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Setting up a new Mac Pro & disk storage for video workflow

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Ed Ramsey
Setting up a new Mac Pro & disk storage for video workflow
on Sep 20, 2009 at 1:55:10 pm

Hi.

In the next few months (possibly after the next model comes out) I will be purchasing and setting up a new mac pro for Final Cut Studio (shooting HD) and Logic (5.1/7.1) workflow (most of which I do (slowly) on a laptop today). I will also setup bootcamp for windows 7 and use parallels when I am not doing audio/video. Based on my research last year I was planning on using a caldigit raid card and the four (or three) internal drives in a raid five (with battery backup). To update my thinking I was looking through the forums here and see that there is a problem with the 2009 mac pros and the caldigit card for internal raid 5. I see I can purchase an adapter from another company to make this work, but now that it is not as straightforward as it looked last year, I thought I would just ask my questions of the group and see what is recommended.

Questions: (1) What is an economical robust way to have 3-4TB of reasonably fast, reasonably secure (raid 5) primary storage that would be good for mixed workflow on a new (or next gen?) mac pro? (2) How do I avoid boot issues with bootcamp, windows 7, linux, etc. (assuming I am using internal storage for my raid) and still let windows see my storage? (3) What is an economical way to expand the solution? And, since I am already asking , (4) Will I benefit enough from using an 8-core system over the next few years as software improves to at least partially justify the cost?

This has always been a wonderful group; thanks.

-Ed




Ed Ramsey
Coalesce Productions Inc.
Technology and Audio Professionals


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walter biscardi
Re: Setting up a new Mac Pro & disk storage for video workflow
on Sep 20, 2009 at 3:11:32 pm

[Ed Ramsey] "Questions: (1) What is an economical robust way to have 3-4TB of reasonably fast, reasonably secure (raid 5) primary storage that would be good for mixed workflow on a new "

Pick up a RAID 5 unit from MaxxDigital, Sonnet or Dulce in my opinion. You will see all sorts of opinions on this very forum about build it yourself, cheap RAIDs which I don't bother with. I want one company to handle my tech support and I also want a system that's been tested in multiple configurations. Our 8TB Maxx Evo HD unit runs over 550MB/s in RAID 5 and the 16TB unit runs in ludicrous speed in RAID 0 and about 750MB/s in RAID 5.


[Ed Ramsey] "(2) How do I avoid boot issues with bootcamp, windows 7, linux, etc. (assuming I am using internal storage for my raid) and still let windows see my storage?"

Ok, this is going to be a big issue as far I know. You would need to set up your RAID in Windows format, which will cause all sorts of issues with Final Cut Pro. You're best to stay with one or the other or have multiple storage boxes set up for Mac and Windows operation. Call Maxx Digital and ask them for advice on setting something up that would work for you.


[Ed Ramsey] " (3) What is an economical way to expand the solution? And, since I am already asking "

Maxx Digital now has Expando Chassis units which is what our 16TB RAID is. If we want to add more storage (which I will be doing very shortly) I simply daisy chain another RAID to the first one. I can daisy chain up to 128 drives together with my current configuration.


[Ed Ramsey] "(4) Will I benefit enough from using an 8-core system over the next few years as software improves to at least partially justify the cost? "

Get the fastest Mac you can afford and put 8 to 16GB RAM in there. If you're planning to use Color a lot, put the ATI 4870 graphics card in there.



Walter Biscardi, Jr.
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