9 Replies Latest reply on Jun 21, 2011 4:32 AM by JEShort01

    System Help for a complete Novice


      Hey Guys,


      I've been tasked with getting a new machine for the head of our DTP department..

      Now I have nothing to do with the field, hell I'm the Network and System Engineer for the company, so whilst I know about hardware I don't know how this application benifits from each component..

      Anyway the owner of the company gave me the task, so I can't really pass it on to someone else...


      Now I'm not sure on which Intel platform to go with so I've got these two setups...



      Intel CPU Core i7 990X Extreme Edition, 3.46GHz (3.73GHz Turbo), 6 CORE, 12MB CACHE, LGA1366

      24GB DDR3 (PC16000)

      1x OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD (OS Drive)   

      1x OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD (Scratch Disk)

      EVGA GeForce GTX 580

      ASUS P6T7 WS SuperComputer Motherboard

      Now this is using slightly older chipset but does have the 6 core CPU...




      Intel CPU Core i7 2600K, 3.40GHz, 8MB CACHE, LGA1155

      24GB DDR3 (PC16000)

      1x OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD (OS Drive)   

      1x OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD (Scratch Disk)

      EVGA GeForce GTX 580

      ASUS P8Z68-V PRO or ASUS P8P67 WS Revolution

      Now this newer tech but only has a Quad Core CPU... You cant get dual CPU boards for this chipset yet can you?


      Now before you make a decision, a little info that might make a difference...


      The workstation is only for which ever current project hes working on... Once its completed and been signed off they move to a SAN for archiving.

      He should never really have any more then 1 project worth of data on the PC at a time..After going through all the project the largest project folder I could find was around 17GB


      My questions are:


      I don't fully understand what the difference is between the Scratch Disk / Media Cache Files / Media Cache Database is..

      Are they project specific?

      Do they need to cleared out per project?

      Is there any issues with once the project is finished that he moves it across to SAN... But for whatever reason he needs to do some small changes and moves it back to workstation, does previously clearing the Scratch Disk / Media Cache Files / Media Cache Database cause issues??


      Once again thanks for your help and input, I still trying to figure out how I ended up dealing with this.

        • 1. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
          Harm Millaard Level 7

          Whenever one edits GOP (Group of pictures) based codecs, PR needs to index those clips before it can edit them. Additionally, if needs to conform the audio and generate peak files, that can show the waveform. All these files are stored in the media cache. For easy access to all these files, PR also creates pointer files that are stored in the media cache database.


          When loading clips into a new project, you can see these activities taking place in the right bottom corner of the display and PR needs to finish that process before you can edit. If you clean the media cache and media cache database and start PR again, it will recreate these files as needed.


          In general it is wise to regularly clean the media cache and media cache database, so files from previous projects, that are no longer needed are removed.


          The weakness in your system, whether it is the 990X or the 2600K, is the two SSD's. One for OS & programs can be acceptable and will probably gain you a few seconds loading programs each day for a price that is around 15 times higher than a decent boot disk like the Samsung F4 320 GB, around € 470 versus € 32. It depends on the wallet of your boss, but if it were me, I would consider it a waste of money for some lousy seconds loading the program. It has no impact on the editing performance.


          The second SSD is another waste of money and not enough for comfortable editing. You need at least three physical different disks, preferably more. I would prefer 4 or 5 Samsung F3 1 TB disks @ € 42 than this single SSD for € 470. It is far less costly and will deliver much better performance. SSD's are notoriously bad at constant writing, even the much touted Vertex 3, and that is what you need when editing. SSD's are a waste of money for editing and have never shown any performance improvements over conventional disks. Quite the contrary. Look here: PPBM5 Benchmark


          If you skip the SSD's and choose the suggested Samsung's, you have the 990X practically for free in comparison to your original budget and then the 990X is the better choice than the 2600K.

          • 2. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
            Dursh Level 1

            Thank you so much for your response, you've defiently helped in clearing up some of my questions..


            Now as for budget... Really isn't one, trust me when I say we've wasted a lot more on a lot less..


            If and SSD isn't a good idea for the scratch/media cache/database would buying a good quality SAS controller and Raid'ing 3-4 600GB 15k SAS drives be a better option then plain SATA drives?


            As I said money isn't really an issue, hell if I knew that they needed it I would through in dual Xeon's but their not crunching enough data for what I can see for it to be close to utilised.

            • 3. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
              Crist OC/PC Level 2

              To correct 1 point:




              Intel CPU Core i7 2600K, 3.40GHz, 8MB CACHE, LGA1155

              24GB DDR3 (PC16000)"


              24GB??? You mean 16 GB.


              System1 It is a better choise any how just wait a bit and buy the new generation of sandy octo core, whit them will arrive the new moduls of ram so you can rise 32GB. and get a very hight clock speed.


