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Superfast Scratch Drive? Or separate cache and media drives?


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#1 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:19 AM

Hey guys,

 

I’m in the final stages of getting my new Mac Pro 5,1 system set up, and I’m wanting to optimise my drive layout for the smoothest possible performance when working in Davinci Resolve.

My system's drives are as follows:

 

- 240GB SSD Boot Drive
- 18TB RAID (around 400MB/sec read, 370MB/sec write)
- 2x 1.92TB PM863 SSDs on a Sonnet Tempo Pro PCIe Card (around 500MB/sec individually or 1000MB/sec in RAID 0)

 

What I’m trying to figure out, is the best way to arrange my cache, media and project files for the smoothest performance possible.

 

The way I see it, there are three basic setups I could use:

 

 

1)
- 240GB SSD Boot Drive = Just OS and Applications
- 18TB RAID: Near storage, holding backup of media and project files, and exports
- 4TB SSD RAID: Superfast RAID storing all media, project and cache files

 

 

2)
- 240GB SSD Boot Drive = Just OS and Applications
- 18TB RAID: Near storage, holding backup of media and project files, and exports
- 1x 1.92TB SSD: Storing all media and project files
- 1x 1.92TB SSD: Storing all cache files

 

 

3)

- 240GB SSD Boot Drive = Just OS and Applications
- 18TB RAID: Near storage, holding media files, project files, and exports
- 4TB SSD RAID: Superfast RAID just for cache files

 

 

Which setup would you recommend? Are the bottlenecks of having media files and cache files on the same drive better overcome by having them all on a single superfast SSD RAID? By splitting them over two separate (but slower) SSDs volumes on the same PCIe card? Or by having the media on the slower HDD RAID, and leaving the superfast SSD RAID just for caching duties?

 

I’d appreciate any advice (as my brain’s already turned to mush from my current research on the topic).

 

Cheers,

 

Mark


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#2 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:32 AM

Truth be told, DaVinci cache is a bunch of very small files. So it's not really a file system hog and no other editing/coloring program has anything more sophisticated.

I colored huge 4k projects with DaVinci last year without any special configuration. I have a 500gb 10,000 RPM boot drive and an 12TB internal raid with the media.

I set my cache location to my media drive and that's it, done. As you know, the internal raid zero volume system on the mac pro towers, works really well and it's super fast. So there isn't anything you NEED to do. Even with 3 drives, I'm up at around 350MBps.

What kills DaVinci is video memory, GPU speed, system memory and system boot drive speed due to VM. I would throw every penny I had at a Titan-X 12GB video card, way before I even think about changing your current storage. If you have a Titan-X 12GB already, then upgrade the system memory and processors to the latest revision, that makes a pretty big difference as well.
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#3 Mark Kenfield

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 01:46 AM

Thanks Tyler, good to know.

This thing is already maxed out to the hilt:

 

- Titan X 12GB

- 12-core 3.46Ghz

- 64GB RAM

- Decklink 4k

- 4-lane USB3 Card

- 32" Asus PA329Q

 

So it better bloody deliver, I'm almost at 5-figures on the damned thing.  :o


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 10 February 2017 - 02:17 PM

Yep, that's the best you can do.

I haven't gone that far yet with my personal system because frankly, I rarely do 4k stuff. I'm still running a 2.8, 8 core, 3,1 with a GTX680 4GB Classified card and Red Rocket.

I'm an IT specialist though, so I've setup many post houses around Los Angeles. Most of the time I use 5,1's in pretty much the same configuration you posted.

That config will do everything up to RED 5k in real-time decoding. I find it struggles to de-bayer RED files on the fly when playing back in color mode. This is where the Rocket-X comes into play.

The problem is... the older rocket card I have, only works with the older imagers. So it's fine with my school's Epic, but it's not fine with the dragon and up. That's where the Rocket-X comes into play and unfortunately as you know, putting a Rocket X and a Titan-X into the same tower = no more PCI slots... EEK!

So yea... :shrug: I just shoot with the Epic for now. :(
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Visual Products

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rebotnix Technologies

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