25 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2013 1:59 PM by Harm Millaard

    Feedback for New SSD System

    John Ratard Level 1

      I have been editing since 1998 with mediocre systems.  It is time to get serious because the time spent in rendering has not been motivating.  Ranging from around 3 hours then to 20 minutes now for a 1 hour avi file is not bad, but I should be able to do better with 22nm, 3D, and SSD technology.  I would appreciate feedback from a practical working perspective.  Here is a proposal for a custom system:


      Mobo:             ASUS P8Z77-V PRO

      CPU:                Intel i7 3770K

      RAM:               DDR3 1600 4 x 8G

      SSD:                 4 x Intel 240 SSDSC2CW240A3K5

      Video Card:    Sapphire HD 7750 OC 1GB DDR5 128 bit PCI

      Cost:                $2280 + tax


      The cost for SSD looks reasonable now.  However, I have always used HDs and I do not have experience with SSDs.  My existing system uses 4 1TB drives, the largest space used in  the video source 1TB HD is about 550GB.  However, this includes several videos that do not all have to be kept here at the same time.


      Is the choice of SSD a good choice at this time versus RAID HDs or a combination e.g. 1 SSD for program files and 3 HD RAID pairs for the remaining?

      Is the arrangement of the 4 SSD drives (#1 for Programs, #2 for project and source video, #3 for audio, and #4 for rendered video) a good arrangement for speed?

      With the choice of 120 SSD for about $500 less or 480 SSD for about $1000 more, what should I be using for a working SSD size with avi files up to 70 GB? 

      If I choose an SSD size, is it expandable if I find I need more space?            

        • 1. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Several remarks on this proposed build:


          SSD:             4 x Intel 240 SSDSC2CW240A3K5


          Intel SSD's, while reliable are not very fast and suffer from significant stable state write deterioration due to the Sandforce controller. If you want to use SSD's then consider models like Corsair Neutron GTX, Kingston HyperX, Plextor M5 Pro or Samsung 840 Pro. However, we have not yet seen any benefit in terms of performance from using SSD's instead of HDD's. See PPBM5 Benchmark. Pairs of conventional HDD's in raid0 are almost equally fast as an Intel SSD and give you way more space for a better price. Notice that of all CS6 systems, the only one among the first 33 systems  without a raid comes in at rank #29,  and he uses SSD's only. That system barely meets the Q3 range.


          Video Card:Sapphire HD 7750 OC 1GB DDR5 128 bit PCI


          This is a bad choice, because it does not support hardware accelerated MPE. You really want a nVidia GeForce GTX 660 or better to benefit from accelerated MPE, which is around a factor 12 to 15 faster than any AMD card.


          For the rest it looks good.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
            John Ratard Level 1

            Thanks for your always appreciated feedback.  It will use 4 pairs of 1TB HDs in RAID configuration that should come within a sytem price around $2000 and invest extra for an nvidia GeForce GTX 660 for accelerated MPE.


            I have a concern regarding a few reports on the higher failure rate of present HDs as compared to previous years.  Is this correct, and if so which HD type do you recommend?

            • 3. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
              John Ratard Level 1

              I have more feedback from my custom system technician as follows:


              In view of the increased speed of IO access to HDs with new motherboards, and not related usb3, is the extra speed using RAID HDs significant?


              The motherboard can only take 6 HDs so 4 pairs of RAID HDs cannot be used.  Possible is the following:


              If RAID is significant in performance then perhaps using two 240 SSDs (Kingston HyperX), one for the C drive containing programs, and the other for the drive containing audio files since these are not large files.  The other 2 drives would be RAID drives (4 1TB HDs), one for project and video source files, the other for rendered video files since these files are large.  The motherboard can accommodate this.


              My custom system technician and I are interested in the increase in performance that can be expected for RAID drives with present motherboards and HDs that would be faster than 4 single 1TB HDs instead of the above.  From his present perspective, the RAID process is only 5% to 10% faster.  I expect the IO benefit would be increased with several RAID HDs operating together.  The RAID process may have significantly improved with the new systems.

