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    Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan

    Noel Carboni Community Member

      I am moving forward with a disk storage speed improvement plan using my Dell Precision T5400 workstation as the test bed.

       

      Specifically, my goal is to create a super fast 2 TB drive C: from four OCZ Vertex 3 480GB SATA3 SSD drives in RAID 0 configuration.  This will replace an already fast RAID 0 array made from two Western Digital 1TB RE4 drives.

       

      So far I have ordered two of these fast SSD drives, along with what is touted to be a very good value in high performance SATA3 RAID controllers, a Highpoint 2420SGL.  I'll get started with this combination and get to know it first as a data drive before trying to make it bootable.

       

      Getting any kind of hard information online about putting SSDs into RAID is a bit like pulling teeth, so I'm not 100% confident that these parts will work perfectly together, but I think the choice of SSD drives is the right one.  I had briefly considered a PCIe RevoDrive SSD card made by OCZ, but was just too esoteric...  I'm actually getting double the storage this way for the same price, I can swap to a different RAID controller if need be, and these drives can easily be ported to any new workstation I may get in the future.

       

      Notably, some early concerns with using SSD in RAID configurations (and things like TRIM commands) have already been alleviated, as the drives are now quite intelligent in their internal "garbage collection" processes.  I've verified this with the engineers at OCZ.  They have said that with these modern SSD drives you really don't have to worry about them being special - just use them as you would a normal drive.

       

      Once I get the first two SSDs set up in RAID 0 I'll specifically do some comparisons with saving large files and also using the array as the Photoshop scratch drive, vs. the spinning 1 TB drive I have in that role now.

       

      Assuming all goes well, I'll then add the additional two SSDs to complete the four drive array.  After a quick test of that, I'll see if I can restore a Windows System Image backup made from my 2 TB C: (spinning drive) array, which (if it works) will let me hit the ground running using the same exact Windows setup, just faster.

       

      My current C: drive, made from two Western Digital 1 TB RE4 drives, delivers about 210 MB/sec throughput with very large files, with 400 MB/sec bursts with small files (these drives have big caches).  Where they fall down dismally (by comparison to SSD) is operations involving seeking...  The PassMark advanced "Workstation" benchmark generates random small accesses such as what you might see during real work (and I can hear the drives seeking like crazy) results in a meager 4 MB/sec result.

       

      My current D: drive, a single Hitachi 1 TB spinning drive, clocks in at about 100 MB/sec for large reads/writes.

       

      The SSD array should push the throughput up at least 5x as compared to my current drive C: array, to over 1 GB/sec, but the biggest gain should be with random small accesses (no seek time in an SSD), where I'm hoping to see at leasdt a 25x improvement to over 100 MB/second.  That last part is what's going to speed things up from an every day usage perspective.

       

      I imagine that when the dust settles on this build-up, I'll end up pointing virtually everything at drive C:, including the Photoshop scratch file, since it will have such a massively fast access capability.  It will be interesting to experiment.  I suppose I'll have to come up with some gargantuan panoramas to stitch in order to force Photoshop to go heavily to the scratch drive for testing.

       

      I'll let you all know how it works out, and I'll be sure and do before/after comparisons of real use scenarios (big files in Photoshop, and various other things).  Perhaps fully my "real world" results can help others looking to get more Photoshop performance out of their systems understand what SSD can and can't do for them.

       

      I welcome your thoughts and experiences.

       

      -Noel

        • 1. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
          TLL... Community Member

          Sounds like rainy day fun! But I wonder whether its worth the effort for a boot drive. My Dell has a single ssd boot and don't get me wrong it works just great. Given all the boot does is load apps and manage things why would more ssd space make any (much) difference? What I'd do with your $$ would be to ssd-out the rest of my system, replacing my VelociRaptors with two ssds as raid 0 for scratch and two more the same way for near term storage.

           

          It'll be interesting to see what happens...

