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Old May 11, 2011, 02:54 AM   #1
yeequon
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Best HD setup for video editing - RAID? External?

I know there are a lot of posts on this forum that address this question - but none of them really layout the best option for what I am looking for.

I own a Mac Pro and do a lot of video editing on it. I currently have all 4 drive bays occupied with drives - but NONE are setup in a RAID.

I have one for the OS / applications - one for a scratch drive - 2 for storage.

Of course I would like to boost performance (primarily on the scratch) and also have backups for everything (except the scratch drive).

My first thought was to buy an external storage unit that is a RAID and use it as the primary scratch and storage drive. Of course I would want a RAID 10 or 5. (I am no expert on RAIDs - so I could be totally wrong).

But I need to save money anyway I can. So I thought - why not setup a RAID in the Mac Pro itself (perhaps have 2 drives set to a RAID 0) and have that be my scratch drive. Then I could have an extra bay for storage. That would only leave my having to buy a cheap external drive for backup.

Can anyone give advice on what would be the best setup to meet all of my requirements?

1. I want a fast scratch drive (preferably on a RAID)
2. I want a backup of my OS and my storage
3. I really don't care about a backup for the scratch drive - as I take the raw footage and encode it into ProRes 422. I can toss the ProRes stuff when I am done with a project - but keep the raw files.
4. I want to achieve these requirements as cheaply as possible.

Thanks for any advice offered!
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Old May 11, 2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Well I've kinda got a similar situation here's what I did.

I've got a Mac Pro with 4 Hard drives. One is for the operating system. One is for working (editing) files. Two are for backup. What I did was buy a 4 drive raid enclosure and 4 x 1tb hard drives and just backup everything onto that. While it's only USB I can just set it to backup overnight and when I get in the next day everything is done.
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Old May 11, 2011, 10:01 AM   #3
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If you're working with ProRes, then your speed bottleneck is probably not your disk I/O... so a RAID won't increase your speed much (if at all).

Most likely your bottleneck is the processor speed/lack of multithreading. Have you set up a cluster for Compressor?
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Old May 11, 2011, 11:08 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by bigbossbmb View Post
If you're working with ProRes, then your speed bottleneck is probably not your disk I/O... so a RAID won't increase your speed much (if at all).
Seriously? Prores can be big, when I RAID 0ed (How do you make that a verb) my drives together for editing I noticed a hung speed increase, I had three drives with raid 0 and it was great. Most of the things that slowed me down on this computer were either hard drive bottlenecks or graphics cards. Anyway the point is that I think that getting raid 0 drives for working with prores (Specifically multiple simultaneous clips) helps a lot. Same with exporting something large. I did that in after effects one time. It was rendering quite quickly, then it ran out of ram and took the rest of the day. (I accidentally exported on WAY too high of settings so it was like a 13 gb file). Point being that hard drive speeds are very important for a lot of things
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Old May 11, 2011, 11:46 AM   #5
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ProRes is not very big. Standard ProRes is about 20MB/s (1080p23.976)... you can handle 4 streams from a single internal 3.5" drive. Because FCP can't use more than 2-cores at a time, your renders in FCP will absolutely be bottlenecked by that. Compressor can use all of the cores in your MacPro if you set up a cluster (this isn't by default). For compressing a ProRes file to a web format or DVD, the processors are still the bottleneck.
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Old May 11, 2011, 08:07 PM   #6
yeequon
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bigbossbmb View Post
If you're working with ProRes, then your speed bottleneck is probably not your disk I/O... so a RAID won't increase your speed much (if at all).

Most likely your bottleneck is the processor speed/lack of multithreading. Have you set up a cluster for Compressor?
Yes I did setup a cluster on compressor for my exporting. The question is how much of an increase of performance will I get if I setup my scratch drive as a RAID. Everything I have read said it will boost performance.

Other question is, of course, how do I get that performance boost AND get a reliable backup for the cheapest price.
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Old May 11, 2011, 08:58 PM   #7
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I created a 4-drive RAID5 in my Mac Pro (to protect from drive failure, not gain speed). My disk I/O went up to 230MB/s... didn't notice any difference in performance.
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Old May 12, 2011, 03:04 PM   #8
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i agree with bigbossbmp. ProRes is ment for the people that dont use massive RAID setups. Only if you are going to do uncompressed 12bits or higher.

wich you probably won't.

just be sure you get some cores if you cant get an full 8 core atleast get an multithreading quad i7. at a descent amount of Ghz. should be fast enough for any of your needs. 4gb of ram is plenty right now, but ill think fcpx will make beter use of ram so ill guess youll be settled with 8gb minimum.
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Old May 14, 2011, 04:17 PM   #9
yeequon
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I have 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon (essentially 8 cores) and 10 GBs of RAM... so I'm not concerned on the RAM/processor side of things.

I'm looking into boosting performance in my writes and reads. I figured setting up a RAID (a RAID 0 in particular) would help... even if I am working in ProRes.

Are people telling me that RAIDs won't help my encoding/exporting times through FCP or Compressor? Is it not worth it?

If that's the case - I might as well save the money and just buy a cheap external for a backup drive.
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