33 Replies Latest reply on Oct 13, 2010 7:45 AM by jpodlesnik1

    Questions about performance and drives

    jpodlesnik1

       

      Computer specs:
      ASUS P6X58D Premium Mainboard
      Intel i7 930 (no O.C. with Zalman 10X Flex cpu cooler)
      12GB (six 2GB) Kingston PC3 10600
      Antec CP-1000 1000 Watt PSU
      Nvidia GeForce GTX 480 video card
      Areca ARC-1680IX-12 PCIe x8 SAS RAID Card
      (hard drives listed below)
      Windows 7 Pro 64-bit, with many system tweaks applied (No anti-virus loaded in machine.
      No startup processes enables at all.)
      Adobe Production Suite (MPE enabled in PPro CS5, with 5.02 update installed)
      Latest Nvidia drivers installed.

       

       

      Blackmagic Disk Speed Test

       

      (system drive) Two Intel X25M MLC GEN 2 80GB SSD drives in a striped RAID 0 array.
      read: 501.0 MB/s   write: 130.9 MB/s

       

      (storage drive) One WD 2TB 7200RPM 32MB SATA 2 Hard Drive.
      read: 117.0 MB/s   write: 118.4 MB/s

       

      (project drive) Three WD 1TB Black X 6GB/s 64 MB cache drives in RAID 5 array.
      read: 211.9 MB/s   write: 215.3 MB/s

       

      Do these comparative read/write times look correct?

       

       

      Video editing:

       

       

      DV (720 x 480) 48 hz audio  30 fps   3.6 MB/s
      4 layers
      layer 1 - 100% opacity, Cineon Converter applied
      layer 2 - 50% opacity, vertical flip applied
      layer 3 - 30% opacity, color balance filter applied
      layer 4 - 20% opacity, contrast filter applied
      full resolution playback
      REAL-TIME
      cpu usage - 25%  (I knew DV performance was going to be great. I could have added more layers but stopped at 4)

       

       

      AVCHD  (1920 x 1080) 48 hz audio 60 fps 3.1 MB/s
      2 layers
      layer 1 - 100% opacity, contrast filter applied
      layer 2 - 50% opacity, vertical flip
      1/4th resolution playback
      REAL-TIME

      cpu usage - 98-99% Do these playback specs look about right? Is the GPU doing its share of the work? I assume my GTX 480 is positioned in the right slot?

       

       

      Question: Are fast RAID cards necessary when AVCHD throughput is 3.2 MB/sec?    ?

       

       

      I find it interesting that I spent $4K on a computer and am only getting 2 layers of AVCHD real-time (at 1/4 resolution playback). I'm aware that my vendor-built computer cost more, but in return I will say it is amazingly quiet.  :-)

       

       

      Should I expect noticeably more performance when I upgrade to the 980x cpu and 24 GB RAM? Perhaps I need to OC my processor to get better results, but I have neither the time nor the inclination to teach myself overclocking. (Anyone know of someone in the Phoenix, AZ area who is skilled at overclocking?) I have not taken the PPBM5 test yet; I just want to get better performance for what I paid. Perhaps my expectations are amiss?

        • 1. Re: Questions about performance and drives
          ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

          You don't have your write policy set correctly for the raid controller that the SSD's are attached to. If you have them on the Atto, you need to change the write policy to Always Write Back or enable write back cache depending on which controller the array is on.

           

          Eric

          ADK

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Questions about performance and drives
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            Apart from the write back cache settings that Eric mentioned, did you tune your system: Adobe Forums: Guide for installing and tuning a Vista...

             

            It says Vista, but also applies to Win7.

            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Questions about performance and drives
              Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

              Also try full resolution playback, I found it to be better for AVCHD.

              • 4. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                Thanks for your response, Erik. When I went into management, I saw what I think are the settings you suggested. See screenshot --
                Do I set this at the level of disk management or at the controller? I tried to access this in Device Manager, but that option wasn't listed.  Do I set this controller settings during boot up?

                 

                http://www.veronadesign.biz/screenshotRAID.JPG

                • 5. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                  jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                  Thanks, Harm, I'm pretty sure I applied many of these tweaks/tunes .. but will look this over and check again. Thanks.

