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Author Topic: 27" iMac as replacement for Mac Pro and 30" ACD on location and main computer  (Read 11825 times)
Ed Taylor
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« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2013, 03:43:18 PM »
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Graham,

Thanks again. I had forgotten to put that on my list.

One of the odd things about using the 30" ACD on location, is that, even with a hood, stray, off-axis light desaturates the screen making it difficult to judge exposure visually. I usually shoot to the histogram for this reason. In some ways, the iMac screen will be better in this respect; once reflections are controlled, off-axis light shouldn't be as much of a problem.

Theoretically…

Best,
Ed
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Ed Taylor
www.edtaylorphoto.com
Graham Clark
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« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2013, 04:05:26 PM »
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Graham,

Thanks again. I had forgotten to put that on my list.

One of the odd things about using the 30" ACD on location, is that, even with a hood, stray, off-axis light desaturates the screen making it difficult to judge exposure visually. I usually shoot to the histogram for this reason. In some ways, the iMac screen will be better in this respect; once reflections are controlled, off-axis light shouldn't be as much of a problem.

Theoretically…

Best,
Ed

Makes sense! : )

Graham
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #22 on: March 11, 2013, 09:23:31 AM »
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With Thunderbolt support on the iMac (Mac Pro doesn't have) you can attach a Thunderbolt RAID setup for block-level striping (I prefer) or mirroring.

I hope you don't mean block level striping alone (RAID 0) as that is a bad choice for a prime storage device: lose one drive and you lose everything. I agree with you about mirroring (RAID 1): It's not very efficient although it does offer redundancy. I think you'll find RAID 5 which includes block level striping striping plus distributed parity for redundancy. In a RAID 5 array you can lose one drive and your data will still be safe, but you need a minimum of three drives and preferably 4.
RAID 6 is like RAID 5 but you have duplicate parity and that lets you lose up to 2 drives simultaneously, but you need a minimum of four drives a preferably 5. Neither RAID 5 or RAID 6 are quite as fast as RAID 0 but they are fast enough for my purposes.

RAID 10 uses striping + mirroring 

I am currently testing the new Drobo 5N and so far so good. The 5N is a NAS box  with only a gigabit Ethernet connection while the 5D model has Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections. Both have three other features that are noteworthy
- ability to choose either  single level or  dual distributed parity ( their equivalent of RAID 5 and RAID 6 respectively).
- A built in power supply to keep the box alive long enough to finish writing critical data in the case of sudden power loss
- a sixth drive slot in the base of the unit for installing an mSATA SSD (they recommend a 64GB SSD -  they say that smaller than that doesn't really help and that larger than that is excessive). The purpose of this mSATA SSD  is like the SSD portion of the Fusion drive set up: it handles frequently accessed items like the Drobo's operating system and Lightroom previews.

Data Robotics has a new CEO they  also now offers better support than they did as of last summer.

I also have one of the older Drobo v2 units in constant use and so far the 5N looks like an actual improvement over the v2 Drobos. I'm not a Drobo fan boy - I am also using  other RAID and NAS systems and back up systems at work too. I know all about Kelby's rant complaints from last year but they do seem to have taken Kelby's public beatdown and actually learned from the experience.
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Ellis Vener
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 12:11:40 PM »
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Ellis,

I prefer RAID 20, it requires 20 drives, but you can lose 19. Of course with the overhead, you only have 256k of actual storage…

But seriously, I prefer a JBOD system using Chronosync to back up those drives in multiple sets. It doesn't gain me any speed, but I sleep well at night. I tend to avoid any data storage scheme that employs any sort of proprietary technology, too many horror stories.

That said, the new Drobo sounds interesting. I'm still on the fence about NAS though. I have this feeling that it may just be too slow for my liking. Any thoughts on actual usage?

As always, thanks for your informative comments.

Best,
Ed
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Ed Taylor
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Graham Clark
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« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 12:30:14 PM »
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With Thunderbolt support on the iMac (Mac Pro doesn't have) you can attach a Thunderbolt RAID setup for block-level striping (I prefer) or mirroring.

I hope you don't mean block level striping alone (RAID 0) as that is a bad choice for a prime storage device: lose one drive and you lose everything. I agree with you about mirroring (RAID 1): It's not very efficient although it does offer redundancy. I think you'll find RAID 5 which includes block level striping striping plus distributed parity for redundancy. In a RAID 5 array you can lose one drive and your data will still be safe, but you need a minimum of three drives and preferably 4.
RAID 6 is like RAID 5 but you have duplicate parity and that lets you lose up to 2 drives simultaneously, but you need a minimum of four drives a preferably 5. Neither RAID 5 or RAID 6 are quite as fast as RAID 0 but they are fast enough for my purposes.

