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strikey
08-09-2007, 03:06 AM
I've just taken delivery of a MacPro 8 core machine which will be used only for intensive Photoshop. I have read Macgurus Photoshop Acceleration pdfs which seem to apply to G5 and earlier machines.

This forum has some tips about hard drive config for ultimate Photoshop usage however there is nothing relating to MacPro 8 core.

General consensus here states that I should use 150gb Raptors either as a single drive or striped Raid for the boot drive. (I've seen the Barefeats tests)

The image sizes we work with are generally 35mb-1gb. I have read differing reports about where the system, apps, image files and scratch should reside for maximum efficiency.

With 4 onboard drive bays on 2 separate buses (is this correct?) this is the config I am considering.

2-150gb Raptors for system, apps and scratch in Drive "Bays 1+2"

2-750gb drives (whatever Macgurus recommend- probably WD Caviar) as a striped Raid just for working image files in Drive "Bays 3+4"

I already have an external 2tb mirror raid on FW800 which I will hook up for backup.

The answer I really need to know is- What is the best config for the system,apps and scratch?

Should the scratch be on a single Raptor or is it faster in with the system files on a Raid? Are partitions necessary or effective??

At this stage I intend to use 8gb of Ram. I will up this if prices fall.

By the way is Crucial the best Ram for the MacPro 8 core?

thanks

Steve Strike, Australia

PS I forgot to mention the graphics card is the Radeon X1900 512mb

TZ
08-09-2007, 05:08 AM
Congrats on Mac Pro!

You've got four independent 3Gbps channels. Six if you include the two 'extra.'

At this point in time, I'd give the nod to 4 x 750GB WD RE2s.
Don't forget, MacGurus also sells memory.

strikey
08-09-2007, 06:27 PM
Thanks TZ

Still no answer on the best Photoshop config

What's best?

A. Boot, System and Apps on Drive 1 and a dedicated Scratch disc on Drive 2
with working files on a Raid0 Drive 3+4

or

B. Boot, System, Apps and Scratch on a partitioned Raid0 Drive 1+2 (scratch on the separate partition) with working files on a Raid0 Drive 3+4

or

C. Something else?

Steve

rwm
08-09-2007, 08:13 PM
I am not the PShop Guru but generally you want a dedicated "scratch area" by itself.

I am not sure if TZ was thinking 4 x 750GB Drives in a RAID or each on an independent bus?

TZ
08-10-2007, 03:37 AM
A. Boot, System and Apps on Drive 1 and a dedicated Scratch disc on Drive 2 with working files on a Raid0 Drive 3+4

B. Boot, System, Apps and Scratch on a partitioned Raid0 Drive 1+2 (scratch on the separate partition) with working files on a Raid0 Drive 3+4
---------
Read the Photoshop Guide.

Never partition.

You could just use all 4 drives in stripped RAID.

Scratch = RAID

Data = one large drive

Boot from a fast drive with OS/Apps

Boots
08-10-2007, 08:01 AM
I've just taken delivery of a MacPro 8 core machine which will be used only for intensive Photoshop. I have read Macgurus Photoshop Acceleration pdfs which seem to apply to G5 and earlier machines.

This forum has some tips about hard drive config for ultimate Photoshop usage however there is nothing relating to MacPro 8 core.

The PS Acceleration pdf and tips here apply to an 8-core MP just as much as to a G4 or a G5. The same principles apply:

1. use the fastest multi-processor available

In your case an 8-core- though your benefit from an 8-core versus 4-core will be marginal with the present state of Mac OSX multi-threading. PS will use in some operations but not all- close to 100% of each core up to 4 cores but you won't see 6 or 800% usage; an 8-core is currently overkill for Photoshop. It shines with multiple Apple Pro apps and some other Adobe apps running at the same time. But perhaps like you, I'm hoping the software will catch up with the hardware with Leopard..

2. install large quantities of RAM

You are well on your way there. But plan on using Activity Monitor during your typical work session to monitor page-swapping. This will tell you if you have adequate RAM for your workflow on average.
This is an area where the hardware needs to catch up with it's potential. Currently RAM I/O is bottlenecked apparently by the controller. This can be compensated for to an extent by using ( a lot of) the fastest possible RAM and proper config inside the box. I believe the 4GB modules are faster than the 2GB modules..

