8 Replies Latest reply on May 18, 2011 7:29 PM by Ted Smith

    Best hard disk setup


      Hi guys, I'm pretty new to APE9 and to video editing in general. I see in some posts where you guys suggest to have more than 1 hard drive but no one talks about the actual optimal setup.


      Let's say I have a 500gb hdd running my win7 (C:\), if I add a 160gb hdd in there(D:\) what should I run where ?


      Thanks for any tips.

        • 1. Re: Best hard disk setup
          Peru Bob Adobe Community Professional & MVP
          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Best hard disk setup
            md_lasalle Level 1

            Just what I needed thanks a lot!


            Also, I'm guessing configuring what partition does the "Exports" and the "Previews" is done inside APE9 ?

            • 3. Re: Best hard disk setup
              the_wine_snob Level 9

              Welcome to the forum.


              With the options that you list, here are my thoughts"


              Though the 160GB is a bit on the small side, if it's fast, I would actually set it up as the system/boot HDD, and use the larger one for Projects, media and Scratch Disks.


              The system/boot would only have the OS, and Programs, and also probably locate the Page File on the larger HDD. That last option would be only after testing. Also, it would depend on the number of programs that I had installed. With quite a few progarms (including several Adobe suites), my 200GB C:\ is only used to less than half, at 94GB, and with a cleanup of e-mail, and Documents, I could probaly get that down to ~85GB.


              Though I have a 3x 200GB SATA II I/O, I found that my Page File did slightly better on my E:\, and I have it statically managed at 10GB for my XP-Pro SP-3 OS w/ the max 4GB of RAM. If you have a 64-bit OS, and a load of physical RAM, you do not need the Page File to be nearly so large.


              Now, if your 160GB is slower, is not as fast a connection type as the larger, etc., then all bets would be off.


              I also agree with the chart that Peru Bob linked to. I use Harm's suggestions when talking about I/O with any poster.


              Also, I think that a 3x I/O is optimal, with the OS and programs on C:\, media on D:\ and Projects + Scratch Disks on E:\. If the HDD's are identical, then D:\ & E:\ can be reversed, as to their duties, with zero change in anything.


              With more HDD's, one can break out, say Exports, and Renders, or perhaps Audio separate from Video. For HD media, having a RAID 0, with a dedicated hardware controller will help things, but the improvements in performance, with more than a 3x setup, will not be that great, and when one starts adding RAID's with dedicated controller cards, especially with on-board memory, prices really climb quickly.


              Good luck,



              • 4. Re: Best hard disk setup
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                In PrE, on can locate the Exports, the Render files, the Media Cache w/ the Conformed Audio, and PEK files, almost anywhere. There is good reason to locate the Scratch Disks (Media Cache, Render, etc.) with the Projects, even if there is a tiny performance hit.


                I would strongly advise against any partitions. The one exception would be if the Recovery Disk is, in fact, in a partition. See this ARTICLE for more background, on why I feel, as I do.


                Good luck with your new system,



                • 5. Re: Best hard disk setup
                  John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  I use AVCHD, which is CPU intensive but does not require RAID, so...


                  My 3 hard drives are configured as... (WD = Western Digital)
                  1 - 320G WD Win7 64bit Pro and all program installs
                  2 - 320G WD Win7 swap file and video project files
                  3 - 1T WD all video files... read and write files

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Best hard disk setup
                    md_lasalle Level 1

                    Very interesting, since HDD's are mostly on the cheap side, I'll probably get 2x 500gb hdds.


                    I'm guessing the pagefile setting is something done in Windows rather than in APE9 directly ?


                    Thanks everyone for your inputs thus far.

                    • 7. Re: Best hard disk setup
                      the_wine_snob Level 9

                      I'm guessing the pagefile setting is something done in Windows rather than in APE9 directly ?


                      You are correct. The Page File is Windows' Virtual Memory, and takes care of any overrun in RAM. This ARTICLE will give you a bit more background.


                      Good luck,



                      • 8. Re: Best hard disk setup
                        Ted Smith Level 3

                        The rule is that hard disks can not really read from 2 parts of the disk at maximum speed at the same time. Disk caches suggest they can but you still have to read it into the cache. So you have to split up any activity that needs reading from 2 sources - like previewing an effect.

                        PE is reading the video while trying to read the instructions of the effect 25 times and then process it many times a second!


                        Generally I have found the following to be the regarding overall performance case although it does depend on how fast your CPU and disks are-

                        Partioning is of no benefit because the disk can only read read one partition at a time. Mainly useful for seperating different operating systems.


                        RAID is of no benefit with modern Sata disks because when writing the computer has to write to two things at once or split up data, this takes more processing power than it saves but can help reading with older slow disks.

                        I originally had 2 disks in RAID, split them up and the performance was remarkably faster.


                        Definitely 3 disks are needed for PE9.


                        Disk 1  keep the smallest disk for the operation system, programs and pagefile, Once the program is loaded it should mostly be in memory until you want to select say a different effect. Pagefile is only used when you run out of memory so better to have at least 4g memory as PE9 normally uses around 2gb

                        Access speed of smaller disks can often be faster than large ones with the same transfer speed.


                        Disk 2  keep the biggest disk for just the captured video files. I do also keep on it a temporary copy of only the current project I am working on in case disk 3 fails and I have to do it all again but I do not edit with this file.


                        Disk 3 The next biggest disk is for all the projects, temporary files and Adobe caches. I also save only a copy of video files for only my current project here in case disk 2 fails.


                        You can set where each file is saved is in the PE9 options.


                        Here in Australia you can get 500g disk for around $40 and 1000g for $60 (probably cheaper overseas). Compare read access and bulk transfer speeds first.


                        I never erase the video in my camera until I have it on at least 2 hard disks or the project is finished on a BD or DVD.