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Fast scratch disk?

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January 19, 2010 4:35:24 PM

Hello experts.

This is my first build and would love some clarification on speed and storage configurations.
I use my computer exclusively for adobe apps, mostly premiere (DV and HDV) and photoshop, with some ae in there to ice the cake.
I have obsessively read everything recent on raids and storage configurations and am more confused than when I first started with the idea that a simple 2 disk raid 0 for storage and scratch would give me the performance boost I was looking for.

Here are the ingredients:

i7920
p6t
6gb cheap patriot 'viper' ram (9-9-9-24)
4x 500gb wd caviar black (32mb)
1x 500gb Hitachi (16mb)
1x 120gb seagate (8mb)
windows 7 64bit
9500gt
OCZ modx 600W

Here are my questions.

1. Adobe recommends separate disks for each element of the project - what will be best served by a raid0 - scratch or storage? I'm not so concerned with redundancy.

2. Will the motherboard raid (intel and jmicron) be useful or do I need a hardware controller?

3. Should the OS/app disk be a priority (16mb vs 32mb cache)?

4. Will the scracth be fine on it's own separate disk?

5. Should I forget about raid and just get more ram?

Thanks so much for the time.

Greg

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January 19, 2010 4:56:39 PM
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Here are some answers to your questions for you to consider:

1. Adobe recommends separate disks for each element of the project - what will be best served by a raid0 - scratch or storage? I'm not so concerned with redundancy.

You should consider scrapping Raid 0 because it is not that much faster, and doubles the probability of disk failure with loss of data. Just get some fast hard drives like the Samsung F3 HDD:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...
The WD Caviar Blacks are OK, but not quite as fast.

2. Will the motherboard raid (intel and jmicron) be useful or do I need a hardware controller?

If you are going to use normal hard drives for Raid, you might as well use the motherboard controller. If you want a robust Raid system, then consider a separate controller with Enterprise class drives (drives made specifically for Raid). But as I said above, I would recommend that you drop Raid completely, and just use fast HDD.

3. Should the OS/app disk be a priority (16mb vs 32mb cache)?

If you want a fast OS/app disk, consider adding a solid state drive:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

4. Will the scracth be fine on it's own separate disk?

YES, just use one of the Samsung F3s or equivalent.

5. Should I forget about raid and just get more ram?

Yes, drop the RAID and get more RAM if this is budget decision. Adobe CS4 applications will greatly benefit from more RAM. With a X58 motherboard, you should load it up with 12 GB of memory.

Good luck with your build.
January 21, 2010 12:02:39 AM

Thanks for the tip on the hard drives, I will consider getting some if I can track some down here in canada.

I guess the cache size on the drive isn't the only factor affecting performance.

I've read here on Tom's that better memory might not make such a big difference in applications like the Premiere. should I be opting for lower timings like 7-7-7-20? Will it make a difference if I've crammed the sockets?

Thanks again for you time.



Related resources
January 21, 2010 12:39:38 AM

Going from CAS9 to CAS7 on the memory will increase performance about 1 percent:
http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/core-i7-870-1156,24...

You would do better by going from 6 GB to 12 GB if you do extensive video and photo editing because Adobe apps will take advantage of this added memory and not have to write to scratch disks as often.

Best regards.
January 27, 2010 11:05:10 PM

Best answer selected by 94dnb.
!