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  1. #1
    New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom

    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2009
    Posts
    15
    Specs:
    Mac Pro '08 Xeon 8 Cores @ 2.8Ghz / 8Gb RAM - Leopard 10.5.7
    Question New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom
    Hi,

    Given this thread includes words such as 'photography', 'raw' and 'mac pro', i thought it would make sense for other newbies like me if i put all related questions here - easier to search for and find.

    Well, I took delivery last night of my almost brand new 'less than 2 months since it shipped to it's last and only previous owner' Mac Pro (big thanks for all the useful advice and support Nethfel):

    8 Core 2.8Ghz (2008)

    8 Gb Ram (8 x 1GB)

    320Gb WD Model: Caviar SE WDC WD3200AAJS-41VWA1 - Specs: Newegg.com - Western Digital Caviar SE WD3200AAJS 320GB 7200 RPM 8MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive - Internal Hard Drives

    750Gb Seagate Model: Barracuda ST3750640NS - Specs: ST3750640NS Barracudaź ES SATA 3.0Gb/s 750-GB Hard Drive | Seagate)

    NVidia 8800GT 512MB

    Airpot Extreme on-board

    Applecare 'til 2012

    Here are initial questions:

    - I've read this thread re: clean install:

    Leopard How-to: Clean install

    thing is, i don't think i ended up doing a completely new install.

    - Given i will be doing photography and hd video work, what's the best way i should do the following:

    > Set up the hard drives (OS and apps on one with partition? with other for data or scratch?)

    > Use my existing WD My Mirror 2Tb ext HD. This is currently formatted for Windows and is about 12% full (it's running mirrored not striped). If it makes sense, i don't even mind pulling the drives out and using them in the Mac - i've been told they need to be re-formatted.

    > Are there any int/ext HD drives i should buy straight away given i will wind up having to set-up a particular way at some point.

    i don't mind having a workflow whereby i use particular drives for work i'm currently working on (these could be striped) and others which u them move the data onto (mirrored so i always have two copies). if the speed differences are not the noticeable then i would prefer to use on a totally mirrored set-up. i would have one external drive off-site which has one copy of all my images/video. i don;t enjoy or trust dvd burning stuff esp. given how cheap ext hd's are nowadays.

    to start off with i will be using Lightroom and i-movie. In the near future I will be using PS, FC Express and eventually probably FC Pro. Questions:

    > How should I set-up hard-drives/fine-tune system performance given the above work environment?

    up until today, i was using lightroom via a laptop. all Lightroom catalogs and images were on the WD My Mirror 2TB (mirrored) and so i simply plugged in and plugged out when working.

    other factors to consider is that i will be editing mostly RAW files which on average will be 20-45 Mb in size. in future if i'm using PS with layer etc. this will obviously increase these file-sizes.

    any responses are much appreciated.

    ps - if anyone thinks i should move this to the photography sub-forum, pls let me know.

    pps - loving the mac. safari seems nice but google need to quickly get chrome out there as that's the only thing i'm missing from my PC days lol

  2. #2
    New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom
    Phototini's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 14, 2009
    Location
    PA
    Posts
    95
    Specs:
    2009 24" Imac 2.93ghz 4gb RAM 640gb HDD GT130 GPU
    Well I can't help in the video department but, I can shed some light on the photography stuff.

    I just got my Imac a few days ago, switching from a PC.

    I use lightroom v2.3 and PS CS4. Now my Imac has an internal 640gb hdd, but I don't use that for working with my images.

    I use two WD 750gb external firewire drives for my image editing. On one drive is where I store all my working files, then the other used as my scratch disk.

    I then have a HP 320gb usb2.0 HDD that I use to archive old image files once they are ordered. And for misc stuff and personal storage I use my 500gb time capsule on my network.

  3. #3
    New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom

    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2009
    Posts
    15
    Specs:
    Mac Pro '08 Xeon 8 Cores @ 2.8Ghz / 8Gb RAM - Leopard 10.5.7
    Thanks Photini - really useful info.

    Anyone else who is specifically using a Mac Pro and does things differently due to the flexibility the Pro offers? e.g numerous internal drive bays, option to install raid card etc.

    i think i'll call one of those Mac Geniuses too...i wonder if they help you if you have bought your Mac 2nd hand and don't have a receipt...they must do right?
    Machine: Mac Pro 2008: Xeon 8 Cores @ 2.8Ghz / 8Gb RAM OS: Leopard 10.5.7 Graphics: NVidia 8800GT Drives: Int-320Gb (OS and Apps)/750GbFlickr Stream

  4. #4
    New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom

    Member Since
    Apr 08, 2009
    Posts
    15
    Specs:
    Mac Pro '08 Xeon 8 Cores @ 2.8Ghz / 8Gb RAM - Leopard 10.5.7
    Ok - my brain is about to explode with all the permutations but here's what I am thinking after digesting the replies and some consequential research:

    - I could leave my 350Gb int drive alone, as i have at the moment for boot and apps. Any benefit to partitioning this and using some as a scratch disk for photo/video editing or should another drive be used for scratch - i'm guessing i should use a separate drive but wanted to double-check? It's just that 350Gb seems like a lot of space is being wasted since I won't be using anything like this for apps - I'm a minimalist kind of guy!

    - The 750Gb could be used for video (which is secondary to my photography - currently just getting into HD video with my 5d2)

    - My understanding is that currently, 1Tb is the max size for Mac pro int drives. I could get 2 x 1Tb drives and these would me my Photo and Lightroom Catalog/Thumbs etc. storage drives. These could be RAID 0 striped as well couldn't they - to make them even faster right?

