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Workstation: Which drives for which purposes?

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Last response: in Storage
June 29, 2009 8:12:50 PM

We just built a new workstation and here are the specs:

Dual Xeon 5530s (2.4 GHz – 8 Processors – 16 Threads)
24 GB of DDR3 memory (rated at 1333, running at 1066 matched to processors)
nVidia Quadro CX (1.5 GB GDDR3 - 384-bit - 76.8GB/sec)

Now the more important part, the hard drives:
1x 160GB 7.2K RPM = boot drive, OS
1x500GB 7.2K RPM = Scratch disk
2x300GB 10K RPM in RAID-1 = Project file storage

So right now we have a drive for just the OS and programs then a drive just to be used as the scratch disk, and then a drive (2 drives in RAID-1) for work files such as project files, save files, footage, ect.

My question is: Is this the best configuration for the HDDs? Should I make the scratch disks the 10K drives? Which is going to need the most speed; the scratch disks, or the project files disk. I’ll be working mostly in Adobe After Effects CS4. If I make the 10Ks the scratch disks, that information is not so important as it’s created and dumped each work session, so should I make them a RAID-0 instead? Basically: Which drives for what? If I need to I could split up the 10Ks, They don’t necessarily have to be in a RAID but I would like some sort of data protection for the main project files.

Please comment on how I should best utilize my current resources, and then also what additional resources may best serve me (15K SCSI arrays are out of the question. Be reasonable i.e. “an additional 160GB to RAID-0 our OS/Boot drive”? ect.)

We have a separate Server for finished and more permanent files.

Thank you.

More about : workstation drives purposes

a b G Storage
June 30, 2009 8:47:45 AM

Should I make the scratch disks the 10K drives? Which is going to need the most speed; the scratch disks, or the project files disk.

Scratch space is basically Adobe's equivalent of Windows' swapfile i.e. when it runs out of RAM it uses the HDD.
If most of your projects frequently use more than 24GB of system RAM (be sure to increase Adobe's RAM usage under 'preference' and check total RAM usage with Task Manager) then your scratch space becomes the next important priority in speed. In that case putting the two 10K RPM in RAID0 as scratch disk would be most ideal.

If not, your current setup is fine.
June 30, 2009 3:51:12 PM


Pretty much as wuzy said.
April 14, 2010 3:02:09 AM

Hi klinkenberger, Instead of answering your question i need your help regarding Graphics Card.

I'm too using AE CS3 & about to buy a new graphics card. I'm stuck between GeForce GTX 285 & Quadro fx 1800. Can u pls share your experience, is it worth going with Quadro over GeForce ?