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Thread: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

  1. #51
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Michael,

    I think your iMac idea will work out just fine.
    When I was awaiting my nMP I used a 15" late 2013 MacBook Pro for a couple of months.
    Speed-wise that machine was up to the task.
    The reason for me to get the nMP is the 6 Thunderbolt ports.
    I have all of them in use as well as the 4 USB3 ports.
    With best regards, K-H.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    k-h,

    I think you are right! Planning to go that route most likely.


    Thanks,

    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    The iMac 5k is in the running for my next high-end Mac. I'm thinking get the iMac, sell my MacBook Pro (I think it's my fourth one?), sell my aging MacBook Air, and get either the new Macbook or another Air to be my laptop. I very seldom work on photos (or anything else serious) when not connected to a large monitor.

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    Senior Member bradhusick's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I like to choose my own monitor when buying a high end computer. My photo editing monitor is the NEC for its color controls. People who like to spend more often choose Eizo.
    Brad Husick

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    OK, thanks for all the feedback folks! I have a new iMac on the way, and now need to figure out the only other burning question (beyond the issue of the second monitor, because I will keep my current NEC for the time being).

    External HD enclosures! Above, RVB mentioned the Thunderbay, and I have looked at that (I have other OWC products, so I often go there first).

    Here is the scenario, and I wanted to get opinions on how to configure, or what to get to solve thins "best" (hahaha, whatever best means).

    I have a couple of 3TB harddrives in my current Mac Pro that I installed this past fall. I intend to carry them over to an enclosure. These are individual volumes, so no problems.

    I also have a pair of SS drives in there, and I was thinking that I should move them into a box and dedicate them to cache duties, maybe as a striped RAID for the best speed.

    As I see it, I may have a few options for how to configure the system...

    OPTION 1

    ---Purchase a HD box for the two data drives, maybe the Thunderbay. Whatever it is, it should have Thunderbolt 2 interface.
    ---Purchase a SEPERATE HD box for the SSDs, and connect them to the machine. 1 of 3 ways; directly, using the second Thunderbolt 2 jack or using USB3, or tagged onto the other box (or maybe make this the first box, and have the data drive connect to it).

    OPTION 2
    ---Purchase a single HD array box that can accommodate the 4 drives, and set up the two SSDs in a software array, and leave the others by themselves.

    OPTION 1 may (?) have the benefit that the cable is not being asked to pass info from the cache drive and the data drive at the same time, so no slowdown. However, the Thunderbolt driver in the computer may be the limiting factory (are there two in there?). If I use TB for one, and USB3 for the other, then this slowdown may be averted, unless the USB is running off the same driver as well.

    OPTION 2 is cheaper, and maybe it is essentially sufficient for my needs, but want to know if that is viably done. Anyone using an approach like that?

    Thanks everyone. I'll be sure to pose what my final solution is once I have it running.
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member mathomas's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    I have this enclosure on my Amazon wishlist:

    http://tinyurl.com/o5lqzn9

    It's cheaper than the OWC and has great reviews. Seems to be the same platform. Trade-off is it's just an enclosure. You'd have to use the OS X Disk Utility (or other software) to build whatever sort of RAID, or combination, you like out of the inserted drives.

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Quote Originally Posted by mathomas View Post
    I have this enclosure on my Amazon wishlist:

    http://tinyurl.com/o5lqzn9

    It's cheaper than the OWC and has great reviews. Seems to be the same platform. Trade-off is it's just an enclosure. You'd have to use the OS X Disk Utility (or other software) to build whatever sort of RAID, or combination, you like out of the inserted drives.
    Matt, Thanks for the link...

    By my reading, there is no benefit to using a program like SoftRAID on this since the only thing that will be RAIDed will be the two SSDs in the cache pair. The other two are individual volumes.

    I'll look into the product you linked as an alternate.


    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Seems kind of expensive for a JBOD setup and I wonder if you'd see any benefit of Thunderbolt running anything less than striped SSDs? And speaking of which, how does one utilize those as a cache device? Some of the hardware RAIDs I've checked out did offer such an option, but their onboard operating system surely must be written with that in mind?

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    Senior Member mjm6's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    4season,

    The iMac forces you to use external HDs to add storage.

    In my current (old) Mac Pro, I have 4 HDs present; 1 SSD for the OS (dual boot arrangement), 1 SSD for Photoshop memory cache, and 2 regular HDs for data storage (3 TB each).

    That's not possible in the iMac, so I have to load up a HD box and connect it to the iMac with the Thunderbolt 2 connector to achieve a similar arrangement.

    In my new machine, 1 SSD in the iMac for the OS, 2 SSD in the box in a striped array for Photoshop cache, and two data drives in the box for data.

    I have a backup arrangement through a file server and also an NAS remote to the computer location, so that is not the function of this external box.

    I probably don't need to do the striped array for the PS cache, but at the moment I don't have a need for another data drive, and I have the spare SSD, so I will employ it in the arrangement. Running two SSDs in the RAID 0 arrangement will make large Photoshop files cache to the HD very fast, so managing large files with multiple layers won't cause a big slowdown.

    I will use the Apple Disk Manager to set up the RAID on the two SSDs. Nothing too complicated there, and this will not be used for data storage, so no need to be concerned about drive health such that I would need sophisticated monitoring capabilities.

    ---Michael
    a7r, a7rII, FE 16-35, FE 24-70GM, FE 70-200, Loxia 21mm, 35mm, 50mm

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    Senior Member 4season's Avatar
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    Re: Time for a new machine... having trouble with Apple offerings

    Oh Photoshop usage, that makes sense.

    I agonized over what to do about Apple onboard storage for way too long until I finally decided to throw most of my data onto a networked drive, and this has worked out great: Not as fast as TB2, but because I've got it set up as an SMB share, it makes jumping between Windows, Mac and Linux a breeze. It also makes upgrading the computers easy because they mostly contain OS, applications and key files like the Lightroom database.

    Have you also considered eSATA drives connected via a Thunderbolt <-> eSATA bridge? eSATA is cheap and common.

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