    - Technically the slowest drive I have is the ext WD 2Tb My Mirror USB 2.0 (which I understand will need to be re-formatted for OSX - any tips?). This can be my ext back-up drive. This would be brought and taken off-site regularly. If I use this via RAID 0 Striped, not only will it it provide me with 2Tb as opposed to 1Tb of storage (RAID 1 Mirror which is how it was set-up on my Windows Laptop), it will prove faster for back-ups right?

    - I'm thinking Time-Machine/Chronosync for backing-up - read good things about them on www but can't seem to work-out why i would use both at the same-time as some do.

    Also, I just wanted to say that any info/thoughts people give me are a great help - I already feel as though I have been educated via this thread - the stuff that has been mentioned has helped focus my research.

    Although I have had a 100% digital photography workflow for 2-3 years, on my desktop PC (8 year old AMD Athlon 850Mhz / 20Gb hard drive / RAM don't even ask!!!) which was recently consigned to the grave, there was no hardware/optimisation knowledge on my part.

    My very recently purchased laptop (Dell Inspiron 1545 Dual Core 2Ghgz / 3Gb Ram / 250Gb int drive) was sold to my sister in law to fund the Mac - the RAW files from my recently bought 5d2 made my 20d files look like play-school! Things were already slugging-along with the 20D's 8Mb or so files...imagine what 20-40Mb files did!!! Don't even mention LR local adjustments!

    So with about £1,800 to spend, and various sources/instinct telling me to buy a decent spec second-hand Mac, to go with my already acquired second-hand Eizo CE240W monitor (i love that thing - can you tell?) here I am 2 days later - with an unfamiliar computer, with a different OS and lots of technical storage/hard-drive configuration decisions to make....

    Exciting - yes. Mind - boggling - OH YES. Scary - just a bit!
    Machine: Mac Pro 2008: Xeon 8 Cores @ 2.8Ghz / 8Gb RAM OS: Leopard 10.5.7 Graphics: NVidia 8800GT Drives: Int-320Gb (OS and Apps)/750GbFlickr Stream

  5. #5
    New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom
    Philscbx's Avatar
    Member Since
    Mar 17, 2009
    Location
    Mpls
    Posts
    14
    Specs:
    Quad Core Intel Xeon MP 8 Core, 8 GB, 10.6.8, 4-1 TB / PB-G4 / iPad / iPhone
    Quote Originally Posted by jupesingh View Post
    Ok - my brain is about to explode with all the permutations but here's what I am thinking after digesting the replies and some consequential research:

    Exciting - yes. Mind - boggling - OH YES. Scary - just a bit!
    I have somewhat the same machine with 23" Cinema Display.
    With zoom control feature (option/mouse scroll), I can easily sit 5-7 feet from screen.

    Quote: I could leave my 350Gb int drive alone, as i have at the moment for boot and apps. Any benefit to partitioning this and using some as a scratch disk for photo/video editing or should another drive be used for scratch<

    I would leave this drive alone for all OS, Apps, and games.

    Quote: My understanding is that currently, 1Tb is the max size for Mac pro int drives. I could get 2 x 1Tb drives and these would me my Photo and Lightroom Catalog/Thumbs etc. storage drives. These could be RAID 0 striped as well couldn't they - to make them even faster right? <

    True, but 2 x 1 TB in RAID 0 would need the same duplicate for back-up.
    I'd just run the 1 TB drives as they are.
    One for video, one for images.

    There are hot swap drives you can get at OWC and others in their own case for back-up. See these guys SuperDrive Internal Optical Drive Upgrades for Apple Macs - DVD-R/RW, DVD Dual-Layer, Blu-Ray, CD-R/RW, & More Optical Drive Performance Upgrades at OtherWorldComputing.com Ultimate support at the drop of the hat, and all my orders get to my door super fast.

    As for USB drives, I do not own any.
    Mine are all firewire external, even the 100 GB portables by Lacie that I use for the Apple Laptop.

    I explored the TIME machine option, and after much research at Apple Support forum,
    I saw too much chaos to jump on that wagon just yet.
    Of course, only the ones with issues go there, so that's somewhat biased.

    Internally I have 4 -1TB drives.
    One- for main OS, and Apps, and documents, music.
    Two- for all imaging files
    Three- blank for now
    Four- all recorded movies off DVD's - 252 movies take up 600 GB done with Handbrake & VLC.

    The optical drive I feel is the one thing that needs major upgrade.
    Then to add a second one. Again OWC has the best choice on hand.
    My installed - PIONEER DVD-RW DVR-112 is at the lowest end of the stick.

    I do miss my now dead PC tower. About the same vintage of yours.
    It ran 24/7 just so I could keep up the challenge of Spider Solitaire.

    Here is one handy tip.
    At some point you may have to transport this space shuttle control center.
    This is by far the coolest, safest way to cruise the mall or parking lot.
    This makes it about as simple as taking laptop in for service.
    With your warranty, you get the option to bring it in for on the spot fix.

    Shop Samsonite
    I went through one of the largest luggage departments with measuring tape to select this guy.
    With the four casters, it can cruise in narrow profile, and no-one has a clue till you open it at the Apple Store.
    The added panel space allows room inside for bluetooth keyboard, mouse, etc.

    Cheers

  6. #6
    New Mac - Optimising Photography / Lightroom
    BenB's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 22, 2009
    Location
    Southeast Louisiana
    Posts
    144
    Do do HD video, you'll need Final Cut Studio, which requires a secondary drive. The largest internal drive you can put in a Mac today is 2TB, I'm running 4 of them. And if you do go with FCS for video editing, consider switching to Aperture, it's a bit more mature and powerful than Lightroom.
    Apple Certified Master Trainer
    bbalser.com
    FCPXProUniversity.com
    LouisianaCajunCutters.org

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