[SOLVED] Optimal Storage Configuration for Video Editing

Nervly

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Sep 7, 2016
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Hey, everyone!

My job consists of mostly video editing and some motion graphics. I mainly use Premiere and After Effects for this end. I usually work with either 1080p60 or 2160p30 footage, and sporadically 4k at 120fps too.

My current setup is as follows:
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 3700x
- RAM: G.Skill Trident Z RGB 16GB (2x8GB) 3200Mhz CL14
- GPU: NVIDIA RTX 2080 Ti
- MOBO: Gigabyte X570 AORUS ELITE

- SSD #1: Samsung 850 EVO 500GB
- SSD #2: Samsung 970 EVO Plus NVMe M.2 1TB
- HDD: Western Digital Blue 1TB 7200RPM

- CPU Cooler: ADM Wraith Prism Stock Cooler
- Case: Kolink Observatory w/ Stock Case Fans

(including my case and cooling setup because this case has godawful temperatures at load and even too high for idle due to front tempered glass and likely terrible case fans, case is also constantly super loud even at idle, so am also accepting suggestions for a good balance between airflow and silence, having looked at cases such as Fractal Define R6, Fractal Torrent and Lian Li Lancool 215)

I'm about to completely format my computer for a fresh start and I'd like to organize and optimize my storage as best as possible for my current workload.
Up until now, I've been using my 970 Evo Plus to store pretty much everything - from project files, to scratch disk, to footage, etc. However, it is of my understanding that this is not good practice.
I find myself quickly running out of space on my 970 EVO Plus due to all the videos and projects that build up in my drive after I'm done with them. I've had issues before to where I needed to export something to ProRes so Premiere could handle it significantly more easily, but didn't have enough free space as those files become huge, sometimes up to 250GB.
I'm also never really sure if I should delete stuff after I'm done with the final export since I fear I might need 'em in the future. I've considered looking into getting a 4TB HDD to store all my finished projects, but I'm unsure if, for that end, I should get a 5400RPM (which are the more affordable ones at 99€) or go for exclusively 7200RPM which ups the price by 70€, and I also wanted to know if I can optimize what I currently have to a point where I don't actually need to acquire new storage. G-Drives and RAID stuff is all out of the question as I don't currently have the budget for it due to other responsibilities.

Upon formatting my computer, I was thinking of using the 850 EVO for OS and programs. Considered creating a smaller partition (maybe 128GB?) for the OS alone and keep the other partition for just software, mostly because I'd like to have it tidy and organized.
As for the rest, I'm at a complete loss. I'm not sure what I should store in the HDD and in the M.2, should the footage be all in the M.2? Should the Scratch Disks stay in the HDD or do they go in the M.2 as well? Should I delete the projects I'm done with or move them to the HDD? And should I move the footage I used in those projects from the M.2 to the HDD as well or do I just delete all of it? But then what if I need to revisit that footage in the future for whatever reason? I've tried searching around but nothing of what I find really clears up my mind on these questions.

Also, what do you think is the best practice when it comes to resources used such as audio files, images, etc.? As in, should I keep all music and graphics I use in one project within that project's folder, and then if I ever re-use them in a different project, duplicate them into that new project's folder, so everything is always together (which is good if I ever have to move stuff between drives or external disks)? Or is it better to have one single "global" folder for all assets and just have projects grab stuff from it? Though, in that situation, I'd more easily encounter MEDIA OFFLINE issues, but it also takes up a bit less storage.

I'd like to hear your advice and thoughts on these things, maybe even your own workflows within the subject.
All of what I know about video editing is self-taught and understanding storage hasn't been my forte when it comes to postproduction, so I apologize if this is a dumb question.

Also, as an extra question, which is not related to storage but thought I'd ask here as well:
I've been wanting to upgrade my hardware. Not sure if now or in the near future, but I've been eyeing the 5950x which is currently on a crazy sale at a local store, from 885€ down to 570€, until the end of May. I know I want to upgrade to 32GB of RAM and I'll likely be making that jump within the next week but am wondering if it's worth jumping to the 5950x as well. Mostly looking for better performance while skimming and watching the preview video in Premiere without it lagging too much, as currently even with 1/4 or 1/8 resolution and FX off it still gets frustratingly stuttery a lot of the times. Exporting my files to ProRes first usually helps significantly but I'll still have issues occasionally.

Thank you for your attention!
 

USAFRet

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Mar 16, 2013
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For the OS and applications...keep that in ONE drive and/or partition.
Makes no real sense to have the applications in their own partition on the same drive.

HDD, 5400 vs 7200 - Makes no real difference for long term storage of finished projects.

So...
850 EVO for OS and applications. Leave it as ONE partition.

