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How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro

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Mark Carter
How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro
on Nov 29, 2016 at 5:09:59 pm

I have a new Dell XPS 8900. 32GB DDR3. i7. GTX745. Win10. Premiere Pro 5.5
1) WD 1TB Green HDD
2) Samsung 950 PRO Series - 256GB PCIe NVMe - M.2 Internal SSD
1) Samsung 850 EVO 500GB 2.5-Inch SATA III internal SSD

I need to do video editing for Vimeo movie video release, DVD creation, and TV commercials.
Please advise the optimal Drive set up for the: OS/ Programs (particularly Premiere)/ cache / media/ Projects set up.
As well as anything else I'm failing to understand.
Speed of project rendering and wait times is my chief concern.
Thanks.


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Jeff Pulera
Re: How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro
on Nov 29, 2016 at 8:23:14 pm

Hi Mark,

Which of the 3 drives is used for Operating System, meaning the C: drive?

The "green" drives are not good at all for video editing, as they favor economy over performance which is not desirable for high-performance HD video editing. Always spinning down.

SSDs are fast, but don't have adequate space for larger video projects. Great for a system drive, not so much for media drive.

Ideally, you'd want a fast 3.5" SATA drive for your media. Such as WD Caviar Black (7200rpm, 64mb cache). Or an external drive meant for video editing, using USB 3.0 connection. Something from Glyph, G-Tech, LaCie for instance. A RAID solution (2 or more drives in external enclosure) provides even faster performance, with combined speed of multiple drives creating one large, fast volume.

Some folks will recommend multiple drives for media, scratch, audio, temp, etc. but I think that is old-school reasoning from when computers - and drives - were much slower. With fast drives, such as a RAID 0 setup, you may be able to combine all those to one drive. Of course, if budget and resources allow, maybe you want one drive for Media, and another for Scratch/Export for instance.

By default, Premiere writes Media Cache files to the C: drive and if you have a smaller SSD, it can very quickly fill up with that stuff! In that case, setting destination to a different drive (in Prefs) is a good idea. So I'm not saying don't use multiple drives, but it's maybe not convenient, affordable, or even necessary for every user depending on their needs.

Thanks

Jeff


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Mark Carter
Re: How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro
on Dec 1, 2016 at 4:46:36 pm

Thanks Jeff,
I already have the tower that came with the Green 1 TB HDD as well as the other drives listed. I have not even turned the machine on waiting to understand my best set up scenario. I can easily clone the OS and add the programs to the SSD or any of the other disks so I have a clean slate scenario as of now. The 2 PCI-E 950Pro I understand are faster than the SSD & HDD so I thought those would be best for my active footage media and Projects. Having my media cache go to the SSD where the OS and Programs sit.
The 1TB Green would be for storage of media not being used currently.
What do you or anyone else think?
Thanks for your reply. ~ Mark


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Jeff Pulera
Re: How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro
on Dec 1, 2016 at 5:04:14 pm

I misread and didn't realize you have TWO of the m.2 drives.

In any case, 250GB or 500GB is nothing in the world of video editing. You will quickly run out of space, unless all you do is :30 commercials.

I would use an m.2 for the OS/boot drive for the extreme speed of boot up and software launches.

Green drive can be used for "storage", no editing. Could certainly use one or more of the fast, small drives for scratch/temp, but could run out of space with only 250GB. Would need to keep up with housekeeping, clean the Media Cache often.

Would still go with SATA for VIDEO/PROJECT storage myself. Size is king. I have 4TB of external USB 3.0 RAID video storage and am running out of space with multiple HD and 4K projects and exports in the works.

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Jeff Pulera
Re: How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro
on Dec 1, 2016 at 5:25:58 pm

Guess I still didn't answer your question about how to "optimally configure" everything. Probably because I have not in the past used multiple drives. Always had a C: drive, and then a VIDEO drive, typically RAID 0, and left Premiere settings at default.

My new machine has an SSD boot and I don't want Media Cache going there filling it up, so I directed that to an extra SATA drive, and all Video/Projects go on the external RAID. I don't break out separate audio/video/temp render stuff. The RAID is plenty fast.

Maybe someone else can chime in as how to divvy things up better with multiple drives?

Thanks

Jeff Pulera
Safe Harbor Computers


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Duke Sweden
Re: How do I optimally configure drives in a new Dell XPS 8900 for Premiere Pro
on Jul 7, 2017 at 8:16:43 pm

Hey Jeff. I finally took your advice and got a Dell 8920, etc. No need to go into details. I don't even want you to bother with any advice. Just your approval or disapproval will do.

I've got 3 HDD's. The one that came with the PC and two more that I added. Just regular HDD's, not SSD. I have all my adobe programs and other stuff (browser, email, etc) on the main HDD where the OS is. I'm putting Project files and raw media from my camera on the 2nd HDD, and I'm encoding to the 3rd HDD. Does that sound like a good setup, or should I, for example, put raw media and encoded media on the same HDD?


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