27 Replies Latest reply on Dec 3, 2009 7:31 PM by Jim_Simon

    Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray

    StarPathOne
      Hi,

      I need some advice for a CS4 system  config.

      I am currently building this system for editing uncompressed SD/HD/AVCHD video and authoring Blu-Ray, Flash, SD DVD's.

      This is being built a local comp store and parts are already coming in, so any changes would be extras, and I'm on a budget. I know I should have posted this before, but reading conflicting reports on config/drive issues raised some questions and concerns.

      Here's the current specs.....

      750W Corsair ATX Power supply w/140mm  fan
      GlacialTech SilentBlade II 120mm case  fan
      ASUS P6T motherboard w/Triple Channel  mem support
      Intel Core i7 920 2.66 Ghz  processor
      Kingston SSD(Now V-Series) 128gb,  SATA 300 boot drive
      Seagate ST31500341AS 1.5TB 7200RPM  HDD X 2 in RAID 0 Stripe (Internal)
      2GB DDR3 PC3-10666 (1333MHz) Memory X  6=12GB RAM
      nVidia Quadro FX1800 graphics card w/Elemental Accelerator
      LG Blu-Ray SuperMulti Blue DVD Burner
      2TB USB External HHD (attached via  USB)
      2TD Firewire External HHD (attached  via Firewire 800)
      4 Pin Molex to 2 x SATA power  adapter
      4 live squirrels with hi-power hot  peanuts in hamster wheel
      Windows 7x64bit

      I'll be using CS4 Production Premium  (upsell package) for Windows.

      1. Is it possible to run CS4 on an SSD drive (as the OS boot and app's drive)? I've heard mixed reports that CS4 does not play well with SSD's.

      2. When configuring CS4 for a project, which drive should each project element/asset go to maximize speed?  After seeing so many conflicting articles, I'm completely lost on cache drive vs. media/project files vs. backup drives.

      3. Should I use RAID 0 for my scratch discs (for performance) and just manually backup the project to an external HDD?  (I hear horror stories of these drives freezing in RAID).

      7. Should I wear boxers or briefs while editing?


      Thanks in advance!
        • 1. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          1. Yes, you can use a SSD as a boot disk for OS & programs. No problem.

           

          2 & 3. Make sure you do NOT get the 7200.11 Seagates. You MUST only use the 7200.12 version. I would NOT put them in a (R)aid0, especially not with Seagates. Instead of two 1.5 TB disks, you can consider to get one 1.5 TB for source/media and two smaller disks, one for projects/scratch and one for exports.

           

          Not all P6T mobo's have FW800 on board. You may be limited to FW400. For external (backup) storage you are better off with eSATA.

           

          7. Definitely boxers. It fits better with your climbing boots and real editors always wear climbing boots when sitting at their editing station, just in case a mountain suddenly appears on the monitor.

           

          Also have a look here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/525263?tstart=0

          • 2. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
            Jim_Simon Level 9
            I would NOT put them in a (R)aid0

             

            I would agree, a RAID 3 should be used (which means adding an Areca controller).  A single drive will probably not be fast enough for Uncompressed work, especially HD.

             

            So far you have listed only 2 internal drives (System and Media).  I'd add a third for Projects/Scratch and maybe a fourth for Exports.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
              StarPathOne Level 1

              Thanks Harm, I was afraid of that. Since the Seagates are already paid for, I guess I can still use them for archival backups.

               

              At least I'll be able to put CS4 on the SSD...so all my apps will be happy together and won't be lonely, stranded in exile.

               

              In order to set up a RAID 3, what would that entail? I'm petrified of losing important project data as I often work on deadlines. Losing a day or two to rebuild an array would just plain suck.

               

              If I just ran a non-RAID set up, I assume I'd likely lose uncompressed playback capability? I guess I'll have to live with that until I get the Areca card and extra drives.

               

              Is anyone running a SSD RAID array for their media/projects/scratch? It seems like the speed would be great, but I worry about the lack of defrag capability if I had to render out to tape.

               

              I researched this system for a couple weeks and it STILL looks like it won't do I what I wanted. The headaches to putting an uncompressed HD/AVCHD system together, considering all the variables to check is just ridiculous.