              • 4. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                What is the impact of raiding disks? It is all about sustained tranfer rates, and while testing a new timeline for PPBM6, Bill and I found these rather impressive differences in performance:


                • Bill tested on his i7-2600K with 32 GB memory, a single OCZ Vertex4 SSD for OS and a second SSD for the rest, shown as BillG i7-2600K, SSD
                • Bill repeated the test, but now with the OCZ Vertex4 SSD for OS and one elderly Seagate 7200.12 HDD, shown as BillG i7-2600K, HDD
                • Bill also tested on his overclocked i7-980 (4.4 GHZ) with a separate boot disk and 8 x raid0 SCSI 15K RPM drives, BillG i7-980X
                • Finally I tested on my system (see Reflections) and came up with the results shown as Harm i7-3939K


                It boils down to exporting a 3 hour DV AVI timeline to disk, 37,092 MB of data. In one case it takes 22 seconds, in another it takes 363 seconds. These figures do not seem like much difference, I mean what is a 6 minute export  on a 3 hour timeline? But if you can do it around 16.5 times faster and you have to do a lot of exporting, it can add up.



                • 5. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                  John Ratard Level 1

                  That certainly is impressive.  My problem now is how to get a large number of hard drives, say 8 for a 4 RAID system, in a Coolmaster 690 with 720W supply including controllers and the faster connections required using an ASUS P8Z77-V PRO motherboard.  Clearly, this will not do the job.  I could use a 240 SSD for the C drive to reduce the number of HDs to 6.


                  So instead of SSDs and 4 single HDs, what motherboard and case do I need for 6 or 8 HDs and controllers?

                  • 6. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                    El_Plates Level 1

                    The Kingston HyperX you listed also has a Sandforce controller. Is it however; done differently to the Intel's Sandforce controller ?


                    This interests me because I wish to avoid any SSD's that deteriorate rapidly, in terms of write speeds. Read speeds too, for that matter.


                    To test what you've said about write speed deteriation- I tested a 60GB 520 series SSD by doing frequent writes to it with the preview features which After Effects CS6 introduced. Write speed performance deteriorated significantly, and quicker than I thought they would (3 months testing).

                    In other words, I believe you're correct about write speed deterioration with Intel SSDs.

                    • 7. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      @El_Plates: This is a very informative site about SSD's http://www.hardocp.com/reviews/ssd_storage/



                      The PSU will not likely be a problem, since each disk takes around 3.5W idle and less than 9W under load. The problems are twofold:


                      1. The limited number of SATA connections on the mobo, and
                      2. The limited physical space in the case.


                      1. can be solved by getting a dedicated raid controller, pretty costly and the consequence is that your video card will no longer run as PCIe-16x but as PCIe-8x, which means a penalty of around 10-15% in performance, due to the limitations of 1155 platforms.


                      2. can be solved by going for a big tower.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                        JEShort01 Level 4

                        2. can be solved by going for a big tower... or, by adding a 5 drive hot-swap cage that fits into 3 drive bays (of the CM 690)


                        I chose the model from Supermicro and changed the included server-style fan with a slower, much quieter fan from Noctua.



                        1 person found this helpful
                        • 9. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                          John Ratard Level 1

                          It appears that I am facing a choice between faster speed and limitations of the SATA connections.  My custom system assembler tells me that as well as the connections, not all the available SATA ones run at the same speed since 2 are faster and the rest are slower.


                          From your experience, what would be your compromise?


                          If I need to choose an 240 SSD for the C drive in view of space and connections, it appears from feedback #6 that the Kingston HyperX also uses Intel's Sandforce controller.  What would be your choice?

