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View Full Version : macbook pro, lycom, sata and raptor???



xoshooter
04-15-2008, 07:24 AM
Hi All,

Just bought a macbook pro (2.33, core 2, 2 gb ram, 15") from my nephew(mac genius). It came loaded with a bunch of software quite generously. I was using a mdd d867 but needed speed and portability. I bought a lycom express34 sata card from the gurus and was thinking of hooking up my raptor 74gb drive from the MDD to use as a scratch disk for photoshop use and another sata drive to use as a working drive. I use granite digital sata enclosures. Does this make sense or is there another way to get speed. Also, would adding a 2gb ram card to make it 3gb add any productivity? Also, also, on my mdd I had move users to a separate drive but was wondering if anybody does that with laptops?

Many thanks!

ricks
04-15-2008, 09:00 AM
Makes perfect sense to add external drives. You need externals to have backups and to increase storage speeds. Only go external with stuff that you use when you are planted somewhere though.

As an example, I would pull my users drive from my G5 and it take it with me when I go on the road to a trade show or the like. That way I have everything with me. Problem is, that to get mail or do any work, even sitting in the airport, I have to power up and run an external drive.

So my current setup is I sync just the parts of my users that I need, mail especially, and leave the MacBookPro set up as is from the factory. Then I sync those parts back when I return. Now when I am sitting in an airport I can open the MBP and get mail or whatever in seconds.

My recommendation, don't move users on a portable.

Rick

xoshooter
04-15-2008, 09:59 AM
Thanks ricks...thats what I figured...

Will I see a speed boost with photoshop by using the raptor as a scratch disk. I primarily process hundreds of raw images at a sitting. I do not create large files as much as working on many files. (event photographer)

ricks
04-15-2008, 12:20 PM
Probably not. Biggest and most effective gain will just be putting the images themselves on faster storage. Beyond that you have pretty much saturated the bus and won't really gain from additional drives.

Rick

xoshooter
04-15-2008, 10:01 PM
Thanks Ricks. Well, then. What am I to do with the Raptor drive? Should I give it to the guy I sold my MDD to? I was hoping I could use is for some productivity purpsoe. Is there anything I can or should do to make my laptop faster, better...like the 6 million dollar man kinda thing. There must be something I can buy! I know I will need image backup drives and backup bootable drives but I am not sold on time machine yet so do not need a monster. Will sata drives work as a full bootable backup or is fw/usb still the only way? I was so hoping I could give this thing a little high octane boost but I guess I will just have to settle with fast external sata drives to process...open on one and save to another...unless of course you give me a reason to spend. No really, this is my new workflow computer so every little time saving bit will get me closer to free time.

ricks
04-15-2008, 10:27 PM
Clone your operating system and applications drive to the Raptor and run it on Firewire 800. The Raptor is more drive than Firewire800 can use, but it will still double the speed of your computer when you are stationary to be booted from a speed burner instead of the little 2.5 inch drive inside..

You could build a 2 bay Burly with one bay connected via Firewire800 bridge and the other bay eSATA. Pretty easy actually. Short parts list to convert one of the Firewire bays to an eSATA connection. Be ultra quiet as well, fewer power cables.

Rick

xoshooter
04-15-2008, 10:40 PM
The lycom express 34 card...doesnt it have two ports for sata drives or will the speed be reduced in have by using both? Oh, I get it...the sata ports are not os/app bootable so I have to use the fw800 port and just use the sata for storage and processing disks. Sounds like I will be turning my laptop into an octapus pretty soon. What about upgrading the internal drive? Any benefits there or since I have the raptor why not get a fw800 enclosure and use it. I wonder why I thought using the raptor as a scratch disk through the sata card would speed up my photoshop speed when processing files...maybe a little too much limited knowledge extrapolated forward without any real depth of knowledge. I know this is not a mac pro but coming from the mdd 2x867 it should be plenty fast...but every little bit more counts....well look at me, home late after a long day of shooting and farting around on the internet...so much for leisure time.

ricks
04-16-2008, 12:05 AM
Gains come from separating high accesses to different buses so they can all access simultaneously. If we make a list of the different storage accesses happening when you are editing photos, looks something like this (in the order I place them for value when speeding things up):

#1 photo files

#2 OS and application

#3 scratch

You do have 3 different buses/drives available. internal, external SATA and Firewire 800.

