Is 512GB SSD enough in my new 27 inch iMac?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by ironicles, Dec 10, 2015.

  1. ironicles macrumors newbie

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    Dec 10, 2015
    #1
    Hi all, I'm a video editor who is really excited to get my iMac!

    Going to be getting it specced to the max (i7 4Ghz, m395x, OWC 64GB RAM, etc.) I'm also going to be getting a separate RAID5 storage (most likely OWC's Thunderbay 4 at around 12 TB) to store all my raw files, renders, exports, etc.

    My question is, should I go with 1TB SSD inside, or go with 512GB? It's a $500 difference and I'm already going to be having a lot of space in the Thunderbay. It's been awhile since I've upgraded my old iMac so I just want to be sure I'm not making a mistake since I can't change it once I get it.

    I'll be working with 4k footage often, 3d files, etc. My gut tells me 512GB should be enough (as I'll only be using the internal for applications and the like), but I'd love to hear your thoughts! Any other tips I should know as far as how to best go about setting up my system for Premiere/After effects optimal performace as it pertains to hard drives and SSDs?

    Thanks everyone :)
     
  2. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #2
    I can
    I can't imagine you'll need 64tbsp ram. But absolutely get the 1TB Abram drive for optimal performance
     
  3. maflynn Moderator

    maflynn

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    #3
    If you'll be having an external drive array, I don't see the need for a 1TB SSD drive, seems like over kill to me.
     
  4. twilexia, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

    twilexia macrumors 6502

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    #4
    You're already spending a ridiculous amount, what's a few hundred more to you?
     
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #5
    I'd also like to add that you can put your renders and such on your internal NVRAM drive which will be FASTER than any external drive. (Remember that NVRAM is 2.5 times faster than a typical SSD). But I suspect you are wasting your money with 64GB RAM. Using Premiere Pro and 4K footage, I rarely use more than 8-12GB RAM. I suppose if I threw open After Effects, Photoshop and what not, I could start to push upwards. But simply adding 16GB brings you to 24GB which is more than you'll likely need. There. Saved you over $1200! And grab the RAM from Amazon or something. If you feel like spending a bit more, get the 2133 speed RAM for fun.

     
  6. ironicles thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #6
    Thanks for ALL the help everyone! Really appreciate you guys helping me out here. My idea for the 64GB RAM was because it would be about the same price as Apples 32GB RAM, and I plan on usually having Premiere and After Effects open, as well as often having Photoshop open. I'm not to familiar with how much I'll need, but I figured it would help prevent lag. Do you think it is a wasted investment?

    And as far as storage space, I do plan on getting RAID5 storage. I've been doing a lot of research on it the past few days and I think that could be the best option to still edit in 4k but run at a smooth speed (am I right in this thinking even though they are not SSD drives?).

    And I'm leaning more towards the 512GB internal SSD. I know 'll be fine in storing raw media files, but I just want to know from other editors if 512GB is enough for applications and other things that will rest on the internal drive. I know someone mentioned renders are faster on the internal drive.
     
  7. squidward, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

    squidward macrumors newbie

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    #7
    Depends where your project space is. If you want to edit off that SSD then I'd go with 1TB. If you edit your projects off external storage spaces then go with 512GB to save some $$$. Keep in mind that for optimal performance, you want to keep about 10-20% of the drive empty. Also I'd go with some Curcial Ballistix Sport ram. Cheaper and faster than OWC. 32GB should be plenty.

    Also note that if you use the internal SSD for your projects, ask yourself how much video will be contained within the project. At 4K quality, it may come to be a lot of data. With a GoPro at 4k you are looking about 60GB for about 2 hours of recording.
     
  8. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a

    Sirmausalot

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    #8
    I don't know why you need RAID 5. RAID 0 plus a proper single disk backup for your media is what makes sense. Yes 512GB will be fine for applications and such (it's what I have) but you are talking about throwing a lot of cash around, so in the long run, you'll be happier with a 1TB NVRAM drive (and I wish I had just done it). Anywhere between 16-32GB of RAM is plenty for the tasks you're talking about. Price/Performance, your best best is adding 16GB to the existing 8GB you have for a total of 24GB. Lag will have nothing to do with RAM beyond about 16GB since you won't be using it all in most (if any) of the situations you describe. It will be completely wasted.

