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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 23, 2012 6:21 AM   in reply to Dabalani

    The Media Cache files can get very large especially over time. I would not put that on the SSD drive. However other Cache files such as the Page File or Photoshop cache files would go there and would improve your overall experience with interfacing with applications.

     

    Eric
    ADK

     
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    May 23, 2012 11:14 AM   in reply to ECBowen

    The new enhanced global caching in After Effects benefits dramtically from having its folder placed on an SSD drive. Adobe encourages this approach.

     
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    May 24, 2012 11:03 AM   in reply to lasvideo

    When did Adobe become the gold standard on hardware? They also encourage RAID0 and 5 on disks larger than 1TB which is the recipe for write errors galore. SSDs don't do well with heavy writes, plain and simple. No way would I put cache on an SSD and this point in the technology. Two years from now that may be different, and if that happens then yes, SSDs are a good choice, but not in their current state. If you want fast cache for the same or les money, the Western Digital prices have finally come back down to earth. Get yourself the 300gb or 450gb Velociraptor which spins at 10,000rpm. That'd make a fine cache drive.

     
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    May 24, 2012 2:21 PM   in reply to PaulieDC

    PaulieDC wrote:

    They also encourage RAID0 and 5 on disks larger than 1TB which is the recipe for write errors galore.

     

    Get yourself the 300gb or 450gb Velociraptor which spins at 10,000rpm. That'd make a fine cache drive.

    I have to disagree with the first statement, never have seen any write performance problems on any disk arrays AFTER checking out read and write performance of the individual disks before putting them in arrays.

     

    I whole heartedly agree with the second statement.

     
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    May 24, 2012 3:03 PM   in reply to Bill Gehrke

    Actually Bill, you're partially right, I had to write that in a hurry. 1TB and under probably won't show issues, and 1TB and over usually doesn't for Raid Edition drives, but wire up two 2TB WD Greens and data loss will eventually occur. It's not realistic for Adobe to detail that out in specifics, I understand that. Also, there's a lot of misconceptions floating regarding SSDs and a lot of the early issues are solved, but the write-often problem does still exist, at least for now. One thing that shpould be broadcast to every SSD pioneer is not to defrag, or at least not repeatedly, but get a good utility like O&O Defrag that will perform TRIM instead.

     

    But anyway, to the credit of the folks on this site, most people who understand RAID know all about what drives to use anyway, lol. So for the noob, I'll just steer 'em at a Raptor until they're ready to open the wallet for RE drives and a good PCI Raid card. My point was to undo the boxed thinking that if Adobe says it, it must be fine.

     
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    May 24, 2012 4:44 PM   in reply to PaulieDC

    The Velociraptor is a 2.5" drive.  Doesn't that partially negate its faster spin rate as far as throughput is concerned?  Also, it is a couple of years old at least, so it has lower density than the newest platters.

     
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    May 24, 2012 5:32 PM   in reply to Dabalani

    All I will say regarding drives, is that I have had 4 WD Black 2TB Drives in my Sans Digital External Raid Box in Raid 5 for almost 3 years. Never had an issue other than one disk dieing 2 weeks in. But they expect that, thus the 30 day return/exchange on drives. I also have 4 WD 640gb Drives in Raid 5 in my computer running with bios software raid and have never had an issue either other than when Intel Matrix Storage program updated to the 8.9.9.??? and higher versions Where it kept dropping a disk. Did some digging, went back to the 8.8.8.???? Version and have never had a hickup!! That's been going for over 3 years as well. Just set your power setting to never spool down drives and it's all good to go!!!

     

    -Paul

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2012 6:00 PM   in reply to PaulieDC

    PaulieDC,

     

    If you are bad-mouthing RAID arrays with WD Greens, then possibly your issue is with the Greens themselves, not the "RAID" technology! Greens, especially the earlier generations from WD, have had a simply horrible track record.

     

    Jim

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 24, 2012 6:15 PM   in reply to Dabalani

    Dabalani wrote:

     

    The Velociraptor is a 2.5" drive.  Doesn't that partially negate its faster spin rate as far as throughput is concerned?  Also, it is a couple of years old at least, so it has lower density than the newest platters.

    Actually the 10,000 rpm 2.5-inch drive, especially the newest 450 GB and 600 GB drives are the absolute best single drives you can possible use without going to the 15,00 rpm SAS drives

     
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    May 25, 2012 7:33 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    So what are the pros/cons of internal vs external raid? I was thinking about purchasing a stardom sohoraid sr4 box for an external array but would rather do what's best if internal options are better. Interesting to know that you don't want to go over 1TB with a raid 3 or 5 array, I didn't know that was an issue. Anyhow, internal or external?

