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VodkaPundit

I Feel the Need

May 1st, 2014 - 1:48 pm

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MacWorld connected and daisy chained 36 external hard drives to a new Mac Pro. Why? Because they had 36 external hard drives and a Mac Pro — I know I’d do it if I could. More:

While a dozen or so of these drives were bus-powered, most required external power. We plugged 24 power cords into three power strips and plugged each of those strips into a Watts Up power meter. When running a script that copied data from the Mac Pro’s internal PCIe connected flash storage to each of the drives, the combine power draw peaked at a whopping 865 Watts.

The script also tracked the amount of time it took each drive to write 6GB of data. The fastest was OWC’s Mercury Helios, which was able to write at an average of 271 MBps with all other drives running.

That’s an impressive write speed even without competing for CPU time with 35 other drives. 36 others if you count the boot SSD inside the Mac.

My needs are slightly more modest. I picked up a stock six-core Pro a couple weeks ago, with two external drives. The first is a 4TB LaCie d2 Thunderbolt drive for my Time Machine backup. Its only job is to stay out of my way until I mess something up. Or until we get an evacuation order some summer due to wildfires — it’s nice to be able to grab just one drive and then scoot. The second is a 4TB LaCie 2big, also Thunderbolt, in a striped 2TB RAID 0 config.

I dunno how fast that thing is, but I honestly can’t tell a difference between the LaCie RAID and the PCIe SSD boot drive. The new setup is so fast that I’m considering merging my year-by-year Aperture photo libraries into one big-ass 250GB library.

Because like the MacWorld guys — why not?

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All Comments   (13)
All Comments   (13)
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Amazon has them in stock.....
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Believe it or not, that was the kicker for me. I'd perfected my custom build at Apple's online store and at MacMall, but could never get past the six-week delay. Also, sales tax.

Then there was Amazon with the stock six-core available for overnight shipping...

Expensive day.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
I figure about 5.5K for the 6 core, plus 32GB, plus 1TB external SSD and, of course, tax. On the other hand, my 2010 mac pro's are still going strong, so it's not a bad investment. And you're right, it does look like the 3.14 version of the 2001 monolith.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Arrrggghhhh. Between my late 2013 iMac and my current round of funemployment, there is no way I could justify a new Pro. The video work I do would really like that kinda horsepower though. *sigh*
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Steve, I think you'll enjoy this one then.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eULFf6F5Ri8

What happens when you put 24 SSDs into a RAID?

"Because we can" is truly a motto worth living.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
So how does Thunderbolt stack up against SCSI , USB 3, and/or Firewire?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Thunderbolt 1 is faster than PCIe and Thunderbolt 2 is twice as fast as Thunderbolt 1. Like Firewire, TB requires each device to have its own controller -- meaning much less CPU overhead than USB 2 or 3 requires. The Mac Pro has three TB2 controllers using six ports, plus one TB-wired HDMI connector.

At 20 Gbit/s per controller, that's a whole lot of throughput.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Ok Steve, you're really starting to tempt me. I've been trying to stay with my 2010 mac pro's that I just updated to SSD's, but......
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Just do it. On one hand, you'll have hilariously faster hardware that is smaller, lighter, quieter, and uses less juice to do more work.

On the other, you'll piss off the anti-Mac zealots.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Some of us aren't zealots; we just can't afford Mac prices.
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
Then you'll have no reason to be pissed off, right?
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
True, but I had difficulty ignoring the blatant trolling. My bad. ;)
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
At least once a day I look at the perfectly smooth forbidding black object on my desk at say, "My god, it's full of stars!"
25 weeks ago
25 weeks ago Link To Comment
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