I often see references to using multiple disks for better operation. Presently I have OS & everything else on four 500GB drives set up as Raid 10 for 1TB of storage.
Short of a complete reinstallation of everything - which I am not prepared to do, what alternatives can be suggested that will come closer to the optimum operation?
I'm sure I have additional eSATA ports available on the MB and there is plenty of space in the case for additional drives.
Is the scratch disk only used when Premiere is working, in which case I could allocate a new drive (what size???) to that function.
What other concepts/hardware solutions come to mind?
Adding a few new drives for specific purposes is doable. Completely rebuilding the existing C:\ drive is not.
INTEL, Core™ 2 Quad Q9550 Quad-Core 2.83GHz, 1333MHz FSB, 12MB (2 x 6MB) L2 Cache, 45nm, 95W, EM64T EIST VT XD
INTEL, DX48BT2, LGA775, Intel X48, 1600MHz FSB, DDR3-1600MHz 8GB /4, PCIe x16 CF /2, SATA 3.0 Gbit/s RAID 5 /6, HDA, GbLAN, FW /2, ATX
CORSAIR, 8GB (4 x 2GB) XMS3 DHX PC3-10666 DDR3 1333MHz CL9 (9-9-9-24) 1.7V SDRAM DIMM, Non-ECC
XFX, GeForce® GTX 260 XXX, GTX 260 640MHz, 896MB DDR3 2300MHz, PCIe x16 SLI, DVI /2, HDTV-Out
four SEAGATE, 500GB Barracuda 7200.11, SATA 3 Gb/s, NCQ, 7200 RPM, 32MB cache
LG ELECTRONICS, GGW-H20L Black 6x/8x/24x BD/DVD±RW/CD-RW Blu-ray Disc™ Burner w/ Lightscribe, SATA
ANTEC, Twelve Hundred Black Full Tower Case w/ Window, ATX
So, if I can somehow clone my c:\ drive onto a single 500 GB drive, then I can use the Raid controller as a D:\ with the existing 1-TB of storage for media and add another 500 GB drive as E:\ for pagefile and scratch disks? Or a separate drive for each of those? It's not really clear how you are allocating these in your diagram. And I have no idea what they are supposed to do.
Do those sizes seem right for working with ~50GB to ~100GB original acquisition material cut down to 18-min projects?
The first problem you have is that you can not dismantle your raid10 without a reinstall, which you don't want to do yet. An alternative is to add a smallish disk, preferably a WD Velociraptor, like I have, and figure a way to transfer your OS and programs to that new C drive. It may be difficult to avoid a complete reinstall. Before you do that, remember to deactivate your Adobe suite and other programs that need activation, like Movie Outline. Also there may be programs that use a machine code and when creating a new C drive, that machine code will be changed, so you may need a new activation code from the manufacturer. This applies to the Minnetonka Surcode plug-in for instance.
OK, let's say you have a new C drive, which could be like mine, a WD Velociraptor 150 GB. That is more than enough space for OS and all programs.
Next you can dismantle your raid10, which means you have 4 disks available. I would suggest to use 1 disk for a fixed size pagefile and for your video projects and possibly My Documents, downloads and miscellaneous. I would raid0 two disks to hold your media (large and fast storage, where the risk of disk failure is never very damaging, since you can always recapture) and use the 4-th disk for scratch/preview/renders and exports. That spreads disk accesses nicely across all disks, thus improving performance.
In my case, I have OS & programs on C, my rather large collection of soundtracks and stock footage on A, my finished projects and exports on B. My Duffelbag is just that, a 2 disk raid0 which contains my pagefile, downloads, and is used for scratch/previews/renders. E is a 12 disk raid30 and is used for media and projects. With an average transfer rate of around 800 MB/s that is no problem. My Documents is a mapped network drive, as is music, photos, software, etc.
I hope this helps.
Since I'm presently in production, I won't be able to follow all your recommendations as per the C:\ drive. I simply can't afford the downtime, but I will hang a couple of additional drives on the system and take whatever boost I can get.
I appreciate your time and insights!
Very wise to NOT attack the system, while in production! The forum is littered with questions about hardware, or software upgrades in the middle of a Project - something always goes very wrong. Wait until the client has approved, the check has cleared and the client's client is running off to Sundance with the finals.
Good luck, and I'm following along, taking notes myself.
These days, by the time the check has cleared they've already won an Academy Award!
I have a 100GB Maxtor eSATA drive that I've never taken out of the box. If things quiet down some this weekend, I'll try installing that and make it my pagefile/scratch disk. Will post results. Will not be touching my system drive...!
I've had very good luck working with SD Projects, where everything was on a 2TB Maxtor, including the Scratch Disks. Not the optimum for throughput, but it keeps the entire Project in one place, to swap machines, etc. Mine are FW-800, so your eSATA should be faster yet.
Good luck, and please report your success!
Added a 100GB SATA drive = E:\
Project Settings for Video and Audio Preview were then changed from C:\ to E:\.
Set pagefile to E:\ and let windows manage.
New "Total paging file size for all drives" auto changed to 8198 mb.
Performance images are before and after adding the scratchdisk while playing back two 1280x720p 30fps MJPEG video tracks and three stereo audio tracks.
As I have no idea what any of that stuff means (I always thought handles were for doors and threads were for clothes...) I'll leave it to you folks to figure out if there's any difference.
FWIW, CPU usage goes between 79% & 98% during playback.
At any rate, it's done and I'm going to button up the box!
Difficult to judge, since there are two more processes running in the second picture, first 55 and the second one 57.
A good test might be to encode a sequence with AME, for instance to MPEF2DVD at a high quality preset, duplicate 10 times in AME and then start the queue. Do this with the before and after disk change and this will give you an idea of the performance change.