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Performance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?

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Mayka MackPerformance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?
by on Jun 29, 2015 at 3:21:14 pm

I currently have my source footage, scratch disk, and rendered footage all residing on my internal hard drive, which is obviously not the ideal scenario. Thus, I'm planning on buying a USB 3 external SSD.

For the same price I can either buy two 500GB SSDs, or one 1TB SSD.

My source footage would remain on my internal hard drive, but the scratch disk and rendered footage would go on the external SSD(s). I can either have the scratch disk on one SSD and the rendered footage on another SSD, or have them both on one SSD. The two-drive combo would necessitate me buying a powered USB hub, as it'd tie up the remaining two ports on my iMac.

What would be the difference i might find in performance with these two set-ups?


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Dave LaRondeRe: Performance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?
by on Jun 29, 2015 at 3:34:02 pm

I'm not a big fan AT ALL of keeping media files on a system drive. I'd put media & rendered AE files on one external drive, and the CHACHES (AE lingo for "scratch") on the other external drive.

Eventually, you'll need more storage. That's the way it goes.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mayka MackRe: Performance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?
by on Jun 29, 2015 at 3:38:16 pm

To clarify, I have a slow spinning 4TB drive for storage, and another 5TB drive to back up the first drive. I can get more storage drives as time goes on. The internal drive and SSDs aren't really meant to be a permanent dumping ground but rather a place to keep unfinished projects.


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Dave LaRondeRe: Performance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?
by on Jun 29, 2015 at 5:08:26 pm
Last Edited By Dave LaRonde on Jun 29, 2015 at 6:39:14 pm

Then I would put the current project's media files on one of the storage drives -- i.e. NOT the system drive -- render to the other storage drive and put the cache folders on the SSD. That should be the fastest.

Not that it will make any huge difference. There are many other things in AE that can slow down renders.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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Mayka MackRe: Performance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?
by on Jul 5, 2015 at 2:43:02 am

So it is not faster to render to an SSD as it is to 5400RPM drive? And it's faster to have the media files on a 5400RPM drive than the internal 7200RPM drive?

I guess I'm trying to wrap my head around everything. Could you explain why this is so? :)


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Dave LaRondeRe: Performance difference with rendered footage and scratch disk as separate disks?
by on Jul 6, 2015 at 4:55:10 pm

It has to do with AE's caches. If you've previewed -- which you must to make sure things are right -- chances are excellent you have lots of good frames already cached. So AE would only have to render the changes you make. That means accessing the slowest drive to read the footage, since there won't be much of it.

Since SSD's are so darned fast, you'd use them as the cache drives for previewing. What does that leave? The higher-RPM drive, to which you'd write only.

Now, in the best of all possible worlds, you have ALL SSD's... but that sould put you in the poor house. So you strategize a bit.

Dave LaRonde
Promotion Producer
KGAN (CBS) & KFXA (Fox) Cedar Rapids, IA


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