The extra RAM above 4GB is only really useful to you if you plan to enable the ForceVMBuffering plugin. You may (or may not) find as a result some interference with painting because of Tiger's vm 'pause' bug which hopefully will be fixed with Leopard. But in general you will get faster performance allowing the OS to cache Photoshop scratch disk data in RAM ("force virtual memory buffering").

3. install at least 2 fast hard drives, one for the system and one for PS scratch

From the latest data, it appears the new WD 750GB SATAII drive is every bit as fast as the 150GB Raptor, plus you get substantially more disk space. 4 of these sounds like a good choice but remember not to fill 'em up beyond 50% or so.

You omit a critical piece of info: how much "working" data do you currently have? Nowadays for pro digital photographers, it's every bit about file management as it is about optimizing hardware acceleration.

Because you plan to back up daily (right?) to massive external storage, you could get away with hosting your working files on a striped RAID0 of two internal SATA drives. This would give an advantage of faster Open and Save performance by virtue of the "working file" being on a separate really fast drive from the OS and PS. With the "working files" being off the system drive, that more or less eliminates any advantage or need to striping the system volume with 2 or more drives...

I see the concept and use (born out by my personal experience) of a striped system volume as most advantageous if the "working files" are on it, where they can benefit by the faster Open and Save performance, and also the faster OS virtual memory page-swapping performance when all installed RAM gets used up- which sometimes happens with really big image file work or huge file transfers.

Now my guess from your description is that the majority of your workflow is with images well under 1GB, perhaps most in the <250MB range. If this is the case, a single dedicated drive for Photoshop scratch should suffice nicely most of the time.

Therefore a safe reliable high-performance setup for you is:

Drive A (a single WD 750): Startup disk includes System, Library, Applications, Users
Drive B and C: (2 x WD 750s striped as RAID0) contains all image files
Drive D: a single WD 750 contains Photoshop scratch file. Assuming you use Bridge, you may also want to consider pointing Bridge's cache file ("use centralized location") to this drive for faster thumbnail building.

Several additional items to consider:

1. Using a mirrored external backup is probably a waste of space and an unnecessary risk. I can see using SoftRAID's mirror for rotating an offsite member but in general, if you have a software problem on the mirror drive, the corruption will instantly spread to the other drive in the mirror. Unless for some reason you really need a mirror, better to format as standard volumes; you get more space as a result and less potential for problems.

2. If using the suggested setup above, I would consider utilizing the space a little more efficiently by partitioning as follows:

Drive A first volume (60GB): System, Library, Applications, Users
Drive A second volume (600+GB): backup of image files on Drives B & C
Drive B & C (1200+GB): striped RAID0 single volume containing all image files
Drive D first volume (60GB): Photoshop scratch and possibly Bridge centralized cache
Drive D second volume (600+GB): backup of system volume on Drive A first volume and possibly second backup of image files on Drives B & C

Partitioning is not a liability in this case because the "second" volumes are not actively used; they function as passive storage. And when they are used when copying for backup, it's Drive A to Drive D or Drives B & C to Drive A or D- not Drive A to Drive A etc. In otherwords minimal disk-head thrashing when used..

----

So that's my suggested setup for you. You could of course try the 4 drives as single RAID0 volume containing everything- but's unnecessarily risky and the benefit is doubtful. :)

strikey
08-10-2007, 11:26 PM
Thanks Boots

You really put in some effort on this. I especially like the tip for the Bridge thumbs cache to go into the scratch drive. Adobe's own acceleration guide states that Bridge kills memory if run in conjunction with Photoshop. Bridge is an integral part of our digital editing workflow so it is good to know how to overcome that.

Re: the FW800 external mirror raid setup. I'm glad you suggested an alternative as I've never been happy with mirroring. The data is about 1 terabyte but is always rebuilding with softraid. The rebuilds are so slow they take about a day then start over again. (Thats with a dual 2.5 G5)

I always thought backing up to a mirror raid was the safest thing to do, however there is no reason why backing up to duplicate single drives is not as secure.

I am sold on the 4 x WD 750GB SATAII as suggested by TZ.

I will definitely be using 2 drives as a striped Raid0 for the working files (it's about 750gb at the moment) I've been a fan of striped Raid0 ever since I bought 2x18gb 15k Cheatahs from Macgurus about 10 years ago. Maybe I've been lucky but I have never had a Raid0 failure.

