New system - any suggestions for new video drives?

Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
edited October 2015 in Everything Else

I'm in the process of finalizing parts for a new computer build to hold me over for the next few years.

I've settled on an ASUS H97-PRO GAMER LGA 1150 Intel H97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s mobo, an i7 processor and an ASUS GeForce GTX 980 Ti GTX980TI-6GD5 6GB graphics card.

The hard part seems to be settling on internal drives.  I have an SSD in mind for the OS but the video drives are really the question.

Anybody have suggestions for video drives?



  • The latest from Backblaze Hard Drive Reliability Stats for Q2 2015

    HGST is the most reliable brand followed closely by Western Digital. WD would probably be cheaper than HGST.

    If money is no object wait for these to hit the market

    Samsung’s 16TB SSD is the world’s largest hard drive


  • @Aladdin4d ; Thanks for the link!  Good info.  In my previous research, It sounded like HGST was the way to go .

    Wow.  16 TB SSD was science fiction only a short time ago!

  • Hold off for a month. The next-gen Intel processors ship September 25. There's a good chance that processor prices on the 2014/2015 CPUs will drop a hundred bucks in October. I'm also putting a new rig together, but I'm holding till mid-October myself.

    For video drives... Man, I have this question myself. If you're working mostly 720/1080 you probably could get away with a platter or two. Could you RAID together two 7200RPM hard drives? Some of this is financial--in my case, just my stock library for reused elements, still, music, SFX, etc is over 600GB. Well, I can  get 1 TB of SSD for about $350, or I could get 4 TB of RAID hard drive storage for $150. Obviously the SSD is going to be faster, but I'll probably go with some platters because I need a lot of storage space. And, of course, I can swap the HDD for SSD later as prices come down.

    For myself, I'm thinking of four drives total: OS/Cache Drive as a 256GB SSD (Yes, things like Hitfilm Proxy Caches will share a drive with the OS. Leave me alone! Programs drive as a 256GB SSD. But my library drive is going to be a 2TB hard drive. I'm debating on if I want my render drive to be another 256GB SSD or another 2TB hard drive. I'd LIKE all SSD, but, if library and render drives are platters, then I save over $500 on the build.

    Now, for me, simple mutilcam/mostly video edits where I'm just cutting footage with some color correction already renders out pretty fast to the existing hard drives. Heavy CG/animation work takes so long to render that I don't think I'll run into too many issues with drive bottlenecks... Then again, once I get off 2011 hardware things may speed up so much that I DO get a drive bottleneck.

    Either way, part of my reasoning is also that I can get external drive enclosures for $20. So I'll do the platters and, as SSD's come down, i can swap out the HDD in the computer for and SSD, then put the old HDD in an enclosure box and turn it into an external backup/archive drive.

    Side note: Watched "Day of the Dove" last night. Still a few problems with that script, and the ending is a little too abrupt, but Kang is still my favorite of the ToS Klingons. I know they originally wanted to bring back John Colicos as Kor for that story, but Colicos's Kor is kind of smarmy for a Klingon and Colicos doesn't LOOK like he could stand up against Kirk in a swordfight. And William Campbell's Koloth... yeah, he doesn't quite hit the level of menace of the other two. Ansara was fantastic in that role. As an amusing note, watchinglast night I noticed in one of the fight scenes a redshirt knocking a Klingon into a wall, and the Klingon leaves a big smudge of his makeup against it. Oops!

  • @Triem23 Instead of a drive enclosure I would budget for one of these (and make sure I had USB 3.1 to really use it!)

    I have something similar already except it's eSata and if you're wondering why it's because each client gets one year of complete project storage for 30 bucks. I never pay more than 20 bucks a piece for the drives that are large enough to archive everything as intermediates and I never have to worry about running out of storage.

  • How are you storing and labelling the raw drives? 

  • @Aladin4d talk about global injustive on tech prices that same unit on Amazon UK is twice the price.

    Groan :(

  • @Triem23 Good catch on the makeup smear on the wall.  I'll have to watch that episode again.

