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Is SSD always faster than HDD? When it comes to video editing especially?

So I started editing a short film on my home rig and was having some huge performance issues with playback. Unless the video was fully rendered the video would start to lag until it was just basically a Powerpoint presentation.

I checked Adobe's minimum specs for Adobe Premiere and while 4 gigs is the minimum ram needed they suggested you have 8. So I went out and bought 4 more gigs of RAM.

They also said you needed at least a 7200rpm HDD, while I only have a 5900rpm. Since I already have plenty of storage for back up, I figured I get an SSD to edit off of because that's supposed to be wicked fast.

I got this SSD: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820171646

I first installed the RAM and saw a marked improvement in performance. When I installed the SSD and transferred stuff over to it, I did not see much improvement over when I put in extra RAM.

Since I got a budget SSD, I was wondering if maybe it's not much faster than my HDD.

The budget SSD has only 7000 IOPS while other models have 23000 and the like. I don't really know how big a deal that is though.

Also I'd say my slowest component is my processor, but that doesn't seem like that should be that big a deal for video editing right?
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  1. CPU is the biggest component in video editing.
  2. Storage speed does make a difference to render times, however in your case it wouldn't make much difference as your going to be limited by the rest of your rig.
    Also SSD's are best for random read's due to their fast access times, so are perfect for use as an OS/Programs drive where heaps of random requests for data take place. Rendering out a video stresses Sequential Read/Write performance, which is still better than a HDD but by nowhere near as much the Random. Considering the Price/Capacity/Performance, its a far more economical solution to just RAID0 HDD's than it is to buy an equivalent amount of SSD space to render too.

    But anyway, video editing performance rests on a number of factors. RAM capacity, CPU performance, storage performance are the big ones, with GPU Compute or OpenCL performance as well if you leverage that. The rest of your rig isnt really that powerful to justify an SSD render drive.
  3. I guess I should clarify. The problem is not render times. If I have to leave it overnight to render, that's not a problem. The problem is when editing, having to wait for the pre-render playback to catch up. In Final Cut Pro you have to render everything in order to see it, but in Premiere you can just play the un rendered native files as you edit them.

    So the issue isn't so much how long it takes to render, as how choppy the playback pre render is.
  4. Adobe Premiere uses this thing called the Mercury playback engine, using Nvidia CUDA to create blazing fast render times, and extremely smooth playback. You need a decent Nvidia card for this, and I recommend you buying the new GTX770 if you can, and if you can't go for the proven GTX660. You will have to tweak something a bit, but its easy, search NVidia hack premiere and you'll find it. No your 9800 won't work

    The hard drive shouldn't hold back the stuff unless its really slow like 5400RPM. I suggest investing in another small SSD, such as the crucal M4 64GB, connect it as an independent drive, and store your active projects there.

    The more RAM the better, but since you only use DDR2, you probably can only upgrade to 8 gigs, which is rather expensive for little benefit.
  5. The project I'm working on is 119 gigs so it won't fit on the 64gb drive.

    Since it seems my Nvidia card cannot utilize it's video ram to help out with the playback, I'm thinking the bottleneck here is my processor (since my understanding is that the processor is what is in charge of playback in the event of no video ram). Since I cannot replace my processor without buying an entirely new mobo, my thinking is that I need to convert all the video files over to ProRes so that they are less compressed. This makes the files sizes WAAAAY bigger though, and if I do so then I can't use the SSD card.

    A friend suggested that a run my OS off of the SSD and just use my slow HDD. Also it seems that the HDD isn't 5900 it's actually 5400.
  6. thedonquixotic said:
    The project I'm working on is 119 gigs so it won't fit on the 64gb drive.

    Since it seems my Nvidia card cannot utilize it's video ram to help out with the playback, I'm thinking the bottleneck here is my processor (since my understanding is that the processor is what is in charge of playback in the event of no video ram). Since I cannot replace my processor without buying an entirely new mobo, my thinking is that I need to convert all the video files over to ProRes so that they are less compressed. This makes the files sizes WAAAAY bigger though, and if I do so then I can't use the SSD card.

    A friend suggested that a run my OS off of the SSD and just use my slow HDD. Also it seems that the HDD isn't 5900 it's actually 5400.


