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Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?

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Jimmy Jensen
Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?
on Apr 10, 2016 at 5:43:34 pm

I've been trying to sift through the ridiculous amount of seemingly ever changing info on RAID drives and I'd love a little guidance. Here's some background: I am a wedding filmmaker and shoot some commercial ads as well. This is my second year in business and I'm looking to get more serious about storage. I shoot with the A7SII so I'm dealing with 100mb/s XAVC S 4K files. When editing in Premiere, playback becomes a little bit choppy, especially if I have a few quick cuts in a row. Here are my computer specs:

2013 27-inch iMac
3.5 GHz Intel Core i7
32gb RAM
GeForce GTX 780M
3TB Fusion Drive
OSX 10.11 El Capitan
Latest Version of Premiere Pro CC 2015
I have CUDA turned on and my CUDA driver is the latest version
I even have playback quality on 1/4 and it still gets choppy

This is my current workflow:
Transfer footage to 3TB Fusion Drive
Copy footage to backup external drive (Seagate 2TB, USB 2.0 I believe)
I have been editing from the footage that's stored on my computer on the fusion drive. I'm thinking this is the weak link of my setup but I'm not sure. I've read that it's much better to let your computer's hard drive take care of running the programs etc. and use a fast external drive to read footage.

Here's my plan:
Buy a 4TB Lacie rugged RAID thunderbolt drive (set up as RAID 0) to store footage that I'm using to edit/project files etc.
Let my computer HD stay footage free so it can focus on running programs
Buy a WD 8TB My Book Thunderbolt RAID drive for backups (set up as RAID 1)
Continue to use my 2TB Seagate for another set of backups (maybe keep offsite?)

Would this be a good workflow/setup for my purpose?
What is the weak link of my setup?
Would using a portable RAID 0 drive like this improve speed and help my timelines play smoothly?
Is RAID 0 overkill for my setup?
Is the RAID 1 drive necessary for my purpose or should I just buy a standard thunderbolt external hard drive for that?

Thanks for taking the time to read my novel! I'm sure I left out important information for you to be able to analyze my situation so let me know if I forgot anything

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Tim Jones
Re: Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?
on Apr 10, 2016 at 6:34:21 pm

Take a look at this blog post, it may give you some insight -

Disk I/O Speeds, RAID levels and Spindle Count

Tim Jones
CTO - TOLIS Group, Inc.
BRU ... because it's the RESTORE that matters!

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Chris Wright
Re: Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?
on Apr 10, 2016 at 7:18:28 pm

samsung T1 and T3 get 300-400MB/sec over usb so I think in the future, we'll get even faster. usb isn't the bottleneck, at least not yet. You just need USB 3.0 + UASP motherboard support to get 450 MB/sec. That's if your system is Superspeed/UASP compliant btw.

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Chris Wright
Re: Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?
on Apr 10, 2016 at 7:00:46 pm

sorry, none of your questions make any sense.

if you can only get 240MB/sec in a Lacie as Raid 0, just to get that
performance speed, it's a little silly for many reasons.

1. raid 0 is combining two hd and if either fails, the whole thing fails.
2. price $420? what the...
alternatives: Seagate Backup Plus Fast 4TB Portable External Hard Drive 220 MB/sec $179
Western Digital My Passport Pro 233MB/sec $288

3. if you want redundacy, you need raid 1,5, or 1+0

if you are editing off your fusion, that's a USB 2.0, super slow

your WD 8TB my book thunderbolt raid 1 would be slow.
in large-block random read and write, the My Book came in at 108.2MB/s
the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo 8TB is $650 for 168-240 MB/sec raid 0 so, raid 1
will be very slow and raid 1 would lose half the space, so it would actually only be 4TB!

you shouldn't store footage/video/editing cache on the same hd as your OS.

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Jimmy Jensen
Re: Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?
on Apr 11, 2016 at 3:12:16 am

Thanks for all the info! I didn't know that some of these lower end RAID drives could be slower than a normal hard drive. What is the next step up as far as editing speed from the Seagate and the WD that you mentioned?

Also, my fusion isn't an external so not USB 2.0, but I still shouldn't be storing my footage/projects on it with my OS. That surely is slowing me down yeah?

I'd like the protection of the My Book RAID 1 and don't really care about the speed as much since it will be for backups and not footage/projects, but I guess $650 is quite a lot for 4TB. What do you recommend for backups instead? Just a normal USB 3.0 or thunderbolt external drive? Or two of them for peace of mind?

Also should I have separate drives for footage and premiere project files?

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michael jacobson
Re: Is a RAID setup right for me? Which one to get?
on Apr 21, 2016 at 5:37:21 pm

Although your NVidia GPU is a MOBILE one, the780M, it is MASSIVELY better than the 765 M I have in my Asus gaming have 4GB of video memory and double the CUDA cores of my GPU. Because your GPU is a 7xx series GPU, you CAN try and "tweak" its performance by using a free program to overclock the " memory clock" of the GPU. You cannot do this on the 9xx series Maxwell GPUs,but, you CAN do it safely with the 7xx series GPUs. On my laptop, I have the same starting frequency as you for the stock memory clock...2000Mhz. I use the free " MSI Afterburner" utility to increase that setting to 3000Mhz with NO overheating....for Macs, there must be a similar program to "tweak" your GPU. These programs allow you to monitor the GPU temperature real time, so that you know you are safe. Your video card, being a moble card, is deliberately UNDERCLOCKED at 2000Mhz in order to save battery power in a portable machine. Both Bill Gehrke and I overclock our cards safely and I get about a 20 to 25% increase in performance when the GPU is "saturated" with effects,or, when heavily used during exports. Especially with an overclock and the 4GB of video memory, your GPU is very good.

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