26 Replies Latest reply on Apr 22, 2010 11:49 PM by derpuma-kl

    RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4


      I have spent a few days reading all the historical posts on whether to RAID or not for PP CS4.  As a newbie on this forum is I am struck by the wealth on information, and especially by the amazing posts by Mr. Millaard.  I especially found this post helpful.  In that post Mr. Millaard says:


      "If you only have 3 or 4 disks in total, forget about RAID"


      I would like to better understand this philosophy.  I should probably ask him directly, but I don't have his email address and besides, this way others can learn as well.


      In my case I am limited to 4 drives because of space limitations inside the case.  I plan to have one drive for the OS (and for my other documents ... Word, Excel, etc.).  That leaves 3 drives for Premiere Pro.


      I am not worried about losing drives.  This is not me being cavalier ... just my experience.  I have been using computers for 30 years (my first computer was an Imsai 8080 with paddles on the front!) and have only ever lost one hard disk.  I back up every night religiously, and archive on a regular basis offsite.  My opinion is that my exposure is very small.  Based on those stats my exposure is that I *might* lose a half days work every 30 years.


      So, my plan is RAID 0 (yes, I know, the "band aid of RAID").  That said, a 3 drive RAID 0 system should be roughly 2 to 2.5 times faster than non RAID.  It has the additional advantage of being pretty easy to manage and more efficient because it is just one logical volume.


      Would operating as 3 seperate drives really be faster?  I am not trying to challenge that assumption as much as understand it.  My goal is speed, so it is in my interest to understand how to achieve the best performance.


      Thanks in advance!

        • 1. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
          Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

          Myers CPR wrote:



          Would operating as 3 seperate drives really be faster?  .


          Thanks in advance!

          I have to agree with you on this one.  Yes three drives in RAID 0 is faster than three separate drives.  My current editing system I have more drives, but with all my testing even two drives in RAID 0 is faster than three drives with files spread out on them.  It is slightly riskier than a single drive type solution but with proper backup it is my choice, but in that regard I am possibly in the minority.  Do you have a spare 5.25" slot available?  If so get a mobile rack for a large archival/backup drive or if not use an eSATA external drive.  Also take a look at you peers results on my Premiere Pro Benchmark site.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
            Harm Millaard Level 7
            I have been using computers for 30 years (my first computer was an Imsai 8080 with paddles on the front!) and have only ever lost one hard disk.


            Welcome to the New kid on the block. That is about how I must describe you. I started out on an Altair MITS with Basic, then an IBM 5110 with APL, then an IBM 1180 with all those switch settings and loads of punch cards to start the machine (it was a disaster if you dropped that tray of punch cards ), then a DEC 2060 and acquired some experience with Cobol, RPG, Fortran, J, Pascal, and some other languages. I must say that APL is still my favorite language... Getting off track here.


            Back to your question. Why did I say forget about raids with only 3 or 4 disks? One disk is dedicated to OS & programs. So that only leaves 2 or 3 disks for a possible raid. If you want any redundancy that is only possible with 3 disks in raid 3 or 5, but in that case the speed advantage in practice (not in benchmark testing, I have to agree with Bill here) may well be offset by the distributed access of project, media cache, media and scratch files so it may not give you any significant speed advantage at all. The added complexity may for many outweigh the speed advantage, because of the lack of expertise on how to set up a proper raid 3 or 5 and how to utilize the redundancy (restoring data) in case of a disk failure. So that leaves (r)aid0 as an alternative. While it is undoubtedly true that (r)aid0 is way faster than single disks, and carries much less overhead for the system compared to parity raids, there is the risk of one disk failing and losing all data. The time required to restore those data IMO do not outweigh the speed advantage. Admitted, I use a 2 disk raid0 but only for pagefile, media cache, and temp files, so what the heck if it fails?


            My current array is possibly the most extravagant amongst people here (12 x 1TB in Raid30) but I do consider to expand that to 16 x 1 TB and sacrificing the separate disks I currently use to create 2 x 7 disk raid3 arrays, each with a hot-spare and striped to raid30. Why? Extra speed (which is not needed) and extra redundancy (which is welcome).