               

              Considering how many mountains tend to pop up on my monitor, it looks like I'll even have to invest in the climbing boots too...yet another unexpected expense! LOL

               

              Many thanks to you guys for pointing me in the right direction!

              • 4. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                StarPathOne Level 1

                Jim, what's a decent Areca card going to cost? Do you know if they work with a ASUS P6T mobo?

                 

                Thanks!

                • 5. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                  Harm Millaard Level 7

                  Areca ARC-1680ix-12 at Newegg is around $ 850 with 2 GB cache. Add the BBM, battery backup module to that and total will be close to $ 1 K. If you need more ports, go for the 24 version, which is around $ 1230.

                   

                  I just proposed to Bill Gehrke a system with 4 SSD's in raid 10 for OS & programs, 4 SSD's in raid0 for pagefile, media cache and renders and 18 Seagate Cheetah 15.7K 600 G disks in raid30 (including 2 hot spares) for editing, giving 8.4 TB net space, all disks hot-swappable. Of course all SSD's with the trim function on it. For such a configuration, you need the 1680iX-24.

                   

                  When you setup a raid30 and you add hot-spares, there is instant rebuilding on the hot-spare if one disk in a single raid3 fails. The failed disk is then replaced and added as a new hot-spare. You will not even notice this in terms of performance drop.

                   

                  Uncompressed HD 1080p/50 as you stated can require sustained transfer rates of 375 MB/s per stream so you will need a beefy raid setup.

                  Uncompressed AVCHD does not exist, it is an oxymoron. All AVCHD material is heavily compressed.

                  • 6. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                    StarPathOne Level 1

                    Well, it seems my dreams of running uncompressed HD just went down the drain with that lol. Being on a budget the Areca card and RAID array at that level would have to wait after the holidays are paid for unfortunately.

                     

                    Indeed, you're correct about the AVCHD, as I should have stated full native support instead of uncompressed. Still, it takes some speed to run those files. I'm really looking forward to seeing what CS4 can do here.

                     

                    Good news...I just found out I'll be able to switch out the 7200.11's with another drive, so I won't lose anything there. Bad news, my mobo is indeed only Firewire 400.

                     

                    So, I guess the question is now, for the time being, with the SSD for apps and OS, and two 1.5TB HDD's (in either RAID or non-RAID), and two 1TB externals, one connected with eSATA, and one with Firewire 800...

                     

                    1. With this present spec, would I gain any speed by separating the project assets...or should I just keep them together until I can get a faster RAID? I'm totally lost in how I should do this config....I'm not really even sure what the pagefile/cache/etc. does for the project itself.

                     

                    2. I'll have to add a Firewire 800 adapter as this P6T is only FW/400. Would an adpater actually give me 800 speed, or is it just a so-called 'slight of hand' if the mobo doesn't have FW/800?

                     

                    3. What HDD would you recommend for the internal RAID? 10,000rpm Western Digitals perhaps?

                     

                    Thanks again Harm...your video kung-fu is strong!

                     

                    p.s. Just out of curiosity..how much is that impressive SSD RAID array you mentioned?

                    • 7. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                      First, look closely at your mobo and the physical location of the various PCI slots to determine whether adding a FW800 card will not preclude the use of a raid controller after your holidays. Keep in mind that PCI-X cards are pretty rare and a lot more expensive than PCI FW cards.

                       

                      I would look at the following disk setup:

                       

                      C: SSD for OS & programs

                      D: 1.5 TB for pagefile (min=max size 8 GB, do that first after installing the OS), projects and media cache and scratch

                      E: 1.5 TB for source media

                      F: external eSATA for exports

                      G: 2-nd external for backup of projects and other material. FW400 is enough for backup. No need to go to FW800.

                       

                      I don't expect Bill to fall for the suggested setup, but it sure is fast.

                       

                      4 x SSD 80 GB in raid10:          $ 1200

                      4 x SSD 160 GB in raid0:          $ 2200

                      18 x Cheetah 15K.7 in raid30:    € 9000 (approximately, could not find US prices, but for simplicity calculate $ = €)

                       

                      Add to that the Areca ARC-1680iX-24, BBM and the system and you may need to get your wife a pair of climbing boots as well...

                       

                      Happy dreams.

