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Generic Guideline for Disk Setup

Jun 18, 2010 5:44 AM

  Latest reply: Jeff Bellune, Aug 20, 2012 1:23 PM
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2011 1:40 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Hey Paulie and Harm - Thanks so much for your advice... Greatly appreciated!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 2, 2011 3:03 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Truth be told Harm, I wouldn't touch an SSD with a 10 foot pole, not at THOSE prices, that's why I interjected the RAID card and drives, but I didn't want to scare Bill off. It's obviously easier to throw in an SSD, so I gave a totally neutral sappy safe answer. But I personally have never touched or seen one in person and have zero desire. I mean, $2.00USD per gigabyte is insane when you can get real drives for a nickle per gig. I also don't totally trust flash memory yet (if that's what an SSD uses). So, the real me agrees with you 100%.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2011 10:53 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Forgive me if this has already been asked. 

     

    Is there any good reason to shell out more money to get something faster than a non-raid 7200 rpm drive for the C: programs, etc, drive?  I don't care about boot times.  Just want to know if there will be any performance/rendering difference in Premiere/After Effects.

     

    Thanks!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 7, 2011 11:01 PM   in reply to Seastage

    Also, I'm doing raid 5 with 4 1TB drives (for editing After Effects files in Premiere and Canon 5d Mark II DSLR footage) and trying to decide between

     

    this:

    http://www.sansdigital.com/towerraid-/tr4utplusb.html

     

    or this:

    Areca ARC-1680iX-12

     

    Any advice on what has better performance?  If it's similar in speed I'll probably go with the Sans Digital for portability.

     

    Thanks for any insight!!!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2011 2:56 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    What do you think about the new Areca 6Gb/s 1880 series RAID cards?

     

    http://www.areca.com.tw/products/1880.htm

     

    On a side I wonder how a couple Vertex 3's would compare with Velociraptors on these cards?

     

    Onboard motherboard 6Gb/s controllers have been garbage to date ie. Marvell.  I would expect these Areca cards to make the 6Gb/s drives shine.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2011 3:49 PM   in reply to jszei

    Hi Jszei

     

    I have the 1880ix16 running 6x2TB HItachi 6GBS here are Raid 5 and Raid 3 Benchmarks.

     

    I am using it in Raid 3 ATM, as the C300 is set on Pass-through it may be even better if I let the Areca control it as a single disc,(raid 1)

     

    Gary

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2011 3:51 PM   in reply to Gazzaspi

    C300 benchmarks on and off 1880ix

     

    Gary

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2011 12:47 PM   in reply to Gazzaspi

    Thanks Gary.  The numbers look about what I would expect.  Pretty solid.

     

    Some thoughts on posts I've seen in these forums raise questions I'm wondering if you or others have answers to.

     

    When brought up as an ideal raid solution both velociraptors and ssd's get shot down in favor of WD 7200 Blacks.  Is this only because of the cost/GB ratio or is there really no significant benefit in a raid config?  My understanding is that it's the random writes that are the biggest indicator of performance for hard drives in a editing rig.

     

    When SATA 2 vs. 3 or 3GBs vs 6GBs is discussed the commentary is that 6GB doesn't offer a significant improvement.  Do you have any experience with a 3GBs Areca or comperable controller and if so how do the benchmarks you posted compare?

     

    I just invested in a GTX570 as a first step in improving performance and so my hard drives are the only other place to improve at this point.  I currently have 4 single drives in place for various functions with no raid.  An SSD for the OS with 7200 Blacks of various sizes for the other roles such as paging/media db, project rendering and then a file store disk.  The next logical step would be towards a quality raid contoller like the Areca but the question of 3GB vs 6GB and SSD vs spindle drives and 7200 vs 10k.  I'm looking for solid reasoning behind why one is better than the other.

     

    Thanks for the help

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 27, 2011 1:36 PM   in reply to jszei

    This is pretty much the same place I'm in.  I'm getting 150mb/s off a $150 usb3 wd external 7200 drive now!  Yay USB3!   I'm going to start by trying raid 5 onboard and see if it plays my dslr files well.  That's all I'm really wanting is smooth playback.  The usb3 drive plays them almost perfectly but there's a slight lag which I think could improve with raid.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 9:48 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Harm,

     

    First post here, and am enjoying reading your wealth of knowledge on all of these topics! Been ripping my hair out trying to figure out the best upgrade options for my current system, and figure I would ask your expertise opinion...