          • 2. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
            Noel Carboni Community Member

            Actually, with 2 TB on tap (which is what I have now with the spinning array), Windows quite likes to have its OS, apps, and even most data files right on C:.  This is probably a throwback to ancient times, but by golly WIndows and its apps always seem to work best in all the default locations.  This system is rock solid stable.  And keep in mind I use it for more than just Photoshop...  I develop with it, run my business with it, and many other miscellaneous activities, some of which get pretty intensive.

             

            Of course once I have C: set up as the array I'll make all the spinning drives into a killer D: data drive as well, for stuff that doen't need microsecond access.  The best part is that I can continue working exactly as I am now, with no need to rearrange anything, and with plenty of space to spare all around.

             

            I'm looking forward to experimenting with whether Photoshop scratch will be better on C: or D:. 

             

            Here's how my (spinning SATA2) drives benchmark now - this is my baseline.  As you can see, drive C: is no slouch already...

             

            C:, 2 x 1TB WD RE4 in RAID 0:

            ATTO Dual WD RE4 RAID0.jpg

             

            D:, single, non-RAID Hitachi:

            ATTO Single Hitachi 1TB.jpg

             

            I'm working now on how best to benchmark Photoshop's actual performance as it "goes virtual".

             

            -Noel

            • 3. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
              Lundberg02 Community Member

              What are you going to do with the meltwater from the block of ice they'll be sitting on?

              • 4. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                Noel Carboni Community Member

                Water?  Think liquid helium, my friend. 

                 

                No, seriously, I already thought the power and heat loads through...  These things draw less than half of what a spinning drive draws - 3 watts when actively being read/written, 1.65 watts just sitting there.  Cool as a cucumber!

                 

                I've developed a benchmark based on an action doing things to a 3 GB image file that drives Photoshop to get well into the scratch file - to the tune of 30 GB.  I've already learned that I've had the scratch drive pointed in the wrong place all along and that it runs better if pointed at my drive C: (spinning disk) array than my separate D: drive now.  This action spends 3 minutes kicking hell out of the scratch drive.  I imagine it will complete a little more quickly with the SSDs in place.  Now to wait for the UPS man.  Is he here yet?  No.  Is he here yet?  No.  Is he here yet?  No.  Is he here yet?  No...

                 

                I have learned that Photoshop CS6 is about 10% slower than CS5 doing the same things on a very large file, which is kind of a surprise.

                 

                -Noel

                • 5. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                  Lundberg02 Community Member

                  I wish to record my jealousy that that you have 2k to screw around with drive speeds.

                  I waited til Amazon had the Topaz set for 90 bucks before buying. I am going to spend whatever it takes to get a LaCie Thunderbolt adapter for my eSATA drives, though, so I kind of understand the need for speed.

                  Why do you use RAID 0? I would think you would use RAID 1.

                  Given the results you stated in your OP, it seems obvious that the C: would be better scratch.

                  • 6. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                    Noel Carboni Community Member

                    Jealousy noted.  Thank you. 

                     

                    To be fair, this workstation is at the heart of my software development business, so it's not all play.  I run a lot of development tools, including virtual machines for testing, that will be GREATLY enhanced by not having to wait on disks.  If at some point it helps me get a product released a few days sooner the upgrade will have paid for itself.

                     

                    And yes, in hindsight it does seem obvious that the RAID C: drive would be better.  But the lore has always been to keep one's Photoshop scratch file on a separate drive from the system, and I've followed that advice without really thinking about it or questioning it.  It's high time to question everything. 

                     

                    -Noel

                    • 7. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                      Noel Carboni Community Member

                      Lundberg02 wrote:

                       

                      Why do you use RAID 0? I would think you would use RAID 1.

                       

                      RAID 1 buys you redundancy, not an increase in performance.

                       

                      -Noel

                      • 8. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                        Lundberg02 Community Member

                        Exactly. SSDs are not that reliable yet. I think they still have the  multiple write thing and run hot.