            In all my years with computers I have had too many inconvenient disk failures, losing valuable data and time, to forfeit on redundancy. Like you I have a strict backup scheme. Every night the servers synchronize (over VPN) and make a backup to a NAS, but even then we have had disk problems and being able to restore data is so convenient that, even though I am a speed freak, I happily take that penalty for safety.


            Hope this explains it somewhat.


            BTW, you can send me a private mail if you need further info.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
              NEIL MYERS Level 1



              I am thrilled to be thought of as "new", regardless of the context.  The older I become the more that matters!


              Thank you for your thoughtful response.  I do have some further, more detailed questions that might be better served via private email.  I don't know your email address, but if you have a minute perhaps you can send it to me at neilm@connectpr.com?


              Thank you again!

              • 4. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                Neil, I replied by private mail, but I suggest you edit your post to 'hide' your mail adress from spammers by editing it to something like:


                myname (at) adress (dot) com


                It may help avoid all kinds of spam.

                • 5. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                  JCschild Level 3

                  1) never never raid your OS. make an image weekly.


                  Ideal : Raid 5/6 Sonnet array (or similar)

                  2nd Ideal something crazy like Harm's


                  reality: 2 sets raid 0 (also depends on format/res etc)

                  and have a nightly back up plan to a NAS/ext esata etc. this needs to be done even with a raid 5. 1 good surge/brownout can still take out

                  redundant arrays.


                  minimum: 1 set raid 0. and again a back up plan thats not internal.




                  • 6. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                    Harm Millaard Level 7



                    2nd Ideal something crazy like Harm's


                    You mean like real crazy, idiotic or from outer space?


                    Your remark about surges/brownout are very valid. Luckily that does not happen often over here in the Netherlands, but in the US, Canada, France to name just a few countries, it happens like clockwork. It is so much safer to invest in a couple of high capacity UPS'es to make life much easier. We use a high capacitiy UPS on each server and BBM's on each raid controller. In France, I would even double that number of UPS'es. Once you have found that electricity was out for over a week and found everything in your fridge and freezer melted and rotten with blood all over the floor and a stinking smell that can not be removed from the fridge, you know what I mean.

                    • 7. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                      JCschild Level 3

                      Hey Harm,

                      good crazy we sell a 16 drive system



                      for 2k editing way less than a pair of Sonnet arrays. in fact i think you get the complete system for about that much



                      • 8. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                        JCschild Level 3

                        as to the UPS' completely agree however they will NOT stop a lightning strike or surge from a blown transformer (should you have one outside your house)

                        we tell every customer about this. funny when we start seeing drive failure 99% of the time its dirty power or an under powered UPS.

                        i am amazed people will spend $3k-8K (or more) on a system and then try to buy a $99 UPS.

                        • 9. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                          JCschild Level 3

                          dang Harm,

                          i thought these were going to your personal email LOL i dint realize they were public posts...


                          is the link to my site ok or do i need to remove? i dont like being accused of spaming!





                          • 10. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                            Harm Millaard Level 7



                            Nice system, but at quadruple the price I paid for my system and seeing the benchmark results of other dual W5590 systems, it seems a bit overpriced. Admitted, you have the monitors included, but even then it is a pricey system. Why don't you do the test and see if it performs equally to its price by running the http://ppbm4.com benchmark and submitting the results to Bill (and me by private mail).


                            BTW, you did not answer my question, why not ATI?

                            • 11. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                              JCschild Level 3

                              here is video i did reply.

                              Hey Harm,

                              until very recently nVidia was by far more powerful and price point was the better choice ATI now can compete however no Cuda support.

                              Adobe has had basic Cuda since CS3, much improved in CS4 and now with the mercury engine anyone who does not have a supported card will wish they did.


                              also until the last few yrs ATI drivers were buggy as heck.

                              i love the new ATI series that can do 3 monitor out but alas no Mercury support we have beta CS5 here and it makes a big diff.



                              • 12. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                Harm Millaard Level 7



                                I do agree, based on what we, simple end-users, were shown that MPE shows much promise and if CS5 does include it and TESLA is also supported, there is no way nVidia would not be the much preferred approach at this moment.


