15 Replies Latest reply on Apr 18, 2013 7:04 AM by Dave Dugdale

    Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard

    Dave Dugdale

      Harm I gave you a shoutout in my last video, see below, I hope I pronounced your name correcly.


      I think I understand your Generic Disk Setup for Premiere Pro with 4 drives, but I was wondering if you could watch me draw this diagram to see if I have it done correclty? Thanks!


        • 1. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
          JFPhoton Level 3

          Hey Dave!!!


          ....have watched many of your videos !!!...good to see you on this forum!!   Sorry I'm not Harm!!!   I believe you can find much of the info you are looking for already stated here on this forum......although you will have to "dig" a little!!!   Although , it will be much easier if Harm replies to you...no question.... he and Bill Gehrke really know what they are talking about!!


          The speed of your media drive will impact your editing performance. Conventional 7,200 rpm HDDs will give you only 130 -150 MB/sec. tops......while a newer, single SSD that is SATA III can do 300-500MB/sec read AND write !!! However, it is recommended to use a "Marvell" controlled SSD....not "Sandforce", as the Sandforce SSDs take a hit on the write speed when writing "Incompressible data"....such as already compressed digital video files, like H264, AVCHD, etc.  You will see Harm's SSD suggestions on this forum. To achieve those speeds using conventional HDDs, you would have to use either : onboard RAID setups,or, expensive dedicated RAID card with many HDDs!!


          If you visit his PPBM 5 website, you can see the different drive setups that have produced good results on his benchmark test.


          If I was trying to use the drives and hardware you already have, I would make the 3TB drive the  " home" of your precious source material......essentially, your "backup" of this valuable material... but, not to be used during the edit process.


          For speed during editing, the OS, all programs,and static pagefile should all go on your "C" drive...a fast SATA III SSD, ( Harm has written Windows 8 needs some pagefile on the C drive.....he recommends a  not too large static page file....maybe 16GB???...on C ).


          Then "D" drive will contain only project files and COPIES of your original media , ( from the 3 TB slow drive), for editing faster. You may use your 480GB pre-existing SSD drive for that.


          Now, " E" drive can be an SSD.....( to get the speed without dealing with RAID ). This drive would contain : all previews, all cache and media cache files,  PLUS....if large enough....can be used for exports. Your exports will GO FASTER if writing to a faster drive....rather to a 7,200rpm drive. If export speed is not a concern, you can export to your 3 TB drive instead. Previews should not be used for the export process any way, they are a lower quality file. Except for export files, all the other files on this drive can be lost.....PPro will simply recreate them, if necessary.


          The main idea is to have the highest data throughput speed from each drive while making sure that any one of the drives is not reading and writing at the same time.....which would cause a slowdown. Another words, it is better to have your media streaming fast to the CPU and memory, then, it gets written to ANOTHER fast drive at the same time after processing.  All drives should be connected internally to your MOBO.....eSATA is way slower and is only a convenience to feed data to an external device......although eSATA IS way faster than USB3 !!


          Possible pitfall !!.....3930 users have reported it may be necessary to use lower voltage system RAM.....no higher than 1.35 volts....to avoid problems. Some have said installing new BIOS on motherboard corrects this. Harm has written what he recommends on his article describing the build of his monster on the PPBM website.


          Another recommendation is to overclock your CPU........will give quite a boost in performance!   DSLR footage...esp. Canon....is difficult to process natively. The big complaint is that the Canon codec is in an .MOV "wrapper" that triggers a slow, 32bit "Quirktime" process inside PPro. Of course, PPro is now 64 bit only and the "Quicktime Importer" process that is triggered may slow things down compared to other 64bit codecs. I have read that PPro version 5.03, ( which I still use), is better than the newer versions regarding this problem. Jeff Bellune,( Adobe Employee), has suggested renaming the the Canon .MOV files by changing the file extension to.mpg, to "fool" PPro into thinking it is dealing with a 64 bit codec.........after all, inside the "wrapper", the actual codec is an AVC-Intra variant. I do not know if this works....its worth a try.


          I hope this has helped and I look forward to seeing more of your helpful videos !!!!!


                                                                                                                                                                                            J.F. Photon

          • 2. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Hi Dave,


            Sorry I missed your shoutout and did not respond sooner. I enjoyed watching your video and have to thank you for spelling (and pronouncing) my name correctly. Being Dutch it is often difficult for 'foreigners' to spell my last name with double 'aa'  since that is pretty uncommon in English speaking countries.


            Even though my first name is 'Harm', I try avoid doing that and will try to help you as best I can.


            From what I saw on your video's, your main emphasis is editing DSLR material from Canon cameras, which is AVCHD material and rather taxing on your system, but not so much in bandwidth on your drive setup. Also from what you mentioned, an i7-3930K, 32 GB memory (albeit @ 1600 MHz where 2133 MHz may be better), a GTX 680/4G all look like good choices. You did not mention the PSU (power supply unit) but if I may make a suggestion, get a 1000W+ Gold or Platinum labeled PSU.


            You will want to overclock this great CPU to around 4.5 GHz, since it is unlocked and your material will greatly benefit from the higher clock speed, thus putting more emphasis on a good PSU and cooling.


            Regarding your main question, disk setup, your thoughts are very good.


