6 SATA spindle RAID10 -- vs 2 SSD RAID1

I work with very high res imagery. Single 7GB PSB files are not uncommon. (PSB = Photoshop large format, since PSD maxes at 4GB.) Loading these from a single SATA takes forever...

When I'm creating one for the first time, it's obviously getting used a lot. Written, closed, read, modified, written, etc. But,then, it will sit there forever and hopefully be called back up periodically to be reprinted.

I'd like to boost speed, but need storage space as well. These files add up quick. So, I can't go with 6 SSD drives. Too expensive for the gigantic ones, and too little space. Figuring I have to at least use 4 SATA spindle drives in a RAID10.

So, am I best off just going with 6 SATA spindle drives in a RAID10?

Or, would I be better off having 4 SATA spindle drives in a RAID10, and 2 SSD drives in a RAID1?

I'm hoping that a 6 SATA spindle RAID10 would be around the speed of a 2 SSD RAID1. Haven't been able to find benchmarks comparing these scenarios.

I know it will come down to a tradeoff of having things on the SSD's run faster vs everything running the same but slower. Just wondering how much faster things on the SSD's would run, so I can decide that tradeoff.

So, I'm looking for large sequential read/write speed. Random access not very important.
3 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about sata spindle raid10 ssd raid1
  1. are you planning on buying an expensive raid card or using the motherbd ports?

    if motherbd, then I would use a two individual SSD's and a 4 drive hdd raid 0
    ssd - os & programs
    ssd - scratch and working file storage
    raid 10 - main storage of completed work and daily backup of ssd's (esp the work in progress files)

    I assume you already have some kind of backup solution going thats external to this workstation.
  2. Best answer
    To help simplify the overall storage solution, you should look at this as two separate categories: short term and long term storage. When you are going to be working with new art files regularly, they should be stored in a low capacity but high performance storage volume. However, once you are pretty much finished with modifications to that file, you no longer need it stored on expensive high-performance medium, and can move it to something else for long term storage.

    At my dad's sign business we often work with very large graphics files. However, in their situation all work is done off a central storage server, and some of the art projects may be very small while others are large. But for what you are needing to do, here is what I would recommend.

    First off, determine the performance and fault tolerance you need with your actual operating system and programs. In other words, would you be fine with running your OS and programs on a single SSD, or would you need instead to do RAID 1? If you have the money available and really want performance you can choose to go with two drives in RAID 0 but that has a higher chance failure and thus loss of data and downtime. Instead, what you might wish to do is set up a second set of RAID 0 SSDs for a scratch disk and short term storage. This only need to be big enough to store your "in progress" files along with temporary files necessary for Adobe to open and work with your files. This is where you need the most speed. You will also need to make adjustments in Adobe Photoshop to relocate your primary scratch disk.

    Finally, you will need something for long term storage. If you have no other options you can also internalize this with a couple high quality but cost effective mechanical SATA hard driver in RAID 1 for redundancy or RAID 0 for added capacity and throughput provided you are making regular backups onto external storage. If you can, I'd move this entire portion to an external source, whether it's a file server or NAS device. That keeps the workload off your local computer. The more hard drives you have running off a single onboard SATA controller the more likely you are of having problems and having it really slow down. If you are going to internalize all of the storage systems, I'd recommend a hardware RAID controller for better reliability and performance with this number of RAID arrays.

    So, in recap, as Popatim has pointed about above, you will need your OS and programs (I'd recommend at least one SSD, preferably two in RAID 1 or 0.) You will then need your short term storage and scratch drive for in-progress work (I'd recommend two SSDs in RAID 0 or if you really need redundancy than set up four in RAID 10 but it's more cost effective to just do external backups.) Finally, long term storage of projects which can be done internally or externally. The capacity you need is going to be up to you, but simply you can go with a single high-capacity SATA HDD, or utilize several in RAID 0, 1, or 10. This can also be relocated outside the computer to an external device.
  3. As both posters said, separate your thinking on current work and long term storage and then assess your budget.

    Photoshop loves an SSD scratch disk all to itself, and it doesn't need to be huge for just improving current work speed. If you have your OS and Photoshop program on one SSD and a second SSD that is only used as a Photoshop scratch disk it is very effective. While I use Premiere, it is similar in benefiting from a scratch SSD for all temp files and I output to an 8 x 3TB disk RAID 6 for storage that are on an Adaptec 6805 controller in another box. And everything including network hardware is on UPSs.
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