11 Replies Latest reply on Jan 15, 2016 2:12 AM by JFPhoton

    System hard drive configuration help


      Hello everyone,


      I am currently upgrading my hard drives to get the best performance possible for pc.  I have a couple questions regarding what size hard drives I should get for certain jobs.


      1.  What size hard drive do you recommend for a cache disk?  120gb SSD good enough?


      2. What size hard drive do you recommend for an export drive? Should it be an SSD or HDD? Once I export from premiere/after effects, I will move the file into my media drive anyways so does the hard drive have to be large?


      So here is my setup as of right now.  It's terrible. Haha


          -512gb ssd for os & programs

          -1TB hdd for everything.


      As I have read on multiple forums/google, its best to have a hard drive for specific jobs.  I want to make sure I have the concept down.

      This is the setup I would like to have......


          -512gb ssd for os & programs

          -2 TB hdd raid 0 configuration

          -120gb ssd cache

          -60gb ssd export drive


      Is this a good/correct setup or should I change anything? I do not consider myself an expert on this subject at all so any help/opinions are appreciated!


      My PC specs are:

      Intel Core i7 5930K Hex-Core 3.5GHz

      16GB Corsair Dominator Platinum 2666Mhz (4x4GB)

      Single EVGA 4GB NVIDIA GTX 970

      ASUS X99 Deluxe Motherboard




        • 1. Re: System hard drive configuration help
          Kevin-Monahan Adobe Employee

          Hi Matt,

          I'm moving your post to the Hardware forum.




          • 2. Re: System hard drive configuration help
            RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

            depending on what format you are exporting to, you may not need a dedicated export disk. raw or near raw codecs will want a fast drive to write to, but can only be exported as fast as the system can render your video. unless you are spending more time exporting than editing, this is kind of a non issue.


            besides that, it depends on the media you have. how fast of read speeds you will need from ssd/hdd and how much storage space you need. if you can afford ssd vs hdd for required space.


            Generic Guideline for Disk Setup

            ppbm7 Tweakers Page - Disk Setup

            • 3. Re: System hard drive configuration help
              captainmryan Level 1

              Thank you for your input and for the links! They're very helpful.


              I will be exporting BMCC 2.5k raw files from resolve to proxies then editing in adobe premiere and I will be doing a lot of motion graphics in after effects (sorry, should have explained haha)


              What do you think are good enough sized hard drives for the cache and exporting hard drives?

              • 4. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                i dont think you will need a dedicated export drive. even for making proxy files, you can just write those to your media drive. odds are its going to be waiting for the cpu to encode, not the hdd for read/write speed.  i think AE will be more important to determine the cache hdd size, i would think a 120gb might be enough, but others here might know better.  if you are editing with proxies, you can make medium to low quality files, and you wont need the raid for media setup. you said 2tb raid 0, are you planning on 2x1tb hdds?  if thats the case, you could consider a 2tb drive, as they are generally faster and not much more expensive vs 1tb, or 2x2tb raid 0.  make sure you have a separate backup drive for all of this too.

                • 5. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                  captainmryan Level 1

                  Thanks for the reply! 


                  The raid setup would be 2x2tb raid 0. Sorry for the confusion.


                  I'm thinking 120gb would be good enough for a cache drive, but I can't seem to find any answers on that one lol.

                  • 6. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                    deimosphobos Level 2

                    So you currently are aiming for

                    -512gb ssd for os & programs

                    -2 TB hdd raid 0 configuration

                    -120gb ssd cache

                    -60gb ssd export drive


                    Do you need 512 for OS / Applications? Seems a waste of a nice piece of hardware. If you can look at switching that for a smaller SSD and then you can use that as a export / target drive. If you are exporting raw or similar then 60GB's will be only a couple of minutes.



                    As for your raid 0 configuration, remember more = faster, the more drives in the array the faster the times are. With disk prices these I would consider 3 X 2 or 3TB drives. Not sure how many SATA ports you have. If you have more, add more drives.



                    **Edit - I use the same SSD target or export drive as my cache drive and have not seen any delays at any given time.

                    • 7. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                      deimosphobos Level 2

                      This is my current drive configuration.