              I guess Prise for the new octo will be about  the price of the i7990 may be -






              • 4. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
                Harm Millaard Level 7

                I understand where you are coming from, being the systems and network guy. My son is a highly acclaimed Network and Security specialist consultant who works in very complex environments and whenever we talk about storage, it is always about HP Storageworks with huge backbones allowing bandwidth's in excess of 48 GB's and other unrealistic achievements, at least for the lonely video editor, and in his vocabulary there is only one disk, a 15K SAS. But his recent participation in the MMS (Microsoft Management Summit) in Vegas changed his mind a bit. He now even suggested we get some new 2 TB SATA disks for our local server storage.


                However, for the lonely video editor there is no discernible advantage to justify the cost difference between 15K SAS and regular SATA.


                On the highly disk intensive benchmark Bill Gehrke tested with 8x 15K SAS drives and with 8x SATA disks in raid0 and the difference was not discernible,


                I do agree the a good raid controller is very beneficial for performance. Again, if you look at the benchmark results I linked to in an earlier post, you will see that all the top performers use raids and sometimes even massive ones. Popular choices are two raid0 arrays on the mobo, or an LSI or Areca controller with raid5 or raid3 or even raid 30. My personal preference is Areca with extended cache (4GB) and BBM (battery backup module), but it is pretty expensive.

                • 5. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
                  Dursh Level 1

                  OK so before I go and order it all, hows this final spec look..


                  Bear in mind I have already mentioned to the owner about the new Sandy E CPU's out towards the end of the year and their superior specs, and the response I got was thats ok we'll just buy new machines once there out..


                  Anyways heres the specs



                  Intel CPU Core i7 990X Extreme Edition


                  Asus Rampage III Black Edition Intel Mainboard


                  Corsair DDR3 24GB (6x Dominator 4GB) 1600MHz CL 9 with Corsair Airflow II Fan


                  Asus nVidia GTX580 1.5GB, DVI X2, Mini HDMI, Display Port Graphics Card


                  OCZ Vertex 3 240GB SSD SATA3 2.5"


                  4 x Samsung Spinpoint F3 1TB 7200RPM 32Mb SATA2


                  Corsair Obsidian 650D Black Tower Case


                  Corsair HX-750 750W ATX



                  Anything I should reconsider before I purchase???

                  • 6. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
                    Crist OC/PC Level 2

                    1.Power Supplier to small. go For 1000w. Puting in accoun you will OC the pc in a very near future.

                    2. Change the SSD. Look the new Corsair SSD Force Series 3 . 550MB/520MB

                    3.CPU Cooling. that can make the difference betwen a Porche and a Bugati. (Only if you wan to OC your pc, Then Letme know and I will give you all info you need to make a stable 4.3ghz clock.)

                    • 7. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
                      Dursh Level 1


                      Okay here are the final Specs until the new Sandy's are out.


                      Intel i7 990X


                      Asus P6T7  Mobo Seems like overkill to the max (Would it matter if I changed that to a cheaper alternative like a ASUS Rampage III Extreme??)


                      2x12GB DDR3 (PC2000) Low Latency Ram


                      1x OCZ Agility 3 120GB SSD


                      6x 1TB Samsung F3 Harddrives (Raid 10)


                      Asus GTX580

                      Corsair AX850 PSU

                      Corsair Obsidian 650D Case



                      OK I just have some questions regarding the best setup for CS5 on this machine... Harm, I hope you might be able to help me here...

                      The Raid 10 will just use the onboard raid controller. Is it really that bad in performace, when you consider they're currently using a single 10k WD velocoraptor drive in their current machines.


                      Therefore if I install the OS/CS5.5 on the SSD and then set the Media Cache Files / Media Cache Database to the SSD and the Scratch disk to Raid?



                      Whilst I understand that I should have more spindles in the Raid whilst also using a proper Raid controller its just I know that they'll just end up turfing this box once the new Sandy CPU's are out, in which I will either move them accross to a proper 10-16 sindle Raid with a decent Raid controller or ultimately move them to a 10GB iSCSI 32 spindle SAN.

                      • 8. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
                        Harm Millaard Level 7

                        The on-board ICH10R is perfectly good for striped or mirrored arrays, but is lousy for parity arrays. So your intended raid10, which is mirrored, should run OK without a dedicated controller.


                        This 4 disk raid10 array would probably show a performance around twice as fast as a single disk.

                        • 9. Re: System Help for a complete Novice
                          JEShort01 Level 4




                          1) Your budget does not seem too limited (i7-990x is in your spec.)


                          2) You will be building a whole new PC in less than one year


                          Why not purchase and configure a good parity RAID card now to gain lots of speed for CS5 and other apps. and also reliability. Then, when you build the new PC moving the whole RAID over will be easy and secure.


                          If I were in your shoes this is what I would be doing and if the budget need to be cut some I would still go with a good RAID card, but downgrade to a i7-970.