever been cheaper.

for your array, you need the following:

1. An ATTO UL3D or UL3S Ultra3 SCSI host from our ATTO page (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?attoboards.html).

2. dual X15 18GB Cheetahs from our Seagate page (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/showrampage.cgi?mg_hdseagates.html).

3. Internal LVD TPO ribbon cables with terminators from our internal cables (http://www.macgurus.com/shoppingcart/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiteflonintcables.html) page.

if you get the UL3D, you will want two part number GD4800 with two GD6299 and GD1636. This will give you what you need for a dual-channel Ultra3 internal array.

if you get the UL3S, you will want one part number GD1200, and one GD6299 with one GD1636. This will give you what you need for a single-channel internal Ultra3 array.

if you do not already own it, you will also need a license for SoftRAID (http://www.macgurus.com/beta/obj_show_page.cgi?mgscsiraid.html).

that should do it.

12-11-2000, 06:02 PM
Good recommendations Mag, but I'm puzzled.

The ATTO card doesnt come with LVD cable & term or SoftRAID?

The MilesU2W may not be as fast... but the price is sure nice.

Of course if he gets the MilesU2W he might as well get the slow 10K cheetahs.

12-11-2000, 09:07 PM
I disagree.

Miles2 remains the best board for vintage 32-bit PCI subsystems. For New World machines with 64-bit PCI, ATTO is superior.

yes, it costs more. And no--SoftRAID and cables/terminators are not bundled.

Drew Endicott
12-11-2000, 10:52 PM
Thanks for your replies guys. You don't know how good it is to find a good resource for tech. advise for a non techy like me.
What is your thoughts on multiple monitors?
When I order a new G4 dual processor do should I get just say a 20 or 30 gig ATA drive to use as a boot drive,and for apps.etc.?


12-11-2000, 11:35 PM
Get the bigger unless it's highway robbery.

Drew Endicott
12-12-2000, 12:16 AM
Do I order the G4 with an ATA drive or Ultra SCSI?Should I order the dual monitor support installed from Apple?

[This message has been edited by Drew Endicott (edited 12 December 2000).]

12-12-2000, 03:00 AM
I would order it with dual display support from Apple. ATI video cards are constrained in the channel right now. We have five Nexus left, and that's it. We have no accurate ship-date on PCI Radeon. AGP Radeon are in-bound.

I would also get the ATA, and boot off that drive, and install a pair of X15's running off an ATTO with Granite hardware. I'm not sure how it stacks up in terms of cost to what Apple offers, but it should cpst significantly more. The X15 is the fastest drive on the planet, and Granite hardware is warranted for life. I would also prefer a five year warranty on my RAID subsystem rather than Apple's one year.

Drew Endicott
12-12-2000, 11:09 PM
Great! Thanks
From past experience I know I want look forward to future needs and expansion as best I can.
What do you think about the need for redundancy? "Pendragon" had mentioned earlier about 4 18GB 15k drives.Is this an advantage? Could I get 4 drives to fit into the G4 tower case. Should I use ext. Fire wire drives for storage of images instead.with a data base such as Cumulus for cataloging. Perhaps a CDRW drive for image storage and sending out to clients?I am also assuming that I should order a CD drive installed in the G4 from Apple.

12-13-2000, 01:42 PM
I could have swore I posted this earlier...

Mag, I'm puzzeled about what you disagree with. I was not trying to imply the MilesU2W is a better card for 64bit pci slots. I'm just puzzled that a GREAT card like the ATTO U160 Dual Channel is not bundled with SoftRAID and some GRANITE cabling. Given this, he could save a TONE of money going with a MilesU2W, but then he may as well get some 10K Cheetahs or even some Cudas. Of course the ULTIMATE SOLUTION for his system would be the dual channel ATTO U160 with AT LEAST 2 X15 Cheetahs.

Drew, You can EASILY get 4 drive in a Sawtooth G4. With some work you could get 5 drives - this is in addition to the ZIP & DVD. Of course heat could be a big issue and the GURUs can address this better than I. You would have to double stack the two X15 cheetahs - and even though GURU's says they run fairly cool (for Cheetahs), this may be a BAD http://www.macgurus.com/ubb/eek.gif idea. The 5th drive would go in the slot above the DVD.

You are probably best off, going with 3 HDs internally. One stock IDE/ATA boot drive. Two x15 18GB drives stripped in a RAID and maybe a few external SCSI or Firewire drives. You can always add additional SCSI drives later... You would need to get a case, cabling for the case and case-to-case cabling+external term, so this would add signifcantly to the cost. I do not have any idea what your budget is or if money is a secondary conern. 4 x15 Cheetahs in one stripped RAID volume would be DAMN fast, but you would want some backup. Even Cheetah drives will fail or need reformatting from time to time, on occasion.

