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Old December 5th, 2013, 12:59 PM   #16
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Hi Ian. My previous research re:SSD drives told me (at least as I remember it) that video files and the nature of the "transactions" that occur when they are being accessed for editing are better off residing on a disc drive, not SSD. SSDs were said to not be as suitable for fast accessing of large files, or something like that. It may have to do with sequential and random access speeds and how they factor in for different types of tasks.

It's necessary to keep in mind I research the crap out of things, possibly for months, prior to weighing things out and making a purchase. After the purchase, I will often forget everything I learned previously and will have to go back and relearn it again later. I have pretty much forgotten all details of my previous research, but I still have some vague concepts floating around in my brain.

About two years ago, more or less, I purchased my SAS drives with understanding of the above ideas.

From what I have learned since looking up this topic more recently, SSDs seem fine, but I have not found expert confirmation, only anecdotal statements by people who are happy with them.

I see the article you reference from Adobe actually recommends an SSD for OS, and then disc drive for video files, but it does not say why. Is it because of cost? They don't say.

I have what are among the fastest disc drives around, Seagate Cheetah 15K drives. Sadly, my preview performance is only marginally better than when I ran 300GB Velociraptors in RAID 0. It is certainly better, but not nearly as much as I had expected. My bottleneck seems to be not the HDs as much as the CPU.

I see a hard disc drive not so much as something that speeds up preview as much as as a purchase to prevent bottlenecks. I purchase the fastest drives I can afford not to speed things up, but instead to not slow them down. With decent drives we can feel reasonably confident that if preview is sluggish, we do not have to wonder if our hard drive if fast enough.

This approach allows us to focus on the CPU aspect and overclocking.

So in the end, Ian, I do not know the answer to the question, except to recommend that you buy the fastest drives you can afford and see what happens.
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Old December 5th, 2013, 03:53 PM   #17
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Thanks Jeff. One of the things I have read in several places is that the life of an SSD is reduced when used in that fashion (as a scratch drive) because of the increased number of reads and writes. I'm not convinced, but neither can I disprove it! I will indeed have a go and see how I get on. I think I'll buy one more to start with, then build if required. Don't hold your breath for feedback though. This is a Christmas holidays task - too busy with rent-paying stuff right now :-)
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Old December 6th, 2013, 10:31 AM   #18
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Get a SSD with a 3-5 year warranty if it fails before then you just have it replaced.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 09:40 AM   #19
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Ian, I've looked around and with the low cost of SSDs, my next purchase will be an SSD drive. I want to lose the heat that comes with disc drives, and obviously the speed is very very very good.

SSDs are what is happening. Disc drives days are undoubtedly numbered. In five years disc drives will be hard to find, IMO. In ten years they will be a distant memory.

In two years since my previous research things have changed a lot.

Because of the common occurrence of drive failures, I will use disc drives for backup, and use SSDs for video and OS.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 09:44 AM   #20
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

And as you were typing, I'm installing my first SSD ;-). I'll let you know how I get on.

As I mentioned earlier, I will experiment with SSDs as scratch drives when I have a bit of free time over Christmas. This is just a system drive I'm installing. Fingers crossed!
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Old December 7th, 2013, 09:57 AM   #21
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Good luck! Keep up posted. My first drive will be for video, since that is where the bottleneck occurs in editing. I look foward to replacing my OS drive as well, I may do both at once, but the priority for me is my video drive.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 10:23 AM   #22
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Well, Ian, I take back everything I've said about SSDs not being "as good" for video. I was clearly very behind in my understanding of them, and how far they've come in two years.

I really appreciate this thread and am so happy to say I was mistaken.

I've ordered one drive for OS and one for video.

I am happy that I have SATA 3 ports so I can get full benefits of the speed the drives have to offer. Luckily my MOBO came with SATA 3 cables and I've gotten them out and they are waiting for the drives.

I am particularly happy because I can lose my expensive SAS controller and not worry about the heat it generates. My 15K drives also generate heat. I'll sell the old drives and hopefully come out ahead financially.
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Old December 9th, 2013, 12:09 PM   #23
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Hi Jeff,

Well, I have now installed the SSD (not without some headaches, though*) and I have to say the performance is blistering! I started off with just one SSD for OS and apps but the difference is astonishing. My Windows Experience Index (for what it's worth) is 7.8, up from 5.9 (with the primary hard disk transfer rate being the lowest subscore).

Vegas loads in about five seconds. I can preview my complex projects at good/full mode (and full screen) without stuttering (unless I am using a heavy plugin like MB Looks). Less complex projects easily preview at best/full. Like you I plan to add a second SSD for media. I'm not sure whether a third for the actual projects is really necessary or whether I can keep those on a regular drive.

I now have to be more disciplined in terms of backing up and archiving, given the greater potential (so I understand) for SSDs to fail. I'm doing a daily system incremental backup now and will also backup active project materials every day.

Which drive did you go for in the end, Jeff? I chose the Crucial M500 960GB - seemed to be the best price/performance ratio. Not necessarily the fastest of the drives out there but the differences were tiny and I'm not convinced anyone would be able to tell.

