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Thread: Scratch

  1. #1

    Default Scratch


    I'm just entering the realm of video and in the process of adding additional storage to support that. Current system consists of Mac Pro 2.8GHz (8 core) 8GB memory NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT video card.

    For storage I have four internal WD Caviar 640GB disks - configuration as follows:

    Disk 1 - Partition 1 (100GB): Mac OS and resident apps
    Disk 1 - Partition 2 (500GB): Backup for LOCAL

    Disk 2 - Partition 1 (500GB): User data and apps including VMware machines
    Disk 2 - Partition 2 (100GB): Backup for Mac OS (bootable)

    Disk 3 and 4 I am planning a partitioned RAID 0

    Partition 1: Striped RAID 0 for scratch disk
    Partition 2: Striped RAID 0 for project files

    My question is - How big should I make the scratch disk?

    Current thought is 150GB partition - which effectively gives me 300GB scratch disk in RAID.
    That least 900GB available for project data - which can backup nicely to 1TB external drive.

    Is this too much? Too little? What is the rule of thumb for video scratch? In photoshop it is min. 5x image size - easy enough to figure out once I know what my largest image size is likely to be.

    And yes - there is good backup strategy to compensate for RAID 0 risk. I opted for performance over safety in this regard. All disks backup to internal or external drives hourly, daily and weekly depending on the data.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    tbh pixie with that much power available and storage avaialbel you just cant go wrong. MOst of us on here would give our eye teeth for that rig, heck I would give a kidney ! (and run xp, lol)

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    What type of video work do you intend to do with all that kit?

  4. #4


    Undetermined at this point - video is new medium for me so there will be much exploration. It didn't really play a part in the purchasing decision. It's more like... well... now that I've got this box... I've always wanted to do... <blank>.

    The main purchasing driver was work. Sometimes I need to work with multiple VM's running simultaneously and they can be real resource hogs. Ultimately I just wanted to spend more time at home than in the office. This hardware helps me do that.

    My justification... my last PC was purchased in 1996 - I ran it for a remarkable 12 years with not a single hardware failure. But running newer Photoshop on a Pentium II 450 with 256MB RAM was truly unbearable - I could go for coffee and it still be rendering when I got back. Heck, launching a browser took forever.

    So - it was time and as far as I was concerned I'd paid my dues. This time around I wanted something that could think faster than me and that I would be happy with for a few years. I had also run out of patience dealing with Microsoft bugs/features and decided to take the plunge and buy a Mac. Quite frankly, I think it was the best decision I could've made - I am so happy with this machine - it's not perfect, but in comparison it's pretty good. I only wish I had one at work.

    In any case, back to the scratch disk. Since I had lots of disks and disk space to work with I ended up implementing the configuration I outlined above. So far, it seems to be working very well. The Raid 0 really made a difference with the VM's too and the redundancy in my backups helps me sleep better at night.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Western Europe


    Well you've certainly prepared for all eventualities but some reading your setup might consider it a bit of an overkill because you haven't got a clear idea in your mind as to what you want to do with all that hardware. You'd be surprised at how little you need to work with standard def video these days, for playing back on an ordinary tv (burning to dvd) or uploading to the likes of YouTube. High def video does require more resources, is this a route you intend to go down?
    Last edited by Nikosony; 06-28-2008 at 12:37 PM.

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