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At this point, there's no room for a third internal drive because the 2 have been striped to make 1, The SSD is obviosly for the OS and programs. And if Premier Pro functions more efficiently by spreading the workload over at least 3 disks, would I be better off by not striping the 2 matching HDDs and spreading the workload out? Or should I stripe the 2 internal drives and use a USB 3.0 flash drive for the previews, media cache, or exports? Or stripe the 2 HDDs and just work with the 2 internal drives without anything external? I'm looking for suggestions from you guys for the best way to configure this particular set-up. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Serioulsy.
Todd, A USB3 flash drive drive would be the worst possible use for exports, Current USB3 drives that I have seen and tested are very good for read operations and lousy for write operations. This laptop of mine is a prime example. I have the media on the USB3 flash drive and when I export it would go to my second SSD which has great write speeds. I do not have the option of a third drive for RAID. This is working well for my single camera editing, I have yet to try it with multiple cameras. I believe if I had your laptop I might try a two drive setup with your two hard drives in RAID 0 as long as you do very regular backups. While Harm has great general suggestions it still depends on your media, your workflow and for instance your other equipment (do you also have a desktop)?
No, I do not have a desktop. I haven't in years. But I really appreciate the feedback.
By the way, would my workflow be any more efficient if I kept the media on a USB flash drive, like you were talking about? So it would just be using the read function?
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It works great for me on simple AVCHD editing as long as the transfer rate is good. I use it to hold the media and export (to another internal SSD drive) our PPBM 7-layer H.264 timeline that includes 4K material very successfully.
I just played that 52 second extremely complex timeline at 1/4 resolution with no frames dropped for the first 42 seconds at that maximum complexity point it started dropping frames and when finished the total frames dropped was 114 frames. Very good for a $1500 laptop.
Either buy what I have tested or take you chances with others and test it yourself. Do not believe the advertised write rate specifications and when using my laptop and that device you cannot achieve the advertised write rate from Premiere. It is not peculiar to that specific device as I have not found any USB3 Flash drive that has even a reasonable write rate when tested with our PPBM6/7 benchmark. I bought a SanDisk Extreme 64 GB device highly recommended by Tom's Hardware Review and it performed miserably in the write testing.
Is there possibly a fast external RAID set-up that works well? Or that someone may recommend? Remember, I'm new to a lot of this technology - though I've been editing for years at a hobby level. I'm just trying to bump it up a few notches right now. I dream about editing at speeds that are not excruciating. I could easily have an enclosure under the coffee table, lol....
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I do not know if a USB3 RAID box would be any better than my simple experiment that I tried. See my thread for item 2 in the first post. I bought a 2 1/2" external enclosure which I researched extensively for what sounded like it had an optimized SATA III to USB3 interface. I put one of the fastest SSD drives I am aware of (Samsung 840 Pro 256 GB) in it to see what the performance would be. When I put this SSD in my laptop directly on an internal SATA III with my PPBM6/7 benchmark it gives me a Premiere write transfer rate of almost 500 MB/second. When I put the same drive in the external USB3 enclosure the Premiere write transfer is limited to slightly less than 200 MB/second which probably better than a most hard disk drives, but now where near taking advantage of the speed capability.
The answer to your question is yes, you can use an external hard drive RAID enclosure effectively but do not expect much more speed from that device. You will have more reliability if you set it up for the right RAID mode. Using hard drives you will have much greater capacity than SSD's offer. The only disadvantages with a large multidisk USB3 enclosure is you will always have to have another AC cord to plugin and dragging a large disk enclosure around is a pain. The small 2 1/2" enclosure above is self powered and highly portable.
Do not believe many of the advertised read/write rates of these USB3 devices, specifically the write rates are not what you can achive in real life applications.
I just checked and your Toshiba laptop does not have eSATA so I think you are limited to only USB3 peripherals.
That's very helpful information, and I really appreciate you taking the time to explain this stuff. As far as the size of a multidisk USB3 enclosure - I wouldn't be dragging it around with me. I would leave it stationary and plug my laptop into it when editing. I would consider doing this if the fact that it's "external" wouldn't hinder the efficiency of it's intended performance. I'm not educated on the newer connections and configurations to the motherboard enough to feel comfortable with making a decision yet. On the surface, it seems that - as long as the connection to the external device is capable of the desired speed - then there's a world of possibilties with these devices. I'm not sure that I get why an external device would be inherently slower, if I'm understanding these things correctly. Anyway, I'm learnig a lot.
Thanks again Bill. Your input has been invaluable.
Oh, and Bill - I should have read the post about your "experiment" before asking a couple of these things! It answers some of the exact questions I'm wondering about!