Speeds are about 40MB/sec for the 2.5 inch drive, even though its bus is faster the drives are fairly slow mainly because of platter size. Physics gets in the way of any real speed from that direction because of the small platter size.

External SATA bus. Capable of around 110-115 MB/sec. New hard drives almost saturate it. If you hang two drives off the SATA card, and are hitting each drive hard, they will split that 115 between them. Fastest bus for one drive, ho hum performance with 2 drives on it.

Firewire 800. Grand total of 80 MB/sec of available bandwidth. Almost as fast as todays current 7200 RPM drives. at least double the speed of the internal drive. Totally saturated by a Raptor which would make a killer boot drive. Major pain in the ass when you are portable to fire up a Firewire drive to boot from, so should maintain the internal drive for that purpose.

When booted from the Raptor I would leave scratch on the Raptor. Simple and about the best setup I can think of using the available bandwidth.

Rick

eric
04-16-2008, 12:25 AM
Just going to chime in on this one thread because my MBP has become my main Mac, although I still have an MDD that I use.

As Rick mentioned I don't bother with moving the /Users directory to another partition on my MBP. The heads are really going to have to dance around quite a bit for that. I do have another partition but that's solely for Boot Camp, which is also used for Fusion.

As for moving the /Users or just your Home directory to say an external, it can be done. Might make sense if you absolutely needed to have a "portable" Home directory that was always the same, say between a Mac at work and another at Home. That's usually done by people without portables though, since it's easier to take an external than is a Mac Pro.

I agree with Rick that if the way to speed things up with PS is to move the images to an external drive. Helps keeps thing a bit better organized too.

Also if you move the scratch disk to an external, then wherever you use you PS on MBP, you'll want to have that handy. Or you'll get used to resetting the scratch disk.

I haul mine to and from work every day (no Mac at work), and all through the house. Once you get used to that, you might start to see the hastles of having an external scratch disk. Images stored on an external aren't too bad -- I use a bus-powered FW drive -- and when I can't be bothered I just copy them to the internal.

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 07:52 AM
Thanks Ricks for the info. I'm downright dangerous now. Seems a shame to have to make the raptor a dinosaur. I will likely follow Ricks suggestion to move an os and apps to the raptor and use it to boot from on fw800 for pscs3/lightroom/aperture purposes. This will not be my backup drive just a productivity drive which is what I purchased it for initially for my mdd. If I am on the road I will leave it at home so maybe in the future for me is a faster internal drive but we'll see and if it will make productivity sense. I guess the only complicating factor here will be to remember to switch scatch's in pscs3 back if I am on the road. So, does the enclosure matter much when it comes to fw800 or can I use any. I think I already have one I can drop the current drive out of and drop in the raptor.

I try not to leave images on my laptop ever. Only big space waste would be my itunes or imovies for demo purposes. I have a portabe fw drive for travel purposes that I would keep a backup os just in case and apps on it and a partition for photo storage. I was hoping the ext sata ports would not be reduced in speed by using both but I could always get a port multiplier case if I really wanted. So my one external sata will be used for image storage.

So no moving users...but I will start another thread later because I have to 'fix' my old mdd for my friend I sold it to. It has my name populated everywhere and I know changing names on drives does wonky things.

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 08:27 AM
Here is where I almost got downright stupid. I thought I could just pull out a drive from fw800 driveset/case I have that is not being use and drop the sata raptor in...not

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 11:40 AM
Would the icydock fw800 enclosure work for what I want/need?

ricks
04-16-2008, 12:18 PM
My only issue with the IcyDock is that it has external power supply. I like the enclosure though and did extensive testing with a Raptor in the one I have here. (let me know if you want a month old shiny black one, I'll knock $20 off the one I used for testing)

The IcyDock enclosure will easily do the job for you and is not very big, an added bonus when it might have to travel around with you.

