1 Reply Latest reply on Jun 9, 2016 6:13 PM by JFPhoton

    yep, another disk setup thread


      I just bought a 2008 Mac Pro that I'm trying to maximize for my usage as a new editor. I'm a videographer and will be editing 4k footage from of my GH4, basic timelines with some warp stabilization. This is the equipment I have:


      CPU     2 x 3.2GHz Quad Core Intel Xeon

      GPU     AMD Radeon HD 7970 3GB VRAM

      RAM     64GB DDR2 667 MHz

      HD:      1 x 240GB SSD

                  2x 2TB 7200rpm HDD

                  2x 1TB 7200rpm HDD

                  (above all SATA 2, 3Gb/s)

                  2x 5TB USB 3 external HHD


      I'd like to have one each for OS/apps, media/projects, backup, then some combination of previews/cache/exports on the rest.

      I was thinking I would set up the SSD as my boot drive/OS/apps, and the two 1TBs as RAID 0, either for media/projects or previews/cache/exports.


      Is it faster to use one of my USB 3 external drives or two of my internals as RAID 0?

      What should I use each drive for?

      Should I get a 6Gb/s PCIe 2.0 host adapter for my SSD?

      Any comments on the rest of my equipment? Potential bottlenecking?


      Thanks in advance for your help!

        • 1. Re: yep, another disk setup thread
          JFPhoton Level 3

          I am sure you understand that your machine is very old now, in terms of what most people currently are using to edit, and that trying to edit 4K smoothly may present a problem no matter what you do. However, there are "tweaks" you can do to insure that you are getting the maximum performance with the hardware you have.


          Assuming that your primary editing software is Adobe Premiere Pro CC, you will suffer by not having "CUDA acceleration" while editing and rendering.....a feature provided ONLY by NVidia GPUs of over 1 GB of video memory. The limited acceleration provided by AMD GPUs is negligible in comparison. CUDA enabled effects, and operations like scaling, can reduce rendering previews time,or, exporting time by a factor of TEN TIMES in certain cases. If it possible to install an NVidia GPU on your system, you would want to do that.


          Your CPU clock speed is "OK" by today's standards, but, not equivalent to the blazing speeds of the new Broadwell E, or, even Haswell E CPUs which offer overclockability to 4.5 Ghz to improve performance. With 16 cores running at 3.2 Ghz, you should be OK without a bottleneck from the CPU, unless multiple video tracks of 4K are on the timeline which may be loaded with effects.You have plenty of system memory, although ITS speed is slow by current standards....yours at 667Mhz, while newer  DDR4 quad channel memory is going over 3000Mhz !!!


          Your drive setup is very important in determining your performance while editing, rendering previews, scrubbing the timeline,or, exporting.


          Your boot drive SSD is probably OK because only the operating system and programs should be on it. Once these are loaded into the system memory, they are "memory resident " so, the speed of the boot drive doesn't matter much, except for the "paging" activities done by the operating system.......! am not sure how the Mac OS handles that....I'm a Windows guy.


          The speed of the drive which contains your media, ( footage and clips), and project files is CRUCIAL to performance. This is the area where most bottlenecks occur , due to inadequate drive speed. The cost of SSDs has dropped tremendously and they offer the best performance for the buck. However, using your CURRENT drives you can improve the speed of your drive volumes and improve the editing performance.


          Start by taking the two 1TB drives and make a RAID 0 of them off the motherboard. Performance should now rise to about 220 MB/sec read and write. This is not a good speed by todays standards where cheap SSDs are doing 500 MB/sec read and write, but, it IS better than a single spinning drive performance of only 110 to 120 MB/ sec.


          On this RAID put all the files which can easily be replaced, if necessary : previews, cache, media cache, and exports.


          Make a SECOND RAID 0 off the MOBO ( if you CAN on a Mac...I don't know), with the two 2 TB drives for your media, project files, and other files. You will need to back this valuable data up religiously. The USB3 external will be painfully slow as a backup for your 4 TB RAID volume. It would be better to buy an internal 4TB enterprise level hard drive with 128 MB cache to back up this RAID.



          It just may be better to buy second SSD to use instead of the large ,4TB RAID 0 array. Even at SATA II speed, it will provide a faster " work drive". Then, you simply would move completed projects and media files off of it onto your existing HDDs to archive and to back them up. It all depends on the capability of your motherboard. Adding a controller card is an option you could do to implement a large RAID 0, if your board lacks ports. However,  a decent card for RAID 3 or 5 would be expensive, and not worth it.


          I am not sure of the operating system you are using and if it would even support "trim" for SSDs, or, other newer features.


          If using spinning hard drives you want to make sure they are not more than 50% full, are "defragmented", and that "indexing" is turned off for all the drives, ( do not know if indexing switch exists on a Mac ).


          You may download the free ATTO benchmark program to test the current speed of your drives and when reconfigured.

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