I'm not quite sure about the partition theory yet so will go with your first suggestion while you and TZ argue that one out!!

Let's hope the Apple Techs scan these forums and do something about the hardware/software bottlenecks in Leopard and really let us use all the 8 cores to the max.

The real reason for the original post was "time is money." As a professional photographer I need to edit an entire shoot as quickly as possible. This could be 500-1000 images. I use OSX Automator crammed full of Photoshop scripts (get them here http://www.completedigitalphotography.com/?p=339) to deliver images specific to the client brief. Try it, I don't think there is any way quicker other than upgrading hardware.

If my machine can do this in 1 hour instead of 3 then that's an extra $300 I've made on one job.

Thanks

TZ
08-11-2007, 03:04 AM
. I'm not quite sure about the partition theory yet so will go with your first suggestion while you and TZ argue that one out!!

There is no argument. Keep your active partition on the outer tracks, first partition, and use the rest of the drive(s) for backup or static files/archive. You wanted to use two that would be used concurrently.

Memory have to move from core to core, so there is now a new way to cause thrashing. Look for solutions in the next two years as the way cores and memory and front side bus evolves.

I've seen those WD Caviar 750's for under $200 now, but they are not the RE2 model which are being rolled out behind the SE. I just posted some quick bench results for a pair of WD Caviar WD5000AAKS models (http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Western%20Digital/WD5000AAKS/), and writes are fantastic for sustained I/O, while random reads suffer.

strikey
08-11-2007, 04:13 AM
I've only ever partioned disks using the Apple Disk utility. I'm not sure it gives you the option to select inner or outer sectors.

Is there a better utility that does?

kaye
08-11-2007, 07:09 AM
When you partition, the first partition you create becomes the outermost tracks. The second partition you create is the inner tracks. If more than two partitions, then they progress towards the innermost tracks (the last partition you create).

Apple DU and SoftRAID work the same way. k

TZ
08-11-2007, 07:38 AM
One of AMUG reviews shows using Disk Utility (http://www.amug.org/amug-web/html/amug/reviews/articles/firmtek/2eEN4/) to first partition a drive, then use the first half only to use in a RAID. Short-stroking the drive platters like this insures that your single partitioned drive RAID will use only the better half of the drive and get maximum performance.

Boots
08-11-2007, 07:57 AM
I've only ever partioned disks using the Apple Disk utility. I'm not sure it gives you the option to select inner or outer sectors.

Is there a better utility that does?

Steve, when you use Apple Disk Utility>Partition tab, it's a vertical representation of the disk space and when divided into 2 or more partitions- which will become "volumes"- the top partition is the faster, outer part of the drive.
When using SoftRAID, same thing; the first volume you create is the faster outer part of the drive.

I tend to use Apple's SATA driver (via Disk Utility) for all internal drives. At this point, it's evolved and proven to be quite reliable both as standard volumes and in RAID0 stripes. It appears to be every bit as fast as SoftRAID as far as I can tell in my testing.

I do use SoftRAID for my external SCSI Burly RAID and have rarely if ever had a problem.

I also experimented for awhile with a SoftRAID mirror of 3 firewire PATA drives for backup using a hotswap case. Two of the drives were rotated offsite.
I liked the striped reads feature but as you say the automatic rebuilding took forever and I found it interferred with my workflow to some degree.

I also had several instances of problems which I couldn't easily troubleshoot. In one instance, something happened in the blink of an eye which immediately hosed the directories of 2 of the drives- fortunately I had a backup because repairing with Diskwarrior would have taken ages..
Not sure if it was user error on my part or a software glitch but it was unnerving and I hadn't had a problem like that in years with a standard volume.

So that put me off mirrored sets. No doubt SoftRAID has evolved in that respect as well, but I've since chosen the better part of prudence to stick with standard volumes for backup drives.

As an aside- the mirror concept at first glance is very attractive to users because it offers the prospect of instant, effortless backup with the added bonus of a fail-safe protection against mechanical failure...

But in actual practice- at least from what I've seen- a mechanical failure tends to quickly propogate directory corruption to the volume unless it is absolutely sudden and complete. Most disk drive failures I've experienced occur somewhat gradually, allowing plenty of time to wreck the data before total failure.

When you look at the big picture, the key to data safety in this regard is really about redundancy because all drives will fail at some point, and all media will degrade at some point. So it's really a shuffle game over time with multiple backups on different types of media providing the safety margin.

