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Storage rules for an editing rig. Some basics.

May 3, 2009 12:19 PM

  Latest reply: Gf1317, Mar 20, 2012 2:22 PM
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    Feb 15, 2012 10:48 AM   in reply to RjL190365

    sorry, i meant the external drive as the third drive, instead of the green drive.

     
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    Feb 23, 2012 8:00 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    #5 for life... worked very well for me...thanks!

     
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    Feb 23, 2012 8:59 AM   in reply to tomglen

    Nope. Remember, Harm stated "No GREEN disks at all"! This means that the Green drive should not even be inside your PC's case at all - but instead put into an external enclosure with eSATA and/or USB 3.0 capability. Here are three reasons why:

     

    1) Their much slower than minimum spindle speed: The WD Green drives spin at a very slow 5400 RPM (as I noted in a previous post).

     

    2) Most Green drives also have relatively slow random access speed - as much as 22ms instead of the 15ms of the average 7200 RPM hard drive.

     

    3) Many Green drives (and all of the Western Digital Caviar Green drives) spin themselves down after a firmware-set period and cannot be overridden or disabled at all whatsoever! That means that the drives will simply ignore any software- or Windows-set spin-down times unless those times are less than the firmware-set time. In other words, if you have Windows to never power down any drives, the Green drives will power themselves down anyway. And every spin-down and spin-up can (and does) cause crashes in Premiere Pro, especially in the middle of a long encode.

     

    However, points 1) and 2) are not as critical as point 3). The constant spinning down and spinning up of the Green drives will destabilize an editing system that expects every single installed drive to perform at its maximum speed and performance at all times.

     

    This is the basis for my (and Harm's) assessment of Green drives in an editing system.

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 2:57 AM   in reply to RjL190365

    I was reluctant to ask this as there have been so many similar threads – but as always your own case is slightly different and I cannot find an answer to my specific question or the threads are a couple of years old. I've read so many threads that I'm now more than a bit addled (well, I am blonde).

     

    So – I've just ordered Production Premium and it is for non-critical / non-commercial / non-urgent stuff ie no demands or pressures. I would primarily be working with EOS5d MKII stills and videos and expect Premiere and Encore to be used most to create both DVD and blu ray.

     

    Cannot remember all my PC specs but non HDD key items are i7 @ 2.7gGHz; 6GB RAM; Win 7 64 bit; Radeon HD5700 graphics; Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R mobo (sata 2).

    Okay; as for hard disks, currently installed I've a

    • Corsair CSSD-F120GB3-BK Force Series 3 120GB SSD – fast but not reaching the spec speeds as a sata 2 mobo! Plenty of space (80+GB free) 
    • Samsung HD103UJ 1TB; spec says 7200rpm. Pagefile currently on this drive.

    • Maxtor 6V300F0 300GB; few years old but Googled spec says 7200rpm.

    Available to me are 2 x Western Digital Caviar 2TB SATAII 64MB Cache 3.5-inch Green; 2 more of the Maxtor 6V300F0; a Samsung 64GB MLC SSD (was my C drive – too small so replaced by the Corsair); 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200GB sata 150 HDD (7200rpm I think).

     

    I've read the 'Guidelines for Disk Usage' and the Adobe spec requirements but would still appreciate any help as there seems to be umpteen possible configurations. My main question is with the WD 2TB drives – this very informative thread states No GREEN disks at all. Considering my 'non-serious' editing - if I could use will their 5400rpm simply impede performance or is it more severe than that and they will effectively not work at all. I do not really want to buy any more HDD's but strong advice otherwise would mean that I will. Would installing any sort of RAID be pointless in my case.

     

    Apologies if this all sounds a bit lame – I've only modest PC experience and wanted to ask even if I do generate some groans amongst the forum regulars. Much of the excellent help here is quite rightly geared towards professional video production and I'm not sure about the relevance for a hobbyist like myself.

     

    Many thanks.

