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Speed from External HD

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Hope HolmesbySpeed from External HD
by on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:00:00 pm

thanks for reading this:
Running CS3 at moment.
Anyway to gain processing speed from 2 1T external HD?

Can they be connected to my computer for better rendering etc
Currently they are just for backup.

Thanks so much.
Warmly,
Hope

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Life is here to enjoy.

Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, 150 GB; Mac OS X (10.4.11) 4GB RAM; 2 La Cie external HDs 1TB each; STP v2.0.2; FCP 6; AE 8(CS3)


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Kevin CampRe: Speed from External HD
by on Nov 17, 2010 at 9:58:31 pm

i don't think you'd see significant performance gains, unless perhaps you only have internal drives and have disk caching on... even then, if you just disable disk caching, you probably be just as well off.

what you might want to do, is run activity monitor while you render and look at the cpu usage. if it is fairly high, then you system is configured pretty well.

if it is consistently low, then you probably have a data bottleneck. that's where you look at ram usage, and how much is being used. if it's not filling up, then you could start looking at ways to speed up getting data from the drives to the ram...

don't gauge this by just one project... how much cpu or ram gets used for one comp can vary quite a bit. often the fastest rendering comps use the least cpu, so you may want to look at you slow-rendering comps.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Hope HolmesbyRe: Speed from External HD
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 1:06:10 am

Dear Kevin,

So sweet of you to answer so fast. This sounds very clever and intelligent. Tried it just now.

Just rendered a min. of 2 different animations, and the first one used, of 4GB of ram, about 2.5GB and second one only about 500MB of ram used.

The cpu activity seems to be quite full on both.

Want it to run faster and use all the ram to do so.

In the memory and cache preferences it reads:
maximum memory usage 120% = 3 GB.....the thing is there is 4 GB on cpu, so is this right?

Maximum RAM Cache Size 60% = 1.8.GB

What do you think?

Just have external drives.

They go to sleep and as I have all my project files on them, then there is a many second delay when accessing anything. Was hoping there was someway to get rid of this delay.

Have read that for AE to run fastest, need to have all files on the main HD.

So, dear Kevin, et al what do you think of all this?

Thanks so much for everyone's very kind help.

Warmly,
Hope

__________________________________________________

Life is here to enjoy.

Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, 150 GB; Mac OS X (10.4.11) 4GB RAM; 2 La Cie external HDs 1TB each; STP v2.0.2; FCP 6; AE 8(CS3)


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Kevin CampRe: Speed from External HD
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 5:08:45 pm

[Hope Holmesby] "Want it to run faster and use all the ram to do so."

don't get too concerned in ae's the ram usage and concerns about it being low for some comps. the main thing is that the cpus are working hard. if they are then they are getting enough data from ram, and ram is getting enough data from the drives. if ae needs more ram, then it will take it. don't worry about that.

the ram usage 'meter' is really useful when you get crashes during renders. you can often get crashes when ae fails to automatically clear the ram cache as it gets full, so if you see a crash an notice that the crash happens as the ram usage value hits the max ram cache setting in the preference (yours is 60%), then there are steps you can take to force ae to purge the cache. these steps, however, don't improve performance, just stability, so for the next project you'd want to set things back.


[Hope Holmesby] "maximum memory usage 120% = 3 GB.....the thing is there is 4 GB on cpu, so is this right?"

cs4 and lower are all 32-bit, and as such they they can only use about 3gb of ram for a foreground process in osx. in your version of ae, there is a setting for multiprocessing. when enabled it will launch a 32-bit render engine for each processor that is available. each of these can grab about 3.5gb of ram, so if you had a 4-core g5, ae could use nearly 16gb of ram, despite the foreground process only showing 3gb.

even with a 4-core system and 16gb of ram, the system would need ram to function too, so you would want to try to dedicate all 16gb to ae, you should leave around 2gb for the system, and if you want other apps open (photoshop, itunes, mail, etc) then you'd want to account for minimum ram requirements fro those too.


[Hope Holmesby] "They go to sleep and as I have all my project files on them, then there is a many second delay when accessing anything. Was hoping there was someway to get rid of this delay."

you may be able to keep them from going to sleep in the system preferences>energy saver settings. there should be an option for drive sleep. if it is set to off, then they should not go to sleep.


[Hope Holmesby] "Have read that for AE to run fastest, need to have all files on the main HD."

that's not true... if the drives you have your project on (files, footage, images, audio, etc) are as fast as the main drive, then there shouldn't be any difference. but lets say you have your uncompressed hd footage on a usb drive, which would be considerable slower than the internal sata drive, then yes it would be slower.

in your case, if the extra drive is internal (you can install multiple internal drives) then there should be no difference. if your drives are external, but are connected through a sata (or sas) pci card, then they should be the same, or possibly a faster. if they are external connected via firewire or usb, then they are slower...

however, if they are slow enough to effect performance comes down to the data rate requirement of the media on them... ex: if you have sd dv footage on firewire 400 drives, i don't think you'd see any performance hit. but if it was uncompressed hd, then you might. that's when it's good to check the cpu activity to see how well they working.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Hope HolmesbyRe: Speed from External HD
by on Nov 18, 2010 at 8:47:04 pm

Dear Kevin,

Hi again....thanks for all the recent info to all my posts....lol

Wow, you really know your stuff!

Yes, I have multiprocessing on with my two cores. Good to know what it is doing...thanks.

Will read and study all you say.

Can hardly wait to read it all...You are the best.

Thanks so much.
Warmly,
Hope

Again thanks so very much for explaining all this. Am really exicted to read on...

__________________________________________________

Life is here to enjoy.

Dual 1.8 GHz PowerPC G5, 150 GB; Mac OS X (10.4.11) 4GB RAM; 2 La Cie external HDs 1TB each; STP v2.0.2; FCP 6; AE 8(CS3)


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