     

    My current setup:

     

    Mac Pro

    • Two 2.4GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon "Westemeres" (8 Cores)
    • 32GB RAM (8 x 4.0GB PC10600 DDR3 ECC 1333MHz)
    • 1TB 7200-rpm Serial ATA 3GB/s
    • ATI Radeon HD 5870 1GB
    • CS5 Suite (Mainly using PP and AE)
    • Shooting and editing all DSLR footage (T2i / 7D / 5dMkii)

     

    I know the ATI card will not take advantage of the accelerated MPE, which sucks but i'll deal with it for now. My main issue is the disk setup. I assume spreading the scratch disks out over multiple drives will help playback and render times (which is what i'm having major trouble with now). In your opinion what would be the best drives to purchase? I don't think I want to go SSD, as the price is just a little too steep. I love the guideline setup you put together, and want to know the best configuration that will yield the smoothest playback and fastest render times.

     

    I am willing to invest a pretty penny on more drives, as I just rendered a 10 minute, 1080p, H.264, keyed green screen sequence out at maximum render and it took just over 9 hours. My first export this large, so I wanted to see just how long it would take.

     

    Any help would be appreciated!

     

    Todd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 10:34 AM   in reply to Todd Mobley

    Well without the Quadro 4000 the a 2 drive raid 0 internal is only going to improve those so much.  Spreading the files out among 3 drives wont speed up your export times on a MAC anymore than the Raid 0. The Raid 0 on OSX actually performs better than it does on the PC because of HFS+ so you would get the best times without the Quadro with your Media, cache, and export times on that. Beyond that the Quadro 4000 will be your best improvement for export times with the Mac Pro.

     

    Eric

    ADK

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 11:22 AM   in reply to ECBowen

    Eric,

     

    Thanks for your reply. What kind of improvement are we talking about with the Quadro 4000?

     

    Also, so what i'm gathering is that purchasing 2-3 more Raid 0 drives won't improve performance that much for playback or render times?

     

    Thanks,


    Todd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 11:31 AM   in reply to Todd Mobley

    Well when I did our testing here the export time on the same project went from 2 hours to 40 minutes with the Quadro 4000 card. You definitely want to get the 2 drives especially if you get the Quadro since the single drive would slow the performance down that you gain from the Quadro. However splitting the drives wont help you. A 2 drive raid 0 for media will give you the best performance you are going to get with that codec on a MAC


    Eric

    ADK

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 11:39 AM   in reply to ECBowen

    Ok, so just to be redundant. If i purchase the Quadro 4000 and two more internal raid 0 drives, my performance should increase exponentially, correct?

     

    Todd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 12:46 PM   in reply to Todd Mobley

    It will increase like that for Premiere and Media Encoder. However AE will not be show improvement from the Quadro. If that green screen work was done in AE then only the drives would give you a performance increase.

     

    Eric

    ADK

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 12:59 PM   in reply to ECBowen

    I'm keying in PP. I do a little AE work, but RAM is king for that, no?

     

    I have a high up contact at NVidia. I'll give him a ring and see what he can do.

     

    Any preference on brand name for the drives? Macsales is my usual resource...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 2, 2011 1:08 PM   in reply to Todd Mobley

    Threading and RAM is what decides performance for AE.

     

    Normally we sell the WD 64 meg cache drives on the MAC and they perform very well in raid 0.

     

    Eric

    ADK

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 6, 2011 8:05 AM   in reply to ECBowen

    Thanks again for all the help Eric! Drives arrived on Saturday (1 day!), and are installed. I'll run some tests tonight and see if i've gained any performance.

     

    All the best,


    Todd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 8, 2011 6:20 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Hi and many thanks to everybody: this forum is a wealth of informations.

     

    I need precisions about RAID configuration though.

     

    My future station will have an SSD for OS and programs and 12 Samsung Spinpoint  F3 HDD (Areca 1880-ix-12 controller) for working with Premiere.