    If you will be editing in 4K RAW (unlikely based on what I'm reading here) there are other considerations for your media drives. And do not put your main media on your system drive as one of the posters mentioned. It's a big no-no. But your cache files can be there for optimal performance as long as you have the room.


     
  9. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #9
    There are two arguments for RAID-5 in his situation:

    (1) Reliability: The entire four-drive RAID-0 array is lost if any single drive fails. Even if you have good backups you take a big downtime hit to recover the entire 12TB. By contrast RAID-5 has no downtime from a single drive failure.

    It is true that HDDs are quite reliable. Although I have had multiple drive failures over the years, I have never had a failure on any of my RAID boxes. In that sense the RAID-5 has been wasted. OTOH most HDDs will eventually fail, given enough time. Some studies have shown by the 5th year of in-service life, annual HDD failure probability increases to 20%.

    (2) Limited real-world performance benefit: The Thunderbay 4 has very good I/O performance in RAID-5. While RAID-0 is faster, I don't think it will produce significant real world benefits during the type of video editing he's planning.

    See relative I/O performance of RAID-0 vs RAID-5 for the Thunderbay 4. it's about 750 MB/sec vs 550 MB/sec. You typically encounter other bottlenecks before this makes any difference: http://macperformanceguide.com/Reviews-OWC-Thunderbay-RAID.html

    I think it's good to consider RAID-0. It is useful in various scenarios and I have several two-drive RAID-0 arrays. However I personally would be leery of using a four-drive RAID-0 array in critical production.

    Of course even if he uses RAID-5 that must be backed up, so it does not eliminate that need.
     
  10. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

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    #10
    It's called budgeting, what difference does it make if its entry level vs maxed out. i can purchase an entry level but for a 100$ - $500 more i can get even more specs do i need to or want to financially pay for that?


    Unless youre going to store alot on your iMac, stick with the 512GB save the extra money, and maybe skim on the 64GB and go with 32GB.
     
  11. ironicles thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Dec 10, 2015
    #11
    Thanks everyone so much, you have all really helped me out. I think I'll be getting the 512GB SSD, and then 12 TB RAID.

    As far as the 64GB RAM vs 32GB, will I actually see any benefit from getting 64? I plan to always have Premiere, After Effects, and probably Photoshop open at same time, as well as internet with several tabs, but that's about it. Maybe some other programs but mostly those 3-4. Is it a COMPLETE waste to get the 64GB? And I've only really seen the OWC memory options. What would you recommend for RAM options? Thanks guys!
     
  12. ScorpionT16, Dec 10, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2015

    ScorpionT16 macrumors member

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    #12
    Good choice with the 512 SSD and RAID, can't really go wrong, best of both worlds.

    64GB Ram would be very excessive for what you describe, also when I spoke to Applecare I was told if i install more than 32GB of RAM, it would void the warranty. (I have a Late 2015 5k iMac)

    I feel even 32GB might be a lot, but a decent buffer nonetheless. I'm a designer/architect and have photoshop, illustrator, and 3D programs open, iTunes running in the back, and safari with a few tabs, while working on large files and have yet to fill 24GB of ram.

    OWC is reputable, as are many other brands. Crucial and Kingston to name a few, there are multiple threads where people have posted their experiences with the Late 2015 Ram, and which to buy, where, etc.

    OWC is a little over priced, I picked up Crucial ram for my mac and so far so good. Many have used Kingston with no problems either. Apple recommends Crucial ram too from what I understand.

    Here is one of those threads http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...7-395x-late-2015.1936360/page-2#post-22336076 ;)
     
  13. Just_My_Opinion macrumors member

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    Dec 1, 2015
    #13
    Applecare told you that 64 GB of RAM would void the warranty!?! Just replace upgraded memory with the stock memory if you need to have the machine serviced. I have 12 GB of RAM and rarely ever get need full usage with 4 Pro Apps running simultaneously. Two VMs can reach 11.57 GB.
    24 GB is set and forget. Likely the iMac CPU and GPU will become a bottleneck before RAM or PCIe storage.
     
  14. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

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    #14
    32GB should handle that well in that regard. you also have a great graphics card and VRAM plus the SSD. so all of it helps keeps it operating at an optimal level.

    it depends on if the files are stored on mechanical drives, if youre editing off of the RAID it may have a bit of a performance difference. perhaps not much a lot.

    you should have no problem running Photoshop and Premier together and keeping them open. we had users with 16GB macbook pros do similar stuff with the adobe applications.
     
