mac: New uses of MBP 2014 for Photos, 2017 for Backups

OK, I did a complete rearrangement of my computing infrastructure (yes it is like I have a pet sheep flock). So here is what we are doing:

MacBook Pro 2020 for Video Editing

  1. MacBook Pro 2020 and ZikeDrive 666 with addlink S95 for Video Blog and Editing. This is my main working machine which is an M1 Max with 64GB. I still love this machine. However, even with a 2TB hard drive, it runs out of space doing video podcast editing. The performance is pretty mindblowing and looking at the Amorphous benchmarks, the core drive is 6.3GBps read/6.9GBps write sequential for the local drive when you fully load it up with a queue depth of 32. If you try it with 4K data elements, then IO Operations per second matter and it drops to 582MBps/90MBps. For the unloaded workstation case, the nu
  2. ZikeDrive 666. Interestingly, with the ZikeDrive as the Data drive, I get 4TB while on the road, the sequential is 3.2GB/1.9GBps read/write sequential but for small I/O it is very good at 435/100MBps read/write for 4K blocks. Both of these are with a Queue Depth of 32. For a more realistic workstation environment sequential read/write of a long sequence, you get 1.9/1.9GBps to read/write. More significantly for low workloads, it is nearly as fast as the MacBook Pro 2020 core system which is 440/57MBps read/write so for Video editing, the Zike is a great choice.
  3. Maybe when USB 4.0 arrives that supports 80Gbps and 4 lanes of PCIe5, I can use the full 7GBps speed of the addlink S95.

MacBook Pro 2017 for Backup and Backblaze

As part of the 3-2-1 strategy (3 copies, 2 local and 1 offsite), I have mainly Synology NAS systems but as Vlad says, you should have a completely different architecture for at least one system, so I came away with dedicated this machine since it only has 256GB of SSD on board, it is inconvenient to use it for processing, so this is a nice use case:

  1. MacBook Pro 2017. I can’t believe this machine is seven years old! But it was sort of the last of the Intel MacBooks and a real fan blower when doing anything, It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports running Kaby Lake 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5. It is still a pretty fast system at 2.2GBps/200MBps Sequential Queue Depth 32 read/write but then for 563/314MBps read/write for workstation loads. And 36/53MBps for random 4K which is also decent.
  2. ThunderBay 8 DAS. This is married via Thunderbolt 3 which is a nice match to the machine. 435/126MBps Sequential full read/write which is a little lower than I would have expected for a RAID5 with 8 drives (they don’t support RAID6 unfortunately and it is software RAID only). For a single user, you get 247/581MBps read/write. So again while speed isn’t required for backups, it is nice if we ever need a Direct Attached Storage unit for really big video editing jobs needing 80TB plus of storage

MacBook Pro 2014 for Photo Editing

OK, this is a little bit of a surprise decision, but I’m now using a 10-year-old machine for my photo editing. The main thing is that Intel processors really didn’t evolve too much over the last decade, so a MacBook Pro 2014 with a Haswell 2.6 GHz Core i5 feels about as fast as the MacBook Pro 2017 with a Kaby Lake 2.9 GHz Core i5. Moreover, it has a 412GB local drive, so is much more useful. The main trick here has been to take some old SSDs and make them RAID0 configuration systems. And it is way quieter since this lives in the Kid’s Office whereas the noisy ThunderBay 8 is now away in a closet.

  1. MacBook Pro 2014. This has Thunderbolt 2 at 20Gbps and also two USB A ports at 5Gbps. The onboard disk is pretty fast at 745/533MBps sequential loaded read/write. And in workstation mode, it runs at 721/565MBps so its performance is very good locally.
  2. Samsung 850 1TB and Toshiba OCZ 960GB RAID0. This is an unreliable format, but it is very fast. The main trick here is to put each their own 5Gbps USB to SATA Adapter that we’ve previously tested, so this can deliver 663/334MBps sequential loaded read/write. Interesting, with workstation loads, it is actually faster at 662/578 single sequential read/write. I created this with Disk Utility > Raid Assistant.
  3. Samsung 850 512GB and SanDisk 480GB RAID0. I put these on a SATA to Thunderbolt disk array, so they are sharing 10Gbps. As with the 2x1TB array, the performance was great and nicely matched at 715/494MBps loaded sequential read/write, 173/10 loaded random writes. So the random is much slower than I would have expected. Single user sequential is great at 645/553MBps. Basically, this array is great for big files. I’m not sure if this is a function of the Thunderbolt 1 system and how it handles writes or what. But it is nice to have a place where I can look at the odd HDDs.

Net, net, this matches well the actual interfaces. The MacBook Pro 2014 feels nice and snappy and the ThunderBay is connected to the MacBook Pro 2017 and it can run as fast as the internal SSDs which is the goal.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

I’m Rich & Co.

Welcome to Tongfamily, our cozy corner of the internet dedicated to all things technology and interesting. Here, we invite you to join us on a journey of tips, tricks, and traps. Let’s get geeky!

Let’s connect