     

    What is the best performance/reliability for the 12 drives:

     

         1) 11 RAID 3 + 1 Hotspare

         2) RAID 30 (2x6 RAID 3 layer)

         3) Other?

     

    Thank you for your suggestions.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 8, 2011 8:55 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thank you, I will go for 6x2 RAID 30. One more question: is a stripe size of 128 KB significant in performance improvement?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 9, 2011 5:27 AM   in reply to mrbreu

    My OS hard drive died (possibly due to heat and overcrowding in a Dell Flex Bay), so now I am reconfiguring my system.

     

    I will split the duties between two internal drives and two drives in an external eSATA box.

     

    Are there any easy recommendations for external boxes?

     

    I am familiar with the Macguru Burly.  One of those is nearly as expensive as my computer.  Are there any similar boxes out there that I can compare?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2011 2:57 PM   in reply to Another Photographer

    May I ask for a recommendation? I've lurked quite a bit in the forum, learning as much as I can about building my own system.

     

    I've got everything pretty much figured out and built, except the optimal disk configuation. I have an unusual mix of different drives to work with, and I'm stumped on the ideal setup. I could use some of these drives elsewhere if they're not needed, but this system has first priority for whatever use/configuration might make it most effective.

     

    Here's what I have:

     

    Crucial C300 128GB SATA III SSD - OS, programs

    4x1TB Spinpoint F3 HDDs - recently purchased, and I plan to do onboard RAID 0 (wish I could afford a controller card)

    1TB Caviar Black SATA III HDD

    Kingston V100 128GB SSD

    OCZ Revodrive 120GB PCIe SSD

    4x1TB Deskstar HDD RAID 5 external box - backups

     

    I'm thinking I might change the C drive to the OCZ since it's the fastest. Additionally, I have a 1500VA UPS.

    Please let me know if you need any other information. Thank you!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 2, 2011 3:42 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Dank u wel, Harm!

     

    May I ask for your definition of "diligent" backups? Once a day, every few hours of editing, or...?

     

     

    On a side note, the über-geek in me wants to understand which drive would optimal for each task. I know this thread is only for general guidelines, though -- is there another thread which discusses relative advantages of individual disc performance characteristics, specific performance interpretation, and optimal editing task assignment...<snip>

     

    Thanks again!!

     

     

    EDIT: I'll create a separate thread regarding drive performance questions/guidelines

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 4, 2011 6:57 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    At this point i have a funny question:

     

    I'm upgrading my system to a simple 3 disks style: 1 F4 for OS/Apps and 2 sets of Raid0 (so 4 disks) for the rest

    (All my common assets (music, graphic) are on a NAS, my daily  backups on a External Raid1 and everything else i use with my other  PC...)

     

    Since i won't use any raid controller on this system , i have only 6 SATA ports, the last being used by the Bluray/DVD drive.

    But I never (i mean never ever!) use the Bluray/DVD drive on my editing machine, beside the first Win7/CS5 setup of course.

     

    Could i just get rid of it (using external DVD druve if needed) and use the extra port ? for example put a fast & small SSD dedicated for pagefile?

    Is it stupid?

     

    Please don't hesitate to burn me in your answers, i have the feeling it's not such a great idea anyway

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2011 10:06 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Hi Harm,

     

    One quick question based on the 'Guidelines for Disk Usage' please...

     

    Is Pagefile the same as Scratch Disks?

     

    Thanks!

     

    Ted

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2011 11:09 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Ok... cool - but I don't see Scratch Disks listed on the sheet for Guidelines for Disk Usage... so are they a part of one of the categories listed? Where should they go for a 2 or 3 disk setup?

     

    Thanks!

     

    Ted

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2011 5:39 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Hi Harm

     

    What do you think about post# 227 ?

    Many thanks !

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2011 6:02 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thank you for the great thread!

     

    When adding a RAID array, should I look for a box that has an eSATA connection, or is there a better way to hook up a RAID box to a PC?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 5, 2011 10:28 PM   in reply to wonderdude

    wonderdude wrote:

     

    Dank u wel, Harm!

     

    May I ask for your definition of "diligent" backups? Once a day, every few hours of editing, or...?

     

     

    On a side note, the über-geek in me wants to understand which drive would optimal for each task. I know this thread is only for general guidelines, though -- is there another thread which discusses relative advantages of individual disc performance characteristics, specific performance interpretation, and optimal editing task assignment...<snip>

     

    Thanks again!!

