3 Replies Latest reply on May 2, 2011 6:17 AM by Scott Chichelli

    Intel Z68 Sandy Bridge chipset and SSD caching....


      For those of us considering a move to the Sandy Bridge/Z68 platform, we will eventually need to sort out whether to take advantage of the chipset's ability to "improve" ONE hard drive with a smallish (64GB or less) SSD.


      Results I have seen indicate read speeds considerably slower than an SSD drive alone but acceptably improved performance over a bare hard drive. It seems like a promising situation. Capacity of a TB hard drive with read speeds nicely bumped upwards.




      Question: If a user followed Harm's and other's suggestions in setting up a basic 3- or 4-drive computer, which drive should take the cheapo SSD?




      1) Assume the Z68 platform is loaded with all 16GB of memory that the four-slot Socket 1155 motherboard can typically accept. Would CS5 or 5.5 load enough program data into RAM to render placing the SSD on the OS drive for editing with Premiere minimally beneficial? Or would it simply make sense to put the SSD on the OS drive for so many other reasons that it's a no-brainer?


      2) If it's a close call, which other drive should get the SSD? If I understand correctly, this hybrid drive won't write data all that much better. The improvement will primarily be on reads. And on that, random access reads, not sustained throughput. This is especially the case with cheaper 40GB-ish SSD's. (Some one please verify this.) Most Sandy Bridge users opting for the lower end, 20 PCI-e lanes platform won't be big-time power users. (You guys are waiting for the Socket 2011 platform.) Many of us will be getting our footage from DSLR or other AVCHD sources. AVCHD is so compressed that a single drive can supply more than enough layers for the Joe Blow amateur editor.


      Unless we use Cineform NeoScene to lighten the load on the CPU, which will result in a much larger bitstream coming off the media drive for each layer, Would it make sense to help out a single drive in this situation? Or would it be universally better to set up a simple 2-disk RAID 0? Paying $65 for second drive and taking advantage of motherboard RAID 0 would seem to be a better solution if the media drive can't keep up.


      For any situation, if the media drive(s) is already fast enough, would caching the media drive offer many benefits? I'm under the impression that feeding Premiere with footage is a sequential read situation, not a random access deal. Isn't the strength of an SSD in random access reads, and wouldn't the best usage be to place it on a disk that primarily is used by Premiere in random access data fetching?


      3) Good grief. If it doesn't go on the OS or primary media drive supplying footage, where else? Projects disk? Scratch drive?


      4) Might the most useful thing be to avoid setting up a RAID while getting some of the speed benefits a RAID 0 offers? Many casual users can build a straightforward computer but have never set up a RAID array, even a 2-disk RAID 0.


      40GB SSD's are under $100 now. I suspect a lot of people will use this feature of the Z68, if the hybrid drive isn't hard to set up and is reliable. I'm curious how the Premiere crowd will make use of this feature, and will it make a palpable difference on a relatively simple editing rig? No Areca RAID cards and only 16GB memory. Nothing more than 3 or 4 single drives.