14 Replies Latest reply on Jun 5, 2015 8:40 AM by JFPhoton

    Another build question

    bert nordstrom Level 1

      Hello,

       

      I'm looking for some advice in improving my build. I'm open to any advice concerning a RAID set up.

      I am after an increase in performance and don't mind not having automatic redundancy.

       

      My specs:

      i7-3930K

      Asus P9X79 Deluxe

      32GB G.Skill RipjawsZ 1600MHz Ram DDR3 (F3-12800CL10Q-32GBZL)

      NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti NVIDIA GeForce GTX 780 Ti

       

      Disks:

      C: System OCZ Vertex 3 240gb

      D: Media 1TB Caviar Black

      E: Projects 1 TB WD Caviar Black

      F: Media Cache 2 TB WD Enterprise RE (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16822236352)

      G: Previews 2 TB WD Enterprise RE

      H: Exports 2 TB WD Enterprise RE

      Extra: 2 TB Caviar Green

       

      Questions:

      - In regards to files, to recover a project, do you only need the source footage and the project (.prproj) files?

      - Will replacing the 1 TB Caviar Blacks with 2 TB WD Enterprise REs help (to get all disks, apart from C:, the same)?

      - Can I then use the 2x1TB Caviar Blacks, with 2 TB Caviar Green as three backups?

       

      Thank you for helping,

       

      Regards,

       

      Bert

        • 1. Re: Another build question
          bert nordstrom Level 1

          Can anyone help? Any advice is much appreciated.

          • 2. Re: Another build question
            RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant
            In regards to files, to recover a project, do you only need the source footage and the project (.prproj) files?

            basically yes. any cache or previews would have to be rebuilt, no biggie.

            Will replacing the 1 TB Caviar Blacks with 2 TB WD Enterprise REs help (to get all disks, apart from C:, the same)?

            this will only help to have matching if you are planing on combining them into a raid configuration.

            Can I then use the 2x1TB Caviar Blacks, with 2 TB Caviar Green as three backups?

            sure. you can have them in the pc, or get an external dock or drive cage (usb or other). just avoid using raid for backup drives.

             

            Disk Setup

            To Raid or not to Raid

             

            without knowing what kind of media you are working with, if that will be changing, and how much space is needed to hold the media we can only make general suggestions. i would try to simplify the hdd setup, 1 ssd for os/apps, 1 ssd or raid for cache/previews, and 1 ssd or raid for media/project. its a trade off between budget, capacity and speed to determine what will suit you better.

             

            you have several options for raid, depending on budget, you can run a raid off the motherboard or add a pci-e raid card. motherboard raid is the cheapest, you should be able to use 2 thru 4 hdd's in raid 0 or 4 hdd's in raid 5. im not sure if you can make 2xRaid 0 (4hdd's) with the motherboard, but if you can this would give you two raid configs. this does slightly tax the intel cpu for the raid config and is generally frowned upon for reliability.

             

            a good pci-e raid card may start around $300-500. this takes any load off the cpu and handles it on the card. they usually have more features and are more reliable than motherboard raid. depending on the card you can run raid 0, 5, or 6. if you do get a raid card, you can buy one to make 2 raid configs, or use the raid card and motherboard raid to have 2 raid configs.

             

            ssd's can be used in raid configs too. many use a single 256gb ssd for the preview/cache drive. they make 1tb ssd's, so if you dont need larger it is possible to have just one ssd for media. if you do plan on doing any raid with ssds for the benefit of speed and/or capacity, you will want the intel 730 480gb ssd, otherwise the samsung 850 pro ssd's are best. the downside to ssd's are their price and lower capacity.

            • 3. Re: Another build question
              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Is this a new build or a rebuild?

               

              Why would you want a 2 TB media cache drive for temporary files?

               

              Get a Samsung 850 Pro 128 GB for your boot drive and another 850 Pro 512 GB SSD for your project, previews, media, exports etc.  Then archive to hard drives.

               

              Your design is CPU poor, and hard drive old fashioned.  That CPU dates back to 2011,

              • 4. Re: Another build question
                bert nordstrom Level 1

                Thank you RoninEdits and Bill!

                 

                I've had the build since early 2012.