    Then by all means I suggest you checking out the WD VelociRaptor, which is a drive pretty much made exactly for people like you. It runs @ 10,000 RPM, almost two times faster than your current drive! It is massively fast, big, and relatively cheap. They come is sizes up to 1TB=1000GB as well. Also, in order to use your video RAM, you'll have to do a simple change to a file on your Premiere program. It is incredibly easy and safe, just not, strictly speaking, accepted by Adobe. However, so many people recommend it, including representatives from Adobe themselves because it is so effective. All you need is a card from Nvidia with at least 1GB of RAM. A cheap $60 video card was proven to playback and render video twice as fast as a $2000 Xeon 6 core processor, so don't think CPU uprades are gonna help.

    Also, the thing bottlenecking most projects are the storage where the original project is, where the scratch disk is, and where the program is. Putting the OS/Program on the fast disk, and putting the project and scratch on the slow disk will not speed up your system. In short YOUR FRIEND IS WRONG.

    Finally, go check out the official Adobe Premiere forum! They should offer a lot more help, especially the fellow who goes by the name Harm Milaard, who built the fastest premiere machine in the world (according to PPBM5).
  7. To wrap up, the worst thing you can do is to continue to use that old hard drive in any form.

    If you have an unlimited budget, go buy a 250 gig SSD to store your project, and also another 250 gig SSD for programs/OS. Then buy another 250 gig SSD and use it as a scratch disk. Then invest in a high end Nvidia Quadro card to render and playback fast and smooth with Adobe's approval. Keep your CPU. Invest in RAM.

    If you don't have an unlimited budget, invest in 10k RPM VelociRaptor(s) and run the projects from there. If possible buy an SSD/another VR for OS/programs. Having the project and programs/os on a single non SSD hard drive is a bad idea. Buy a decent GTX graphics board and follow the instructions in the link I provide below. Again keep you CPU. If you have open slots, invest in RAM.

    The full guide to everything= http://www.studio1productions.com/Articles/PremiereCS5.htm
  8. Damn forgot something really important. Tell me which version premiere you run.
  9. I'm running cs6.

    I was looking at the hacks, and I don't think I can do it to my 9800 gtx+ because it's only 512mb video ram and you have to have at least a gig. My budget is pretty much zero (I just graduated undergrad and I don't have a job yet. This is my senior thesis I'm finishing work on). If I went back and returned the SSD (100 dollars), I could probably get the 150gb Velociraptor. And then maybe a cheap Nvidia card. Would one like this work? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814500299
  10. It doesn't appear that card I linked would work because it only has 96 cores.

    So it needs 1 gb of video ram, and at least 96 cuda cores, correct?
  11. Oh wait, maybe this one would work? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16814133458

    If I install this alongside my current graphics card, does that mean I can run them both at the same time for gaming? That would ease the sting a little bit, hahaha

    EDIT: Hmmmm so I've been looking over those instructions for hacking the card in a little bit more depth and it doesn't seem to be working for me, despite the fact that that they list the 9800 gtx+ on their list of cards which work with the hack. but hey also say it has to have at least 1 gig of ram, and the gtx+ only has 512. So why do they have it on the list then?

    EDIT EDIT: Okay so I actually looked up the GTX+ and even on Nvidia's page it says it only has 512mb. Maybe I'm reading the specs wrong? When I run the cuda program it says that everything was run properly. I even made sure to run it in admin mode.
  12. Sorry bro. I went away for a while, and made you wait.
    The 9800 came in two forms. the 500 mb type and the 1 gig type.
    If you are on the cheap, I will suggest you look for used/refurbished ones from microcenter or newegg. Try avoiding other sources as they tend to have bad products and a bad/nonexistent return policy. You should use as much skill as you have, to compensate for your lack of funds. video editing is expensive I know... If you can grab a good 5XX card for cheap that would be cool. If on the 6XX series, you should try to go for the GT 630 at least, it provides far better performance. Check out PPBM5 which shows gpu acceleration performance.

