PC Hard-Drive Set-up

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    • #40618

      I’m in the process of building a new PC dedicated for editing.

      My question concerns how to set-up the hard-drives.

      My current HD set-up is as follows:

      1-HD for the OS

      1-HD for programs

      1-HD for projects

      1-Hot-swap HD with captured video

      How should I make use of the HDs in my new PC and should I use RAID0 or RAID5?

      Here’s what I was thinking for the new PC:

      1-HD for the OS?

      1-HD for programs?

      1-RAID (0 or 5?) for projects and captured video?

    • #174182

      The way I have worked my computers in the past is this:

      1 drive for O/S and programs

      1 drive for source files

      1 drive for renders

    • #174183


      John has it about right and I would add that depending on what you’ll be working on, a specific drive wouldn’t drive for what you do wouldn’t hurt. For example, on our main editor we have;

      1 OS/Program Drive

      1 Graphics/Mographics Drive

      1 DVD Authoring/Animation Drive

      1 Raid 0 Video Editing Array (internal)

      Anything extra like FX or Stock Footage storage we keep on external eSATA or Firewire Drives.

      Why all the drives? Space and cache overflow resources. Nothing worse than working on a project and running out of cache space and having nowhere to put the overflow.

    • #174184

      Much appreciate the replies and makes me think…….is there not some rule or guidelines explaining how to do this? It’s strike me as if it’s a free for all out there and everyone pretty much sets up the drives as they wish.

      I’m certainly NOT an expert on this subject but I do remember while watching a Total Training tutorial several years back, they suggested the OS and programs be on their own individual drives apparently it makes the system faster.

      They also suggested to setup the scratch drives (captured and preview) with their own separate drives, again, speed gain was the reason. That’s why I setup my drives as I did years ago and it worked well.

      What’s screwing me up is this RAID thing. It seems that RAIDS are used to store video (I thought the OS and programs went in there) until I starting reading about RAIDS.

      So, what would you guys think if I was to try the following or is it overkill (am I being stupid?)?



      1-RAID0 (captured)


      1-Effects, titles, etc

      All I’m searching for is reliability, speed and a setup of scratch disks that makes sense.

      Thanks for your help as your opinions time taken in replying are valued!

    • #174185

      “What’s screwing me up is this RAID thing.”

      The thing that’s most confusing about RAID arrays is the type you want to set up. In a nutshell, RAID’s are individual drives that are ‘linked’ to each other through hardware or software. A RAID 0 is just the drives linked together with no ‘mirroring’ (i.e. data redundancy ‘back-up’.) All other RAID setups involve greater degrees of mirroring to protect data in case of drive failure. So a RAID 0 gives you the greatest amount of drive space but no mirroring and the others give you greater mirroring with lesser amounts of drive space. It all depends on what you want to work with.

      As for separate drives for the OS and programs, yeah I think that’s overkill. Often I partition the OS drive in half to make a backup space for the main drive and documents. It has the side benefit of cutting the amount of time maintenance programs take to perform their functions on the main drive. You definitely want extra drives for cache and scratch disks as I mentioned before. And you can assign to your extra drives the tasks of preview and so. Remember, internally most motherboards only support 6 drives so even if you utilize that capacity fully, you’ll still have to make some practical choices as to what will go where. If you want reliability, keep it simple….

    • #174186


      I would tend to agree with you.

      Keep it simple.

    • #174187

      The OS and Programs can be on the same drive because once you are up and running, most of what the OS and the application needs will be memory-resident (assuming you have sufficient).

      However, if the application is going to read from file A, write to file B, read from file A, write to file B etc., repetitively for many video frames, you’d best have file A and file B reside on two different drives, because if the two files are on the same drive, the heads have to constantly move back and forth, and head movement is time consuming.

      I use Premiere Pro CS4 and often wondered why Adobe doesn’t have a chart showing a fewhead movement scenarios and suggesting drive allocations for optimum performance. (With their new Mercury engine, will it still matter any more?)

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