970 EVO for your working files.

Off load to HDD when a project is finished.


One thing you've not apparently addressed is backups.
This is critical.
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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For the OS and applications...keep that in ONE drive and/or partition.
Makes no real sense to have the applications in their own partition on the same drive.

HDD, 5400 vs 7200 - Makes no real difference for long term storage of finished projects.

So...
850 EVO for OS and applications. Leave it as ONE partition.

970 EVO for your working files.

Off load to HDD when a project is finished.


One thing you've not apparently addressed is backups.
This is critical.
 

Nervly

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Sep 7, 2016
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For the OS and applications...keep that in ONE drive and/or partition.
Makes no real sense to have the applications in their own partition on the same drive.

HDD, 5400 vs 7200 - Makes no real difference for long term storage of finished projects.

So...
850 EVO for OS and applications. Leave it as ONE partition.

970 EVO for your working files.

Off load to HDD when a project is finished.


One thing you've not apparently addressed is backups.
This is critical.
Thank you so much!

So the Cache/Scratch Disk would be stored in the 970 EVO as well, correct?

Yup, you are right, I completely forgot about backups.
So these would logically be in a different drive in case the 970 EVO failed, I assume. Could I use the 1TB HDD for this purpose?
What I'm thinking is, since I'd be offloading the project to the HDD when finished, I could create a folder for it in the hard drive when I first start working on the video to store the backups and to offload the entire project once done.
Which also means the best option would be to keep all the files used in a project within the same folder instead of using a single global one. Does this sound correct?
 

USAFRet

Titan
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Mar 16, 2013
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For the cache/scratch location, yes, the 970. Until you can get some other small SSD for that.

Backups...the general concept is 3-2-1.
3 copies, on at least 2 different media, at least one offsite or otherwise inaccessible.

 

Lafong

Respectable
Which also means the best option would be to keep all the files used in a project within the same folder instead of using a single global one. Does this sound correct?
Your biggest drive is 1 TB.

For how long into the future will that be adequate?

Re folder structure:

If you were working on the Johnson project on an SSD and finished it there, I'd assume to back it up, you'd just move it to your backup drive.

The backup drive could have NO folder structure and all projects would just be alphabetical by file name within the root.....Albertson project followed by Baker project followed by Choctaw project.

Or subdivided by year of completion: 2022, 2021, 2020....

Or subdivided by A through D; E through H, etc.

Whatever appeals to your personal sense of organization if are the one in charge.
 

Nervly

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Sep 7, 2016
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Thank you so much to the both of you!

For the cache/scratch location, yes, the 970. Until you can get some other small SSD for that.
Someone suggested I get a separate faster SSD as well, preferably Gen4, for the scratch space.
I'm looking at a Gigabyte Aorus NVMe Gen4 500GB SSD M.2 at a seemingly really good price, 60€ down from 110€. I initially immediately thought it to be a good jump in performance, especially being Gen4, but looking at its specs versus the 970, it raised some questions:

- Gigabyte Aorus READ Speed: Up to 5000MB/s & 400.000 IOPS | WRITE Speed: Up to 2500MB/s & 550.000 IOPS
- Samsung 970 READ Speed: Up to 3500MB/s & 600.000 IOPS | WRITE Speed: Up to 3300MB/s & 550.000 IOPS


My questions are:

a. Does scratch space favor READ or WRITE speeds? Since Premiere is grabbing info from scratch files, I'm assuming READ? In which case the Gigabyte is better. Is this correct?

b. Other than Gigabyte's READ speed, the Samsung 970 Evo Plus seems to excel at everything else, although it isn't a Gen4 SSD. Are there any other factors at play I'm missing?

c. If this Gigabyte Gen4 SSD isn't a good choice, what specs would I want to look for in a Gen4 SSD to outperform the 970 for scratch space?


Thank you!
 

USAFRet

Titan
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For the scratch drive, in my personal use, I've not seen a difference between the various flavors of SSD.

SATA III, PCIe 3.0 or 4.0.
Especially between 3.0 and 4.0. The rest of the system...CPU and RAM...has MUCH more effect than 3.0 vs 4.0.

And yes, I've tried all 3 combinations.

What would have MUCH more effect is moving from 16GB to 32.
 

Nervly

Honorable
Sep 7, 2016
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For the scratch drive, in my personal use, I've not seen a difference between the various flavors of SSD.

SATA III, PCIe 3.0 or 4.0.
Especially between 3.0 and 4.0. The rest of the system...CPU and RAM...has MUCH more effect than 3.0 vs 4.0.

And yes, I've tried all 3 combinations.

What would have MUCH more effect is moving from 16GB to 32.
Thanks a ton for all the help, my brain can finally rest now lol
Very clear and informative answers, super appreciate it!
 

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