Some other comments:

TZ, Kaye and I did some testing awhile back regarding block size in formatted volumes. There is some literature out there that recommends larger stripe block sizes for video and Photoshop. We found by and large, the default 32k size was best for system volumes and most data volumes.

We didn't test for video per se, but contrary to what we had assumed, there also didn't appear to be any advantage using a larger stripe block size for a RAID0 Photoshop scratch disk- even though certain literature suggests this is the case. Maybe our speed tests don't show this..

My point being- sometimes you have to test for yourself to really find the optimal setup.

Another case in point is the Adobe PS CS3 literature on optimizing performance (http://kb.adobe.com/selfservice/viewContent.do?externalId=kb401089):

"When you run Photoshop CS3 on a 64-bit operating system, such as Mac OS X v10.4 and later, Photoshop can access up to 8 GB of RAM. You can see the actual amount of RAM Photoshop can use in the Let Photoshop Use number when you set the Let Photoshop Use slider in the Performance preference to 100%. The RAM above the 100% used by Photoshop, which is from approximately 3 GB to 3.7 GB, can be used directly by Photoshop plug-ins (some plug-ins need large chunks of contiguous RAM), filters, and actions. If you have more than 4 GB (to 8 GB), the RAM above 4 GB is used by the operating system as a cache for the Photoshop scratch disk data. Data that previously was written directly to the hard disk by Photoshop is now cached in this high RAM before being written to the hard disk by the operating system. If you are working with files large enough to take advantage of these extra 2 GB of RAM, the RAM cache can increase performance of Photoshop."

Unfortunately, this is confusing and not entirely accurate. It needs a clever re-write (I told SB at Adobe as much). I have 16GB RAM in my computer. CS3 if given the opportunity will use every bit of that (above 4GB) to cache scratch data in RAM. Seen it with my own eyes over and over again. Barefeats put 32GB RAM in a Mac Pro and I believe they saw something similar. So this "up to 8GB" limit is not only not true but is being widely propogated by well-meaning experts.


The extra RAM above 4GB is only really useful to you if you plan to enable the ForceVMBuffering plugin.

I should qualify my own statement here. I can see not using the FVMB plugin where you may need multiple apps open including PS and Bridge during a work session and your PS files are on the smallish side. Lots of ways to skin a cat!

Thanks for the link Steve. Interesting stuff.

{EDIT} I see kaye and TZ got to you first on partitioning..:p

Boots
08-12-2007, 05:20 PM
In your case an 8-core- though your benefit from an 8-core versus 4-core will be marginal with the present state of Mac OSX multi-threading. PS will use in some operations but not all- close to 100% of each core up to 4 cores but you won't see 6 or 800% usage; an 8-core is currently overkill for Photoshop. It shines with multiple Apple Pro apps and some other Adobe apps running at the same time. But perhaps like you, I'm hoping the software will catch up with the hardware with Leopard..

Actually- I'm partly wrong about this. :o

Rereading the Barefeats tests I see the 8-core MP does use all 8 cores with Photoshop- it just doesn't do the job any faster than a 4-core MP, I suppose from the poor core swapping of OSX. Which gives me more confidence that speed results might get better with Leopard or higher on the same machine, as they get the software better optimized. Certainly forward thinking to go for the 8-core machine!

TZ
08-12-2007, 05:31 PM
Intel wants to move to a direct connect bus for each core, and some type of embedded memory controller.

Core A has to give up memory and move it to core B.

Software compilers that do more of the optimizing for applications to handle memory and a 4-core chip.

That "road map" extends out about two years to get there.

Newer chips from Intel coming out late '07, then early '08, and again in late '08 will perform better. Apple got in on first batch of 5300 series top clock speed, their new partnership on the iPhone business.

The Mac Pro is now "over due." The Intel "V8" has been around long enough that there should be new motherboards based on its designs.

Talk of a 1666MHz bus and 3.3GHz running now. THAT would be what I would wait for, if you want to or can afford to hold off longer.

Boots
08-12-2007, 05:35 PM
Talk of a 1666MHz bus and 3.3GHz running now. THAT would be what I would wait for, if you want to or can afford to hold off longer.

I think I can- we'll see. The 'ole G5 Quad still has some life in 'er yet! :D

strikey
08-13-2007, 05:58 AM
Thanks for all the tips.

