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Video editing and SSD's

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November 12, 2012 11:26:43 PM

I'm gonna Jump! LOL
I read a few articles with some real riveting benchmarks. etc.. :pt1cable:  <--Eyes Roll.

The bottom line some SSD's read better then others and some SSD's write compressed files better.

While my rig is for Video editing. I am going to run two SSD's with the availability of 6bbs, connectivity. The C: drive and the D: drive will be used for editing and then rendering.
The Vertex is the better choice in the 110 dollar range for 128gb for handling compressed data while the Samsung will be almost an even SSD and comes in 35 bucks cheaper there about. Times two would be 70, overall and if only going with one on the cheap or thrift would equate to 35 off one and spending about 110 on the Vertex.
Any video editors out there understand my question here? With the option of running both these drives with 6gbs and running a 3770 cpu and 16gb of ram will I notice a bottleneck on that Samsung drive over the Vertex?

Anyone know. I have read Toms 5 or 6 page review of using SSD's, benchmarking and hooking it up to a 3gbs system. Andantechs review on SSD's with no real definite answer when it comes to my application.

Editing HD 264. with an Intel 3770K Using 16gb Kingston ram The SSD's are 128gb and most files are around 10gb max. I did read that maxing out the storage capabilities does notice a drag or hickup. BTW

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a b G Storage
November 13, 2012 12:10:23 AM

with video editing please keep in mind that reliability of the drive is way more important than the speed of it.

Keep in mind also that 2 high end HDDs can feed an OC'd i7 enough compressed data (h/x.264) to keep it at full load if you are doing heavy loads. In short, you do not 'need' SSD performance to have an excellent editing experience. That being said, I have done one project on my SSDs, and OMG!!! the instant seek time of the SSDs really make things snappy when randomly picking a spot to start playing from!!! But other than that extra quick responsiveness I did not see much other improvement in actual use for editing and rendering speeds because compressed data is rather CPU heavy. If you start editing raw, uncompressed (or low compressed) footage (like lagarith), then you will see a huge performance boost because there is less load on the CPU, and more load on the drives, so for that workflow SSDs would make more sense... but you would need some nice big drives.

Another thing of note, especially when doing RAID with SSDs; SSDs are internally extremely parallel. Anything smaller than a 240/256GB SSD (and with next gen drives anything smaller than a 480/512GB drive) means that they have not populated all available memory slots on the board. In other words, purchasing 2 128GB SSDs is very similar in performance to a single 256GB SSD, because SSDs use an internal RAIDing scheme inside the drive, which you are just duplicating. The RAID would be a little bit faster on some uses (uncompressable), and a little slower on others (compressable), but all in all you would be better off getting a single larger SSD.
RAID has other draw backs as well: For example, lets say that your motherboard dies a terrible death... well, unless you get a new mobo with the same RAID controller, then all of your data is simply gone. Thankfully Intel RAID does not seem to be changing any time soon (I just moved from a z68 to a z77 mobo with no issues), but if something dies in 2-3 years, do you really want to go find an old mobo just to get your stuff back? or would you rather get modern stuff, and not worry about your data being stuck or lost?
Another issue with RAID on SSDs in particular is the issue of TRIM support. RAID does not allow TRIM commands to pass though on all controllers. Thus my move from z68 to z77, for that one single feature to have RAID0 with TRIM support... and it does make a notable difference over time, especially for write speeds. But even the z77 chipset only lets TRIM though on RAID0, so RAID1 or 5 are out of the question for the array with the SSDs on it.
The last major issue has to do with SSDs themselves. Even cheap SSDs will last FOREVER on the memory allocation. I did the math a long time ago, and figured out that my 240GB drive would last me ~8 years with my using it as a system drive before I used up all the memory endurance... and moving to 480GB in RAID0 made the number quite astronomical. But memory write endurance is not what dies on most SSDs; it is the controller. And having 2 drives in RAID0 (because 1 and 5 are out of the question as mentioned above) basically means that you have 2 ticking time bombs instead of one, and any single drive failure means the loss of all data.

So I am not saying to not do 2 SSDs; I mean, I enjoy mine, and my peak throughput of 1GB/s, but go into it knowing what you are getting yourself into, and be sure to back up all important data on some good old fashioned reliable drives that are in a redundant array. Personally I have my SSDs with all of my programs, active projects, and commonly used documents (music and docs). The documents are backed up via skydrive, the music is backed up via a file copy to the RAID1 array whenever I get more music, and the project files are imported to the RAID1 array first, and then copied to the SSD RAID0 to work on. The SSDs may well fail on me (especially mine as they are cheap drives), but they are not trusted with anything important where a failure would mess me up too badly (though I would be really really annoyed).

