6 Replies Latest reply on Jun 25, 2013 11:07 PM by Adam_Forbes

    Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.


      Hi folks! If I could bother you for your time to help me figure out what the best options are for my computer setup that would be much appreciated!! I'm editing mostly RED footage so 5K and 4K files.


      Here's what my computer build is right now:


      Asus Rampage IV Extreme

      i7-3930K CPU (OC'd to 4.4ghz)

      64GB ram

      GTX 680 video card (2GB model)

      Windows 7 Pro

      Mostly Premiere CS6 and After Effects


      Here's the fun part and the part that I'm still baffled by regardless of how many videos and searches I've done online, what to do with my hard drives!?


      Right now I have my Mobo setup in Raid mode with these plugged in to the motherboard;


      2 x 250gb Samsung pro SSD's on 6gb/s ports (Raid 0) (Windows 7 OS)

      2 x 300gb WD Velociraptors 3gb/s ports (Raid 0) (empty)


      3 Ware 9750-8i Raid controller +

      8 x 3TB Seagate Barracuda drives ready to rock and roll.


      Now based on everything I've read, I'm leaning towards setting up 4 x 3TB drives in Raid0 for my footage (making constant backups with synctoy onto an external Drobo)


      4 x 3TB drives in Raid0 for exporting footage. (with continuous backups)



      That leaves me wondering where's the best place to setup Media cache, cache files and project files and anything else. Also I've left the OS pagefile on the SSD's but wondering if I should set that up somewhere else?


      Using Crystal Disk mark, I'm getting these results so far:


      OS on Samsung Pro SSD's in Raid0



      The 4 x 3TB drives in various Raid setups:













      Velociraptors in Raid0




      All this is due to many months of recent work on a computer build that would get bogged down and editing became painfully slow. I'm trying out a proper dedicated Raid card instead of just 2 drives in Raid0 off the motherboard hoping this will make a big difference.


      Any expert advice on here would be greatly appreciated!!!!



        • 1. Re: Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Let's start with the easy part:


          • C: SSD for OS, programs & pagefile
          • D: 2 x Veliciraptor in raid0 for media cache and previews


          With 8 disks available on the 3Ware controller you can go many different directions and they depend on your workflow. Let me give two extreme examples and then you may be pointed in the right correction for your editing practice.


          1. Workflow consists of quick and dirty editing, usually one day or less and multiple export formats each day (example Vimeo, YouTube, BDR, DVD and web), or
          2. Workflow consists of extensive editing, usually a week or longer and exports to a few formats at the end of the editing (example BDR and DVD only).


          If your typical workflow looks like 1, your idea of two 4x raid0 arrays can work, because the load is rather nicely distributed over the two arrays. Of course the drawback is that there is no redundancy so you depend very much on the backups to your Drobo and restoring data after data loss can be time consuming, coming from the Drobo.


          If your workflow looks more like 2, then you can consider one 7x raid5 array for projects and media and a single drive for exports. That means that your raid5 will be noticeably faster then either of the 4x raid0 arrays you considered and offer redundancy as well. As a rough rule of thumb, a 4x disk raid0 will be almost 4 times faster than a single disk, a 7x raid5 will be around 5 - 5.5 times faster than a single disk. You profit from the extra speed during the whole editing week or longer.


          The export to a single disk may be somewhat slower, but how long does it take to write say 25 GB to a single disk? Around 160 seconds. If you use a hot swappable drive cage, you can even use multiple export disks, say one for Client A, another one for Client B, etc. In your initial idea of a 4x raid0 that time may be 40 seconds, so you gain around 2 minutes on the export, but lose that in the whole editing week.


          Just my $ 0.02

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.
            JEShort01 Level 4

            Your relatively fast PC would be very balanced for work with HD. Unfortunately working with RED 4k and 5k I'm sure you have already noticed that you will be "CPU bound" in many aspects of your workflow. Remember too that setting your playback at less that full resolution will be essential for any multi-layer RED timelines!


            So for convenience and overall speed I would suggest:

            • Test each drive individually to make sure each is performing well before building your parity RAID (i.e. HD Tune Pro w/ 2MB block size Read and Write benchmark testing should show a smooth waterfall trace - no big spikes down); drives can have bad areas on the platters and this will help to flush this out quickly and before your have painstakingly build your parity RAID
            • Configure your 8x drives to RAID 5 on the 3ware and make sure large file sequential reads and writes are working well (i.e. HD Tune Pro w/ 2MB block size Read and Write benchmark should both be reporting average of over 500MB/sec)
            • Put all files on the RAID 5 (except OS/programs of course)
            • Configure your backup software to ignore filenames (or directories) so you are ignoring files that can be easily regenerated (cache, scratch, etc.)
            • Test and report back your PPBM6 scores here for verification that all areas of your configuration and tweaking are allowing CS6 to perform to its potential
            • Optionally, you could explore putting media cache, media cache DB, etc. onto your 2x Velociraptor RAID 0 array, but I seriously doubt it will help and it may in fact hurt






            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.
              ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

              They have given very sound advice so far. The only change I would suggest beyond is drop the SSD Raid 0 for the OS drive. The performance of those SSD's are so high that a raid 0 for the OS is a waste. If your workflow keeps you in the Red codec the drive speeds your listing above are more than enough. If you have to get out of the Red codec to use another application then even the 8 drive raid 5 with mechanical drives wont be enough for 4K or 5K uncompressed media. I would suggest looking at Cineform if you need that workflow capability.




              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.
                TinoD_V Level 1

                Thanks for all the solid advice! I'm going to test things out some more and give the Raid5 a try. Any more suggestions please don't hesitate to let me know.



                • 5. Re: Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.
                  JEShort01 Level 4

                  Any time I'm doing a RAID 5, after checking out all the individual drives I normally build it as a RAID 0 and do some testing and playing w/ existing projects. Then, and only then, I'll build the parity RAID. I use Areca, not 3ware, but in the case of Areca there are lots of settings, etc. that are much faster to experiment on with with RAID 0 arrays (which build instantly vs. the hours it takes to build a 8x3TB RAID 5).


                  Good luck!



                  • 6. Re: Please help me arrange my hard drive setup, testing out different Raid arrays.



                    I don't have any advice for you, in fact i'm seeking advice.  I saw your setup and I'm looking at getting the exact same setup for AE and C4D.  I'm wondering what your total price was for your machine, and if you would get anything different.  Do you like your MOBO? was it easy to overclock?