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by Martin 095 on Fri Aug 11, 2017 10:50 am
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Hi everyone,

I have posted bits and pieces of this problem previously but I am now finally at a point where I can afford to make some changes to my Mac.  I apologize in advance for any redundant questions.

I have an early 2008 Mac Pro single quad Xeon (2.8 GHz, MacPro3,1), currently running OS X 10.7.5 (Lion).  I use PS CS5 and LR5.  I am running out of disk space and further, even if it is possible with an OS upgrade, I have absolutely no interest in upgrading my copy of CS5, unless of course I can find a legitimate copy of CS6.  My plan is to update/optimize my current system on the assumption it will be used exclusively for my photography (off-the-grid so to speak).  At some point in the future I will buy a relatively inexpensive MB for all my other computers needs.  So here are my plans and I have a bunch of questions, the answers to which I hope some of you can provide.

My current system has 3x1Tb drives.  The first drive is my primary drive, which houses my OS, all my apps, and all my images/LR databases – I realize this is very inefficient.  The remaining two drives are SuperDuper bootable clones of my primary.  I also have one additional, external 1Tb drive, also a SD bootable clone, which is kept offsite.

I will increase my RAM from 10 to 32Gb.  What is giving me a headache is how best to proceed with storage space.  I will buy a small SSD (256 – big enough? – or 512 Gb) for my OS and apps.  After this, I am not sure what is best.

Plan 1: purchase 3x4Tb drives.  Use one drive to house my image and LR databases.  A second drive will be a bootable SD clone (of both my SSD and my image drive), and the third will be my offsite copy.

Plan 2: move forward with NAS.  I would purchase 3x2Tb drives for NAS, NAS housing, and 2x4Tb drives for an internal and offsite backup.  My understanding is NAS is for fault tolerance, not backup.  Please correct me if I am wrong.

My questions are:

1)    Is there a performance benefit to using NAS over just having redundant copies in Plan 1?  The NAS option is more expensive but I will bite the bullet if there is a good reason to do so.  If not, any money left over after option 1 will be put to upgrading some plugins or the like.

2)    I have a RAID card in my MacPro, which I never used but needs a new battery.  Does it make sense to forego the NAS housing, and use the RAID card instead?  From my admittedly limited understanding of NAS/RAID, aside from some potential performance issues, in principle both solutions are identical, no?  This might make the NAS-like option more palatable.

3)    I will also be updating my OS to the newest version I can without turning my MacPro into a doorstop.  I believe Apple officially states 10.8 (Mountain Lion) is the latest OS supported by my early 2008 MP but I do know some users are running Mavericks (10.9) and Yosemite (10.10).  I can experiment with this myself, but I am hoping to save to time.  Are there any hardware limitations that would make upgrading to Mavericks or Yosemite problematic?

4)    My biggest software concerns are my Adobe apps wrt any updated Mac OS.  I am pretty certain CS5 breaks with El Capitan (10.11).  I am not sure at what point prior Apple OSs will break either CS5 or LR5.  Any thoughts?  I can’t find any definitive answers online fwiw – there is a lot of conjecture, in some cases several years old, and some anecdotes, but nothing concrete.  Are any of you using an old Mac like mine with CS5 and 10.9 or 10.10?  This is important to me, as I want to do a clean install on my new drive (fwiw, I have Lion installed over SL, which was installed over Leopard – this is clearly not the best way to proceed).

5)    Finally, regardless of which plan I follow, I will have an external HD as an offsite backup.  With my system right now, this offsite drive connects via an eSATA cable, which makes SD backups very quick, but is not plug-n-play.  I would like to install a USB 3.0 card to have the benefit of speed and the convenience of plug-n-play.  I should be able to do this, no?  I have checked OWC and they sell cards for my Mac – while I trust OWC, I would like to hear this firsthand if possible.

Thanks for taking the time to answer my questions.  I appreciate your help.
Best wishes,

Martin
"If there is a sin against life, it consists, perhaps not so much in despairing of life, as hoping for another life and eluding the implacable grandeur of this life." - Albert Camus
 

by E.J. Peiker on Sun Aug 13, 2017 7:37 pm
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Perhaps a more convenient and possibly cheaper option along with a dramatic performace improvement would be to get a new iMac although that might pose some problems with your software. But even a modest spec iMac would run circles around your machine 2008 MacPro no matter what you do to it. As for storage, NAS is great but it is not as fast as an internal HD so a good solution might be to put in the SSD for programs and OS (I'd suggest a 512K though) and then put in a 6GB HD into the system and then have external backup either via NAS or an attached box that allows you to span multiple drives. The problem with an attached drive array though is that I don't think the 2008 machines had USB 3 and FW800 is really really slow by today's standards - even eStas in your machine is probably only the old slower version. But it might be OK as backup - so either that or NAS. The beauty of NAS is that any computer and any device anywere in the world that you might be, as lomg as there is WiFi or LTE can access the contents of the NAS.
 

by Martin 095 on Mon Aug 14, 2017 9:37 am
Martin 095
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Posts: 652
Joined: 19 Jan 2004
Location: New York
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Hi EJ,

Thanks for the response.  Yes, I know a computer upgrade would be better (faster) than my current system, but there is a an additional hidden price with that upgrade, and that is what I am trying to avoid.  I don't want to be forced into CC, so I am trying to hold off the inevitable for as long as possible.  Also, photography is a hobby for me, so I am not running through thousands of images.

I will get a 512 Gb SSD, and go with individual HDs.  I think I can install a USB 3 card on my MP – at least OWC says I could and they haven't steered me wrong yet.  NAS is very attractive but I am not sure I can justify the increase in expense, especially if there is no other true benefit to it other than accessiblity to my drives where ever I am.  I work my images exclusively from home, don't travel very often, and inasmuch as I would love to take a phototour with some of my favorite photographers here and elsewhere, this is highly unlikely.  And I do not see this changing any time in the near future.

At this point, I am leaning toward option 1 for my storage plans with a USB 3 card, assuming this is possible.  If I can't add the latter, then I will just keep my eSATA connection.  Not having plug-n-play capability is annoying but I can live with it.  And as for the lesser performance, that would only matter if I had a basis for comparison – basically, I don't know any better ... ignorance is bliss :).

The only remaining question now is my operating system.  I think there were numerous posts that stated CS5 works with Mavericks, provided JAVA script is updated.  Haven't read anything serious about Yosemite and CS5 though.

Any advice is welcomed.  Thanks for your help.
Best wishes,

Martin
"If there is a sin against life, it consists, perhaps not so much in despairing of life, as hoping for another life and eluding the implacable grandeur of this life." - Albert Camus
 

by E.J. Peiker on Mon Aug 14, 2017 6:40 pm
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Yes, a USB 3 card would be a great option and then you could use one of the OWC housings for 4 drives if you want.
 

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