All of that said: Go with Sammy. They have better quality flash, better quality controllers, better customer service if anything does go wrong, and in this particular case it sounds like they are cheaper to begin with. But I would get larger drives. Synthetic benchmarks may be higher in RAID0, but in real life you will not get that speed unless you are starting out with fully populated drives to begin with, and 128GB drives in RAID are not going to be as fast in daily use as a single 256GB drive.

Hope all that helps!
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November 13, 2012 3:11:44 AM

CaedenV said:
with video editing please keep in mind that reliability of the drive is way more important than the speed of it.

Keep in mind also that 2 high end HDDs can feed an OC'd i7 enough compressed data (h/x.264) to keep it at full load if you are doing heavy loads. In short, you do not 'need' SSD performance to have an excellent editing experience. That being said, I have done one project on my SSDs, and OMG!!! the instant seek time of the SSDs really make things snappy when randomly picking a spot to start playing from!!! But other than that extra quick responsiveness I did not see much other improvement in actual use for editing and rendering speeds because compressed data is rather CPU heavy. If you start editing raw, uncompressed (or low compressed) footage (like lagarith), then you will see a huge performance boost because there is less load on the CPU, and more load on the drives, so for that workflow SSDs would make more sense... but you would need some nice big drives.

Another thing of note, especially when doing RAID with SSDs; SSDs are internally extremely parallel. Anything smaller than a 240/256GB SSD (and with next gen drives anything smaller than a 480/512GB drive) means that they have not populated all available memory slots on the board. In other words, purchasing 2 128GB SSDs is very similar in performance to a single 256GB SSD, because SSDs use an internal RAIDing scheme inside the drive, which you are just duplicating. The RAID would be a little bit faster on some uses (uncompressable), and a little slower on others (compressable), but all in all you would be better off getting a single larger SSD.
RAID has other draw backs as well: For example, lets say that your motherboard dies a terrible death... well, unless you get a new mobo with the same RAID controller, then all of your data is simply gone. Thankfully Intel RAID does not seem to be changing any time soon (I just moved from a z68 to a z77 mobo with no issues), but if something dies in 2-3 years, do you really want to go find an old mobo just to get your stuff back? or would you rather get modern stuff, and not worry about your data being stuck or lost?
Another issue with RAID on SSDs in particular is the issue of TRIM support. RAID does not allow TRIM commands to pass though on all controllers. Thus my move from z68 to z77, for that one single feature to have RAID0 with TRIM support... and it does make a notable difference over time, especially for write speeds. But even the z77 chipset only lets TRIM though on RAID0, so RAID1 or 5 are out of the question for the array with the SSDs on it.
The last major issue has to do with SSDs themselves. Even cheap SSDs will last FOREVER on the memory allocation. I did the math a long time ago, and figured out that my 240GB drive would last me ~8 years with my using it as a system drive before I used up all the memory endurance... and moving to 480GB in RAID0 made the number quite astronomical. But memory write endurance is not what dies on most SSDs; it is the controller. And having 2 drives in RAID0 (because 1 and 5 are out of the question as mentioned above) basically means that you have 2 ticking time bombs instead of one, and any single drive failure means the loss of all data.

So I am not saying to not do 2 SSDs; I mean, I enjoy mine, and my peak throughput of 1GB/s, but go into it knowing what you are getting yourself into, and be sure to back up all important data on some good old fashioned reliable drives that are in a redundant array. Personally I have my SSDs with all of my programs, active projects, and commonly used documents (music and docs). The documents are backed up via skydrive, the music is backed up via a file copy to the RAID1 array whenever I get more music, and the project files are imported to the RAID1 array first, and then copied to the SSD RAID0 to work on. The SSDs may well fail on me (especially mine as they are cheap drives), but they are not trusted with anything important where a failure would mess me up too badly (though I would be really really annoyed).

All of that said: Go with Sammy. They have better quality flash, better quality controllers, better customer service if anything does go wrong, and in this particular case it sounds like they are cheaper to begin with. But I would get larger drives. Synthetic benchmarks may be higher in RAID0, but in real life you will not get that speed unless you are starting out with fully populated drives to begin with, and 128GB drives in RAID are not going to be as fast in daily use as a single 256GB drive.

Hope all that helps!


