View Full Version : OS X & Photoshop Hardware Acceleration

03-16-2006, 10:16 AM
I have a G5 Dual 1.8 with 3 GB RAM, original 80GB SATA HD, Maxtor 250GB 7200RPM 16MB cache second HD, and a WD 250GB Firewire External HD for backups. The max memory this G5 will take is 4 GB. I have the User folder relocated to the second drive. The OS boots to the original drive.

I use the computer for Photoshop CS2, Bridge, and other PS filters and plugins. I usually have iTunes and Firefox open too. I am currently running OS 10.3.9, but I am going to upgrade to 10.4.

What would be the best performace upgrade, getting a faster boot drive or adding memory to the max of 4 GB? I currently have the Photoshop scratch set on the boot drive, I don't believe Photoshop ever uses this though.

Which boot drive would you recommend the 74 GB Raptor or the Hitachi/Seagate?

Thank you! ;)

03-16-2006, 12:35 PM
With your setup, PCI bandwidth limits disk writes to 75MB/sec, so don't invest in a RAID. CS2 will use your boot drive and I think it might be worthwhile to go with either 150GB Raptor or the smaller 74GB and make the most of your internal drives.

But eventually, if you want more performance, RAID or 8GB RAM, then look at a PCI-X G5, PCIe Core-Dual, or something. And see if you can get $1100 for your system. PCI-X ref'd from Apple go for $1499 and up.

03-17-2006, 06:28 AM
What would be the best performace upgrade, getting a faster boot drive or adding memory to the max of 4 GB? I currently have the Photoshop scratch set on the boot drive, I don't believe Photoshop ever uses this though.

Definitely max the RAM to 4GB, remove the 80GB drive, put in a 150GB Raptor as boot drive, and keep PS scratch disk pointed to boot drive as long as ~/Users in on the 16MB cache Maxtor. PS file sizes 500MB or less will do well with arrangement- as long as you maintain plenty of free space on the boot drive.

Photoshop always creates a scratch disk file- regardless of image size. Even if it uses it only for History and no image data.

03-17-2006, 06:42 AM
Thanks for your reply Boots,

Is there any posts that tell you how to clone the hard drive I want to swap out. I could not find any.

I installed Tiger last night, 10.3.9 to 10.4.5. I want to switch out the older 80GB Maxtor hard drive for a Raptor now. My user folder is on the Maxtor 250GB 16MB cache HD. I backup my User folder on a WD 250GB firewire drive. Can I clone the boot drive to the firewire HD and swap out the boot drive with the new Raptor? Is it possible just to back up my apps and do a new Tiger install on the new drive?

I guess I would use Disk Utility to do this?

What is the easiest method?

Thank you!

03-17-2006, 07:27 AM
For cloning you can use Disk Utility's Restore function, CCC (http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html) or other third-party backup software.

Yes, you can clone the current boot drive to the firewire drive, pull the 80GB drive, then install the Raptor, boot from the firewire drive, zero out the Raptor, then clone the system on the fw drive onto the new boot drive.

I like CCC; I think it is easier to use than DU's Restore. If you read CCC's instructions, that will give you the lowdown on cloning.

03-17-2006, 07:45 AM
Mac OS X Tips & Maintenance (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showpost.php?p=69726&postcount=2)

Moving home directory (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=20965)

Damien's Method (http://www.macmeisters.com/~damien/moveusers/) - the best and easiest to follow!

Partitioning Guide (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21005)

03-17-2006, 10:11 AM
put in a 150GB Raptor as boot drive,

Boots, I know others have had issues with this drive in G5's. Is this wise to suggest?

My 74's and of course the 36GB Raptors are fine.

03-17-2006, 10:23 AM
Rob, the 150GB Raptors seem to be working (for the most part) for folks as long as they don't work with really large individual files (>20GB)...

And to be sure- Western Digital has actually said they are not compatible in G5s, so ya- maybe best to stay conservative and suggest only the 74GB Raptor til this issue gets ironed out.

I've not seen any problems at all with mine, and I've been slingin some pretty big Pshop files around. :crossbne: :dance:

03-17-2006, 11:12 AM
It depends ;)

Raptor 150 Discussion (http://www.macgurus.com/forums/showthread.php?t=21541)

And, I noticed that a newer revision is out (and the price jumped back up, about $50).

So, we don't know if there is a way to do so via jumpers, but we do know that PCI G5s will cripple any Raptor 150. And there is a new 74GB model out as well, based on the 150, so you would need to investigate THAT as well.

Gotta hand it to Apple, they know how to really do their customers. (And that, to me, in a nutshell, is why an Intel system, while a HUGE shakeup and work for anyone involved, is proably better for us in the long-term.)

... which is why I was suggesting, is it really worth it to add 512MB RAM and deal with 1.8? or trade-up to a newer model and get what you can - something that will let you wait out the first Intel Pro model, and yet offer a more viable workstation for two years or more.

03-22-2006, 08:06 AM
TZ, I've been looking around without success for info on the new version of the 74GB Raptor you mentioned. Can you shed any more light on it? Specs? Availability?

03-22-2006, 08:11 AM
... something I read on the forum over on StorageReview, which is a great place for reviews and info. Makes sense, but I don't see any at zipzoomfly.com either, to take the 150 and "cut it in half" to reduce production costs and standardize?

There is 2nd revision Raptor 150GB 101257-1 (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=101257-1)

3 months since they came out. Two years since the 74GB came out (and nearly a dozen updates in firmware, revision, etc).

03-22-2006, 08:49 AM
I can't find the WD 74GB Raptor with 16MB cache for sale yet by anybody, even WD.

About the Raptor 150GB, there are two versions, and both available. For instance, WD1500ADFD (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=101257) and WD1500AHFD (http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/ProductDetail.jsp?ProductCode=101257-1). The AHFD is more expensive because it has a clear cover, "crystal-clear lens on the drive to let you see into the inner workings and witness the drive in action." I'm trying to figure out how I would accomplish that or want to. k

03-23-2006, 09:29 PM
OK, so when WD, for example, updates the firmware for a Raptor, is it possible to download that update and apply it to the drive?

03-24-2006, 07:31 AM
The way things have been going for the Mac + hard drives in general, typically, if there is a downloadable firmware update for a hard drive, most hdd manufacturers seem to have a Windows-only utility for applying that update. For instance Western Digital has Data Lifeguard Tools, Seagate has SeaTools etc.
So I wouldn't expect to be able to do that once you have a new drive. :o
Course, with the move to Intel-inside, maybe that will widen compatibility or induce the hdd companies to widen that flexibility to include MacIntels- just speculation on my part, mind you...

03-24-2006, 07:40 AM
SR forum sometimes talks about firmware, and whether it helps some and hurts others, but usually, not going to be an issue like it would be for say SCSI Cheetahs you want to use together in a RAID.

But because there are different models now, and firmware, if you were building a RAID, it might be best to have all the drives be same revisions of course.