10 Replies Latest reply on Sep 17, 2010 7:05 AM by ECBowen

    New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome

    Dave_in_gva

      Hello all,

       

      Posting here as this seems to be the best forum for hardware discussions. I am building a new PC and wanted some feedback on my component selections. Despite posting here, I shoot primarily still photography in RAW format and this build will be used 70% of the time in Lightroom and 30% in Photoshop CS5. This is an update of my current photoedit station which I purpose built and which really sees no other use apart from photoediting/printing apart from occasional web access/uploading etc. I do capture occasional HD video files but for the moment do not edit these apart from metadata and labeling in Lightroom for easier retrieval.

       

      I plan on importing from my DSLR card onto one of two SSD drives and initial photoediting of RAW files will be done (in both LR and PS) on an SSD drive. Once images are processed they will be moved onto a RAID 0 array for longterm storage. Redundancy of the RAID 0 array (as well as the LR catalog, cache and preview files on the SSD drive) will be over e.SATA to an external HDD. A separate SSD will host the OS/apps.

       

      Happy to hear comments on the component selections below or the build strategy:

       

      OS: Windows 7 Pro 64-bit

      Motherboard: Gigabyte GA-X58A-UD3R

      CPU: i7 950, 4x 3.06GHz

      RAM: Kingston HyperX KHX1600C9D3K6/12GX 6x 2GB (1600MHz)

       

      Hard drives:

      OCZ Vertex 2 SSD, 120GB (OS/apps)

      CRUCIAL RealSSD C300, 256GB (LR cache, previews, catalog, temporary import location of RAWs until developed; PS scratch disk)

      2 x SAMSUNG Spinpoint F3 1.0TB in RAID 0 (long term storage RAW/TIFF data)

      Western Digital Caviar Black WD2001FASS, 2.0TB (on e.SATA external dock for regular backups of RAID 0 array and LR cache, previews and catalog)

       

      Graphics: Asus ENGTX460 DirectCU TOP/2DI/1GD5, GeForce GTX 460, 1.0GB GDDR5, PCI-Express

       

      Optical drive: LG Electronics GH-22LP20, DVD±RW/RAM

       

      Power supply: Corsair TX850W, 850 Watts

       

      Best,

       

      Dave M

       

        • 1. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Dave,

           

          This looks quite good for LR/PS. More than enough space and speed for your applications. Video is just even more demanding, but for LR/PS you are OK.

          • 2. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
            Dave_in_gva Level 1

            Thanks Harm...your posts here have been very helpful in the past.

             

            I have rethought my graphics card and will go with an ATI Firepro V4800...seems to provide a 10-bit pathway which will play nicely with my PA271W monitor as well as allowing me to run separate calibration profiles for my two monitors.

             

            DM

            • 3. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
              Harm Millaard Level 7

              Dave,

               

              While the ATI FirePro is a superb card, especially with LR/PS, you may consider that sometime in the future your may want to edit video as well with AE/PR and in that case a nVidia Quadro 4000 or 5000 may be an alternative. They have two display ports to support 10 bit output, but most importantly, they support MPE with PR. Just a consideration.

              • 4. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                Yes, all of us need to start putting a bug in Adobe's ear to get their HDMI standard up to date in their player for atleast 10bit color but might as well throw in the 12 and 16 bit that comes with the HDMI 1.4 standard. No reason they should not have done that with the 5.0.2 since they were in there already for the Displayport.

                 

                Eric

                ADK

                • 5. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                  Studio North Films Level 3

                  Hi,


                  Dave

                   

                  Have you considered a Raid Controller, thi swill give you good performance and backup.

                   

                   

                  Baz

                  • 6. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                    Dave_in_gva Level 1

                    Thanks Harm, those nVidia cards are about 5x more expensive over here (Switzerland) than the FirePro cards....BTW what exactly is MPE with PR??