                      1 person found this helpful
                      • 8. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                        Jim_Simon Level 9
                        Losing a day or two to rebuild an array would just plain suck.

                         

                        Agreed.  But the advantage of a RAID 3 is that performance degrades very little while the array rebuilds, so you should not lose much time, if any.  (Whereas the performance of a RAID 5 can slow to a crawl during a rebuild.)

                        • 9. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                          Jim_Simon Level 9

                          Areca ARC-1680ix-12 at Newegg is around $ 850 with 2 GB cache.

                           

                          Don't let Harm's kick-*** system scare you.  Cards do start much cheaper, around $150.

                          • 10. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                            Jim_Simon Level 9
                            Still, it takes some speed to run those files. I'm really looking forward to seeing what CS4 can do here.

                             

                            Both HDV and AVCHD actually take about the same disk resources as DV.  They all have at best the same approximate 25 Mb/s data rate, which translates to roughly 4 MB/s with file overhead.  Any single modern drive will run around 60 MB/s at a minimum (with the Seagates topping off at over 100 MB/s), which is more than capable of running all three formats even in multiple streams.

                             

                            Where the RAID 3 comes in is data protection.  Unlike DV and HDV, AVCHD has no tape backup.  The flash cards or camera hard drive are typically reused when shooting with AVCHD, so data security on the edit system becomes more important than with tape based formats.

                            • 11. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                              StarPathOne Level 1

                              Thank Harm, that setup info alone will save me many headaches.  I do need to research what the pagefile, cache, logs, and such really do for these projects.

                               

                              I'm thrilled to here the CS4 will run on the SSD as well...even Adobe sales told me not to run it on an SSD, but I think they were referring to a flash (aka pen) type drive.

                               

                              I'll be shooting for a RAID 3, and eventually a RAID 30 array...as the projects flow in and I can get the Areca card. I'm thinking with this board/CPU I should have no problems upgrading once I can afford it.

                               

                              That SSD array is insane...I'd have to put the wife to work to pay for that, and her own boots too! (hmmmm, not a bad idea!)

                              • 12. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                StarPathOne Level 1

                                Wait, you mean I could get into a RAID 3 with a $150 card? Are you pulling my leg....is that an Areaca card?

                                 

                                Would that hold me up to a RAID 30 upgrade?

                                 

                                Man, just have RAID 3 I'd be ecstatic!

                                • 13. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                  Jim_Simon Level 9

                                  It is an Areca card.  I don't know what RAID levels are supported on such a card.  You'd have to investigate.  But you're not likely to need the 12 ports on Harm's listed card.  You can get them with just 4, which will be cheaper.

                                  • 14. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                                    Raid3 or the striped version of that, raid30 requires a hardware card with it's own IOP and own memory and AFAIK Areca is the only one to support raid3/30. Adaptec has hardware cards that start at around $ 500 but do not offer raid3/30. Software raid cards can be available for $ 150 or even less, but never offer raid3 support. I recently wrote an article 'To raid or not to raid, that is the question' that will give you more background on raid controllers.

                                    • 15. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                      StarPathOne Level 1

                                      Wow! I'll certainly look into that. If I could get in RAID 3 for a couple hundred more, I'd jump all over that.

                                       

                                      In your opinion, should I stick with Seagates for RAID arrays, or has WD's or Hitachi's been more reliable? I know this is a roll of the dice either way, but just didn't know what the stats are for reliability. I need to supply my builder with a model # for replacing the 7200.11's I had spec'd earlier? Any advice?

                                      • 16. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                        StarPathOne Level 1

                                        Harm Millaard wrote:

                                         

                                        Raid3 or the striped version of that, raid30 requires a hardware card with it's own IOP and own memory and AFAIK Areca is the only one to support raid3/30. Adaptec has hardware cards that start at around $ 500 but do not offer raid3/30. Software raid cards can be available for $ 150 or even less, but never offer raid3 support. I recently wrote an article 'To raid or not to raid, that is the question' that will give you more background on raid controllers.

                                        Ah, so that's why the $850 for the card you listed....it seems the manufacturers have our number here.

                                         

                                        I tried to open the RAID article you wrote earlier and it wouldn't let me in for some reason...just now reading it.

