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10K Raptor vs. SSD vs. 6gbps mech. drive

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November 10, 2010 6:07:05 PM

I'm having an extremely hard time deciding on which hard drive to possibly get. I may be building a system in the near future and it will be strictly used as a work station (Adobe Premiere and After Effects). So I will be doing a LOT of HD work. I currently work on a Mac, but at home I've always used PCs.

My question is which set up to go with? I was looking at the three obvious choices stated in the topic.

1) 10,000 WD VelociRaptor 600gb HD (OR) 2x 10,000 WD VelociRaptor 150gb HD in RAID 0
2) SSD
3) 6GB/s Regular mechanical drive (something like 1TB) Possiby in RAID 0

I've always edited off of external firewire drives, but I'd like to do it a little different and try an internal raid setup or even SSD for the editing drive. Are there any substantial differences in performance between these options?

The motherboard I would be using would be the ASUS Sabertooth X58.
a c 127 G Storage
November 10, 2010 6:48:08 PM

Don't buy high rpm disks anymore. Either buy SSD if you need IOps (random I/O) or HDDs for sequential I/O and mass-storage.

So best would be a small SSD + multiple HDDs in RAID0 + a good backup solution. Then you have performance and basic data security.

You may want to wait with SSDs until the next third generation is coming: Intel G3, Micron C400 and Sandforce SF2000; coming first quarter of 2011 and possibly before.

6Gbps on HDDs is good marketing, but since your HDD is still limited to <=150MB/s even 1,5Gbps SATA wouldn't be a true bottleneck for them. So 3Gbps SATA will be good for the next decade or so, for HDDs. Once HDDs get to 1TB platter capacity we should see 5400rpm doing 200MB/s; still far from the limits of 3Gbps SATA.

So you may just want to start with two Samsung F4 disks in RAID0 and buy an SSD later. Do mind backups though!
November 10, 2010 11:46:37 PM

Thanks Mesa, that definitely helps my decision. I like the 10k's a lot but I've never had first hand experience with an SSD so maybe I'll just go with that for my OS drive.

Just a question though, I've been out of the hardware loop for quite some time now. What's the benefit in the new gen of SSD's? Will they be cheaper per GB? They've definitely come down quite a bit since I was first looking at them, I'd imagine they will continue to drop at some point.

And as far as backing up goes, I do have a raided external LaCie drive to handle that. It's actually what I've been editing off of but when I upgarde I think I'd rather use it for backing up.
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a b G Storage
November 11, 2010 7:49:11 AM

I'm also using Adobe Premiere for a very long time. If I were to choose with your option I would opt for WD VelociRaptor 600gb HD (OS + program files) - But if you like speed then SSD. I have use a RAID 0 before 640GB WD Black on my OS + program files and 2 1Tb WD RAID 0 as Storage. I have 2 2Tb of external drive as backup.
a c 127 G Storage
November 11, 2010 11:20:50 AM

Next-gen SSDs have better performance, better write endurance (lifetime) and can write safely by using a supercapacitor (SSDs can corrupt themselves on power loss without supercapacitor). They are also cheaper than the current SSDs, and current SSDs will become much cheaper when the first batch of next-gen SSDs get released.

You can use HDDs whenever the I/O is sequential. Photoshop and such programs do a fair amount of sequential I/O; so multiple HDDs in RAID0 would work well here in terms of performance.

But your OS/system disk should be a small SSD; this means that the random accesses won't slow down the HDDs. So essentially you'll be boosting the performance of your HDDs instead; the SSD is blazingly fast and should never be a bottleneck.

I would recommend to wait a bit for the third generation; these things are really alot better and cheaper even; so why not wait 2 then there should be nice SF2000 models appearing, or a nice Intel G3.
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