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Apple Power Mac hard drive config

Posted on 2011-02-24
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Planning to buy a new PowerMac for intensive graphics (Adobe apps) and some video editing.  Looking for some recommendations for configuring storage...

I will be getting the Apple RAID card with the machine and maxing (4) the HDD's... or is it recommended to use a 3rd party RAID card?  Should the OS go on a single disk and setup an array (RAID 0 or 5) for the apps?  Should the whole thing be setup as RAID 10?  I am looking for the best performance but wouldnt be opposed to redundancy if I can get it without too much of a performance hit.  

Thanks
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Question by:jcneil4
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:KCarney81
ID: 34969879
For best performance and assured warranty get the "Mac Pro" with the apple RAID card set to raid5.  The Mac Pro only has 4 drive bays so unless you want to invest in a fiber channel card and external array that is your best bet.  All apps on one volume

On the other hand if you would like to save some money, use 2 hard drives and raid0.  
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Expert Comment

by:KCarney81
ID: 34969900
Also, if you plan to buy a new computer OS X 10.4 is obsolete, they come with 10.6.  Powermac was the older PPC based computer, which is replaced by the Mac Pro.
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by:jcneil4
ID: 34969915
Sorry, Mac Pro is what I meant. (Im a PC and Windows Server admin) I am getting it brand new.  The question I guess is on how much better RAID 0 will perform vs RAID 5 or RAID 10 and should the OS be seperated on different volume...

Thanks for responding
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LVL 3

Assisted Solution

by:KCarney81
KCarney81 earned 600 total points
ID: 34969938
OS X likes everything to be on one volume.  

RAID5 will perform much better than RAID0

Not sure about RAID10
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Author Comment

by:jcneil4
ID: 34969965
How can RAID 5 perform better than RAID 0??? That makes no sense!
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LVL 8

Expert Comment

by:et01267
ID: 34969992
I'd suggest getting the biggest SSD drive you can afford and using that for OS and working storage, use the rotating disk for long-term and backup.  Especially for larger files like image and video.

Unless you have used an SSD, you cannot imagine how fast it is (or that you would ever go back to rotating storage).  It's a game changer.
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LVL 8

Assisted Solution

by:et01267
et01267 earned 200 total points
ID: 34970015
Oh, and the Apple SSDs are not the best value.  Look at the Sandforce-based drives out there, like the ones from OWC or OCZ.
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LVL 3

Expert Comment

by:KCarney81
ID: 34970022
I should have elaborated;

Performance
Raid 0 = Fastest, performance increases with drive count
Raid 1 = Possible boost in speed for READ, no gain to possible loss (if noticeable) elsewhere
Raid 10 = Similar performance to its equivalent drive Raid 0 (ie 3 Drive Raid0=6 drive Raid 10)
Raid 5 = Between Raid 0 and single drive performance, goes up with drive count. processor intensive

"With these statements, it seems to me that on a price vs capacity+performance comparison, Raid 5 comes out as the winner, the only fault being the extra processing power required (on software raid at least) for parity information on writes. otherwise, for the price of a single extra drive, one can have a similar level of fault tolerance, 66% of the available capacity (this also increases as drive count goes up, 75% available in a 4 drive array etc.) and descent read/write performance as compared to a 2 drive Raid 1 array with only 50% available capacity. This also allows gamers to have their boost in performance and have redundancy to boot. With more and more software based controllers offering this as an option, why not?"

http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/244377-32-raid-raid-raid
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LVL 15

Accepted Solution

by:
roylong earned 1200 total points
ID: 34970213
my recommendation:
four disks
1st raid group = 1 disk (system)
2nd raid group = 3 disks striped single partition for data (raid 0)
This gives no redundancy so buy an external 2/3TB drive for backup
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Author Comment

by:jcneil4
ID: 34970330
Thank you all, I will probably go with roylong's recommendation.
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