9 Replies Latest reply on Nov 18, 2009 5:32 PM by the_wine_snob

    Should I partition on the Mac?

    NickLW

      I've got the full CS4 Master Suite. I'm just about to get a new iMac with 2TB internal HD, 16GB RAM.
      Can anyone tell me the best way to set up the iMac's HD to get the best from Premiere Pro?

       

      I've just read Harm Millaar's interesting post: Storage rules for an editing rig. Some basics.

       

      I was stunned because I always thought partitioning and journalling were good. I also though external HDs slowed things down. Mine certainly seem to on my existing machine.

       

      My questions are:

       

      Does this advice apply to Macs the same as PCs?

       

      Should I avoid partitioning my internal 2TB HD?

       

      Is it really better to have several external's connected rather than rely on the one 2TB internal?

       

      If I connect any other External HDs (via Firewire 800), should I not partition these?

       

      Should I keep an external HD plugged in (via Firewire 800) just as a scratch disk? - And what's the optimum size for a scratch disk?

       

      Should I switch off Journalling? (Apple advises it should be kept on except for partitions with read only files)

       

      Please Help.

        • 1. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
          Jim_Simon Level 8

          Can anyone tell me the best way to set up the iMac's HD to get the best from Premiere Pro?

           

          Wipe it completely.  Add a second smaller drive and reinstall the OS and editing programs on that.  Get a third middle sized drive to use for Project files and Scratch disks.  Use the current 2TB drive for media only.

           

          Don't partition anything.

           

          (On a side note, journaling is a good thing. Both the Mac's HFS+ and the PC's NTFS are journaling file systems by default.  But this is unrelated to partitioning.)

          • 2. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Nick,

             

            While I specifically had PC's in mind when I wrote the article, due to my lack of expertise on Mac's, some basic rules apply to all computers. The more you spread disk activities over more disks, the better. Look at it another way, you want to render your timeline. If clock speed is the same then of course the more cores you have, the faster it goes. A single core CPU can never measure up to multi-core CPU's. The same happens with disks. If you have only one disk, it is comparable to having a single core CPU, when you spread the load over 4 disks, it is comparable to a quad core CPU.

             

            Partitioning does not increase the number of disks, it only fakes it, but physically it is still a single disk (like a single core).

             

            I agree with Jim, get a smallish (80+ GB) disk for OS & Programs, and get as many large disks as fit into your system for projects, media, preview and scratch, media cache etc. It is like collecting cores. Maybe this latest article is also of interest to you:

             

            http://forums.adobe.com/thread/525263?tstart=0

             

            To put it another way:

             

            For video editing you are better of with 4 x 250 GB disks than 1 x 1 TB disk

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Nick,

               

              I forgot to answer your question about externals.

               

              eSATA (external) is just as fast as internal SATA. The only difference is a different physical connector, but the interface is the same.

               

              FW800 is significantly slower, by around 40-50%, FW400 is even slower and USB is the snail amongst interfaces.

               

              I suggest you fit in as many internal SATA disks as possible, unless you are contemplating going the FC route.

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
                the_wine_snob Level 9

                Nick,

                 

                I agree with both Harm & Jim on partitioning a HDD.

                 

                Now, for your question on externals. I shuttle many Projects (SD only - no HD) between my laptop and my workstation. I use FW-800's for this task. With these Projects, I have all media, Project files, Render files, and Scratch Disks on these. This is NOT the most effective allocation of HDD's, but for shuttling, it works fine. I spead those operations and locations on the workstation, for Projects that will not be shuttled.

                 

                As Harm states, eSATA is the best. I tried USB's, and then FW-400's over the years, and had issues, plus everything took forever. When FW-800 came out, I tested, and these worked fine. I invested heavily, so am pretty much locked into them now. For new acquisitions and for a new workstation, I will go with and add eSATA. For now, it's FW-800, and for SD Projects, they work fine for me.

                 

                For Projects that do not need to be transported, machine to machine, I would install enough internals to spread the load amongst them, as Harm suggests. I'd use externals for archiving my media, and other Assets, plus for archiving Projects. Internals will give you the best performance, though eSATA externals for Scratch Disks should be just fine.

                 

                Good luck,

                 

                Hunt

                • 5. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
                  NickLW Level 1

                  Thanks Harm

                   

                  I really appreciate it.

                   

                  I've just checked the spec of my new iMac.

                   

                  Its got one Firewire 800 port and 4 USB2 ports. No eSATA ports unfortunately. My MyBook external HDs have eSATAs (as well as USB2 and Firewire 800) - but I suppose that's no good if my Mac doesn't have eSATA?

                   

                  How does USB2 speed compare to the others?

                   

                  Also, should I daisy chain all my external devices or plug each one into a separate port? (assuming its OK to use USB2 ports)

                   

                  Cheers

                  • 6. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    Nick, like I said, I have no experience with Mac's, but it would be expected that they have a number of internal SATA ports available, of which only 2 are occupied if you go with the smallish OS disk and the 2 TB disk. That would leave you with 2 or 4 other SATA connectors on the mobo is my guess. You can use those for internal disks (my preference) or you can use a SATA-to-eSATA cable to connect externals. Otherwise use FW800, like Bill does.

                     

                    Very roughly the transfer rates with different interfaces is around:

                     

                    SATA & eSATA: 80 -100 MB/s

                    FW800: 40-55 MB/s

                    FW400: 25-35 MB/s

                    USB2: 20-25 MB/s (dependent on the number of USB devices connected)

                    • 7. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
                      NickLW Level 1

                      Thanks Harm

                       

                      Lots of useful advice there

                       

                      Nick

                      • 8. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        I have objection if you show that by pressing either the Helpful or Correct button below any of my posts.

                        • 9. Re: Should I partition on the Mac?
                          the_wine_snob Level 9
                          I have objection if you show that by pressing either the Helpful or Correct button below any of my posts.

                           

                          Harm,

                           

                          I think that you forgot a "no," as in "no objection." Now, it could be that the new, automatic hard return got you, who knows?

                           

                          I think that your biggest contribution was to convince Mark that partitions are bad, and should not be used. In that respect, your work was done. All of the other useful, and insightful info was lagniappe, a New Orleans word meaning a little something extra.

                           

                          When I run against the folk, who demand a partition, I trot out your article, and then tell them that you invented the hard disk drive. At that point, they relent.

                           

                          Take care, and I cannot wait until our lunch at the Official Adobe Cafeteria. Remember, I will bring the wine for the Friday lobster meal.

                           

                          Hunt

                           

                          PS - you cannot imagine what I had to go through to get your text into a Block Quote.