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In a NLE, what performance benefits are there to using a speedy RAID drive?

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Jeremy Freedberg
In a NLE, what performance benefits are there to using a speedy RAID drive?
on Nov 17, 2016 at 8:49:46 pm

I get that there's redundancy, massive drive capacities, and it can triple––sometimes quadruple––your read/write speeds. But in real world scenarios, what differences will you see while working in your NLE?

Thanks!


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Bob Zelin
Re: In a NLE, what performance benefits are there to using a speedy RAID drive?
on Nov 17, 2016 at 9:43:37 pm

lets say you have a firewire 800 drive, and it does 40 MB/sec. You want to play back an Ultra HD 4K image that you recorded on a Blackmagic camera, or an AJA Ki Pro, or Hyperdeck, or Atoms, and the compression codec was
ProRes4444. So that's about 141 MB/sec. Guess what - you can't play it back. It requires too much bandwidth.

So you say "ok, I got these SSD drives, and they play back over 200 MB/sec - now what's the problem".

Ever hear of multi clip, or multi cam editing. What if you have 6 cameras, and you don't want to do a low res proxy - you want to edit in original resolution (141 MB/sec per stream). All of a sudden your SSD's won't be fast enough.

And if you say "I don't know what on earth you are talking about - I shoot with a Go Pro, and I do 10 camera multi clip all day long" - well, nice talking to you.

Bob Zelin

Bob Zelin
Rescue 1, Inc.
bobzelin@icloud.com


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Brian Reisdorf
Re: In a NLE, what performance benefits are there to using a speedy RAID drive?
on Nov 18, 2016 at 12:58:50 am

You mostly nailed it with your assumptions, but ultimately the value of a RAID is largely dependent on just what your specific "real world scenario" is.

Quadrupling your read and write speeds doesn't seem like a major upside if you're working with a couple streams of H264, but if you're given significantly larger resolution footage, or footage with extreme color depth, both require much higher bandwidth for the same common editing tasks. That combination of increased bandwidth and massive capacity becomes more of a basic requirement the further up the "quality ladder" that your footage goes. Perhaps most importantly traditional RAIDs keep those gains fairly inexpensive compared to SSDs AND add a layer of drive-failure protection on top of that. All those things considered makes them must-have's for most production companies.

Like any kind of tech, it comes down to considering the benefits to your actual workflow and whether those advantages are worth the investment, but for most pro's a solid direct-attach RAID is one of the first major upgrades worth spending real money on, often for the protection factor alone.

ProMAX Systems
VP of Technical Services


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