Ric

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 12:26 PM
Ricks, what is the alternative? I thought they would all need an external power supply or are you referring to something with just a power cable vs a wall wart type of thing. I am using a colleague single bay fw800 burly enclosure as we speak (I turned him on to you guys) and all I can say is the fan is loud and the case is big. Would not mind if it was a multiple bay enclosure but for a single drive I wanted a smaller footprint. This case is almost the size of my laptop. Definitely would consider the 'used' black shiny case. Too bad I did not think ahead as I have a express 34 card coming from you any day now.

ricks
04-16-2008, 12:45 PM
Yeah, the fan is overkill. We have a Vantec replacement fan that makes the sound go away, but couldn't get the enclosure manufacturer to change the one that they ship installed in the enclosure.

I am a fan of internal power supplies. ALthough none of the enclosures with external power supplies actually have wall warts any longer, a wall wort being a simple transformer. Just about all hard drive power supplies are a full fledged protected and well designed power supply in its own box. I just, personally, dislike having to carry around a second box to supply power. That's all. My own little pet bias.

If I could find a one bay enclosure that had a rock-solid power supply and was a smaller form factor, I would replace the big one we use now. every one we tested had crap for a power supply or had other obvious weaknesses that disqualified it. One thing you can say about the one we are using now, it can take a beating. I'll bet you could drive a midsize car over it and not significantly damage it. Tis a tank - unfortunately a big tank.

I prefer the 2 bay. Actually works out better cost wise per bay. And it is a bit smaller considering it being 2 bay. And like I said earlier, you could do a 2 bay with one bay Firewire and one bay eSATA. Still might be too big a box to lug around. The IcyDock doesn't have that problem.

R

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 12:59 PM
99.9% there. For using the drive as os/app, is there sufficient cooling with the icydock all aluminum case? The price (for my humble means) is right vs the burly plus relative portability.

ricks
04-16-2008, 02:06 PM
I have direct testing results for that question. :D

I ran a Raptor in the IcyDock tests for a couple weeks to see if the hottest current drive made would have a problem. At the end I then ran it solidly for many hours recording and playing back video, no downtime except for a few moments doing temp checks for which I would pull the drive and shoot various parts of the drive body with an infrared temp gun. The highest recorded temperature was 107 at the bearing of the drive. Most of the rest of the drive stayed nearer 100-102. Fluid dynamic bearings have a low but constant level of friction induced heat. To have that build up only to 107 was well within optimum. Drives are rated to usually 140 or 150. 107 was great.

Ambient was 70-72.

Rick

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 02:16 PM
my wallet is yours...how do we do this?

ricks
04-16-2008, 02:56 PM
You can just order a black one online. Put 'From Test' in the shipping comments field at bottom of address entry page. Laurie'll fix the amount before billing it out.

I have it sitting in the original box, have to redo the packaging. Hope I can figure out how to put it all back in the original packaging. Inscrutable oriental designed it for someone smarter than me....

xoshooter
04-16-2008, 03:20 PM
done. Please let me know if I should get anything else? Don't worry about neat packing. Just protect it.

Using lightroom for the first time today. Seems like such a speed hog. Used to using iview or photomechanic, then bridge to control+R to image processor. What am I missing about lightroom? Seems to get raves. I'll keep trying.

ricks
04-16-2008, 03:41 PM
Already packaged. It is P-U-R-T-Y ! Even wiped off what dust had gathered on it since I dropped it in its box a week or so ago.

The tracking number, you can get through the link on your order confirmation email, will go live later tonight. Probably 5 business days from me to you.

Thanks.

Rick

xoshooter
04-17-2008, 07:41 PM
Hi Ricks,

My lycom sata card came today. Any procedure for installing onto the macbook pro?

Also, given that I will be using the raptor 74gb in the fw800 case that is coming and hooking my photo storage drives up to the sata card I have a question for the near future. When I shoot I tend to shoot lots of images. I do not generate large files as a I not do a lot of post processing of image but I do a lot of raw image processing after I make adjustments. Are there drives that are better than others for this? I hear a lot about latency, etc. Would a multiple drive system serve me better with my mbpro or is there any other speed bump I can gain from my system. Currently have 2gb ram. Not sure it can accept any more or if so be usable by the system.

Thanks.
David

eric
04-17-2008, 09:44 PM
My lycom sata card came today. Any procedure for installing onto the macbook pro?

