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External drive for AE cache

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Marc Lucas
External drive for AE cache
on Jul 4, 2013 at 3:00:33 pm

I have recently read somewhere that users were using a separate SSD drive for AE cache files in effect taking the heat of the main system. I'm using AE CC with C4D r12 and although it is way better than having to export multi pass renders from C4D the pipeline does take some processing power to keep up. Unfortunately the Cineware Proxy software is only compatible with C4D r14 so I can go for that. So, would a separate drive help with rendering etc

Currently on a 2011 MBP with 16GB ram


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Todd Kopriva
Re: External drive for AE cache
on Jul 4, 2013 at 6:41:45 pm

Use the fastest disk over the fastest connection for the After Effects disk cache. This means using an internal drive in almost all cases.

Why do you think that you should have the cache on an external drive? What are you trying to accomplish by doing that?

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Marc Lucas
Re: External drive for AE cache
on Jul 5, 2013 at 9:34:22 am

I know it is a different use case scenario but when working with FCPX you are strongly advised to have all your events and project files on a drive separate to your system drive because when FCPX is trying to reference these files, and they are on the system drive, it make the internal CPU work harder. So with them, and there render files on a separate drive the whole system works more efficiently.
I was thinking the same for AE if the cache folder was on a separate drive, say a TB drive, the cache would be separate to the system so leaving the system to try and work more efficient. I'm obviously not fully understanding how the whole AE system works but after hearing someone mention they bought a cheap SSD drive solely for use with the AER cache I thought I would ask.

I hope AE works on something similar to Cineware Proxy, unfortunately I'm only on C4D r12 so can't take advantage of that yet but I think AE needs that built in sometime in the future?


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Todd Kopriva
Re: External drive for AE cache
on Jul 5, 2013 at 5:14:55 pm

You don't want the same drive/bus being used for varying read and write operations at the same time. That is a useful principle. But having cache files on the same drive as the OS and applications is in alignment with that principle; the OS is mostly read from the disk at boot, the applications are mostly read from the disk at application start, and the cache files are read and written during program run time. There is very little overlap.

What you do _not_ want to do is have cache files on the same disk/bus as footage files or exported files, since those assets are being used at the same time.

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Todd Kopriva, Adobe Systems Incorporated
After Effects quality engineering
After Effects team blog
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Jake Dean
Re: External drive for AE cache
on Sep 17, 2015 at 8:25:38 pm

Hey Todd,
Say I have a system SSD, a footage/project SSD, and a cache SSD. Three drives all on SATA internal/same performance.
Which one should I render to?

- Jake Dean

- Aloe Design Studios


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EricBowen
Re: External drive for AE cache
on Jul 10, 2013 at 7:46:55 pm

The rules are different with SSD drives versus mechanical HDD's. SSD drives have a latency in microseconds where as mechanical drives have a latency in milliseconds. This means SSD drives can read and write far more files in a given time segment than mechanical drives. If you have an SSD then cache and media files can go there without issue. You can also include cache files easily with an OS drive on an SSD. Mechanical drives are where the separate drive philosophy really developed from. Although you can run media and cache from the same drive provided the drives and interface ie e-sata, USB3 or TB are fast enough. Firewire and USb2 would not be

Eric-ADK
Tech Manager


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