                 

                Regarding the 2 TB media cache, my plan was to set up in a RAID 0 after figuring out an appropriate back up system - I am happy to regularly back up project files and always make several copies of the source footage. I thought the array benefited from having identical disks (the only reason I went this way).

                 

                Bill, Do you mean an 850 Pro 512 GB SSD for each project, previews, media, exports etc. or just one disk for all?

                 

                RoninEdits, So the external dock or hard drive cage just houses the Caviar Blacks and Green?

                 

                I'm editing mostly GH4 4K footage. The average size of footage for projects is around 100GB. Once the project is finished, I am fine with getting rid of the source footage.

                 

                As far as budget, I'm not going for the cheapest option. I don't know much about builds but am willing to spend appropriately to help the build.

                 

                Thanks again,

                 

                Rob

                • 5. Re: Another build question
                  RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                  RoninEdits, So the external dock or hard drive cage just houses the Caviar Blacks and Green?

                  it would be for backup drives, not any that you are using for editing. these backup drives would be for current projects and any projects you need to hold on to, for example the last 6 months of work...  the idea is to keep them offline so they aren't exposed to data corruption from the computer, as well as motor wear and tear. recent reports show this is the opposite for ssd's, they need to keep powered or they loose data.

                   

                  your cpu still benchmarks faster than some recommended cpu's, however it is towards the minimum recommended cpu and the cost of replacing it with a powerhouse will be expensive. one upgrade to replace it would be close to $1800 for mbd/cpu/ram and give around a 30% increase in cpu speed. if building a dual xeon system can get over $5k for cpu(x2)/mbd/ram. there was a recent post from someone upgrading from the same cpu as yours, New workstation - wrong memory (Vengeance instead of Ripjaws) - send back?  here is what he posted:

                  Yes the new system with the 5960X and Titan X is more stable and faster, but it's not a world of difference. Considering the cost of this setup I'm surprised by how small the difference is. I expected a much more smooth editing and color correction experience with Premiere. Editing/color correction is a bit smoother, but not perfect. Encoding is a bit faster with this new setup, but not incredibly faster.

                   

                  there are plenty of other threads here with people asking about upgrades and raid if you care to skim thru them too.

                  • 6. Re: Another build question
                    Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    bert nordstrom wrote:

                     

                    Bill, Do you mean an 850 Pro 512 GB SSD for each project, previews, media, exports etc. or just one disk for all?

                     

                    I'm editing mostly GH4 4K footage. The average size of footage for projects is around 100GB. Once the project is finished, I am fine with getting rid of the source footage.

                     

                    Rob

                    I may have missed the 4K footage, so I will change my suggestions.  You really need to think about something even better than the 850 Pro. My latest suggestions  are that you do not need a pile of hard disk drives any more.  If you have hard disk drives at 100-200 MB/second you need to separate out the functions over several drives to prevent conflicts.  Now days with SSD's like the Samsung SM951 and the Intel 750 series. these devices have 2000 MB/second read rates I do not believe it to be necessary to have multiple drives any longer.  Since your project size is reasonable.  While the SM951 is a new form factor,M.2 you can mount it on a PCIe plugin card but to achieve that speed you need an available PCIe x4 gen 3.0 slot which your motherboard can support but your current CPU only supports PCIe gen 2. 

                     

                    Bill

                    • 7. Re: Another build question
                      Martin Douglas Level 2

                      Why not just raid your existing drives?

                       

                      D,E on the marvell controller Raid 0 for projects and previews and exports

                      F,G,H on the intel 3Gb/s sata ports - Raid 0 for media

                      Add a 256gb ssd on the intel 6Gb/s for cache

                      Add a 8tb external usb3 drive for backup

                       

                      Martin

                      • 8. Re: Another build question
                        bert nordstrom Level 1

                        If backup is assumed to be taken care of, do I only need to replace the hard disk drives with either a single Samsung SM951 or Intel 750 series SSD, and add a new CPU?

                         

                        Can you recommend a CPU that gives me the PCIe x4 gen 3.0 slot?

                         

                        Martin,

                         

                        Thank you for the suggestion. Why I don't raid my existing drives? I'm open to any set up and was planning on getting there eventually. I understand the theory from the fantastic articles like 'Disk Setup' or 'To Raid or not to Raid' but at the end of the day I'm terrible at understanding specs, then personal preferences from people who are actually in the know add to the confusion. I have not kept up with any new technology updates but know that I'm ready for an upgrade. Bill's suggestion to look into SSDs appeals to me because it sounds extremely simple.