                                         

                                        I definitely want to set up RAID 3 as soon as possible. According to Harm, it looks like I'll have to spend around 1K at least, with what I have now, to do that unless I can take out one of my current externals out of the enclosure and add it to a RAID 3 array. Yep, that's an 'after holiday' option.

                                         

                                        Thanks again...you guys are heros!

                                        • 17. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                          Chuck A. McIntyre Level 3

                                          Just curious, we use the Panasonic AG-HVX200P cameras. The P2 folder-based file format is annoying, but the hi-def video quality is spectacular. I have exported stills from the Premiere timeline of this hi-def footage and even the individual frame image quality is great. I can't imagine why we would need higher quality unless at sometime, we need to create a video that will be shown on an 80' wide screen. For example, a video for Samsung to demonstrate LED quality to a mass audience at an outdoor event.

                                           

                                          A couple of questions:

                                          1.) Is AVCHD quality better than P2?

                                           

                                          2.) If AVCHD quality isn't better than P2, why are people buying cameras that use this difficult-to-edit format?

                                          • 18. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                            StarPathOne Level 1

                                            Harm Millaard wrote:

                                             

                                            Areca ARC-1680ix-12 at Newegg is around $ 850 with 2 GB cache. Add the BBM, battery backup module to that and total will be close to $ 1 K. If you need more ports, go for the 24 version, which is around $ 1230.

                                            .......

                                             

                                            When you setup a raid30 and you add hot-spares, there is instant rebuilding on the hot-spare if one disk in a single raid3 fails. The failed disk is then replaced and added as a new hot-spare. You will not even notice this in terms of performance drop.

                                             

                                            Uncompressed HD 1080p/50 as you stated can require sustained transfer rates of 375 MB/s per stream so you will need a beefy raid setup.

                                            Uncompressed AVCHD does not exist, it is an oxymoron. All AVCHD material is heavily compressed.

                                            1. Harm, if I set up a RAID 3, (and wanted RAID 30 upgrade capability), I assume I'd have to have the extra ports on the 24 port version of the Areca card?

                                             

                                            2. Also, to set up a RAID 3 or RAID 30, do ALL the HDD's have to have the exact same cache size and capacity? Basically, would I have to use the exact same drives?

                                             

                                            3. Any recommends on RAID drive models? 1TB WD Caviar Black, or Green, and the WD RE3 (model # - WD1002FBYS) 7200rpm SATA drives are looking good, but I see mixed reports of going with 16 vs 32 vs 64mb caches. This makes sense because they would have to have the same seek times, correct?

                                             

                                            4. 7200 or 10,000 rpm for RAID 3?

                                            • 19. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                              Harm Millaard Level 7

                                              1. The 12 port version has 12 ports internally plus 4 ports for eSATA drives, so you can connect up to 16 disks on that controller. You would have to go for a massive array to feel limited. Some think that I have overdone it with 12 disks in a raid30 array, but anyway I still have the 4 ports for eSATA available.

                                               

                                              2. Each raid 3 array must have the same disks, but it is possible to use a raid3 array with type X disks and the other raid3 array with type Y disks. However, I think it is better to have all disk exactly the same and it will give you a better price if you go for 10 or more disks at the same time.

                                               

                                              3. The best ones are the RE3's, but they are also the most pricey.

                                               

                                              4. 7200 is fast enough. I have 850+ MB/s average read speeds on my array with simple 7200 disks.

                                              • 20. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                StarPathOne Level 1

                                                Harm Millaard wrote:

                                                 

                                                1. The 12 port version has 12 ports internally plus 4 ports for eSATA drives, so you can connect up to 16 disks on that controller. You would have to go for a massive array to feel limited. Some think that I have overdone it with 12 disks in a raid30 array, but anyway I still have the 4 ports for eSATA available.

                                                 

                                                2. Each raid 3 array must have the same disks, but it is possible to use a raid3 array with type X disks and the other raid3 array with type Y disks. However, I think it is better to have all disk exactly the same and it will give you a better price if you go for 10 or more disks at the same time.

                                                 

                                                3. The best ones are the RE3's, but they are also the most pricey.

                                                 

                                                4. 7200 is fast enough. I have 850+ MB/s average read speeds on my array with simple 7200 disks.

