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I am setting up a machine for video editing using Premier Pro and After Effects I have the following hardware:

  • i7 6700 skylane
  • 32Gb DDR4
  • GTX 1060 with 6Gb RAM
  • 500Gb SSD and access to 3 more drives (one 2Tb, and two 1Tb, all three 7200 RPM)

I have been reading on the various forums and I can't determine the best way to set them up. I found a guideline for various numbers of drives which specifies which drive should be setup for each task, but I can't figure out which task I should use which drive for.

I have found a few that mention putting the files, cache and previews on the fastest drive, which would be the SSD. So do I then setup the OS and program on one of the other drives, and use possibly a 3rd for storage?

I don't have access to hardware raid, only software based with this system board.

Any help would be appreciated.

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Put everything you are working on/with on the SSD, if it's full put it on the fastest HDD you have avilable.

You have a real beast there in terms of computing power. Your processor is quite powerful, your graphics card and RAM even more so. The thing that is most likely to become your performance bottleneck is the disk speed. And even with the best of HDDs, this will slow you down considerably, as HDDs disk speed is just not fast enough to read dozens of large video files simultaneously (for the Icon View of the Project Panel, for example). With a 500GB SSD, you have plenty of space. Windows 10 install size is about 11 GB. Premiere Pro, After Effects take up under 10GB in disk space. So even assuming you need to install some other software as well, you won't need more than 50~100GB for all that, which leaves you with 400GB~450GB for the video files. As you mentioned, put the scratch disks on it so that the preview files et c. can be loaded quickly. Then just fill your SSD with the files of your current project.

If you really need more space, put some files on the HDD and see how much it affects the loading speed. If the performance takes a big hit, you can still use proxies. And frankly, if you do have the budget for the kind of equipment you mentioned in your question, I find it reasonably to assume that you could even afford another large SSD if you really needed it.

Two quick tips regarding this: Buy the cheap SSDs, not the expensive ones, there's no noticable difference between them. And never use SSDs for permanent storage, always keep backups on external harddrives.

  • Thank you for the info MoritzLost (and for the edit Michael). This machine is being built for our "video guy" at work. This is my first experience with this type of software, and he is not a technical person, so it has become my job to build it. The machine is already built, and he's testing it now. I left the OS/Apps on the SSD, and setup the 2Tb drive for storage, 1Tb for media cache. If I need to, we're still at a point where I can change things around. – Jeff R Jan 18 '17 at 1:10
  • Forgot to mention, I may be able to talk the money people into more ssd drives if they will make a significant difference, to replace the larger spinning disks. – Jeff R Jan 18 '17 at 1:12
  • @JeffR I think putting the media cache on the SSD should yield a slight performance increase, but you'll have to experiment with it ... the 'optimal' setup also depends on how many projects you will work on simultaneously, how much video material you will have on average, the workflow of your video guy and so on. The largest projects (in terms of amount of video material) I ever worked on were 100~200GB in size, and the loading speed was reasonably fast both when I worked with a SATA-connected HDD and a USB3-connected external HDD. – MoritzLost Jan 18 '17 at 11:11
  • I would just let him work with your current setup for a while to see if it is sufficient, and if it isn't you can still go back and install an additional SSD – MoritzLost Jan 18 '17 at 11:11
  • Awesome, Thank you again for taking the time to help me. – Jeff R Jan 18 '17 at 15:38

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