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View Full Version : Best boot drive config. for Quad G5?



speters1
02-15-2007, 02:13 AM
I am currently using:

_2.5 ghz Quad G5 with 10gb ram, ATTO UL5D

_74gb Raptor (8mb cache) - boot, OS, user, apps

_6 x 36gb Atlas 15k II - Scratch / work

_250gb WD Cavier - storage

This computer is used only for photoshop and I regularly work on files that get up to 1.5gb. I am trying to figure out the best way to configure a new boot drive? These are my options:

1). single 300gb Maxline pro III for OS, and put apps and user on 74gb Raptor

2). get another 74gb raptor and stripe those for the OS, user and apps.

3). stripe two 36gb Cheetah 15k.2's (that I already have) for OS and Raptor for apps and user.

I realize than none of these changes is going to make a huge difference, but I am hoping to get some faster saving and opening of files. What do you guys think would be my best bet?

TZ
02-15-2007, 07:40 AM
According to Boots and Photoshop test utility and benchmarks he's done, a pair of 150GB Raptors in stripped RAID is your best boot drive.

unclemac
02-15-2007, 08:15 AM
If memory serves, even a single newer 150GB Raptor is something like 30% faster than the older models. If you stripe your boot drive, be sure to have a clone of it somewhere!

ftonelli
02-15-2007, 05:38 PM
According to Boots and Photoshop test utility and benchmarks he's done, a pair of 150GB Raptors in stripped RAID is your best boot drive.

I have a pair of 150GB Raptors that I am currently using as CS2 Scratch.
I just bought SoftRAID 3 and in the next days will set up as boot drive.
Any suggestions are welcome :)
Can't wait to see how it works...

Also:
I currently boot from a 74GB raptor and have moved my Users on a 250GB Hitachi. Once I will boot from the pair of 150GB raptors would there be any advantage in moving the users or is it best to keep them in the new boot drive?

If yes, where would the moved user best perform? On another pair of 150GB Raptors or would that overkill the bus?

Thanks,

Francesco

Boots
02-16-2007, 05:28 AM
Sorry to be late to the party!

Some observations from practical experience...

1. Striping 2 x 150G Raptors and using as a Startup disk offers these advantages:

A. faster file open and saves when the image files are on the Startup disk.
B. faster system virtual memory page swapping when RAM is used up when working with really big image files.
C. 279GB volume instead of two 137GB volumes; more room for stuff with more stuff on outer parts of drives for faster performance.
D. all files on one volume simplifying backup process.

2. Disadvantages:

E. a striped Startup disk may actually be slower in the way it handles small files.
F. the inherent risk and danger of long-term storage of data on a RAID0 volume compels the user to implement a disciplined daily backup routine to minimize the risk. And you must have a means of booting the computer from another disk or installer cd if you need to initialize the RAID0 Startup disk and re-install.
G. users employing a RAID0 Startup disk should be well versed in maintenance and backup procedures, and should have a "what if" plan already in place.

----

Certainly an easier, safer, and more reasonable approach (than a RAID0 Startup disk) with few negative side effects would be:

A. Raptor as Startup disk; large, fast 2nd drive as Users/data.

B. Raptor as Startup disk and all files except image files which are on a 2nd large and fast drive.

Both of these are fast setups. Personally, I would prefer B because maintenance with a Netinfo-moved Users volume is more complicated.

With A, it's easy to back everything up and there are no complications to watch out for. Nowadays so much gets installed in /Library, and Application installs can get quite customized- it's just plain easier to have most everything on one fast drive...

----

When it comes to the proposed individual setups mentioned above in this thread- IMO there's no one right way to do it. And there are so many variables involved with different users setups- you really have to test things out for yourself. I've made a Photoshop testing utility available which certainly can point folks in the right direction.... :)

ftonelli
02-16-2007, 05:41 AM
Certainly an easier, safer, and more reasonable approach (than a RAID0 Startup disk) with few negative side effects would be:

A. Raptor as Startup disk; large, fast 2nd drive as Users/data.

B. Raptor as Startup disk and all files except image files which are on a 2nd large and fast drive.


Thank you Boots, but I am a bit confused.
I understand the danger of having you boot drive on a RAID 0.

But I am not sure if, as an alternative, in your options A and B, when you mention a large, fast 2nd drive using a pair of 150GB Raptors would make any sense.

In other words, instead of having boot + users on a RAID 0 would it make any sense to use a single Raptor for boot and put the users or the image files on a RAID 0?

I primarly use Photoshop and I am trying to find the most effective combination for fast opening/save file performance.

Thanks,

Francesco

TZ
02-16-2007, 06:06 AM
I usually encourage "thread hijacking" on our forums, but giving advice to two people with totally different gear (G5 Quad vs G4 MDD) makes it harder - and confusing.

A G5 only has two internal native SATA drive support and hard to add more internal drives.

A G4 can have four drives, and care to what controlller you use. There is also less bandwidth for those drives. Three Raptors used concurrently would saturate the PCI bus... G4 shows real benefit from 10K Raptor.

FW800 PCI on G4 MDD can make for an interesting add-on, too and don't rule it out.

Boots
02-16-2007, 07:33 AM
In other words, instead of having boot + users on a RAID 0 would it make any sense to use a single Raptor for boot and put the users or the image files on a RAID 0?


I don't know the answer to this- TZ likes this method but you would really need to test it to know for sure.

If you're willing to sytematically test various configurations available to you with PshopTest or some other standard, that will give you a better idea of what to do based on your own setup, amount of files, working methods, backup methods etc...

Personally, I try to keep things as simple as possible for ease of maintenance.

