9 Replies Latest reply on May 19, 2013 7:25 AM by sharry0048

    Discussion regarding hard disk setup


      Hello all and a Merry Christmas. I am running the Adobe CS6 suite (Photoshop, Illustrator, Premiere, After Effects and Audition), Avid Media Composer 6 and Davinci Resolve Lite 9 on my system. I have been reading various hard disk setup including the one that Ham has posted. Uptil now I have been using just one hard disk for everything. I know that is bad. I never had the money. But now I do. Here is how I think it should be like and it is very similar to the 3 disk setup mentioned by Ham.


      500GB 7200 RPM for C: (OS, Programs, Pagefiles, Misc stuff like documents, etc)

      1TB 7200 RPM for D: (Media Projects and Files)

      500GB 7200 RPM for E: (Exports, Previews and Cache)


      I can't afford a raid drive because I'd want a Raid 5 and that is considerably out of my budget. I'll get one as soon as I can. Now I have a desktop. I was thinking of having the media drive to be external with a good enclosure with a heat sink and a fan. I have an eSata port, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. I'll keep the other drives internally and keep the media drive external because of the heat issues. Is this the right path or should I have all the drives internally? I do have a good and an airy casing. Its the HAF 922 with liquid cooling (Corsair H60) for the CPU. Please help me out. Thanking you guys in advance.

        • 1. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          I would use eSATA for an external, since it the fastest connection available on your desktop, but an alternative would be to use it internally and save on the housing, without any performance penalty. The HAF 922 has sufficient cooling capacity to handle the extra internal disk.

          • 2. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
            sharry0048 Level 1

            Thank you Harm. I knew it was going to be you who will chime in and solve the problem. Thank you.

            • 3. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              A significant advantage of having only internal disks is that it is not possible to loosen the connection, a risk that always is available when using externals.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
                sharry0048 Level 1

                Another thing. What do you guys think about partitioning? Like I am going to partition my C Drive. I guess I'll keep that to a 100 GB which will have the OS and the Softwares. The rest of the drive would be for Misc and pagefiles. The other drives I'll keep as it is. So it will be something like this:


                500 GB 7200 RPM - 100GB for C (OS and Programs) 400GB for D (Misc, Pagefile)

                1TB7200 RPM for E (Media Projects and Files)

                500GB 7200 RPM for F (Exports, Previews and Cache)

                • 5. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Partitioning is something from the old days when disks were extremely expensive and had limited capacity. With large capacity and cheap disks there is no argument in favor of partitioning, but there are some arguments against partitioning. It requires more overhead from the OS, because the partition table needs to be loaded by the OS and kept in memory. The next disadvantage is that it causes a lot of wear and tear on your disks, because the heads need to move to the beginning of the disk for writing the FAT and  moving out to the second partition to write a file there and that is a slower part of your disk. So the heads move much farther taking more time, writing on the second partition is slower, the OS has more overhead, more memory is used and there are no gains.


                  For comparison, I have a single 18 TB volume and do not use partitions, because there are no benefits, only downsides.


                  In your case it may make sense (budget allowing) to get a 128 GB SSD for OS & programs and use your 2 x 500 GB disks in a raid0 for media cache and previews.

                  1 person found this helpful
                  • 6. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
                    sharry0048 Level 1

                    Ok. Im sorry Harm that I misspelled your name in my post above. Secondly, I know that 4 months have passed by this post. I did not updgrade my hard disks as for the past 4 months I was involed in field work, specifically as an AD. I didnt have the time nor the need at the time to upgrade the HDDs. I wasnt doing an editing or work. But now, that the production has finished and I am free and looking in doing more freelance gigs I am looking to upgrade the storage of my system. There are things that are not mentioned in my previous post and things have slightly changed over the months.


                    I currently have a WD Black Caviar 1 TB hard disk which I was using as my main disk. It had everything on it and like I said, I know that is not good. My portable HDD which was a 500GB (which had backups while I was doing projects) failed. It gives the "tick tick" sound meaning the heads are gone. The data is safe. So my main thing is have an adequete hard disk setup which does not bottleneck and is backed up and is safe. I am fairly techie but somethings are new to me. Specifically, RAID.


