10 Replies Latest reply on Feb 18, 2013 9:47 AM by Jon Grimson

    Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users

    chadandreo Level 1

      After doing a ton of research, I came across THIS guidline for different scratch disk setups but I am still not sure what would be the best setup for me.

       

      Here is what I am working with for my Current Projects Work Station

      2011 i7 Macbook Pro with SSD as my main drive and 750GB 5400rpm HD in the optical bay.

      OWC Elite Mini and Dual Mini in Raid0 for Media Storage. Both 7200rpm Drives

       

      Currently I have my scratch disk set to the following:

      SSD: Startup drive, OS, Programs, Project Files and Exports

      750GB HD: Partitioned - 250GB to Backup SSD and 500GB for Photo storage and PP Scratch Disk Video, Audio and Previews

      OWC Minis: Media Storage for Current Projects

       

       

      My question is, what can I do to optimize my premiere pro settings?

      Should I move my scratch disk to my external HD since its a faster drive?

        • 1. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Initial reactions:

           

          Change the 750 G 5400 RPM disk for a 750 G Seagate Momentus 7200 RPM disk and don't partition it.

           

          The OWC drives in raid0, how are they connected? Over eSATA is OK, over USB2 or FW is not good.

          This answer will influence my advise about scratch disks.

          • 2. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
            chadandreo Level 1

            Thank You very much for the fast reply.

            It will be over FW800. Unfortunately the 2011 MBP only has FW800, thunderbolt and USB ports. They also removed the express card slot which would of allowed me to use e-sata.

            Also, I am assuming youd are recommending the momentus over the WD Black? I always the Black was better for editing.

            • 3. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              I overlooked the fact that you 750 G drive is in the optical bay, so it is 3.5". In that case I would suggest to also look at the Seagate 7200.14 disk over the WD Black. It is even faster, but has a severely limited warranty period of only one year.

               

              Your OWC raid0 drive is hampered by the FW800 connection and is no faster than the internal SATA disk, in fact is will be at least 50% slower. From that perspective and without knowing your editing style, it may make sense to setup your disks like this:

               

              C: SSD, OS & programs & static pagefile (beware that a SSD has a limited lifetime for writes)

              D: 750+ G SATA 3.5" HDD, media & projects

              E: OWC raid0, media cache & previews

               

              That leaves the question of where to put your exports? If you have a good backup plan, you can use the raid0 for that, but if that is lacking, my preference would be the D: drive, even though it is suboptimal from a performance perspective, but you don't want to lose the final results, right?

              • 4. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                chadandreo Level 1

                I didnt realize that FW800 was that significant of a bottleneck. Thats great information to know. Im now starting to see the need to build an actual desktop PC/MAC. 

                I have a decent back up plan in which I am currently in the process of improving. I try to have 3 copies of everything(originals and 2 backups). I use CCC to backup my project files hourly and everything else is backed up daily. I also use Crash Plan for my offsite backup. Currently, I export to the SSD.

                From what I can tell, my MBP is only compatible with 2.5" Serial-ATA and IDE/ATA HDs. LINK

                Currently I shoot mostly weddings using multiple DSLRs, but I will be starting up a documentary project in the next few weeks. Each wedding uses up about 70-130GBs of media data and the final product is usually between 15-30 minutes. Here is a LINK to a sample of my work if you are interested.

                • 5. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                  JFPhoton Level 3

                  ...HOLD ON for a minute!!....did you say your 2011 Macbook Pro HAS the Thunderbolt port?? That changes everything.  The Thunderbolt interface provides a very fast external connection. Go to Storage Review.com....they have already reviewed Thunderbolt external drives....esp. one that has two SSDs RAIDED together.....over 330MB/sec. read and write!!  Check it out!!!

                  • 6. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                    chadandreo Level 1

                    I am familiar with those HD, but they are a little pricey.

                    I have a few GoFlex HDs in which I plan on getting the thunderbolt adapter for. 