                      256 GB Samsung SSD - OS and Apps

                      5 X 2TB HDD's in RAID 5 using a dedicated PERC i6 controller card. This is my source drive, source video, images, music, sound etc.

                      It has 4 x 2TB active in the array and one hot spare, 6TB's usable.


                      120 GB Samsung SSD - Export / Cache Drive


                      4TB USB Drive, my source drive get backed up to this each night.

                      • 8. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                        captainmryan Level 1

                        Thank you for the great info!


                        I really like that setup and the advice on switching my 500gb os/application drive to something smaller.  I need to look into getting a raid controller card.

                        • 9. Re: System hard drive configuration help

                          I have been reading this post as I am building my system from scratch and doing a lot of research.

                          I have in the past read that your drive setup should differ for AE compared to Adobe Premiere


                          Currently I am planning on getting Samsung 512gb 950 Pro M.2 NVMe Internal SSD for PROGRAMS/OS Drive

                          then I am considering options for a Raid 0 I was also thinking to do 2x2TB HDDs for SOURCE/MEDIA Drive

                          and potentially was thinking to get Samsung 850 EVO 1TB Render Drive (*should I call it Export Drive instead?)

                          I heard a lot of AE and Premier users also get an additional "Cache" drive, would that make sense? Would love to hear your comments.

                          I will be working with HD and potentially 4k Footage in the near future. (Of course I m planning to get external storage drives for backup as I can afford them gradually overtime)

                          • 10. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                            JFPhoton Level 3

                            Uh.....I believe you have it backwards.  Great drive speed is not needed for the "boot" drive, which will have OS, programs and Windows page file ONLY.  Most of what comes from the boot drive becomes "memory resident" once the OS and programs are loaded. Where you need the REAL speed is for your MEDIA itself, and all the other files as well : previews, cache,media cache, project files,exports, and the "global performance cache" for AE. The 950 pro is PERFECT for ALL these files because not only is its read and write speed so fast, ( ~2.5 GB/sec read and ~1.5GB/sec write ), it is also "full duplex", which means it can read AND write AT THE SAME TIME....as opposed to the "half duplex" nature of the SATA interface which LIMITS the activity of a drive to one operation at a time...either reading OR writing...not both.

                            In addition , the "latency" of the 950 pro is EXTREMELY low, leading to better performance than SSDs.


                            These new PCI SSDs offer high speed performance without the expense and hassle of purchasing an expensive dedicated RAID card and many drives to go with it. The only negative is the limited capacity of these drives. I understand a 1GB model should appear sometime in the near future,but, for the time being, people like Bill Gehrke here on this forum have successfully put TWO of these PCI SSDs into a RAID 0 and achieved incredible speed and the higher capacity of 1 TB.


                            Obviously, the most cost effective solution with  great performance would be to use a Samsung 850 Pro SSD for the "boot drive", with OS, programs, and Windows page file ONLY on it, ( NO "EVO" ). Then, all else on the Samsung 950 Pro PCI SSD. You will then need a reliable "archive" drive to hold all your COMPLETED files and original media and backups, because the 950Pro capacity is limited. You can choose from several large capacity" Enterprise level" hard drives for this purpose....maybe even putting two of them in a RAID 1 "mirror" for greater data security. SSDs are now cheaper and if your data needs are not too large, you may use them instead.

                            • 11. Re: System hard drive configuration help
                              Confused4ever Level 1

                              Thank you for the reply yes, in that case, from what you are indicating

                              (By the way is EVOs really bad? it was interesting that you def pointed out not to get EVO version?)


                              then for OS/Programs I would get Samsung 850 Pro SSD 1 TB

                              then when you say all 'else' you are saying Samsung 950 PRO m.2 1TB for Render or output drive? (or export drive, When I look at websites for turnkey system everyone lists them with different names so I want to really understand before I build it )

                              and maybe potentially RAID 0 of 2x3TB good quality Optical drives like Western Digital Cavier Black 7200rpm (this is in my mind the drive that I first capture the footage before I bring them into Adobe Premier or AE) (I can always keep a good backup of my capture footage since if I choose to do RAID 0 on board for Speed as I know it is risky to have Raid 0 but Raid 1 would slow me down so I wouldnt want that?

                              my data initial captured data maybe too big thats why i went with 3tb optical for that, (potentially 4k footage)

                              what do you think?