Thank you CaedenV,

What you shared is great insight. I too am using a z77. The SSD's are for boot and working assets, while I have a HDD for storage and or back up. I have read on Avid forums where you will get more out of your system when not using the same drive where your NLE software is parked on. Hence the two smaller drives. Albeit, the cores inside the SSD (if you will) do make a difference of what kind of load you give it as explained in Tom's reviews. I was leaning towards the cheap, for a couple of reasons. As you stated, the whole Sammy is done under one roof and pointing fingers is less likely. The quality is very important as any artist will tell you it is no fun drawing with disappearing Ink. (If you get me on that) I think I am going round and round over small stuff with today's tech. Like 1 point in latency on ram. I was just wondering if the Fact or so the benchmarks show that one handles compressed better then the other. That is why I was thinking about doing the Sammy for C: drive and the Vertex which handles the compressed files for the D:D rive. However as mentioned it may be like the diff between 1600 and 1800mhz and 24 and 25 latency.
Lagarith... I am unsure if Adobe or Avid Composer has that as a codec. CS6 Adobe is the one I got and Composer is on the list if that does not work for my situation. However with the research I have done with Adobe I do not think they missed a lick with that software.... I assume Skydrive is Cloud storage? I lease my own server and can park whatever I want up there. If you drives ever fail, you do realize you can crack them open and pop them out and plug them into your MOBO to access the info... It is usually the motor that goes on those HDD's. With the rule of thumb to replace every 5 years on an HDD you should be Good to go or stay. Again thank you for your insight and experience with SSD's. Yes, I often find myself hopping in and out of tracks and like them to be RIGHT NOW when I want to preview or Chop it.

Regards,
NetCommercial
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a b G Storage
November 13, 2012 10:30:18 AM

the issue of using multiple drives is one for HDDs. HDDs have pretty good throughput for sequential workloads, but when you start making a drive multitask then they have issues. This is due to seek time. HDDs have a seek time of ~16-25ms. This means that every time they have to change task to take care of program or OS files, or switch between audio or video sources, or switch between reading and writing, then you have a little pause between each task change.

SSDs on the other hand do not have such issues. SSDs have a latency of .2ms. Compare 25ms to .2 ms... that is a 100x performance difference for multi tasking. In other words, you do not need to worry about having multiple drive spaces on SSDs, just HDDs.
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November 13, 2012 3:56:42 PM

CaedenV said:
the issue of using multiple drives is one for HDDs. HDDs have pretty good throughput for sequential workloads, but when you start making a drive multitask then they have issues. This is due to seek time. HDDs have a seek time of ~16-25ms. This means that every time they have to change task to take care of program or OS files, or switch between audio or video sources, or switch between reading and writing, then you have a little pause between each task change.

SSDs on the other hand do not have such issues. SSDs have a latency of .2ms. Compare 25ms to .2 ms... that is a 100x performance difference for multi tasking. In other words, you do not need to worry about having multiple drive spaces on SSDs, just HDDs.


That is really interesting news for me. So I could just buy one 200 dollar ssd drive and get more then buying two ssds for the same amount. So an SSD multi tasks well and those who think I should run two drives, one for the O.S and software and the other for assets are using HDD's and not SSd's otherwise there would be no Lag or latency. Other then a ms or two.
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November 13, 2012 4:59:00 PM

You cant really rely only on ssds alone. Make sure you always set a backup for it.
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November 13, 2012 7:10:17 PM

archid said:
You cant really rely only on ssds alone. Make sure you always set a backup for it.


Good point. This is however about writing and rendering not storage. I am not one to backup with each edit. Rather after the file is created THEN send it over to an HDD for storage/backup.
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November 13, 2012 7:10:57 PM

Best answer selected by netcommercial.
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a b G Storage
November 15, 2012 11:47:23 AM

archid said:
You cant really rely only on ssds alone. Make sure you always set a backup for it.

Absolutely right! I was not suggesting to rely exclusively on only SSD storage, or a one drive solution. I still suggest having a RAID1 or 5 array of good old HDDs for 'cold storage', but as these are simply for storage and not active editing use they do not have to be fast drives, just big and reliable. On my own system I always load the raw footage directly to the RAID1 (soon to be RAID 5 woot!) so that it is in a safe location. Then I copy the active project files to the SSD, do the edit and export, and then copy the project folder back to the RAID1 for safe keeping. If the SSDs ever decide to fail on me (which is likely considering the cheap drives I am using), I will never be up a creek because the source files are still on the HDDs and I can always re-do the editing process. It would be a pain, but not devastating.

The point is that with SSDs you do not need to have separate 'single purpose' drives like you do when editing with HDDs. When doing HDDs you need at minimum 2 drives; one for OS and programs, and another for content. But really you want one for video, one for audio, one for scratch files, one for the OS, and possibly one for other media (like stills and such) so that your drives rarely have to multi-task. With SSDs you do not have this issue, so you can have one big SSD (or a RAID0 of large SSDs) that is home to all of your active files, and then back it up periodically to a RAID1 where it is 'safe'. It greatly simplifies things to be able to have all active resources in one folder on one drive, rather than the traditional nightmare of having resources strewn across a multitude of drives. It just makes life a lot easier, and saves on time when trying to find and properly back things up to have a simple 'Hot' and 'Cold' storage setup, compared to the traditional 'single purpose' drive setup.

btw: thanks for BA. Glad I could help!
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