[SOLVED] Upgrading my PC's storage system for video editing

Chziime

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Hi,

I am a freelance corporate videographer trying to be efficient with storage for my projects. I primarily work on Adobe Premiere, I have an Asus Crosshair VII Hero board, and my internal storage situation is as follows:

Main drive (Samsung 860 EVO 1TB):
-System files
-All programs
-Sync file storage (Sync is the name of the program, similar to Dropbox)
-Some games

Active project drive (Samsung 970 EVO 1TB):

Media Cache drive (older SSD, 250GB):

-Media render and cache files

General Storage drive (WD Red 6TB NAS Hard Drive):
-Music, movies, photos, some general projects. Nothing really work-related, but it's internal and always running when the PC is on.

Now, externally, I have an OWC Mercury Elite Pro Quad enclosure hooked up to my PC via USB-C (USB 3.1 Gen2). It contains two harddrives (WD Black 6TB and Seagate Barracuda 4TB), each containing inactive footage from each of my two major clients.

All of these (besides Media Cache drive) is backed up to the cloud with BackBlaze.

I try to keep the OWC unplugged from the PC as often as possible, only plugging it in when I need to access older footage. Of course, this is not as fast as working off of the internal Samsung NVMe drive.

Now, do you see any ways I can optimize this set-up? Ideally I would get one of the external NAS enclosures that has Thunderbolt 3, but I don't use Mac, so my fastest input on the CVII Hero is the USB 3.1 Gen2. I'd also like to use RAID 0 on the external drive at some point.

One thing I wonder is if I should I upgrade the two externals to new drives, perhaps the WD Reds, that can last longer? I am asking this partially because the two external drives are finally filling up, so I'll need to either buy 2 new drives, or upgrade and get 4 new drives altogether.

Sorry if this post is a little disjointed. I appreciate any advice you might have, thank you!!!
 

Darkbreeze

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I like the Seagate Ironwolf drives. They work well in an NAS and they are prosumer/enterprise quality drives without the very high cost of some enterprise drives. These are high quality, high performance, long endurance drives.

PCPartPicker Part List

Storage: Seagate IronWolf NAS 6 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $134.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-29 19:12 EDT-0400
 

Darkbreeze

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Forget about RAID. It's a waste of time and money, and it's not going to offer you an increase in performance for real world usage, at least if you move to faster storage.

Thunderbolt 3 for external storage is pointless, because there are really no storage devices that can utilize 10Gbps speeds externally from 3.1 Gen2 much less TB3, unless you're looking at NVME external drives and even then USB 3.1 Gen 2 would be sufficient. But there are no such drives in the capacity you need so that's not really an option.

My advice would be to simply use an external enclosure or drive that is USB 3.1 Gen2 compatible along with SSDs although if you actually NEED 10TB of storage space externally, that is going to get VERY expensive.

Better might be to consider simply using hybrid SSHDs that use flash cache to speed up operations but then you're probably not going to exceed normal USB 3.1 speeds anyhow.

I think the REAL question is how much you are willing to invest into the external storage solution? Is it THAT important that the external storage be fast, and does it NEED to also be portable, or does an NAS for use only at your studio along with traditional spinning drives make more sense because it is primarily a backup medium?
 

Chziime

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You're right... since it will be 80% storage, the rest re-accessing old projects (or even just parts of them), I might just buy two more traditional HDDs. Even SSHDs seem to be too expensive for my needs.

Do you have suggestions for a ~6TB drive that would last a long time? Do the WD Reds, like the one I have internally, work well in a NAS?

Another question, should I turn off the NAS when not in use? The disks still seem to spin at times when it's powered on, even when not plugged into my PC.

Thank you!!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
I like the Seagate Ironwolf drives. They work well in an NAS and they are prosumer/enterprise quality drives without the very high cost of some enterprise drives. These are high quality, high performance, long endurance drives.

PCPartPicker Part List

Storage: Seagate IronWolf NAS 6 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $134.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-29 19:12 EDT-0400
 

Chziime

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I like the Seagate Ironwolf drives. They work well in an NAS and they are prosumer/enterprise quality drives without the very high cost of some enterprise drives. These are high quality, high performance, long endurance drives.

PCPartPicker Part List

Storage: Seagate IronWolf NAS 6 TB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive ($134.99 @ Amazon)
Total: $134.99
Prices include shipping, taxes, and discounts when available
Generated by PCPartPicker 2019-10-29 19:12 EDT-0400
Thank you, I'll check out their prices on Black Friday. Disregarding any special prices, do you recommend the Ironwolf OR Ironwolf Pro for my needs?

A reminder, I don't have a NAS... just an OWC brand USB-C external enclosure. I work out of my apartment and have no need for networking capabilities.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
Moderator
Ok, so I thought you DID have an NAS, since you said "Should I turn off the NAS when not in use". My bad I guess.

So you DON'T have an NAS then? It would still work, but NAS drives are typically "always ready" due to their use in environments where lag from needing to spin up from a low power state is not helpful or desirable. So they will work, but unless you are using it a LOT, with very frequent access, and if you can live with that since you don't keep it plugged in except when you need to use it then it would be fine, if not then it is probably not the right kind of drive for you, as you mentioned about your WD Red internal drive. Same scenario. If the power is on, it is running.