            For the SSD boot disk I would look at a 120/128 or 240/256 GB Corsair Neutron GTX, Kingston HyperX, Plextor M5 Pro or Samsung 840 Pro SSD.  All of these will achieve transfer rates of around 450+ R and 400+ W in 'stable state', even better when new and unfilled.  The Samsung 840 Pro came out as one of the best in a recent test, but had the worst write speed when the disk filled up. Just so you are aware.


            As to the rest of your disk setup, let me ask a question: What is your main editing topic? Comparative video's of lenses, DSLR cameras as you showed on YouTube, or long form documentaries, or music video's or multicam shoots of dancing festivals? If your main interest is in the first, comparative tests of DSLR equipment, I would expect your editng needs are relatively simple with a few tracks, most butt-to-butt clips and that lessens the disk requirements, but if OTOH you have a lot of multicam shoots of dance festivals, that increases the disk requirements significantly.


            Please give me some lenience to answer your question more fully once I understand your editng needs.

            • 3. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
              Dave Dugdale Level 1



              Thanks for you help over the years, I appreciate what you do here on this forum!


              I do corporate videos as well as promotion pieces for local companies, as well as sharing comparision videos you have seen on my site and YT channel.


              I just starting getting into Davinci Lite for windows and that is where my current system is failing me, forcing me to upgrade to a better machine. I want to get better at color grading my footage.


              With my promotional pieces I like to do more After Effects work which I suck at, but enjoy it. Also on these videos I will use 3 DSLR's for the interview where I to use the multicam feature.


              But you are right about the editing style for the most part, it has been pretty simple, but it is starting to get more complex.


              Thanks for your help!



              @JFPhoton Thanks for your help too, I need to re-read your reply again to full understand what I need to do to my new build.

              • 4. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                Dave Dugdale Level 1



                Just on a side note, I have a nightly backup system that is very simple and has served me well over many years that I am totally happy with.


                I don't mind giving RAID a try but I don't require it for redundancy. I have never done RAID before but with my new ASUS P9X79 Pro motherboard I hear it is easy to do I think.


                Also I have additional hard drives I can put back into service if I need to.


                • One Seagate 7200RPM 320GB
                • Two Seagate 7200RPM 1TB



                • 5. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                  Harm Millaard Level 7



                  All your productions have a single thing in common, they are relatively short in duration and require a lot of detailed CC/Davinci work and similar.  Your disk setup will not likely be your bottleneck, it might be your decision making during the creative process. How much CC do I want, should I apply a bit more, or just a tiny bit less? Should that clip end 3 frames earlier to better coincide with the interview or music?


                  What I'm implicitly saying is that your disk setup is not the critical factor here and your setup, with:


                  C: SSD 240 GB, OS & programs

                  D: HDD 3 TT, Media & Project files

                  E: SSD 480 GB, exports

                  F: HDD 1 TB, media cache & previews


                  looks OK, with the following remarks: Exports are not critical in the time they take to write, the bulk of the work is the high quality encoding you require (probably often with MRQ on) so you could export those to the slower F: HDD, but the often required moving around the timeline requires a fast reaction from the media cache and previews, so I suggest you reverse the allocation of the E: and F: drives, using the E: SSD for media cache & previews. Your export files are reasonably small in size, so what is the export (writing) time in the global picture?


                  Just to be sure you understand raids, for effective raid arrays, the disks in them need to be identical. You can't mix different brands, models or sizes effectively in a single raid array.

                  There is an article I once wrote about raids that may be worthwhile to read, if you haven't done that yet: To Raid or not to Raid, that is the question...

                  • 6. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                    Dave Dugdale Level 1



                    Great stuff. Thank you very much for helping me out. I will be starting my build this weekend. I've never done one so it should be interesting.


                    As for the 'Static Page File' I assume I will be putting that on HDD drive with the exports.

                    • 7. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                      RjL190365 Level 4



                      If you are or will be running Windows 8, keep in mind that it requires a Windows page file to be located on the C: drive. Without one, that OS will not run even if you have a page file on another disk.

                      • 8. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                        Dave Dugdale Level 1

                        I will be installing Win 7 Pro, what should I do in that case for the page file?

                        • 9. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                          With Windows 7 I would put the static pagefile on the E: SSD or on the C: SSD. When installing Windows 8 you can only put it on the C: drive.

                          • 10. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                            Dave Dugdale Level 1

                            Thanks Harm,


                            When I finish my build I will publish a video about the install and add it to either this thread or a new one.

                            • 11. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard

                              Hi Dave and Harm,


                              I am setting up my first desktop build, and this post has been very helpful. I intend to have a four-drive setup, and will also be using a 240GB SSD as my C: drive.


                              I have a question: Why is your E: SSD (which Harm advises should be used for media cache and previews) a 480GB capacity drive (i.e., double the size of your C: drive SSD)? Why did you pick a 480GB SSD rather than another 240GB SSD? Do previews and media cache take up a lot of space, a lot more than OS + programs?



                              • 12. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                                Dave Dugdale Level 1



                                Perhaps I can answer your questions with a long video I just created. I think it will answer all your questions.


                                • 13. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard
                                  chopshtick Level 1

                                  Thanks Dave! I finally got my computer up and running and it is sooooo fast.

                                  • 14. Re: Shoutout and Question for Harm Millaard

                                    Hey Dave, great post! Very helpful. In the above video, you mentioned that you included all your notes for building this system on your website, but I wasn't sure where that was. Can you provide the link to the page containing the notes.