10 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2012 1:03 AM by ash.s

    Disk setup dilemma. HELP!

    ash.s

      Hello there,


      Currently, I have 3 x 2TB HDD, 1 x 1TB HDD in my Mac Pro and here is my disk setup :

       

      1 x 1TB 7200rpm HDD = OS and Applications

      3 x 2TB HDD 7200rpm (RAID 0) = Everything else (Media, Projects, Exports, Previews, Media Cache)

       

      From what I've heard and read, it is better to dedicated drives for certain files.

       

      I'm planning to buy a 512gb SSD for my OS and applications (going to put this SSD in my 2nd optical drive's free bay). So I wonder which disk setup is the best for doing intensive editing in Premiere Pro and animations + effects in After Effects (currently using CS5.5 but planning to upgrade to CS6).

       

      Here is my 2 setup that I have in mind :

       

      Setup 1

       

      1 x 512gb SSD = OS and Applications

      3 x 2TB HDD (RAID 0) = Media, Projects, Previews, Exports

      1 x 1TB HDD = Media Cache

       

      Setup 2

       

      1 x 1TB HDD = OS and Applications

      3 x 2TB HDD (RAID 0) = Media, Projects, Previews, Exports

      1 x 512gb (or 256gb) SSD = Media Cache


      Setup 3

       

      1 x 512gb SSD = OS and Applications

      2 x 2TB HDD (RAID 0) = Media, Projects

      1 x 2TB HDD = Previews, Exports

      1 x 1TB HDD = Media Cache

       

      Setup 4

       

      1 x 1TB HDD = OS and Applications

      2 x 2TB HDD (RAID 0) = Media, Projects

      1 x 2TB HDD = Previews, Exports

      1 x 512gb (or 256gb) SSD = Media Cache

       

      Some say that I should also have a dedicated drive for exports as well. But if I use 1 drive for both exports and previews, it's still okay in terms of the read/write workflow isn't it?

       

      So, which setup is the best for performance for editing and rendering in Premiere Pro and After Effects? Or if you have other suggestions, please do tell me as well. Please do help me because I'm starting a new project soon and need to set everything as soon as possible. Many thanks!

       

      *NOTE : I have a 4TB external HDD for backups*

       

      Regards,

      Ash

        • 1. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
          Jim_Simon Level 9

          None of the Above.

           

          SSD - OS and Programs

          1TB - Projects

          2TB - Media

          2TB - Scratch/Cache

          2TB - Exports

          • 2. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
            ash.s Level 1

            Hey Jim,

             

            Thanks for your reply. In the other forum that I've post about this disk setup, they seems like to have other suggestions. It's not that I'm saying the setup that you gave is wrong and I do think your setup is great as well because they have dedicated drive for each task but I want to wait for other people's suggestions as well before deciding which is the best setup for me. Anyway, do you think RAID 0 will give me more performance and does the Scratch/Cache in the setup that you gave means Previews as well? Many thanks.

             

            Kind regards,

            Ash

            • 3. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
              JEShort01 Level 4

              Ash,

               

              You state neither your processor(s) type or RAM here, however it is pretty likely that with the aresanal of drives that you have you will not bee too bottlenecked in the drive area. And too, various tweaks to how you configure your drives will probably not make that measurable of a difference. Certainly putting more drive power in the areas that you want to perform best could also be considered a personal choice in a sense. If you rarely export, don't put much in that area. If you export frequently, assign more / faster drive(s) to that task.

               

              That being said, here's how I would start out if I were mounting your drives in a PC, assuming that your big SSD has decent write performance (at least 200 MB/s):

               

              SSD - OS, programs, media cache, media cache DB

              1TB - exports

              3x2TB RAID 0 - everything else

               

              I've got to qualify too that I have no clue how Apple deals with RAM and disk caching, but Windows 7/8 does a pretty good job of using spare RAM (not tied up by programs) for disk caching so that RAID 0 arrays can multi-task pretty well on simultaneous reads and writes. And, when you are doing big reads, RAID 0 really does provide quite a bit more kick than single rotating drives, even 7200 rpm models.

