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Really, that many SSD's in a single build?

Last response: in Storage
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March 25, 2014 6:41:47 AM

Need expert advice!

Adobe as well as many other articles recommended:

SSD for OS
SSD for Scratch Drive (would i need so scratch drive with 16GB RAM?)
SSD for APPS
SSD for Working files

HDD for storage
HDD for backup (mirror)

OTT?? Surely i can have Apps on the same drive as the OS, right?

(main use for pc is design work PS and AE)

More about : ssd single build

a b G Storage
March 25, 2014 6:49:32 AM

you can get away with just one ssd for os, apps and working files (250gb +) and 1 hdd for storage (but of course 2 are nicer for backups/mirror)
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a c 126 G Storage
March 25, 2014 6:51:00 AM

Definitely OTT. At the very least put Apps and OS on the same drive. What's the difference between working and scratch?
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March 25, 2014 7:53:33 AM

The thing is that this kind of recommendation comes from people who spend a minimum of ten hours a day, five days a week doing high level 3D or video production work. There's a few reasons why they get so snarky about their set-ups:

You are likely to be working with extremely large files (High-quality video can be HUGE - 100mb per second, multiplied by two or more cameras) so SSDs are really where you want to be because it makes all the operations involving manipulating those files faster. Also having that kind of sizes of files can mean you need multiple drives just to store it all.

Also, as a true pro who is constantly working on those levels your time is valuable. You need your workflow to be as fast as humanly possible, because a few seconds per operation really adds up. Especially as a freelancer (the only people who have to buy their own rigs - if you work for a studio you'll be provided your workstation) you quote a certain cost and budget a certain amount of time to the project. If you overrun - Too bad. The client won't pay you that extra time, and again that's time you can't spend doing something else.

Certainly when you are making good money doing this stuff and you go to build your new rig you aren't going to cheap out on storage. You're already talking about spending plural thousands (pro gfx cards are disgustingly expensive) so adding an extra few hundred in SSDs isn't that big a deal.

On top of that, when you put a system under that degree of use things tend to fail. SSD's have a pretty low lifetime in computer terms, so segregating your data can be important so that any one drive failing doesn't cost you as much time to get up and running again. You can reasonably run off the backup for a day or two until the new drive arrives, with only a minor decrease in speed because much of the rest of your data is still on SSD's. I'm not kidding about the lower life spans by the way. I know companies that changed out their CRAZY expensive PCI SSD drives every 6 months - Way before they die, but it means they didn't ever take risks.

However - Don't believe that if you don't have all this stuff (epic amounts of RAM, a pro GFX card, the silliest CPU available) that you can't think about working on it at all. You'll certainly be more productive if you do but it's far from mandatory. As long as you use the SSD for the apps and the source files, and you exercise some judgement (shifting completed projects to a regular HDD for archiving) then you'll do just fine.

If you are doing things to learn the skills, as a hobby, or as a semi-pro (ie you get paid for it sometimes, but it's not your day job) then just don't worry about storage that much. Same for the rest of your rig really. As long as you are feeling comfortable with the kind of performance you're getting from your apps, then don't buy components that you aren't sure you need.

If you have the money to spend, and you do the work so often that picking up time on renders and saving/loading matters (here's a handy chart Is it worth it?) then go nuts buddy. Faster is never a bad thing for sure. Just remember that prices are always dropping and things are always getting better and cheaper, so again - If you are comfortable with the performance you are getting then leave it, because in six months things will be even cheaper and give you more value per dollar.

I don't do anywhere near as much editing work as I used to; I'm a producer now and only very occasionally do camera work, but everything I need still runs fine on my crappy old home machine (a Core2Quad Q8200, 8gb of RAM, a Radeon HD7770, one 64gb SSD, one 500gb HDD, backed up onto my file server if you're curios). Yes, some things take more time than I'd like, but I can't see the point of spending large chunks of money on things that I won't use every day.

I wouldn't want to say the Adobe is directly lying to you, but do take their recommendations with a pinch of salt. The advice they give is relevent for an extremely small subset of their user base. Sadly very many people in the industry aren't as computer literate as they should be, partially as a result of the received opinion that macs are somehow magically better. Since they've never had to know the names of their components, or tried to maximise their performance per budget, instead relying on off the shelf apple offerings, they tend to overspend and not have a strong understanding of how the components come together.

Whatever you do, make sure you get the solution that's right for your situation and the budget you have available.

The bottom line is this -

The hardware that you have doesn't make you more or less 'pro'. The quality of your output is the only important factor. All we're talking about here is speed, and the benefits aren't huge for all but the most hardcore users. Unless you are extremely skilled your storage speed will not be a limiting factor on your workflow.

Your PC doesn't have to pass some kind of test before you get your membership card to the pros club. Don't ever feel like you must upgrade anything as long as you are getting the results you want. By the same token, don't feel like new hardware will improve the quality of your work.
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March 25, 2014 8:16:58 AM

Amazing answer 'LostAlone', some VERY wise advise, which I will surely take up. Given what u have said I'm going to lower my specs on GPU and CPU and go for a better monitor. I am so tempted to get the Samsung S27B970D since an IPS monitor is definitely what I need! thanx again.
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