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best cache settings on mutilple drives

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Dan Rothbest cache settings on mutilple drives
by on Mar 4, 2010 at 7:54:46 am

Hi everyone! I just bought a new computer with 3 drives and want to know where to set the default cache and rendering output locations to get maximum speed on renders. I have a C drive (250GB) for system programs; D drive (1TB) for storage and E drive (1TB with Raid 0 for mirror backup) for my AE files and other documents.
Please advice.
Thanks


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Walter SoykaRe: best cache settings on mutilple drives
by on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:23:51 pm

[Dan Roth] "I just bought a new computer with 3 drives and want to know where to set the default cache and rendering output locations to get maximum speed on renders."

I believe the recommended configuration in a 3-drive setup is one drive for the system and apps, one for footage, and one for renders. In other words, if you kept your footage in the D drive, render to the E drive.

It depends on the sort of work you do, but very few of my renders are disk-bound -- they are all either CPU- or RAM-bound. Hopefully, your new computer has plenty of cores (quad-core or dual quad-core) and 2-4 GB of RAM per core for efficient multiprocessing.

[Dan Roth] "I have a C drive (250GB) for system programs; D drive (1TB) for storage and E drive (1TB with Raid 0 for mirror backup) for my AE files and other documents."

Just a quick note on RAIDs -- please pardon me if I'm responding to to a typo.

RAID-0 is striping, not mirroring; it spreads the data across two or more disks for added speed, but there is no redundancy. If one drive fails, you lose the entire data set. RAID-1 is mirroring, which means one write is committed to multiple drives at the same time; if a drive in the set fails, you still have all your data on at least one other drive.

Also, I cringe when I see "RAID" and "backup" in the same sentence. RAID-0 has no redundancy. RAID-1 has redundancy, but if you accidentally delete a file on RAID-1, it's immediately gone from all disks in the set. Even in a RAID-5 setup, if your controller fails, you could immediately lose your data.

RAID in most levels (not 0) provides redundancy that protects you against a single disk failure, but that's all. It does not protect against catastrophic failure, user error, or plain bad luck (like simultaneous failure of multiple drives).

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Dan RothRe: best cache settings on mutilple drives
by on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:33:17 pm

thanks for explaining that. yes i do keep backups on external drives besides the raid,which is mirrored.
Another thing: why when AE starts up does it say '2% of 4gb of ram used' when i have 12 gb of ram. I'm using windows 7 64 bit with 12 Gb ram and i7 8 core.
And finally, what about the scratch drive? i keep my footage of the e drive and will render out to the d drive. where does scratch fit in to all this?
thanks for your patience...
Dan


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Walter SoykaRe: best cache settings on mutilple drives
by on Mar 4, 2010 at 2:49:22 pm

[Dan Roth] "why when AE starts up does it say '2% of 4gb of ram used' when i have 12 gb of ram. I'm using windows 7 64 bit with 12 Gb ram and i7 8 core."

AE CS4 is a 32-bit application, so it can only address 4 GB of RAM. (CS5 will be 64-bit, and will be able to address much, much, much more).

To get around this limitation, AE's multiprocessing feature launches multiple instances of the After Effects rendering engine -- one per core. Each instance will work on one frame at a time, and each instance can grab up to 4 GB of RAM. This is why having lots of RAM is so important in a multi-core system.

See multiprocessing for more.

[Dan Roth] "And finally, what about the scratch drive? i keep my footage of the e drive and will render out to the d drive. where does scratch fit in to all this?"

I assume you're talking about the disk cache? It's only used for standard previews (not for RAM previews). I don't generally use standard preview, so I leave mine off. If you enable disk cache, it should probably be on your render drive, not the source drive.

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
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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