                        • 9. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                          Noel Carboni Community Member

                          I keep good backups, and as I mentioned I plan to test it pretty well for a while as a data drive.

                           

                          They've crossed the threshold to "reliable enough" of late, and these OCZ models, with 2 million hour MTBF and 3 year warranty, are reviewed as being pretty solid.

                           

                          -Noel

                          • 10. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                            Chris Cox Adobe Employee

                            >> I have learned that Photoshop CS6 is about 10% slower than CS5 doing the same things on a very large file, which is kind of a surprise.

                             

                            Background save is overall slower, because it's trying to play nice in a background thread.  With that turned off, there is still some slowdown due to the @#%&! ton of thread safety added to make that all work.  We tried to balance that out with other improvements, but it will be interesting to see what you find.  Let us know, and we may need to do some additional tuning.

                            • 11. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                              Trevor.Dennis CommunityMVP

                              Noel, you could do worse than visit the Premiere Pro Hardware forum, where there is a wealth of knowledge re raid arrays, and some folk with what appear to be totally OTT set ups.   My fastest array is a pair of 300Gb Velociraptors in a raid0, (they refer to raid0 as aid0 over there as there is no redundancy).  But I keep that reserved for video projects, and use another raid0 with a pair of 1Tb WD blacks for primary data storage.  With an SSD for OS and program files, I have almost no wait times even with large image files.    Appart from the two raid0 and the SSD, I have another four drives totalling 7Tb with backup managed by Shadow Protect.

                               

                              http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere/hardware_forum

                              http://forums.adobe.com/community/premiere/faq_list?view=discussions

                              • 12. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                Well, here's what I have so far for you, Chris.  I may have overestimated that 10% a little.

                                 

                                1.  I've set the performance settings the same in CS5 and CS6.  I have 100 history states in each.

                                 

                                2.  I have a very large image with multiple layers.

                                 

                                3.  The image I run the action on is a fairly large multi-layer 16 bits/channel image with some adjustment layers.

                                 

                                4.  The action duplicates layers in groups, and makes a bunch of pixel editing changes on an image layer so as to create lots of history data.

                                 

                                One thing I've noticed is that I probably have the Photoshop RAM limit a bit high, because while watching the Resource Monitor I noticed some Windows swap file activity, as well as a ton of scratch file activity.

                                 

                                Results:

                                 

                                Drag uncompressed 3.1 GB PSB file and drop it onto the Photoshop icon (Photoshop is not running)

                                 

                                23.0 seconds:  File not cached, start of Ps CS5 x64 plus file open

                                14.8 seconds:  Second time, file cached, start of Ps CS5 x64 plus file open

                                 

                                237 seconds:  Run of the action in Ps CS5 x64, tons of scratch file activity.  Scratch file grew to 30 GB during this run.

                                 

                                --

                                 

                                24.8 seconds: File not cached, start of Ps CS6 x64 plus file open

                                15.2 seconds: Second time, file cached, start of Ps CS6 x64 plus file open

                                 

                                183 seconds: Run of the action in Ps CS6 x64, tons of scratch file activity. Scratch file grew to 30 GB during this run.

                                 

                                So where Ps CS6 is ever so slightly slower to open the same file, it's a fair bit faster to do the same operations on the file in which a lot of scratch file I/O is required.

                                 

                                Of course I'll repeat these same tests when I get the SSD RAID set up. 

                                 

                                -Noel

                                • 13. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                  Jeff Schewe Community Member

                                  Noel Carboni wrote:

                                   

                                  And yes, in hindsight it does seem obvious that the RAID C: drive would be better.  But the lore has always been to keep one's Photoshop scratch file on a separate drive from the system, and I've followed that advice without really thinking about it or questioning it.  It's high time to question everything. 