                        • 9. Re: Another build question
                          Martin Douglas Level 2

                          What you have to ask yourself is, will replacing some or all of my hard drives with a Samsung SM951 or Intel 750 series SSD going to make any difference to my day to day editing then the answer is probably no.

                          The best way to increase performance without having to purchase a new Motherboard,CPU,RAM combo is to look for a good CPU cooler and start overclocking your existing CPU.

                           

                          Martin

                          • 10. Re: Another build question
                            Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                            Well the best CPU that you can install in that motherboard is an i7-4960X.  It is 6-cores versus your 4-cores and it Turbo's to 4.0 GHz.  The big question is is it wise to spend $1000 for a new CPU for an older motherboard?

                            • 11. Re: Another build question
                              RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                              you should decide if you want to upgrade the cpu for performance, or if you are doing it just for the new ssd. the i7-4960X is a 10-15% improvement on speed over your current cpu. the intel 750 pci-e should run in backwards compatibility mode for your current cpu/system, but i can't confirm that. if you are ok with upgrading the cpu if needed or returning the pci-e ssd, you could buy the intel 750 first and see how it works. it may loose some speed running in compatibility mode, but should still be fast. if you can get by with everything on the 400gb version of the intel 750, then its not a bad idea for the sake of simplicity.

                               

                              however i tend to agree with martin douglas here, you may be going overkill for your projects needs. his raid example may be all you need, the instructions in your motherboard manual and video's on youtube show you how to make the raids. you have the hardware now, you can test the two raids and see if you are happy with them or not, before spending several thousands of dollars. if you have money to blow then the skies the limit, i just don't want to recommend someone buy a space rocket for a local drag race...

                              • 12. Re: Another build question
                                bert nordstrom Level 1

                                I am in it for the long haul and committed to this editing system. If replacing the hard drives with SSDs doesn't make a day to day editing difference, and simplicity aside, would going with SSDs be a more wise long term investment? If the non-SSD disks I have are becoming a dated approach then at some level am I just delaying the inevitable (by holding out on SSDs). What if projects are in the 300-500gb range?

                                 

                                It seems like I need to decide between:

                                 

                                1) RAID0 my current disks, add a CPU cooler and 256gb SSD for cache, set up a backup system, then learn how to/start overclocking my current CPU

                                 

                                2) Upgrade my CPU and replace the hard drives with SSD(s).

                                - Can anyone recommend motherboard/CPU upgrades? Would you still suggest the i7-4960X if I replaced the motherboard too?

                                 

                                I don't want to buy the space rocket for my drag race but am willing to spend money if it means more time passes beforeupgrading again. Spending time researching and learning about overclocking etc., while natural to some, becomes expensive for me, which adds more weight to the concept of a more simple set up.

                                 

                                I am very grateful for your time replying to my questions. I feel like in about 12-15 more posts each we'll be getting somewhere (joke).

                                • 13. Re: Another build question
                                  RoninEdits Most Valuable Participant

                                  if you replace the cpu, its probably worth going with the next gen cpu's (like the i7-5960X), which require a new motherboard and ddr4 ram. at that point its turning into a whole new system, just sell the current one as is, or put to another task. seems like this thread started as disk drive performance and its turned into a complete system replacement.  again, you can try overclocking and raid now, before buying anything, and see how you feel with the systems performance before going all out with new build... if you are happy with the cpu performance then leave it be, and focus on the drives for performance.

                                   

                                  its hard to say exactly whats best for long term investment, mainly because that depends on what you are doing in the future with your system. if you get a ssd setup that is around 500gb, and later you end up with projects that need 3tb of space, then there will be problems... im unaware of any way to raid the pci-e ssd's with the motherboard or hardware raid configs, it would have to be done with software to combine the capacity. intel has already announced they are planning on 10tb ssd in the near future, so the price's of ssd's may drop even faster than they have been already.

