[Video Editing] Optimal Drive Configuration (More info inside)

JamieWestphall

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 26, 2019
4
0
Hi there, I'm upgrading an old Mac Pro to be my main edit machine. I've got a PCIe SSD, a standard SSD, and a 7200 HDD.

If I'm separating based on:

  • OS Drive
  • Media Drive
  • Cache
Which drive should be the fastest?

The OS or the media drive?

Now if we're not talking about video editing and we're talking about editing photoshop files with many layers/masks, would that be better suited on the fastest drive, or am I going to see more speed gains from having the photoshop application live on the fastest drive?

More details on my setup:


macOS Mojave

Version 10.14.3

Mac Pro (Early 2009)

Model Identifier: 5,1 (Firmware flashed from 4,1)

Boot ROM Version 140.0.0.0.0

Processor: 2.66 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon

Memory 48 GB 1066 MHz DDR3 (Actually 1333MHz, but I think I need to upgrade the processor first)

Graphics card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX650 2047 MB (Trying to upgrade to EVGA GeForce GTX780 SuperClocked w/EVGA ACX Cooler 3GB GDDR5 384bit but keep having issues somewhere between the web drivers or the type of power cables I’m using, I just got an 8 Pin to dual SATA cable that I’m going to test here soon though)

Seagate Barracuda SSD SATA III 6Gb/s 1TB SSD Max sequential read/write speeds reach 540/520 MB/s


Mercury Accelsior Pro Q 480GB PCIe Solid-state Drive Max sequential read/write speeds reach 1647/905 MB/s

Seagate BarraCuda Internal Hard Drive 8TB SATA 6Gb/s 256MB Cache x2 7200 RPM
 

bsbeamer

macrumors 68030
Sep 19, 2012
2,628
1,282
You're talking about eeking out performance for video on Mojave and you're using a GTX 650 GPU... start there.

There are no NVIDIA Web Drivers for Mojave. You're stuck with Apple's built-in drivers. Downgrade to High Sierra if you need them. GTX 780 should be GK110 (Kepler), which technically works with Mojave but your experience (and usability) may vary.

Drive speed setup depends on codecs needed to support and read/write speeds required. Not really digging through your mess of specs and hardware, but nothing jumps out as using NVMe (1440+ MB/s range).

Your speed difference between SATA SSD via PCIe and SATA SSD via SATA sled is usually 1.5x-2x difference. Usually in 250-275 MB/s range for SSD in sled vs. 475-510 MB/s range for SATA SSD via PCIe, depending on adapter(s) and drive(s) being used.

If you're running a ton of plugins, faster drive for boot/system makes most sense.

With PS, always keep scratch drive separate from system drive whenever possible.
 

JamieWestphall

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Jan 26, 2019
4
0
You're talking about eeking out performance for video on Mojave and you're using a GTX 650 GPU... start there.
Yeah, working on it

Not really digging through your mess of specs and hardware, but nothing jumps out as using NVMe (1440+ MB/s range).
The Mercury Accelsior Pro Q has a max sequential read/write speeds of 1647/905 MB/s. Also is there a better way to format things? I just always see posts complaining about people not providing enough information.

With PS, always keep scratch drive separate from system drive whenever possible.
In terms of Photoshop will my files be better suited on the faster drive or would the operating system yield better results?
 

XNorth

macrumors regular
Feb 23, 2018
167
83
United States
For video:
Minimum X5650 to max X5690 CPU
Minumium 32GB DDR3 ECC RAM
RX 580/Vega 56/64 (FCPX, Mojave) or Nvidia 1080 or above (Premiere/Resolve, High Sierra)
minimum boot SATA SSD or ultimate boot M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD
10GbE card and RAID NAS (QNAP recommended)

This is quite a pocket of change ($1,500+) to invest on a obsolete workstation. Consider the alternatives — MPB w/ eGPU or 2019 iMacs.
 
Last edited:

MAFcz

macrumors newbie
Jun 26, 2018
8
1
Czech Republic
I just want ask. Is it normal that Final Cut use just 30% of CPU power during rendering? (h.264 codec)
GPU is also barely use.

My Mac Pro has 2x X5670, RX 570, 32 GB RAM and SSD in SATA 3.

I know that there is hardware limitation because of missing Quick sync.

And honestly I am thinking about two options.
1) Upgrade GPU in Mac Pro (probably Vega 64)
2) Buy Mac mini 2018 with i7 and use Vega 64 as eGPU.

I don't know which options to choose, because I love my Mac Pro but rendering h.264 video is slow...
Any recommendations?

Thanks.
 

kohlson

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2010
2,031
548
There are a lot of variables in any answer for this space. Also, just a lot to say. I recommend reviewing the sticky thread I just Got My Mac Pro ...

As suggested above, different GPUs for different apps. But if you want to go to Mojave (and beyond?) then a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 is the choice. And, they keep falling in price.
If you're comfortable, swapping in an X5680 is a good choice. It may boost your RAM speed. In my experience, no perceptible difference in interactivity, but in CPU intensive tasks it will make a big difference. Relatively cheap, too.
My understanding is that most Adobe apps benefit from fast cache/working disks. In OP's case, boot/apps from SATA SSD, set cache / workspace to PCIe SSD.

RX 580 (new) and X5680 (used) can be obtained for much less than $300 altogether.
I just want ask. Is it normal that Final Cut use just 30% of CPU power during rendering? (h.264 codec)
GPU is also barely use.
What is understood is that the Xeon-class CPUs don't do 264 output very efficiently. Other factors can contribute, as well.
When rendering, change from "Faster Encode" to "Better Quality" - that may use more of your GPU, depending.
 

MAFcz

macrumors newbie
Jun 26, 2018
8
1
Czech Republic
There are a lot of variables in any answer for this space. Also, just a lot to say. I recommend reviewing the sticky thread I just Got My Mac Pro ...

As suggested above, different GPUs for different apps. But if you want to go to Mojave (and beyond?) then a Sapphire Pulse RX 580 is the choice. And, they keep falling in price.
If you're comfortable, swapping in an X5680 is a good choice. It may boost your RAM speed. In my experience, no perceptible difference in interactivity, but in CPU intensive tasks it will make a big difference. Relatively cheap, too.
My understanding is that most Adobe apps benefit from fast cache/working disks. In OP's case, boot/apps from SATA SSD, set cache / workspace to PCIe SSD.

RX 580 (new) and X5680 (used) can be obtained for much less than $300 altogether.

What is understood is that the Xeon-class CPUs don't do 264 output very efficiently. Other factors can contribute, as well.
When rendering, change from "Faster Encode" to "Better Quality" - that may use more of your GPU, depending.
I have this Mac Pro for years but I used have for virtual machines. But I move from there to Video editing . Thanks for that tip with sticky thread I will look there. Is ut here any thread about Final Cut on Mac Pro? I couldn't find it...