                                   

                                  You can question anything you want except may Chris Cox :~)

                                   

                                  Look, whether or not the Photoshop scratch will perform better/worse on a separate physical volume isn't debatable...however, whether or not it matters to a specific config may be. If you are running 32Gigs of ram or more and NEVER (I repeat NEVER) fall below 100 Efficiency in Photoshop, putting you scratch on the same physical drive as your boot page prolly doesn't matter. When you have enough ram, Photoshop only writes to the scratch as a background process and you won't see slowdowns due to drive access. If you have enough system ram that you alms never hit paging, same deal.

                                   

                                  What would be interesting to learn (if you want to test it) is whether or not 4 SSD drives stripped is substantially faster than just 2 drives stripped. There is a point of diminishing returns when you stripe. 2 drives is not quite 2X the speed of a single drive. More like 1.6 or 1.7 as fast. Same deal for a 4x strip, it's not 4x the speed, more like 3+ something.

                                   

                                  With 4 drives stripped, you may still be better off having two separate logical volumes, one for boot system + apps and one for data/PS scratch. That second strip TB could be partitioned into unequal partition.

                                   

                                  So, the question will be is a 2 drive, 3 drive (another option) or 4 drive SSD are the best performance…I'll look forward o your tests.

                                   

                                  My system, which I built just before SSDs were "trustworthy" is based on running 4 SAS 15K drives in two arrays, one setup for system and apps and one for PS scratch. On the rare occasions I hit scratch (like when I'm working on a layered that saved it over 50 gigs), the striped array of the 1 pair of SAS drives is fast. Not fast relative to keeping everything in ram but still faster than any normal single drive with or without the system paging being shared.

                                   

                                  Note, the access tine between a single SSD and an arrayed pair isn't going to be much different. It's sustained through put that the arrayed pair might be better and a single SSD. The big question is how efficient will you RAID card be…let us know!

                                  • 14. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                    Trevor.Dennis CommunityMVP

                                    Tom's hardware have done a number of OTT SSD Raid experiments, and there is a relevant set of figures here:

                                     

                                    http://www.tomshardware.com/charts/ssd-raid-0-charts-2011/benchmarks,120.html

                                     

                                    It looks like five drives in a raid 0 is about three times faster than a single drive.

                                    • 15. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                      Lundberg02 Community Member

                                      That's about the same ratio as multiple CPUs. There's some rule of thumb in systems theory that systems run best at 70% of capacity.

                                      • 16. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                        Noel Carboni Community Member

                                        I have begun to execute my plan.

                                         

                                        To date I have purchased four and installed two OCZ Vertex 3 480GB SSDs, and have been doing methodical testing.

                                         

                                        Findings so far:

                                         

                                        In actual use, the SSDs effect a HUGE improvement in responsiveness of whatever's being done on them, as they have instantaneous seek time.  This was apparent even with one SSD as a simple drive.  Putting two of them into a RAID0 array hosted by my motherboard RAID controller didn't change the responsiveness significantly, though it doubled the maximum throughput so operating on large files is much faster.

                                         

                                        The benchmarks show a modest improvement over my spinning drive array in small transfer speed, and a large improvement in max transfer rates.  Remember that all these speeds are still limited by the motherboard SATA2 RAID controller I am using while awaiting the high performance Highpoint controller that's on order.  Each SSD is essentially saturating one SATA2 connection.

                                         

                                        ATTO Single Vertex 3 SSD on SATA2.jpg

                                         

                                        ATTO Two Vertex 3 SSD on SATA2.jpg

                                         

                                        My Photoshop action test on large file, with heavy scratch drive activity, faired as follows, using my single spinning drive, my RAID0 spinning array, and the new RAID0 SSD (two drive) array.

                                         

                                        266 seconds - Photoshop scratch on D: (single Hitachi spinning drive).

                                        189 seconds - Photoshop scratch on C: (RAID0, dual spinning Western Digital RE4 drives).

                                        171 seconds - Photoshop scratch on E: (RAID0, dual Vertex 3 SSD drives).

