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Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA

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Josh Pigford
Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 1:26:41 am

When it comes to optimizing After Effects (in this case, CS6), should I have my Disk Cache set to an external LaCie hard drive via Firewire 800 or should I use my iMac's internal 1TB SATA drive?

The reason I even ask is seems like I keep reading that your Cache disk should not be on the same drive as your footage. Neither drive is exceptionally fast (compared to something like an SSD), so didn't know what would be my best option.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 2:04:24 am

Fast drives for everything is actually what folks are saying. ;-)

The general rule of thumb is to use the fastest drive for NLE preview files and AE caching but this view does not factor in the other drives on the system and what their uses and storage capacities are.

SSD is ideal for caching cos they're costly, per GB. Additionally, their small storage capacities means they will not likely hold sufficient data as a 'project/media files' drive even for a single project.

AE CS6 and its Global Performance Cache provides huge productivity gains. To take advantage of GPC you'll want the fastest drive your system has for your cache files. But every system is different and thus optimal setups will differ with 'less-than-perfect' systems such as yours.

A lot depends on how often you use an NLE versus AE. You the NLE is used principally for 1 to 2 layer edits AND you can play these clips back in RT on one of your drives then that's great. It's even better if your NLE can playback the clips in RTime from your slowest drive because then it makes your choice as to which drive to use for media caching a no-brainer.


HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Josh Pigford
Re: Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 2:09:02 am

Roland, thanks for the response...but you lost me in that last paragraph. :)

Right now I'm only wondering about the Disk Cache when it comes to AE. I've got 2 drives that are available (each with hundreds of GB of available space). One is an external Firewire 800 drive and one is an internal SATA drive.

So I'm ultimately wondering which of those two should be used for the "Disk Cache" location in the AE Preferences.


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 2:15:06 am

Hi Josh, unfortunately, I'm not familiar with Firewire speeds but a quick google provided this [age - http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-Interface.html. It shows that your internal SATA II is faster than your FW800.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Josh Pigford
Re: Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 2:15:44 am

So is it okay to have both the source footage AND the disk cache on the same drive?


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Roland R. Kahlenberg
Re: Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 2:27:43 am

[Josh Pigford] "So is it okay to have both the source footage AND the disk cache on the same drive?"

Nope. To create the cache files, data has to be read and then written (into cache) as fast as possible. You'll get better performance from a 2-drive setup - ie media and cache on separate drives.

But as I mentioned earlier, it's best to do some tests. It could be the case that your internal drive can, read and write both media and cache files, respectively, faster. IOW, I cannot provide a definitive answer but at least now you know what to aim for, the reasons why certain suggestions are made and hopefully have enough info to run a few tests.

HTH
RoRK

Intensive AE & Mocha Training in Singapore and Malaysia
Adobe ACE/ACI (version 7) & Imagineer Systems Inc Approved Mocha Trainer


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Walter Soyka
Re: Disk Cache: Firewire 800 vs. Internal SATA
on May 22, 2012 at 11:38:56 am

[Josh Pigford] "So is it okay to have both the source footage AND the disk cache on the same drive?"

I'd put the footage on the slower drive (FW800) and the cache on the faster drive (internal SATA).

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
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