9 Replies Latest reply on Aug 22, 2014 4:11 PM by MagnoliaWriter

    Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.

    Beau James

      Brand New to the site and you guys are great.

       

      Well from reading a great many posts I realize the knowledge on the site well surpasses mine.  Due to my company requiring I purchase a Dell computer and Dell's restrictions on how many drives can be bought with what raid configuration. The T7600 is capable of housing (4) 3.5" Sata Drives and also (4) 2.5" Sata drives.  All drives can just push in and out (Hot Swapable I guess).  In order to have (4) 3.5" drives installed I had to configure (from factory) a Raid 10 setup.  I have been told that this can be changed when the computer arrives. (I hope so and also hope that more than one raid/drive combo config can be set up).  The Perc Controller is the H710.  I heard that the H310's were giving some people fits.  I assume the OS will be installed accross all the drives in a Raid 10 config from factory.  I purchased (3) SSD drives to round out my setup.  I will be editing in Premiere Pro and have alot of footage that I would want to store/backup. 

       

      Here is my configuration that is on the way.

       

      Dell T7600 Workstation 1300W

      Windows 7 Pro

      (Dual) 6 Core Xeon E5-2620 2.0 GHz 10M, 7.2 GT/s Turbo Processors

      32 GB DDR3 RIMM 1600 RAM

      3GB Nvidia Quadro K4000

      (4) 3TB 3,5" 7200 RPM SATA 6Gb/s  (Currently being shipped in Raid 10 configuration)

      (3) Samsung 2.5" 840 Pro 256GB SSD  (I purchased and will be installing these Monday when computer arrives)

      Perc H710P Sata/Sas Controller (Dell Config for Precision Workstations)

       

      Also Purchased - For A Backup System Enclosure a

      Sans Digital 5-Bay 3.0 USB /eSATA Raid 5 Tower Enclosure. (It can be set to Raid 0,1,5,10)

      & (2) WD 4TB 7200 RPM SATA III 3.5" 64MB Cache (To put in the Backup enclosure)

      Note:  This enclosure may become mobile at times between home and work

       

      Here are my questions.

       

      1.  How should I configure all of these drives for maximum performance and ultimate backup?

       

           These were my thoughts but I may be way off.

       

           - (4) 3TB Drives currently installed with the dell are already set to Raid 10 should I just let it that way and use for Edited Final Footage

           - (2) SSD 840 Pro 256GB drives (Copy over OS on dell, add programs and then set in a Raid 1 config to avoid the BS if I lose one)

           - (1) SSD 840 Pro 256GB drive for Scratch Disk/Preview Files Etc.

           - (2) 4TB WD Black drives set in Raid 1 within the External Raid (mobile) Enclosure for copying final projects for archiving and backup 

       

          "I know that this is probably overkill but I am very anal about not loosing data so I may have spend unnecessary funds."

       

      2.  Can the Dell H710 Perc Controller be set up to run 2 separate Raid operations at the same time?

       

           For example: The dell computer is set for Raid 10 now with the (4) 3TB HD shipped from dell -  Will I be able to Raid 1 the 2 SSD's for

           OS also? Can I also, if I wanted,  Raid the Raid 10 config (Using Raid 1) to copy over to the backup drive in the enclosure or should I

           just do manual backups or copies when needed to the enclosure drives? 

       

      I used to use Adobe Premiere but it was a while ago.  I am getting back into it and could really use the help or any ideas moving forward.  This is the first computer I have purchased in almost 10 years.  I hope that I did ok with the hardware from reading from the forum.

       

      Thank you so much in advance for all of your help.  Any ideas on the config will be greatly appreciated.

        • 1. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
          UlfLaursen Level 2

          Beau James wrote:

           

           

          2.  Can the Dell H710 Perc Controller be set up to run 2 separate Raid operations at the same time?

           

               For example: The dell computer is set for Raid 10 now with the (4) 3TB HD shipped from dell -  Will I be able to Raid 1 the 2 SSD's for

               OS also? Can I also, if I wanted,  Raid the Raid 10 config (Using Raid 1) to copy over to the backup drive in the enclosure or should I

               just do manual backups or copies when needed to the enclosure drives? 

           

           

           

          Hi Beau

           

          Welcome to the forum

           

          Nice device you have got there - I have always been a Dell fan, have several Dell servers at work, and love their great support. At home I "only" have the old T5400 from Dell, which is now half retired, but it has served me good

           

          I think you should be able to make two different raid's on that controller, without any poblems.

           

          As for the rest, some more experts will probably answer you.

           

          Enjoy your new rig

           

          Ulf

          • 2. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

            If you move the OS drive to the H710 raid controller you may have to re-install windows. In order to try and get it to work make sure the driver for that controller is loaded a head of time. You also have to make sure the raid controller bios is set to bootable.

