What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

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Seth Marshall

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What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

PostThu May 11, 2017 3:12 pm

I'm building a PC workstation which will be my first legit machine. I don't do VFX or anything big, I'm a DP so this is mostly to work on footage I shoot-- mostly 4k XAVC with occasional Alexa or Red footage.

I remember back in FC7 days we had scratch disks but they seem to be called cache disks now? Can someone explain why the change?

Would 256GB SSD be large enough (or too large)? Does anyone put anything else on there if that is plenty large? I know filling it up can slow it down but want to get the most from my money so want to put it to good use.

Edit: I should also ask about my OS disk. I plan to only have Windows 10, Resolve, and a few Adobe programs on this. My day to day computer (including web surfing) will be on my Mac. I imagine a 256GB SSD will be plenty big but others have voiced concern about it filling up too fast. I can't imagine it will, my current Mac is only 256, but if this is a performance issue I'll step it up to 512Gb

thanks
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JPOwens

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Re: What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

PostFri May 12, 2017 2:54 pm

Seth Marshall wrote:my OS disk. I plan to only have Windows 10, Resolve, and a few Adobe programs on this. My day to day computer (including web surfing) will be on my Mac. I imagine a 256GB SSD will be plenty big but others have voiced concern


Why handcuff yourself? It will start feeling cramped after about 6 months to a year.

Cache disk -- 256 feels really light, but this depends on the format that you choose to write those files --nothing wrong with using something ultra-low-bitrate, eg., ProResLT.

jP{o>, CSI
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Seth Marshall

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Re: What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

PostFri May 12, 2017 5:28 pm

Hi JPOwens, thanks you very much for your reply!

My only reason for the (2) 256GB instead of (2) 512GB was to put the saved money towards a GeForce 1080 Ti instead of the normal 1080.

All of my work is short, perhaps you thought I was intending to work on feature length projects or multiple projects at once. Unless you feel 256GB is STILL too small for ProRes (non-LT) cache size even for small projects.

I've been told 256Gb OS is too small because it will fill up fast. Perhaps I should take your and others advice. I just don't understand how it will continue to fill up if I only have those few programs on it and won't use it for media or anything else. As I mention my current Mac has tons of stuff loaded on it - although it's approaching 90% full -- but I don't intend on putting near that amount on the PC.

Perhaps my question is an annoying novice one. Professionals could probably easily find a use for a bigger cache disk and future growth on an OS disk. I apologize for this rookie line of thinking. I guess building my machine I'm looking for advice to save money as a non-professional with these two items. thanks
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JPOwens

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Re: What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

PostFri May 12, 2017 7:37 pm

Seth Marshall wrote:it will fill up fast


One of the cardinal rules about drives, but this may really only be an issue for spinning disks, is that you can realistically only hope for relatively optimal response and throughput at a fraction of the overall capacity. There were a lot of caveats with early SSD devices, mostly because their *burst* throughput was great, but *sustained* - not so much. I think the creeping issue with cache files is that if they don't purge, they get out of control. And it is a good idea to segregate your resources as much as possible, so that the apps are not making data calls to a single device for multiple streams.

jPo, CSI
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Seth Marshall

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Re: What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

PostSun May 14, 2017 5:53 pm

Thanks again, JPOwens, for your reply. I believe I'm a bit over my head. This is my first PC build as I've always been a Mac guy. Do you have any advice to give me regarding the following?

In creating my list of items I originally figured I'd get (2) M.2 SSDs but now realize the motherboard I selected only has (1) M.2 slot.

I could either:

1) Definitely get a large OS drive to also include my cache files - using M.2 SSD in the M.2 slot (from what I understand that's the fastest)

2) Keep my OS on a reasonably sized M.2 SSD in the M.2 slot, and have another SSD for cache somewhere else but I don't know what would be the best place...

3) Put my cache on the fast M.2 SSD in the M.2 slot, and have another SSD for my OS (but again, after researching I'm still confused what the best place else would be).

The motherboard I was recommended was the "GIGABYTE GA-Z270-Gaming K3 LGA1151 Intel 2-Way Crossfire ATX DDR4 Motherboard by Gigabyte"
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metaman99

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Re: What size cache (scratch?) disk do you use?

PostThu Jun 04, 2020 4:37 am

Seth Marshall wrote:Thanks again, JPOwens, for your reply. I believe I'm a bit over my head. This is my first PC build as I've always been a Mac guy. Do you have any advice to give me regarding the following?

In creating my list of items I originally figured I'd get (2) M.2 SSDs but now realize the motherboard I selected only has (1) M.2 slot.

I could either:

1) Definitely get a large OS drive to also include my cache files - using M.2 SSD in the M.2 slot (from what I understand that's the fastest)

2) Keep my OS on a reasonably sized M.2 SSD in the M.2 slot, and have another SSD for cache somewhere else but I don't know what would be the best place...

3) Put my cache on the fast M.2 SSD in the M.2 slot, and have another SSD for my OS (but again, after researching I'm still confused what the best place else would be).

The motherboard I was recommended was the "GIGABYTE GA-Z270-Gaming K3 LGA1151 Intel 2-Way Crossfire ATX DDR4 Motherboard by Gigabyte"


Just a heads-up that without checking your motherboard specs, you can get an extra M.2 drive 2 ways:
1) there are adapters to convert the one M.2 drive to 2 drives
2) a different type of adapter can also fit in your PCIe slot which will give you an extra M.2 drive

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