                                                 

                                                 

                                                I've got the RE3's on order now. I'll look into the 12 port version after the holidays, as I'm pretty sure that's the direction I want to go.

                                                 

                                                Excellent advice....thanks again. I'd give you another correct or helpful answer point if I could here!

                                                • 21. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                  Jim_Simon Level 9
                                                  looks like I'll have to spend around 1K at least

                                                   

                                                   

                                                  http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816131003&Tpk=ARC-1210

                                                   

                                                  It'll do RAID3, and this one's a LOT cheaper.

                                                  • 22. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                    StarPathOne Level 1

                                                    JSS1138 wrote:

                                                     

                                                    looks like I'll have to spend around 1K at least

                                                     

                                                     

                                                    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816131003&Tpk=ARC-1210

                                                     

                                                    It'll do RAID3, and this one's a LOT cheaper.

                                                    If it'll do RAID 3, does that mean it could do RAID 30? I notice it can handle up to 16 drives.

                                                     

                                                    You might be saving me $500 if that's the case! Looks like it would be compatible with a ASUS P6T as well.

                                                    • 23. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                      That is correct Jim, but the 1210 uses the Intel 332 IOP, the 1680 uses the 348 IOP. Now that is somewhat comparable to a P4 versus an i7. Also take into consideration the 256 MB versus 2 GB cache and only 4 ports versus 12+4 (4 x multilane) and you have the explanation for the price difference.

                                                       

                                                      A Mercedes A-140 is the same brand as the Mercedes S-500 L, but they are incomparable, just as the 1210 and 1680iX-12. All are good for their intended purpose but with different price tags and capabilities.

                                                      • 24. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                        StarPathOne Level 1

                                                        Harm Millaard wrote:

                                                         

                                                        That is correct Jim, but the 1210 uses the Intel 332 IOP, the 1680 uses the 348 IOP. Now that is somewhat comparable to a P4 versus an i7. Also take into consideration the 256 MB versus 2 GB cache and only 4 ports versus 12+4 (4 x multilane) and you have the explanation for the price difference.

                                                         

                                                        A Mercedes A-140 is the same brand as the Mercedes S-500 L, but they are incomparable, just as the 1210 and 1680iX-12. All are good for their intended purpose but with different price tags and capabilities.

                                                        Does this mean it would limit me to around 400Mbps?

                                                         

                                                        Could it handle an 8 disk RAID 30 for uncompressed HD?

                                                        • 25. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                          Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                          My gut feeling is that with a 1210 controller, with 4 disks (all ports in use), you would see average read times of around:

                                                           

                                                          Raid0: 350 MB/s

                                                          Raid3: 240 MB/s

                                                           

                                                          WARNING: These figures are not based on testing, just gut feelings. Maybe I'm optimistic.

                                                           

                                                          Raid30 is not possible on a 1210. Not enough ports. For raid30 the minimum number of disks is 6.

                                                           

                                                          Gut feeling about raid30 performance average read on a 1680:

                                                           

                                                          Raid30,   6 disks: 380 MB/s

                                                          Raid30,   8 disks: 520 MB/s

                                                          Raid30, 10 disks: 650 MB/s

                                                           

                                                          Do not hold this against me if actual figures are off. I repeat, these are guesstimates.

                                                          • 26. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                            Jim_Simon Level 9

                                                            A fair point, Harm.

                                                             

                                                            But there is still something like the this:

                                                             

                                                            http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16816151039

                                                             

                                                            This card features the Intel IOP348 I/O processor.

                                                             

                                                            provides up to 8 SATA II peripheral devices.

                                                             

                                                            This card supports RAID levels 0, 1, 10, 3, 5, 6, 30, 50, 60, Single  Disk or JBOD

                                                             

                                                            $439.99

                                                            • 27. Re: Advice on CS4 system config for AVCHD/Blu-Ray
                                                              Jim_Simon Level 9

                                                              As a point of interest, I also question the necessity of a RAID 30.  The ARC-1680 was benchmarked at 497 average read in RAID 3, but only 447 is RAID 30.  And the Areca ARC-1261ML had them both beat at 523 average read in RAID 3.

                                                               

                                                              http://www.treadlayers.com/PC_Hardware/Storage/SATA_II_SAS_RAID/SATA_II_RAID_14.shtml