                  • 6. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                    jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                    On my system, this doesn't work .. playback is definitely compromised when ful rez playback is selected (cpu usage is in the 90's). When I choose 1/4 rez, obviously the system is less strained, there's smoother playback and cpu usage is in the 70's.  Thanks for your response anyway.

                    • 7. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                      Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                      Question for you.  Are you using the SCSIPort driver or the preferred StorPort driver?  The resson I ask is I do not see a "Policies" tab on my properties.

                      • 8. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                        jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                        Hi Bill:

                         

                        I installed the SCSIPort driver. Wonder if this makes a difference?

                        • 9. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                          I would suggest that you update it with the StorPort version which is Microsoft's improved version of driver technology.  SCSIport is what was used for Windows XP.

                          • 10. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                            jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                            I will certainly try this. Thank you, Bill!

                            • 11. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                              jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                              I uninstalled the SCSIPort driver and instead installed the ARECA (X86-64-STORPORT) SAS RAID Host Adapter (RAID6-ENGINE Inside) driver,

                              and the results weren't that much different than the times posted at the outset.

                               

                              These are the original results --

                              read: 211.9 MB/s   write: 215.3 MB/s

                               

                              These are the new results --
                              read: 219.6 MB/s   write: 210.9 MB/s

                               

                              Thoughts?

                              • 12. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                I did not expect much of a benchmark change, I just think that your overall performance will be the best with this later generation of drivers.  Since you are getting over 200 MB/second with essentially two drives in parallel (essentially one of your three drives is a parity drive) you cannot expect more unless you add more drives.

                                • 13. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                  jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                   

                                  Bill, I appreciate your time on this.   Thanks for the info; it makes sense.

                                   

                                  One of the other questions I had was:  Are fast RAID cards necessary when AVCHD throughput is but 3.2 MB/sec?

                                   

                                  And on another note, I supposed I was expecting better performance from my new system than 2 layers of AVCHD real-time (at 1/4 resolution playback).  Even with just two layers, my cpu usage is in the high 90s. Is this normal? I'm sure I'll see better results when I eventually upgrade to a 980x cpu and 24 GB RAM.  Alas...

                                   

                                  Thanks!

                                  • 14. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                    ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                    Sorry it's been to busy here today for me to answer this sooner. If you have the SSD's on the Areca then download and install this http://www.areca.us/support/s_windows/http/v1.83_81103.zip

                                     

                                    This allows you to configure the controller and arrays from Windows. That will allow you to set the Raid disk properties including write policy.

                                     

                                    If you have the SSD's on the Intel controller then you need to download and install the Intel Rapid Storage manager from here

                                    http://downloadcenter.intel.com/Detail_Desc.aspx?agr=Y&DwnldID=18859&lang=eng

                                     

                                    If you can't find the setting then let me know which controller the SSD drives are on.

                                     

                                    Eric

                                    ADK

                                    • 15. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                      Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                      jpodlesnik1 wrote:

                                       

                                       

                                      Bill, I appreciate your time on this.   Thanks for the info; it makes sense.

                                       

                                      One of the other questions I had was:  Are fast RAID cards necessary when AVCHD throughput is but 3.2 MB/sec?

                                       

                                      And on another note, I supposed I was expecting better performance from my new system than 2 layers of AVCHD real-time (at 1/4 resolution playback).  Even with just two layers, my cpu usage is in the high 90s. Is this normal? I'm sure I'll see better results when I eventually upgrade to a 980x cpu and 24 GB RAM.  Alas...

                                       

                                      Thanks!

                                      It is not the capture speed that is the issue.  As you put more effects on the clips and playback the timeline it is a combination of CPU and GPU time involved.  Therefore a high performace RAID project disk gives more time for the CPU and GPU to process anf playback without causing limitations on what you see.  I imagine that you have seen the PPBM5 results page.  This is not done for bragging rights it is just to demonstrate what it takes to be a happy user under a wide variety of video formats and to debunk techincally unsupported opinions.