    Good info guys.   I have another question.  If the mobo can do 6 Gbs but most drives available are 3 Gbs, wouldn't I want to find 6 Gbs drives?  Or would the combined throughput of an array of 3 Gbs drives be able to utilize the 6 Gbs on the mobo?

    And there is this:


  • @Triem23 - "How are you storing and labelling the raw drives? "

    Toss 'em in a shoe box under the bed :)

    Seriously though I actually bought one of each of these:

    They include anti static bags, foam and desiccant packs but I haven't bought anymore because when I order drives in bulk the shipping packaging has been basically the same so I just reuse that. For active projects where I might have to swap drives I'm using a cheap drawer toolbox that I lined with anti-static foam left over from motherboard packaging. I also have some hard cases I picked up pretty cheap somewhere along the line for handing a raw drive over to somebody else.

    For labeling I just use address labels, one on the drive itself and one on the outside of the bag so it's easy to read. I already had a label printer and I can get the label rolls pretty cheap on Amazon or Ebay. The only thing you have to be careful of is not covering any breathing holes on the drive.

    I'm using a Filemaker database to track everything but that's just because I already had it. I'm sure there's all kinds of cheap or free solutions to do the same thing.

    I've actually gotten some work over other guys a couple of times because I was able to say I store projects in a ready to go state instead an archived state and it's really paid off for me when a client wants a change 9 or 10 months later.

    @Andy001z  That's crazy! Have you tried finding a better deal with Google shopping yet or looking for something similar? I posted that unit because if I was going to buy one today I'd make sure it was USB 3.1 but I'd hope you could find something comparable for a lot less than double what it costs in the US!




  • @Stargazer54 Ideally you want SATA III 6 Gbs drives because SATA III controllers are better at optimizing the order read and write operations are done in (native command queueing) giving you better speeds but if you're having a hard time finding SATA III drives in your budget going with SATA II drives isn't a total deal breaker with mechanical drives. The transfer rates of the fastest mechanical drives which are very expensive enterprise drives are still below the max limits of SATA II 3Gbps

  • edited September 2015

    That motherboard can use the New M.2 hard drives. I would use that for the Boot drive & they go to 512Gig. Since M.2 is supposed to be 4x faster than regular SSD's. For a Video drive, I have been buying 480Gig SSd's new in box on Ebay for under $140.oo all year

  • @MarkGreenStar Good call.  I was just discussing  M.2 with a co-worker.  That is certainly an option for the OS.   The spec on the board says the M.2 socket runs at "up to" 10 Gbps.   That's just crazy!

    Maybe it really is time to go all SSD for everything.

  • After further review I think I'll hold off on the M.2 SSD and go with standard SSD and lower priced hard drives for the moment.  I've already pulled the trigger on the Asus GeForce GTX 980 Ti and ordered from B&H because it was out of stock on NewEgg.

    Also the original mobo was out of stock, as well, prompting me to move ahead and get stuff ordered.  (I know if I wait, maybe prices will come down on the cpu, but its time to get this done.)

    So here's the rest of the build.  Still not sure about the case but I have no interest in a case with a see-through side and flashing lights for what I need to do.  Will wind up with an i7, 32GB ram, GeForce GTX 980, 500 GB SSD for the OS, 2) 2TB drives for video data,  and 1050 W Pwr Suppy.  Planning on sticking with Win 7 for now.

    1    NZXT Source 210 Elite Black Steel with painted interior ATX Mid Tower Computer Case w/ Black Front Trim
    1    ASUS Z97-E LGA 1150 Intel Z97 HDMI SATA 6Gb/s USB 3.0 ATX Intel Motherboard
    1    EVGA 220-GS-1050-V1 80 PLUS GOLD 1050 W 7 yr Warranty ECO Mode Fully Modular NVIDIA SLI Ready and Crossfire Support Super Silent continuous Power Supply
    1    Intel Core i7-4790K Devil’s Canyon Quad-Core 4.0 GHz LGA 1150 BX80646I74790K Desktop Processor Intel HD Graphics 4600
    1    SAMSUNG 850 EVO 2.5" 500GB SATA III 3-D Vertical Internal Solid State Drive (SSD) MZ-75E500B/AM
    2    G.SKILL Ripjaws X Series 16GB (2 x 8GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model F3-1600C9D-16GXM
    1    ASUS DRW-24B1ST/BLK/B/AS Black SATA 24X DVD Burner - Bulk - OEM
    1    Cooler Master Sleeve Bearing 120mm Blue LED Silent Fan for Computer Cases, CPU Coolers, and Radiators (Value 2-Pack)
    1    DEEPCOOL GAMMAXX 400 CPU Cooler 4 Heatpipes 120mm PWM Fan with Blue LED  (still thinking on the cooler)
    2    HGST Deskstar 7K4000 HDS724020ALE640 2TB 64MB Cache 7200RPM SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Desktop Hard Drive -OEM w/1 Year Warranty

