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Thread: Changing over to Mac Pro: new territory, have questions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
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    Default Changing over to Mac Pro: new territory, have questions

    I bought an immaculate used Mac Pro and have a few questions on what to do regarding the drives. Its EFI is 64 bit so I can boot either 32 or 64.

    What I currently have:
    Burly for my backup drives
    an external (eSATA) drive.
    A 2 TB with 5 partitions (one containing Tiger plus apps; and the others for various storage subjects),
    1 TB with 2 partitions (Leopard and 1 partition for doc storage).

    What I do / my needs:
    graphics and websites: which needs scratch disk for Photoshop and client doc storage
    music production: which needs disk for recording audio and a disk to stream sample data* that is installed with the virtual instruments (750 GB)

    * This disk I could either keep as eSATA or move it into the new mac.

    The Mac Pro:
    has a 120 GB SSD w/ Mountain Lion installed.
    has another 1 TB drive

    If I'm going to use ML at all, it might be good for internet because of security updates, etc. Had read about some problems with ML but maybe it's OK for apps too? And/or maybe ML should be reserved for 64-bit stuff?

    I thought Snow Leopard for my main OS (the most solid?), but perhaps have a drive or partition for Leopard in case some apps (CS3, perhaps?) will do better than on Snow.

    1) What usage would be the best to put to use for the SSD? OS, apps, docs?
    2) SSD: put an OS on each partition?
    3) Should I have the apps confined to each OS's app folder, or combine them into one place or partition? (most will probably be able to run on 10.5 or 10.6 as they are either UB or Intel only). I've read on Ricks trick but never implemented it yet.
    4) I might want to have a small partition for Windows (for audio apps)
    5) The whole 32 / 64-bit thing will be new to me so I didn't know whether apps should be divided / installed accordingly?
    6) Is partitioning a good idea anymore?
    7) eSATA card: I only need the 2-port but I see the one here only good for Snow? I have the single Burly. I saw the Newer Tech card that requires no driver and has no OS restriction. But it said it does not support Port Multiplier. My Burly is a 1-port connector, so it doesn't require port multiplier capability does it?

    So I will have available:
    two 1TB drives
    750 sample drive (either move it into the computer or keep on eSATA)
    a newer 2TB drive that is currently in my computer that I can move to the newer Mac (but will have to be reformatted to GUID).

    I tried to make this clear so that it's not too much to read!

    Thank you!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    You may have problems to boot those earlier OS'es. Snow Leopard would be no problem unless you have a 2012 MacPro. The 2012 has some changes in firmware that make even Snow Leopard have some bugs. A 2008 MacPro3,1. I don't think, can boot to Tiger (it could though _ too long ago for the old brain cells to remember).

    The 3,1 is the first MacPro that could boot 64 bit. Not sure you miss anything skipping Tiger and Leopard anyway. Snow Leopard is hands down a better operating system. You can spend a lifetime arguing the good and bad of Lion and ML. Great plan to dual boot ML and Snow Leopard so you can choose. And with Snow Leopard you still have Rosetta support.

    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    A 2008 The 3,1 is the first MacPro that could boot 64 bit.
    That's what I've got: 2.8 (8-core). When an app comes in 2 versions: as 32-bit and 64, can they be installed in the same folder or better to put each separately, e.g. 32 on the partition for SL; 64 on the partition for ML? Or have 2 application folders? I don't know how to handle them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Not sure you miss anything skipping Tiger and Leopard anyway. Snow Leopard is hands down a better operating system.
    Oh, good to know. I was only going to do a Leopard partition for any apps that may be buggy in Snow. I may do a partition for it so that it's there, just in case.

    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Great plan to dual boot ML and Snow Leopard so you can choose. And with Snow Leopard you still have Rosetta support.
    By this do you mean put 2 partitions on the SSD: 1 for Snow and 1 for ML? or is that not the best use for the SSD?

    I question the space though... my current Leopard partition is using 270GB, but that includes apps, user folder, etc.

    I'm just trying to plan out the best strategy here, thus the need for help. I would like my docs and my apps to be in one central repository though, so stuff is not all over. Unless it should be matched to the OS...

    And final question on the Burly: does your 2-port eSATA card work with ML (it sounded like it stops at SL)? If not, does the single Burly require a port multiplier compatible card?
    Last edited by macmac; 02-19-2013 at 10:46 AM.

  4. #4
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    I don't know how to answer the 64 bit app versus 32 bit app. Never paid it any attention.

    On partitioning the SSD, probably not. No reason to waste the space on a seldom used OS. Save the SSD for whatever is going to be your main operating system. At least it is really easy to change your mind later and swap in a different OS to the SSD. You need a backup of everything, so erasing and copying a different OS, should a different one take precedence, is a snap.

    With the number of drives you have and OSes to choose from, you will need to make a map of your storage before implementing anything. Get a big sheet of paper and make up a block diagram so you know what is where. Pay particular attention to necessary backups.

    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
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    Quote Originally Posted by ricks View Post
    Save the SSD for whatever is going to be your main operating system. At least it is really easy to change your mind later and swap in a different OS to the SSD. You need a backup of everything, so erasing and copying a different OS, should a different one take precedence, is a snap.
    By this being an easy swap (because on my drives currently, it would definitely not be easy), you mean nothing else should be on that drive except for the OS, right? The other stuff that gets installed, like the User folder, ~/Library, etc. I would be making aliases and place the real folders elsewhere? Each OS would still need its own ~/Library to keep things from getting fowled up, right, just like the previous OS's that I'm familiar with?

    And about the Burly / port multiplier question? Thank you so much!!

  6. #6
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    Put anything you want on the SSD. It is pretty much a total waste of an SSD to just put the OS on it. It boots faster.... but once booted most of the speed improvement is unnoticeable since the OS is now running from RAM. So using the SSD for as many other tasks as can reasonably fit gives you the most benefit.

    The 2 port card works fine in ML with this driver from Sonnet. I generally prefer the 4 port card because the chipset is a lot faster. The 2 port card is only able to pass 150 MB/sec. Not bad, but a single current Seagate drive is faster all by itself.

    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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