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Media Cache File Location?

Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Hey,

 

This is question applies to both Pr & Ae. 

In Edit > Preferences > Media & Disk Cache, you're given the option where you would like to store media cache files. For years I've been told to keep them in a seperate drive from your OS drive.

 

So I've always used my D drive which happens to be a 1TB SSD and is usually where I store my footage and project files. Now I'm noticing a disclaimer which states "For improved performance, choose a SSD seperate from your footage" 

 

So which one is it, OS SSD or D drive SSD? Thanks!

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Conrad C | Adobe Community Professional

My opinion (because it’s possible that someone needs to correct me) is that the faster and larger the storage, the less it matters.

 

The advice to store various components (system, project file, footage, cache files…) on different volumes was absolutely critical with hard drives because they were so slow. Having data move over separate parallel streams helped a lot.

 

SSDs make that less necessary but again, it depends on how fast they are. With SATA SSDs, limited to 500MB/sec or so, splitting files across multiple drives should still make a noticeable difference. With NVMe SSDs, which can be 1000–3000+MB/sec over a connection that can handle that, it should be less necessary because it’s more likely they can handle multiple large data streams simultaneously.

 

SSD size matters too. Larger SSDs tend to be faster because the controller has more lanes to the storage chips, resulting in parallel data flows, which is the benefit we get from multiple volumes.

 

So that’s the spectrum: Hard drives or SATA SSDs require splitting video projects and cache files across drives, but NVMe SSDs (especially high capacity) might not, depending on the typical complexity of your projects which is another variable.

 

If your D drive is a large fast NVMe SSD and you have no complaints so far, I think it’s OK to put everything on it. But if you do see lags like dropped frames it would be worth trying to split them across drives, with the media cache files on the faster SSD.

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Media Cache File Location?

Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Hey,

 

This is question applies to both Pr & Ae. 

In Edit > Preferences > Media & Disk Cache, you're given the option where you would like to store media cache files. For years I've been told to keep them in a seperate drive from your OS drive.

 

So I've always used my D drive which happens to be a 1TB SSD and is usually where I store my footage and project files. Now I'm noticing a disclaimer which states "For improved performance, choose a SSD seperate from your footage" 

 

So which one is it, OS SSD or D drive SSD? Thanks!

 

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by Conrad C | Adobe Community Professional

My opinion (because it’s possible that someone needs to correct me) is that the faster and larger the storage, the less it matters.

 

The advice to store various components (system, project file, footage, cache files…) on different volumes was absolutely critical with hard drives because they were so slow. Having data move over separate parallel streams helped a lot.

 

SSDs make that less necessary but again, it depends on how fast they are. With SATA SSDs, limited to 500MB/sec or so, splitting files across multiple drives should still make a noticeable difference. With NVMe SSDs, which can be 1000–3000+MB/sec over a connection that can handle that, it should be less necessary because it’s more likely they can handle multiple large data streams simultaneously.

 

SSD size matters too. Larger SSDs tend to be faster because the controller has more lanes to the storage chips, resulting in parallel data flows, which is the benefit we get from multiple volumes.

 

So that’s the spectrum: Hard drives or SATA SSDs require splitting video projects and cache files across drives, but NVMe SSDs (especially high capacity) might not, depending on the typical complexity of your projects which is another variable.

 

If your D drive is a large fast NVMe SSD and you have no complaints so far, I think it’s OK to put everything on it. But if you do see lags like dropped frames it would be worth trying to split them across drives, with the media cache files on the faster SSD.

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Editing, Hardware or GPU, How to, Performance, User interface or workspaces

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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My opinion (because it’s possible that someone needs to correct me) is that the faster and larger the storage, the less it matters.

 

The advice to store various components (system, project file, footage, cache files…) on different volumes was absolutely critical with hard drives because they were so slow. Having data move over separate parallel streams helped a lot.

 

SSDs make that less necessary but again, it depends on how fast they are. With SATA SSDs, limited to 500MB/sec or so, splitting files across multiple drives should still make a noticeable difference. With NVMe SSDs, which can be 1000–3000+MB/sec over a connection that can handle that, it should be less necessary because it’s more likely they can handle multiple large data streams simultaneously.

 

SSD size matters too. Larger SSDs tend to be faster because the controller has more lanes to the storage chips, resulting in parallel data flows, which is the benefit we get from multiple volumes.

