3 Replies Latest reply: Feb 13, 2011 4:21 AM by Pat Taylor
Pat Taylor Level 1 (5 points)
My Mac Pro needs more HDD space. I've read a lot of the posts about the best way forward and I'm possibly more confused than when I started!

Currently I have 2x 500GB WD original fit (Caviar blue?) plus a Caviar Green 640GB. The first 500GB drive is my system and applications drive, but also has a lot of data on it that I would like to move elsewhere (emails, documents etc, that I need to keep to hand) as its now over 400GB; the second 500GB holds all my photos and is nearly full (keen amateur, like others on this forum lots of big RAW files); the 640GB is used for internal backing up of crucial data (iTunes etc) and temporary odds and ends. I also use Time Machine to an external 1TB drive.

My questions:
1. A lot of apps seem to insist on loading to the system drive, they won't allow the option of living elsewhere (I get the "no entry" symbol on the other drives); is this something I have to live with?

2. If I can move the apps to another drive, what effect can that have on the running of the Mac, in terms of speed, access problems, OSX mislaying things?

3. If I can't move the apps, I'll be needing a much bigger system drive. From this forum it looks like Caviar Black is the way to go for the system drive, but now they're SATA 6 at the 1TB size; I know it's supposed to be compatible, but is there any downside?

4. And is there any point putting a fast drive in as the system drive if I'm using a slower drive (eg Caviar green) for my data; particularly for my photos, using Aperture?

5. I have to run Windows for a couple of work-related reasons (the software won't run on a Mac); at the moment I'm using Virtualbox, which is fine, but I'm thinking of dedicating a hard drive to it (partly so I can easily get rid of the whole thing if I want to!) I'll probably use the existing 640GB for that. Which leads to my last question; given I will have 2x 1Tb drives, possibly, what would you recommend putting in that fourth bay?

I don't have the RAID card.

Phew! Just writing all that down has increased the number of circles I'm going round in. So any help will be very much appreciated, thanks.

Mac Pro 2x2.8GHz, Mac OS X (10.6.6)
  • Grant Bennet-Alder Level 9 (55,260 points)
    The "problem" with your System Drive as I see it is not the Apps. It is the User files and junk you have added.

    I realize you are trying to work on Space, not performance, but for peak performance you should leave only System, Libraries, Applications, and Paging on the Boot drive. Mac OS X Applications have their code "pre-placed" into Page frames, and they use the Applications files almost as if they were paging files. Moving the Applications off the Boot drive is a bad idea.

    User files on the same drive competes with this activity and slows down your Mac.

    My Boot drive with Mac OS X System, Libraries, Applications, and Paging is 30GB. It is only half full. a 74 or 80GB 10,000 RPM VelociRaptor can be had for about US$50, and an additional 1TB WD Black for about US$100. 2TB drives and larger are available for a little more. You said you have a drive bay available.

    So what is the problem?
    You need more storage? Buy another big fast drive! They are really cheap by historical standards. Green drives are meant to conserve power -- they are not for fast access. Great for backups.
    If you also want more performance, buy a small fast Boot drive as well, and move your User files off it.
  • The hatter Level 9 (60,925 points)
    System: does not need to be huge at all, if you keep to just OS and apps, but good to be fast. Ideal: 90GB SSD $200 just for arguement, or 300GB 10K. Or 2TB Black just for speed, even if you only used 1/3 for Mac OS.

    500GB = 465GB and 400GB is not only close to full, it is close to magic 10% free space left. So you have close to 1TB of data, any backup drive should then be 1.5TB or larger.

    3 x 1TB for data (or larger 2TB model)
    Data, documents, photo and media files: 2-3 drives in RAID0.

    2TB Green backup

    And use the three drives you have for now as backups also, 2nd sets of backups really should be minimum (TimeMachine for one, clone drives for another, with an extra system backup clone).

    Only big question I see, what to get for system, and how to configure it.
  • Pat Taylor Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks Grant and Hatter, I've now got a 2TB external backup and a new 1TB internal data drive. All sorted.