Site Sponsors
Results 1 to 13 of 13

Thread: My new non Mac workstation

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    My new non Mac workstation

    My theory on Photoshop workstations it you need 3 controllers and a series of RAID hard drives for each one: (1) Windows OS, Windows swap drive and application programs (2) PS swap drive and (3) image data. That way you eliminate both disk read/write head and controller contention. The Windows OS can load and swap on its own controller and hard drive(s). Photoshop can read / write image files on a dedicated controller and set of hard drives and at the same time, read/write to its swap drive. With this design in mind, I recently built my new workstation. Below are the specs.

    Processor
    - Intel Core i7-920 Bloomfield 2.66GHz 4 x 256KB L2 Cache 8MB L3 Cache LGA 1366 130W Quad-Core Processor
    - 12 gig memory
    - I wasn't too worried about the CPU. PS workstations are mainly data constained if the RAID controllers are off chip

    Motherboard
    ASUS P6T WS PRO LGA 1366 Intel X58 ATX Intel Core i7
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16813131357)
    3 RAID controllers:
    - SAS with 2 SAS connectors
    - SATA with 6 SATA connectors
    - eSATA with 2 eSATA connectors

    Case & SATA backplane combo
    Athena Power Case CA-SWH01BH8
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16811192058
    Has 2 SAS/SATA black planes each with 4 hot swap SATA/SAS bays
    Very neat case with 8 hot sway bays you access from the front

    Hard Drives
    8 SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ 500GB 7200 RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb
    Very fast and cheap, see Tomshardware performance charts
    Max Read -> http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2...hput,1009.html
    Max Write -> http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/2...hput,1012.html

    Configuration

    SAS Controller with two 500MB Samsung drives
    - Each drive with 2 partitions, inner partitions 100MB and outer partition 400MB
    - Inner partitions (which are much faster, read/write head has less distance to travel) RAIDed together RAID 0 for O/S, O/S swap drives and programs
    - Outer partitions RAIDed together with RAID 1 for slow static data
    - RAID 0 with the O/S delivers 160mb/s throughput performance
    - RAID 1 for slow static data delivers 83mb/2 throughput
    - See http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/r...-Rate,223.html

    eSATA Controller with two 500MB Samsung internal drives
    - eSATA to SATA cables so I can use internal drives with the eSATA connectors
    - Each drive with 2 partitions, inner partitions 100MB and outer partition 400MB
    - Inner partitions RAIDed together with RAID 0 for the PS swap drive
    - Outer partitions RAIDed together with RAID 1 for slow static data
    - RAID 0 with the O/S delivers 160mb/s throughput performance
    - RAID 1 for slow static data delivers 83mb/2 throughput

    SATA Controller with four 500MB Samsung drives
    - All 4 drives RAIDed together with RAID 5
    - Estimated 260mb/s throughput

    Storage capacity
    200MB RAID 0 for O/S and programs (drive back up with Norton Ghost so if one of the drives dies, can blow back down the image without reinstalling everything)
    950MB RAID 1 for slow static or small data files (raw files, word / excel files)
    1.5TB RAID 5 for my photoshop files

    Total cost including graphics card and CPU heat sink / fan => $1850

  2. #2
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    Damn! I spend twice that much for my laptop 4-years ago.

    Sounds like a nice setup. Are you sure you can afford the electricity bill to turn it on?

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    The hard drives are green, power down when not being used. With my old system, the computer ran 24/7 because I had to back up every evening (and could never get the hiberate/wake to work). With the new RAID systems, I only have to back up weekly or monthly so the computer will only run 8 hours a day.

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    **** Important ... I reversed the inner / outer tracks in my write up above. The outer tracks are the ones that are much faster. See http://macperformanceguide.com/Stora...anYouNeed.html.

  5. #5
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    Seek time can matter, the spin rate of the inner or outer tracks doesn't matter.

  6. #6
    Sr. Administrator Jack's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Los Altos, CA
    Posts
    10,486
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    1031

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post
    the spin rate of the inner or outer tracks doesn't matter.
    Sorry Oxide, but that is wrong. The outer rim has a far greater LINEAR speed at any given RPM due to the larger circumference: more track is moving under the head per unit of time which means that the disk plate moves faster under the head at the outer edge of the rim than at the inner.

    All you need to do is a simple test to prove this to yourself -- partition off 20G of a free disk at the outer edge (first partition), then partition off 20G at the very inner (last partition) with a large middle partition of the remaining. Write the same 10G's of data to the inner and out sectors and time it. The outer sector will be about 2.5 times faster than the inner on a 3.5" drive.