                    Now, I have two options. One option is to get:


                    - Segate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB cache for OS and Programs. This will also have the pagefiles. I have been trying to find a 320GB as that would be enough but there is no 320GB 7200 RPM 64MB cache. Is this better or WD Blue Caviar is better. I know the Black Caviar is better but should I spend that much money on an OS drive?

                    - WD Black Caviar 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB cache for Media Projects and Files. This is the drive I currently have up and running. Can I have my screenplays, Music and a few other documents on this?

                    - Segate Barracuda 500GB 7200 RPM 64MB cache for Exports, Previews and Cache. Please explain me how this would speed up the data rate if this is placed on a different hard disk than the media disk. If this has been discussed please guide to the post.

                    - 500 GB portable HDD for back up.


                    The other option is quite similar but in that I make my 1TB drive external and make it a back up solution and buy a WD Black Caviar 500GB 7200RPM 64MB cache as the media disk. The rest remains the same. Please help me.

                    • 7. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
                      sharry0048 Level 1

                      Anyone? Please?

                      • 8. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Imagine a very popular nightclub, that opens at 10 PM and long rows of people are waiting to come in.


                        If that nightclub only has a single door that can be used by single person only at one time, used for both entry and exit, you can imagine the waiting for people outside can be long or people inside waiting to exit. The first thing to do is make another door, one for entry only and one for exit only. That reduces the queues. The next thing to do is create multiple doors, let's say two on the North side, one for entry and one for exit, plus two doors on the South side, again one for entry and one for exit.


                        I imagine you get the drift. Well, each door is like a physical SATA connection, traffic can only go in one direction at a time and the people or data on eather side of the door or SATA connection have to wait. That is a simple reason why more disks are better for the multitude of tasks that need to be performed during editing. The more doors or SATA connections, the less waiting there is and the more enjoyable it is.


                        The C: drive for OS & programs and pagefile is mostly used for reading and housekeeping, the staff only entrance.


                        Other drive(s) or doors are used for projects, media, media cache, previews and exports. The slower the drive, the narrower the door, the faster the disk, the wider the door. How to organize access to the drives depends on your editing style and material, just like the number of doors in the nightclub depend on the number of visitors and their visiting patterns.


                        If you do smallish projects with rather easy codecs and limited or no multicam editing, the system requirements are not very hard, but if you do large and complex projects with difficult codecs and lost of multicam editing, you need a much sturdier system. A small nightclub out in the country requires less doors than a huge nightclub in a big city that caters to movie stars, celebrities and other VIP's, especially if they use the latest and greatest in presentation technology (of course with corresponding prices).


                        I keep coming back to this nightclub, because I think the analogy works quite well to explain that there is not one answer that suites all needs. Basically it boils down to available budget and the circumstances you are in.  Now, with a 500 GB disk available, I assume your system is not the latest. I would keep it simple, forget a SSD for the moment as a boot disk, it may be overkill in your current system, and get as many 1+ TB Seagate 7200.14 or WD Caviar Blacks as your budget allows (up to 5). When you buy a new system in the future, you can take these disks along to the new system.

                        • 9. Re: Discussion regarding hard disk setup
                          sharry0048 Level 1

                          Mr. Millard you're my hero. The nightclub analogy made it seem like grade 1 stuff. Thank you for your time and energies.


                          I have a moderate budget. The problem is that my back up drive failed on me. So I also need to consider that in the budget. No I am not doing any multicams. Cant say about codecs. Raw only in short form like tvc. I akways transcode to DNxHD. I am always doing offline online edits. I dont want ti add ssd in the budget. If anything id make the media disk faster but not on the expense of data failure. I currently have the WD Black Caviar. For Os i guess 500gb is good. For cache and previews 500gb sounds good too. My current 1tb hdd can serve as media. I should get 1tb for backup. This will be external. For my personal stuff like screenplays, tutorials, films and documentaries which hdd should I use? I am thinking of the cache drive.