 

So that’s the spectrum: Hard drives or SATA SSDs require splitting video projects and cache files across drives, but NVMe SSDs (especially high capacity) might not, depending on the typical complexity of your projects which is another variable.

 

If your D drive is a large fast NVMe SSD and you have no complaints so far, I think it’s OK to put everything on it. But if you do see lags like dropped frames it would be worth trying to split them across drives, with the media cache files on the faster SSD.

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Sep 22, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Thank you!

 

However,

My D drive is SATA, while my OS drive is NVMe however it's only 500GB.

Would I be better off relocating my Media Cache files to my OS drive? 

 

 

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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My Temp drive is only 256 GB (M.2), my OS/Apps drive is 500GB, but my Data drive is 4TB. All SSD. It pays off to invest in separate drives. I regularly empty out my Temp drive. Yes, it means I have to render out stuff again, but performance improvements are that significant.

 

I would advise against the use of your Apps/OS drive for Temp purposes. That is, if you must, you can, but if that drive fills up due to Temp drives being written to it, your whole system's performance may suffer. Instead, find out if you have another slot available for either a regular SSD or M.2 drive and invest in that.

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2020

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So to be clear, I shouldn't store cache files on my SSD D drive? I have 1TB of storage, why is it such a sin to store cache on the same drive as my footage? There's plenty of free space. 

 

I actually own an external Samsung 500 SSD drive, should I use that for cache files? And if so should I invest in a 3.1 USB transfer cable or is USB 2.0 fine for cache files? Thank you!

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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I never said that. Of course you can. As per Conrad_C's suggestion, if you have enough space (read: lanes) available, it will work just fine. However, you can benefit from extra performance improvements by dedicating a separate SSD drive to just temp files. The less traffic occurs in a single point in your system, the better your overall performance will be.

 

I would advise against the use of external drives (via whatever connection) for Temp storage. It's a recipe for disaster. Just find an available slot inside your machine.

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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I agree with the distinction that BrandedChannels made: You could store temp files on your OS drive, but only if you are sure there is so much space on it that the growing temp files will not overrun all free space, since they can grow a lot rather quickly with some projects.

 

Things got easier for me with Premiere Pro/After Effects when a 1TB SSD got freed up after I replaced it with an upgrade. Now I had an unused 1TB SSD. I completely erased it and assigned it as a dedicated cache drive for video apps and a scratch disk for Photoshop. Depending on the work, sometimes a surprising proportion of it will fill up, an amount I would not have wanted clogging up my system volume. It’s nice to be able to let those media cache files run free, instead of worrying about whether it’s time to purge some.

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Sorry, forgot to answer this part…

 

danielb81037208 wrote:

should I invest in a 3.1 USB transfer cable or is USB 2.0 fine for cache files

 

Media cache files are especially sensitive to speed. The nature of media cache files is to speed up playback responsiveness of complex timelines or compressed originals, so they have got to move as fast as…well, as fast as you can afford 🙂

 

I don’t think any of us would recommend USB 2.0 (0.48 gigabits/sec) for cache files. USB 3.2 Gen 1 (5 gigabits/sec, this was originally USB 3.0/3.1 Gen 1) is many times faster, and USB 3.2 Gen 2 (10 Gb/sec) is double that. I could not afford Thunderbolt 3 (40Gb/sec), so I specified a 10Gb/sec USB 3.2 Gen 2 enclosure and cable.

 

Another factor is that if you only use USB 2 or 5Gb/sec USB 3, you will bottleneck a good NVMe drive. SATA SSDs can run at full speed over 5Gb/sec, but for example if you have an NVMe drive that can go past 3000MB/sec, 5Gb/sec USB 3 will choke it at around 600MB/sec or 20% of its potential.

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2020

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I can't thank you guys enough!

 

I'm thinking about investing into a 970 EVO Plus. Is 250GB enough or should I got for 500/1TB?

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 22, 2020

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Also, would I see better peformance if I stored my project files & footage on my 1TB SATA SSD and used a 250GB NVMe for cache files. Or I invested in a 1-2TB NVMe and stored project files, footage AND cache files on that? 

 

Would love to get your opinion, as I'm still pretty new to all this. Thanks!

 

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 23, 2020

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The first option should work and be mildly less expensive than the second one. Which would also work. I found quite a nice performance uptake when going to the Nvme for cache files.