  15. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #15
    Things to consider. Point by point

    1. its not a case of "if" a drive fails, but more a point of when
    2. You talk about a 12TB 4 drive raid. I hope that you are planning on putting in enterprise class drives such as the WD Red PRO or Seagate Constellation ES.3 for example. When working in a RAID of this size you need the 10^15 Non-recoverable read errors per bits read protection if a drive does die or you might as well go RAID0 as you'd be just as dead in the water.

    I have an 8 drive NAS with 8 x 4tb drives installed in RAID6 so to have a dual redundant drive. Remember to scrub regularly to catch and remap errors before the RAID fails.
     
  16. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

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    #16
  17. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

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    #17
    Or HGST, but you won't find those at BestBuy or Target.
     
  18. Just_My_Opinion macrumors member

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    #18
  19. ScorpionT16 macrumors member

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    #19
    Yup, when I first placed the order for the Late 2015 5K that was what i was told, as apple only lists the 5K as capable upto 32GB. Off course you could remove the RAM when getting it serviced, out off curiosity doesn't the OS record anywhere in the settings, cache, notes, or some hidden file what hardware was operation and what time?

    I agree with the bottleneck, if your running so much stuff to use 64GB of ram up, your CPU and GPU would also be under significant stress to slow things down somewhat.
     
  20. Max(IT) Suspended

    Max(IT)

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    #20
    I would opt for 512 Gb SSD and 32 Gb of RAM.
    More is a waste of money IMHO.
     
  21. JamesPDX Suspended

    JamesPDX

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    #21
    A 512 GB SSD won't be enough for a 4k video/media drive. It's enough for a system/apps drive, but not for video. Not even 2k video unless you're just importing lo-res clips from your phone, then it would be fine. Maybe. Try it out.
     
  22. joema2, Dec 16, 2015
    Last edited: Dec 16, 2015

    joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #22
    It was the OP who mentioned a 12TB four-drive RAID-5 -- the OWC Thunderbay 4. We were trying to give him practical advice about how to configure that.

    You are apparently using the same reasoning as ZDNet columnist Robin Harris, when he wrote the articles:

    "Why RAID 5 Stops Working in 2009": http://www.zdnet.com/article/why-raid-5-stops-working-in-2009/

    Then when that didn't happen he tried to justify his earlier incorrect article with this article:

    "Has RAID 5 Stopped Working?": http://www.zdnet.com/article/has-raid5-stopped-working/

    He apparently misunderstood how to interpret HDD bit error rates and wrote a series of incorrect articles on this. Unfortunately that incorrect understanding has proliferated, done a lot of damage, and facilitated poor decisions on storage.

    The HDD "non-recoverable read error" spec is NOT a typical or average number. It is NOT the *expected* error rate. Rather it is a worst-case number. E.g, on the WD Caviar line, they specify "< 1 in 10^14". They are essentially guaranteeing it will fail no more frequently than 1 in 10^14 bits. It's somewhat like an auto manufacturer guaranteeing your vehicle for 60,000 miles. That doesn't mean it quits working at that point.

    Just plain common sense tells you this is not a typical number. 10^14 bits is about 12 terabytes. I have rebuilt my 8TB Pegasus R4 array dozens of times in tests, which required reading every bit on the entire array multiple times. The drives were 4 x 2TB Toshiba DT01ACA2, which has an unrecoverable read error spec of < 1 in 10^14. Yet I *never* got an unrecoverable read error, despite doing many multiples of 10^14 bits.

    This was also observed by Dr. Jim Gray (a founding father of the relational database) in this paper:

    Empirical Measurements of Disk Failure Rates and Error Rates:
    http://research.microsoft.com/apps/pubs/default.aspx?id=64599

    This large meta study by Tom's Hardware found that so-called "enterprise" drives did not necessarily have better reliability than consumer-grade drives at the same capacity level:
    http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/ssd-reliability-failure-rate,2923-2.html

    There is nothing wrong with using enterprise-class HDDs, nor with using RAID-6 -- provided that is an informed decision based on a proper understanding of what actual experience and academic research reveals. However I see no basis for implying that modest-size RAID-5 arrays using "consumer" HDDs are so unsafe that rebuilding from a single failure puts you "dead in the water".
     
