Whats the best way to utilize the SSD's performance?

FlyingBanana78FlyingBanana78 Website User Posts: 419 Enthusiast

I know that having the actual program installed onto the SSD helps with how fast the program opens, but as for video files and 3d files and renders I am uncertain on that. Should I just place all the 3d files and video clips onto the regular platter drive and just use my 3d software and Hitfilm4 Pro on the SSD ? Run the programs and just pull files from the platter drive as needed into the software? I just want to make sure of this before I start pulling my files from my laptop that I have over to the new desktop PC that I got and here are the specs of the desktop PC I have if that makes a difference.

Processor / Chipset

CPUIntel Core i7 (6th Gen) 6700 / 3.4 GHz

Max Turbo Speed4 GHz

Number of CoresQuad-Core

CPU Qty1

Max CPU Qty1

Cache Memory

Installed Size8 MB

Cache Per Processor8 MB


Installed Size 32GB

TechnologyDDR4 SDRAM

Memory Speed2133 MHz

Memory Specification CompliancePC4-17000

Form FactorDIMM 288-pin

Hard Drive


Capacity1 x 120 GB

Interface TypeSATA 6Gb/s

Additonal Added 480 GB SATA 6Gb/s SSD

Hard Drive (2nd)


Interface ClassSerial ATA

Capacity1 x 1 TB

Interface TypeSATA 6Gb/s

Spindle Speed7200 rpm

Graphics Controller

Graphics ProcessorNVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070

Video InterfacesDVI, HDMI, DisplayPort

Audio Output

Sound Output Mode7.1 channel surround



  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,918 Enthusiast
    edited September 2016

    I'm gonna be bold and say that you should not use a HDD at all. Your workflow is going to be limited by that HDD. Even though the SSD is just 1 drive, I still think that it's faster than a HDD even if you have multiple streams to and from it, and constant caching. SSD's have incredibly fast access times, and @Triem23 has stated in the past that there's more of an advantage by using an SSD than meets the eye.

    The reason to use a HDD is due to the fantastic price/storage compared to an SSD. My new computer this christmas is going to have 2 SSD's and a NAS for backups. I was thinking a 120 GB OS and cache and a 512 GB everything else drive.

  • FlyingBanana78FlyingBanana78 Website User Posts: 419 Enthusiast
    edited September 2016

    @CNK Thanks for the reply :) I was just curious as to what to really use the platter drive for since the OS is already on the 120 GB SSD and the additional SSD is 100% free space and was wondering what to use the 1TB HD for. Would things slow down then if I just store all my files and such as green screen clips and stock footage onto the standard HD then when it comes to needing one of those clips or footage then pull them to a project folder onto the SSD then work on the project through there till complete then export the final back onto the standard HD? I just remember reading a PC Mag article on the pros and cons of a HD vs. SSD and the main thing I was concerned with was the lifespan of the SSD with constant file creation and deletion onto it as they mention the life cycle of a SSD isn't as long as that of a HD. I just didn't want to keep moving files and such around on it and then running into a write error prematurely.

    P.S. I know I am probably overthinking it but just want to cover my bases so to speak.

  • Triem23Triem23 Moderator Moderator, Website User, Ambassador, Imerge Beta Tester, HitFilm Beta Tester Posts: 18,228 Ambassador

    Using an HDD as a "library" drive, then pulling resources to the project folder on the SSD is my workflow. I get the advantage of cheap storage for mass elements (although I want to replace my laptop's 1TB HDD with a 4TB)

    If the 120 SSD is your OS/Programs drive, delve into the Hitfilm Options and move your proxy cache to the 480TB drive. Proxies eat space and your OS drive requires space for windows caches and Virtual Memory. 

  • FlyingBanana78FlyingBanana78 Website User Posts: 419 Enthusiast

    @Triem23 Thanks a ton! That is really what I was after, was just having a hard time trying to get it from my brain to my fingertips to break it down. Will be doing that when I delve into Hitfilm on that desktop again. You da man @Triem23

  • kevin_nkevin_n Website User Posts: 1,918 Enthusiast

    Yep, SSD's are awesome. :)

    I'm going to paste @Triem23 's explanation here. Perhaps you haven't seen it yet @FlyingBanana78


    That said, a modern HDD is probably ok for any single video file up to 4K DNxHR, but, if you're reading multiple video files then the hard drive's read head has to physically keep moving around to different parts of the platter. This will start slowing things down. If you're rendering to disk and you've got a complicated shot where Hitfilm has to think for several seconds on each frame, then the HDD isn't doing a sustained write and keeps parking the head. This is (again) going to slow things down a lot. Let's pretend we're writing out a 1080p  image sequence 10 seconds long at 24 fps. After each frame is written, the head is parked. Let's say it takes a mere 10ms for the head to move into position (a good accurate average for current drives). Over 240 frames this adds 24,00 ms (2.4 seconds) to the render time of the project. And that's just additional time where the drive isn't doing anything!. Now, because each frame is about 2-3 MB these are short files (so not a sustained write). A Hard Drive might advertise a 120MB/s write speed, but that's for long sustained files. For a PNG sequence, try... 50MB/s. SSDs are closer to 500MB/s (or more!). So it might take 1/25th of a second for the HDD to write the file and 1/250th of a second for the SDD.

    I'm not even going to get into delays if the HDD has spun down the platter rotation. Which it probably has if we're writing PNGs from a file where Hitfilm is thinking for more than a few seconds each frame.

    And the SSD isn't moving a physical head and/or spinning up/down a drive, so I'm OVERESTIMATING the HDD speed, if anything.

    Also, these numbers assume a single video stream in the project with effects on it. Let's assume we're reading and writing to and from the same drive. We're rendering to the same drive the source footage is on.... Now add in that seek time each time the HDD needs to grab part of a different video source, then move back to the rendered file... Ok, let's use four source video clips in a heavy composite and a render file. That's five total files with a 15ms delay each time the HDD switches between files. 75ms per frame. 240 frames. Yeah, that's only 18 seconds, but other factors I haven't gotten into add more slowdown, and, of course, the SSD is faster at the actual writing.

    This all very very quickly adds up a lot more time for working with the HDD.

    That seek time (each time the head has to move to a new location), more than the drive's (theoretical) throughput is what really makes the SSD blazing fast.


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