I only hope the performance enhancements are software driven in the near future or Apple will be seen as selling overpriced overspecified snails.

Any future hardware enhancements wont help those who have bought this model.

Also as this is the Graphics Studio thread for those who didn't see my earlier link here it is again

http://www.completedigitalphotography.com/?p=339

Using OSX Automator is the only way to really make Photoshop fly right from inside OSX. This App processes multiple macros/actions/scrpts on the fly. You can colour correct, adjust levels, add metadata, sharpen, add watermarks, resize and save to jpeg, tif, psd into different folders all at the same time on 500 files with one single click!! Bloody amazing!!!

Multiple apps can be scheduled at the same time and if you're real keen you can upload the same lo res folder of just processed jpegs onto the web using ftp while you go and have a coffee!!

Up until now I did this on a dual G5 2.5 and the cooling fans would be screamin the whole time it took to do the job.

The new Macpro doesnt even take a breath to do the same set of actions.

rwm
08-13-2007, 02:11 PM
Both links work for me. :p

strikey
08-13-2007, 07:01 PM
Back to the Hard Drive question

Are the WD 750gb RE2 so new that they are not available yet?

None on Gurus! None on OWC!

The WD site lists them but no price or cart options.

The web is awash with WD 500gb RE2's - are they as fast as the 750??

Do I wait for the 750's or get the 500"s??

TZ
08-17-2007, 09:08 AM
This AM (Friday) Apple Store Specials had an 8-Core $3300.

cbphoto2002
09-11-2007, 06:29 PM
I gotta say, this has been one, very instructive thread. I love coming here and gleaning these jewels.

Thanks to you Gurus! :)

ricks
09-11-2007, 07:59 PM
Back to the Hard Drive question

Are the WD 750gb RE2 so new that they are not available yet?

None on Gurus! None on OWC!

The WD site lists them but no price or cart options.

The web is awash with WD 500gb RE2's - are they as fast as the 750??

Do I wait for the 750's or get the 500"s??

MacGurus won't be carrying them until and unless we get a LONG ways towards proving them a correct choice for port multiplier and desktop use. Those are server drives. For the most part that has meant big trouble in many applications. Until thorough testing and proof that they won't give us tons of support grief we won't be carry them.

Rick

Nicolas
09-12-2007, 03:09 PM
As far as I know, CS3 is using 2 cores max.
8 cores are not used even 4 cores...

I guess we have to wait till CS4 before we see "real" multicore support.

On the Windows side it looks the same only a bunch of apps do have muticore support such as C4D but most are using only 2 cores as well.

Regards

Nicolas

Boots
09-12-2007, 04:19 PM
As far as I know, CS3 is using 2 cores max.
8 cores are not used even 4 cores...

The reality is both CS3 and CS2 use multiple processors to different degrees depending on the particular operation-

Barefeats reports all 8 cores in use for some operations, but they conjecture the core-swapping is so poor, there's no advantage over a 4-core machine.
I've seen in my G5 Quad 390% processor use at times with PS, and certainly at least 200% most times.
Apparently some PS processes are single processor only, but most are at least 2 processor and more. But 4-core machines are way faster than 2-core machines with Photoshop on average...

Nicolas
09-12-2007, 06:19 PM
But 4-core machines are way faster than 2-core machines with Photoshop on average...

On Windows I see abolute no difference between a E6600@2.4GHZ and a Q6600@2.4GHz. Same system only CPU is different. On the Quad Q6600 only 2 cores are being used, the other two cores running at 2%.

Windows multicore support is very poor :(

I go on and start your PS test next time I am on those systems.

Regards

Nicolas

Boots
09-13-2007, 06:55 AM
On Windows I see abolute no difference between a E6600@2.4GHZ and a Q6600@2.4GHz. Same system only CPU is different. On the Quad Q6600 only 2 cores are being used, the other two cores running at 2%.

Windows multicore support is very poor :(

I go on and start your PS test next time I am on those systems.


Hi Nicolas
I think you are essentially right what you first said.

On my G5 I have been seeing- since *I think* 10.4.8 (?) when the system updates started doing the double-restart- more even processor use during any given operation.