                                Just a simple system, an i7-980x, overclocked to 4.x+ GHz with 12/24 GB memory, a 4 SSD raid10 boot device and 16+ disk Cheetah 15K7 raid30 array for data (with hot-spares) would be nice. One only hopes that the nVidia GTX380 will be supported as well. That would make it a nice package.

                                • 13. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                  JCschild Level 3

                                  ok Eric and i have been talking about how to approach Bills test. i know he was in contact with Bill last yr as i was (maybe 2 yrs ago?).

                                  neither of us have been posting here for a good while (when they changed the forum my login didnt seem to work i had to create a new account)


                                  he is much more umm a diplomat than i. so here goes

                                  first let me say Bill deserves a huge amount of praise and respect for undertaking what he did. and i am not here to ruffle  feathers.

                                  however, and since you brought it up (my Xeon system which is for 2k not SD) it would be way overkill for SD and trust me we dont sell many.

                                  i7 or Dual Xeon but not that crazy system....


                                  the test is old DV/SD is dead.even churches on a budget are shooting in higher quality/res than that.


                                  test test is rather invalid for say acvhd, P2, uncompressed etc.


                                  the test at this point is more a test of harddrives (why you continue to be on top when you should have been creamed by the Xeon)

                                  and to a good degree straight GHz.  your 4GHz vs the Xeon 3.2.

                                  it does NOT use multithreading very well.

                                  nor does it account for memory bandwidth.

                                  a good example also is how well the Q6600 system did. when in reality even OCed to 3GHz its 3 gens old and rather dog slow compared to real world work. it should rank well down to the bottom.


                                  Ideally a test for todays standards would include HD with heavy effects and maybe even having bridge open with PS and AE.

                                  (how we test every system prior to shipping)



                                  • 14. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                    Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                    Scott, my PPBM testing is not designed for bragging rights, feature evaluation, or for testing with different formats.  It is a plain and simple hardware test that allows me (or you) to test two significant hardware features of your installation of Premiere.


                                    The MPEG test is a CPU intensive test and when comparing similar CPU's I can tell if your system is tuned properly, one of the most frequent problems that I see from people submitting results. Of course the posted results are probably a great sales tool for the latest generation upgrades.


                                    On the other hand the AVI encoding of a DV timeline using the Preview files is the most disk intensive test that I have been able to find in Premiere to see the relative disk performance of the system.


                                    When I developed PPBM I was very disappointed (and still am) in other so called Premiere benchmarks in that either there are either no full disclosures of the conditions or availability of the source data for you to run the tests.  I was suspicious of some of the claims being made on the forums.  Because of testing I was able to debunk the rumor that expensive graphics cards that people were advocating on the forum were of absolutely no help for Premiere..


                                    Those two tests have allowed me to give more feedback to forum users than any other testing I can think of.  That was true five years ago and is also true today.  When CS5 comes it may require changes to add a GPU evaluation tool.

                                    • 15. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                      JCschild Level 3

                                      HI Bill,

                                      again not here to ruffle feathers and i know you and Eric talked about this.


                                      no test should be about bragging rights, unfortunately when you open up a test to public/enduser input thats what you end up with.


                                      you right its a hardware test, more to do with Harddrives than anything else. that is only 1 part of a system and tells very little about a systems ability.

                                      you know darn well a Dual Xeon 3.3GHz system should be at the top of the list of a test that actually is heavy hitting.


                                      and i completely agree about over priced video cards, i have lost sales due to me telling a client he is wasting money bying a Quadro Fx (pick one)

                                      over the card its actually based on (nvidia 285) becuase to to marketing hype they got sucked into beliveing they needed to spend 1500-3500 for a video card. (and now adobe is going to for it thanks to nvidia) so they think i dont know what i am talking about.

                                      same when i tell a client that Apple's OS right now sucks for multithreading (and i sell Apple) and that Adobe on a PC is much better than on an Apple. on a PC you can see 8/16 cores all even where Apple is all over the place.


                                      as to others benchmarks i agree completely. i absolutely hate seeing Toms or Anadtech posting the lame tests they use as well as certain DV Mags i wont mention. as they dont play out well in real world use. i see it big time on the pro audio side as well.

                                      classic example every review you see out there shows the 860 out doing the 920. wrong.... at least for pro audio and video.


