8 Replies Latest reply on Oct 15, 2012 9:40 AM by John T Smith

    Help with Hard Drives


      Hey guys,


      New here and looking for some advice.  Work for a small production house and trying to optimize our machines.  We just picked up a Seagate Barracuda 3TB drive (ST3000DM001) which I will be using for HD vehicle running footage.  I was planning to partition it but figured this might be a good time to rework some of my other partitions and hard drives.  I'll list my system info/configuration, any other help or suggetions to increase performance on my machine would be great!  I would consider myself a motion graphics designer, we mainly use AE CS6 for building graphics over footage and most projects are done in HDTV 1080 29.97 and have started to do a lot of Ray-Traced 3D graphics now as well.  Any suggestions would be great appreciated!


      MacPro4,1 2 x 2.26 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon

      20 GB 1066 MHz DDR3


      NVIDIA Quadro 4000

      NVIDIA Geforce GT 120


      Hard Drives:


      System Drive:

      WD6400AAKS (WD Blue) 640GB - Stock drive from apple, has all software and I also export final videos to this drive


      Video Drives:

      WD3000HLFS (WD VelociRaptor) 300GB - This drive has my AE projects on it along with some video elements and stills I use partitiond 100GB/200GB projects/elements respectively

      WD1001FALS (WD Black) 1TB - Current Footage Drive partitioned 500GB/300GB/200GB Running Footage/Client Footage/Misc. Used for some back up

      Maxtor 7Y250M0 (MaXLine Plus II) 250GB -  Drive from old Mac G5 it is used for backing up the raptor drive projects and sometime will be used when revising older projects

      Maxtor 6Y160M0 (DiamondMax Plus) 160GB -This is the drive that will be removed to add the 3TB, but curently is used for footage that wouldn't fit on any of the other drives since I was runnning out of room


      Im planning on moving some stuff around but most likely won't touch the System drive but if you guys suggest it i could work around it.  I have access to come TB externals to more files etc.  Just trying to make the most prodcutive/ best performance machine i can with what we have.  I'm pushing to get some more ram in the near future as well currently has 4-4GB and 4-1GB sticks...trying to get 4-8GB sticks to replave the 1GBs



      Again thanks for any help!



        • 1. Re: Help with Hard Drives
          JFPhoton Level 3

          ....wow.........hopefully Harm ,RJL, or Bill here on this forum will reply....they  can give you a more detailed answer than me. Although, they may point you to Mac users,as they are Windows guys.  Generally, as each new version of PPro or AEffects is released, more" beef" is needed from the hardware to take advantage of the new features .....some that are creative.....some that improve performance.

              For example,PPro CS5 became all 64 bit....no more 32bit. Current users are seeing better performance with a minimum of 32GB system memory for After Affects and PPro.......used to be 16GB.

              Go to PPBM5 website and test your machine with this video editing benchmark tool.....it can identify areas of concern in your system....and where to make improvements.

              I do see many, MANY, comments here on this forum....esp. for PPro....that advocate using a Windows PC instead of a Mac, because the Mac OS doesn't integrate as well with PPro, ( I wouldn't know if this is true.....read more on this forum).

                In general, many here,esp. Harm, have stated NEVER to partition any hard drive...you can find out why by searching on this forum. Additionally, memory is best installed as ALL MATCHING in identical size,( and following what is best for dual,or, triple channel configuration), and from THE SAME BATCH.

               Performance also depends on your source material......if you are editing natively, without transcoding... the highly compressed, long GOP format codecs demand high performance from the CPU. Drive speed is not as critical, unless using multiple video tracks. However, as you can see on many machines on the PPBM5 website, the best performing units have fast project drive setups,many times a RAID setup. Others are hampered by a single 7200RPM drive as the project drive. The test will reveal how your CPU is doing, how well your graphic card setup is doing, if your ram is not enough, and how your drive speed is doing. THEN, you can return here with more info to present!

          • 2. Re: Help with Hard Drives
            MattDip Level 1

            Thanks for the replay!  I'll check out the Benchmark test


            We are running on Snow Lepeard (10.6.8) and in 64bit mode, switcing to a windows machine isn't really an option, but maybe in the future.


            We really don't use PPro at all, I have been trying to switch us over to it but the company started out using FCP and eventually picked up AE and still used FCP for assembly... so we have both FCS 3 and CS6...I doubt we will ever purchase a new FCS since FCP7 does everything we need.


            As for ram...I guess it would be better to get 8 matched 4gb sticks...since thats what we did last time but split it between 2 machines...so pair up all the original 4gb sticks and put all the new ones in one machine?  To me I can't imagine 32gb in all 4gb sticks out performing 48gb or 4gb and 8gb sticks?  I was always under the assumption it just had to be matching pairs.  Seems like i need to do some more research



            Thanks for the tips, I'll repsond later with the benchmark results



            • 3. Re: Help with Hard Drives
              JFPhoton Level 3

              ....actually, I am not sure regarding your memory...I was speaking in relation to recommendations for PPro performance.

                   For After Effects, I keep hearing the more system memory, the better.....it uses it all up! In addition, I just read on the forum a comment made by Eric at ADK, ( the system builder for video editing), that GPU video memory is very important with after effects......the more, the better.

              • 4. Re: Help with Hard Drives
                MattDip Level 1

                I know once we got the Quadro 4000 (2GB VRAM) it made a big difference with Ray-Traced Render Previews...but I don't think it made a noticable difference with standard render previews

                • 5. Re: Help with Hard Drives
                  Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                  Matt, Sorry but PPBM5 is not usable on the Mac platform yet--maybe later


                  It does sound like you need to re-architect your disk system.  If your drives get over ~60% full they slow down pretty drastically.  Sounds like you need a way to readily move more old stuff to off-line storage. 


                  Using your boot drive for exports is not a good idea.  Since I am not a Mac user I do not know if this next comment holds true on OSX or not, but when drives get excessively full and you are moving large file exports off and writing new exports continuously you maybe slowing the drive down (and you can see here why your large file exports violate good practice rules on your boot drive) .  On a PC we constantly preach defragging the disk drives


                  Partitioning is generally not recommended on this forum but I have never seen any testing proof of that but it does make common sense as it has to add overhead to each disk operation. 


                  You currently have several small disks gradually replace them with larger faster disks as you are planning to do.


                  With mismatched RAM chips the computer has to use the slowest or sometrimes even a slower speed that they are rated for.  Any time you have 8 modules this maybe happening where with only 4 modules it is less likey to happen.

                  • 6. Re: Help with Hard Drives
                    John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    >Partitioning is generally not recommended on this forum but I have never seen any testing proof


                    I don't know if this is "testing proof" or not, but read http://forums.adobe.com/thread/957286

                    • 7. Re: Help with Hard Drives
                      MattDip Level 1

                      Thanks for the tips and info!  Once we get a breather from work i am going start moving stuff around...I really need to clean up some of these drives they got full rather fast and the new 3tb should help, I was thinking of putting all my footage and elements on to that drive since they take up the most, unpartition the raptor and have that as the project drive the use the drives left over as back up and export drives seems like that would make the most sense.  Im reading up on ram and partitioning so thanks for pointing me in the right direction

                      • 8. Re: Help with Hard Drives
                        John T Smith Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        >footage and elements on to that drive


                        Footage, yes


                        Elements, maybe/probably no


                        Over on the Windows side of things, I have read of people having problems if they try to install Premiere Elements to anything other than the boot drive