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Windows 7: RAID 0 vs SSD cached HDD for video editing

08 Oct 2012   #1

Win 7 Professional x64 - SevenForums optimised !
RAID 0 vs SSD cached HDD for video editing

Hello World, this is my first post to the forum as a recent Win 7 convert.

I have recently built a video editing PC and I am in the process of re-jigging the storage to suit the video editing task.

My plan is:
1 x SSD for the OS & apps.
1 x SSD for my 'small' data i.e. docs & every day stuff
2 x 1TB HDD in RAID 0, backed up via weekly schedule to an Internal SATA III 2TB drive.
The SSDs get backed up nightly to a 1TB USB2.0 external drive.

The goal there is separate read/write paths for the OS, routine apps & video apps.

Most of my video clips tend to be 4GB+

Question 1: performance wise, how well does a SSD cached single HDD, compare with a RAID 0 2 HDD setup? I am less concerned with reliability since my backup arrangements provide a low fuss recovery plan in the event of a RAID corruption.

For what it is worth I have 4 6Gb/sec SATA ports & 4 3Gb/sec SATA ports available with SSD caching available for one pair of 6Gb ports.

Question 2: Has anyone else run Win 7 x64 on a 64GB SSD ? My OS, page file & Apps = 44GB so I am contemplating putting that on my 64GB SSD and the small data on the 128GB SSD - I have about 100GB of 'small' data. I don't anticipate a lot of new applications being installed.

PS - Thanks to the forum key players for the great tutorials, I found those very helpful in eliminating unecessary services & start ups over the past few days.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
10 Oct 2012   #2

Win 7 Professional x64 - SevenForums optimised !


As there wasn't much response here I looked further afield in some video editing sites and the expert opinion for the video application is pretty much in favour of the RAID approach to video storage.

That being said I have ordered 2x1TB Western Digital Caviar Blacks (7200RPM/SATA III/64MB) for the RAID pair in RAID 0. Hopefully the extra price premium for the 5yr warranty on the Caviar Blacks will reduce the number of RAID failure issues. In any case they will be backed up to a non RAID 2TB Seagate internal drive.

I have transferred the OS & apps to my 64GB SSD, it is 50% full.
My non video files / general data now occupies about 90GB of the 128GB SSD.
These two drives backup to an external 1TB USB 2 drive.

This arrangement seems to work pretty well with independent read/write pipes for OS activity, application data and video data. I haven't installed the RAID pair yet but I look forward to seeing how well that handles video data transfer.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
12 Oct 2012   #3

Win 7 Professional x64 - SevenForums optimised !

I went ahead and installed the RAID 0 array to my system. That wasn't exactly straight forwards but it is do-able as I documented here.

Hardware RAID installation after Windows 7 OS install

Now that's done I thought I should post some benchmarks for the different disks running in my system. It turns out there are differences worth considering. the 128GB SSDs are considerably faster at writes than the 64GB drives. The Seagate Barracuda is faster than the Caviar Blacks in Stand alone AHCI mode. The Caviar Blacks in RAID 0 are 40% faster than the Seagate Barracuda in AHCI for video writes.

If I were doing it again with this knowledge in hand I would have bought 2x128GB SSDs rather than 1x64 and 1x128. I would consider a pair of Seagate drives for the RAID only concern with that option is that the Seagate drives are only a 1yr warranty vs the 5yr WD Caviar Blacks.

Based on the results I'd also say that using a 128GB SSD dedicated to being a video file temporary workspace would be even better than the RAID setup. Ie Edit the video files to & from the SSD and copy the source & edited files to the higher capacity storage disk when done.

This is the Samsung 830 64GB SSD (Win 7 OS Disk) C:

This is the Samsung 830 128GB SSD (Main data disk) D:

This is a WD 1TB Caviar Black disk pre RAID R:-932GB

This is the pair of WD Caviar Black disks in RAID 0 R:-1770GB

This is the Seagate Barracuda 2TB in AHCI. E:

Attached Images
RAID 0  vs SSD cached HDD for video editing-ssd64diskmark.jpg RAID 0  vs SSD cached HDD for video editing-ssd128diskmark.jpg RAID 0  vs SSD cached HDD for video editing-caviar_discmark.jpg RAID 0  vs SSD cached HDD for video editing-raid_diskmark.jpg RAID 0  vs SSD cached HDD for video editing-seagateonsata6intel_diskmark.jpg 
My System SpecsSystem Spec

12 Oct 2012   #4

MS Windows 7 Professional 64-bit SP1

How big is the SSD? It would have been better to do a cache rather than raid, in my opinion.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 RAID 0 vs SSD cached HDD for video editing

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