8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 5, 2012 8:16 PM by HowardMichels

    RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build


      I have been reading almost everything on the Adobe forums for the past 2 months, but there are still a couple questions to which I cannot find answers; hence my post.


      I am a hobbyist and edit AVCHD and HD only, not RED, and almost exclusively use only 1 camera.  I have been using PrPro since version 2, and my current quad-core Win 7 PC with only 8GB RAM and old nVidia card is just infuriatingly slow!


      The following is my planned parts list for a new CS6 editing machine, and below that are a few questions to which I would be most appreciative of answers. 


      Motherboard     Asus P9-X79 Sabertooth

      Graphics Card     eVGA (Nvidia) GTX 680 FTW+, 4GB, Backplate

      Slot Fan                     Azenx Blitzstorm BT-SC70BBL (for graphics card)

      CPU                     Intel Core i7-3930K (expect to OC to 4.6-4.8)

      RAM                     8GB x 4 sticks Gskill DDR3 1600, F3-1600C9Q-32GXM

      CPU Cooler     XsPC Raystorm Ex420 water cooling kit (radiator mounted externally)

      Power Supply     Corsair AX1200i 1200watt

      C-disk, 6mb port     Western Digital, WD RE 1 TB, WD1003FBYX.                      Win 7, CS6

      D-disk, 6mb x 2     (2) Western Digital, WD RE 1 TB, WD1003FBYX – RAID 0. Media, projects

      E-disk, 3mb x 2     (2) Western Digital, WD RE 1 TB, WD1003FBYX – RAID 0. Cache, Pagefile

      F-disk, 6mb     (2) Western Digital, WD RE 1 TB, WD1003FBYX.                 Scratch, Images

      G-disk, 3mb     Western Digital, WD RE 3 TB, WD3000FYY.                        Export, previews

      H-disk, 3mb     Seagate Constellation 3TB ST33000650NS (have)             Photos, docs, etc                           

      I-disk, 3mb     Western Digital, WD RE 1 TB, WD1003FBYX. (chg BIOS to boot from this drive for “regular” use – MS Office, internet, etc.)



      1. Unfortunately, all the Asus motherboards only have 8 SATA ports, and none have more than two (2) SATA/6MB ports that can be used as RAID 0. 

      A) So, is it better to use two SATA/3MB ports for RAID 0 or one SATA/6MB port unRAID-ed? 

      B) Are there other mobo’s that have more SATA/6MB ports that are RAID-able?


      2. I’ve seen various posts that state the only RAM that can be used is 1.35volts, and others that state 1.5volt RAM is ok.  Also, some posts say GSkill has problems, and Corsair is better, but some Corsair RAM chips have heat spreaders that can interfere with coolers.  What RAM would you use? 


      3. I am not sure if I can use the WD RE disks for RAID 0.  The WD website says to use “Red NAS” disks for RAID, but they only have 3 year warranty, and I chose WD since Seagate has downgraded their warranty from 5 to 3 years.                    

      A) What brand/model/size disks should I use for the two RAID arrays?              

      B) Advice on brand/model/size for non-RAID disks?                       

      C) Advice on disk configuration?     


      4. Let’s say money is no object (ha!).  If I were to add a hardware RAID card such as Areca, and used RAID 0 for the F and G drives above, can anyone provide a “reasonable” speed difference amount?  For example, the F and G drives are currently not able to be configured in RAID 0 - are they a bottleneck?  If I added an Areca card, what features should I look for?  BTW, my case (Ultra Products m998) will hold 9 disks. 



      Note:  I have two ReadyNAS, each with 6 Seagate ST33000650NS disks for backup (RAID 6).  Approx monthly, I sync the two NAS’s and bring one to work for offsite storage in case of home disaster.


        • 1. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
          JEShort01 Level 4

          Beautiful build list! I had not seen the XsPC Raystorm Ex420 kit before, but I'm fond of water cooling and it looks like a great bundle.


          High level comments:

          - Get an Areca controller!!! The rest of your system is really first class, you are obviously not skimping. The speed will not be appreciably faster but a real controller is SO much better. Here's why in my opinion:

          - when you have lots of drives as you plan RAID 5 provides complete security against the loss of a drive with very little speed penalty; get the BBU, it allows the card to cache more aggressively

          - you can see full SMART data on each drive; motherboard controllers don't allow this when you have configured the drives as RAID 0; large fast drives do not seem as reliable today as they seemed to be years ago (and yes, that includes enterprise class drives as well)

          - your bios will not mess with your drives, RAID, ACHI, etc. At this forum alone it seems at least someone each month is having difficulties with this bios and / or hardware updates messing with previously working RAID 0 arrays

          - Why not water cool your GPU too? It is a PITA, but ohhh so quiet when you are done, and you are already spending for the rest of the cooling loop.

          - I'd lean towards a MSI Twin Frozer 4GB card over the add-on cooler you mention if you don't water jacket the gpu


          Now, for the questions you did ask...

          1-A) RAID 0 on 3GB is WAY faster

          B) Definitely; I won't list them here though

          2) RAM for 3930's systems seems to be getting easier; I suspect bios updates from vendors is resolving early adopter issues. I'd say stick w/ specific kits recommended by either motherboard vendor or RAM manuf.

          3) RE disks are not best for RAID 0, which is not really RAID. They are intended to drop out (go away) when they are having trouble so a redundancy RAID can work fast without being encumbered by an ailing drive. That is certainly NOT what you want for RAID 0, or non-RAID as some call it.

          A,B,C) lots of good reading around here and other HW sites

          4) As above, main true RAID card advantages are not so much speed advantage over a well thought out RAID 0 set of drives / arrays.