  23. ironicles thread starter macrumors newbie

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    #23
    My thought was to not put actual media on the 512GB SSD but rather use the internal SSD as strictly for running apps and maybe a few other things, but raw footage and renders on Thunderbay 4 and working on projects straight from the RAID5. Maybe even potentially if it is faster, to put my current small project on 512GB SSD and then mov to storage after. Would this way still be recommended? I've also read about a dedicated SSD in some cases specifically for cache files as I've heard it may be better for them to NOT be on the same drive as media storage, but haven't looked into it really.
     
  24. roadkill401 macrumors 6502

    roadkill401

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    #24
    Well, Actually I come from an enterprise IT background and have been caught out with drive failures and the issues with a rebuild. The issue can be put onto two places. There is the hardware side that the drives themselves do have bit read failure and there is a total misunderstanding by the general population in they don't understand what is happening inside the black box they call storage. The bit failure happens all the time, and the drive hardware for the most part takes care of itself. However the issues get compounded when you start to put these drives into a RAID solution in which how the RAID handles errors, and what timeout levels you get can compound a small issue into a rather large one.

    I am left to have a giggle at your example as it has nothing to do with issue at hand. Yes auto manufacturers have a warranty, and you are doing far better than most if you buy a car that has ZERO issues with it inside the bumper to bumper time period. If computer hard drives failed on the same rate as cars have issues, then I think the computing world would be looking for a different method of storing its data.




    I am simply going to call you out on this as it is totally obvious that you have ZERO knowledge of RAID and your example is total ********.

    To do a RAID rebuild, you would need to have at least one of the drives as a parity bit. In your example, you are rebuilding an 8TB array that is made of 4 x 2TB drives. But to get an 8TB array using that size of drive, then you would have had to use RAID0 that is a simple stripe, and there would have been absolutely NO redundancy as all the drives would have contained data an there would be no way to rebuild as you had no parity block to build from

    Now had you had said that you were using a RAID5 with your 4x2TB Toshiba drives to make a 6TB array then you would have had at least some form of credibility. But then your array would be a substantial level below the 10^14 mark that it would not likely hit a problem anyways. I doubt that you did your dozens of rebuilds all back to back to get a point that during a rebuild you would see the issue. And chances are that at some point after each of your rebuild's the RAID could do a data scrub that would the flag any flaky sector issues and move the block so you don't run into an issue.

    Now as for the Toms Hardware look between failure rates of Home vs Enterprise drives. Its a bit like comparing accident levels between men and women, without factoring distance traveled or time behind the wheel. The study clearly states that it's based on total number drives sold vs how many failed, and takes into zero account for the amount of usage or runtime for the drives. It would be like saying that F1 Race car tires are by far inferior to a home car tire as the race car will go through 2-3 tires in a day, where a home car tire will last on average 5-7 years.
     
  25. joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

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    #25
    It is a common practice to denote RAID systems by their unformatted capacity, regardless of RAID level. As you can see here, OWC refers to their 4-drive RAID-5 system as "8TB": http://eshop.macsales.com/item/OWC/TB2SRT08.0S/ , even though the formatted capacity in RAID-5 will be around 6TB.

    For brevity, I was using similar nomenclature when referring to my 8TB Pegasus R4 array. I have previously described it on these forums in more complete detail:

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=18576138#post18576138
    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...bolt-2-real-life-speed.1694332/#post-18616937

    However in this case the issue is total I/O done during the RAID-5 format, which is driven by unformatted capacity, not formatted capacity. IOW to build (or rebuild) the RAID-5, you must do I/O to every bit on every drive, which is about 8TB total. The I/O performed during the format/sync/rebuild phase is not limited to the final formatted capacity, so using 6TB for that calculation would give incorrect numbers.

    I did a vast amount of back-to-back testing in cooperation with Promise Technology, using three different Pegasus R4 chassis. They were concerned about a chassis or drive-specific firmware issue that was causing adverse performance at certain strip sizes. Since I formerly worked on a large server project with Dr. Gray (mentioned in his above paper), I volunteered to help Promise with the testing. This is just a sample of some of the data:

    https://joema.smugmug.com/Computers/Pegasus-R4-RAID5-Sync-Rate/n-p2Nn4p/i-pdz6p2j/A
     

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