It's probably still the best scenario, because at that size of drive, you are either looking at buying two separate external HDDs that will likely be much slower 5400rpm drives inside, or some kind of enterprise drive anyhow. The WD 6TB Black drives, if you can find them, are a good choice too if you need something that can remain plugged in and not be running all the damn time. Maybe even for INSIDE your PC, rather than that WD Red, and use the WD Red in the enclosure externally.

The WD Black 6TB is a pretty good choice with 7200rpm and a 256MB cache. Believe it or not, those large cache sizes on the spinning drives makes a big difference over drives with only 64 or 128mb cache. Not SSD type big difference, or even hybrid difference, but definitely better than the small cache budget drives.
 

Chziime

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Thank you, and sorry I didn't make that clear from the start. I guess I didn't know exactly what a NAS was.

Okay, I understand, thanks again for the information. So, it seems the Seagate Ironwolf doesn't seem to cost that much more than the WD Black? I might as well go for the Ironwolf, especially since I often keep my PC and external enclosure on near constantly, yeah?

10TB drives at 7200rpm and a 256MB cache in my external enclosure sound just what I need (I shoot 4K video, often on 2 cameras, so 10TB drives could very well fill up less than 2 years), but I figure I might as well spend a little extra for the most durable and long-lasting drives there are.
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
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Well, I'm definitely NOT saying those are the "most durable and long lasting drives there are", but they are certainly more durable and have better longevity than your average consumer drives would bring to the table. Drives that are the absolute best, will cost like three times the amount of those drives, and it's just not worth it. The best option, is to never have ANY of your data in only one location. So long as you have ALL important data backed up to more than one location at any given time then it really doesn't make that much difference, beyond not just buying purely junk devices, how great they are because they can be cheaply replaced. Even drives that cost 500 or 1000 dollars can fail. All drives can and WILL fail. Sometimes that is a question of build quality but often it is merely a matter of luck, usage, minimizing vibration and handling (Because jarring, impacts and even sustained minimal vibrations can affect drive longevity) or even electrical considerations such as poor power grid, brownouts, surges from strikes locally or inrush after power is restored following a loss, many things.

But I do think the Ironwolf drives are a very good happy place between not ridiculously expensive and not thoughtlessly cheap.
 

Chziime

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Right - and I use Backblaze to automatically backup all of my files from the drives I have listed, including the external enclosure drives. Having 1 local copy and 1 cloud copy seems right for me - I don't have situations where I can't afford a day of downtown, and multiple local backup drives would be very convoluted.

I'll check out Ironwolf deals on Black Friday. Thank you!
 

Darkbreeze

Titan
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I always recommend, usually anyhow, just for the sake of that "God, didn't see that coming" potential one in a million bad day, that twice a year you maybe create hard copy backups on optical media like 25-50GB Blu ray discs. Overkill? Maybe.

But, if for example the cloud backup, which of course is just somebody ELSE'S computer, happens to lose data and you lose data, in the same week, it could result in complete loss of data. Having optical disk backups means that at least you only lose back to the last time you created a backup, rather than everything altogether. Potentially, even a second external HDD whether it seems convoluted or not, in lieu of optical disks, isn't a particularly bad idea. That can simply be brought up to date every month or two, just to be safe.

I've actually seen several people on here that lost their drives AND then found that the cloud data was either missing or corrupted, or that the service was closed down when they needed to get access to it. None of which makes for a particularly good week. If you have the data ON your computer, PLUS a local backup, PLUS a cloud backup, then that is probably sufficient though.
 

Chziime

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What's a good, affordable drive that's like on which I can create local backups? To hook up to the PC only when backing up, then storing elsewhere at home? I imagine an internal HDD would be safer and more space/cost efficient vs an external HDD.

Right now I have about 11TB of data and growing I'd need backed up...
 

USAFRet

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What's a good, affordable drive that's like on which I can create local backups? To hook up to the PC only when backing up, then storing elsewhere at home? I imagine an internal HDD would be safer and more space/cost efficient vs an external HDD.

Right now I have about 11TB of data and growing I'd need backed up...
I recently bought this 8TB external, $140.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07CQJBSQL

An internal drive is 'safer' in that it can't fall off the desk.
And external is 'safer' in that you can physically disconnect it easily.
 

Darkbreeze

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I currently have about 38TB of storage, maybe 35% of which is redundant upon itself, plus online and optical disk backups. Mostly movies, music, karaoke files and program installation files. Only about 4TB of that is backed up settings, Windows images and personal saved files. I was sure glad I won that Seagate 16TB plus NAS box giveaway. Now if I could just get them to send me the NAS box I'd really be in business.
 

Chziime

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I've decided to get a couple Ironwolf Pros, because for just a few dollars more, I can get a 5-year warranty and slightly sturdier parts.

Are the 12 and 14 TB ones as stable as the smaller ones? Disregarding "putting your eggs in one basket."

For Black Friday, I can get a 14TB from BH for $440. I can also get a 12TB non-Pro for $310. Is the Pro worth it in the long run? I'd think so, as price isn't a priority in this scenario.
 

Darkbreeze

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As with many things the answer is a definite "maybe". LOL.

This page outlines the main differences between the Ironwolf and Ironwolf Pro drives, with the biggest different possibly being support for larger NAS enclosures. So it might not be worth it for you, if one is less expensive than the other. The longer warranty, is always worth it.

 

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