If you have a high performance storage drive in read operation you can do all your editing (not exporting) on simple media like AVCHD media in a second device which can contain the project files and the media if you have a good SSD for your OS boot and applications. I am using a laptop with an i7-4700HQ CPU, 24 GB of RAM a Samsung 840 Pro 128 GB boot drive and a very fast USB3 flash memory for the project and media. I am editing three-camera hour-long videos. When I go to export I pull the USB3 flash drive and go to my desktop with much higher performance CPU, GPU and much faster storage system. I love the PNY Turbo 128 GB USB3 drive at only $50 and have quit a few, they have great read performance of almost 200 MB/sec. So yes, it is possible (I do not really know how much an OS hard drive would slow thing down) but only if all conditions are right and you do not count a USB3 flash memory device as a drive. Remember even good hard disk drives slow down drastically as they fill up.
The above disk setup link is just perfect to read. Here the way i am running PP CC and settings which might help you (also affordable):
1 Samsung SSD 840 Evo, 250 GB = Win7pro, CC
1 Samsung SSD 850 Pro, 128 GB = cache, preview
1 WD HDD, 7.200 = audio/video media files, project files, auto-save
I personally see two options now I am not a 100% happy with performance and also my WD HDD is 5y old.
1. Switching in between those discs or leave it the way it is in order to get best performance
2. Get a new HDD or SSD for my old WD HDD.
Recommendations are much appreciated.
Also a good hint for non 4k editing
If I were to simply use two disks in regards to one (let's not go into the specifics of each disk), what speeds and where would be increased since reading and writing all to the same disk is no longer as much of an issue?
Compare it to moving from one house to another. A lot of stuff needs to be moved (you will be surprised how much stuff you have acquired in the course of years) from A to B.
Steps to be taken are:
- Load the car or van with your stuff.
- Drive from A to B.
- Unload the stuff at B.
- Reverse from B to A.
This continues until you have moved all your stuff to the new house.
While the basic steps remain the same, if you had two cars, the move would be done in half the time. If you had three cars at your disposal, the move would be done in a third of the time and so on.
A single car can only use D or R at a single moment in time. It can't do both at the same time. Once you put the gear in D, you can drive forward. If you want to reverse, you have to stop the car, first put it in N and then in R to reverse. The same with SATA disks. They can read data, have to stop, and then write, then stop and then read again.
The more cars (read disks) you have at your disposal, the quicker the move from A to B is accomplished. The faster each car (disk) is, the quicker. Of course this requires some planning. It is no use to have all cars waiting in line to load the stuff at A and none unloading at B at that same moment. It also makes no sense to spend time loading a huge couch or chest into the smallest car available, when it could be loaded easily into the big car or van that is waiting next in line. Just load only small stuff into the small car, like silverware or porcelain and let the big stuff to the big car(s). Think file type allocation.
There is not much you can do about rush hour traffic jams, apart from planning the move outside rush hour. Think 'tuning'.
Nobody has mentioned the amount of RAM, and how that too can come into play when it comes to real world drive performance for many Premiere Pro workflows.
So how can this be? With lots of RAM, Premiere Pro and also Windows drive caching can help to smooth over limitations in drive speed.
For grins a few months ago, I did some testing on a really fast PC and removed its RAID card so that it only had a single drive (a 256GB Samsung 830 Dell SSD). It worked great! I was a bit surprised actually how well it did work. And, with a composite score of 127 seconds on the PPBM7 benchmark test, it was outperforming over 90% of the PCs tested. Even un-rendered Red 4k could playback seamlessly on the timeline (without any rendering).
So, for 32GB and larger memory equipped PCs, I would contend that even a single drive can work, especially if it is a really fast drive and your media is the typical highly compressed stuff.
I feel a lot of the "use a separate drive" for this, and that, and something else doesn't necessarily apply with reasonably equipped new PCs, CC 2014, and at least 16GB of RAM.
Notice my laptop that I referenced does have 24 GB which surely made my one drive plus the USB3 flash drive works so good. Since I am operating with the memory bay open I will have to turn it over (as soon as I finish two projects for delivery) and run tests with 8 and 16 GB of RAM.