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Thread: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

  1. #51
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by Wayne Fox View Post
    If youíve ever monitored the CPU/core usages while using Lightroom or Photoshop, they donít really take advantage of all the cores. Often you see none of the virtual cores getting hit at all. C1 on the other hand is pretty efficient at using all the cores and Iíve C1 max out all cores including virtual ones frequently when doing certain tasks.

    So I guess if you spend most of your time in C1, a slightly slower clock speed but 2 more cores might be beneficial, (although it seems the cost/benefit ratio probably isnít there as you mentioned).

    If on the other hand if you spend most of your time in LR/PS, the faster CPU speed is probably the better option. the new 5k iMac wins many tests in Photoshop against the Mac Pro simply because itís running at 4ghz.
    I recently set up a second studio using a maxed out 5K iMac. I mostly use LR and PS and can confirm it's quick ... rarely see the spinning wheel ... but I don't do many 4 gig stitches ... mostly layered files up to 1 to 2 gig max and even that is relatively rare enough that I wouldn't spec out a computer just for that.

    BTW, the 5K screen is spectacular!

    - Marc
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  2. #52
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    I agree.
    Although when it comes to C1, do most folks here do the catalog on the SSD, with masters and output files on the RAIDs ?
    As in, whether using sessions or catalogs, does it degrade performance if you reference the files (my new preferred method to be adopted ) vs having the catalog ingest the files ?
    I don’t use C1 to catalog, but prefer Lightroom for that. Once i’ve determined which files I want to use in LR, I have a generic C1 session, and just use the System Folders section of the Library tab to navigate to the folder where they images reside, do my raw conversions and output tiff files, then back to LR and import those tiff files.
    At home I have the catalog and image files on a thunderbolt 2 4 drive raid 0 which measure at about 600 MB/sec. While the internal SSD is faster (more like 900-1000MB/sec), I did some tests comparing between the two and really didn’t see any difference in actual real world performance. I also have a small part of my internal SSD setup as my primary photoshop scratch disk, not sure how valuable that is with 64GB of ram.

    I do have a Mac Book Pro when I’m at my store or traveling and partitioned the 1GB SSD into 2 pieces, 600GB’s are dedicate to Catalog and images, the rest system drive applications. While the drive is faster than the raid at home, the CPU and ram limitations make it noticeably slower. Sort of relative though because it’s faster than my tricked out 2010 Mac Pro with PCI SSD startup disk and 4 drive internal raid 0. It’s still pretty fast.
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Wayne,
    You have some fantastic info on the set up of your MacPro on your website. Really helpful. So I have pulled the trigger on the MacPro, 8core ( I did this hoping the next iterations of softwares would be core-sensitive, considering the hardware is headed towards more and more cores) 64GB, 1TB SSD. Also have a 5big 20TB (which I will soft-raid (raid0) to 10TB and might mirror it to the other half weekly or monthly, since when I shoot, I shoot worth approx 64GB or so, but not that frequently). 2nd off site drive of 6TB, mirrored again. You mention use-degradation of the internal SSD. Is it that common though ?

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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by satybhat View Post
    Wayne,
    Also have a 5big 20TB (which I will soft-raid (raid0) to 10TB and might mirror it to the other half weekly or monthly
    Not to be critical, but IĒm not sure where this mirroring would accomplish anything, other than the retrieval of an older version of the file. If you run soft raid 0ís but both raids are built on partitions of the same 5 drives, the second raid offers no real redundancy since if you lose a drive, you lose both raids. My clones are all to other drive cabinets. Your offsite clone is certainly important, but again I donít see anything gained by mirroring 5 stripes onto 5 stripes on the same 5 drives.
    You mention use-degradation of the internal SSD. Is it that common though ?
    Good question. SSD degradation does happen, but TRIM reduces it dramatically and Apples own drives have TRIM enabled. So Iím probably worrying about nothing. I guess my logic was if part of the SSD is constantly hammered because itís a photoshop scratch disk and in fact it did degrade to the point of being unreliable, maybe that would leave the remainder of the drive functioning well. Since an SSD isnít a spinning platter, Iím probably not gaining anything.

    In your case, since you internal SSD is 1TB however, you may want to consider another option which is what i do with 1TB SSD on my powerbook. There I have partitioned the internal drive into 400/600 TB segments, the 400 TB is the operating system/applications/user folder and the 600TB is my LR catalog/current image files. You could then clone those two segments over to a dedicated folder on your external raid, and the rest of the image files of your LR library could also be on the external raid.
    wayne
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Wayne,

    Thanks for sharing your computer and workflow. I recently updated to a new Mac Pro with 512ssd, 3.0GHz 8-Core and Dual AMD FirePro D700-6GB VRAM. As expected it's working out perfect with C1 (v8.1) and photoshop CC.

