I guess it depends what kind of material you're trying to work with but I've never felt the need to use a RAID at all yet editing XDCAM and DSLR H.264 footage. I too am using a 12 core mac but the sluggishness of Premiere seems to be more to do with UI than read / write performance to me. Simple things like dragging a clip along the timeline often make it feel like you're using ancient hardware rather than a super powerful mac.
The other thing that drives me mad is the speed at which thumbnails load, drives / cpu / memory are all sitting pretty much idle yet the icons seems to be loading at a snails pace, that can get boring very quickly, especially as you have to reload them each time you open the project!
The IU Disk Activity in the Activity Monitor seems to peak during read and writes and such sluggish performance .. but not much.
I can't tell if it is my HD drives or not.
I have a software RAID 0 and 4 TB internal.
The Activity monitors do not tell you what is going on per drive .. or the difference between the Boot Drive and the RAID.
How could I possibly know if a hardware RAID card is worth it?
Also .. my CPU only peaks at 300% while using simple Plug - Ins and Rendering.
Most of the time it does not seem to be utilized like it should.
If I run Handbrake .. It flys .. with activity on all processors and hyperthreading on 24 channels.
I expected a lot from the fastest / most expensive Apple Mac Pro and the best graphic arts suite .. and it has yet to deliver.
I have a 2009 Mac Pro 3.33GHz Quad core w/ Apple RAID card, 16GB RAM from OWC, and Apple's Radeon HD 5870 GPU.
I have RAID 0 set across 3x1TB drives internally, and the standard 640GB drive for OSX and all program files. I set all video assets, renders, previews and such on the 3TB RAID.
This seems to work wonderfully. I built this system specifically to edit a feature film shot on P2 DVCProHD, and I've been impressed with how it handles it. This was all built prior to CS5, which took me by surprise. Had I known nVidia would become such a problem for Apple, I would have built a PC, but that's another story.
I just started a new project in CS5 on the same system, this time using H.264 video from my Nikon D7000, and so far, it seems to play just as nicely, despite not having hardware acceleration via CUDA technology. Yellow bars on top, even. I haven't had any problems with clips taking a long time to populate on the timeline or any of that, so perhaps the RAID card helps there.
All this aside, I've already decided to upgrade my RAID for another reason. Right now, my backup is performed via an eSATA-connected external drive through a PCI eSATA card. After every edit session, I dump everything on the RAID onto the external drive, and it goes much faster than the old FW800 transfer used to. I'm about to replace my Apple RAID card with an Areca card and set up a 4-bay RAID 3 via an SAS connection. This will allow for excellent data throughput while offering more security than my current RAID 0 / manual backup system, and free up the internal drives for backups, exports and render files.
I believe in hardware RAID, but I'm not as knowledgeable as Harm and others are about it. I had my Mac built to order with the Apple RAID card, so I have no experience using Premiere with a software RAID. Due to my smooth experience using it, I think it was worth it, but plenty of people say the Apple RAID card is rubbish, and to go with Areca or Atto cards. I didn't know about them until after I built my system, and even though it will cost a couple thousand to upgrade my RAID from this point, I expect to have an even better system than I already have.
I hope this helps, and feel free to ask any questions I didn't address.
The only reason to get the Mac raid card is if you want raid 5. Running a raid 0 through OSX especially since drive operations is one of the few things OSX threads well with, is more than fast enough that the raid card is a waste of money.
Thank you both for taking the time to post.
Huh, good to know! (I wasted that money out of ignorance... Thanks, Apple... Hahaha!) Guess I'll reformat to RAID 5 in the meantime.
Warning: Other posts said it can take a very long time to reformat to RAID 5 with that card ..
Google and find out.
I got a Areca 1212 card ... and building a 4 TB RAID 0.
What file preferences in Adobe should I send to the RAID?
Should I keep any on the SSD Boot drive?