     

    Claire

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 8:20 AM   in reply to claris38

    Claire,

     

    I'd recommend going with mostly new hard drives in that system if you're going to be doing anything at all whatsoever with DSLR video. You see, the Maxtor drives that are in your possession are now extremely old - so old that two of them in RAID 0 ("aid0") are still slower than just one of last year's 7200 RPM hard drives. Those old drives could not achieve even 70 MB/s in sequential transfer speed on the outer tracks (because those old Maxtors used a platter layout of only 100GB per platter, resulting in the three-platter design of your old 250GB and 300GB disks) while current hard drives can reach nearly 190 MB/s on the outer tracks (and even the fastest of the two-year-old drives can reach 140 MB/s). In your inventory the fastest drive in your system is currently the 1TB Samsung F1 (note the model number HD103UJ), which uses a three-platter design to achieve its 1TB capacity. That drive can reach about 120 MB/s on the outer tracks. The 2TB WD Green is actually slower than the 1TB Samsung F1 in sequential transfer speed despite the denser platters of the Green because that Green spins at only 5400 RPM (as I noted in my previous post in this thread).

     

    Thus, I am amending "No green drives" to also include "No hard drives more than three years old regardless of spindle speed". In other words, drives that are suitable in an editing system must not only spin at 7200 RPM or higher, but also have a platter layout density of at least 300GB per double-sided platter. Those old Maxtors fall far short of that 300 GB per platter minimum (they employ 100GB per platter at most).

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 8:20 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Are hard drives still recommended over ssd for scratch disks, or has that changed recently?  With the elevated prices of hard drives, I'm wondering if I should be looking at a ssd drive instead?  I'm thinking 500g in raid 0 ($400) vs a 240g sdd ($300)?

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 8:47 AM   in reply to Gf1317

    First off, SSDs still aren't durable enough for long-term use for repeated writes and rewrites. You see, SSDs still have a limited number of rewrite cycles. At the rate the scratch disk is rewriting, you would have used up the SSD's entire life cycle in as little as just a few days! And the factory warranties do not cover such abusive wear and tear. Thus, in such a circumstance, you might have to pay as much as tens of thousands of dollars every week just to even replace those SSDs.

     

    Second, NEVER RAID any SSD unless it's specifically designed for RAID! Raiding a consumer SSD will completely defeat the TRIM function and will not only degrade performance, but will also cause even more frequent failures. In the worst cases, a RAIDed SSD array will fail after only a few minutes of operation.

     

    These are the reasons why hard drives are still better suited for those situations that require multiple repeated rewrites in such a short period of time despite the higher hard disk prices. But now, hard drive prices are now slowly beginning to fall: A month ago, the 1TB WD Black cost all of $250 plus shipping at Newegg. Now, it costs $140 plus shipping - still about $50 higher than the amount that same drive cost just six months ago.

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 12:54 PM   in reply to RjL190365

    Hi RjL,

     

    Thanks for the reply and your help. I had kind of assumed that many of the drives I listed were not up to the job. I am going to buy either 1 or 2 x 1TB drives although when looking it is not so easy to find info on data transfer rates even on the manufacturers sites. Anyway, it seems the WD Caviar Black is pretty much accepted - albeit with some negative comments on noise and heat - and so I think this is what I'll go for and probably get 2.

     

    So, am I correct in thinking the SSD is okay and kept for OS / progs etc and - as per the 'Guidleines for Disk Usage' chart - use the 2 new WD drives along with my current Samsung ie 4 disks. If so, which of the three suggested use options (D,E or F on the chart) should the slower Samsung be allocated to.

     

    Many thanks for your help.

     

    Claire

     

    ps if your screen name does happen to be 'open date coding', then happy birthday for next Monday ... smile.

     
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    Mar 14, 2012 7:23 PM   in reply to claris38

    Claire,

     

    Sounds like you have a decent cpu, motherboard, and some drives to work with, and your video card is currently your weakest link.

