Back in the late 1990s, there was a hokey TV series that used ‘conundrum’ as a code word to identify an agent from the future. Before that show I never really heard that word much, or maybe I just didn’t travel in the right circles. Today it really conveys how I feel about Apple and my Macs.
I own several Macs. This includes a MacBook Pro, iMac, minis, and a couple Mac Pros (2008). Most all of my Macs are running 10.9.5, but a couple have 10.10 installed, just to be able to run certain Apple Apps.
Just as a mater of course, I try to run the oldest version of the OS on my Mac that I can get away with. Right now that seems to be 10.9.5. This works as long as I don’t need to run new software from Apple. This includes Final Cut Pro X, Keynote, Pages, and Numbers. It also includes my subscription to Adobe for Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC. The Adobe Apps require at least 10.10 or better. Apple Apps, such as iBooks Author and Final Cut Pro X require 10.11 or better.
This is where the conundrum comes in. I don’t really want to run 10.11 let alone 10.12. In fact, since my 2008 Mac Pro towers are somehow not compatible, I can’t even install 10.12 even if I wanted to. It seems to be getting harder and harder to “keep up” with the Joneses with all the OS and App updates.
I just recently purchased three RAID-0 Thunderbolt drives to use for video editing. It would be great if I could use them with my Mac Pro towers, the fastest Macs I currently own. The only problem is that the only interface on these drives is Thunderbolt. This is great and all, but ‘cheesegrater’ Macs do not have Thunderbolt ports and no way to add them that I know of.
Here is my idea as the last upgrade to my aging 2008 Mac Pro. Currently there is a 250GB Samsung SSD in bay 1 that is my boot/app drive. In the next bay is a backup drive and in the next two are data drives. The video card is a GTX 760, which for now, is fast enough for what’s going on.
I’m thinking of taking out the SATA SSD and adding in a PCI-E card with an m.2 SSD on it. This will be the boot/app drive. Take four of the 3.5-inch SATA drives out of the RAID and fill up the four drive slots. This will end up being a software RAID, but it should be plenty fast enough for 1080 60p video editing. This should only run about $150, which I’m thinking is not an outrageous amount to get a couple more years out of this tower.
There will be a time, hopefully not too soon, when I will have to abandon the 2008 Mac Pros for something more modern. Apple has announced they are working on a new Mac Pro with a modular design. This is something in the works and won’t be seen for at least another year. I’m not a big fan of the new super thin, and almost impossible to repair, iMacs, but they are fast and have Thunderbolt ports. They even have 4K or 5K displays.
If and when I do this, be assured that it will all be documented here. The good, and the bad.