11 Replies Latest reply on Mar 18, 2011 9:39 PM by mrkip

    Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools


      I am in the process of upgrading a workstation that is used primarily for multi-track audio recording in Pro Tools to use the following Adobe CS5 products for production of promotional videos in HDV (and AVCHD for the web) as well as printed marketing materials for bands and musicians: Premiere Pro, Encore, Photoshop, Illustrator and Soundbooth.


      Since Premiere Pro is probably the most demanding application of the group, I have been studying the suggested hardware configurations on this forum with great interest, particularly HARM's suggestions (including his Generic Guideline for Disk Setup) to determine which hard drives to purchase and the optimal manner in which to configure them.


      I am upgrading an HP Z800 with dual quad core 2.44 GhZ processors with hyperthreading (16 virtual cores), 12 GB of memory and an overclocked GeForce GTX 470.  Without setting up a RAID configuration (which I cannot afford at the moment), I would like to use the 4 available HDD bays in the Z800 in the optimal manner for Premier Pro, using currently available drives.  I am currently considering purchasing a 300GB VelociRaptor to use as my C drive because of the extended load times and demands placed on the drive by ProTools and the associated Waves plug-ins.


      I would appreciate suggestions to improve my following plan:  C (300GB  WD VelociRaptor) for OS and Programs; D (1 TB WD Black Caviar) for Media and Projects; E (1 250 GB WD Black Caviar) for Pagefile (approx. 18 GB) and Media Cache; and E (2 TB WD Black Caviar) for Previews, Exports and Pro Tools audio files.


      I have great respect for the knowledge of the members of this forum and eagerly await your suggestions.



        • 1. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
          Bases Loaded

          Don't know if I can help as much as others as I am trying  to get a few issues straight as well.


          This is not exactly an answer to the question you asked, but thought it might be of interest for you to consider:

          I also am an audio guy who is just getting into the video thing:


          If you want to also use your current computer for a premier video editing setup:

          What I might suggest is what  I was told this by Adobe tech support and it did solve a couple of my issues with CS4:


          When you install premier/ create a new user account first, with administration privileges.

          Install premier there and keep it on an accound seperate from your custom audio setup...


          This is a good suggestion as I have been there and done that, at least it worked better for me on a core I7 920 system.


          I don't know about CS5 as It will have none of my pro audio components in the same system..


          Premier does not seem to like to work with all VST applications,

          >>>>not even the best money can buy, which are rock solid applications..


          I have two Universal Audio 4 core pci-e cards  / with every single pulgin they sell installed.

          All the recent drivers updated.


          When I try to use them with Premier it is a total no go, crashes within a few seconds if you play the timeline.

          These are self powered cards and do not use the computers CPU at all, so over taxing my I7920 is not the issue...


          This might be something to think about: 


          If your current system if fine for your audio work, don't update it.

          ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------ ---------------

          I was just told on this forum of an AMD 6 core system which can be built for under $2000.00 / reported by a user to run CS5 without issues with 60p AVCHD files.


          6-core proc. (AMD phenom II X6 3.2ghz with turbo core unlocker/auto overclock)
          Asus Crossfire mobo with USB-3 / sata 6
          16 gigs 1333 ram
          GTX 260 (text file added to unlock mercury)
          Win 7 - 64 bit home premium
          WD 10k velociraptor system drive (nothing but windows & apps loaded)
          Lite-on Blu-ray burner

          quantity 4 Hitachi G-raid external Raid-0 drives connected e-sata
          (scratches on one, media on another, project files on another etc.)


          This machine runs fantastic and again was under $2,000  ($1,600 & change if I remember right including the blu-ray burner) (g-raid externals were the only thing not included in that price)


          For the money, this machine is a beast and flying through the workload I am putting it under.



          Or /  

          buy an new audio computer, you don't need much power to run audio applications these days with systems we have now..

          Then update the system you now have for video use / whihcever costs less.


          Most any $1200 computer will be more than enough for what you are running, just add a couple more  7200 rpm drives, also dirt cheep these days.


          WD Black / you don't need huge TB of space for audio files, even a few little 500gb ones would be way more than enough, even at 24/96..we are talking about  mega hours of 48 track audio.