                                   

                                  if your projects are between 400-500gb, there is the samsung SM951 512gb, which requires a "M.2" slot or "m.2 to pci-e adapter". its super fast just like the intel pci-e ssd. if you are over 500g then you can look at larger pci-e ssd like the intel 750 1tb. for sata ssd, again you can raid some of the intel 730 480gb's. intel 750 1tb = $1k vs 2x intel 730 480gb = $500. the intel 750 is twice the price, but also twice the speed. a single ssd may be around 3-4x faster than your than your single 2tb WD RE, the raid-0  2x Intel 730 480gb would be in the ballpark of 6-8x faster, and the single intel 750 close to 12-16x faster.

                                  • 14. Re: Another build question
                                    JFPhoton Level 3

                                    Hello !!!    Don't despair !!  Although your CPU and mobo are from a few years back, you have quality components which if properly "tuned" and maximized, can provide solid performance, for now. In fact, former forums guru Harm Millard based his " Harm's Monster" on that CPU....a machine which STILL runs great.

                                     

                                    You have SIX CORES, ( 12 "threads" ) with your CPU and it can be overclocked SIGNIFICANTLY to improve performance....to 4.5Ghz,or, even maybe higher....that should be your first step....making sure cooling is adequate and power supply is adequate.

                                     

                                    You have the ability to add 32 GB more of system memory for ~ $ 210....however, you may need higher speed memory with overclocking the CPU, I am not sure....you can easily check it out. The CPU overclock will provide the first performance improvement. More memory will help After Effects ...if used....and maybe PPro, if using the newer CC version, which makes greater use of memory.

                                     

                                    Your GPU is fine, although does lack "HDMI 2.0". However, since it is the "older" style "Kepler" architecture, you MAY be able to EASILY overclock its memory using the free "MSI Afterburner" to gain performance when the GPU is being used, ( i.e. exporting an effects heavy timeline, or, previewing an effects heavy timeline)....I do.

                                     

                                    Your MAIN ISSUE right now is the speed of your current storage system :

                                     

                                    1. Your current SSD is HORRIBLE....check out the review on it at Anandtech.  Suggested remedy : throw it away !!   Replace it with a Samsung 850 Pro 256 GB model, or , the less expensive and nearly as good Crucial M550 SSD ONLY !! Other SSDs are NOT recommended...especially for video.....as they do not handle " incompressible data" , like digital video, well.

                                        Their cheap "Sandforce" controllers and inferior type of flash memory can result in poor performance, ( especially write performance), and reliability issues. Your current SSD tested out in the 125 to 160 MB per second in transfer speed vs. the CURRENT speed of the Samsung Pro which is 550MB per second READ and over 500MB per second write !!

                                        Only put the OS, programs, and Windows page file on it.  A slow storage system will slow your WHOLE SYSTEM DOWN !!

                                     

                                    2. The bulky, slow, spinning, mechanical hard drives.....with all their ISSUES :  (drive fill degradation, latency, reliability,etc. ), are slowly being phased out.  However, they still offer a huge capacity  for cheap backup and archiving.

                                        You have many SATA ports on your MOBO you can use effectively. Buy a SECOND and LARGER Samsung Pro, ( NOT "EVO" ), or Crucial M550 to use for all cache files, previews, project files, media and exports...like Bill suggested....to keep overall performance high. This would be your "working drive" for active projects, running at a high speed. Each of these drives should be connected to an Intel SATA 6gbs port....the HDDs are too slow for these ports and the Marvell 6gbs ports test slower.

                                     

                                    Use your existing HDDs for backup and archiving.

                                     

                                    For maximum performance with your rig, you may want to consider using a plug - in M.2 add in card , as Bill mentioned, that you can insert a PCI SSD into INSTEAD of using the second SSD. Even though the CPU will limit its speed to PCI generation 2, ( your MOBO supports gen. 3), you STILL would get a HUGE speed increase PLUS you would ELIMINATE the "half-duplex" nature of the traditional SATA interface. PCI allows for Bi-directional communication......reading AND writing at the SAME TIME, whereas SATA LIMITS communication to either reading OR writing...like a walkie-talkie....not BOTH at the same time. The Samsung SM 951 PCI SSD is backward compatible to PCI generation 2 and will use 4 lanes with the proper add in card....it should deliver at least 1GB per second read and over 900MB sec. write...maybe more......for roughly $1 per GB cost. They are expensive...but, WORTH IT !!