                                         

                                        Most notably, I have run several different virtual machines entirely off the SSD array, and comparing that experience with the same virtual machines running off the spinning drives is night and day - Windows boots up in 1/4th the time, everything just feels really snappy, and notably the systems don't load up as quickly.  If one starts some intensive disk activities, such as a search of the entire drive for something, then starts something else, the impact is barely noticeable.

                                         

                                        Some interesting numbers:

                                         

                                        92 seconds - Cold boot Windows 8 VM to the lock screen on drive D: (single Hitachi spinning drive).

                                        32 seconds - Cold boot Windows 8 VM to the lock screen on drive E: ((RAID0, dual Vertex 3 SSD drives).

                                         

                                        The high performance SATA3 RAID card that promises to provide a significant boost in both IOPS and individual drive speed is due to be delivered by UPS later today.  Watch this space!

                                         

                                        -Noel

                                        • 17. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                          PECourtejoie CommunityMVP

                                          Noel, the CS5/CS6 comparisons were done on a VM for both versions? Did you also compare CS5 in VM or not in VM (Or CS6)...

                                          DigLloyd tested some PCIexpress SSDs, but he did not test them in RAID for PS scratch (he did some other tests, but strangely enough did not publish yet RAID PCI express cards Scratch disks tests: http://macperformanceguide.com/

                                          • 18. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                            Noel Carboni Community Member

                                            No, I have installed Ps CS6 on my host system.  It ran well enough (i.e. perfectly) in a VM for a few weeks so I went ahead and installed it on my host hardware so as to test it with my video card (all is well).  That's the configuration I used to do the above testing.

                                             

                                            Notably it takes about half the whole benchmark time of roughly 2 to 4 minutes just to start accessing the scratch file, as quite a while is spent filling up the RAM.  And from what I can see in the Performance monitor it never goes quite to the full transfer rate to the disk - just to about 170 MB/sec.

                                             

                                            -Noel

                                            • 19. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                              Lundberg02 Community Member

                                              Bottom line: Is it going to be worth the money? As in time saved in dollar amount used to compute payback period? I think you spent big bucks. What other factors in your work flow cost a lot that you could improve without capital outlay?

                                              • 20. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                Wet blanket!

                                                 

                                                Hey, some things are just worth spending money on if for no other reason to learn about them.    I now know MUCH more about this technology than I did before.

                                                 

                                                In all seriousness, I use this workstation 16 hours a day, for everything I do.  Having it be more responsive will improve everything I do.  But no, the speed improvement, while clearly felt in most aspects of using the computer, is probably intangible enough that I would not say it's a cost-effective move to buy a bunch of SSDs just yet.  Wait until the prices come down a bit more.

                                                 

                                                These disks will go into my next workstation as well, no doubt.  Looked at another way, when I buy my next workstation, I'd have to figure out what disks to put in it then.  Now I have that part already covered.

                                                 

                                                By the way, I've been tweaking it and today I hit the 1 gigabyte per second mark using the SATA3 controller.  And I haven't even got all the disks in the array yet (two are still on a UPS truck somewhere).

                                                 

                                                ATTO Two Vertex 3 SSD on SATA3 2720SGL in X16 Slot.jpg

                                                 

                                                -Noel

                                                • 21. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                  Trevor.Dennis CommunityMVP

                                                  Noel Carboni wrote:

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  In all seriousness, I use this workstation 16 hours a day, for everything I do.

                                                   

                                                  -Noel

                                                   

                                                  16 hours a day, and you still manage to be the most prolific poster on this forum.  You seriously need to get out more!

                                                  • 22. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                    Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                    Hey!  I got out just last month.  That's enough for one decade. 

                                                     

                                                    -Noel

                                                    • 23. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                      Lundberg02 Community Member

                                                      So what is the payback time?

