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Author Topic: Upgrade MacPro early 2008 for LR and PS???  (Read 5677 times)
vantomas
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« on: December 13, 2012, 06:53:18 AM »
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Hi everybody,

please refer me to an existing thread, if this topic has been discussed.

I currently work on early 2008 MP 2,8Ghz 8-Core with 10GB RAM. The system runs fine, but with LR 4.3. i found my
system to become as little sluggish. I almost only work with LR, import, edit, colour adjust and export about 100-200 pictures per
day. (5DMKIII and X Pro1)


But here's the problem:

Should I add more RAM (8GB ħEUR 200.-), an SSD Bootdrive (250GB ħEUR 200.-) and strip two HD to a RAID 0. (4TB ħEUR 200.-)

(All of that would cost me ca. EUR 600)
Is the upgrade going to change LRs performance, since everything but the CPU will be better?
or should I opt for a new Mac?
or in other words: Would you pump 600 bucks into a 5-year-old maschine without thunderbolt or usb 3, but still a benchmark of 10000.

Gratefull for any advice!
best
Thomas

www.dashuber.com
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PierreVandevenne
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« Reply #1 on: December 13, 2012, 07:20:03 AM »
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I'd go for a SSD first. If you don't feel that it is enough, it's not a loss because you can recycle it in a new system anyway. Same remark for the hard drive as a second step. I wouldn't do _all_ of the above. RAM would be a loss, and probably isn't needed. Note that if you put two large disks in RAID0, this automatically and mandatorily implies a sufficient backup setup. Also, I don't think you have SATA-300 controllers, so part of the potential for improvement is lost... But then, if a SSD gains you six months of use, better and cheaper stuff will be available then, as usual.
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kers
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« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2012, 07:39:00 AM »
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Hello Thomas,

I can understand your dilemma concerning the upgrade...
I have the same machine and did all you are asking for.. 16 gig ram- system on a SSD and a Raid0 for the data... (1 year ago)
All these things will make your system faster indeed. But it depends on how big your photographs are...

Look in the activity monitor and see if all the Ram is used while you work.. if so give the application more ram in the preferences or if already done buy some more ram...  too bad it is not the cheapest ram  ( in my experience not enough ram can cause a delay of a factor 6...)
If you save and open a lot of images and you think saving is sluggish - save without compression - much faster...but takes more space
The ssd will help only for starting up and finding a lot of small documents quickly.. the program will be loaded in ram after opening so will stay equally fast...
The raid0 helps if you have big files to save them quickly - my raid0 delivers 200mb/s - again you can check in the activity monitor if that is delaying you..
of course somethings are just CPU related.. and for that we have to wait for a new Mac Pro.
PS USB3 devices over USB2 ports already are a step forward in speed, The ssd and the raid0 can be used in a future macpro ..)

« Last Edit: December 13, 2012, 07:41:09 AM by kers » Logged

Pieter Kers
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« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2012, 01:39:45 PM »
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Have the same machine but with the Apple Raid Card and a RocketRaid eSATA card.  LR3 performance at this point is unacceptable with significant lag.  My diagnostics indicate that the issue is mainly CPU and not drives.  Could upgrade the RAM but it's very expensive compared with newer RAM modules.  Benchmarks indicate that the system is now outperformed by the MacMini and as such am considering getting the new iMac 27" with upgraded processor vs. waiting for the new MacPro.
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vantomas
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2012, 02:16:11 PM »
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thanks to all of you for opinions and advise. i still cant make up my mind. after some research i see that a RAID setup won't do much for me, since i only and exclusively use LR and 5DMKIII files. more RAM might jazz up the performance a little, but yesterday i checked the activity monitor while LR was rendering previews and it only uses 6 out of 10GB. the cpu though was on its max all the time. which leads me to believe, that only a cpu upgrade could speed up my workflow. another point which i haven't mentioned is, that i only use SD cards for my canon and fuji. they can be easily read on my retina (at usb3 speed), but on my MP the only way is slow USB2 SD card readers. so i guess i will have to opt for a Mac mini or the new 27' iMac.

Huh
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kers
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« Reply #5 on: December 15, 2012, 07:36:13 AM »
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ABout your slow card reader problem... try a USB 3 cardreader and use it on usb2- you will notice about 27mb/sec is possible..

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Pieter Kers
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LA30
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« Reply #6 on: December 16, 2012, 11:11:37 AM »
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Take a look at this http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-SSD-OWC-Mercury-Accelsior.html

You can nearly fill up a SSD with out slowing down.  You could get the smallest accelsior or a small owc 6g SSD as a boot drive then Raid 0 2 drives for your data, it would help some.