I think what's making PS faster with 4 proc over 2 is- the 100 or 200% use is getting spread out over the 4 processors more evenly and thus a bit faster than if only 2 processors were available.
But everybody says- as you did above- we've got aways to go before the system software catches up to the hardware and uses it better; better "core-swapping" was the term used.

In fact, Barefeats found the 8-core MP machine slightly slower with their Photoshop test than the 4-core MP...

I'd love to hear what you get with PshopTest on the Windows machine. I'd love to make that test work with Windows but I'm such a novice with Windows, I'm not sure where to begin! :o

TZ
09-13-2007, 07:26 AM
I don't have photoshop but I have Mac Pro running x64 Windows Vista.
Any idea other than the GeekPatrol test ($$) to test performance and see how well it uses 4 cores?

True quad core packages (not just two dual core in one) won't happen until Nov 11th or later which is suppose to help but mostly have to wait for Q1 '08.

Leo is suppose to help, but I wouldn't expect to see real gains until mid-life (10.5.5). The Mac Pro saw 20% gains with the first post-release of hardware 10.4.8

Nicolas
11-25-2007, 07:50 AM
SuperPI or Prime95

jacob
11-28-2007, 05:38 AM
hey guys,

everybody used to suggest a separate /Users volume, but it seems to be gone from the recent suggestions.
what gives?

jacob
11-28-2007, 08:51 AM
we are setting up another workstation, and getting a mac pro 3.0
it comes with one somewhat useless 7200 drive.
however, since we have lots of computers, it will have a purpose in life.

I have tried every flavor of setup for sata drives, from raid0 startup + raid0 scratch, to raid0 startup, raid0 users, raid0 scratch, raid0 data.

for this new box I am going to limit myself to 4 drives.
Volume1: raid0 sys, apps, users
Volume2: raid0 scratch (partition1: scratch, partition2: nightly backup of sys, apps, user)

I am leaning to the WD750, though I have been faithful to the 150GB raptors.

They are the same price, basically. What do you think bootsy?

ricks
11-28-2007, 09:02 AM
I will never go with anything except a separate Users and OS. So my MacPro has

drive 1 OS
drive 2 Users,
Drive 3 and 4 are Raptors in a RAID0 for scratch.

The new 7200.11 Seagate drives put most everything to shame on speed. Both the 500s and the 1 TB version at 100MB/sec.

Rick

jacob
11-28-2007, 09:23 AM
how are you doing? long time no chat.

i was just about to edit my previous post, and to add


Volume1: Raptor 150 raid0, (sys, apps, users)
Volume2: WD750 RE2 raid0 (partition1: scratch, partition2: nightly backup of sys, apps, user)

i have been working on a separate sys, users, scratch, data setup for about a year now (all of them raid0)
we use smart objects a LOT, so the separate USERS raid is helpful (all those temp files)

however, I would prefer to keep it to 4 drives on this new workstation.

So its either the above setup, OR

Volume1: Raptor 150 (sys, apps)
Volume2: Raptor 150 (users)
Volume3: WD750 RE2 raid0 (partition1: scratch, partition2: nightly backup of sys, apps, user)



(i have read a lot online showing the WD750 RE2 beats out the seagate, by the way)

ricks
11-28-2007, 10:28 AM
Hey, enjoying life Jacob. Getting to test new stuff all the time. No time to test it all, is the hard part. Too many new drive models around to even come close to getting comprehensive testing on all of them.

Reason we don't carry RE2s is a long conversation, but basically we won't use Enterprise drives in desktop machines. Too many risks. Too many times we see issues pop up out of nowhere causing grief from feature sets that were designed to run in server arrays. At this point, and until proven with a longer track record, I avoid the RE2 drives. My own personal little bias but based on answering support calls all day. You are of course welcome and we are happy to hear the results of your use of them.

I really am fixed in the separate Users drive. Main reason is security. I like having my Applications and Users stuff on a separate drive where the OS is disposable. I can replace the OS, change, screwup or move to a different machine with a different OS and not effect one bit my User directory. This maintains all my preferences and licenses intact as well for all my applications.

The added performance is somewhat minor. The OS on one drive and the app on the other is a small increase. I won't run the OS on a RAID though. Always had a problem with that. Boots up fast though :D

Rick

strikey
12-17-2007, 02:52 AM
It's been a while since I posted here, however it seems the original thread is still alive.