    However what's been keeping me on the phone are my external enclosures. I have always used 5 bay or 8 bay Sonnett digital enclosures w/ esata. I even purchased the Sonnett Echo Express SE II (thunderbolt to esata module) and installed a Pcie card for my esata enclosures. Its working well, but I keep thinking that I'm not taking advantage of the newer thunderbolt technology.

    Could you or any forum member recommend an multiple bay thunderbolt enclosure? I have purchased the OWC ThunderBay 4 TB2. I'm interested in options which are a bit more robust.

    Thank you,
    Jeffery

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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery Salter View Post
    Wayne,

    Thanks for sharing your computer and workflow. I recently updated to a new Mac Pro with 512ssd, 3.0GHz 8-Core and Dual AMD FirePro D700-6GB VRAM. As expected it's working out perfect with C1 (v8.1) and photoshop CC.

    However what's been keeping me on the phone are my external enclosures. I have always used 5 bay or 8 bay Sonnett digital enclosures w/ esata. I even purchased the Sonnett Echo Express SE II (thunderbolt to esata module) and installed a Pcie card for my esata enclosures. Its working well, but I keep thinking that I'm not taking advantage of the newer thunderbolt technology.

    Could you or any forum member recommend an multiple bay thunderbolt enclosure? I have purchased the OWC ThunderBay 4 TB2. I'm interested in options which are a bit more robust.

    Thank you,
    Jeffery
    Jeff,the Caldigit and G-technology drives are top quality,I'm using a pegasus now and its very fast but I like Caldigit and Gtech for reliability.

    CalDigit T4

    G-SPEED Studio XL | G-Technology

    Rob
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    I have 2 Promise Pegasus R4 units (a TB1 and TB2) and I like them. No issues here and they work as advertised. They can take quite awhile to initialize at first. I've been using the TB1 enclosure for about 2 years and the TB2 version for about a month (both are in the default RAID 5). I do wish they had another interface in addition to thunderbolt in the event I ever have to use it on a computer that lacks thunderbolt. Had to contact Promise support recently and they called me back within the hour I submitted a support request and worked out my issue, and I found that level of customer support impressive FWIW.

    I also have an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual (in RAID 1). Worked flawlessly for a little bit but then I started getting I/O and Data Underrun errors. At the same time, computer started having kernel panics and going through freeze/restart loops, and I traced that issue to the drive bay. Contacted OWC customer service who were pretty helpful. Said the SATA cable in the enclosure was most likely the culprit because mine was from a batch that shipped from the supplier with a cable not ok'd by OWC, and they sent me a new cable free of charge etc. Haven't gotten it back up and running yet but I think that should probably fix it (both drives check out - 2 matching western digital RE 3-tb drives). However, that enclosure is only 2 bays which is pretty limiting imho. It has a USB 3.0 and thunderbolt interface which is nice.

    Last, I have a USB 3.0/eSATA 4-bay Sans Digital enclosure that I'm running in RAID 1+0 with some Sonnet eSATA/Thunderbolt adaptors and it hasn't given me any trouble (in ~two years). I'm only using that for backups and it gets about 1/3 the read/write speeds of the Pegasus units. Not sure I'd recommend that solution because the eSATA thunderbolt adaptors that I have are annoying to use.
    Todd
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by RVB View Post
    Jeff,the Caldigit and G-technology drives are top quality,I'm using a pegasus now and its very fast but I like Caldigit and Gtech for reliability.
    Thanks Rob. The G-Tech studio xl 8-bay looks very promising. I took a look at its downloadable pdf manual and liked what I saw.

    Quote Originally Posted by tcdeveau View Post
    I have 2 Promise Pegasus R4 units (a TB1 and TB2) and I like them. No issues here and they work as advertised. They can take quite awhile to initialize at first. I've been using the TB1 enclosure for about 2 years and the TB2 version for about a month (both are in the default RAID 5).

    I also have an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Dual (in RAID 1). Worked flawlessly for a little bit but then I started getting I/O and Data Underrun errors.