     
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    May 25, 2012 7:52 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    I think he meant more than 1TB per drive. Is that still incorrect?

     

    Thanks much Harm! Can you clear up one more thing for me? If I'm purchasing a nice motherboard with a RAID controller on it, is this not as good or the same thing as purchasing a RAID controller card?

     

    I lied, one more thing... So if I have 4 drives for a raid, I've seen you've suggested RAID 3 over RAID 5, is that right? Would all my media and project and export files now go on this raid? That's what it looked like on the initial graphic or chart.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 8:18 AM   in reply to db2012_02

    Maybe Harm can correct me if I am wrong, but I believe if you get a good separate RAID card, you are better off performance wise, you pay extra $$ but get more performance.

     

    /Ulf

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 9:05 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Right, please don't even attempt mobo raid, there's nothing like a dedicated card.

     

    At this point I'm not sure where the guns are pointing with the whole RAID/Drive Size thing but it seems to have gotten a bit off the path. My point was simply that if you are going to use individual hard drives that are larger than 1TB in a RAID array, you've got to be sure to use RAID Edition (or whatever other manufacturers call it) drives, because when you start joining large drives, the raid edition drives have an unrecoverable read error rate of only 1 in 10^15 bits, whereas regular desktop drives usually weigh in at an error rate of 1 in 10^14. If you string a bunch of 500GB drives together with that less efficiant read error rate, the chances for failure aren't highly elevated, but when you try RAID with 2TB or 3TB consumer drives, your chances of error increase tremendously. I picked the WD Greens just as an example, not a target, just making the point. It's not an opinion, it's the standard for enterprise-level storage design.

     

    Now, had I actually read the guides that Harm and others have provided, I'd probably find that this is all covered already, lol. I think you guys get the point: attempting to RAID huge consumer drives (especially on a mobo) is like trying to run the Boston Marathon in sandals... you can do it, but...

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 9:44 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    Can you guys suggest a couple of reasonably priced raid controller cards for either raid 3 or 5? What features should I be looking for? Also, on that subject, Raid 3 vs 5, any help? I keep seeing RAID 5 touted elsewhere but noted in one of Harm's faq's RAID 3 was recommended over 5 for video.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 25, 2012 10:36 AM   in reply to db2012_02

    db, I use this one:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816116109

     

    But wait for others to post suggestions. Mine is what I consider entry-level even though it costs $329. That price range really is entry-level when you start looking at cards that will do the job. There are $49 RAID cards available but they are one micron above what you get with onboard RAID0. Anyway, it's one for your list, but do see what others post. One thing to note: I don't see that it supports RAID3, the specs say RAID 0, 1, 5, 6, 10, 50 and Single Disk.

     

    BTW, it you end up going for this card, you need the header to attach your drives also:

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816116097

    Naturally you'll provide power to the drives from your PSU. If you consider this card, you may come across it offered in a "kit" with cables included. Don't get the kit, those cables are for backplane installations. You just want a mini SAS to Sata array.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 28, 2012 9:57 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Hello,

     

    I understand where OS and programs are but I don't even know how allocate pagefile, media, projects, previews, exports.

     

    I found media cache under edit>preferences>media.

     

    How do I get to set up the rest?

     

    Thanks you for helping,

     

    Bert

     
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    Jun 4, 2012 4:41 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thanks Harm for answering my question - I should have known.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 1:54 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thank you for this Generic Guideline for Disk Set-up, Harm. It should prove invaluable when I'm building my PC. (for which I'm currently choosing components).

     

    My budget allows for a 4 Disk configuration, plus an extra SSD (intel 520 series) for After Effects CS6's new cache features that assist RAM previews.

     

    I have some questions about the "pagefile". My understanding of how the Pagefile works is limited, so I need to ask how does the Pagefile location become an issue for Premiere Pro? I noted that your guidelines consistently suggest to Not locate the Pagefile on the same Disk as the Media, Exports, or Project files.

     

    Taking that into consideration, I must now ask : How large do Pagefiles tend to be?

     

    My C: drive will be an SSD, and must have enough capacity to store the OS, Pagefile, CS6 Production Premium, CS5.5 Master collection (if it's necessary to place CS5.5 on the same drive as the CS6 upgrades), security software, plus a handful of minor apps.