                                      you mention "disk intensive" again that it only 1/3 of the equation. and also why Harm is leading the pack. the next Sonnet array i get in i will run up that test and be on top and i could do it with an older 775 clocked @ 3.6GHz


                                      the 2 most frequent questions i get are about AVCHD and H264 encoding. even my wifes cheap $450 cam records to an hdd with Avchd.

                                      so yes it it about format/codecs. Consummer level or Pro.

                                      any relavant test for today will be about HD.

                                      most people now work in Avchd 1080i(broadcast), XdCamHD or DVCpro HD 1080i. with some doing some form of 1080P


                                      something like taking stock AVCHD footage or even a jpeg and adding multiple effects until you get drop outs.

                                      or taking 10 minutes of ACVHD adding effects then seeing how long it takes to render to H264.

                                      really both.

                                      drive benchmarks are really the last part to look at. those specs are not hard to find for the codec you are working in.


                                      again its awesome that you have put together the test you did and spent time gathering/posting data.

                                      but what was good 5 yrs ago no long is today.

                                      time for a new test.




                                      • 16. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                        Harm Millaard Level 7



                                        Reread # 10 instead of long winded discussions. After submission of your data we can talk again.

                                        • 17. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                          klfi Level 1

                                          I again follow this thread with much interest and i want to point out what Bill and Harm, also the other members  do for "Non professional" users.


                                          Since i follwed the hardware postings and listen to the experiance and suggestions i learned so much in video-hardware configuration. And to tell all the members, it works.


                                          Do Bills PPBM4 and compare the results. Than you will find out by your own what ist important and what not. Mybe you can do this test again for your own using for example differnet drives or different configurations...you will see the difference by your own. This is one way to learn for yourself and get your own experiance... but DO it an follow the suggestins...than y will see.


                                          For example who in a shop or online-store will tell y that there is no difference between using Sapphire 4870 Graficard (price EUR 180,--) and Nvidia CX (EUR 1.700) when editing in PPro CS4 (im not talking about AE CS4). Nobody will tell y becouse less of experiance AND knowlege of those people.

                                          I am using Sapphire 4870 (follwing one of Harms suggestions ) and also had the chance to test Nvidia CX and run PPBM4. There was no difference, not 1 second.


                                          So my suggestion, follow the thoughts and y will have the possibility to run a good, stabile and fast configuration in daily work. In the past i had a lot of problems in configure and hardware becouse of my less knowlede. But the experiances published here helped so much.  Will not miss it. 


                                          Thanks to Harm, thanks to Bill


                                          • 18. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                            Harm Millaard Level 7



                                            Bill sent me your results that I included in the results page. It is now published. Bill and I have been looking at your results with the CX card and our conclusion was that it is not surprising that you do not see any benefit at all, because the potential (claimed) value added of the CX card is in encoding H.264, not in AVI. We are discussing extending the benchmark to include H.264 encoding but have not yet decided.


                                            Please remember that all of Bill's efforts to design the test and publish the results are a considerable effort and time consuming and he does it all for free in his own spare time for all of us to benefit from. That is definitely worth an applause.


                                            I appreciate that you find our contributions worthwhile. Thanks for the compliment.

                                            • 19. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                              JCschild Level 3

                                              agreed the CX is over priced unless doing H264

                                              and even then i am not sure its worth it. one would have to be doing a lot of h264.


                                              and yes Bill deserves a huge thanks as i have posted.




                                              • 20. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                                Bill Gehrke Most Valuable Participant

                                                JCschild wrote:



                                                again its awesome that you have put together the test you did and spent time gathering/posting data.

                                                but what was good 5 yrs ago no long is today.

                                                time for a new test.




                                                Thank you Scott for your suggestions, but, take and use it as it is or develop your own as I have my hands full helping those that need help with their hardware and OS tuning, I cannot and will not take on input format testing.  Actually PPBM has evolved considerably over the past 5 years.  In CS2 I did have an HDV test and found that to accomplish my goals of  giving hardware recommendations, tuning suggestions and debunking hardware rumors (that had no technical merit) that testing HDV proved to be a waste of time.  It provided absolutely no additional information.  I, nine chance out of ten, will have to change and enhance PPBM for the next generation CS5 since performance will now be GPU accelerated.  But that is an output format that can be quantified and not input format which would be extremely difficult to quantify.