                                                      The post office advertises that they will pick up your flat rate boxes. You make a product. If you mail it, that PO service has a  payback time of one day. See what I mean?

                                                      • 24. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                        Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                        What's the payback for learning new technology?  That I'll be able to create products to take advantage of it sooner than others who don't know about it?  Certainly there's value there.

                                                         

                                                        As far as payback time to see improved performance, it's immediate (after the installation, of course).  How long will it take to pay back the cost because I have a product done sooner?  If somewhere down the line I have a product ready and on the market a week or two sooner, it's paid for itself.  When will that occur?  I don't know.  Will it occur?  I imagine so, yes.  This workstation is at the center of the engineering work I do.

                                                         

                                                        I'm the CEO.  I get to buy things from time to time without having to justify the expense to someone else. 

                                                         

                                                        And besides the value of learning new tech, and justifying the cost, there are intangible factors...  You picked one car over another last time you bought one.  Perhaps you bought a sports car - let's say you did.  Did you have to justify to someone how much more money you'd make by being able to drive your sports car to work rather than a run-of-the-mill sedan?  I'd wager it costs you MORE to drive that sports car, yet you still bought it... 

                                                         

                                                        -Noel

                                                        • 25. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                          Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                          Since you're wanting to focus on the tangible, Lundberg, here's one early result (bearing in mind I'm not done yet and I'm only testing the SSD array as a data drive now)...

                                                           

                                                          One of the things I regularly do is boot up multiple different virtual machines, to facilitate testing my products in multiple environments.

                                                           

                                                          It used to take 2 to 3 minutes to boot up a VM.  When hosted on the (2 drive) SSD array they boot up in under 30 seconds.  Software installation took a minute, now it takes 30 seconds.  Shutdown took a minute.  Now it takes 9 seconds.

                                                           

                                                          Conservatively speaking, the SSD array saves more than 15 minutes to go through one testing cycle using 6 VMs (XP, Vista, Windows 7 32 bit, Windows 7 64 bit, Windows 8 32 bit, Windows 8 64 bit).  Maybe even more because I will be able to boot up several at once, which was impractical before.

                                                           

                                                          Software builds will be quicker, review comparisons will be quicker, subversion tag creation will be quicker...  And of course Photoshop operations on big images are quicker.

                                                           

                                                          It all adds up.  There are good reasons for having a fast computer over a slower one.

                                                           

                                                          -Noel

                                                          • 26. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                            Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                            Heh, my Windows 8 VM just downloaded 18 updates, installed them, and rebooted, and start to finish this took under a minute.

                                                             

                                                            -Noel

                                                            • 27. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                              Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                              Not sure who might be following this thread, but I have executed the final phase of this plan, restoring a system backup from my spinning drive array onto the new 4 drive SSD array.

                                                               

                                                              All went off without a hitch, I have my same system configuration including all apps and everything just as it was, except everything is now MUCH faster.

                                                               

                                                              The 4 drive array achieves a staggering 1.74 gigabytes/second sustained throughput rate.

                                                               

                                                              ATTO 4 Vertex 3 SSD on SATA3 2720SGL Cache Write Back.jpg

                                                               

                                                              Windows 7 WEI score is 7.9 for the Primary hard disk category.

                                                               

                                                              WEI.jpg

                                                               

                                                              Windows boots up quickly, everything starts immediately, nothing bogs the system down, and just overall everything feels very fluid and snappy.  And there is no seeking noise from the drives.

                                                               

                                                              Regarding what this has done for Photoshop...  I've only tested on Photoshop CS6 beta so far today, but everything is incrementally improved.  Startup time is faster, things seem more smooth and fluid while editing overall, and a benchmark I created using an action to run a lot of image adjustment operations on a big, multi-layer image ran this long to completion:

                                                               

                                                              When the file is opened from (and the Photoshop scratch file is on) a single spinning disk

                                                              4 minutes 26 seconds (266 seconds)

                                                               

                                                              When the file is opened from (and the scratch file was is on) a fast array of spinning drives

                                                              3 minutes 45 seconds (225 seconds)

                                                               

                                                              When the entire system is run from the SSD array

                                                              2 minutes 31 seconds (151 seconds)

                                                               

                                                              During the action, because so many steps are performed on the big file, Photoshop writes a 30+ gigabyte scratch file on the scratch drive.