                                       

                                      CPU clock speed, memory, disk performance and cores are all very important, some are more important for individual tasks than others.  As an example if you want the fastest MPEG encoding times then there appears to be a large step function increase in encoding time as you go up in memory.  Now there seem to be some exceptions, but as you go above 12 GB of RAM memory there is a significant reduction of the MPEG encoding time.  For me going from 12 GB (3 each 4 GB modules running at  DDR3-1066) to 16 GB (4 each 4 GB DDR3-2000 running at DDR3-2136) modules--yes I know that is an odd setup) I reduced the MPEG2-DVD encoding time from  61 second to 26 seconds.  Yes, memory amount and speed can produce major MPEG2-DVD encoding time changes. Also note that with only one 4 GB module at the default DDR3-1066 speed the encoding time was 170 seconds.

                                      • 16. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                        jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                        Hi Erik:

                                         

                                        I have the other three 1TB drives on the Areca controller. Yes, the SDDs are connected to the Intel controller. Will try this. Many thanks! :-)

                                        • 17. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                          jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                          "It is not the capture speed that is the issue.  As you put more effects  on the clips and playback the timeline it is a combination of CPU and  GPU time involved.  Therefore a high performace RAID project disk gives  more time for the CPU and GPU to process anf playback without causing  limitations on what you see." Ahh, ok makes sense. Not just capture. I see. Thanks!

                                           

                                          Definitely, I have seen the PPBM5 results page, as I've based my current configuration around it (with some of Harm's guidance, too). As we can see of late, more and more of the higher ranking systems are utilizing the 980x cpu and 24GB of RAM, so eventually I'll upgrade to these as well.

                                           

                                          Output (MPEG) times are not important to me, as the time spent creating, editing, manipulating the vertical (per track) and lateral order of the clips is paramount - and ideally I would like a snappy/responsive system wherein I can place three tracks of video on the timeline with opacity and duration changes and effects, etc applied without choppy playback. What I learned is that not even (roughly) a $4K system buys this. Then there's always Neoscene to convert the clunky AVCHD footage. Wonder how responsive editing would be with this?  Thanks for your feedback.

                                          • 18. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                            ECBowen Most Valuable Participant

                                            You have something else going on then because that system should be able to handle 3 tracks of AVCHD with most effects realtime without issue.

                                             

                                            Eric

                                            ADK

                                            • 19. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                              jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                              Oh, terrific. just what I wanted to hear. :-(   I wonder: is it at the mainboard/cpu, the RAM, or at the RAID storage level?

                                              • 20. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                This may sound redundant to most but why don't you run our PPBM5 benchmark and find out where your problem is?  That is the primary purpose of the benchmark.

                                                • 21. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                  jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                  Thanks, Bill. Just submitted my results. I'm curious to see how they stack up against others with comparable machines.

                                                   

                                                  Here's a brief rundown --

                                                   

                                                  MPE-enablednon MPE
                                                  547;secs Total Benchmark Time
                                                  ;Performance index
                                                  147;secs AVI  Encoding Time
                                                  200;secs MPEG Elapsed Time
                                                  184;secs H.264 Elapsed Time
                                                  16;secs Rendering Time
                                                  746;secs Total Benchmark Time
                                                  ;Performance index
                                                  147;secs AVI  Encoding Time
                                                  200;secs MPEG Elapsed Time
                                                  184;secs H.264 Elapsed Time
                                                  215;secs Rendering Time


                                                  • 22. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                    jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                    Interesting .. I see my system ranks under the midway point on the list. Not good. I wonder if I should convert my raid 5 to a raid 0 (stripe all three drives) for better performance (I realize this isn't as secure). What is odd is I'm seeing many systems similar to my own (in terms of hardware) with better results.  I didn't have many processes running whilst I did the BM test (did notice that I forgot to close Firefox, but I don't think this would have changed the results much) ...Strange...

                                                    • 23. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                      Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                      Well here is a quick response

                                                       

                                                      Your 200 seconds on the CPU intensive MPEG2-DVD encoding score is terrrrible.  Jason on the bottom of the list with an old dual core T9900 laptop does better than you.  You have some process or service that is eating up your CPU cycles like crazy, or you have a defective CPU/system. Look at my preliminary Win 7 tuning notes

                                                       

                                                      How much computer time is on that SSD array?  I do not like SSD arrays because to my current knowledge there is no TRIM or other method of garbage collection available.  The as they are heavily used the write rate in many of the early SSD slows them down immensely.  Your disk intensive AVI encoding score is also too high.