                          • 10. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            The Samsub 840 PRO is the best that I have seen and tested

                            • 11. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                              John Ratard Level 1

                              Thank you again for your experienced help.  After considering all the inputs from yourself, Bill, El_Plates, JEShort, and the custom system assembler, I have the following compromise for what I hope will be a fast system:


                              ASUS P8Z77-V PRO MOTHERBOARD

                              INTEL I7 3770K CPU

                              DDR3 1600 32G MEMORY KINGSTON

                              2X 256G SAMSUNG 840 PRO SSD

                              4XWD VELOCIRAPTOR  WD1000DHTZ

                              COOLERMASTER 690 CASE WITH 720W POWER

                              NVIDIA GT660 2G VIDEOCARD


                              HIGH POINT R640L CONTROLLOR CARD  $2989+TAX


                              I considered the suggestion from the assembler that the new motherboards with HDs would provide the speed with single HDs.  My conclusion was on a relative scale.  If RAID HDs were faster in the Forum tests, then RAID HDs with faster components would be even faster.  So the 4 WD HDs will be 2 RAID 0 drives.  The space problem would have meant a larger server case, so I compromised with 2 Samsung 840 for the C drive and the Audio drive since the general files used in these drives are much smaller than video files.  The 2 RAID drives will contain the video files that need lots of space.  In this case 4 1TB drives provide approximately 2 RAID 2TB drives.  An extra controller card provides a higher transfer rate for all the HDs.  I do not know whether the faster rate comes partly from the motherboard and partly from the controller card or totally from the controller card.


                              I imagine my logic makes sense and the system looks good, but working together may not be.  Do you have any suggestions for improvements in components or arrangement?

                              • 12. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                Harm Millaard Level 7

                                You do realize that without the raid controller, your video card will run at PCIe-16X speed, but when adding the raid controller to this motherboard, it will only run at PCIe-8x and reduce performance by around 10-15%? This is caused by the limitations of the chipset on the 1155 platform and there is nothing you can do about it, apart from upgrading to the 2011 platform, which is not hindered by these limitations.


                                You may not NEED the raid controller, since the mobo has sufficient SATA connections, so you could use 2 x SATA 6G ports for the SSD's and 4 x SATA 3G for the Velociraptors. The limitations of SATA 3G in bandwidth do not apply for conventional HDD's, so in this manner yoiu can save yourself some money and performance loss due to reduced video bandwidth.


                                Note that all of the top 10% performing CS6 systems in the PPBM5 Benchmark are hexa core systems, almost exclusively i7-39xx CPU's, all are overclocked and all have raid arrays. Video cards are almost always GTX 670 or 680.

                                • 13. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                  JEShort01 Level 4



                                  Your latest build list looks fine except for the serious overkill with the 2 SSDs - remove one SSD and the highpoint controller. If your price point is now $3k, upgrade to the 3930k 6-core and still only one SSD and no Highpoint; that would be noticeably faster.



                                  • 14. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                    John Ratard Level 1

                                    Apart from platforms 4-core versus 6-core, I am looking for speed so that I can render in Encore while at the same time edit a second avi file in Premier Pro.  I would have preferred running 2 PCs, one running Encore while the other is running Premier Pro but while CS5 can be installed on 2 PCs, Adobe does not permit running both at the same time using CS5.


                                    My first question arranged in a list for clarity was considering 4 HDs with the understanding that running 4 in parallel was faster.


                                    Is the arrangement of the 4 SSD drives:

                                    #1 for Programs

                                    #2 for project and source video

                                    #3 for audio (I intend to add commentary to my videos)

                                    #4 for rendered video

                                    .. a good arrangement for speed?

                                    I have a large number of DV files that because of long render times with my previous PCs was not motivating.  I used to run Premier Pro and Encore separately to speed up rendereing.  I wish to concentrate on a continuous editing session without frequent lengthy stops.


                                    With the above question in mind and feedback from this post, I modified #1 to SSD, #2 to 2 HD RAID, #3 to SSD, and #4 to 2 HD RAID.


                                    Now the proposal is to remove an SSD and a controller in favor of a 6-core CPU for improved speed.  I presume that the #3 audio drive will be replaced by #2 that will contain project, source video and audio files.


                                    Does the 6-core CPU, presumably the 2011 platform mentioned by Harm, require a different motherboard and case, and is there a significant increase in terms fo speed despite removing an SSD and controller?

                                    • 15. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                      John Ratard Level 1

                                      I apologise for my previous reply because being unfamiliar with 6-core and in haste missing Harms benchmark results for hex core systems, I basically already have your reply.


                                      I shall check prices and make a decision.  Thank you all for being patient and of great help.