    Less the $660 for the graphics card the rest comes in at $1333 which brings it all in for under $2K.   Looking at pulling the trigger on the above tomorrow.

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited September 2015

    Parts are on the way (wound up getting a different case and better CPU cooler) but the next question is the OS.

    Because I fear change, I was planning on installing Win 7 because I know it works and I can find drivers.   Support ends for it in 2020 so that gives me 5 years.

    Besides HF, the other software I plan to run is Lightwave 2015, SpeedEdit, Audacity, PaintShop Pro, and the free version of Resolve.   In fact Resolve will barely run on my laptop, so I'm looking forward to seeing how it does on the new system.

    But should I be considering going to Win 10?  I'm just worried I'll be spending a lot of time looking for drivers and having unexpected system problems.

  • If your building a brand new system, why not do both. I believe there are boot loaders that allow you to choose to run/select the desired boot system. So you could boot Win7 with all your tools that are stable but also have a Win10 for trying out new stuff. Have all your data on a seperate partition again and you should be able to access this from both systems. Not done this myself but there are plenty of guides on the internet. Of course it means having to own both O/S but your new machine might come with Win10?

  • The thing is, Windows 10 barely needs any drivers for the fundamentals. I've done the installation process of Win10 multiple times on different machines now, and each time the only drivers I had to install really was for the gpu - everything else just works out of the box in most cases. The programs you mentioned should all work fine on Win10, I see no problem there.

    What @Andy001z says is right, you can easily try out both side by side if you've got licenses for both systems. If you don't, you could instead install windows 7, use the free upgrade to get win10 running and try it out - if you don't like it or it doesn't work for you, you can always roll back until a month after you've done the upgrade.

  • Good thoughts there.  Hadn't thought about a dual boot. 

    I will probably start with 7 to begin with, since I already have the license.   Can always rebuild or dual boot later.

    I appreciate the comments.  Thanks!

  • edited October 2015

     I too have downloaded W10 on both my computers- desktop & laptop. The only drivers I had to update were for the motherboard, CPU and GPU on the desktop and GPU on the laptop. All the individual programs ran just as they always have. With W7 you should get the free upgrade to W10 so if you do both you're covered either way. The only two issues I have with W10 is the sleep/hibernate modes aren't working properly and the numbers lock is hit or miss whether it turns on or not (even though the numbers lock is set to on in the MB bios). Microsoft has indicated, in their forums, that these two issues will be resolved in a future update.....doesn't specify when, naturally. The numbers lock has issues with the new login with a pin #, which I like, but I also use the numbers pad a lot so I'm willing to wait for a fix for the time being.

    Congrats on the new build!!! I'm picking up an excited new build vicarious vibe. I finally got the last few things I was looking to put into my new build. Since the 4TB HDD crashed (still under warranty- whew) and had to be replaced I thought I'd take the opportunity to install 2 new DVD SATA drives/writers, three anti-dust fan filters (washable!) and 16 more GB of RAM- capping out at a total of 32 GB RAM now! Yay! The only thing left is a second monitor (27"?) and hope to get that before the end of the month.

    And just what is wrong with a see through side and pretty blue lighted fans? lol Okay- an extravagance, I'll admit but going with the less expensive fans came with the blue lights and the case was the least expensive and just happened to have a see through side. It was like kismet! Got a lit mouse and keyboard too but those were free with all the ebay bucks I accumulated buying parts on a day that offered 4x the ebay bucks. Let us know how everything goes!