I held off getting the WD 750's as Seagate came out with the 1TB drives which are very fast according to http://www.barefeats.com/hard94.html

I see Jacob has posted his 4 drive preference as being Drive 3-4 Raid0 then partitioned in two. If I create a Raid0 using disk utility it wont allow me to set a partition. Can this be done with disk utility or only using SoftRaid?

I can select a raid slice and partition that but get a message stating the raid is now unusable.

jacob
12-17-2007, 05:44 AM
strikey,

The method actually involved paritioning each single drive <i>first</i>, then using the 2 pairs of partitions to make your new raids.
I actually ended up doing it differently than I posted:
I made a 150GB partitition, and remainder of each drive, went ahead and made a RAID0 for scratch-- and the remaining 2 large paritions went together as a RAID1. This way, if I am backing up to the RAID1, and not only do I lose my SYS drive, but one of the 750s gets messed up, I will still have a functioning slice of the backup partition.

This should work for you, but also you might want to follow common advice and write zeros to each drive as a means to double check that you didn't get lemons.

Let us know how it goes,

Jacob

As an aside, I was hoping to use Time Machine to do the backup, but it fails after the first 9GB or so. Time Machine is very Lite (versus Retrospect or CCC), but it does has some advantages-- for instance when installing Leopard, you can select a time machine backup to migrate from.

marrand
01-20-2008, 02:53 PM
Rick,

I must be missing something here.
Your OS is on drive 1 and Users on drive 2? Later you add that "Applications and Users stuff on a separate drive where the OS is disposable". So, you have the OS on both drives? Which one do you boot from? I didn't know you can separate OS from the User's library. Don't both have to be on the same volume?

My PPC Quad has two drives, the second a clone of the first. I back up stuff from #1 onto #2, and should #1 fail, I am ready to use #2 without any losses. Also, all data and files are backed up on external device. But this setup is too slow. Soon I will be buying the newest and meanest 8core, and have been following the suggestions in macgurus forums how to set it for best performance for MY needs. So far I have not separated data and files from the OS and Apps/Users, but will for the 8core setup.

Plan to get four drives and more RAM (from macgurus of course...where else!!), but the rest of the set up baffles me. At the moment I am thinking of 10K rpm 150GB Raptors in 1, 3 and 4 (the last two raided), and the newest 500GB Seagate in 2. Somehow I feel the 10K raptor is best for the boot drive. Am I wrong? (It works fine in my PPC quad).

So, slowly I will ask questions, few at a time, and plan out the next system, hopefully the last I will buy. When I said slow, one example I had in mind was the long time it takes to delete a 4GB file with "secure empty trash".

marrand

unclemac
01-20-2008, 10:28 PM
.....the long time it takes to delete a 4GB file with "secure empty trash".

If you are asking why, it is because a secure erase actually writes over the space where the files were. So in your example the drive has to write 4 GB of something to the area(s) of the drive that the file(s) occupy.

The idea is that normally, when we delete stuff, it is not really deleted. The directory (the master list as to what is where on your volumes) is simply notified that the space where the file in question is can now be available for use. At some point in the future, the 4 GB file will actually be overwritten with new data you save......but who knows when. Could be anywhere from seconds to months or beyond, depending on too many variables to even consider.

So, should someone run a handy file recovery tool and scrub the drive, they would be able to see and easily recover all of the files that had been "deleted" but not yet overwritten, which are actually more like just invisible. Writing something over the space those files occupy when you do the secure delete makes it much harder to recover the data. But it also makes secure erase much slower.

marrand
01-21-2008, 09:20 AM
unclemac,

Thanks, but I knew why. I was fishing for advice or encouragement regarding this example and others: if this 4GB file is sitting on raid0 pair in drives 3 and 4, but I have booted from drive 1, will the secure empty trash (all the overwriting) step be done much faster? I mean the OS, sitting on disk1, must "reach over" from its own bus to the other one, and then write on another HD? And this will be faster? I think you will say yes, since all of you have recommended putting files and data on a different drive, attached to a different bus. But I just want to be sure I understood.

While you are busy answering this question, please answer another. Don't laugh, but I need to operate an old version of Windows2000 for one particular arcane acitivity. VPC7 does it easy and fast, since this activity requires very few resources. However, the Windows file is huge, almost 4GB. Will things go faster if this file sits on the raid0 (drives 3 &4)? I think in this case there is more reading than writing.

marrand