                                                               

                                                              Summary

                                                               

                                                              Clearly the very fast disk access markedly improves Photoshop's speed when it uses scratch space. 

                                                               

                                                              Plus copying big image files around is virtually instantaneous. 

                                                               

                                                              I don't use Bridge myself, but I have noticed that all the image thumbnails (via FastPictureViewer Codec Pack) just show up immediately in Explorer windows and Photoshop File Open/Save dialogs.  We can only assume this kind of drive speed would really make Bridge blaze through its operations as well.

                                                               

                                                              Following my footsteps would be expensive, but it can really work.

                                                               

                                                              -Noel

                                                              • 28. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                Chris Cox Adobe Employee

                                                                Impressive.

                                                                 

                                                                I'd be curious to see how it affects launch time on CS6.

                                                                • 29. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                  pf22 Community Member

                                                                  NICE!!! I've been using SSD's now for a couple of years, nothing on your scale of course, just one for my OS/Apps, and a second for Photoshop's Scratch, with all my data still sitting on spinners, but there's no way I'd go back to an all mechanical set-up now!

                                                                   

                                                                  Interestingly, I've configured my OS/Apps drive to absolutely minimise the amounts of writes to it, for instance I moved my Win7 Profile off onto one of the spinners, and installed my AV on the same spinner also, all to extend the life of the drive.

                                                                   

                                                                  Of course my Scratch is taking the hits, but as it's my previous Indilinx driven SSD, and I was replacing it for a new Sandforce one anyway, I don't really care. But I'd certainly be interested to see how long it takes you to burn through all that lovely expensive NAND!

                                                                   

                                                                  For a while I was keeping up with what were claimed to be apps that would report on the expected remaining life an SSD, but last time I looked, probably about 6 months ago now, they were all pretty flakey, and weren't even considered to be good guesstimates.

                                                                   

                                                                  Any further info you have to post on your new system I for one would be happy to read!

                                                                  • 30. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                    Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                    Thanks guys.

                                                                     

                                                                    Chris Cox wrote:

                                                                     

                                                                    Impressive.

                                                                     

                                                                    I'd be curious to see how it affects launch time on CS6.

                                                                     

                                                                    Not quite as much as I thought it would, though it's faster in just the right ways...  It comes up to the main window painted state maybe a second faster out of about about 5 or so, which seemed always to take a second or two longer than Photoshop CS5 (still true).

                                                                     

                                                                    I just did some timings with my stopwatch, starting when opening an icon on the desktop and ending with the Photoshop main window painted.

                                                                     

                                                                    Photoshop CS5 x64: 3+ seconds (averaging around 3.2).

                                                                    Photoshop CS6 x64: 4+ seconds (averaging around 4.5).

                                                                     

                                                                    More importantly, however, there was always a bit of wait time - a few seconds - after the Photoshop CS6 UI was displayed before the menus were available that's been reduced below the threshold of pain for me.  Now I see that however long it takes me to get my mouse lined up with the File menu is just about the time it takes to be ready for me to click it.  When it responds to my click the first time the cost of this array becomes a little more worth it. 

                                                                     

                                                                    pf22 wrote:

                                                                     


                                                                    I'd certainly be interested to see how long it takes you to burn through all that lovely expensive NAND!

                                                                     

                                                                    Given the Sandforce drive controller's "wear leveling" facilities, and the gargantuan amount of space these drives have to go through, I did some back of the napkin calculations that showed it should be a non-issue (10+ years).  Probably by the time any of the drives need replacing I'll be looking at the newest technology at the time, which will no doubt far outpace these drives for both speed an size and be cheaper.  The drives I chose have a 2 million hour MTBF as well, so the chance of failure being multiplied by 4 drives in the array is still miniscule.