                                                       

                                                      Looking at your Performance Tab on the Task Manager when you run something CPU intensive like the MPEG encoding do all eight virtual processors show about equal utilization?

                                                       

                                                      I have a shoot that I have to get ready for so until I get some more time you are on your own until I get some more time.

                                                      • 24. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                        jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                        Oh dear.  I will try the WIn 7 tuning notes, some of which I'm sure I've already done.  What do you mean by "how much computer time is on the SSD array"? How long have I been using it? Only a couple of weeks now. I thought the newer Intel SSDs do feature TRIM. The three 1 TB SATA drives are the one's that used for the test, not the SSDs, which serve as my OS/Apps drive. Does this make a difference?

                                                         

                                                        This is what my Task Manager looks when I was outputting an MPEG from timeline. Anything strange looking about it? --  Wait, aren't I supposed to see 8 threads and not just 4? Wha-?

                                                         

                                                        mpeg2-screenshot.jpg

                                                        • 25. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                          Bill Gehrke Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                          You apparently do not have hyperthreading enabled in the BIOS

                                                          • 26. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                            jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                            Actually I do have it enabled. Just checked the bios. Talked with the sales/tech person from the computer builder. My computer is warranted for one year -- that should give me time to sort this out. :-O   Do you have 8 threads on your Task Manager? (assuming you have a quad-core cpu), yes?

                                                            • 28. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                              jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                              Thanks, Harm. I'm definitely only seeing 4 threads .. Been trying to Google ways to get all 8 cores back. HT threading Turbo Boost, core virtualization, etc are all enabled in the BIOS.   ??

                                                              • 29. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                                jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                                Aha! After a bit of Googling, found I could go into MSconfig, on the Boot tab, deselect number of processors, restart and...
                                                                viola, I'm back to 4 cores/8 threads. Whew!  Thanks all.

                                                                 

                                                                I guess I should try the PPBM test again, um, with all 8 threads, huh? :-O

                                                                • 30. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                                  jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                                  Good news:

                                                                   

                                                                  Just placed three native AVCHD clips on three different tracks on the timeline,  added opacity, duration changes to all three layers, and an effect on  each clip, at full playback resolution, and it all played back in real-time.  THIS is what I paid for! Amazing what can happen when one is working  with all 4 cores. :-O

                                                                   

                                                                  I want to extend my sincerest thanks to Bill, Harm and Eric for their time and feedback on this issue. THANK YOU!

                                                                   

                                                                  --Joe

                                                                  • 31. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                                    jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                                    Am now able to get 4 layers of native AVCHD clips on the timeline playing back in real-time - certainly a welcome change compared to earlier performance!

                                                                     

                                                                    One thing I am noticing is when I enable overclocking (through the Asus newbie application "Tubo V", I have my i7 930 280 GHZ overclocked to 3.4GHz) the playback in Premerie is jerky. What I mean is the playback is still real-time, but the image shifts or jerks about. Then when I restart the computer, which in effect turns off the overclocking, and try the timeline again in Premiere the playback image is more stable.

                                                                     

                                                                    Anyone else encounter this? Could it be that the overclocking throws the playback timing off? I have the latest Nvidia drivers installed.

                                                                     

                                                                    Thoughts?

                                                                    • 32. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                                      Harm Millaard Level 7

                                                                      Overclocking is an advanced 'balancing act'. It all has to fit together for each and every component to work reliably and stable. It is like walking a tightrope, everything has to be perfect and if you happen to have a strained shoulder, which prevents you from using both arms for balancing, you have to progress at a much slower pace than normally. The same can happen when overclocking. If there are for instance read errors from disk or memory because of time-outs, it needs to repeat the read action, causing a delay far more noticable than without overclocking.

                                                                      • 33. Re: Questions about performance and drives
                                                                        jpodlesnik1 Level 1

                                                                        Thanks for the info, Harm. Being the newbie that I am with overclocking, I guess I'll just stay with the native cpu speed of this i7 930  (2.80 Ghz), instead of reaching for 3.4GHz.  Thanks again.