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Yet another scratchdisk question

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Mark Laslo
Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 4:08:56 pm

Hi All,

I have 3 drives in my Mac Pro

1: 700 GB System Drive with Automatic backup folder for projects (Autosave is set to every 5 minutes)
2: 1 TB Media drive that is currently housing project files, media, and the "Final Cut Pro Documents" folder.
3: A new 2 TB drive to also be used for media.

My question is should I keep all of the "FCP Document" files on the 1 TB with the media on the 2 TB or should the files that live in the "FCP Documents" folder be on the same drive as the media?

Hopefully this makes some sense.

Thanks,

Mark


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 4:43:44 pm

[Mark Laslo] "should I keep all of the "FCP Document" files on the 1 TB with the media on the 2 TB or should the files that live in the "FCP Documents" folder be on the same drive as the media?"

There are many different thoughts on this subject, but the consensus of opinion tends to lean toward keeping FCP project files on the system drive, because that way, should your media drive fail, you will at least have all your project files safe, where you can hopefully recreate your edit without a great deal of hassle.

Of course, you should copy all those project files to another device (i.e. thumb drive, DVD, another computer, etc.) to keep them safe in case of a catastrophic event that could take your entire system down. Storing a backup of all project files off-site or even on "the cloud" is even better if your career and clients are essential to your well-being, as it is for most of us.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Mark Laslo
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 5:00:38 pm

Hi David,

Thanks for the info. I actually have another thread on the COW where I got info about project files. My system is to have the project file with the media, have the autosave save a version every five minutes to the system drive, and time capsule backs up both autosave and the original project file every hour.

My bigger concern is where should the render files and all the other files that get stored in the "Final Cut Pro Documents Folder" be stored. Currently with only one media drive everything was on one drive and I would move my transcoded ProRes files from the capture scratch to the appropriate project folder, or occasionally due to poor diligence leave the files in the Capture Scratch folder.

Now that I have two drives should I be keeping the render files/thumbnail cache/etc. on the same drive that the media is being captured to, or can the capture scratch be on one drive and the other folders go on another drive.

This is mostly a question about which will give the best performance for rendering/playback.

Thanks,


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 5:22:13 pm

[Mark Laslo] "This is mostly a question about which will give the best performance for rendering/playback. "

Unfortunately Mark, working off of single drives, rather that two or more striped as a RAID, makes this question rather moot. However, in the simplest terms, you should be thinking about files as either data or media. All media, including render files, which are nothing more than FCP's internal QTs, should reside on your media drive(s). Data, which includes project files, autosaves, etc., should reside on your system drive.

So, back to single drive usage for a second... Whatever slight benefit you might derive from some form of creative spreading-around of different media types across your various single hard drives is so minor compared to what you would gain from striping two drives together as a RAID 0, that it makes our discussion trivial.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


A forum host of Creative COW's Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums. Formerly host of the Apple Final Cut Basics, Indie Film & Documentary, and Film History & Appreciations forums.


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Mark Laslo
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 5:40:52 pm

Thanks David,

The end goal is to get an 8 TB RAID box. There was no room in the budget to buy it yet, and the drives I have are not the same model so I could not RAID yet. Eventually the goal is to clear off the 1 TB and 2 TB drive put them on a 8 TB 4 drive RAID 5 setup and use the internal drives as backup.

Thanks for the info.


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David Roth Weiss
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 5:52:01 pm

I understand Mark. Believe me, there are many, many hardware and software items in the marketplace that I'd like to own too. I'm not belittling you for not spending $5000 today on a big new RAID.

My point is, while you wait for your expensive honking-fast 8-drive RAID 5, you can spend lots of time and thought trying to wring out a 2 or 3% gain from what you've got, or you can spend just $120 to buy another 2Tb drive, and with that you can stripe it together with your other 2Tb drive at RAID 0 to get an immediate 100% boost in throughput.

David Roth Weiss
Director/Editor/Colorist
David Weiss Productions, Inc.
Los Angeles
http://www.drwfilms.com

POST-PRODUCTION WITHOUT THE USUAL INSANITY ™


Creative COW contributing editor and a forum host of the Business & Marketing and Apple Final Cut Pro forums.


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Mark Laslo
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 6:28:12 pm

Thanks for clarification. Sounds like a good idea to me.

I think you may have responded to my question about this in another thread, does this RAID box look like a good setup to you? The guy at B&H told me I should be fine using the Esata connection and my IT guy confirmed my suspicion, but he knows very little about video. I know it's not the most expensive RAID option out there and I'll probably suffer some read/write speed, but we are typcially only laying between 1 -3 tracks of 720p60 ProRes 422 in a timeline. Most times it's just 2 tracks or 1 video interview and pictures.
http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/624484-REG/LaCie_301435U_8TB_4big_Qua...

Thanks for the advice and information. I have learned much from you and the others here.


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Ben Insler
Re: Yet another scratchdisk question
on May 19, 2011 at 5:09:34 pm

I personally tend to keep my project files where the media is. When working on multiple projects, with multiple editors or in multiple places, I have found security in knowing that everything related to a project is organized in one place. This is handy for archiving as well, so you don't have to hunt around as the project has scattered across your system (Yes, I know it's just a project file, but if you're anal about organization like me, one thing out of place will lead to an hour of checking to make sure you have everything).

Nonetheless, I always have FCP autosaving at 15min increments to a different drive than where the project file is. I also have my whole system mirroring to a separate set of drives once a day. This way, any point in the system can fail. No more than 15min of work should have to be redone, and getting up and running in the case of a media drive crash is as simple as a drag and drop transfer.

-B


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