7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2013 9:51 AM by SteveKer

    Optimal multiple disk setup for AE

    SteveKer Level 1

      I have an 8-core Mac Pro 4,1 with 24GB RAM, a Radeon 5770, an SSD (about 75MBs/125MBs), a couple of WD Caviar Blacks and some regular old 7500rpm drives.  I've decided to try and extend it's life a little rather than buying a new Mac Pro.  Leaving more RAM and GPU upgrades aside, I'm not quite sure where to spend my money in order to maximise performance.  For example, I currently use the SSD for OS, Apps and Home folder.  But if AE is loaded into RAM when I run it, surely teh SSD would be more useful for my media? I don't really care how fast the OS or Apps load because I tend to do that over coffee and then spend all day in After Effects!


      …I use AE a lot.  Plus a bit of C4D, PS and very rarely PP.


      There is a chart here with suggestions for optimal disk allocation, but unfortunately it's aimed at PP, and doesn't mention disk or bus speed at all.


      I am thinking of buying a Sonnet Tempo Pro and SSD's so that I can add very fast  storage over PCIe.  The Tempo Pro can mount 2 SSD's as 2 volumes or as a RAID for even more speed.  I don't know which would be best - having media on a superfast RAID drive and the OS on a slower SATA one, or having one SSD for OS and one for Media.


      And then there is the AE Disk Cache. Then there is the 'Conformed Media'.


      I think I can figure out redundancy and backup options - I'm just keen to understand performance.

        • 1. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
          Todd_Kopriva Level 8

          Use your fastest disk (your SSD) for your disk cache. There is no problem with having you applications, OS, and disk cache all on the same drive.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
            SteveKer Level 1

            Hm - this Adobe white paper states


            "Multiple drives may be used to deliver higher performance. A simple technique is to install multiple

            single drives in a desktop workstation computer, and dedicate each to specific tasks: for example,

            one for the operating system, one for your files (with potentially separate drives for your sources

            and output, especially for Adobe Premiere Pro), and one for your temporary storage caches"


            I am attempting to optimise performance here, not merely avoid problems.  If I were to go ahead and get the Sonnet Tempo, Todd, are you saying there would be no noticeable performance gain by then using other (albeit slightly slower) drives for the OS?  Or, to put it another way, if one's drives vary in IO speed, there is no point in using ANY of them other than the fastest one for Apps, OS and all AE Caches?

            • 3. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
              Todd_Kopriva Level 8

              Yes, you should have multiple drives and distribute things across them for optimum performance. But, there is almost zero to be gained by having your disk cache on a different drive than your applications. Applications are read from disk at start time and almost never again during application execution; the disk cache is read from only after application start has completed.


              If you have multiple SSDs, sure, go ahead and use one each for application-plus-OS and disk cache. But if you only have one, there's no problem.


              The point that the white paper that you quote from (which I edited) is trying to make is that you should distribute things such that there is never a bottleneck. The worst cause of such bottlenecks is putting stuff that needs to be read during rendering (e.g., source media) on the same drive on which you're writing data (e.g., exported movie files). This is especially bad with mechanical hard disks. The same principle says that you should not put your disk cache on the same disk as either your source media or your exported files, since the disk cache is being continually read from and written to.

              • 4. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
                cc_merchant Level 4

                Have you taken a look at Tweakers Page and the articles there?

                • 5. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
                  SteveKer Level 1

                  Thanks for the link to Tweakers Page - interesting reading and not something I was aware of.  Just a shame its mostly Windows and PR centric.


                  I am getting a better grasp now… and am thinking of going with this setup


                  New SSD on Sonnet Tempo (Fastest, about 500MB/s) - Disk Cache

                  2 x Caviars in RAID0 (about 200MB/s) - Media and Project Files

                  Old SSD (about 120 MB/s) - OS and Applications


                  So - 2 questions now

                  1. Does this sound like the best use of these drives for AE performance?

                  2. Where would be the best place for the 'Conformed Media' folder?

                  • 6. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
                    cc_merchant Level 4

                    1. Yes (via Thunderbolt?)

                    2. On the Sonnet, since it is the fastest volume.

                    • 7. Re: Optimal multiple disk setup for AE
                      SteveKer Level 1

                      All drives are internal - no Thunderbolt intended