          • 2. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
            Alan Craven Level 4

            The Gigabyte GA-X79-UD5 has 6 Intel SATA ports, of which 2 are 6 rated.  It also has four Marvell SATA/6 ports which can be used for RAID 0 or 1.


            I have used 1.5V memory in this board since I built the system in February.  There were problems at the start, but these were resolved by a BIOS update back in March.  All the motherboard manufacturers seemed to issue parallel updates at that time.


            Since that time the system has been rock solid.  I have one RAID 0 on the SATA/3 intel and a second on one Marvell chip.  I have a SSD system drive and a 6 GB/s drive for non-media files on the two Intel SATA/6 ports system drive.


            For security with the two RAID 0 arrays, I back up regularly to and external 3 TB drive using Synctoy.

            • 3. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
              JCschild Level 3

              HI Howard,


              first the drives.. way overkill man

              1) use the onboard raid for raid 0 set up 2 sets raid 0 ONLY  no need for all these crazy drives..


              1) OS

              2) media drive raid 0

              3) export drive raid 0

              4) back up (as you have already mentioned)

              thats it, all you need nothing more.. all  this spreading stuff around is left over from 10 yrs ago.

              keeping your other drive (photos etc) is fine but no reason they cant go on C:


              buy a raid card only IF

              1) you want internal raid 5,6 for redundacy

              2) you need 2 4 drive raid, or 8 drive single raid arrays..

              3) you have money to burn for no reason and want bragging rights


              also no need to buy RE4 (entrprise drives) unless you are buying a raid card and doing raid 5,6. raids 0 and 10 work fine without re4.


              i prefer WD black all day long as they have 5yr warranty. Seagate is a tad quieter but only 1 yr warrnty now unless you buy the XT drives which are 3 yr..

              Red is for NAS only...


              Ram: lots been said on this. 1.35V IMHO is required and gskill and corsair both suck.. try to fine samsung original or ram that has samsung chips on it..

              you can use 1.5v but chances are you will be running that ram @ 1333 or even 1066.




              • 4. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
                HowardMichels Level 1

                Thanks for your fast responses Jim, Alan and Scott!


                Jim - I copied part of an old spec sheet where I previously planned to use the Azenx slot fan.  Since I'm using water for CPU, , I will put another fan/block  on the video card.  Thanks for catching my mistake.


                RAM - I would love to use Samsung, but can only find 4GB sticks which means I am stuck at "only" 32GB.  Does anyone have experience showing CS6 speedier with 64GB vs 32GB?  If not, I will go with the Samsung as I've only read good things about it.  If 64GB is useful, perhaps I will try 1.5volt sticks.   Alan - what brand/model RAM do you use?


                Drives -  it's good to hear that the reqt for zillions of drives is old info!  I've had good luck with Seagate Enterprise drives and poor luck with Barracuda's.  Since Seagate no longer warrants their drives for 5 years, I was planing on switching to WD.  Scott - does WD Black work for RAID 0?  BTW, when I click on RAID on the WD product selector page , it only shows Red (but desc only says NAS). I take it webpage is wrong?


                RAID - In my experience with RAID 0 on my PC's, I consider it a temp storage only, since it seems to drop a bit and ruin the data at a regular, though not frequent, rate.  I like Jim's points on the use of a HW RAID controller idea to avoid messing with the BIOS, as I've had problems in the past with that, and being able to see the SMART data to see when a drive is failing.  Since the wife basically gave me carte blanche to finally get a "real" editing machine,  I think I wll get a HW RAID, but not an Areca - we have had problems with them at my office in our servers and have since moved to ATTO - expensive but great support. Probably this ATTO model.


                Other considerations: what are thoughts on using two Seagate Savio 10K, 900GB SAS drives instead of 4 RAID 0 drives?  It would require a controller of course, since no PC mobo supports SAS, but SO much faster (and so much more expensive!).


                Thanks again!


                • 5. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
                  Alan Craven Level 4



                  I am using 8 x 4GB Corsair XMS3 PC3-12800 at standard settings.


                  Both my RAID 0s use WD Caviar Black drives.  They are no good for RAID 3/5/etc, and the new REDs are probably too slow for video.

                  • 6. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
                    JCschild Level 3

                    Hi Howard,




                    WD blacks are all we sell for raid 0, 10




                    As for ram amount I will let Eric answer if he pokes his head in here. We have 8 gig sticks but they aint cheap..




                    For 2 sets of 2 drive raid 0 a raid card is a waste of money UNLESS you want room to grow and you can always do that later.. just have to break your raids..






                    dang it keep forgetting when i reply via email it adds my sig...  dont want that to look like trooling :-)

                    • 7. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                      64GB of ram is really only required if you are linking allot between applications such as AE or dealing with larger Red projects. Also if you you have considerable work in AE 64GB would be ideal.




                      • 8. Re: RAM, HDD Questions on new PrPro CS6 build
                        HowardMichels Level 1

                        Again, thanks for replies All! 


                        As a hobbyist, I have only used AE 2-3 times, and it took forever to render and was difficult to figure out, so I don't intend to use AE, just PrPro, Encore and Photoshop.  So it sounds like 32GB is all I need, so I can/will go with Samsung RAM 4GB sticks.


                        Don't worry about trooling Scott, I'm just happy that someone with a small business has time to even type responses!!   And you're right - I can always upgrade.  Problem is usually that if I need to upgrade, it's time for a complete new HW/SW refresh!   So I will just use the RAID 0 on the mobo and see how the machine responds and throw more expensive HW in if needed. 


                        I will run the PPBM5 test when I get the machine assembled and post the results - probably take a few weeks since I also help wife with small business and am painting my house interior most evenings - ugh.  I've got video editing "jobs" stacked up since 2009 waiting for time and a quick enough machine for PPro.  [I know I'm preaching to the choir!]


                        - Howard