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  1. #1


    Member Since
    May 02, 2008
    Posts
    10
    About to Buy a SUPER Mac Pro. Have a few questions...
    I am about to pull the trigger on this Mac Pro.

    Mac Pro
    Two 16x SuperDrives
    Two 3.2GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (8-core)
    Mac Pro RAID Card
    8GB (4 x 2GB)
    1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3Gb/s
    300GB 15,000-rpm SAS
    NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT 512MB (Two dual-link DVI)



    I have a question on the SAS 15,000 RPM drive. I was planning to get 1 SAS drive for my operating system/Scratchdisk and a 1 TB drive for my data.

    1) Will I get all of the benefits of the fast drive even though I do not plan on using it as a RAID setup? I have to buy the RAID card to use the hard drive.

    I've been reading online and it seems the only setups that use the RAID card are using the SAS drive in all 4 bays as a RAID setup.

    2) If I were to run bootcamp, should I do it off of the SAS drive as well to get the performance boost? Would it just be a separate partition on the SAS drive for that?
    Thanks in Advanced

    3) Ram. 4 2GB modules are alot cheaper than buying 1 or 4 GB modules. Is there any drawbacks in using 2 GB cards besides the ability to upgrade later? Also, If I wanted to upgrade with 4, 2GB modules, could I still use my stock 1GB modules as well?

    Meaning
    2, 1 gb slots (stock Ram), and 4, 2 gb slots, for a total of 10 GB RAM

    Can I add 2 more 4GB modules later or do they all have to match?




    Kaden

  2. #2

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Feb 02, 2007
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    Specs:
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    Data transfer will be quicker depending on the type of RAID setup you use. Stripped (RAID 0) should give you a far superior transfer rate compared to any 7200 RPM drive.

    As you already found, there are no Windows drivers for Apple's RAID card so you cannot use that SAS drive. You could probably install a Windows RAID card and a second SAS drive to run Windows if you really need the speed.

    Supposedly, the RAM will run more efficient if 4 DIMMs are installed. Buy all of your RAM from a 3rd party. It will be cheaper and depending on the brand you order (OWC, Crucial) you will get a lifetime warranty instead of Apple's one year warranty.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  3. #3

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    BTW, processor only benchmark tests show the 3.2GHz processors are only 5% faster than the 3.0GHz processors. It's just another thing to consider when the difference in cost is $800.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  4. #4


    Member Since
    May 02, 2008
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    Quote Originally Posted by bryphotoguy View Post
    Data transfer will be quicker depending on the type of RAID setup you use. Stripped (RAID 0) should give you a far superior transfer rate compared to any 7200 RPM drive.

    As you already found, there are no Windows drivers for Apple's RAID card so you cannot use that SAS drive. You could probably install a Windows RAID card and a second SAS drive to run Windows if you really need the speed.

    Supposedly, the RAM will run more efficient if 4 DIMMs are installed. Buy all of your RAM from a 3rd party. It will be cheaper and depending on the brand you order (OWC, Crucial) you will get a lifetime warranty instead of Apple's one year warranty.
    I don't plan on running it in RAID style right now. I am more concerned with the speed benefit of the 15,000 RPM Drive.

    I was not going to upgrade RAM through Apple, Their rate is ridiculous.

    I was either going to buy 2 or 4 more 2 GB modules, But I wanted to see if I could continue to use the 2 1GB modules that come with the computer as well...

  5. #5

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Feb 02, 2007
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    Specs:
    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    You can mix RAM brands without a problem.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  6. #6


    Member Since
    May 02, 2008
    Posts
    10
    I think Mixing the Raid Card with a SATA drive is not a Cost effective idea in cmparison to perfomance. Here are a few options I have come up with for Storage. Let me know which you think would be best.

    First off, computer is a Photoshop editing computer, Next a Gaming System using Bootcamp, and 3rd an HD video editing machine.

    Option 1: 1 Apple RAID card running the 15,000 RPM SAS drive with OSX and 1 SATA Drive for the Data

    Option 2: 3 10,000 Raptor Drives. 1 for OSX, and the other 2 in RAID 0 for scratch, and 1 SATA drive for Data.

    Option 2b: 3 10,000 Raptor Drives. 3 in RAID 5 for scratch and OSx, and 1 SATA drive for Data.

    Option 3: 4 SATA Drives in Raid 1+0

  7. #7

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Quad 2.8GHz Mac Pro, Edge iPhone
    It's not. Personally, I wouldn't buy the RAID card or multiple SAS drives if you're not going to do a RAID setup. I would not do option 1. Option 2 doesn't give you a backup system. I don't know what RAID 5 does. RAID 1+0 won't give you a lot of added speed but it will give you a backup.

    Have you thought of 2- 10k drives as RAID 0 and a pair of 1TB SATA drives, 1 for data/ BootCamp and the other for Time Machine?

    When you try and make one computer do multiple tasks (photo, video, gaming), you're going to give up speed to do so. It's like taking a performance car and tuning it to get better MPG. You'll sacrifice HP for fuel economy. Same thing with your computer.

    My suggestion is to build a screaming Photoshop Mac, 4-core 2.8GHz (Photoshop can only make use of 2 or 4 cores btw), buy the RAID card and do a stripped setup and have a Time Machine backup. But also build a custom PC so you can play games all you want without sacrifice.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  8. #8

    timjimchau's Avatar
    Member Since
    Apr 10, 2008
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    why is the mac raid card so expensive? can you buy third party? i mean i'm running an external raid setup that cost me 80 bucks.
    MacBook merom, MacBook Pro penryn...

  9. #9

    bryphotoguy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by timjimchau View Post
    why is the mac raid card so expensive? can you buy third party? i mean i'm running an external raid setup that cost me 80 bucks.
    I believe it's got a battery backup and data transfer is probably a lot faster.

    January 2008 Member of the Month

  10. #10


    Member Since
    May 02, 2008
    Posts
    10
    I Think I'm going to froget about the raid card.

    I will be getting
    1 TB SATA Drive for data
    1 10,000 Velociraptor for OSx and Windows Partition
    2 10,000 Velociraptor drives for the scratch

    I have external drives for all of my storage so I don't need redundancy for internal information.

    I figure this system will give me the best performance as well as bang for the buck price. All of the hardrives sould cost less than $1200 all together.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    May 02, 2008
    Posts
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    Heres another scenario....Let me know if this is even possible actually...

    4 1 TB drives with a 200 MB Partition made from each of them. Would it be possible to RAID 0 on all 4 of those partitions for the Scratch disc?? And then use the remaining 800 GBs on each disk as separate drives?

    Or Better yet. 3 1 TB drives with 250mb on Each towards the RAID 0 and then a Raptor 10K for the OSx/Windows

    This seems like a way to get Blazing RAID 0 Speed...

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