It's all very exciting anyway!

* the problems I mentioned were mainly due to the original system drive having some bad sectors in important places! Not enough to prevent Windows from booting up and operating normally, but enough to not allow me to clone the drive or create a system image. I did a fair amount of research into the issue and it seems that there is every chance the drive was very close to failure, so perhaps fate played its hand when I decided to install the SSD! It has meant I've had to install everything from scratch, including Windows, but that's probably not a bad thing. I'm getting a few odd BIOS issues every now and then, with the BIOS forgetting the RAID settings for the media and project drives, resulting in me seeing four useless 1 GB drives instead of 2 x 2GB drives. It's easily fixed by going into the BIOS and changing the settings back to RAID, but it's annoying and I can't work out why it's happening.

Anyway, long and short is I'm enjoying a wonderful boost in performance. S'pose I should go 4k now and be back to square one ;-)
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Old December 9th, 2013, 01:51 PM   #24
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Ian, thanks for the details about your adventure. Your SSD is a proven performer and a very good choice.

SanDisk Extreme II 128GB and the 240GB are what I went with. Traditionally my video drive is for editing only, never for storage, so I will continue using my large disc drives for pending projects and archived projects.

I liked the SanDisk because of the speed/cost/warranty. The Crucial was slightly higher in areas, but overall the $60 savings per 240GB drive and the 5 year warranty of the SanDisc won me over.

I had a bottleneck with my SAS drive, I've been running on 4 lanes (PCI 2) instead of 8 because of my controlller's limitations. Rather than upgrade my controller this seemed a really superior option. Very excited about this purchase.

Thanks for your input which helped me very much!
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Old December 10th, 2013, 06:54 AM   #25
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Must say I have a love affair with the speed that SSD offer, only wish I had 64Gb of ram now. Be aware that SSD's do have a set read & write limit & can fail like any other drive. A friend of mine has lost two SSD's already, a solid back-up strategy is always a good idea.
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Old December 10th, 2013, 08:28 AM   #26
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Excellent point about the MTBF, Nicholas. They do have a finite life expectancy, and this concerns me. The enterprise class drives are very expensive, not within most budgets. I regret not looking harder at the business class drives since they are supposed to more reliable.

Backing up is essential as you say. I don't mind if I lose an OS drive so much because I save my project/work to three HDDs every many times a day. On occasion I have been known to be lazy and not save as often, but with these drives I will be more disciplined.

In my case I look hard at warranties and I try and stick with 5 years when possible. Drives with 5 year warranties tend to work out well for me.

Last edited by Jeff Harper; December 10th, 2013 at 01:04 PM.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 10:50 AM   #27
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Well, the SSD drives are installed and I'm impressed with transfer speeds, but only mildly. The SSDs do not slow down though as the drive fills, which is nice.

Vegas opens at about same speed as before, even though I"m using SSD for c drive and for the video. Rather disappointing.

I think the issue might be my old drives were pretty fast, and I expected too much. I've always run RAID 0 and or used the fastest drives I could afford. Possibly for someone coming from 7200rpm drives the SSDs would instantly seem amazing. And they are, but the difference seem negligible in my case.

I am only getting a 8 on the windows experience index for drives, so it might mean they are not configured correctly. I am running in AHCI mode, I'm using a MOBO with SATA III connnectors and cables, so not sure what is left to check.

The drives are fantastic and I do love them, highly recommended.

I do love the cool and silent operation. For the money you cannot beat them. When I sell my old SAS drives I will come out ahead for sure, so all is well that ends well. My boot time will decrease without there being a controller to boot up, so that is a nice positive.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 11:25 AM   #28
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Stupid me. I checked my older SAS drive specs just now. They actually have 150mbps higher transfer rates than my new SSD drives, so that explains why I'm not super blown away. I had just assumed that SSDs would be faster. The advantages of the SSDs are enough I'll stick with them, however.

For the new year I will resolve to be less impulsive!
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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:04 PM   #29
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Congrats Jeff! At least in part - your old drives must have been fantastically fast! I'm coming from a 10k rpm system drive and two 7200 storage drives and the difference is phenomenal (I still have the 7200's, in RAID 0+1 and I hope to see even better performance when I replace those in due course).

My system seems to have settled down now (touch wood). I'm not getting any POST issues now (eg the BIOS losing its RAID settings). Not sure what I've done to earn that, but I'm not complaining.

I'm ranking this as the best thing I've ever done to improve performance on an existing system - far better than a faster GPU or more RAM.
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Old December 12th, 2013, 12:21 PM   #30
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Re: Help Getting Video Preview to play smoothly?

Yes, my old drives are still, as far as I know, the fastest platter discs available to consumers. 15k 6GB, with 600mbps transfer speed. Blazingly fast.

However they are running off of my outdated PCI 2 controller and that is a bottleneck. If I were to upgrade my controller they would probably destroy the SSDs. But there is the issue of how things slow down as the platter drives fill.

A PCI 3 controller is going to cost me at least $500 or more, which is what really caused me to consider the SSDs.

I am glad your issues are resolved!
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