          Just my two cents / it's your call.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
            Harm Millaard Level 7

            AMD is a bit less expensive than Intel, but you get what you pay for. At best an overclocked Phenom II X6 is 2 times slower than a fast system, but on average around 4 - 5 times slower than a fast Intel system. Even a dual AMD Opteron 6128 with 16 physical cores is more than 3 times slower than a fast Intel system.


            Dual Xeons or AMD's are a waste of money. The best price/performance can be achieved with an i7-930/950, 12 GB memory, a GTX 460/470/560/570 and a good disk setup.

            • 3. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
              Bases Loaded Level 1

              Hello Harm:


              Looks like I have my time in sync with when you are around here / 5am here and just about to call it quits..


              I posted the above because another user chimed in, spend at least 4 hours searching reviews on the 1100t AMD 6 core.

              They all said slower than intel but I did not think it was that bad.


              Adobe actually has a demo out there somewhere running two 6 core processors and shows the CPU is hardly touched,they had  Quadro 5000 in it , I believe.


              But I believe you / I'm just trying to learn the truth which is hard at times with so many opinions floating around..

              Wish you lived next door.


              I don't know if you read my other post reply;


              My thought were the AMP 1100t 6 core might be useful at times as just a rendering machine:

              I need a new intranet computer anyway.

              They are about 50% less $$ that the Intel 980 setup I am about to go for..


              I was thinking I will go ahead with the 980x Intel thing but might buy also  a AMD 11T 6 core with the 470 card for an Internet setup.


              This AMD setup will be $1950.00 Canadian.No Raid / Assembled, tested and networked to the 980x system with hard wired cables & both delivered together,  $6,000.00 + taxes.. I thought our dollar was higher than the US right now.


              win-7 pro / Gigabyte 890FXA-UD5 / 16 gig memory / Noctua NH-UP12P SE- / Nvidia GTX 470 / top of the line power supply 800w / antec 1200 case / 3  1TB WD  Hard drives,  / blue ray burner / CD multi burner

              (don't ask why both )


              I could cut it down a little by motherboard choice, and power supply and few other things.


              Lets just say I'm delirious.


              I will just say I am so tired now am not thinking clearly.

              Sounds like a good excuse..

              • 4. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
                Scott Chichelli Level 3

                HI, i would do it this way


                OS and programs



                Audio  (do you use samples? if so they need to be on a separate drive)

                you dont want to fill any of these past 65%


                no need for a dedicated drive just for this "for Pagefile (approx. 18 GB) and Media Cache" this is a falicy.




                1 person found this helpful
                • 5. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
                  wjkaluza Level 1

                  I very much appreciate the responses to my email because I know that all of your time is valuable and that you have chosen to use some of that valuable time to help an unknown individual.  This forum is remarkable because of the wealth of knowledge available and the willingness of so many to assist others.


                  I now wish to narrow my questions to save you time and so that I can get specific advice.  I may not have not been clear that I have already upgraded to the HP Z800 with dual quad core processors and overclocked GTX 470, primarily for the improved performance it will provide in ProTools.  My question now is how to optimize its performance for Premiere Pro CS5.  Based upon my research, I am considering the following two upgrades, but I am open to other suggestions if they would provide better results at a similar cost


                  1. I am considering purchasing a 600GB WD VelociRaptor ( WD6000HLXH) for my C drive on which I would place OS (Windows 7, 64 Bit) and programs in an effort to reduce loading times of large programs.  I have two questions: (1) Are members of the forum seeing a significant improvment in program loading times with the VelociRaptor because I am still not convinced that the price performance of SSD's justifies their use; and (2) There are so many models of VelociRaptors now that I want to be certain that I am purchasing the best version for my needs.  In addition to the usual 10000 RPM speed, this model has 32MB Cache and a 3.5" form factor as well as a SATA 6.0GB/s interface (which I doubt my motherboard can take advantage of but it might extend the useful life of the drive with future configurations).


                  2. I currently have available for installation in the Z800 the following drives:  (1) WD 2TB Black Caviar; (1) WD 1TB Black Caviar; (2) Hitachi 1TB.  I believe that the Z800 can accept up to 5 SATA hard drives which I will have if I purchase the Velociraptor.  Although I am reasonably knowledeable when it comes to hardware, I have never set up a RAID configuration.  Therefore, it would be helpful if someone could recommend one of the various RAID configurations and brieflyexplain why it would seem to be best for my needs.  I can then focus my research on understanding that one configuration.