     

    Regarding the Greens, I would never suggest anyone buying new ones for a video rig, but with today's prices still pretty high I think that you should add the 2 2TB Greens in a RAID 0 configuration using two of the Intel SATA ports. Put your media and projects on the 1TB Samsung, completely ignore the older 300GB, and put media cache, media cach DB, all scratch files, and outputs (DVD etc) to the 2x2TB RAID array. You will need Win7 to use GPT since the array will be over 2TB before you format the RAID 0 array.

     

    Also, if this setup is not fast enough for your media and your patience, my suggestions would be (in this order):

    - add an nVidia GTX 570 video card and configure Premiere Pro 5 or 5.5 to use the Mercury Playback Engine (MPE) capabilities

    - get a good cooler and overclock to 3.7GHZ

    - increase RAM to 12GB or 24GB (RAM is very cheap for X58 motherboards now)

    - think about adding more 7200rpm drives

     

    I serously doubt you will need anything past the first suggestion, and you may even be satisfied without putting in a MPE video card.

     

    Regards,

     

    Jim

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 1:12 AM   in reply to JEShort01

    Hi Jim,

     

    Thanks for your reply and very helpful comments. I did not realise that the graphics card was a weak link - in my first post I called it a HD5700 althought the fuller model name is 'Powercolor ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024MB GDDR5' ... does this make any difference to your comments? If not then I will look at the GTX570.

     

    I'm pretty sure I will be upgrading and your sequence looks great - especially as items 2 and 3 are not so expensive ... smile. I'm not sure if my current cooler qualifies as 'good' - it's a 'Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 Pro Rev 2 CPU Cooler (Socket 939/AM2/AM3/775/1155/1156/1366)'. I've never tried overclocking with it as no real need but any thoughts?

     

    On the hard drives, I see your point about trying the 2x2TB drives and I've nothing to lose as they are here. If they test my patience then I can renew - I had not looked recently at hard disk prices and had a bit of a shock!!

     

    Thanks again for your help.

     

    regards

     

    Claire

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 7:52 AM   in reply to claris38

    Claire,

     

    Your cooler is fine for some overclocking, your video card is probably a decent card for many applications, just not Adobe CS5/5.5.

     

    For more information about MPE, check out:

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/773101

     

    And for more basic information for overclocking:

    http://forums.adobe.com/thread/529916?tstart=0

     

    Finally, if you have other non hard drive questions, you should probably just start a new thread. This thread is already pretty long and focused on storage.

     

    Regards,

     

    Jim

     
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    Mar 15, 2012 2:13 PM   in reply to JEShort01

    Hi Jim,

     

    Thanks again for your help. Been reading loads and I'm sure there will be more questions - and understand about thread 'deflection'.

     

    Regards

     

    Claire

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 2:33 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Okay, after reflecting on the couple of replies which had fine advice and also reading many threads I've decided on a semi-upgrade - new GTX570 graphics, RAM to 12GB (only 3 slots on my mobo) and new 2 x HDD.

     

    So, 3 questions

     

    - any views on the Samsung F3 HD103SJ 1TB internal Hard Drive SATAII 32MB Cache 7200RPM ? These are ~ 78% of the cost of WD Caviar Black (£88 vs £112). Sometimes it's not made clear if a drive is 'green'. Many drives have phrases like energy efficient and so on and the Samsung site is useless for info. I'm thinking of getting two of these Samsung drives (unless advice otherwise).

     

    - I already have a good 128GB SSD system drive and a 1TB Samsung HD103UJ. With the two new drives, I will follow the 4 disk option in the guidelines for disk usage chart. Does it matter which of the three uses (D or E or F) the older HD103UJ is used for or are these 3 drives so similar as to not matter ?

     

    - I also have a spare Samsung 64GB MLC SSD. Is there any merit is installing this as well eg dedicated for the pagefile and/or other files handy to keep to one side.

     

    Okay - a 4th question ... with the above disks are there any different configurations that make more sense ?

     

    Just to clarify - my PP use is hobby-ist and so no delivery presures etc. Although nothing I do is critical, I do have a couple of 2TB 'green' drives that I will use for backups.

