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Old July 9th, 2010, 02:10 PM   #1
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Best Hard-Drive Setup for Premiere CS5

What hard drives setups would increase the performance of Adobe Premiere, if the starting point is a single large 7200 rpm hard drive as both the main drive and the location of the scratch disk?

Would having a very fast hard drive as a scratch disk improve performance? Does the scratch disk location even matter?

Would a RAID 0 configuration as both the main drive and the scratch disk improve performance?
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Old July 9th, 2010, 02:19 PM   #2
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Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup
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Old July 9th, 2010, 10:44 PM   #3
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Is there any way we can accumulate Harm's external writings and post them in a sticky? That would be awesome.
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Old July 9th, 2010, 11:12 PM   #4
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Thanks, Harm, for the link. I had been running my system with only two drive volumes (one single c: drive plus one RAID 0 array). However, you do not recommend a RAID array unless I have at least four physical drives in my system.

As for having a RAID 0 array as your only drive volume, it's NEVER recommended in any video editing system: Due to the extra overhead, the video editing performance in a system with a single RAID 0 array for everything will actually be slower than that of a single-drive system. So, if you had been using a single RAID 0 array for everything, I would recommend adding at least two more drives to your system (and format them as separate JBOD volumes).

For the record, given my cramped Antec case, I will be adding an eSATA drive as my media/project drive in the near future. (Right now, I am using the system drive for my programs and pagefile and the RAID 0 array for my media, project, media cache, preview and exports.) It will consist of a conventional SATA internal hard drive and a separately purchased external eSATA enclosure. Commercial external hard drive kits have one big disadvantage: These drives always spin themselves down after a few minutes of idle. That makes the external drive kits unsuitable for anything other than backup storage use.

Last edited by Randall Leong; July 9th, 2010 at 11:48 PM.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 02:12 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Coston View Post
Is there any way we can accumulate Harm's external writings and post them in a sticky? That would be awesome.
Craig, that is exactly what was done on the Adobe hardware forum. If you click on the Overview tab at the top of the page, a drop down box appears, listing most of my articles.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 08:39 AM   #6
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Excellent, thanks everybody, especially Harm.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 08:59 AM   #7
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A few more questions:

How much scratch space is needed?

How much of Premiere's editing performance is related to processor speed and ram and how much to hard drive setup? Isn't editing memory-intensive?

What are the main components to increasing export speed?
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Old July 10th, 2010, 01:34 PM   #8
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Natan, a lot of what you are asking will be determined from the PPBM CS5 test once it is finalized.

For scratch space, I consider Premiere's 'Media Cache' to be its scratch space. Therefore, I wouldn't have less than 100GB allocated, and that includes deleting all files from it every 3 months. Every video and audio file imported into Premiere's Project bin, Premiere conforms them and stores the conformed files in the Media Cache folder. If you only edit a few hours of video each week, then it will take even longer to fill up. The partition/drive storing the Media Cache should always have spare space available otherwise Premiere won't work. For me, I have a spare 150GB 10k rpm drive holding Media Cache so I don't need to worry about it filling up anytime soon.

For the money, you can't go wrong with an i7 930 & 12GB ram. For drives, you can't go wrong with the Hitachi 2TB drives which sell for $129-149 (microcenter-newegg). I have also seen the Seagate 1TB 7200.12 drives on newegg for $60-70 on sale. For anything Raid, stay FAR FAR away from Western Digital's Caviar Blue & Black drives. Only their RE4 drives can be used in Raid. For me, I use 1TB and 2TB Seagate drives for everything but I have included a few 2TB Hitachi's ($130) and a couple 5900rpm 2TB Seagates ($120) for backup only. And for the OS drive, I use an Intel X25 80GB SSD, but please don't ask HERE whether SSDs are worth the money because some people here really don't like them (not me though as I have the X25 80GB in 3 PCs).

For drive setup, a minimum setup should be this: 1 drive for OS&Apps, 1 drive for Cache and Export and 2 drives in Raid 0 for Source Video/Audio & Project files. I personally don't like Raid 0 because all it takes is one drive to fail and ALL the data is gone. Yes, you would have it backed up but then you spend hours copying all those files back and chances are that you would have been working on a project all day and now that work is also lost.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 02:42 PM   #9
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Steve, this is very useful information.

Does Premiere run faster if the drive holding the media cache is fast (like a 10k rpm drive as you have) or would it run similar to using a 7200 rpm sata?

Given a 3-drive setup as you describe, are the performance gains you get when running the drive holding the source files and project files in RAID 0 significant? I'm assuming a very simple 2-drive RAID 0 array, compared to just one drive.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 05:22 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Natan Pakman View Post
Does Premiere run faster if...
I don't think there is much of a difference between 7200 & 10k rpm for the cache. I just don't have any other use for this 10k drive so I relegated it to holding media cache. If I fully understood how Premiere uses the conformed files in the Media Cache folder, maybe I could provide a definite answer on any benefits from a faster drive.

I would appreciate if anyone here can explain how Premiere uses Media Cache.

I actually suggested using 4 drives: 1 for OS/Apps, 1 for scratch/cache/exports and 2 in Raid 0 for source media and project files. The benefits from a 2-drive Raid 0 depend on the media being edited and the # of layers. However, current 1-2TB 7200rpm drives are fast enough that most people wouldn't have a problem storing source media on a single drive. The other factor to consider is the amount of source media you need stored - it builds up really fast. This aspect is the main reason I suggested at least a 2-drive Raid 0.
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Old July 10th, 2010, 05:35 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Steve Kalle View Post
I actually suggested using 4 drives:
Yes, you're right, 4 actual drives but the tasks divided into 3; my mistake.

It would be great, as Steve mentioned, if anybody could explain how Premiere's Media Cache works, as that would shed light on how to make it run better.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #12
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Actually setting up the Media Cache in CS5

Regarding the Media Cache:

I am using one hard drive for the Media Cache and for Exports (and Previews). Should the folder designated for "Media Cache Files" be the same folder designated for the "Media Cache Database" or should they be two different folders on the same drive, and does this matter?

I see that when setting the Media Cache settings for Premiere they are automatically set for After Effects.

I am wondering simply what the most efficient and proper setup is.
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Old August 24th, 2010, 10:30 AM   #13
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Did you look here: Adobe Forums: Generic Guideline for Disk Setup
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Old August 24th, 2010, 11:30 AM   #14
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Harm,

Yes, I looked there and I found only that it's recommended to put the Media Cache files and Media Cache Database in the same DRIVE, but I am wondering if they should go in the same FOLDER or two separate ones.
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