                  I was planning to follow Scott's suggestion for my current 3 drives:  OS and programs on C (WD 600 GBVelociRaptor), media and projects on D (WD 1TB Black Caviar), export files and Pro Tools files (all live musician tracks, no samples) on E (WD 2TB Black Caviar).  However, I have been reading about the benefits of a RAID configuration so I am interested in further suggestions now that I have clarified my questions.


                  Thank you all for your help.



                  • 6. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
                    Harm Millaard Level 7

                    1. For the OS & program disk even a 150 G Velociraptor is enough. You will not use more than around 50 G anyway and the performance difference between the 150 and 600 G version is negligent. A much cheaper alternative is the Samsung 320 G F4, marginally slower than the Velociraptor.


                    2. For raids you need identical drives, so only the Hitachi's can be raided in a raid0. That will almost double the performance over a single disk. The question is whether that is worthwhile with your workflow, because the risk of losing all your data on the raid also doubles. For audio there is no sense in setting up a raid, for video it might, but then you have to have a sound backup technique on separate disks.

                    • 7. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
                      wjkaluza Level 1

                      After considering the suggestions posted in reply to my question and after studying Harm's Generic Guideline for Disk Setup, I have one remaining question.


                      In the 4 drive configuration suggested in Harm's Generic Guideline for Disk Setup, how does one determine if Raid 0 would have more benefit on D (Media, Projects), E (Pagefile, Media Cache) or F (Previews, Exports)?


                      I am assuming it depends upon the nature of one's work.  I primarily use HDV video from a Canon XH A1 of live bands to prepare .flv or .swf files for an entertainment agency's website, but I'm not sure whether these efforts will put more load on the D, E or F drives.  Can someone help me understand how to determine the optimal configuration, please?



                      • 8. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
                        Harm Millaard Level 7



                        If the shots of the live band entail lots of multi-cam editing, I suggest a raid0, otherwise if the editing is from a single camera only, I would use separate disks, one for media and one for exports. The risk of losing all the data in a raid0 would not be worth it, because the disk intensive part is reading the media and writing the FLV's. There will not be a significant difference in performance between reading from one disk and writing to another versus R/W to a raid0.

                        • 9. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools
                          wjkaluza Level 1



                          Your expertise which you share so willingly with everyone on this forum is both respected and appreciated.


                          In fact, we have just gotten into multi-cam editing to show close-ups of individual performers playing riffs that showcase their individual talents.  When we moved to HDV, my old rig with an Intel 1.8 Ghz Core2 processor, 4GB of memory and a stock nVidia video card resulted in serious stuttering problems; multi-cam editing was impossible without frequent interim rendering of transitions.


                          The HP z800 workstation with the configuration described above can handle the job.  Based upon your guidance, I think that I will delay the raid0 until I have a chance to evaluate current system performance.  That will also give me time to set up a new automated backup process which I understand from your posts is essential.


                          Again,  thank you very much for your time and opinions.



                          • 10. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools

                            My first system build is semi finished only waiting for me to choose my hard drive selection and configuration.  I've been reading and researching this forum for weeks avoiding a redundant post when I know the answer lies somewhere within this great forum.  Your last sentence surprised me and answers why I have struggled to understand your single disk setup recommendation versus always jumping into a raid setup.  I've read your Generic Guideline for Disk Setup (start to finish) and failed to understand this until now.


                            Your posted sentence was huge for me: "There will not be a significant difference in performance between reading from one disk and writing to another versus R/W to a raid0".  This helps me understand especially if I go the 4 disk route.  Although I am considering a 5 or even 6 disk route, but would be forced to use motherboard raid due to current budget constraints (seeking a solid backup for cherished video).  I'm not a pro, just a single camera dad wanting to create great video edits along with being nominated to produce the end of year varsity sport video for my son's high school.  This will help me as I'm just finishing my P6X58D-E, 12GB, 470 Twin Frozr II, i7 950, HAF X. Seeking for the best performance within my budget.  Do you have any performance examples (from your sentence above) vs. Raid0?


                            Didn't mean to highjack, just glad a light went on!



                            • 11. Re: Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Premiere Pro CS5 and Pro Tools

                              What's the best hard drive set up for Premier Pro CS5? Any ideas. I'm building a new PC. Intel DX58S02 motherboard, Windows 7 Pro, 24 gig memory. Should I do a RAID config? 5? Any ideas.  Thanks, Kip