16 Replies Latest reply on Dec 4, 2012 3:44 PM by Alex - DV411

    What Size Drive for Media Cache?

    barker85 Level 1

      Hi there,

       

      I'm about to edit a large project (5TB of 4K RED footage and counting) on a laptop and am intending to use the setup below for disks. Ideally I would have gone for a "4 disk" setup, but I've maxed out my eSATA connections and would have to use USB for anything else. If coincidentally you can see any problems with this configuration please let me know!

       

      Disk Setup

      1. C Drive 750GB (OS, Programs)
      2. 3x 2TB Drives in eSATA docking stations (Media, Projects)
      3. Second internal hard disk (Previews, Media Cache, Exports)

       

      I'm intending to install a second hard drive in my laptop to use for the  Media Cache. What size/speed drive should be used for this purpose?

       

      Thanks!

        • 1. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
          Jim_Simon Level 9
          I'm about to edit a large project (5TB of 4K RED footage and counting) on a laptop

           

          Dude, you are c-r-a-z-y!  I do not envy you that task.

          • 2. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
            barker85 Level 1

            Well I needed a field laptop and couldn't afford a new desktop on top of that. Haven't had any problems at all so far - perhaps I'm overlooking something?

            • 3. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
              Alex - DV411 Level 2

              barker85 wrote:

               

              Well I needed a field laptop and couldn't afford a new desktop on top of that. Haven't had any problems at all so far - perhaps I'm overlooking something?

              Perhaps only that the predominant holy grail on this forum is achieving a high PPBM score, not necessarily edit 4K.

               

              I've worked with 2K and 4K files on very slow machines, and I am not an editor - a systems integrator.  It's being done.

               

              Personally, I wouldn't dedicate a disk or a volume to media cache and DB - I believe that money is better spent on the main media volume's speed and capacity.  People who have done it on modern (not old) systems haven't reported much of a performance boost.  But if you find otherwise, I'd love to hear about it.

               

              In your case, since you don't seem to plan to have a relatively fast main media volume (e.g. an eSATA RAID0), a separate drive for media caching and database may have a performance benefit.  The size of it depends on the size of your projects, how complex your project and timelines are, how much rendering they require.  Usually even a small disk (under 100GB) will do just fine for the purpose; the current "sweet spot" is around 256GB SSD and 500-750GB 7200rpm mechanical drive.

              • 4. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                barker85 Level 1

                Thanks very much Alex - please can you tell me why RAID0 would be faster for the main media than separate eSATA docking stations?

                • 5. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                  Jeff Bellune Level 5

                  [moved to hardware forum]

                  • 6. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                    Alex - DV411 Level 2

                    Thanks very much Alex - please can you tell me why RAID0 would be faster for the main media than separate eSATA docking stations?

                    Just to be sure I understand: you're asking why RAID0 is faster than a single drive?  Or, if separate eSATA drives (in docking stations) can be set in RAID0?

                     

                    RAID0, given the right RAID brain and connectivity, is always faster than a single drive, usually by a factor of N where N is the number of drives.

                     

                    Windows, if it recognizes eSATA drives as removable, will not let you set them up in RAID0 - but that's easy to circumvent, so yes, you can set up separate eSATA drives in RAID0.

                    • 7. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                      barker85 Level 1

                      Thanks for the clarification (I was actually asking about the former).

                       

                      Do you think then that the 3x speed difference in RAID will be highly noticeable or would separate drives be adequately fast? If possible I would like to avoid RAID0 due to the risks but could go that route if the performance will improve substantially.

                      • 8. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                        ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                        This really depends on your editing style. A single drive will handle 1 to 2 streams of R3D. However your export options would be limited to standard Compressed HD codecs. If you require uncompressed format types like DPX then you would require an SSD drive to export to. If you require editing with more than 2 streams then you will either have to break the media into seperate drives or change to a raid 0 even if it's with Dynamic Disk. Normally for this type of setup, I would suggest the route most compositers take now and go with SSD drives for media and another for export.

                         

                        Eric

                        ADK

                        • 9. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                          Alex - DV411 Level 2

                          A single drive will handle 1 to 2 streams of R3D.

                           

                          Eric

                          ADK

                          At 130MB/s each?  Bitrates vary wildly, but they do go up to 150MB/s from that I've seen, possibly higher.

                          • 10. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                            Alex - DV411 Level 2

                            Do you think then that the 3x speed difference in RAID will be highly noticeable or would separate drives be adequately fast? If possible I would like to avoid RAID0 due to the risks but could go that route if the performance will improve substantially.

                            Yes, noticeable if your 4K datarates are anything over 80MB/s and especially 150MB/s.  Like Eric said, a single mechanical drive will handle one 80MB/s stream for the most of its surface but not all of it.

                             

                            Yes RAID0 increases risks vs. a single drive; possibly a small RAID5 box will work for you?  The one I use (and there are many similar ones) is CineRAID H458 with four 3TB enterprise class drives (HGST 7K3000), and it's around $1700 for 9TB of usable space.  Read rates around 200MB/s.  Takes one eSATA or USB 3.0 connection. USB 2.0 won't work, obviously.  If you are maxed out in eSATA ports, you'd have to free one up.

                            • 11. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                              Where are you getting 130MB/s for R3D 4K files? I have 4.5K R3D here and can play my 3 layer project on a single drive. It may skip a few frames here and there but most of the time it plays. I can also watch the HDD bandwidth usage during playback and it rarely pushes over 75MB/s and that's with 3 Layers of R3D at 4.5K.

                               

                              Eric

                              ADK

                              • 12. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                                Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                Where are you getting 130MB/s for R3D 4K files?

                                Did you see the link?

                                • 13. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                                  Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                  Yes RAID0 increases risks vs. a single drive; possibly a small RAID5 box will work for you?  The one I use (and there are many similar ones) is CineRAID H458 with four 3TB enterprise class drives (HGST 7K3000), and it's around $1700 for 9TB of usable space.  Read rates around 200MB/s.  Takes one eSATA or USB 3.0 connection. USB 2.0 won't work, obviously.  If you are maxed out in eSATA ports, you'd have to free one up.

                                  Just FYI, using "desktop class" 3TB HGST 7K3000 drives bring the price closer to $1K.

                                  • 14. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                                    Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                    Where are you getting 130MB/s for R3D 4K files?

                                    Looks like I was wrong on that - the codec on those files is Photo JPEG (in QT wrapper), not Red Raw R3D, even though they came to me as "Red Media assets".  The R3D files I have that show the right codec info, are much narrower in bandwidth.

                                    • 15. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                                      ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                      Yes but the Doc errors for me. However Unless your running 48 Frames I don't see how the bit rate is higher than 24 Frame 4.5K and that is definitely lower then 130MB/s.

                                       

                                      Eric

                                      ADK

                                      • 16. Re: What Size Drive for Media Cache?
                                        Alex - DV411 Level 2

                                        Barker: Eric's input makes it feasible to use single external eSATA drives for Red Raw R3D 4K files, never mind my RAID0/5 recommendations.