View Full Version : Setting up system

08-31-2008, 12:39 PM
Or really resetting up system.
So this is what I have...
Processor Name: Dual-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 2.66 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 4
L2 Cache (per processor): 4 MB
Memory: 12 GB
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz

ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT:

I have a 5400 rpm boot drive that is 300GB
A 5400 rpm random storage that is 750GB
and two 500gb drives that are striped together as RAID
all the drive is in the computer drive internally.

I have a Lycom 4 Port PCIe SATAII Host Card
that is running 5 external dvd/cd burners plus the two burners in the tower (one of which is a blu-ray)

I also have a sata 3gb/sec 5 bay enclosure that is currently not being used or hooked up to anything

And this is what I do:
There are two facets of my job, the first is photography, I run a rafting company and we take photos of all of our raft trips (up to 10 trips a day). So I add about 1-3gb of photos every day (in the summer).
With those photos I burn them to cd or print them out of photoshop. At the end of each season I back them up to blu-ray

I also do a lot of video work, I work in FCS 2 almost everyday. I have a variety of projects going at once in both HD and SD I have most of the raid drives full right now with just projects I am working on but I also have to store a lot of video files for later use (that is what I use the 750gb drive for and it is 80 percent full).

What I would like to do is optimize my system for running faster in both Photoshop and FCS. I know I need scratch disks but I heard they were better to run externally than internally? I have a budget for upgrades but would like to be somewhat economical about it.
Should I do a hardware raid in the extra encloser with a fast scratch disk internally? or a combination of the two or what?
Thanks for all the input!

08-31-2008, 04:15 PM
My first thoughts are get some newer, faster drives than 5400 RPM. You'll see a big difference.
Read the Photoshop Acceleration (http://homepage.mac.com/boots911/.Public/PhotoshopAccelerationBasics2.4W.pdf) guide.
Also Storage Acceleration. (http://www.macgurus.com/guides/storageaccelguide.php)

08-31-2008, 11:57 PM
A hardware RAID is useless for a RAID0. Hardware RAID means you have a processing unit and RAM caching on the RAID controller. The purpose of those is really to run a high overhead type RAID like a RAID5 or RAID6 where the creation of the parity data takes so much processing power. No reason for you to use a hardware RAID for anything you are doing. It is costly, and unless you get a top end one, they tend to be slow.

For a scratch disk you just need a simple RAID0. The more drives you have the faster the scratch space will be. I use a couple of 74 Gb Raptors in a RAID0 inside my MacPro for a scratch disk. Works very well.

There is no difference between internal SATA and eSATA. At least not if you are comparing apples to apples. For scratch RAIDs, you are looking for lowest possible latency, highest speed. So port multiplier is not the way to go there. Direct connected external SATA - each drive connected to its own port on the host card, is EXACTLY the same as internal SATA in a MacPro. Each internal drive has its own port. Performance is literally the same.

Why I like scratch RAID inside a Macpro as opposed to externally is that a scratch RAID is non critical temporary data. If you fail a scratch drive, no big deal. Inside a MacPro is NOT the safest environment there is for a drive. (a Burly is). Apple designed the MacPro to be quiet. They pretty much skipped cool altogether. Even worse, they skipped engineering the enclosure to keep the drive temps stable. This leads to more drive failures than I consider acceptable for data storage. For scratch disks though - no problem.


09-13-2008, 04:13 PM
So how about this
I get 2 150gb raptors one as a boot drive and one as a scratch drive and run them internal

One of the Barracuda 7200.11 1TB as a storage drive for all the video projects

and then take the 1.75 tb of storage I have right now and run them through a port multipier and an external box

or would it be better to

run the 2 raptors as a raid 0 as the scratch

use the barracuda as the boot drive

then put the other 1.75 still in the enclosure as basically just storage

which one would keep everything running pretty quick?

09-15-2008, 12:47 PM

Any plan that speeds up and separates your data flow will improve performance. No way for me to know exactly the fastest setup for you. A couple of Raptors is a good start though.

I don't know whether a pair of Raptors in a scratch RAID is faster than your separate Raptors. Only testing will tell that tale. Every user is enough different that 'one size fits all' doesn't work.