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Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro

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Eric Guiliani
Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 3:31:45 pm

Hey Everyone-

Just want to ask a few system set up questions. I'm a motion graphics guy at my agency and usually do 2d animation with some Cinema 4d basic vector work. I'm looking for the optimal way to run AE CS6 (still haven't gotten CC yet!) and my new set up.

Here is what I got:
Mac Pro (late 2013) 6 core 3.5ghz
32GB RAM

G|RAID studio thunderbolt 2 6TB drive
Lacie 2TB USB 3.0 drive.

My plan is this:

-GRAID Studio Drive via thunderbolt 2: AE source/project files including media and assets
-LaCie 2TB via USB 3.0: Render Output folder and AE Disk Cache / Media Conformed Cache
- Mac Pro JUST would have the OS and apps.

Yes, i know disk cache should be on the thunderbolt connection however i need that drive to be my main project/assets drive as I'm eventually going to get a thunderbolt SSD external just for cache. Is this the best I could do for maximum performance with what I got? Would keeping AE project files on another drive or the mac pro and just using the external drives for media be faster? Or do you guys generally keep your source files on the external drive as well?

Any help / suggestions appreciated!


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Dave LaRonde
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 4:18:41 pm

If I had a fast connection -- which I don't -- I'd keep the media files used in AE on external drives. Or any media files, for that matter. Same thing goes for renders/exports.

The big deal is to keep the caches on the SSD. That will speed things up a lot.

Now, if you wanted to virtually eliminate read/write times as a factor you could go ALL SSD, but that would get really expensive!

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Eric Guiliani
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:42:17 pm

Thanks, Dave. Ya I want a SSD when I can get one. So is it commonplace to have your AE project file on a separate hard drive and your linked media/asset files on another drive? Or is it ok to have the AE project file with the media files.

so in other words:
AE project file on mac pro, linked media files on external drive...OR both files on the external drive? I always thought the OS and apps were on the mac pro and everything else (AE project and media files) on another drive.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 5:58:05 pm

[Eric Guiliani] "Or is it ok to have the AE project file with the media files."

Totally ok to have the AEP alongside the media files. AEPs are only accessed on disk when opening them, saving them, or starting a multiprocessing render. This will not conflict with footage disk access.

However, it's a good idea to have your cache on a separate drive, as the cache and footage are often accessed nearly simultaneously.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Eric Guiliani
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 6:00:27 pm

Thanks Walter. So is my set up I mentioned in the OP the best i could do? (aside from making the thunderbolt 2 drive my "cache" drive which I can't since its being used for media/projects)


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Walter Soyka
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 6:04:40 pm

For best performance, I would advise you to put your cache on the Mac Pro's internal flash storage. That is by far the fastest storage on your system.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Eric Guiliani
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 19, 2015 at 7:51:43 pm

Should I do disk and conformed media cache on mac pro? Or JUST the disk cache and leave media cache on an external?


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Walter Soyka
Re: Optimal Set-up with new Mac Pro
on Mar 20, 2015 at 9:58:47 am

[Eric Guiliani] "Should I do disk and conformed media cache on mac pro? Or JUST the disk cache and leave media cache on an external?"

I think the location of the conformed media cache is a lot less critical to performance.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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