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Mac Pro 2010 as Vienna Ensemble Slave
Last post Sat, Jan 11 2014 by jmaryn, 3 replies.
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Posted on Fri, Jan 10 2014 18:56
by jmaryn
Joined on Sat, Dec 21 2002, Posts 16


I have purchased a high-end 27 iMac late-2013 for video editing.  I now want to use my Mac Pro 2010 as a VE slave. Both computers will still be used for general work, music, and video editing.

What do you think of the following?

1—iMac 27 2013 (i7 with 32 Gb Ram, 512 SSD, high end graphics card) as my new DAW and Vienna Ensemble master. The Apple internal SSD gets about 700 Gb/s read/write, Amazing speed. Will add Thunderbolt storage or RAID to this unit for both video editing and audio production. No libs on this computer except those required on boot drive. This high-end iMac might be a good alternative to the more expensive Mac Pro 2013.

2—Replace the two optical drives in the Mac Pro with two SSDs (OWC 240 Gb Mercury Extreme (6 Gbs). Is the optical drive connection speed with the SSDs the same as if the SSDs were in the internal HD slots?  I understand that the Mac Pro only has 3 Gb/s SATA and the SSD card is 6 Gb/s  but I want the flexibility of being able to use the SSDs either on the iMac with a PCI enclosure, or on a 6 GB/s PCIe card. The Mac Pro only had a speed of 100 Gb/s and 30 Gb/s when using USB 2.

3—Place my VSL (Special Editions Vols 1-3, plus other VSL and other libraries) onto the two SSDs in the Mac Pro for loading into VE. Do all the libraries need to fit on the SSDs? Can some reside on the remaining internal Mac Pro HDs?

4—Add an OWC PCIe Acesslsior card (6 Gb/s with two SATA 3 ports) into the Mac Pro for the boot drive OS and applications. Do I use the SATA 3 ports just for external drives or RAIDs only, or other uses?

5— Should I reverse the above and put the libs on teh PCIe card and the OS and apps on the slower SSDs?

Will this do the trick? I am thinking of using OWC as the vendor as they are Mac focused, have the trays, and they have good Mac support. Samsung 840 EVO or PRO SSD are other recommendations but who do you call?

Am I understanding everything correctly? Anything else I should be aware of? Thanks. -- John

Posted on Sat, Jan 11 2014 11:53
by cm
Joined on Fri, Dec 20 2002, vienna, Posts 9088

sonds good ... using SSDs will boost your system(s) leaving you just with memory and CPU as *bottlenecks* ;-)

not all VSL libraries hav to reside on one drive - you can have each lib on another device.

my suggestion would be to extend the onboard capacity of the Accelsior as much as you can (afford) and leave the SATA3 ports alone - the PCIe (8 lanes?) is busy enough then.

after the OS has started it does almost nothing, so i wouldn't care if it resides on a *slow* drive.

and remember: a CRAY is the only computer that runs an endless loop in just four hours ...
Posted on Sat, Jan 11 2014 23:38
by jmaryn
Joined on Sat, Dec 21 2002, Posts 16

Hi cm. Thanks, this is helpful. Didn't realize the relationship between the PCIe lanes and SATA ports; and that it is not terrible to leave the OS where it is. I can even continue to use the old, slower HDs for storage if needed and eventually update to SSDs.

Just so I am clear -- are you suggesting to place most of the VSL and other sample libs on the single, larger Accelsior card for crazy-fast loading? Or using both the Accelsior and the additional SSDs? From a VSL loading perspective, are libs on the slightly-slower SSDs in either the optical or HD slots almost as good? I will see if I can boost capacity on the OWC Accelsior.

For anyone who is reading about the newer Haswell iMacs as a master, I misstated the performance of the newer iMac 27 with the internal 512 PCIe at about 700 MB/s (not Gb/s). This was a pleasant surprise. Thanks again for the tips on upgrading the Mac Pro 2010 as VSL slave.

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