You need to download and install the Mac drives to use in your MBP. There's a note and the link on the product page:

http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/LYCeSATA-2EC34.php

ricks
04-17-2008, 11:36 PM
Well, latency isn't a big deal for a photo database. Look at latency as how long it takes to start and stop your storage. A couple millisecond difference on your photos isn't noticeable. WHere latency comes into play is in scratch disks, the reason being you are doing lots of smaller accesses. And those accesses are operating as expansion room for your RAM. So fast and low latency are important there.

The fastest you can make your storage for the database would be a 2 drive RAID0. There is no bus on your MBP that can benefit form more than 2 drives that the SATA card on the Express34 slot is giving you. If you end up needing a bit more speed then that is the next, and only step, to accelerate your image store.

Max out the RAM. New MBP can take 4 GB. Older models were 2 and 3 depending on when they were made. Good tool to help determine what your particular MBP can use is MacTracker (http://www.mactracker.ca/downloads/). Great list and accurate memory guidance.

xoshooter
04-18-2008, 09:18 AM
Thanks.

My mbp can take 4gb ram but only accesses 3. The hard drive is a 5400rpm which I suppose I could extract and use as a spare and upgrade to a 7200rpm but not sure if this will boost performance since I will be using the fw800 drive as startup when using pscs3. I suppose compared to my old mdd this is a boost and will allow me to speed things up but it is not a mac pro so I should not expect it to be. I bought it because I am space limited these days and it was available at the right price. More is always more and sometimes better. In this case I got what I got and I'll use it till I have more space or more (lots) money.

ricks
04-18-2008, 03:30 PM
It will do fine doing what you do under the conditions you do them. Every computer choice is a study in compromises, the MBP you got sounds like the right thing at the right time. You should pat yourself on the back, not worry about apologizing for making real choices. Bravo.

Rick

xoshooter
04-21-2008, 09:58 AM
Thanks Rick for the vote of confidence.

Maybe I will update the internal drive and double the ram at some point for additional speed boost at some point. Right now I need storage. To that end I now realize I need two drives. One for doing my backups in the new fw800 and one for long term storage for my photos in my current external sata enclosure. What is the current recommended bang for the buck in terms of drives?

Thanks again.

ricks
04-21-2008, 10:32 AM
Seagate or Seagate. Best performer and best warranty. They are just standout today.

Rick

xoshooter
04-21-2008, 11:06 AM
So I guess what your saying if I read correctly is to get seagate? Do you know if shipping is extra for the seagates at macgurus?

Also, for future sake. Which would give a bigger performance boost in my laptop. Adding a 7200 internal drive or upping the ram to the 4gb (3 usable) ram?

Thanks.

xoshooter
04-22-2008, 07:14 AM
ordered a 500gb 7200.11 and an extra tray for the icy enclosure.


Is there a way to set up a drive so that you do not fill it up to capacity? i.e. Is there some 'drive alert' software that will send an email or a pop up letting you know you have reached it limits for performance, etc etc? I know to zero it out for bad tracks but was wondering about this. I seem to always overfill and dont realize until it is too late.

ricks
04-22-2008, 10:13 AM
That's a thought. Be nice to find a warning application that would allow you to set a threshold for when the alarm goes off. I'll keep an eye out.

iStat (http://www.apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/istatmenus.html) may help, or not. It has monitoring capabilities that are a click away. No alarm though.

Rick

xoshooter
04-22-2008, 07:36 PM
Rick,

Found something pretty close to what I was looking for. It is a menubar utility called 'spacecontrol'. Downloaded it and testing it. Only seems like it will work for the startup disk and not externals. Still hopeful that it is out there.

ricks
04-22-2008, 09:34 PM
iStat is pretty nice. After posting I downloaded and installed the Pro version. It is a widget running on Dashboard, so a quick peek instantly shows drive status.

http://homepage.mac.com/rstephens/.Pictures/iStat.png

As you can see, Time Machine and Backup are pretty close to over capacity.

Rick

xoshooter
05-02-2008, 07:27 AM
Rick,

Question or two for you.

I am 7x zeroing out the sg drive I got from you and all is going well, just taking a long time. I set up the icy dock with the raptor and want to set it up to run like we discussed. I have superduper and assume I do not want to copy user data over to the raptor, is that correct? Also, in terms of a backup strategy I am confused and trying to keep it simple. I assume I want a backup/bootable system which I can use superduper and separately all my data backed up redundantly. Currently when downloading images I backup to dvd in addition to hardrive(s). What about backing up other data files like invoices and quicken files and address/mail info?