     

    Edit : would the Pagefile cause much wear and tear on the SSD, significantly lowering the drives lifespan? how frequently would it be read/written to?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 7:52 AM   in reply to El_Plates

    I'm curious about this as well. I have 1 SSD (M4) for os/progs, and (2x) 2TB Barracuda xt's and (1x) 1tb Barracuda (6gbps) coming. I'm assuming I'll use the 1TB for pagefile and media cache.

     

    Being new to Windows I'm not sure how big these pagefile's get. I'll have 32gb of RAM initially, hopefully 64 eventually. Will my system be using the pagefile much? Also how much write space does media cache usually need? I'm wondering, do we need to leave this disk exclusively for this stuff, or can we put other non-project related files alonside it or would this hurt performance?

     

    Sorry about all my inquires, I'm new to windows and multi-disk editing setup so lots of questions flying at once!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 8:16 AM   in reply to db2012_02

    Generally speaking you should make your pagefile 1.5 times your ram. With that said, that was the formula back before ram was so cheap and 64x made it capable to have more than 4gb's. I still use it though. Go into your pagefile set up page and check the box so you can manage your own pagefile. Then set the max and minimum size for the pagefile to be the same amount and remove or set the pagefile on your operating system drive to be the absolute minimum. I think I turn mine off totally So for me I have 32 gb of ram, and created a partition on my SSD Cached Drive (Old Vertex 60gb ssd and an old sata2 500gb drive.) and made a 60gb pagefile on that partition. Probably overkill, but I have the space for it. The other partition with the remaining 400gb's is for my media cache, and scratch disks. I have an internal raid 10 for my media files and project files and a 3Tb sata 3 for my exports. Everything get's backed up to my external raid 3 device.

     

    Hope that helps.

     

    -Paul

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 10:05 AM   in reply to FITB STUDIOS

    So, as I understand it the pagefile takes over when RAM is full? But I've also been told that the system is not smart enough to know what is RAM and what is pagefile, and since the pagefile is much slower some people say it negatively affects performance, and those with lots of RAM should effectively disable the pagefile. Is there any truth to this?

     
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    Jun 26, 2012 10:56 AM   in reply to db2012_02

    But I've also been told that the system is not smart enough to know what is RAM and what is pagefile

    Huh? Who on earth said that? If the "system" wasn't "smart enough" there would't BE a pagefile. Please stop taking advice from whoever said that. The odd thing is, the system IS obviously smart enough to know what it is because it WILL use it when ram is gone, so the second part of your statement is true where you said "since the pagefile is much slower some people say it negatively affects performance". The only reason the pagefile is slow is because it's on a hard drive. Yes, you need ram to avoid hitting the pagefile. Don't get "extra" ram, get the max your motherboard holds. Ram is very cheap right now, but that changes every couple years, so fill 'er up. My 2009 EVGA X58 motherboard states that its 6 slots max out at 12GB of ram, because in 2009 the biggest sticks were 2GB a piece. When 4GB sticks finally got released and the price FINALLY came down to earth, I filled my mobo and the 24GB runs just fine. Point is, spend the money to get all the ram possible, and then make your pagefile 8GB for Min and Max, no more than that, it isn't necessary. And put the pagefile on a different drive, don't leave it on your C drive. But I highly suggest you don't disable it, you never know what Adobe updates may come out where the pagefile is explicitly used by Adobe software developers to persist metadata that doesn't need ram-level speed and therefore using the pagefile for that keeps it out of ram. I develop software, we do these kinds of things all the time because the expectation is that there will be a pagefile. Don't disable it. Adobe software guys are aggressive in increasing performance and they will use deeper level of Windows to get there. Look at the dependency Adobe uses on the Windows Registry... if you don;t run Adobe software as Administrator in Vista or Win7 there will be some settings that won't save because the Registry needs admin privileges which everyone had in XP. And if the Registry save fails, Premiere/Photoshop/AE don;t alert you, they just go on their merry way.

     

    Keep your swap file (pagefile, same thing), get all the ram you can fit, and edit and be happy!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 11:00 AM   in reply to PaulieDC

    PaulieDC wrote:

     

    And put the pagefile on a different drive, don't leave it on your C drive.