 

Neil

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Sep 23, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Sep 23, 2020

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This is the setup I'm going with (My motherboard only supports 2x NVMe slots) 

500GB NVMe: OS + Programs

1TB NVMe: Footage + Project files

1TB SATA: Cache files + Scratch

 

Is this fine? Or should I swap anything? Thank you.

 

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Sep 23, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 24, 2020

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You may need to swap data and cache drives. NVMe drives are typically faster than sata and you benefit more from faster access to cache/temp files than loading in data.

 

With the change towards BRAW and 4.6/6K footage, I added another 4TB sata SSD to my system. 1TB meant that I could not do more than 2 projects at the same time. However, I now have to deliberately empty my M.2 cache drive (250GB) more frequently. Perhaps will start to look for expansion in that area as well.

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Sep 24, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 24, 2020

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I second that…swap what you’ll put on the SATA and NVMe drives. Remember what I mentioned earlier that media cache files are especially speed sensitive; they should be on the NVMe. In contrast, a project file is small and not constantly written/read to, and original footage gets read in once and then (I think typically) cached. But media cache files are always and constantly read/written for previewing on demand.

 

Once you apply edits to footage (or if it’s automatically conformed by Premiere Pro), the original file is not what you want played back but the version you applied edits to, and that temporary rendering of edits in the media cache. So that is the drive that gets hit all the time as you work.

 

I am not sure if 500GB is enough, but it is big enough to try for a while to see if it’s enough based on the type of work that you do. The bigger the frame sizes, the more tracks/layers there are, and the more effects are applied, the bigger the media cache will be. Media cache files are kept between sessions so that your computer doesn’t have to waste time and CPU rebuilding them every day when you open the application again in the morning. That benefit is why the media cache can get large, and in turn why it should ideally be a drive that has a lot of free space. You can purge the media cache, but you only want to do that to get rid of old or corrupted cache files, since the point of them is to speed up your current work.

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Sep 24, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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I second most of what Conrad_C suggested here.

In my personal experience, I have chosen to separate out OS/Apps, Data and Temp on separate SSD drives. My Temp drive is even a hyperfast M.2 memory drive (akin to speeds of RAM). If you can afford, you may decide to invest in such a drive as well. It is well worth it.

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 22, 2020

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It's all a matter of speed ... internal SATA connections to standard SSD or spinners typically benefit from keeping multiple drives goin ... having a separate system drive, cache drive, project drive, media drive, export drive.

 

Some internal SSDs are fast enough for sustained work that in practice, you may get by running a couple parts on one drive. You would need to test on your machine.

 

Nvme drives, especially larger ones, are fast enough to typically handle several parts of the process. And if you've a 10GbE setup to a RAID, then ... you may well be able to have everything on that one volume.

 

It's about practical speed of data management in real-time operation on your machine.

 

Neil

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Sep 22, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 24, 2020

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Great info in this thread.  

as a side note to this discussion, I strongly recommend that you check to make sure there's sufficient empty space on all your drives.  I always heard that 10% was sufficient for everything but your system drive which should have at least 20% free space.  I have no idea where I heard that so take it for what it's worth.   But, cache files which are written automatically can quickly fill a drive up and, at least on a mac, I've seen drives get seriously corrupted when they were filled to the brim.   and as has been stated here many times, performance will drop off as your drive gets full...  

TechTool pro has a utility that will warn you when your drives reach a level that you choose.  I imagine there are other options out there, but manually checking your drives regularly will also work...  

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Sep 24, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 24, 2020

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I build my own, so what I did for my most recent build

 

Samsung 256Gig SSD Boot http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820147193
- 256Gig SSD Boot for Win10 64bit Pro and ALL program installs, about 80Gig is used

 

Crucial M550 512G input http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148792
- 512Gig SSD data for all input... video/sound files and pictures from camera

 

Crucial M550 256G temp http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148791
- 256Gig SSD data for temporary and video project files
- Create project here, work files follow, so my boot drive is not used for the media cache folders and files

 

Crucial M550 128G out http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16820148790
- 128Gig SSD data for all exported output video files

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Sep 24, 2020 0
New Here ,
Nov 13, 2020

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Hi. How fast does this work? Do you edit 4k, and what's the typical length of your videos?

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Nov 13, 2020 0