RAID 10 uses striping + mirroring 

I am currently testing the new Drobo 5N and so far so good. The 5N is a NAS box  with only a gigabit Ethernet connection while the 5D model has Thunderbolt and USB 3.0 connections. Both have three other features that are noteworthy
- ability to choose either  single level or  dual distributed parity ( their equivalent of RAID 5 and RAID 6 respectively).
- A built in power supply to keep the box alive long enough to finish writing critical data in the case of sudden power loss
- a sixth drive slot in the base of the unit for installing an mSATA SSD (they recommend a 64GB SSD -  they say that smaller than that doesn't really help and that larger than that is excessive). The purpose of this mSATA SSD  is like the SSD portion of the Fusion drive set up: it handles frequently accessed items like the Drobo's operating system and Lightroom previews.

Data Robotics has a new CEO they  also now offers better support than they did as of last summer.

I also have one of the older Drobo v2 units in constant use and so far the 5N looks like an actual improvement over the v2 Drobos. I'm not a Drobo fan boy - I am also using  other RAID and NAS systems and back up systems at work too. I know all about Kelby's rant complaints from last year but they do seem to have taken Kelby's public beatdown and actually learned from the experience.

Hello Ellis,

Using a Synology RS812+ for redundancy over gigabit. Mirrored sets don't have usable throughput for a video workflow on 3.5" drives

Synology RS812+  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822108115

Graham

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« Reply #25 on: March 11, 2013, 03:29:57 PM »
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"I prefer RAID 20, it requires 20 drives, but you can lose 19. Of course with the overhead, you only have 256k of actual storage…"

good one!
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Ellis Vener
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« Reply #26 on: March 11, 2013, 03:31:12 PM »
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"Hello Ellis,

Using a Synology RS812+ for redundancy over gigabit. Mirrored sets don't have usable throughput for a video workflow on 3.5" drives"


Agreed.
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Ellis Vener
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #27 on: March 11, 2013, 03:36:48 PM »
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Gives you a sense of my data-loss comfort zone.

;-)

Ed
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #28 on: March 11, 2013, 08:36:19 PM »
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Gives you a sense of my data-loss comfort zone.

;-)

Ed

 Grin
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Ellis Vener
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evonzz
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« Reply #29 on: April 16, 2013, 10:01:38 AM »
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Has anyone had any experience using the newer Phase One IQ backs tethered to new iMacs?

I am interested to hear whether all the positive performance reports above also can be applied to MFDB files and capture.
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« Reply #30 on: April 16, 2013, 12:37:56 PM »
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Graham,

Thanks for your well thought out and informative reply.

I didn't know that about the Fusion's throughput. Or the HD use for swap space as well.

Currently, I have 4 - 3Tb Hd's in the MP. It allows me to keep most files for some years back online. The truth of the matter is that I rarely if at all, need these. So as you say, they would be better in a separate enclosure. I currently use external HD's for backup and store these in a safety deposit box. So raw drives in cases would be equally as easy.

I use SuperDuper to clone my boot drive and Chronosync to backup my working drives.

Can you tell me how you like the Synology NAS? It would seem slow to my way of thinking, but clearly your system is all about speed.

Again, thanks.

Best,

Ed

HAve you considered a Mac Mini, with an ssd and second drive upgrade from OWC?

I just bought one for general stuff and its pretty dang fast in stock form.  I did not do the ssd/second drive upgrade but did up the ram to 16gb.  I use it to drive a NEC 271, the same monitor I use for my workstation computer.

Geekbench of my unit (64 bit) 11764

It a really sweet little machine and I would think very travel friendly.

I shoot all tethered but use a 2011 BP 15"
« Last Edit: April 16, 2013, 12:40:06 PM by Craig Lamson » Logged

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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #31 on: April 16, 2013, 01:51:20 PM »
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Hi Craig,

I briefly considered the mini, but there would still be two pieces, I'd need to get a new monitor as the 30 is still large, etc..

If I was going to go that route, I'd probably use a MBPr. It would get me about the same speed as the iMac, but with a max ram of 16Gb, and when I needed to shoot without monitor, edit on plane, etc, all my files would already be there.

It's a good idea though! If I already had a smaller monitor, I'd probably go that way.

Berst,
Ed
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2013, 08:42:15 AM »
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I briefly considered the mini, but there would still be two pieces ...
If I was going to go that route, I'd probably use a MBPr.
If the advantages of the "one computer" option is sufficiently attractive, the MPB + docking system is attractive, especially with Thunderbolt giving a simple two cable docking option. But the price and bulk of a sufficiently powerful MPB make me think of spending the same money on a comparably spec'd Mac mini plus an MB Air that travels far better --- the 11" version fits into a slot in many camera bags.

Sharing files between the two computers might rule this out for those who need constant access to hundreds of GB of image files, but with some discipline in separating out my current projects from "back burner" and "archives", I can keep the files and folders that I need on the road synced between all my computers with cloud services like SugarSync. I prefer SugarSync to Dropbox for this job, as it allows syncing a selection of folders, rather than just a single "Dropbox" folder.