    Last, I have a USB 3.0/eSATA 4-bay Sans Digital enclosure that I'm running in RAID 1+0 with some Sonnet eSATA/Thunderbolt adaptors and it hasn't given me any trouble (in ~two years).
    Thanks Todd. Your feedback on it is very helpful. I have been following the many different reviews on the Pegasus enclosures and opinions seem to be very varied. I do have a question for you. Do you keep your Pegasus running on all the time? (I shortened your post a bit in the requote. Hope you don't mind.)


    Jeffery

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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Jeffery, all my studio external drives are G-Tech and have been more than pleased with them. I've even done video off them with no problems.

    Don
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Good morning Don. If you don't mind could you please tell me which G-tech drives you have and if you leave them running 24/7?

    thanks,
    Jeffery

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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffery Salter View Post
    Good morning Don. If you don't mind could you please tell me which G-tech drives you have and if you leave them running 24/7?

    thanks,
    Jeffery



    I now have 3-seperate drive systems which I leave on 24 hrs. (they're also plugged into one of 3-USP's I have in the studio). The oldest which is also the largest is a 16TB G-Speed that never leaves the studio (Raid is set so that I have 8TB). The second which is one that I used to take on location is a 1TB G-Safe that I now leave in the studio for redundant backups. And the newest is a 2TB (no RAID) G-Mini that is now my location backup but also stay plugged in to the system when not traveling. (I also have a WD USB3 Passport Ultra 1TB that I'll take with me on location if I'm gone for any length of time). Of course these are all connected to a PC.

    I'll have the G-Mini with me at Tahoe in April if you're coming out (feel free to give me a call or contact Dave for more information)

    Don
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Quote Originally Posted by Don Libby View Post
    [FONT=Tahoma]I now have 3-seperate drive systems which I leave on 24 hrs. (they're also plugged into one of 3-USP's I have in the studio). The oldest which is also the largest is a 16TB G-Speed that never leaves the studio (Raid is set so that I have 8TB).
    Don
    Thanks for sharing Don. The g-tech enclosures sound pretty durable. Normally I prefer to pick my own hard drives for the enclosure. I have four copies of every digital image I have ever taken on separate hard drives in Sonnett Digital enclosures. My studio working files and back-ups I keep running 24/7 with a UPS as well. My off site RAWS and Job Master archives I only power up twice a week.

    When I'm not in my office and need access to my files, I use a program called:

    https://secure.logmein.com/

    It allows me to control my studio Mac from anywhere that has wi-fi via an iPad, iPhone or laptop. I can upload any client requests from the comfort of my hotel room or a coffee house.

    Tahoe sounds very doable!!!

    Jeffery
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    Thanks Todd. Your feedback on it is very helpful. I have been following the many different reviews on the Pegasus enclosures and opinions seem to be very varied. I do have a question for you. Do you keep your Pegasus running on all the time? (I shortened your post a bit in the requote. Hope you don't mind.)
    No problem! To answer your question, the Pegasus enclosures I do not run 24/7. I only have them on when I'm actually using my Mac Pro (which is sparingly...maybe ~10-20 hours a week max). One potential issue with the longevity of the Pegasus units running 24/7 is that they ship with consumer drives that have custom firmware. I could be wrong, but this is my understanding. Consumer drives are not the best choice for 24/7 use. If you intend to keep your enclosures running 24/7, I'd look at getting a thunderbolt enclosure and populating it with enterprise-class drives, which are pricier but should stand up to 24/7 use more than consumer drives. Promise has a list of drives (some are enterprise) that are compatible with the Pegasus units on their website somewhere and they offer an empty thunderbolt 2 enclosure you can buy (or they used to at least). You can also get a Pegasus and swap out the stock drives but that's not the most economic solution...also, if you need tech support going that route you'll have to deal with two companies (enclosure and drive manufacturer) instead of one.

    It looks like the G-Tech G-Speed Thunderbolt 2 enclosures ship with enterprise drives, so if I was starting from scratch and running 24/7 I might just go with one of those personally. The last unit I bought was the Pegasus 2 R4 and I got it simply because it fit my storage and usage needs...and more importantly my budget at the time.
    Todd
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    Re: Computer question for Medium Format photography only

    So say, I have a Lacie 5big that I am planning to populate - That is a 4TB x5 drives raid.
    I plan to go Raid 1-0 with 4TB x2 mirrored to 4x2. ( 8TB ). I will leave the 5th drive 4TB as JBOD. If I run this 10-20 hrs a week ( which is what I require in terms of processing times), would an abberant power surge hamper the mirrors ( 2 x 4TB) that are not running all the time ?

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