     

    Paulie, if C: Drive is an SSD is there a performance hit from leaving the pagefile on the C: drive?  Since much of the pagefile access is random, it seems it might be better leaving on a fast C: drive than a spinning 7200RPM HDD.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 26, 2012 8:51 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Harm, I once think I saw you recommend a NAS server brand, but I don't recall which one. I am going to use it purely for archiving and exchange between PC's. I have a Netgear NAS Pro now, but have been looking at a Synology. Do you have an oppinion on that?

     

    Thanks.

     

    /Ulf

     
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    Jun 27, 2012 2:05 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thanks a lot Harm

     

    Ulf

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 3:46 AM   in reply to Tilden M

    [link to external image removed]

     

    Many PC users like to build their own machines, maximizing purchasing power and performance. I get the occasional question on the amount of hard drives and the location of various files for max performance with Photoshop and other Adobe products.

     

      I've found that this thread, over at the Adobe Forums, offers a good starting point and clear summary on this issue.

     
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    Jun 27, 2012 3:50 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Thank you for info about the Pagefile. I definitely won't be locating it on the SSD now, and I'm considering not using an SSD for the C: drive at all. My current 7,200rpm drive might have to do for OS, Programs, Pagefile.

     

    I still wish to know how, and when Pagefile can impact on Premiere Pro performance.

    Harm's guideline for disc setup puts it on a seperate disc to Exports. That tells me the Pagefile is being either written to, or being read from during the Export rendering process. Is that so?

    And what about when scrubbing though the Timeline?

     

    When does the Pagefile come into play?

     

    You'll all be sick of reading the word "Pagefile" by now lol

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 4:30 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Harm Millaard wrote:

     

     

    It is best not to put the pagefile on an SSD, if you can put it on a raid array of conventional disks, because current SSD's, and especially the ones with SF controllers show a large write degradation over time before they reach their stable state. Claimed write speeds of 450+ MB/s will soon deteriorate to around 250 MB/s or even less.

     

    What if you can't put the page file on a RAID array of conventional disks?  At 250 MB/s it's still more than twice as fast as my fastest HDD.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 5:37 AM   in reply to El_Plates

    El_Plates wrote:

     

     

     

    When does the Pagefile come into play?

     

     

    That's actually rocket science.  See here:  http://www.zdnet.com/blog/bott/windows-7-memory-usage-whats-the-best-w ay-to-measure/1786

     

    If you can figure it out let us know.

     

    All I've been able to gleen is that a pagefile is not like an old fashioned swap file.  It comes into play even if you haven't run out of physical RAM.  I *think* that Windows puts stuff there that it deems to be low priority.

     

    Each page is 4kb, so there the write operations test the random not the sequential skills of the drive.

     

    If you put it on a conventional hard drive, do so while the drive is nearly empty and has been defragmented, and don't let windows manage it.  Instead pick a number and set both the minimum and maximum size of the page file at that number.  That way, you're assured of one large contiguous unfragmented area for the file.

     

    If you use and SDD it doesn't matter whether or not it's contiguous.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 27, 2012 7:49 AM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    Should/Can anything else (non editing related files) go on the pagefile/media cache drive, or would this negatively affect performance? I'll have a 1TB drive for this drive personally.

     
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    Jun 30, 2012 4:26 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    So for 24GB RAM, 24-36GB for pagefile?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 17, 2012 10:29 PM   in reply to Harm Millaard

    I'd like to ask a few more questions about disc set up, plus ask for some suggestions for choice of disc model /type, and backup options. please.

     

    I must preface this with a brief overview of my workflow: I use photoshop projects, and DSLR footage to create 1080p After effects compositions, which are then exported as Uncompressed .avi files upto 1491516kbps bitrate. The After effects exports are then edited in Premiere Pro before their final export in Youtube friendly formats.

     

    Setup :

     

    1/ is a Raid0 configuration relatively easy for a beginner to build?

    2/ Do most Motherboards (including Z77's) support Raid cards, and how much should I expect to pay for a good one (if I need a card/hardware solution)?

    3/ How many sets of Raid0 can I have per computer if there's one Raid Hardware/card?

     

    Disk choice :

     

    1/ what model/brand/spec'd drive would you recommend for Raid0 ?

    2/ If I don't go Raid0, then what brand/model disks are best for my needs? (I was considering WD Velociraptors for discs D: E: F: G: because WD claimed that model has good write speeds).

     

    Backup:

     

    Once-a-day backing up is fine by me, so I ask : what is the best software for that, and can it be configured in a way that won't impact on system performance?

     
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