                                                                     

                                                                    The drives do report, via SMART, a projected lifespan.  I don't know how likely it is to be accurate, but so far in a week of hard benchmarking and testing I haven't gotten any of them to budge off 100%.

                                                                     

                                                                    -Noel

                                                                    • 31. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                      Trevor.Dennis CommunityMVP

                                                                      From what I have read, SSDs have changed a fair bit in the last year or so, and as per Noel's quick calculations, the number of write operations is so large now that it is no longer a worry.  I think even harm on the Premiere Pro Hardware forum is warming to SSDs now.  Bill would know.

                                                                       

                                                                      As for minimising the number of write operations, that tends to be additional affect of moving dynamic folders from the C: drive to save limited disk space.  That's not going to be an issue for Noel with so many drives though.  For me it is still problematic because my Outlook data is currently on a USB3 external drive, and none of my my external drives wake after a four hour deep sleep.  (I have to restart).  I'll get round to moving it to my biggest raid0 array one day soon. 

                                                                       

                                                                      At the moment I am back on my laptop _again_ after the supposedly replaced power supply failed agin last night!  I'd asked them to upgrade from the Adata HM-750W, but they didn't do so, and I am sure they somehow fudged a repair of the old one.  My system box weighs in at close to 100 lbs, and I am highly unimpressed at having to cart it into town for a second time in two weeks!

                                                                      • 32. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                        Lundberg02 Community Member

                                                                        When SSD is 25 cents a gigabyte, call me. I'll be happy with eSATA until then.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                          Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                          Lundberg02 wrote:

                                                                           

                                                                          When SSD is 25 cents a gigabyte, call me. I'll be happy with eSATA until then.

                                                                           

                                                                          Stick in the mud.  Meanwhile we early adopters will be enjoying system performance you can only dream about...  You know you want it... 

                                                                           

                                                                          Good thing at least some of us step up to help finance new technology development!

                                                                           

                                                                          -Noel

                                                                          • 34. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                            Lundberg02 Community Member

                                                                            Oh, we could appreciate your trudge across the universe at warp speed if only the web was faster than 25 mbps actual.

                                                                            • 35. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                              Noel Carboni Community Member

                                                                              Lundberg02 wrote:

                                                                               

                                                                              if only the web was faster than 25 mbps actual.

                                                                               

                                                                              Have you been talking to Al Gore again? 

                                                                               

                                                                              -Noel

                                                                              • 36. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                                Lundberg02 Community Member

                                                                                I'm paying for 50 but have never seen it.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                                  station_one Community Member

                                                                                  Lundberg02 wrote:

                                                                                   

                                                                                  I'm paying for 50 but have never seen it.

                                                                                   

                                                                                  How much is it costing you?  I'm paying $60 a month for 3. 

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                                    Lundberg02 Community Member

                                                                                    As part of my bundled tv, phone and internet, the 50 mbps service is 33 a month with CableOne. When you use their speed test, it shows that within their local net it is 25 to 48, hopping onto the local internet server thru speedtest.net is 25 to 48, but if you go to speedtest.net and choose Seattle for instance, it will be 15 to 22 on a good day, San Francisco and Los Angeles a little slower, every place else 9 to 12. So it's a joke, not really much faster than my 10 mbps service was, but you actually can't go back because it's not part of the bundle.

                                                                                    DSL here is a farce, the advertised speed for my house is 1 mbps. The wireless internet is slow and unreliable. There is no other cable internet here. I believe the local server actually gets on the Sprint backbone 300 miles away in Boise. Waa waa waa.

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Massive Disk Speed Improvement Plan
                                                                                      station_one Community Member

                                                                                      $33 a month? !!!    My phone company is a den of thieves then! 

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