Is there a simple "local option" for keeping a collection of folders on a laptop synced to ones on the desktop computer where one is currently working, without the intermediary of a cloud service?
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2013, 11:05:11 AM »
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If the advantages of the "one computer" option is sufficiently attractive, the MPB + docking system is attractive, especially with Thunderbolt giving a simple two cable docking option. But the price and bulk of a sufficiently powerful MPB make me think of spending the same money on a comparably spec'd Mac mini plus an MB Air that travels far better --- the 11" version fits into a slot in many camera bags.

Sharing files between the two computers might rule this out for those who need constant access to hundreds of GB of image files, but with some discipline in separating out my current projects from "back burner" and "archives", I can keep the files and folders that I need on the road synced between all my computers with cloud services like SugarSync. I prefer SugarSync to Dropbox for this job, as it allows syncing a selection of folders, rather than just a single "Dropbox" folder.

Is there a simple "local option" for keeping a collection of folders on a laptop synced to ones on the desktop computer where one is currently working, without the intermediary of a cloud service?

BJL,

I decided against the MBP + monitor for two reasons:
1. 16Gb RAM limit. I retouch a lot of files in the 2-3Gb range. 16 would work, but 32 is better.
2. Apple hasn't released a TB monitor equivalent to the iMac screen. The previous version's glare is a deal breaker for me.

If I did go the MBP route, I'd carry a 13" Air with me as a backup machine, so we're of like minds on that.

Don't get me wrong, I think the Mini is a great solution. Positioned on a TwelveSouth Backpack, it's a neat package as well.

If a new TB display were released, I would consider it, but probably end up with a MBP with anti-glare an add a second drive in the optical bay.

Just me…

Best,
Ed
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Ed Taylor
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #34 on: April 17, 2013, 11:07:40 AM »
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Then too there's the chatter about the next iteration of the iMac having a retina display. Current processor won't handle it. Intel says next one will.

It never ends…

Ed
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2013, 09:27:50 AM »
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Ed, I agree for your use case; I was wandering off-topic a bit. And despite my Mac mini talk, my newest kit is an iMac.

Then too there's the chatter about the next iteration of the iMac having a retina display.

That makes sense. Whatever we think of it, 4K video is becoming important in the video world, and with it demand for displays resolutions of at least 3840x2160. That surely means that Apple will soon offer a display of at least 3840x2160, and given the Apple's push to move most high end users to iMacs rather than Mac Pros, I would expect a "Retina" or "4K" iMac this year.

Aside: hopefully such a screen will have a less "wide and shallow" shape than the 16:9 of HD video format, at the cost of more than 2160 pixels vertical, since I find that 16:9 shape inconvenient for almost everything except video. Even for video, some room above/below the image area for controls (or subtitles) is nice.
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2013, 11:30:34 AM »
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Ed, I agree for your use case; I was wandering off-topic a bit. And despite my Mac mini talk, my newest kit is an iMac.

That makes sense. Whatever we think of it, 4K video is becoming important in the video world, and with it demand for displays resolutions of at least 3840x2160. That surely means that Apple will soon offer a display of at least 3840x2160, and given the Apple's push to move most high end users to iMacs rather than Mac Pros, I would expect a "Retina" or "4K" iMac this year.

Aside: hopefully such a screen will have a less "wide and shallow" shape than the 16:9 of HD video format, at the cost of more than 2160 pixels vertical, since I find that 16:9 shape inconvenient for almost everything except video. Even for video, some room above/below the image area for controls (or subtitles) is nice.

BJL,

No problem, sometimes going sideways yields interesting results.

Yes, given I don't do motion, something less than 16:9 would be nice. But in the end, the mass of users will drive what is offered. Probably bordering on blasphemy here, but I think most photographers these days are well served by an iMac. It's an incredibly powerful machine. I'd still like to see Apple bring a new MP to market though if for no other reason other than to keep the power users from migrating away from Mac.

Best,
Ed
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Ed Taylor
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« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2013, 03:35:25 PM »
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I used a 27" i7 for awhile and really liked it, other than the gloss screen, which was manageable with environment control. The IPS panel was excellent and calibrated well. As it's recommended to have the library drive in LR physically in the same machine, I installed a Seagate 750GB Hybrid for the system and used the 3.5" for the library. Still had the optical in it. With RAM maxed out it worked very well. Backups were to a twin Firewire box and a dock, where two sets of drives are rotated between home and a safe deposit box, using SuperDuper. I'm also not a fan of proprietary BU solutions. Easy yes, ...

As I'm in a downsizing mode and started to accumulate too many computers, the 27" went as it was the largest. Have been using Mini Servers as well, although you can put a second drive in the client machines. The server has a better spec'd MOBO and chipset, especially the newest i7 version. Now running an NEC 24" PA241w which is brilliant, and finally losing separation anxiety over the 27".
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« Reply #38 on: June 11, 2013, 10:25:08 AM »
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You'll need a case of course. Check out http://www.ilugger.com/ unless you need a flight ready case.

Yes.  These cases work.  We also had Lightware cases that were very nice.
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