    BTW you have no money, you have huge dreams, and are cobbling together what you can. You really are Don Quixote aren't you?
  13. Yo, what kind of footage are you editing?
    Check this reference for hardware you might need. It appears that the 650 Ti Boost would be a good GPU for you (you may need to unlock it), but literally anything with 1GB of Vram and some CUDA cores is going to be a great improvement. Don't be fooled by the higher CUDA counts in the 600 series. A 600 series CUDA core is equal to 40% (ish) of a 500 series CUDA core.
    http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/creativesuite/production/cs6/pdfs/adobe-hardware-performance-whitepaper.pdf

    I am also using the CS6 version of PP. Sidenote: are you running your SSD in AHCI mode? If you're in IDE, it could be why you're getting lower speeds. Also, as the document above explains, the key is having your application and project file on a separate disk (in your case, the SSD) from the footage (which should be on a 7200RPM HDD).
  14. JPNpower said:
    Sorry bro. I went away for a while, and made you wait.
    The 9800 came in two forms. the 500 mb type and the 1 gig type.
    If you are on the cheap, I will suggest you look for used/refurbished ones from microcenter or newegg. Try avoiding other sources as they tend to have bad products and a bad/nonexistent return policy. You should use as much skill as you have, to compensate for your lack of funds. video editing is expensive I know... If you can grab a good 5XX card for cheap that would be cool. If on the 6XX series, you should try to go for the GT 630 at least, it provides far better performance. Check out PPBM5 which shows gpu acceleration performance.

    BTW you have no money, you have huge dreams, and are cobbling together what you can. You really are Don Quixote aren't you?

    Hahaha yeah truly.

    I think I'm going to go for a new card and a smaller fast hdd to work off of. That seems to be the best bang for buck.

    Anonymous said:
    Yo, what kind of footage are you editing?
    Check this reference for hardware you might need. It appears that the 650 Ti Boost would be a good GPU for you (you may need to unlock it), but literally anything with 1GB of Vram and some CUDA cores is going to be a great improvement. Don't be fooled by the higher CUDA counts in the 600 series. A 600 series CUDA core is equal to 40% (ish) of a 500 series CUDA core.
    http://wwwimages.adobe.com/www.adobe.com/content/dam/Adobe/en/products/creativesuite/production/cs6/pdfs/adobe-hardware-performance-whitepaper.pdf

    I am also using the CS6 version of PP. Sidenote: are you running your SSD in AHCI mode? If you're in IDE, it could be why you're getting lower speeds. Also, as the document above explains, the key is having your application and project file on a separate disk (in your case, the SSD) from the footage (which should be on a 7200RPM HDD).


    DSLR .mov I'll check the AHCI mode. Thanks.
  15. If your problem is previewing footage, that would come down to how much RAM you have I believe. When you hit space on a Premiere timeline that starts a RAM preview, which basically renders whats there and records it too the RAM. I used to have 8GB of RAM on my machine and if I dared do anything a bit complex in After Effects it would just fill up. Eventually upgraded to 16GB (And then almost instantly one of my old sticks died, so now I have 12GB...)
    More RAM you have, the more you can fit, the better it plays back.
  16. Oi, still having problems.

    So here's what I did. I don't really have much more money to spend, so I figured that if Igot a 7200 rpm for and took back the SSD, that I could use the extra money leftover to get a Mercury Playback capable gpu.

    I got a 500gb 7200 hdd for 49.99 and a GTX 610 for 49.99, and had a dollar left over for a piece of candy.

    Installed the hdd and gpu and it's even worse now, andI think I know why. While the gtx 610 has 2 gigs of vram, it only has 48 cuda cores (something which unfortunately you can't find at all by look on the box).

    And since the minimum is 96 cuda, I was worried that it wasn't going to work. The mercury playback is enabled all right but the playback is as bad as before.

    They didn't have any 500 series. The next step up is the 650 but that's pci express 3 and my mobo only has a pci express 2 slot. A cursory google says that I can use a 3 in a 2 slot though, right?

    manofchalk said:
    If your problem is previewing footage, that would come down to how much RAM you have I believe. When you hit space on a Premiere timeline that starts a RAM preview, which basically renders whats there and records it too the RAM. I used to have 8GB of RAM on my machine and if I dared do anything a bit complex in After Effects it would just fill up. Eventually upgraded to 16GB (And then almost instantly one of my old sticks died, so now I have 12GB...)
    More RAM you have, the more you can fit, the better it plays back.


    That's true of After Effects, but I don't think premiere does a preview in the same way. When I do AE stuff you have to do the RAM preview no matter what even when I've been on the high end Mac editing stations at my school, and it just loads up as big a chunk of footage as it can into ram and then plays it after a delay for preview rendering. Premiere, unless there's an effect apply, can just play at normal speed with no preloading. I'm going to be doing AE stuff later though, but mostly just color correction. And when editing at school I've used their high end stations with only 8 gigs with no problem and their lower end stations with only 4 gigs with very little problem.
  17. PCI-Express revisions are all forward and backward compatible. Your fine to stick a PCI-3 card in a PCI-2 slot, you just wont get the added bandwidth (which doesn't make any difference anyway).