                    • 7. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                      Dave_in_gva Level 1

                      Hi Baz,

                       

                      The Gigabyte motherboard supports RAID (0,1, 5 and 10) and obviously I am planning on RAID 0 array for the two data discs.

                       

                      I have been wondering about a RAID 0 for the two SSD drives....in which case I would buy identical drives of course. From my reading though there are differences in speed of disc access between random read/writes and sequential read/writes that result in the RealSSD C300 being more adapted for LR access to the disc and the SandForce controller SSDs being better adapted for drives used for the OS/apps. So.....at the moment my plan is not to RAID a pair of SSD drives and do the build in a way that optimizes the use of each SSD.

                       

                      That being said, I am also weighing in the fact that I plan to run the RealSSD C300 off the SATA 3 channel available on the Southbridge (Marvell controller)....tests elsewhere seem to show that TRIM commands are not yet passed through this controller so that is less than desirable. On the other hand, testing has shown improved read/write on the SATA 3 channel for this drive, so it seems to take advantage of the higher 6 GB/s bandwith available on SATA 3.

                       

                      But...if by asking if I'd considered a RAID contoller you are asking if I have considered it for the two drives on which I will place the OS/apps and LR cache/preview/catalog + PS scratch disc you are putting your finger on the one aspect of the build I am least certain about.....buying two identical SSD drives, putting them in RAID 0 and partitioning them to give me a C drive for OS/apps and a D for the working/catalog etc. area of LR and PS may indeed be a better route to go here.

                       

                      As for the redundancy aspects of RAID I have never been sold on that....I see RAID for speed. My backup system is always to an external hard drive at the end of every session through Syncback which launches a shutdown utility after running. I simply click on the backup profile to run and walk away from the computer.....it does its backup and shuts down automatically when finished. This is at least as simple as clicking on Shutdown and ensures that I am NOT backing up errors.

                       

                      Best,

                       

                      Dave

                      • 8. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        Dave,

                         

                        buying two identical SSD drives, putting them in RAID 0 and partitioning them to give me a C drive for OS/apps and a D for the working/catalog etc. area of LR and PS may indeed be a better route to go here.

                         

                        This is unwise. Partitioning does nothing to improve performance on SSD's and on conventional disks only increases mechanical wear and tear.

                         

                        Keep in mind that if the trim function is not fully supported, using a raid0 for cache and preview files may not give you the performance increase you are looking for because the write speed drops off rapidly for many changing files without the trim function. You may even be better off with 2 conventional Samsung F3 disks in raid0, that will give you around 220 - 250 MB/s transfer rate, much more storage space at a fraction of the cost and use just a single SSD for OS & programs.

                        • 9. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                          Dave_in_gva Level 1

                          Hmmm...thanks Harm. Food for thought and adds to my earlier conviction as elsewhere I had already read comments that had me leaning (as in my original build proposal) towards not RAIDing the OS and catalog/preview drives but running them as separate discs.

                           

                          It's really the non-passing of the trim function on the Marvell controller to the Crucial SSD that has me wavering. I don't want to wait forever on the build but would really be swayed towards taking the plunge if something out there suggests that Marvell is likely to update their drivers to enable passing trim on those mobos with their 9128 chip onboard. The SATA 3 performance does seem to make a difference with these drives from what I can see, and apparently Intel will not support SATA 3 on their South Bridge ICH10R....will have to wait for Sandy Bridge for that.

                          DM

                          • 10. Re: New SSD/RAID 0 photoedit build - comments welcome
                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                            Raid controllers don't support Trim when raiding SSD's because it doesn't work the same as individual drives. Over-Provisioning is used instead since it's far more efficient with SSD raids than trim. Now trying to make sure the card you get supports Over-Provisioning is the hard part. I know the new Intel 6Gbs controllers do. Beyond that I am unsure. You would want to call the Raid controller manufacturer. I doubt the onboard raid controller would so I would not raid SSD's with the onboard.

                             

                            Eric

                            ADK