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Old February 24th, 2010, 05:54 PM   #1
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Internal Hard Drive Config for mac pro

I have an early 2008 Mac Pro Tower and I've just now got enough money to pimp it out a bit, internal hard drive-wise. What's the fastest safe configuration for holding large files? Should I get a fast OS disk and then put 2tb hard drives for the other three slots? I know this should have been discussed before but my search words aren't coming up with anything relevant:(

Thanks guys!
Betsy Moore is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 24th, 2010, 06:05 PM   #2
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what I did was a 1TB for the system, 1TB "work" drive, and then raided two 2TB drives together for reliability to archive.

All drives are 7200rpm.

I'm trying to find a reliable and inexpensive ESATA card so I can start adding fast drives externally. The $30 card doesn't work and the recommended card is close to $300!

The RAID for safety is critical for me.
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Old February 25th, 2010, 09:58 AM   #3
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I use a variant of Robert's set up:

* 750G system drive
* Project Drive - 2x 750G 7200rpm drives in RAID 0 config (striped for speed)
* Archive Drive - 1x 1T 7200 rpm drive for archive (internal) + FW400/800 external drive bay for an additional matching 1T drive for archive

The last two 1T drives I have with a "poor man's RAID". Basically I archive to the internal drive for speed but use a command line script firing rsync off to keep the to archive drives synced up. I archive to only the first (internal) drive which gets synced entirely to the external drive. These are a matched pair in case one dies during storage. I buy them in pairs. This is also good because the external drive bay is just a "holster" that looks like a toaster to hold the 3.5" drive upright and allows me to easily eject it and put in an older archive drive if I need to pull something off an older drive quickly. Very handy.

The striped RAID gives me speed but is more risky because if one of those drives goes out, I lose everything on both. So I never keep anything on that drive that isn't backed up regularly somewhere else. But it also gives me a speed boost because of the RAID and sitting on the internal SATA bus. I prefer this approach rather than having both of my archive drives inside my system, as those need to be swapped out semi-regularly and honestly aren't used very often compared to my project drive.

So here's my workflow when I start a project:

* Fire off my "directory structure build" script onto my "project drive" that builds my standard directory structure for a video project. Keeps things consistent and organized from the get-go. Includes a "media" directory for the original media as well as ProRes intermediates generated from EX1 content.

* Copy my raw card dumps to the appropriate place in the media folder on the project drive.

* Encode my raw EX1 data into ProRes format for editing (if required - usually is)

* Copy my command line script into the project directory on the Project Drive to do the sync for a given project to the archive drive. This allows for a consistent and easy backup and sync of the project.

* Set up Mozy (online backup service) to backup my "project files" directory for a given project - which includes FCP, AE, and any other project "master files" that I use constantly during an edit. Does not include the majority of the filesize for a given project - which is the media itself - as that's backed up on my archive drives. These files are small (relatively) and lend themselves well to online backup. This provides me with a nightly backup of the most oft-changing files in case something goes wrong.

* Immediately run my first sync to the archive drives to confirm that it's working as expected and get my media backed up as soon as possible.

* Run my archive drive sync script to sync my two archive drives.

* Once media copy is confirmed and backed up, I now effectively have three copies of the same media data - one on my project drive, and one copy on each of my archive drives. I do a quick manual check of the directory sizes and file count, then erase the EX1 cards (or 7D cards or whatever).

* Start editing

* ???

* Profits

(Sorry for the last two bullets - lame South Park joke).

Let me know if you have any questions - it might not have come across as "structured" as I think it truly is - lots of data moving around, but it's saved my butt a couple of times already...

Last edited by Ryan Mitchell; February 25th, 2010 at 10:02 AM. Reason: made a few things more clear
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Old February 25th, 2010, 08:32 PM   #4
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Oh, I remember that--the elves who underwear thieves or something! Very funny:)

This is great advice.

I guess the first thing I should do is unload all the junk I've let accumulate on my main os drive (the itunes songs, the photos, etc.). If I drag all this stuff from one hard drive to another is this going to confuse my computer? Will it know where to find my dopey songs, photos, etc., or do I have to help it out?
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Old February 26th, 2010, 12:37 PM   #5
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Yep, their business plan was rock solid:

1. Steal underwear
2. ???
3. Profits


Personally, I don't keep a totally "clean" editing machine myself - because I do more than editing on that machine as I don't edit all day long. As such, I have iTunes stuff and other software on that OS drive and it doesn't cause me any problems. It might not be entirely optimal but for launching programs and all that (which is what my OS drive is for), it's not a problem. All of my really large, I/O intensive files are on dedicated drives so fragmentation isn't really an issue.

I don't fully understand what you're having to do to migrate, I guess, but you could probably leave your OS drive as-is and just add your new drives and set up your workflow to start using those drives accordingly. After you get it set up you can worry about tweaking it to perfection - I've always been a fan of getting the basic strawman of a process figured out and tweaking afterward to eek out more efficiency rather than trying to do everything all in one step - usually early on I don't entirely know what I need to know to make those kinds of decisions, and I end up tweaking later anyway because my assumptions at the start weren't entirely correct.

So if I were you I'd add the new drives and set up your system like you think you're going to use it and start using it that way and see how it goes, and adjust from there. The CEO of my company gave a talk to us once that talked about our strategy and he used a phrase that I kind of like: EA^3 (that's a superscript "3" or EA3 if you prefer). Stands for "Engage, Adjust, Adjust, Adjust". Get going now and then adjust as you go along...

Also, to answer your other question, you can't just move iTunes files around willy-nilly - it is picky about location, I believe. Do a Google search and you'll see some guides on how to do it, especially from MacWorld. iPhoto libraries are easier, you can just move the entire library (which is actually just a collection of a bunch of other files anyway, basically a directory with a specific structure - a "package") - much easier than iTunes.
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