    The GT610 is a pretty basic GPU, I wouldn't be surprised if it performed worse than your 9800GT. I would only use a card like that for extra display outputs, and even then the GT210 does that cheaper.
    Also I think you'v been suckered into one of the bigger scams of this industry, the perception that VRAM actually increases performance. That GPU is far too weak to take advantage of 2GB of VRAM, anything that could use up that space would be limited by its poor GPU performance.

    Really, I think its a number of things causing the issue. Your rig isn't exactly all that powerful.
  18. Yeah I know it's pretty old hahaha. I'm pretty sick of dealing with this annoyances and one thing that's kept me from really wanting to spend the money on upgrading was worrying that my mobo was too obsolete so any changes couldn't be carried over bit looking over things and considering the pci3 backwards compatibility I think I'll just spend the extra cash. Using the May cpu benchmark I might also buy new cpu. Maybe I can write this on my taxes!
  19. Thats the problem with letting a rig go too obsolete, it becomes impossible to upgrade without changing everything. IMO, dont sink much more money into getting it to perform better, and save up to buy a whole new rig entirely. To do a proper upgrade on that would pretty much mean you would have to replace every part of it anyway.
  20. Best answer
    manofchalk said:
    Thats the problem with letting a rig go too obsolete, it becomes impossible to upgrade without changing everything. IMO, dont sink much more money into getting it to perform better, and save up to buy a whole new rig entirely. To do a proper upgrade on that would pretty much mean you would have to replace every part of it anyway.


    (NOOO my best answer is goooone!!) I'm not entirely sure that's true. It's not like a good graphics board is limited to one time use. I bought a rather high end GPU SLI setup (9800gt) and it moved on to my new computer very well, and does the job nicely. My point being that if you buy quality parts, they should last.

    As for Sir Quixote, your 9800GTX+ was at some point in time, the very best consumer GPU on the planet. (A good reason to name your system Rocinante lol) The lowest GPU that Nvidia makes today is not exactly what you call an upgrade. I suggest a GT630 at least for MPE. Anything lower will be worthless and a substantial waste of your money. As for RAM and stuff, I repeat buy a fast HDD/SSD, it's the biggest upgrade you can make, and use it as a scratch disk, which is pretty much virtual RAM for the huge preview data that Adobe programs create. Ideally, it is recommended that you have the scratch disk, programs, OS, and project all on different drives. Obviously you can't do that with your PC but you can spread the load as evenly as possible. Scratch, and programs demand the most speed. project can stay on a relatively slower drive. I could get by with only my project on 5400 RPM, and the rest on 10,000 RPM on a smaller project I did recently.

    Pcie 2 becomes a bandwidth bottleneck for high end GTX cards sometimes. I read somebody who said that their GTX Titan (yes people buy $1000 cards. insane) was not bottlenecked considerably with their benchmarking on PCIe 2 compared to PCIe3. You really shouldn't fret over this issue.

    Oh, and RAM upgrades will get you up to 8GB maximum with DDR2 I think, not what you call substantial.

    If you want to completely give up, take a look at Dell with their new XPS 8700 or something. (forgot the name, it's the black tower thing on their website.) It is a costly $800 but the thing was pretty much designed for editors on a budget. If you think your upgrades are going to even touch $400, take a look at that.
  21. You can re-use parts, but on a rig of this age you wouldnt want too. Theres no parts that are useful, you could pull out the Hard and optical drive (assuming their SATA) and that's about it. Even the PSU is too old to re-use given they degrade with use (and its a Dell prebuilt PSU, probably wasn't that good to begin with).

    And dual 9800GT's actually perform far worse than a single modern mid-range card, even assuming perfect scaling.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/521?vs=549
    8800GT's = 9800GT, exact same card just rebranded.

    The only things that wont be become outdated in a rig is the case, storage (To a lesser extent) and cooling. My advice, spend big on then now and it will save you a ton later on as they dont have to be replaced.
  22. JPNpower said:
    manofchalk said:
    Thats the problem with letting a rig go too obsolete, it becomes impossible to upgrade without changing everything. IMO, dont sink much more money into getting it to perform better, and save up to buy a whole new rig entirely. To do a proper upgrade on that would pretty much mean you would have to replace every part of it anyway.


