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Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?

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William Carr
Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 5, 2012 at 1:25:09 am

I'm on a 2010 MBPRO with media on a 6TB FW800 G-Tech RAID 0 with 1/3 free space.

I have 8x 30min 1080 ProRes (not HQ) 23.98 sequences to render, each of which feature some layering and color correcting.

I'm understanding that hours will be spent rendering them all; the first one is cooking away right now with hours indicated on the progress bar.

So here is my question: if I daisy chain another FW800 RAID 0 and set the render folder on that 2nd drive, will I see any more than slight improvement on the overall render time of... well, the whole rest of the weekend? The hopeful notion being that I would not be reading and writing to the same RAID and therefore gain some efficiency=speed.


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Shane Ross
Re: Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 5, 2012 at 3:53:03 am

You'll see no speed difference. Render speed is processor based, graphics processor too depending in the edit system and effects involved. Drive speed is for playback only.

Shane
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Read my blog, Little Frog in High Def


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William Carr
Re: Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 5, 2012 at 4:04:12 am

Thanks so much for the info, now I know this is as good as it gets with my laptop.


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Tom Matthies
Re: Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 6, 2012 at 3:17:28 pm

Although...If you are using only a single raid, you are pulling both the source files from and the rendered files back the same drive forcing it to take turns reading then writing. You might save time by using two drives, one for source files and another for the finished render files. It won't speed up the actual rendering but it will reduce the amount of time the computer is physically accessing the single drive. Not sure if daisy-chaining the drives will choke it down and negate the two drive advantage, however.

E=MC2+/-2db


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William Carr
Re: Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 6, 2012 at 4:54:50 pm

Well, that's the question! Hard to test since the overall time savings might be a difference between (let's say) 41 hours and 45 hours. A little bit can go a long way in allowing a few extra hours for the next step in the workflow.

It's the kind of thing where someone might just technically know there is or isn't an overall greater efficiency in using a 2nd drive this way, even without a 2nd bus.
Shane's point seems pretty logical, which I take to mean that the processor is slower than the read/write throughput of each frame.


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Tom Matthies
Re: Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 6, 2012 at 7:29:44 pm

Crazy thought here...I've never tried this and it goes against conventional final Cut logic but...

What if you use a USB drive for your render drive? We all know you should not use USB drives for editing, but during the render process, the computer is just dumping off little pieces of the rendered timeline to the disk. No real time playback involved at all. The Firewire and USB busses should be different animals and shouldn't interfere with each other (too much). After the render is finished, copy it back onto your Firewire drive for proper playback. You should be able to preview the final render from the USB drive to verify it's there, but put it back on the Firewire drive for use after that.

This way all source files are coming from one drive and all rendered files are going to a different drive. Renders should only be limited by computer speed and drive through-put.
Might be worth a try?
If you do try it, let us all know if it made any difference in the total render time. If it works, it might be a good work around for people cutting on laptops with a single Firewire port.

E=MC2+/-2db


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William Carr
Re: Are 2 daisy-chained FW800 RAID 0's better than one?
on Aug 6, 2012 at 7:42:14 pm

Well that's an interesting thought.

A proper test would be a concerted effort, to try it with a large amount of material. But a small scale test is a good idea. After this major deadline I'll give that a try with the same set of 1080 sequences.

Anybody know right out of the gate if this is a possible productivity improvement, or not?


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