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Thread: SATA rig for video and 3D rendering and compositing

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Chicago, IL 60610
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    Default SATA rig for video and 3D rendering and compositing

    Hello,

    I'd like to add an external drive rig to my MDD G4 (OS X 10.4.8, 2GB RAM, 2 internal drives, 'Gurus FireWire PCI card) for use with the following video and 3D software:

    FinalCutPro: video editing and rendering

    Adobe AfterEffects 7: video compositing and rendering

    Maya 7 and MotionBuilder: 3D modeling, animation and rendering

    I guess I'd like a bit of redundancy (maybe RAID mirroring), though I don't know if that's necessary as files could always be copied to another drive for temporaray backup.

    I like the idea of fewer cables and a port-multiplier rig sounds very cool (and I've already got loads of cables around here).

    Any suggestions? Caveats?

    I'm thinking of a 4 drive rig to get started and don't know which enclosure or card would be best suited to my needs. This is a new startup for me, so I don't need a huge amount of space or power, but I'd just as soon get something I can grow into.

    Thanks in advance and apologies if this has already been addressed!

    Iver

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Grangeville, ID USA
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    Default

    Hi ya Revi, good to see you around bro.

    A four or five bay port multiplier will give you around 225 MB/sec when empty and in a RAID0. At 1/2 full the speed will drop of course, maybe around 130 when near full. At least that is true with PCI-X buses, not sure exactly what you will get with a MDD. Probably near that, but that is a guess since I haven't done any testing on that machine.

    A pair of drives in a RAID0 will give 120 to 130 MB/sec empty. For the most part you cannot tell that you have the drives on a port multiplier board, things run the same as individual drives.

    The PM enclosures are THE way to go. They have become the mature storage system today with very little support these days. The technology is around a year old on the Mac and most all the bugs are now resolved as long as you stick with tested drive models.

    I would not ever mirror. Mirrors are great for up time on a server but do not serve as a backup. Problem with a mirror is the instantness. Any damage done the main data drives are instantly copied to the mirror. Not good as a backup since all it protects from is a drive failure.

    Far better to use the same number of drives but use a software application to make the backup on a regular schedule. This gives you the separation necessary to qualify as an all around backup.

    The correct host card is the CalDigit card here:
    http://www.macgurus.com/productpages...itFastA-4x.php

    And any port multiplier enclosure will work great with it. A port multiplier board sits inside the enclosure and has four or five drives attached inside, it connects to the host card with one cable and is logically just an extension of the host card. It has few downsides. And sure makes life nice with fewer cables.

    Let me know how I can help.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
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    Chicago, IL 60610
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    Default

    Hey RickS!

    I'm glad to be back! Been busy as $%^&!

    ...which is cool as I've been on the flip-side of that coin! ;-)

    So, the following should work with the MDD:

    Burly 5 Bay w/Port Multiplier 1.25TB MGBurly5PM-125T

    CalDigit 4 port PCIX SATAII Host Adapter CDFASTA-4x

    with e-SATA cables?

    Are there any downsides to the PM?

    Also, other than just looking cool, is there a diagnostic value to the LCDs on the burlies?

    Thanks for the info!

    Iver

  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Default

    LCD trays have both temperature monitoring and fan monitoring with audible alarms in the case of any overheat or fan failure.

    That said, I would spend the dough on GBs instead. Unless you like eye candy the LCD bays are mostly luxury.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL 60610
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    Default Setting up...

    Hey Rick!

    Well, it arrived yesterday!

    Before commencing, I was wondering if you could point me to or outline installation and operation suggestions.

    Specifically, and I'll pre-emptively apologize for asking something that's likely covered elsewhere...

    1.) Installation procedure for the CalDigit card.

    2.) Process of hooking up the Port-Multiplied Burly enclosure and formatting drives.

    3.) Proper boot-up and shut-down process and order: which should be booted-up and shut-down first, etc.

    This is going to be a busy weekend! ;-)

    Thanks in advance!

    Iver

  6. #6
    Join Date
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    Iver,

    You are going to find this too easy. Install the CalDigit card. Install the drivers from the CD.

    Hook everything up and fire up. Done. You'll have to reformat in Disk Utility since all we did was format to test. Or just rename the drives. They should all mount immediately on power.

    Treat the drives same as Firewire, dismount before unpowering them. Just plug them in or power the enclosure when you want to mount them.

    I missed seeing the order with your name on it when it came in. Glad you mentioned it.


    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Chicago, IL 60610
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    Default

    Hello Rick,

    I'm looking to put this all together this weekend!

    Say, and this may be a total newbie-type question, but this is something about which I seem to hear conflicting statements...or perhaps I just don't know how to reconcile things.

    I hear from some audio manufacturers that the best method is to always power up external devices (e.g., FireWire drives, break-out boxes [e.g., audio interfaces], etc.), then power up the computer and shut down in the reverse order (first computer then external drives and break-out boxes). I'm guessing the operating system unmounts everything during the shutdown process which is why this method makes sense.

    So, if one wants to power down a drive while the computer is running, then the process is to first dis-mount the drive, then power down the drive.

    Does that make sense?

    Thanks for and answer to something I should no doubt know by now!

    Iver

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    Grangeville, ID USA
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    Default

    Yes to all. Power up enclosure, power up computer. To remove drive, dismount it, then slide it out or unpower it.


    Because the thing is fully hotswap you can just turn on the enclosure anytime you like. Or plug in a drive. It will spin up and mount. the only real rule is dismount before powering off any drive.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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