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Prioritizing scratch drive capacity vs speed for MacPro 3.1 for AE use

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Greg Sage
Prioritizing scratch drive capacity vs speed for MacPro 3.1 for AE use
on Oct 5, 2014 at 2:05:48 pm

Bottom line is MacPro 3.1 has internal drives limited to SATA II. I have one of the faster pci-e slots available. Assuming from previous Q's that my top priority is a fast scratch drive, budget comes down to this dilemma:


Fastest possible (pure pci-e) drive at 256Gb.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=9SIA0ZX1W07321

OR

Fast but not as fast as possible at 512Gb.
http://www.amazon.com/Apricorn-Velocity-Extreme-Performance-VEL-SOLO-X2/dp/...
(allows 512Gb SATA III drive speeds through the pci-e slot)



Second option supposedly allows second SATAIII drive connected to it, though no one on mac seems to be doing this that I can find.

Anyway, it all comes down to one unknown for me which is: How important is the SIZE of the scratch disk, and where are my points of diminishing returns there?


If it helps, my largest project (just doing "get info" for project folder) weighs in at 150GB or so.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Prioritizing scratch drive capacity vs speed for MacPro 3.1 for AE use
on Oct 6, 2014 at 11:10:47 pm

Those are both pretty speedy -- I'd think either would be a fine addition.

My workstation has a ~780 MB/s card like that for the cache, and my laptop has a ~500 MB/s SSD. They both work nicely.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Greg Sage
Re: Prioritizing scratch drive capacity vs speed for MacPro 3.1 for AE use
on Oct 6, 2014 at 11:47:06 pm

Well, it really comes down to capacity vs speed... at least as the budget works it's way in.

So long as the speed is fine either way... If my total project files top out at 150Gb or so (size of the project folder), am I likely to need anything larger than a 256Gb cache drive? That's the part I'm less sure about... how much the size of the cache drive matters.


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Walter Soyka
Re: Prioritizing scratch drive capacity vs speed for MacPro 3.1 for AE use
on Oct 7, 2014 at 12:03:18 am

[Greg Sage] "So long as the speed is fine either way... If my total project files top out at 150Gb or so (size of the project folder), am I likely to need anything larger than a 256Gb cache drive? That's the part I'm less sure about... how much the size of the cache drive matters."

You might be surprised at how quickly the cache can grow.

The disk cache seems to store uncompressed "layer-frames." For example, a 10-layer, 100-frame composition can generate 1,100 cache files (one per layer per frame, plus one per frame for the comp overall).

In other words, the cache isn't just storing the composite of all layers together; it's saving that, plus the internal composite of each layer individually.

Walter Soyka
Designer & Mad Scientist at Keen Live [link]
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
@keenlive [twitter]   |   RenderBreak [blog]   |   Profile [LinkedIn]


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Greg Sage
Re: Prioritizing scratch drive capacity vs speed for MacPro 3.1 for AE use
on Oct 7, 2014 at 12:56:37 am

Gotcha. I had a hunch. That's what's kept me from pulling the trigger on the faster pure pcie solution. 500 gigger at SATA III rates via pci-e it is. Should be night and day from what I've gathered vs my current 7200 rpm platters.

I ordered more ram to kick it up to 32Gb, so between the two, I should be putting a good deal of my lag issues behind me. Nailing down a gtx 570 or 680 (probably 570) is up next. What a difference a week makes.

thx.


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