Take a peek around the macperformanceguide website, there is a lot of info there.
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chrismurphy
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« Reply #7 on: December 17, 2012, 05:59:56 PM »
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At least for import and render operations, there's not much benefit to a faster local disk. Ian Lyons looked at this over a year ago, updated this March, and the data shows this is not about disk contention or bandwidth, but rather the operation is CPU bound. He even does the test with external FW 800 drives and finds negligible difference, with the biggest difference attributable mostly to higher latencies when using the same rotating media as both the source of the Raw and destination for cache, catalog and previews.

Will an SSD Improve Adobe Lightroom Performance?
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LA30
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2012, 08:41:52 PM »
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ChrisMurphy,

Fantastic article!!!!!!

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chrismurphy
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« Reply #9 on: December 17, 2012, 09:06:44 PM »
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Yeah, it does answer quite a few questions. It raises a few more. Because FW800 is in the same realm of async NFS over GigE, this would imply bandwidth wise, a photographer wouldn't take a big hit having their Raw/DNGs on a NAS. But I wonder about latency. The construction of the storage brick would differ depending on how many people are using it also. For people with two NICs, they can use LACP to bond two ports. It's not the same thing as multipathing, where you'd get 2GigE. But you can push multiple files simultaneously through those two pipes instead of one at a time, which would still be consumable, I think, for a threaded app.
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sakharov
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« Reply #10 on: March 26, 2013, 07:17:47 AM »
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LACP does not add any performance in point-to-point system. I mean one computer and one NAS.
Only MPIO (multipath input-output) could utilize load balancing at two and more ethernet interfaces. As far as I know, MPIO does not supported by Mac.

It is not expencive to use 10gigabit cards from ebay.
Two 10g InfiniBand cards and direct cable (without switch) will cost around $100-150.
Not sure about InfiniBand Mac drivers.

The other option - 10g Ethernet cards with SFP slot and direct SFP-SFP cable connection. Two cards and cable (up to 7 m) - around $400-500.
If 7m is not enough, SFP tranceivers and optical cable required. Around $200 from ebay.
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chrismurphy
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« Reply #11 on: March 26, 2013, 11:00:26 AM »
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LACP does not add any performance in point-to-point system. I mean one computer and one NAS.

You mean without a switch? I haven't tried it, so I don't know if the link even negotiates in such a case.

Quote
Only MPIO (multipath input-output) could utilize load balancing at two and more ethernet interfaces.

LACP expressly does load balancing by default.

Quote
As far as I know, MPIO does not supported by Mac.

There is, they call it ALUA and apparently it's only for FC. So it's possible a 3rd party iSCSI initiator or FCoE driver could leverage it.

Quote
Two 10g InfiniBand cards and direct cable (without switch) will cost around $100-150.
Not sure about InfiniBand Mac drivers.

That's one catch. I'm not aware of any drivers, and the other catch is application support. Everything already does TCP/IP, so just getting a 10GigE card is the easiest way to maintain app support.

Quote
10g Ethernet cards with SFP slot and direct SFP-SFP cable connection. Two cards and cable (up to 7 m) - around $400-500.
If 7m is not enough, SFP tranceivers and optical cable required. Around $200 from ebay.

The problem, again, are OS X drivers. The least expensive card at Small Tree is $745.
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sakharov
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« Reply #12 on: March 26, 2013, 02:18:26 PM »
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You mean without a switch? I haven't tried it, so I don't know if the link even negotiates in such a case.

LACP expressly does load balancing by default.
Well, Chris, you are more fortunate than I :-)
I mean one client, one NAS storage, one managable swith, at list 2 gigabit ethernet links from client and from NAS. LACP enabled on switch and on NICs.
Check the presentation, page 7
http://ieee802.org/3/hssg/public/apr07/frazier_01_0407.pdf
"802.3ad link aggregation - Does not increase the bandwidth for a single conversation".
Afraid, this mode could be interested for photographers. One workstation, one storage, one application.

Quote
There is, they call it ALUA and apparently it's only for FC. So it's possible a 3rd party iSCSI initiator or FCoE driver could leverage it.

That's one catch. I'm not aware of any drivers, and the other catch is application support. Everything already does TCP/IP, so just getting a 10GigE card is the easiest way to maintain app support.