     

     

    EDIT: I'll create a separate thread regarding drive performance questions/guidelines

    Depending on how important your work is to you, once a day may be enough. Personally, I would setup something automated that protects against forms of data degradation and corruption. With a little knowledge or cash (and either can be substituted for the other), one can setup a NAS device to perform hourly snapshots. Something like Solaris 11, OpenIndiana or Nexenta operating systems would be a good place to start.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2011 8:11 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Are there pagefiles on Mac OS X?   If so, where do you find them and specify their location??

     

    Thanks!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 15, 2011 8:26 PM   in reply to roctagon

    Sure are, roctagon. This should answer all your questions: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=20001215021440138

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 16, 2011 8:33 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    I am planning the following approach for my drive configuration. - based on your advice

    planning a four drive system

     

    600GB velociraptor for OS and programs

    two 2 TB WD blacks running as RAID 0 to have Media, Projects, Previews and Exports

    and  a fourth drive for Pagefiles and Media Cache - now here's my question  will like a small 60 - 80 GB SSD work for this and do i need a speedy  drive especially when i got 24 gigs of 1600Mhz RAM or a regular 7200RPM  500GB SATA drive do?

    and ofcourse a regular external backup for the RAID setup.

     

    thanks

    shoe

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 22, 2011 1:41 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    General question for all the gurus on the forum.  Been reading and studying at great length to understand how to optimize my setup and am still not getting the performance that my system should produce.  My configuration is:

     

    Mac OSX 10.6.7

    3.2Ghz Intel i7

    24Gb 1600MHz DDR3 RAM

    Nvidia GeForce GTX 285 1GB RAM

     

    Disk Setup:


    64GB SSD: OS and Applications

     

    2 Disk TB G-RAID (RAID ) via eSATA: Video Files and Premiere Pro projects

     

    1TB 7200rpm SATA: Previews, Media Cache, Exports

     

     

    Scrubbing just one layer of 1920x1080 .mov video from my DSLR is choppy and sluggish and forget about multiple layers with effects.  I see my performance then watch all the adobe tutorials of multiple streams of RED footage running and scrubbing smoothly and I get frustrated.  Exports are also slow and crash often.

     

    I cannot do the PP Benchmark because I'm on a Mac but I've used MMBench disk monitoring software will playing video to check transfer speeds and I'm only getting an average of 50mb/s via eSATA when G-RAID's literature guarantees 200mb/s!  Does anybody know what I'm doing wrong or where the bottleneck is??

     

    I'm thinking of adding another 2TB 2 Disk RAID 0 to bring my system to a 4 disk system.  Would this make a big difference?

     

    Also, the G-RAID is currently my main disk with pictures, AI files, documents, etc on it along with the Source Media. (I do back up religiously with Time Machine).  I have 622GB used of the 2TB G-RAID.  Does this G-RAID need to be SOLELY dedicated to Source Media to transfer data fast?

     

    Thanks for all the info on the forum and hopefully someone can enlighten me!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 29, 2011 8:24 PM   in reply to roctagon

    I hope this shines some light on the issue and helps even if a teeny bit.

     

    my System Configuration is:

     

    *Windows 7 professional 64 bit

    Asus P6X58D-E

    Intel i7 960

    24Gb 1600Mhz Corsair DDR3 RAM

    MSI GTX570 Twin Frozr III (Nvidia)*

     

    Disk Setup

     

    *OS and Applications  - WD Velociraptor 600GB  (10000 RPM)

    Media and Projects - WD Black 1 TB (7200 RPM)

    Exports and Previews - 2 X WD Black 1 TB (7200 RPM) - RAID 0 = 2TB*

     

    I use a Sony AVCHD camcorder generating 1080i *.m2ts files and i somehow can

    playback my timeline very smoothly with a few effects and also am able to

    scrub with out glitches - ok a disclaimer - my setup is very new and i

    haven't yet edited anything beyond 5 mins with effects and layers. Also i

    haven't exported any finished videos. I will do the premier pro bench mark

    soon and see what i get. will post the results and/or if really bad commit

    harakiri.

     

    Well that's that

     
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