                    Also, I will probably end up getting a promise pegasus raid system in the near future.

                    • 7. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                      JFPhoton Level 3

                      ...be aware that the  onboard controller card in some of those devices are not that good, and can keep your drive speed down. Look and see if whatever you are interested in has been reviewed at storagereview.com,or, similar hardware review sites that specifically use "incompressible" data, ( i.e.  compressed digital video files, like from your camera).  If you can find a tested Thunderbolt external drive solution that provides over 200/MB per second,read AND write, you should have an improved setup! I'm sure a compact Thunderbolt  enclosure will soon show up that is not too expensive and that is fast. Another option is to carefully watch the SSDs out there. Recently, I found a 512GB Crucial M4 for only $339 at New Egg and they just released the new firmware for it. It has the Marvell,( not Sandforce) controller which supposedly handles the "incompressible" data well, without slowing down on the write speed like the Sandforce supposedly does. I have not tested it yet,but, my 2 year old Corsair F120 SSDs have not given me any trouble,or, slowed down yet.  Two spinning HDDs in a RAID may be more at risk for losing data than a new SSD...esp. in a portable environment.  The drive speed,where your media files are coming from, is very important for smooth editing,( once you have gotten a fast CPU, plenty of memory, and a good graphics card).....definitely no 5400 rpm drives in the mix...that's a syrupy-slow molasses drag on everything!!

                      • 8. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                        chadandreo Level 1

                        Thank You. I will look into getting a reasonably priced TB HD.

                        Until then, considering my limited options with my 2011 MBP, is this potential setup below my best option? I came up with this setup using Millaard's Chart and THIS video.

                         

                        Drives

                        A. SSD 256GB: OS, Programs/Applications and Cache

                         

                        B. HDD 750GB 7200rpm: Scratch Disk Previews Video and Audio

                         

                        C. External Firewire HD Raid0 1.5TB: Media Files, Project Files(I'd prefer to have these on an internal HD) and Scratch Disk Captured Video and Audio

                        • 9. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                          JFPhoton Level 3

                          ....you said you have the thunderbolt port....THAT IS THE PORT TO USE!!   So : ssd has OS,programs, and pagefile.Raid has cache and previews

                          . Thunderbolt drive for media....you need the speed provided by thunderbolt. Firewire is too slow!! If you do that, all three of your drive setups will be fast and improve your editing speed!  Esp. if you use a fast, large Ssd, like the crucial m4,or, even a fast3.5 inch single drive in an enclosure for 135 MB per second...ssd or raid would be over 200 MB per second on thunderbolt...equaling the speed of both your internals.

                          • 10. Re: Optimal Scratch Disk Setting for Notebook/Macbook Pro Users
                            Jon Grimson

                            I have a very similar setup but am using a couple pieces of new gear. Wondering if Harm or any of the rest of you have any advice.

                             

                            2011 i7 Macbook Pro with 500GB SSD as my main drive and 750GB 5400rpm HD in the optical bay. The SSD is a new

                            Samsung Electronics 840 Pro Series 2.5-Inch 512 SATA_6_0_gb Solid State Drive MZ-7PD512BW

                            • 4th-generation 3-Core Samsung MDX Controller  ensures sustained performance under the most punishing conditions
                            • Backed by an industry-leading five-year limited warranty

                             

                            I have various LaCie drives that contain projects, media, exports connected via LaCie Tbolt esata adapter. So these are drives I've had for years that are now running at 3G esata speeds.

                             

                            I'm not using the 2nd internal drive for anything since it is 5400rpm. I just use it for backups, photo, music storage.

                             

                            So I ususally work small projects with the projects, media, exports, renders all pointing back to the esata connected external LaCies.

                             

                            Should I point media cache to the 500GB SSD my internal c drive? The answer to this is still confusing since I've read many conflicting posts in various places.

                             

                            Any other suggestions for now with this setup? (External Tbolt connected raid not yet in my budget.)