                                      • 16. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                        John Ratard Level 1

                                        I am told by my supplier that there are a few issues with the Samsung 840 Pro SSD as follows:

                                        - not popular in Canada

                                        - only 1 year warranty versus 5 years for Intel SSD

                                        - none in stock on the first order attempt


                                        Is the 1 year warranty limitation a significant issue for the Samsung in terms of reliability and not worth waiting for?  If so, what would be the next best choice?

                                        • 18. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                          - not popular in Canada


                                          Popularity is not relevant, since being popular does not mean better price / performance ratio.

                                          Chevrolet in Canada is much more popular than Ferrari, Lamborghini or Porsche to name a few.


                                          - only 1 year warranty versus 5 years for Intel SSD


                                          As Bill showed you, that is a specific Canadian or your suppliers problem, and with 5 years in the US you may consider buying in the US.


                                          - none in stock on the first order attempt


                                          Maybe that is because of its popularity in Canada.


                                          An alternative is the Corsair Neutron GTX.

                                          • 19. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                            John Ratard Level 1

                                            Thanks Harm and Bill.  I am in full agreement.  I provided my input as confirmation for my supplier.  This also shows the sad state of affairs and how I must often order from US rather than Canada.  As a result, I ship to Point Roberts, Washington, a small piece of land attached to the bottom tip of British Columbia.  All products must be shipped by bonded carrier through BC to get there.  How this little piece of land ended up in this situation is an interesting piece of history.  I also ship lithium batteries there because US does not ship them outside the US.  The logic allows through BC but not into.

                                            • 20. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                              Michael Trobisch

                                              Hi Harm,


                                              Was wondering if you could help me troubleshoot.

                                              Just installed a brand new machine at our station and I'm having troubles getting maxium rendering speeds in Adobe Premiere (64bit.)

                                              Also noticed that I get a weird lag when I drag a window across the screen, while Premiere is rendering in the background.

                                              I'm guessing that it has something to do with the video card / Raid controller?

                                              Here are my specs:


                                              Six Core XEON E5-1660, 3.3GHZ, Dell Precision T3600

                                              Memory: 16GB

                                              Video Card: 2GB nVIDIA Quadro 4000, Dual Monitor, 2DP and 1DVI, Dell Precision Tx600

                                              System HD: 265 GB Solid State, SATA 6GB/sec

                                              Secondary HD (Media): 2TB, SATA, 3.5", 7200, 64M, 2

                                              HD Controler: C6a 2.5inch SATA/SSD Boot, plus 2-3 matching additional SATA 2.5inch HDD, no PrC card, Dell PrecisionT36

                                              Monitors: 2 NEC Multisync PA 271/w

                                              OS: Windows 7 Professional


                                              Would really appreciate your help.

                                              Thank You,



                                              • 21. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                Have you tuned your system to get rid of the excess processes that Dell instals?

                                                • 22. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                                  Michael Trobisch Level 1

                                                  TY for your response!


                                                  I have checked the Windows Task Manager.

                                                  There don't seem to be any "excess processes" that are slowing down the processor or sucking up a lot of memory.


                                                  I'm still experiencing extremely low rendering speeds and loss of overall performance.

                                                  For example, I'm not even able to browse the web, while it's rendering without lags and studdering.


                                                  Persumably this workstation was put together by a Dell media expert.

                                                  Just can't seem to figure out where the bottleneck is....

                                                  • 23. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                                                    Can you run the PPBM5 Benchmark first, so that I can see your results. Meanwhile, you can start with http://ppbm7.com/index.php/final-results?showall=&start=3 since it is rather similar for Win7 or look in the FAQ section and look for the 'Guide to tune your Vista system' which also applies to Win7.

                                                    • 24. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                                      Michael Trobisch Level 1

                                                      Thx for the reply, Harm.


                                                      I'm about to run the Benchmark. Will this work with CS6? Should I anticipate any issues with the newer version of Premiere?

                                                      • 25. Re: Feedback for New SSD System
                                                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                        Yes, it works with any PR version from CS5 and upwards. There are 147 CS6 results in the database today out of the total of 1216.