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HDDs or SSDs for Feature Film Project

Community Beginner ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Hello,

 

I will soon start editing a feature film, which I haven’t done for years, and need to invest in a new system and storage.

 

I am planning to edit R3D RAW files natively, ideally at 1/1 (but 1/2 absolutely fine,  down to 1/4 possibly being acceptable). 4K footage, perhaps some 5K (shooting with RED DRAGON DSMC2 and possibly GEMINI DMSC2, with some high speed footage (60fps). (I’m open to editing with proxies if there are good reasons to do it, but I prefer working with the actual footage and am used to this method).

 

I am wondering what sort of drives would be best for this, bearing in mind it will be a large project (25TB of footage at a very rough estimate) with a small budget, and if I should be thinking about RAID.

 

Any thoughts greatly appreciated

 

Many thanks

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Community Expert ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Definitely not HDDs.

Use only SSDs.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Moved to the Video Hardware forum.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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SSD all the way. HDD is way too slow for anything above 320x240 (aka 240p) resolution these days due to the way NLEs work (they decompress and decompress video for editing). Very different from just playing back a video.

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Contributor ,
Jul 12, 2023 Jul 12, 2023

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Decompression has nothing to do with the disc drives, it's a job for the graphics card mainly.

I work with thunderbolt raids configured as raid5, Pegasus32 R6, for the large files. The throughput in real work is something like up to 250 mb/s maximum, the raid's benchmark is about 750 mb/s linear read. You might reach that limit with several parallel streams in multicam for example, i never did yet but never had more than 9 cameras like some Sonys and some Gopros for example.

Remember: compressed is not a problem for the drives, but for the graphics card which has to deliver 8 million unpacked pixels 50 times per second or so.That is why ProRes or DNxHR are easier to handle than highly compressed GoPro files for the system often times although they take much more disc space.

For small files like cache, peak and so i use 2 nvme drives 2 tb each.

And keep in mind that you have to store the files twice for security reasons no matter what raid configuration you use.

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LEGEND ,
Jul 13, 2023 Jul 13, 2023

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Your assumption is a bit outdated. High-rez video work is far more intense on sdtorage bandwidth requirements than 320 x 240 video ever was. And sometimes, if your GPU does not have enough VRAM, then the storage will get slammed mercilessly with read and write requests.

 

My suggestion is just in case your GPU has a low amount of VRAM to handle the job. You see, high-rez video work with even a few GPU-accelerated effects will be murder on GPUs that have lesser amounts of VRAM.

 

If you can tell the community which GPU and how much VRAM is on the card, then that will narrow your choices down considerably.

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Contributor ,
Jul 13, 2023 Jul 13, 2023

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It'
s not an assumption. It's a setup that works for me with several streams of 4k video.

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Community Expert ,
Jul 15, 2023 Jul 15, 2023

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While crafting the story working at 1/4 Playback Resolution or 1/8 Playback Resolution is fine.  It's the rough cut phase or "offline" phase of your project..    It's when you're at your fine cut (or "online" phanes) that 1/1 becomes important.

Have you had a chance to review FrameIO's Complete Guide to RED Workflows: Premiere, FCP X and Resolve?

With a small budget, I would consider working with a mix of high capacity standard hard drives to store camera orignals (even though they may not play smoothly) along with the corresponding proxy files (which should play fine from standard drives) with SSD storage for when you get to the fine cut.    

 

 

 

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New Here ,
Jul 16, 2023 Jul 16, 2023

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The best drives for editing a feature film will depend on your specific needs and budget. If you need the fastest possible performance, then SSDs are the way to go. However, if you're on a tight budget, then HDDs may be a better option. If you're working on a critical project, then RAID may be a good option for you.

If you're on a tight budget, then you could consider using a combination of SSDs and HDDs. For example, you could use an SSD for your working files and an HDD for your archive files.

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