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Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.

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Ashraf Saifullah
Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 2, 2011 at 1:46:43 pm

Hello there creative people!

I just bought a Mac Pro 8 core (mid 2010 version) 2 x 2.4ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon Westmere. I've upgraded the RAM to 16GB and the hard drive is still the standard 1TB drive that came with it. The graphics card is the ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB.

Firstly, I would like to ask, how much hard drive and the size of them should I upgrade? I'm planning to keep the standard 1TB drive for my OS and applications and I have 3 bays free. Should I upgrade to 9TB (3TB per bay) or 6TB (2TB per bay)? Or you guys recommend something else and what brand of drive is the best? Are the Hitachi Deskstar 7K3000 3TB 7200RPM SATA 600 64MB good?

Secondly, how do I organise all these drives? Like I said, the standard 1TB in the first bay will be for my OS and applications + softwares. So, what should I do for the other 3 drives? My plan is, one for media files such as music, pictures, videos, documents and the other one is for project files, rendered files, disk cache files and the last one is just for the source of my projects maybe? Or can I put the source files in the media drive? Please let me know if this settings are okay. Any suggestion will be very helpful!

The last question is, should I upgrade my graphics card? I'm planning to get the GTX285 from ebay because of its CUDA technology. Like from what i've read, it will help to boost your performance when playback and rendering in CS5.5. And I've read some good reviews about GTX285. If I can't get it (because they have stopped the production), most probably I will go for Quadro 4000 or FX 4800 but they are expensive. Or, do u think I should just upgrade to HD 5870 or maybe just stick with my HD 5770? Any suggestions?

Mostly, I'm editing HD videos. I'm doing editing and designing using this editing / designing programs:

- Final Cut Pro 7 but just upgraded to Final Cout Pro X
- Adobe CS 3 buts just upgraded to CS5.5. (Premiere Pro, After Effects, Audition, Illustrator, Photoshop, InDesign, Dreamweaver, Flash)
- Apple Motion
- Planning to use 3D softwares as well in the future.

Sorry for the long list of questions but I really need help to make my machine to perform its best. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks
Ashraf


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Todd Perchert
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 6, 2011 at 2:21:25 pm

The amount of HDD space you need depends on your needs. What do you edit? HDV - Uncompressed? Do you need a ton of space and do you archive old projects or do they sit on your HDD? But, I would just put in 3 drives and RAID-0 them together. Find some external drives to archive and backup to. If you can't afford a backup, use 2 of the internal drives in RAID-0 and the third as backup. But def have some kind of backup in place!

If you can find one, go ahead and get the GTX285. You will most likely get better performance from the 4000 or 4800, even with your 3D apps, but the Cuda cards will help you in PPro.
TC


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Ashraf Saifullah
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 6, 2011 at 4:46:34 pm

The amount of HDD space you need depends on your needs. What do you edit? HDV - Uncompressed? Do you need a ton of space and do you archive old projects or do they sit on your HDD? But, I would just put in 3 drives and RAID-0 them together. Find some external drives to archive and backup to. If you can't afford a backup, use 2 of the internal drives in RAID-0 and the third as backup. But def have some kind of backup in place!

If you can find one, go ahead and get the GTX285. You will most likely get better performance from the 4000 or 4800, even with your 3D apps, but the Cuda cards will help you in PPro.
TC

Hi Todd,

Thanks for the answer mate! Yes, mostly I edit HDV. Sometimes uncompressed and sometimes compressed to ProRes 422 HQ. It depends on how long is the final outcome actually. If it's just a short video, I will compress first and edit in FCP because if I don't compress, the playback in FCP are terrible. But if it's a longer video, then I edit it in PPro to save time. Uncompressed video playback in PPro is better. I use both of this editing softwares because I just want to learn and don't want to get stuck to only 1 editing software. But for me, I prefer to edit in PPro because of it is easy to switch and swap around to AE to do the titles and effects. For the time being, my video projects are in my 2TB external HDD (and it's a mess inside there) because before this, I did my editing in my Mackbook Pro.The internal HHD of my new Mac Pro is clean with only the OS and applications because I just bought it 2 weeks ago.

Okay, I need to tell you that I've purchased 3 x 2TB Hitachi Deskstar 7k3000 and still waiting for it to arrive. Currently I got the standard Apple 1TB HDD that comes with the machine. My plan for organising them is like this:

- 1TB is for only the OS and applications + softwares.
- 2TB is for my Media (Movies, music, pictures, documents, downloads).
- 2TB is for my project files (PPro/AE/FCP/Illustrator/Photoshop/InDesign/Motion saved project files + scratch disk/disk cache and so on)
- 2TB for only the sources of unedited HDV that I captured from the camera.
- External 2TB for the backup (need to re-organise though).

Is this set up okay? Or you reckon something else? And yeah, I always keep my old projects for future reference. Because sometimes I forgot how did I do some effects an so on. So, having this old files helped me to look back and study them.

1 Question about the CUDA cards. Do they only help only in PPro? I thought they will boost performance in AE and Photoshop as well. Please do correct me if I'm wrong because I'm still considering about the GTX285. I want it to work well with Adobe's softwares and Apple's as well because I'm not only using only Adobe's.

Thanks for your time Todd!

Cheers,
Ashraf

Thank you for the pain. It made me raise my game.


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Todd Perchert
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 10, 2011 at 2:32:19 pm

Well, you could always stripe the 3 drives together. It will give you faster transfer rates for video - more real-time layers. Just need to organize it so you can locate stuff.
The CUDA cards will help with PPro's Mercury Engine. The benefit to AE and PS will be with the OpenGL support.
Here's a link: http://www.nvidia.com/object/builtforadobepros.html
TC


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Ashraf Saifullah
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 10, 2011 at 7:10:34 pm

Thank you very much Todd. The link that you gave is very helpful! But what do you mean by stripe the 3 drives together?

Thank you for the pain. It made me raise my game.


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Todd Perchert
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 10, 2011 at 7:28:09 pm

Stripe them in a RAID-0 from Disk Utility. Will make the 3 drives appear as 1.
TC


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Ashraf Saifullah
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 10, 2011 at 7:33:19 pm

Yes, that was my plan. Now I'm still waiting for them to arrive. For the graphics card, I need to wait for a moment because I'm out of budget. Thank you very much for your help Todd!

Graphic Designer / Videographer


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Atul Talati
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 25, 2011 at 9:33:55 pm

Hi Ashraf,

Please follow what Todd help you. I will also look into, what seagra technology, Inc has to offer for RAID Storage.

What you need is can be done with STSRFC4-X and STF400PE product which is very cost effective. People stay away from Fibre Channel due to cost but seagra technology, Inc very cost sensitive for guy like you.

5 TB Fibre Channel 5 Bay RAID storage system STSRFC4-X: $1499.00
2 Port 4Gbps Fibre Channel PCI Express HBA : $ 499.00

Throughput for this configuration 350MB/Sec. Sequential Read/Write 1MB I/O Size.

It is Complete Hardware RAID, do not need any special software to configure the product.

Atul Talati
Seagra Technology, Inc
14252 Culver Drive #A129
Irvine, Ca 92604
(949)419-6796(Voice)
(949)419-6437(Fax)
http://www.seagra.com
e-mail:atul@seagra.com


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Ashraf Saifullah
Re: Mac Pro settings for editing + designing.
on Oct 25, 2011 at 11:42:39 pm

Hello Atul,

Is that something like external hard drive that we can just plug and play? But we can change each bay everytime we want? If that what it is, cool! I can use that in the future to store and speed up things. Thank you for the information sir!

Ashraf


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