  • @StormyKnight ; Thanks for the insights.   I followed along with you as you built your new system, as well.   That helped me a lot when trying to decide what to do with mine.

    Yeah, I'm getting pretty excited.  About half the parts are here. I keep checking UPS tracking to see where the rest of it is.  Hopefully, all here by Saturday.  (cough, cough, hack, hack.... I may not be well enough to go to work on Monday.)   ;)

  • edited October 2015

    LOL- now that's dedication! Wish I could've gone with the GeForce GTX 980 but the 970 is still the fastest I've ever had the honor to own. You found a great price on the 980, was there a sale?

    The speed in HF is incredible too- especially the particle simulator. I swear the particles were going to blast right through the monitor the first time I tried it. It was like watching Gravity in 3D so careful.....wear all your safety gear. ;^)

    NVIDIA has an internal temp reading program and so far without the added cooling accessories the temp has remained within normal parameters (geez- I talk like I'm in Starfleet). Did you go with the cooler? I have three extra fans and even the discharge is cool to only slightly warm. I wondered about the cooling systems and decided not to go with one. Seems to me they would be more beneficial if you were running two or more GPUs in one system.

  • I don't care if this is off topic... I say what I want. ;)

    Stormy, I have a 970 as well and it is indeed, pretty damned awesome. I really want to get another one soon, or 2 GTX 980s. ;)

     HF3P is no joke using the 970. Yeah dude, particles are a breeze. I've used smoke sims from Blender rendered in 2k as sprites in HF3P. HF smiles and says... what else ya got... that's it? You can do better than that man.

    In Blender, the 970 helps with viewport nav performance and I've had up to, 12 million+ poly meshes... no real use for super high poly meshes other than for baking very detailed Passes, Normal/AO/Shadow/Material ID/Cavity maps, which are so beautiful to me.   

  • @StormyKnight Naw, the 980 wasn't really on sale but it went out of stock on NewEgg.  Their price was $659 and found the same price at B&H.  I jumped on it thinking the card was about to become scarce.   The mobo I picked out on NewEgg went out of stock, too.  Had to find another one.  Same thing with first case I picked out.  It was like some kind of conspiracy.   I think I'm good with my final choices, just hope it all goes together without a hitch (but I'm sure I'll be missing a cable or such).

    @spydurhank Yeah, really looking forward to how the new rig works with LW, although I think the CPU will have more of an effect than the GPU.   But I'm hoping Viper previews will really utilize the graphics card more.

    Good to hear that the particle simulator in HF will really benefit. 

    Now, where are those tracking numbers again . . . .

  • Stargazer54Stargazer54 Moderator
    edited October 2015

    As an update . . . here is where I am at on this project.

    I'm a week behind because the case showed up smashed and had to rma that.  Wound up with an Asus Z97-E mobo and not all the drivers loaded off the CD - had to resort to downloading the rest from the support site.

    I have Win 7 installed on the SSD and it boots in a snap, as expected.  I have 32 GB of ram onboard along with the Intel i7 cpu.  Just put the Asus GTX980 TI card in last night.  Again had to resort to downloading the driver from the NVidia site, as the CD was problematic.

    Went to install HF.  It installs, but won't run.  Since my drivers are up to date, I'm not really sure what the deal is.   Maybe I need to go back to an earlier version HF 3?   Tried to load HF2 Ultimate, but same problem.

    I thought it might have been the default firewall, but I disabled that and still no go.   Will have to set the new system up side by side with my laptop tonight and double check settings.   I must be missing something obvious.

    I'll be horrified if HF is not compatible with the GTX 980!


  • Well, it was something simple.  2 days ago after installing Win 7 64bit I faithfully ran Windows updates which completed.   Tried to run HF, then no go.

    Today, M$ in their infinite wisdom, decides its time to announce that I have another update available (that was not there the previous day).

    Low and behold, I have a little pop up that says, here's another update.  It's Service Pack 1.  Loaded that and HF fires up like a champ.

    Why in the world you have to wait several days after activation to download all the updates is beyond me.

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