Thanks a bunch.

ricks
05-02-2008, 09:06 AM
Everything has to be backed up. You just have to come up with a plan that accomplishes that. On a regular basis, anything you would prefer not to lose, you should backup.

Simple rule, harder to accomplish at times. I will always make a partition on the inner slow part of a drive to use as a backup of some other drive. Every user needs to find a setup that works for them though. I seldom run off a one drive MacBookPro, so I don't have to work in that limited of an environment. You do, so you will need to establish a setup that you can maintain.

Rick

xoshooter
05-02-2008, 10:43 AM
BACKUPS FOR DUMMIES...

Rick, I wish I thought like this but I don't. I do not have a cohesive plan for backups and everything I read just confuses me more. I bought ccc, superduper, chronosync but they don't exactly make the plan. Time Machine confuses me more. I now have a granite digital sata case with two spare trays, the icydock fw800 I bought from you with an additional tray and a travel 2.5" fw 400 drive (80gb) that I had used in the past for making full clones of my ibook with superduper. I am going to clone apps and system onto the raptor to use in the icydock and will get another drive for the spare tray but drives seem so huge to just use for backups or am I mistaken. Does another 500gb barracuda make sense? You can see I am spinning myself in circles, right, like a drive platter. Info overload. Any suggestions for a KISS system for my laptop?

ricks
05-02-2008, 11:20 AM
I don't think you have to worry about it much. Aren't you running that external Raptor as the System drive when you are at your desk? That means you should keep the Raptor and the internal 2.5 inch drives identical. One of them is always acting as a backup.

Rick

xoshooter
05-21-2008, 09:20 AM
Hi Rick,

I had asked on a separate post about an external superdrive for my macbook pro as the internal one is incredibly slow but got no replies. Any thoughts?

Also, my laptop will accept 4gb ram but only accesses 3gb. I currently have 2gb. Do you think adding the max or even 3 would make a speed bump with photoshop. I am not dealing with big files just processing a lot of them.

Trying to tweak what I got.

Thanks,

David

ricks
05-21-2008, 12:09 PM
Hmm, I thought that other post was about whether an ATA burner was any slower than a SATA burner.... the thread went running in a new direction and the question got lost. What do you want to know? Right off I can say that burners are much slower than the bus they typically reside on. Only time we see much of an issue with bandwidth is with the new BluRay burners. They can put a heap of requirements on both the bus and the CPU.

You will be well justified in putting 3 GB of RAM in a MBP for photoshop usage. No purpose in more since it will get ignored. But 3 GB will show a decided advantage over 2.

Rick

xoshooter
05-21-2008, 12:26 PM
Hi Rick,

Sorry for the confusion. The internal dvd/superdrive on the mbp is so slow and was thinking that I might be able to pu an inexpensive external burner and buy myself some time since the computer is virtually non usable when burning a dvd.

I will seriously consider addtl ram now...thanks.

Was considering a faster/bigger internal drive but now that I got the external fw800 encl from you with the raptor it really makes a difference...in fact I have a job this weekend where I will bring the whole setup and process the images in the hotel at night...cool...thanks to you.

ricks
05-21-2008, 12:40 PM
If you have an empty bay the Plextor (http://www.macgurus.com/productpages/sata/BurlyDVD-R.php) is smokin hot. It can connect via eSATA or Firewire and do equally as well. Good burner.

Rick

xoshooter
05-21-2008, 01:01 PM
Hi Rick,

Sorry, no extra bay available. This is for my mbp. Would have to get an enclosure or full unit.

David

kaye
05-21-2008, 01:07 PM
I have the FW800/400 version of the Plextor and it works great. k

ricks
05-21-2008, 01:10 PM
My only thought was if you wanted to swap out one of the hard drives in the 2 bay you could swap in a burner. Takes screwdriver time, but only useful if you are not using bay 2. (where's that 3 bay when we need it :D )

xoshooter
05-21-2008, 01:13 PM
If I had a two bay I would definitely use the 2nd but I only have a one bay with additional carriers. I'm deprived.

I'll have to check out the fw800 plextor.