             

            Eric

            ADK

            • 3. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
              Alex - DV411 Level 2

              Yes to H710 hosting multiple RAID sets although I'd keep the OS SSD on an onboard SATA 6G port and do regular (daily) backups or clones vs. mirroring on the H710. Boots faster, a bit less headache. If you prefer OS SSD mirroring via H710, the driver is likely already installed, and you'd just have to change the boot order, like Eric said.

              • 4. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
                Jim_Simon Level 8

                Here's what I'd do:

                 

                C: OS/Programs - 256GB x 2 RAID 1

                D: Projects - 3TB

                E: Cache Scratch - 3TB

                F: AE Global Cache - 256 GB

                G: Media - 3TB

                H: Exports - 3TB

                 

                External for backups.

                • 5. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
                  Darren Breckles

                    Not trying to hijack the thread but I'm tearing my hair out trying to decide between i7 and Xeon.  I just want a workstation with good performance for Adobe CS6 and CC, mostly Premiere Pro.  For reference almost anything would seem like good performance to me, I'm currently using a Dell Inspiron 15R with 2.26GHz Intel Core i3 350M and 8GB of RAM.  Performance is obviously painful.

                    For simplicity I'll just list processor choices and get more advice later on disk config and other parts.  My budget is hopefully below 5K.

                   

                    What would provide better performance

                  Core i7 3970X 3.5 GHZ 6 core 15 meg cache

                   

                  or

                   

                  Dual Xeon E5-2667 (six core 2.9 GHZ 15m 17.2 GT/s

                   

                  I might be able to get a bit of a discount on the Xeon and would kind of like to go with them because I can get a name brand Dell Workstation vs a machine built by ADK.  I think the warranty, service and reliability might be better from the Dell but would performance be comparable?  Would the Xeon provide good performance?  I see so many people go with i7 it scares me a bit to go with Xeon as I'm not that knowledgeable about hardware.
                    Any input from those of you around here that know about these things would be massively appreciated.

                   

                  Darren

                  • 7. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
                    MagnoliaWriter

                    I am having a horrible experience with a T7600 that I purchased from the Dell Outlet last May (2014.)

                    Dell T7600 workstation, 1300 watt p/s, dual e5-2609 Xeon CPUs, 2 GB Quadro 4000, 32 GB RAM

                    The RAID controller is the H710P.

                     

                    Because this was an outlet purchase (about 2,400 before tax) it came configured that way.  I had no configuration choices other than to jump on what I thought was a pretty good deal.  I wanted the flexibility of a big power supply, a good video card, and lots of memory.  I fell in love with the chassis design and the 8 potential HDD bays that are often described as hot-swappable, but are not.  I know the CPU is sort of dinky, but I couldn't afford a better Xeon and I liked the idea of its stability. It is incredibly quiet compared to my XP custom-built "Gamer" PC (I don't do games) 3.4 Ghz which is over ten years old and still running great.

                    I am a cartoonist and writer with a degree in Computer Tech Multimedia.  I create what you guys would consider very basic video, big gigabyte-hogging art, and training materials - a wide variety of projects.  So I thought the T7600 would be perfect to keep my large projects organized on multiple drives and maybe even render my videos faster. Now I am feeling really dumb.

                     

                    I had no idea the PERC controller would cause so much trouble for me.  I have been on the phone with the Dell techs for literally days, full days. And now my nice computer is dead with no operating system.  Looking back, if I knew what I know now, the machine would be running, but I still would not be happy. Now I know that the H310 controller would let you assign NON-RAID, but with the seemingly less problematic H710, you must use a RAID array.  I had planned to install Win 8.1 which I like, but according to Dell, Microsoft is "still working on the drivers for that."  There goes my dream of a touch screen monitor.

                     

                    Anyway, trying to make this as short as I can... The T7600 came with one 1T Seagate boot drive running Win 7 Pro in Bay 0,  Aiming to clone that drive to a Samsung 840 Pro 256 ssd, I installed the ssd in Bay 1.  No drives were recognized in any of the other bays.  Now I know that I should have gone into the PERC controller and created an array for the other drives.  Then they could have been seen by the system.  But I called Dell Tech support, and for some reason, he told me that the boot drive should never have been assigned RAID 0.  Then he had me do something that wiped that hard drive completely.  Then the real fun started.

                     

                    The thing that Alex says about having the driver for the H710 is apparently more important than you can imagine, because I have not been able to locate the driver that works to let the Win 7 disk reinstall the operating system - even with the Dell techs remotely taking over my Fugitsu Win 8.1 laptop, a Dell Win 7 (oops 32 bit) laptop.  So they told me I needed another 64 bit Win 7 machine to download the cab file and extract the driver to a flash drive. All my friends are running Macs!  So I paid a computer shop $45 to do it and guess what...  It still didn't work.