                                                In the past overclocking was something we all avoided--until Intel opened the doors with the i7-920 and Harm showed us that you can overclock and still have a stable system.


                                                Thanks for all who do submit results and appreciate any help I can provide.

                                                • 21. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4

                                                  I agree with many of Scott's points. I too was overly impressed when PPCS4 arrived by an Adobe presentation with the Quadro CX+ on an HP workstation. Only now do I learn that the whole CUDA thing seems to be MOSTLY hype. I am currently putting together a system for PS, PP and AE as follows:

                                                  ASUS P6T / i7-920 / 12GB DDR3 1600 CL8 / GTX-275 (better price point than the 285) / 300GB WD Velociraptor (for OS, apps, pagefile and media swap) / 4x1TB RAID5 for data. I will run Bill's PPBM4 as soon as I get it together and report the results.


                                                  There was a suggestion over on Tom's hardware to use a two drive mixed RAID in place of the Velociraptor. The Intel Matrix media RAID on the ICH10R southbridge allows you to split the drives so part of the pair is RAID1 for the OS and apps and the other part is RAID0 for the pagefile and media cache. So you get security for the OS and apps (and a small increase in READ speed) and 2X speed for the RAID0 part.


                                                  I would love to hear what the gurus on this forum think of that.



                                                  • 22. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                                    JCschild Level 3


                                                    to be as blunt as possible (imagine me doing that :-) )

                                                    NEVER raid your OS drive unless raid 5 on a very good controller. Ideally for redundancy you would use a program like Paragon

                                                    to do auto imaging of your OS to an external source. all my sstems are set up like this.


                                                    for speed? then buy an SSD.


                                                    FYI the CSx card is only good for H264 encoding however nvidia/adobe says it most likely will be supported for mercury/Cuda.

                                                    also do not buy the 275 it will not be supported where the 285 will and you WILL want Cuda support for CS5.

                                                    also for AE its better.




                                                    • 23. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                                      mauryg3 Level 1

                                                      Thanks Scott for a straight forward opinion. I was leaning in that direction anyway as indicated by my choice of the Velociraptor for the OS/Apps drive (SSDs are still to pricey for my budget) and I can always add another drive for the pagefile and media cache if it improves performance (the system will have an Antec EasySATA hot-swappable SATA drive bay). But I am curious as to WHY you are so adamant about not using a RAID1 for the OS?


                                                      BTW, the reference for the mixed RAID arrays is http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/264258-31-system-editing-adobe-premiere


                                                      As for the video card, I recently acquired a copy of CS4 Master Suite and I have no intention of upgrading to CS5 when it appears, so the Mercury isssue is moot for me. I think I will stay with the GTX275 for now and upgrade it later if I see the need unless someone can convince me I need to spend 70% more ($340 vs $200) for the GTX285 for CS4 use.

                                                      • 24. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                                        claudioparoli Level 1

                                                        Scott I am also curious about your absolute antipathy towards using RAID for O/s, and I'd like to know why. I'm going through trying times myself running Win7/64 (and apps including PPro CS4) on a software RAID 1, with freezes and blue screens and I might have to give up the attempt.


                                                        • 25. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                                          JCschild Level 3

                                                          i think you answered you own question~


                                                          to add to that software raid is even worse. take about CPU munching and more prone to failure.


                                                          raid 1 is a poor mans idea of redundancy. when a drive does fail rebuilding the array often fails and can actually corupt the 1 good drive.

                                                          seen it happen many times.


                                                          raid 5,6 on a good controller is the only real redundancy and even that can be taken out by a power spike

                                                          so back ups are required as well. externals are best or NAS.


                                                          make a weekly image of your OS using Paragon and set it to do it automatically...

                                                          same should be done (Daily)for your project files



                                                          • 26. Re: RAID for Windows 7 Premiere Pro CS4
                                                            derpuma-kl Level 1

                                                            I have outstanding speed with a 4x SSD OCZ Raid on a Highpoint 3520 Controller...


                                                            Read 600-800 MB/s - Write 450-550 MB/s


                                                            Videoedeting / Copy large Files, all works like a charm...