    (NOOO my best answer is goooone!!) I'm not entirely sure that's true. It's not like a good graphics board is limited to one time use. I bought a rather high end GPU SLI setup (9800gt) and it moved on to my new computer very well, and does the job nicely. My point being that if you buy quality parts, they should last.

    As for Sir Quixote, your 9800GTX+ was at some point in time, the very best consumer GPU on the planet. (A good reason to name your system Rocinante lol) The lowest GPU that Nvidia makes today is not exactly what you call an upgrade. I suggest a GT630 at least for MPE. Anything lower will be worthless and a substantial waste of your money. As for RAM and stuff, I repeat buy a fast HDD/SSD, it's the biggest upgrade you can make, and use it as a scratch disk, which is pretty much virtual RAM for the huge preview data that Adobe programs create. Ideally, it is recommended that you have the scratch disk, programs, OS, and project all on different drives. Obviously you can't do that with your PC but you can spread the load as evenly as possible. Scratch, and programs demand the most speed. project can stay on a relatively slower drive. I could get by with only my project on 5400 RPM, and the rest on 10,000 RPM on a smaller project I did recently.

    Pcie 2 becomes a bandwidth bottleneck for high end GTX cards sometimes. I read somebody who said that their GTX Titan (yes people buy $1000 cards. insane) was not bottlenecked considerably with their benchmarking on PCIe 2 compared to PCIe3. You really shouldn't fret over this issue.

    Oh, and RAM upgrades will get you up to 8GB maximum with DDR2 I think, not what you call substantial.

    If you want to completely give up, take a look at Dell with their new XPS 8700 or something. (forgot the name, it's the black tower thing on their website.) It is a costly $800 but the thing was pretty much designed for editors on a budget. If you think your upgrades are going to even touch $400, take a look at that.

    Hahaha yes, I actually named one of my bikes Rocinante.

    With this mobo it can actually go up to 16gb ddr2. But since I've edited on 4 gb and 8gb rigs before no problem I don't think the biggest problem is the RAM.

    I went with a 7200rpm 500 gb HDD, and I think that will serve it's function well. I can decompress to ProRes easily if I need more speed.

    As for cards I've ordered a GTX 650 TI 2gb. It's like 768 Cuda and lots of Vram. When I realized I could use it on this mobo and then still use it when I migrated to a new Mobo, I figured it would be worth while. Also I now play Skyrim on Ultra so that was some icing on the cake.

    I'm also thinking about going ahead and upgrading my CPU using the charts here on Tom's but I'll post in the CPU forum about that if I need to. CPU is the weakest part of my machine right now.

    manofchalk said:
    You can re-use parts, but on a rig of this age you wouldnt want too. Theres no parts that are useful, you could pull out the Hard and optical drive (assuming their SATA) and that's about it. Even the PSU is too old to re-use given they degrade with use (and its a Dell prebuilt PSU, probably wasn't that good to begin with).

    And dual 9800GT's actually perform far worse than a single modern mid-range card, even assuming perfect scaling.
    http://www.anandtech.com/bench/Product/521?vs=549
    8800GT's = 9800GT, exact same card just rebranded.

    The only things that wont be become outdated in a rig is the case, storage (To a lesser extent) and cooling. My advice, spend big on then now and it will save you a ton later on as they don't have to be replaced.

    PSU is actually pretty new. I had to upgrade it a couple of years ago because the old one failed. The most outdated thing with the current rig is actually the CPU. Since first building it, I've replaced the HDD 2, the GPU once, and upgraded the ram 3 times. There's still room to upgrade the RAM and using the CPU charts on Tom's apparently I can get a Intel Core 2 Extreme QX6700 which will perform much better than my current CPU. And the case needs to be replaced too. It's fans are starting to get a little worn out. d

    We'll see! if the GPU fix doesn't work, then I might try a CPU upgrade. Or I'll just get a new MOBO and CPU and carry all the other parts over. I'll probably create a new thread when I come to that point.
  23. You need a motherboard upgrade if you want to upgrade you CPU later. Your current platform (775) is dead, and upgrades are not worth it. My CPU was a high end model of that range, so I can tell you that they are fast and nice, but too expensive. A $100 modern CPU will beat that $700 775 CPU you find somewhere. I recommend waiting for a bit longer for the new Intel 1150 "Haswell" line of CPUs are released. Then DON'T buy the new series, and buy the older 1155"Ivy" CPUs which are slightly slower, but should be rather cheaper.

    Anyway, now you made me want to read Don Quixote again.
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