               

              Regards,

               

              Jim

              • 4. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                ash.s Level 1

                Hi Jim,

                 

                Sorry for the lack of information. Anyway, here is my computer's setup :

                 

                MacPro 5,1 (Mid 2010)

                 

                2 x 2.4 Ghz Quad-Core Intel Xeon

                32GB 1066 MHz DDR3

                ATI Radeon HD 5770 1024 MB graphics (will change to Nvidia GTX570 2.5GB soon)

                1 x 1TB 7200rpm HDD - OS and Applications

                3 x 2TB 7200rpm HDD (RAID 0) - Everything else

                1 x 512gb SSD (haven't bought yet)

                1 x 4TB HDD = Backups

                 

                Anyway, my current setup isn't that bad or too slow. But I just want to speed things up more especially for rendering (exports). So, maybe use bigger drive (2TB) for the exports? I also don't mind using 1TB HDD for my OS and applications because SSD will only boost up OS and applications boot time isn't it? Please do correct me if I'm wrong. Thanks.

                 

                Regards,

                Ash

                • 5. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                  JEShort01 Level 4

                  Ash,

                   

                  Again, I don't know Mac's, but I would expect that you are CPU bound on your exports and that disk tweaks will not bring your system to a new level.

                   

                  You have 8 cores of 2.4GHz and I'm running 12 cores at almost twice that clock speed and when I tested with 4 7200 drives (additional to the OS drive) my CPUs generally seem to be the most limiting factor.

                   

                  Does Apple have a cpu monitoring tool to confirm this? In the Windows world calling up Task manager allows for cpus and hyperthreads to be monitored. And, if all cores and hyperthreads are over 90% it is a good sign that you are CPU bound and that your drives are not the limiting factor for what you are doing.

                   

                  Regarding the pretty expensive purchase you are considering, the 512GB SSD, you may be best to put that budget and what you were going to spend on the GTX 570 towards a i7-3930 PC build.

                   

                  If you are really bent on sticking with your current Mac, maybe a cpu upgrade in addition to the GTX 570 upgrade might also be an option?

                   

                  Regards,

                   

                  Jim

                  • 6. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                    Jim_Simon Level 9

                    do you think RAID 0 will give me more performance

                     

                    I generally think RAID 0 is a bad idea.  Yes, you do get more speed out of them, but unless you're working with Uncompressed, RED or Arri media, you won't really need it.  A single modern drive is more than fast enough with compressed HD media.  So my view is that it's better to avoid the additional risks of RAID 0.  And even when you do have those high bitrate media types listed above, I feel a RAID 3 is the preferable way to go.

                     

                    But, that is just my opinion.  Others will likely have a different view.

                     

                    (And yes, Previews is included under Scratch)

                    • 7. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                      ash.s Level 1

                      Jim,

                       

                      Well, I've tested rendering a sequence of my previous project and monitored the cores activities. I don't know that much about this Activity Monitor but it seems like the cores and hyperthreads are not over than 70 - 75%. As you can see on the scrren shot below,  User = 68.40%, System = 4.17% and Idle = 27.43%. I don't know how to read this but I guess adding up the User and System will give me the cores and hyperthreads read?

                       

                      Screen Shot 2012-12-21 at 17.23.10.png

                      I do have a plan to upgrade my cpu but maybe need to wait longer because currently don't have the budget. So, that's why I want to upgrade the SSD and the GTX570. The reason I want to change to GTX570 is to use the CUDA cores.

                      Anyway, let say if I want to stick with my current Mac but want to upgrade my cpu from 8 to 12 cores. Which is the best and fastest cpu should I get? Give me suggestions based on 1, money is not a problem and 2, money is a problem. Many thanks.

                       

                      Regards,

                      Ash

                      • 8. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                        ash.s Level 1

                        Well, for now, I guess I'm going to stick with RAID 0 but will definitely add a hardware raid controller in the future. Many thanks for your suggestion.

                         

                        Regards,

                        Ash

                        • 9. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                          JEShort01 Level 4

                          Ash,

                           

                          Here's just one thread from this forum that relates to upgrading cpu and more for your 2010 Mac Pro:

                           

                          http://forums.adobe.com/message/4108995

                           

                          Do some searching and I'm sure you can uncover lots more. Jason Van Patten and Wonderspark both seem to be in the know regarding upgrading Macs with third party parts.

                           

                          Good luck!

                           

                          Jim

                          • 10. Re: Disk setup dilemma. HELP!
                            ash.s Level 1

                            Thanks Jim! This is really helpful! Will definitely do more research about this.

                             

                            Regards,

                            Ash