For backup Firewire is the way to go, IMHO. You can get up to 80GB on a single drive. It uses standard (3year) IDE/ATA technology (about 30MB/s) which is more than fast enough for the current IDE/ATA-1394 bridge technology (15MB/s). This is much faster than USB and more versatile than SCSI. Since you only need to turn on your FW drive for backups, you could get many, many more years out of the 3yr drive. You could then lock your important data in a fireproof, waterproof, bombproof safe http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif !

I think some of the GURU's use TAPE backups, but they seem slower, more expensive and less reliable. They would have better info on this.

Have fun storming the castle!

Drew Endicott
12-13-2000, 02:30 PM
Thanks for your reply, it,s always a bit like getting a visit from the tooth fairy when I hear from you guys.

I'm anxious to hear from mag on this as well.

Money is of course always a concern, how ever I have learned time is indeed money. If I can save time on the creative end and save time by not having equip. failures etc. it's worth spending the extra money. I would like to have this system put together as early in January as possible. I want to do it right so that I can get to work and stay working.

If I used an external ZIP would that leave more room for faster devises inside. Also what is your suggestions on usind CDRW.

12-13-2000, 05:26 PM
I don't fundamentally disagree with any of this. The ATTO bundle would be a lot better if it included SoftRAID and cabling/termination, for sure.

They do include ExpressRAID, which I do not prefer over SoftRAID, with some bundles. I do not consider the external cables they include with such bundles the peer of the Granite cables we sell separately.

In short, you will pay more to use an ATTO card in a Sawtooth, for sure. You will also get better performance than if you use a Miles2.

where to compromise, on performance or expense, is an individual decision.

I would personally use one or two IDE drives internally, and a pair of X15's running off an ATTO UL3D, in a Sawtooth.

for CD-RW, I would go external FireWire. Backup on the IDE drives, or on external FireWire drives. If you need tape, get a VXA.

Drew Endicott
12-14-2000, 11:36 PM
It looks like this is the system were building:

From Apple: Dual 500 G4,64mg RAM,30gb ATA drive,DVD-ROM with DVD-Video,2x Rage PCIcards-16mb each.

From Mac Gurus: ATTO SCSI UL3D,2x Cheetah 18.4 15k Ultra 160 drives,2x GD4800 LVD Ribbon cables,2x GD6299LVD Terminators,2x GD1636 Remote LED Indicators,Softraid,3x 512mb Low Profile SDRAM chips,VST ZIP 100,EZQuest 30gb external fire wire drive,EZQuestCDRW drive 12x10x32,CD-ROM Speed Tools.

How does this sound?

OK I've put in PCI Cards,RAM etc.into my biege G3,but I have never attempted any thing quite this extensive.Will I be able to get good instructions and support to get this put together and working?

Thanks guys

12-15-2000, 12:10 AM
I think I would skip SpeedTools in this case, as there is no need to use it to handle the built-in DVD-RAM, and it doesn't support FireWire CD-RW. Toast, which is included as part of the EZQ bundle, however, does support FireWire CDRW.

We can assist you here with installation guidance.

12-15-2000, 12:18 AM

That Apple G4-500 DP is going to be a great machine. You already have the Gurus stuff?

This is where I am confused, partly because I don't have a Beige G3 nor the Apple box. You say you are putting the PCI cards and RAM in the Beige G3. Which PCI cards? And you are putting the RAM for the Apple G4 DP in the Beige G3? I don't think the RAM you purchased from Gurus will work in a Beige G3. But I have been wrong before.

What you are getting for the Apple sounds perfect. k

12-15-2000, 12:21 AM
WOW! Kickin

Are you going to run three monitors?

You will find that the 'Gurus support is peerless. There are some software tweaks that are PhotoShop friendly when you go to set up your hard drive array, so check in---actually start a step-by-step thread in the appropriate New World Macs forum below when you are ready. That way we can all learn from a focused discussion.


Drew Endicott
12-15-2000, 09:58 AM
Great! it sounds like we are pretty much ready to go then. Any last words of wisdom? I really do appreciate all the feed back.

Kaye, By the way I think you misunderstood. The G3 is my existing system. The G4 is the new system to be built.

Speak of: The G3 (333mghz,384mb RAM, Ultra SCSI, Orange firewire/USB card,etc. This will be set up to an Imacon film scanner,a flat bed scanner (SCSI chain) various Eppson printers,etc. Any suggetions on putting these together and networking with the G4??

12-15-2000, 03:59 PM
PC100 SDRAM , CAS2, should work in both beige G3, Blue and White, and the Sawtooth--not to mention the Cube.

there are different ways to build this memory, and this is one reason why it is possible to get memory for the Cube for less. Rather than carrying yet another part number, we prefer to standardize. It makes it easier to move memory among various machines without encountering compatibility issues later. Most of our customers are network administrators buying for several machines rather than solo upgraders upgrading one machine. And everyone may eventually need the flexibility to move memory around.

our memory ends up costing $6-8 more per DIMM as a result, but we think it makes sense.

12-15-2000, 07:14 PM
Yo, why are you getting two Rage 128 PCI cards??