The problem, again, are OS X drivers. The least expensive card at Small Tree is $745.
Hope, there are some options :-)
http://www.ebay.com/itm/MYRICOM-10G-PCIE-8A-C-Network-Interface-Adapter-Card-TESTED-WORKING-/281083237859?pt=US_Internal_Network_Cards&hash=item4171ddd5e3
Myricom 10G Ethernet card. $85.
You can find much cheaper options, like $40-50 per card.
Drivers and installation manual for Mac OSX:
https://www.myricom.com/software/myri10ge/687-abbreviated-myri10ge-installation-for-mac-os-x.html
CX4 cable required. Not very convinient cable, but is works.
If you'd like thinner cable, just look at more expencive 10G SFP cards. Around $200 per 2ports 10G card.
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chrismurphy
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« Reply #13 on: March 26, 2013, 02:56:02 PM »
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I mean one client, one NAS storage, one managable swith, at list 2 gigabit ethernet links from client and from NAS. LACP enabled on switch and on NICs.

See this, and this. It's clearly possible. I can't tell you what the problem is, as there are a number of LACP options.

Quote
"802.3ad link aggregation - Does not increase the bandwidth for a single conversation".

Right, it's not multiplexing. So this may be a limitation of AFP if it's not spawning multiple conversations for multiple file transfer, but I haven't tried this with AFP. NFS will do that, it'll generate multiple nfs processes on client and server. With two 1 GigE NICs, you still don't get packets transmitted at 2 GigE speed, they're at 1 GigE speed.

Quote
Myricom 10G Ethernet card. $85.

Yeah, pretty cheap. Although the price range on these cards varies wildly, so I guess it's a game of chance at such a price. There's some catch, somewhere. But yes 10GigE or Infiniband is better than LACP.
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nemo295
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« Reply #14 on: March 26, 2013, 04:49:12 PM »
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I wouldn't pump more money into a 5-year old computer. At the end of the day it will still have legacy I/O ports and an obsolete CPU and front side bus. I would save my money and get the next generation of MacPro when it comes out later this year.
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jjj
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« Reply #15 on: March 27, 2013, 09:38:54 AM »
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A current Mac Pro is still as poorly connected and has had only a minor speed bump in last few years.
As for when/if something better is actually coming no-one knows for sure outside of Apple.

Lots of pros are wondering about Hackintoshes or PCs as an upgrade to a MP, due to Apple's complete lack of interest in the pro market.
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Graham Clark
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« Reply #16 on: March 28, 2013, 01:09:37 AM »
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Hi everybody,

please refer me to an existing thread, if this topic has been discussed.

I currently work on early 2008 MP 2,8Ghz 8-Core with 10GB RAM. The system runs fine, but with LR 4.3. i found my
system to become as little sluggish. I almost only work with LR, import, edit, colour adjust and export about 100-200 pictures per
day. (5DMKIII and X Pro1)


But here's the problem:

Should I add more RAM (8GB ħEUR 200.-), an SSD Bootdrive (250GB ħEUR 200.-) and strip two HD to a RAID 0. (4TB ħEUR 200.-)

(All of that would cost me ca. EUR 600)
Is the upgrade going to change LRs performance, since everything but the CPU will be better?
or should I opt for a new Mac?
or in other words: Would you pump 600 bucks into a 5-year-old maschine without thunderbolt or usb 3, but still a benchmark of 10000.

Gratefull for any advice!
best
Thomas

www.dashuber.com


The system you have right now is solid except for the hard drive throughput. stripe two OWC Mercury 3G 128GBs in a RAID-0 configuration for your OS and workspace. use the existing SATA drive bays as archive. if you currently have empty SATA drive bays forgo the optical expansion and mount directly to SATA sleds using Disk Utility to build the RAID-0 from there. If you're successful you'll see speeds up to 600mb/s+ which should completely remove the bottleneck you're experiencing.

http://eshop.macsales.com/owcpages/multimount/

Graham

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jjj
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« Reply #17 on: March 28, 2013, 11:19:45 AM »
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You only get half that max potential speed as the MP has SATA 2.0 and not SATA 3.0 unless you do this

LR has run like a lame dog in treacle on my machine ever since the official release of LR3.0. The LR3 beta was absolutely fine, but every version of LR3 and LR4 since has been painfully slow. Latest attempt to speed it up was to use a SSD to keep the LR catalogue [and previews] on to see if that made any difference. It didn't.  Sad
Really not good if you want to demo LR.
« Last Edit: March 28, 2013, 11:29:45 AM by jjj » Logged

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