TZ
02-16-2007, 07:48 AM
I used a RAID for data, because I was limited to small 36GB SCSI drives and didn't care for any of the ATA options I had at the time. Or to invest in SATA while it was still "maturing" and changing.

I would think that a PATA drive for data 300-500GB would make sense.

I don't like to see a bunch of media or data on boot drive unless it is a small percentage. Instead, use the boot drive for OS and applications - and for PS scratch in this case.

How about 3 x 10K Raptors? 74 or 150GB depending on size and budget. But the gap in price lately between 74GB and 150GB would give the nod to 150GB today.

However, someone might be happy and fine with 3 x 500GB drives, too. Even if you formated as 250GB each and left 150GB as free space. You'd have 700GB of fast 200MB/sec space to use.

The 10K Raptor suffers with small files but makes up some in low latency and faster seeks. It isn't that much faster on reading, but it does excel at write I/Os.

speters1
02-16-2007, 08:10 PM
So does it matter which version of the Raptor 150 I use for boot?

speters1
02-23-2007, 07:30 PM
So I decided to get the Maxline Pro 500 for now to replace the WD Cavier. I needed more space for storage and I figured that I could probably just partition this drive, 140mb for Boot & user and the rest for storage. I am still going to be using my RAID as the work/scratch drive. So I did some testing with QB and I got 100mb read: 66 write:64. This was on the empty drive and it's not any better than my 74gb Raptor, which is full, read:62 write:64. I looked in the HD database and Boots was getting 72, 76 on the same drive. Is this due to him using a SATA card? I know that it made a difference on older macs, but I thought I was ok with the Quad G5?

Boots
02-24-2007, 08:11 AM
Steve, I don't think I ever tested a MaxLine- that was Kaye.

----

I just wanted to add- in general, for Photoshop- anytime you put the image file being worked on, onto a separate drive/channel from the startup drive- you should get faster open and save performance. This would apply to any of the proposed configs in this thread.

kaye
02-24-2007, 08:41 AM
Right Boots, guilty as charged. On my G5 it is my main boot drive connected to mobo SATA, not a PCI-X card. The drive is not partitioned because I want plenty of breathing space. Currently:
Capacity: 485.64GB
Available: 318.96GB
Used: 146.69GB on disk (about 32% full)

Your MaxLine Pro, is it the same model as mine? 7H500F0? Remember it is new and should get faster daily. I normally give a new drive a pretty intense workout for at least a day, sometimes more, before reinitializing it for test.

Your previous question about which Raptor 150G, it does not matter. The one with the window costs more and you would not be looking in there much if at all since you would have to pull the drive to see inside. k

speters1
02-24-2007, 03:38 PM
Thanks guys. Yes it is the same model, and it's brand new. I didn't realize that they get faster over time. I finally figured out what mobo means. I thought that it was some sort of SATA card, but it means motherboard correct? So until I get the Raptor 150, I am thinking of partitioning the Maxline with a 120gb for the boot, user, apps, then the rest of the drive for storage. Does that sound good?

kaye
02-25-2007, 09:43 AM
Ah yes, mobo equals motherboard equals logic board. Sorry.

Now about partitioning the Maxtor. You have a pro setup, Quad G5, so I'm going to guess you have the applications, or will have, to go with that G5. My Dual G5, I may have less than you do but I have a lot. And currently, I have about 147GB used on the Maxtor. However I do have a game on it, X-Plane, and its folder is 58GB. So 147 - 58 = 89GB. A 120GB partition on my Maxtor w/o X-Plane would be about 75% used, already getting into what many Moderators feel is the upper limit or beyond, plus it leaves you no breathing room for temporary files, saving files, more applications, and so forth. As a drive fills up, you risk directory corruption and/or data corruption. Plus as the partitioned volume fills up it gets slower. Maybe others have suggestions. k

speters1
02-25-2007, 01:04 PM
Right now my boot, user, apps. drive, the 74gb raptor, only has about 20gb available and there is nothing else I would need to put on their. So if I transfer everything over to the 120gb partition, I will still have about 70bg available, so that would be plenty, correct?

One question I haven't asked, does having a fast boot drive still speed up saving and opening PS files if your are using the work/scratch/RAID config?

kaye
02-25-2007, 02:40 PM
Yes, that is correct, and it would be roughly 40% full. Your question, having a fast boot drive does cause Photoshop to open and operate faster but whether it speeds up opening and saving PS files on a separate scratch volume I don't know. Someone else will have to weigh in with that answer. k

Boots
02-26-2007, 10:01 AM
does having a fast boot drive still speed up saving and opening PS files if your are using the work/scratch/RAID config?

When using WDSD method, the speed of the startup drive will have minimal effect on file open/saves when the WDSD volume is quite a bit faster. Still- a faster startup drive = faster PS performance in general.

TZ
05-25-2007, 08:27 AM
Right now my boot, user, apps. drive, the 74gb raptor, only has about 20gb available and there is nothing else I would need to put on their. So if I transfer everything over to the 120gb partition, I will still have about 70bg available, so that would be plenty, correct?

One question I haven't asked, does having a fast boot drive still speed up saving and opening PS files if your are using the work/scratch/RAID config? Those little ol' Raptors though don't really notice or get the "performance hit" that any other drive will.

However.... it is "prudent" to still have 32GB free for burning DVDs and such.

... you want to have about 50% free. Files get shuffled around a lot during installs, updates, and any temp files. Plus there are all those log and cache files.

Quad G5 is perfectly capable of using the 150GB Raptor which has 16MB cache. Just picked up a new 74GB model and it is quieter, doesn't have the high-pitch that dominated the one I got last Sept.

I figure this is all history and settled issue, but wanted to update the thread.