     

    Many thanks,

     

    Claire

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 2:50 PM   in reply to claris38

    Claire,

    I just went with the 500gb Spinpoint F3 HD502HJ in raid 0.  Which motherboard are you using?  One problem I had with an Asus p6t is that after 6 drives it uses an IDE controller and the performance decreased.

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 4:04 PM   in reply to claris38

    Right now (today) the best performance and a great deal is the Seagate Barracuda ST2000DM001 at $130 for this 2 TB drive (or $65/TB)  Here are the fastest 7200 rpm transfer rates I have seen for HD Tune Wrire and Read rates for a two disk drive RAID 0 setup.

    R0-2-x-2TB-Areca Write.jpg

    R0-2-x-2TB-Areca-Read.jpg

     
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    Mar 19, 2012 10:08 PM   in reply to Gf1317

    Hi and thanks for the replies.

     

    Gf1317 - my mobo is Gigabyte GA-EX58-UD3R. I'm struggling to see the significant differences (capacity aside) between the F3 HD103SJ and the F3 HD502HJ that you mention. The Samsung site redirects to Seagate and the info is poor.

     

    Bill Gehrke - the Seagate is around £100 with Amazon and so not too bad. I seem to remember reading that a certain generation of Seagate drives were to be avoided but the newer models are okay; is this correct.

     

    Any thoughts on my other questions especially using my spare 64GB SSD for pagefile.

     

    Many thanks.

     

    Claire

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 5:39 AM   in reply to claris38

    Claire,

     

    Avoid Seagate's ending in .11 (11th gen. are "possessed"!).

     

    Regarding your 64GB SSD, suggest you not use it at all. It simply will not bring much to the party for video editing. You already have a fast SSD for your OS/programs and the write speeds are so poor for SSDs that it will likely underperform your larger, newer rotating drives.

     

    If I had a spare 64GB SSD I think I would want to find a high performance USB 3.0 case for it and use it like a USB stick - on steriods!

     

    Regards,

     

    Jim

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 7:58 AM   in reply to JEShort01

    Jim,

    What about using it for project files where you don't have much writing going on?  I've got two ssd in raid zero with 500mb/s read speeds.

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 10:19 AM   in reply to Gf1317

    Gf,

     

    You can certainly try it. I played with a 5xSSD RAID 0 array that benchmarks a 1.5GB (1500MB/sec) read speed and it only worked OK for project files. I simply love SSDs for OS/programs and laptops, but for some reason - likely sustained write speed - they just don't seem to excel with Adobe Premiere Pro CS5.

     

    Jim

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 10:24 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    If the preview files and cache are on a seperate drive, what writting would be involved with the media drive? (other than occasional saves of your project file).  I understand the importance of having the cache on a non ssd drive, but I thought just having the media files on a ssd would be good?

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 1:28 PM   in reply to Gf1317

    Jim & Gf,

     

    Many thanks for the responses and ideas. I now understand about not using SSD's where there is very frequent writing. A problem with my limited knowledge is I'm not too sure which categories (ie media, projects, pagefile etc etc) of materials are accessed / written to so often as to make them non-starters for SSD.

     

    So, you are saying that project files and media are suitable candidates for the 'spare' SSD - what about the pagefile ?

     

    Thanks for you help.

     

    regards,

     

    Claire

     
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    Mar 20, 2012 2:22 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Claire,

    Someone else will have to confirm that media files only get read from and your project file obviously only gets written to when you hit save.  At least thats my understanding and why I dumped them on a ssd drive.  Your pagefile, think of it as system memory that resides on a drive.  Like memory it gets read/written constantly and would be better served by a platter drive, in raid configuration for best performance.  With the drives I had laying around I settled on this for my system:

    c: system -ssd

    d: pagefile, cache and preview files - hdd raid 0

    e: media files, project files- ssd raid 0

     

    external nas in raid 5 with all my media files backed up.  I accept the hours I put into the project file being lost if I loose a raid 0 ssd drive.  I guess I could move that, but don't really know how a project file affects the performance of premiere.  If HD were not so expensive now, maybe I would look into a four drive system, per previous recommendations.

     
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