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Disk Allocation Advice Needed

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Mike MacKenzieDisk Allocation Advice Needed
by on Apr 8, 2008 at 3:01:51 pm

My new PowerMac has been buggier than any Mac I've ever owned (and I've been Apple's bitch since the 80's). It's at the point where I feel I need to do a root canal, I mean a clean install.

I suspect the cause of some of the problems I've been experiencing is the way I've spread files across the four internal hard drives, and I'm looking for recommendations as to the best way to allocate things.

There are two 320gb drives, one of which came with the system. There is also a 160gb drive, and a 1tb drive (which I use for Time Machine).

I am the only user of this machine, and I do graphic animation using After Effects and most other Adobe apps.

I suspect the following folders' disk locations may have something to do with my performance issues: current projects (usually around 100gb at any given time), fonts, applications.

Should all of these be on the same disk the OS lives on, or should they be spread out? It often feels like I have to wait an unusual amount of time for discs to spin up when accessing info. This Mac is a beast, and I laugh at how quickly it manages complex After Effects renders, but basic Finder chores seem like they are slow.

Should everything be located in my Username directory? If so, does this work across multiple disks?

I'd like to avoid partitioning if possible, as that has caused me nothing but trouble in the past. I consider my degree of knowledge as just enough to be dangerous. Yes, I've been a Mac guy since the 80's, but I'm also more artist than power-nerd. Be gentle with me.

Running the latest Leopard on a 2x2.8 Quad Core Xeon with 6gb RAM.

Thanks!

Motion Graphics Designer / Art Director
Boston, MA


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Chuck RetiRe: Disk Allocation Advice Needed
by on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:06:12 pm

So it's a MacPro (Intel), not a PowerMac (G4/G5).
Many applications and their support files want or need to be on the boot drive (varies per app), as should be all system-related files (Library, prefs etc).The other drives can be used for files generated by those apps. I for one would use one of them (the fastest/largest) exclusively for video media, and the others for different documents and files. While your User directory is set up on the boot drive, you can put things on the other drives. I have my Documents, Music, Pictures folders and files on a second internal, but have aliases to them in the User directory. Seems to not cause any problems. Of course you can save any file wherever you want.
Did you just copy applications over from an older system, or were they done as fresh installs? This could affect performance to some degree. I don't see any reason why you'd consider partitioning.
If you're using tons of fonts, I'd suggest a font management app of some sort, so that they're not all active all the time.
This could contribute to some lag. Have you ever tried creating a new user, and seeing if things run any quicker under a different login?
If it were my system, I'd use an external for Time Machine, just so I could grab it and go if the computer or the local environment experienced some catastrophe.


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Zane BarkerRe: Disk Allocation Advice Needed
by on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:41:41 pm

[Chuck Reti] "So it's a MacPro (Intel), not a PowerMac (G4/G5). "

YES a G5 would not have space for 4 internal hard drives, it only has 2 hard drive bays.

[Mike MacKenzie] "I suspect the cause of some of the problems I've been experiencing is the way I've spread files across the four internal hard drives, and I'm looking for recommendations as to the best way to allocate things. "

With out actually telling us what your problems are it is hard to say if they are actual;y caused by your hard drive setup.

There are no "technical solutions" to your "artistic problems".
Don't let technology get in the way of your creativity!



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Mike MacKenzieRe: Disk Allocation Advice Needed
by on Apr 8, 2008 at 4:44:28 pm

Thanks everyone for your suggestions. Yes, it's an Intel, I'm just still in the habit of referring to them as Powermacs. My bad.

Motion Graphics Designer / Art Director
Boston, MA


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