I'm editing 5D and 7D 1080p footage in CS5.0.4 in a feature-length movie right now, and my timeline runs six video layers with effects on one or two layers at most. It plays back in real time perfectly smooth without rendering any footage at all... here are my specs and transfer rates:
2009 Mac Pro with 2010 firmware update and 3.33GHz 6-core CPU
32GB RAM @ 1333MHz
ATI Radeon HD 5870 GPU
Areca 1880ix-12 with two mini-SAS connections to 8-bay RAID6 of WD 2TB RE-4 disks: sustained 816MB/sec write, 714MB/sec read.
Internal AID-0 of two Hitachi 1TB disks for scratch files: sustained 215MB/second.
Crucial M4 256GB SSD boot drive on SATA II bus: sustained 230MB/sec write, 266MB/sec read. (Note: Video performance was identical with a normal HDD for boot disk with only 96MB/sec sustained speeds.)
Backups on individual disks via eSATA and USB 3.0 PCI card.
I bolded the RAID on the Areca where my media resides. The non-CUDA card works great in software only mode for MPE. I have a GTX285 as well, but it's slightly slower in After Effects which I use the most, so I took it out a long time ago. I hope this helps!
How do you measured the transfer rates? with benchmark software or during the actual timeline playback?
I would say that you "need" around 200MB/s, and more is always better.
My favorite HD throughput test tool is HD Tune Pro; set the Transfer rate settings to Partial Test, slider to "Accurate", and Block size = 2MB.
Jim,, I changed the setting as pero your suggestion.
This is what my HD Pro shows on my scrach disk:
But on my Media Files disk it shows this:
I think I need to move my media files somewhere else, because the Playback on the Timeline (using my CUDA card) is being sloppy,, I guess the playback reads directly from the Media disk,, the scratch is only used after I 'render' pieces on the timeline,, right?
Yes, measured using AJA System Test disk speed test. I'm on a Mac, so I can't use HD Tune. Wish they made a Mac version. Instead, I choose the biggest test I can with cache disabled.
I have my disks set up the reverse of yours, in that my media and previews are on my fast array, and the other cache scratch files are on the slower scratch array. I've actually been debating on putting all my scratch files on the faster array. It's 12TB, of which I have 8.45TB free...
You Areca RAID 0 is working well. In fact, so well that I would suggest converting it to a RAID 5; it would be "one drive" slower, but you would gain redundancy.
Then, whether you change to RAID 5 or not, I would suggest putting all files except media cache and media cache DB onto your Areca array. Then, use the Seagate for media cache, media cache DB, and render outputs.