Bac to the Mac

Phocal

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Jan 3, 2014
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Six years ago I tried an experiment of moving back to a PC from Mac but never really got along with the PC. As a long time Mac user and someone who still uses an iPhone and iPad the seamless integration between them was gone. I like that I can setup my favorites in Safari and they are there on my phone and iPad without doing anything. Keeping my favorites synced between the PC and Apple devices was just a pain in the ass. I also missed being able to open up any tab in Safari that I had opened on my computer/phone/tablet from one of the other devices. Say what you will about Apple but the seamless integration between devices is something lacking in the PC world without jumping through a lot of hoops.

Another thing that really bugged me was there is no real backup ability in Windows like Time Machine from Mac. I never really could find a backup program that met my needs as well as Time Machine does, or was as easy to use.

Was looking at getting one of the M1 Mac mini's but I had a few hundred dollars in spread across 6 Best Buy gift cards and Best Buy put the 21.5" 4k iMac on sale for $300 off. So I went ahead picked on up. Still have a lot of file transferring to do and setting up the computer to my preferences but things are going well. After I get the data moved around I will be pulling the hard drives from my PC (had high end drives) and putting them into external drive enclosures since the iMac doesn't have a lot of internal storage. Have a few USB external drives that will work until I can research which external enclosures I want to get. Plan to get a two bay thunderbolt one to run a raid 0 with my two 4TB drives and another single drive one for my 8TB (backup for the 4TB drives). After that it is a matter of getting a couple other cheap USB drives for the monthly backups that stay disconnected from computer as well off site storage.

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New Computer Setup by Phocal Art, on Flickr

Really does feel like I am home.

Oh, one other thing is I have been doing a lot of writing lately and my program of choice for writing is Scrivener. It was originally a Mac only program but 6 years ago (or there about) they developed a Windows version but due to differences in the OS's they couldn't bring all the features to the Windows version. Some of those features are ones that I used often and I really missed them, so glad to be back with the Mac version.

Edit - forgot to add this is my first time with 3 monitors and I am addicted. will never be able to go back to only 2 now that I am getting use to 3.
 

Pstmstr

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Mar 22, 2016
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114
Nice set up. I haven't used a PC since I retired 10 years ago. Just bought a Mac mini and have it hooked up to a 55 inch screen with wireless trackpad and keyboard. Works great.
 

PakkyT

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Jun 20, 2015
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Massachusetts, USA
I like that I can setup my favorites in Safari and they are there on my phone and iPad without doing anything. Keeping my favorites synced between the PC and Apple devices was just a pain in the ass. I also missed being able to open up any tab in Safari that I had opened on my computer/phone/tablet from one of the other devices.

You can do the same with both those when using Google Chrome. Works with my work Windows machine or my iMac at home along with my Android phone.


Edit - forgot to add this is my first time with 3 monitors and I am addicted. will never be able to go back to only 2 now that I am getting use to 3.

Ya same, except I have a couple screens on my work PC and when I get home on my iMac I am like "this one screen stuff sucks!". My iMac is set up in an alcove in my bedroom so not enough room for more than the 27" iMac unfortunately. But ya, multiple monitors once you get a taste...
 

SpecFoto

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Jim
Nice setup.

While G-Tech, LaCie, OWC and many others selling RAID setups for Mac quote very high transfers speeds in their literature via Thunderbolt 3 at 40Gb/s, or USB-C at 10Gb/s or USB 3.1 at 5Gb/s, you will NEVER get anywhere near these speeds when you have spinning platter HDD's in the RAID box. The absolute best you can expect, even via TB3 when brand new and no data on the hard drive is a R/W speed of near USB II speeds, or 0.4Gb/s, and that is what mine tested to when empty for my last RAID box I put together. ( I have 3) Dig into the fine print and these companies do admit that. But as you add data it slows down the transfer speeds, as the HDD need to read farther into the circular data path to get data the fuller it gets. See my DST results below for my Open Digital-Mobius USB C 12TB RAID box (2 x 6TB @ 7,200RPM) that is a RAID 0 setup and is 67% full (8TB), it is running at about 1/3 slower than if empty. This means your don't need a Thunderbolt 3 RAID box that is up to $300 dollar more than a USB-C or a USB 3.1 RAID box, the hard disk drives will not transfer data any faster just because the controller and cable thruput is faster, the hard disk drives are the slowest part of the system.

To prove this another way, my 2012 Mac Pro while having output ports of only USB II, had 4 internal slots for HDD that were Serial ATA and rated at 3Gb/s, or about 6.25 Tims faster than theoretical USB II. I set up 2ea 8TB internal RAID 0 consisting of 4x 4TB Enterprise drives @7,200 RPM and used this system until I bought my 27" iMac in 2019. The speed of those 8TB internal RAIDS was about 15% faster than my current 12TB external RAID, the DST R/W scores were 320-340 range when 75% full. Just like in a TB3 box, they DST scores could have been many times that if the drives were faster, but the hard disk drives again were the limiting factor and the R/W speeds weren't anywhere near what the internal system buss was capable of. So why pay all that upfront extra $ for a TB3 RAID box with R/W speeds that current HDD's cannot utilize?

My Mobius Pro C RAID box with no drives costs $140 at Amazon or Oyen Digital direct. I also have their $99 MiniPro RAID V3 that uses a pair or 5TB 2.5" 5,400RPM HDD's, for 10TB total, a very small portable setup that I take with me on long trips. The DST speed is about 60% of the main RAID box, but I am able to stream movies and use my LR catalog just fine, as its R/W speeds are still much faster, like 75% faster, than a single high TB HDD.

My Lightroom catalog is about 180,000 photos and kept on the Mobius RAID, and the LR cache file is near 250GB. I do keep the cache file on my 512GB SSD internal blade in my 27" iMac and this makes the catalog load a LOT faster, but overall the speed is fine, considering we are talking about 3.5TB of photos. You can see the huge increase in working speed of the blade in the 2nd DST chart below. I would love to have a storage system this fast. Hopefully in the next few years we will be able to buy 4TB or 8TB blades and assemble a very fast, large capacity TB3 RAID for a reasonable cost. But right now the very first ones with 4 x 4TB blades, 16TB total, in a RAID setup are $4,000!


Mobius 12TB RAID
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Internal 512GB Mac SSD blade
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