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Thread: Mac Pro "Westmere" 3.33GHz Photoshop Workstation

  1. #1
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    Default Mac Pro "Westmere" 3.33GHz Photoshop Workstation



    My shiny new toy fresh out of the box with the access plate removed…

    This computer replaces an aging G5 Quad- which I have re-purposed as a DAW (see this thread).

    The inside setup seems much improved from the G5; RAM installation is really easy and the new single-bracket PCI retaining plate is a great improvement over the earlier one-retaining screw-per card method.

  2. #2
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    After installing 3 x 8GB Macgurus RAM…
    Took all of 5 minutes.

    Before placing the MP in to service, I did the RAM swap, and installed 2 x 600GB VelociRaptors.
    The factory-supplied hard drive is a 1TB WesternDigital WD1001 Caviar Black.


  3. #3
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    Right off the bat, I booted to the installer CD, and wrote-zeros to one of the VelociRaptors.
    I then did a custom-install with the "only printers used by this Mac" option, Rosetta, X11, and no extra languages.

    The installer CD came with Mac OSX 10.6.4.
    After the first boot to the newly-installed system on the VR,
    I software-updated everything to the latest-greatest,
    including drivers for a SeriTek e6G 2-port external eSATA card,
    and an ATTO H680 2-channel external SAS card.


  4. #4
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    That's an ATI Radeon 5870 GPU with 1GB VRAM.
    Next to it (barely discernible) is the H680 SAS, and in the 4x slot- the e6G SATA.

  5. #5
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    The floating CPU windows shows 12 virtual cores. Here's a shot with Safari opening 22 tabs…


  6. #6
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    A shiny new Burly 4-bay SAS box..
    4 Cheetah 15.7K 300GB drives are installed in the trayless-bays.

    After firing-up the SAS box for the first time,
    I duplicated Disk Utility 7 times and then zeroed the 4 Cheetahs,
    the other VelociRaptor, and the original Caviar Black- all at the same time!
    Thank you Rick!!

  7. #7
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    This is one fast scratch disk SoftRAID-striped RAID0 128k blocks..

  8. #8
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    These VelociRaptors are no slowpokes either..

  9. #9
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    It was pretty much plug 'n play to place the Mac Pro into service within the existing workstation.




    This is the rear after hooking up everything…
    Much less clutter than the original G5 PS workstation.

  10. #10
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    Here's the original Burly 2-bay hotswap SATA box in action.

    I've kept the same basic organization of files with this new system:
    The top drive in the 2-bay is always online, and is a complete bootable* daily backup of all contents on the internal drives.

    The bottom bay gets a rotating set of 2 drives which are complete backups of the top bay drive. These drives are otherwise kept offline and one of them is kept offsite. The rotation occurs weekly.

    All 3 backup drives are 2TB WesternDigital WD2003 RE4 64MB cache.

    * I discovered to my chagrin the SeriTek e6G is not bootable...
    I'll use a firewire "maintenance" system to service the startup drive.

  11. #11
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    The entire workstation is protected with a new APC SmartUPS 1500 VA rated at 985w with LCD readout..

  12. #12
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    Calibrating the new NEC MultiSync PA301W 30" display.
    This thing is firkin' AWESOME!! It does 99% of AdobeRGB.

  13. #13
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    You will, must, have to describe the advantages of that new monitor over the Apple Cinema's. Moving from one to the other will give you a unique perspective. Maybe its own thread?

    R
    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

  14. #14
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    Congrats Boots, killer setup!

    Must have been computer buying day yesterday. I bought a 13" MBP i7 2.7 yesterday to replace my aging Core 2 Duo 2.33 Ghz 15", which lost the LCD backlight.

    Too tired to do much yesterday evening save a little web-browsing on the new Mac -- and screwing around with the gestures on the trackpad.

    Doing that zero-ing and custom install now -- well....zeroing the 500 GB HD is taking awhile. Do not have time to reinstall everything, I think I'll cheese and use Migration assistant to get the apps over to the new Mac. I tried recently when upgrading from Leopard to Snow Leopard -- it wasn't half bad.

  15. #15
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    Thumbs up Looks great

    Really nice setup Boots. Looks

  16. #16
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    Default Wow!

    Hi Boots,

    Looks great, my heart actually sped up a bit when viewing you pics and reading your specs!!!

    Hi to everyone else,
    I'm new here, a first time and HAPPY Burly owner.

    SOOO glad to be part of the MacGurus tribe!

    MsNikon

  17. #17
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    Thanks you guys!

    Eric, congrats to you on your new MBP.

    Yah, that zeroing out the drives is one of those "set it and walk a way for the day" kind of operations (actually I did it overnight).

    Rick, the PA301W has an IPS screen which is supposed to be the very highest quality, longest lasting. Other benefits include:

    • a really even backlight.

    • it's a so-called "wide-gamut" monitor which displays virtually all of the AdobeRGB colorspace which is a huge working space; as a consequence, more of the colors a pro inkjet printer reproduces are directly visible on-screen.

    • the available Displayport connection to the GPU is the latest, fastest, widest video connectivity standard which allows the potential of 10bit color which results in "billions of colors" which translates into smoother gradients and greater color subtlety- especially in 16bit images.

    Unfortunately, currently the monitor, the connection (Displayport), and Photoshop all support 10bit color but the Mac-controlled video drivers not (Lion?).

    Which is ironic, because Windows and many Windows-only GPUs support the entire 10bit path with a 10bit capable-monitor...

    So, part of this purchase is positioning for the near future of a Mac 10bit workflow.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by MsNikon View Post
    Hi Boots,

    I'm new here, a first time and HAPPY Burly owner.

    SOOO glad to be part of the MacGurus tribe!

    MsNikon
    Welcome aboard MsNikon!
    Glad you found us. There are some real knowledgable folks lurking 'round these parts. I got my start with Macs here and I'd be no-where without the 'Gurus. MacGurus rules.

    The Burly is a great brand- no-nonsense built tough to last. 2 of my 3 Burlys are pushing 6 years old and still humming nicely along..

  19. #19
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    wow... I want one or two or twelve
    Damien,

  20. #20
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    Hi Boots,

    Thanks for the great welcome! I'm here for good, that's for sure. I emailed Rick a while ago about what I shall call a "Drobo-Problem" and he worked with me through the ins and outs of setting up a stellar Burly solution: Safe, secure with peace of mind. Everything a photographer could ask for with respect to their data!!!

    regards,
    MsNikon

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