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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 12:26 PM   #11
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My suggestion for your hard drives is get a 4bay (non raid) enclosure, such as a mediasonic probox. That way, you won't have multiple boxes on your desk.

Mediasonic

Hey, nice suggestion. It looks like a simple 4 bay HD enclosure. I'm sorta in Paddy's same situation. An old Mac Pro that needs replacing with 3 HD in it.

This and a new Mac Pro might work for me.
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 01:41 PM   #12
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2009/2010 mac pro's can often be found at affordable price points...they are still pretty smoking fast, RAM is cheap for them, they can have newer & faster video cards installed and if you want USB 3.0 you can easily add a PCIx card or two...

downside is the internal SATA is SATA 2...you can partially mitigate that by running multiple SSDs in a striped RAID (etc)

truthfully for the usage you're describing a mac pro is probably overkill. you could easily do everything you need/want to do on an iMac with a whack load of RAM

also FWIW the glass on the 2012/2013 iMacs is a lot less reflective than older models. take from that what you will..
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Old Jan 31st, 2014, 02:34 PM   #13
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Be careful with those cheap NAS box's...you get what you pay for and the performance of some of the cheaper models is not that good.
what i linked is not a NAS box. It's just a USB3.0/eSATA enclosure with multiple bays. Performance should be pretty good compared to other single drive USB 3.0 enclosures.
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Old Feb 1st, 2014, 02:09 AM   #14
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What about the Fusion drive issues? Any thoughts on that? I don't do audio and a lot of the reported issues have been with audio, but I'm wondering if the entire concept behind these drives results in a lot more wear and tear, and the potential for corruption.

Hemming and hawing here…I have an offer of a video card to upgrade the existing machine, plus I've now found a reliable USB 3.0/eSATA card from CalDigit (not cheap, but apparently works well) and could put in a SSD as the boot/apps drive. This would basically postpone the decision for a while.

The 3.5GHz iMacs certainly disappear from the refurb store in a hurry - it was listed a couple of days ago, then gone, then reappeared this morning, now gone again. Given my doubts about the Fusion drive, I might go the BTO route and get a Flash drive instead if I go the iMac route.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 12:03 AM   #15
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I'm not familiar enough with the 2008 models to know if you can do what I did with my 2010. I upgraded the 3.2 Ghz quad core CPU to a 6 Core 3.33 Ghz. Still got the old Quad core here, don't know if you can use it? I installed a SSD drive for the main disk, but have 3 2TB spinning disks. I have the CalDigit USB3/SATA card (drivers crash my machine every once and a while) and I upgraded the 5770 video card to a nVidia GTX770 with 4 GB of RAM on it. It's a PC card so no boot screen and I had to source a 2nd power cable for $14. Machine's good for a while yet.
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Old Feb 2nd, 2014, 12:25 AM   #16
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Be careful with those cheap NAS box's...you get what you pay for and the performance of some of the cheaper models is not that good.
That's for sure!! Or even expensive models.

For all the the NAS information you will probably ever need, go to:

Real Help For Your Small Network - SmallNetBuilder

Read up, inform yourself and compare before you buy.

Trust me, don't do what I did the first time around in buying a NAS. Don't assume the brand name you know in this market sector if going to serve you well.

When it comes to NAS, if you aren't familiar with the sector there are going to be a lot of brands that you may not have heard of, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider them.

I never heard of Synology before looking for a NAS and went with a LaCie which was a total disaster and had to return it. After reading and informing myself I am on my 2nd Synology NAS and not on because I was unhappy, I just upgraded.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 12:17 PM   #17
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What about the Fusion drive issues? Any thoughts on that? I don't do audio and a lot of the reported issues have been with audio, but I'm wondering if the entire concept behind these drives results in a lot more wear and tear, and the potential for corruption.

Hemming and hawing here…I have an offer of a video card to upgrade the existing machine, plus I've now found a reliable USB 3.0/eSATA card from CalDigit (not cheap, but apparently works well) and could put in a SSD as the boot/apps drive. This would basically postpone the decision for a while.

The 3.5GHz iMacs certainly disappear from the refurb store in a hurry - it was listed a couple of days ago, then gone, then reappeared this morning, now gone again. Given my doubts about the Fusion drive, I might go the BTO route and get a Flash drive instead if I go the iMac route.
you can easily separate the fusion drive and just treat it as 2 x volumes...1 x 128GB SSD and 1 HDD. manually manage your movement of data back and forth.
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 12:17 PM   #18
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How to split up a Fusion Drive | Macworld
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Old Feb 3rd, 2014, 09:06 PM   #19
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Interesting, broad. However, there are a few downsides, including not being able to have a recovery partition.

Having thought about things for a bit, I've decided to upgrade this old beast - new video card (thought Photoshop now seems to be behaving itself again with the GPU on - go figure), definitely an SSD boot/applications drive and a USB 3.0/eSATA card. I installed Mavericks last night too - I hadn't gotten 'round to it until now, though have had it on my Retina since it came out. No issues so far, but I'm pretty familiar with it from running it for months on the Retina.

Before I'll buy one, iMacs are going to have to have better video cards so I can, if I wish, run an external 2560X1440 monitor. Right now, the best they can manage is 1900X1200 - which leaves out most decent 27" monitors. And while the display setup at Staples is far from ideal (overhead fluorescents, Macs at desk height with no stools, so they're all tilted up towards the ceiling) the reflections on the current iMac screens were pretty intense when I had a look at them on the weekend while there for something else. I did manage to help sell a 27" one to someone else though. (She was switching from Windows - her son has an old iMac).
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Old Feb 4th, 2014, 05:35 PM   #20
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you can run 2 external displays at that resolution...iMacs have been able to drive 2x thunderbolt displays since 2011 when the dual t-bolt models came out.

Apple iMac hands-on, with dual 30-inch displays! (video)

these guys are driving 2x 30" off 2x dual link DVI off the dual t-bolt ports. they should be able to drive up to 2 at 2560x1600 (the resolution that those 30s run at)

ps you can always create a recovery partition on a USB drive if you feel you *need* to.
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