                     

                    Here is my question... Several people have suggested that I remove the PERC controller.  They say that if I want to be (lets just say cold-swapping) drives now and then, I risk losing data with a RAID setup of any kind.  The local computer shop person who seems to understand server systems, said that (without being familiar with the Dell motherboard), it makes sense that he would be able to remove the PERC card and rewire the 8 HDD bays (with a PCIe card/s) so that the system will recognize the drives and I could just do good back ups.  This is what I would prefer.  But I am posting here because this seems like the forum where people understand both the attraction and the crazy problems with the T7600.  If I don't care so much about the speed the H710P provides, can I operate a T7600 without a RAID controller?  Or do I need some other RAID controller that lets me assign NON-RAID?

                    Any suggestions?  Questions?

                    • 8. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
                      JEShort01 Level 4

                      MagnoliaWriter,

                       

                      From Wikipedia, "Tough love is an expression used, usually for the purpose of justification, when someone treats another person harshly or sternly with the intent to help them in the long run".

                       

                      In summary, it sounds like you have gotten in over your head and your T7600 experience has been pretty bad. Totally aside from the T710 issues that you mention in your forum post, while the T7600 platform can be configured to completely rock with Adobe Premiere Pro, After Effects, and more ($$$ though!), the configuration that you have is really not a very good "fit for purpose". I'll be more specific:

                       

                      CPU - using a calculation I made up to represent "render power" for different Intel CPUs (#cpus x #cores per CPU x hyperthreading x base cpu speed for all cores active), your dual e5-2609, 2.4GHz, non-hyperthreaded cpus total up to a render power score of 19.2. I have a dual T7600 with dual e5-2687w CPUs that absolutely flies using Adobe and its render power score for a comparison is 99.2. Yes, you are reading that correctly, it is approximately 400% faster than the CPUs that your currently are using. A popular Premiere Pro build using a single CPU is a single Overclocked i7-4930k (to a very conservative 4.2 GHz) and for comparison sake that single-CPU scores a render power of 50.4.

                       

                      GPU - 2GB Quadro 4000 - while an expensive card (all Quadro series cards are), it is really quite slow compared with the gamer series (GTX) cards from NVidia that cost between $350 and $700.

                       

                      32GB of RAM - 32GB runs Premiere Pro quite well. Unless you use After Effects extensively, which could benefit from 64GB, you are in good shape.

                       

                      T7600 case, cpu coolers, PCIe expansion room, etc. - T7600 is a pretty great box, and as you say, pretty quiet considering.

                       

                      So, after all of that said, I'll suggest two ways that you could proceed from your current "Y in the road"

                       

                      A - Get your current system working: Remove the RAID card, attach the Samsung 840 (Excellent boot drive!) to the unused SATA port on the two-port SATA cable that Dell intends you only use for your optical drives. Load Windows 7, 64-bit - works GREAT and if Dell does not have drivers for the H710 yet for Windows 8.1 it is your only choice if you want to use the Dell RAID card. After you have Windows working fine with the single SSD boot drive, install the RAID card, drivers, etc. andall your additional drives. Personally, I run a single Samsung 830 SSD (OEM Dell part) this way and use a third party Areca controller for additional drives (Dell doesn't support 3rd party cards, but they work fine with the T7600). If you get everything working OK, and you have a need for more speed, there are many CPU upgrade choices for the T7600. Jumping to a single fast 6 or 8-core CPU (ie e5-2667, e5-2650, 2680, 2690, 2687w, etc.) would like feel much faster than your current CPUs.

                       

                      B - Sell your T7600 and call Eric at ADK to purchase a new right-sized PC for your needs. Intel solutions are way more cost effective than the Apple options, and ADK can provide an Apple like experience - just plug it in and start doing work. And, if you have issues call them for awesome tech support. Dell's dual-Xeon hardware is pretty awesome, but if you need to count on Tech Support, you are really going to suffer; they are not that great and they sure don't know anything about how to make Adobe products hum.

                       

                      Regards,

                       

                      Jim

                      • 9. Re: Just Bought a Dell T7600 Workstation...Question on Raid & Config with Drives In it for Premiere Pro.
                        MagnoliaWriter Level 1

                        I am so grateful for your answers.

                        I was in the middle of reading your email when I received a call from the Dell tech.  He was suggesting that I download a driver for a t5610 because that has worked for some other people.  But I got the impression that he was pretty much at sea as I am.

                        I had spoken to someone in the Dell returns department who said that the only person who can authorize a system return is a tech support supervisor.  So during this last call, I asked a supervisor to authorize a return.  They say that the return must be okayed by dell customer care, so, whatever....  They have sent my request up whatever chain of command exists there.  It takes 48 to 72 working hours to find out, and with the time difference, I make that next Wednesday or Thursday.

                        In the meantime, I went to the ADK website and ended up chatting with Eric.  Thank you so much for that lead.  Now my sadness is offset by the hope that I can get a nice system from someone who understands what I need - or I should say someone who is able to help me understand what I need.