    Note that this is why older 10K drives that used 2.5" platters inside 3.5 cases are not faster than larger 3.5 drives running at 7200 RPM. Also, denser patters are faster because they pack more data-storage material per linear inch of track than older, less dense platters; here if the platter is twice as dense, it can write 2x as much data in the same length of track, so spinning at the same speed the denser platter is 2x faster.

    Cheers,
    Jack
    home: www.getdpi.com

    "Perfection is not attainable. But if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence."

  7. #7
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Flesher View Post

    Quote Originally Posted by Oxide Blu View Post

    the spin rate of the inner or outer tracks doesn't matter.
    Sorry Oxide, but that is wrong. The outer rim has a far greater LINEAR speed at any given RPM due to the larger circumference: more track is moving under the head per unit of time which means that the disk plate moves faster under the head at the outer edge of the rim than at the inner.
    The outside tracks are moving faster -- more real estate is passing under the head for each bit. A bit closer to the spindle is more dot shaped -- less real estate moving under the head, a bit on the outer track is shaped like a long oval -- more real estate moving under the head.

    Think of a front wheel of a bicycle. Clip a couple of playing cards to the fork supporting the wheel, one card near the spindle, the other near the tire rim. Spin the wheel -- both cards are clicking at the same speed. Yeah, the outer rim is spinning faster but it doesn't have any more spokes than the area near the spindle. The read/write head has no idea of the real estate passing under it. It is pulsing at a rate dictated by a clock -- small round dots with less space between them near the spindle, long ovals with more space between them on the outer tracks. It has nothing to do with read/write access time -- that's the same time for all tracks on a platter.

    How far the head has to travel will significantly effect file access time, as well as where the disk's management files reside. If the data that describes where the files are on a disk are written to the outer tracks, then having your files closest to that area will reduce the time it takes the head to get to those files. If the disk management data is on the inner tracks, then the files closest to the inner tracks will have the fastest overall access time. If the file management is off-platter, then the files closest to the head's 'park' location will have the fastest access time.

    Introduce variable speed clocking -- instruct the head to read/write faster depending on the track location (inner track read/write slower -- less real estate, vs outer track read/write faster -- more real estate covered in the same time) -- only then does the disk head have faster read/write times for outer tracks.

    Me thinks overall faster access time for outer tracks is about where the disk's file management is written and where the head parks, and nothing about the spin rate of a track is passing under the head. But what would I know about it -- everything I know about hard drives I got from reading the labels on scotch bottles.

  8. #8
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NORCAL
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    "Data transfer rate
    As of 2008, a typical 7200rpm desktop hard drive has a sustained "disk-to-buffer" data transfer rate of about 70 megabytes per second.[42] This rate depends on the track location, so it will be highest for data on the outer tracks (where there are more data sectors) and lower toward the inner tracks (where there are fewer data sectors); and is generally somewhat higher for 10,000rpm drives. Transfer rate can be influenced by file system fragmentation and the layout of the files." duh...
    Last edited by fultonpics; 8th December 2009 at 23:01.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NORCAL
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    or per apple:


    Data transfer speed testing with DiskTester shows the nearly 2X speed difference at the 0% (outer) area vs the 100% (inner) area of the drive. All four brands/models of hard drives graphed below show a steep decline in transfer speed from the outer to inner tracks, between 50 % and 60%. Remember that a minimum speed maybe be critical for certain applications, such as high definition video (to avoid dropped frames).

    damn physics--i hated that class at purdue. i transfered to berkeley and got a mba instead--however, due to the second hand smoke damage, don't remember any of it.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    NORCAL
    Posts
    304
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    i assume you are running 64-bit on that bad boy. do you find you can't use certain filters? are you seeing a significant improvement in speed over apple based processing? why not faster drives? anyway cool system at a GREAT price.

  11. #11
    Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    35
    Post Thanks / Like

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    Yes, 64 bit ... loading it now. I don't know about Apple speed ... never used one ... been building PC's since 1981 ... before Apples. Check out the Tom's Hardware links ... these Samsung drives are as fast as most SAS 15000 RPM drives and only cost $54.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Lars's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Sunnyvale, California
    Posts
    1,811
    Post Thanks / Like
    Images
    19

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    Nice setup, great value!

    I went a bit more modest a month ago - Core i7 860, new mobo, 4x2GB RAM, Gigabyte 9800GT Silent fanless GPU. Three old Seagates striped for data/swap, simple boot drive. I sync all files on my data partition to my file server, so no need for redundance. This system is so quiet I have to lean close to feel if fans are actually blowing air.
    Monochrome: http://mochro.com

  13. #13
    Oxide Blu
    Guest

    Re: My new non Mac workstation

    The last system I built I went toward silent computing, too. The more I am around it the more I like it -- like it a lot. It is used for security, in a 4U box. I put in some fans with shafts that float between magnets. The HDDs make more noise then the case cooling fans.

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •