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RAID or Scratch Disk?

Discussion in 'PC/Windows/Linux' started by Baywing, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Looking for opinions on which would be better (faster) for graphics, having a second 1Tb HD as a RAID or a 128Gb SSD as a scratch drive? Facts or studies would be good, too!
  2. Growltiger

    Growltiger Administrator Administrator

    A RAID array will do next to nothing for your graphics (you don't say which type of RAID).

    An SSD as a scratch drive could help. But you have not said what software you are using or what you are doing with it. Is this photo editing or video editing? Lightroom?

    I suggest as a first step putting your system disk on SSD, I did this some time ago and it helps everything. Perhaps you already have this.

    A more basic question is what CPU you have and what graphics system you have. If they are slow then you need to look at a new machine to have a real impact. I stopped buying any system that didn't have an i7 processor a few years ago, and many delays I used to have vanished forever.
  3. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    The application is Autocad, not really photography but it is graphics intense. CPU would be i7, Skylake or newer. This would be a new machine. My feeling is that the scratch disk is more beneficial than a RAID (RAID1) and I'm rowing upstream with the IT folks who don't deal with intense graphics. As usual, cost is a major consideration and I'm having enough trouble trying to get 32 Gb of RAM, IT is saying 16 is enough. When I went from 16 to 32 at home, my performance perked up noticably.
  4. TonyW


    Jan 15, 2010
    I wonder if the issue is that the IT folks are looking at the specifications for Autocad 2018 which are relatively modest and not really graphics intense (although this may be different with high level rendering and animations?). Could they be saying that 16GB enough due to published figures suggesting 4GB enough although 8GB recommended - they are offering 16 twice as much ?
    System requirements for AutoCAD 2018 | AutoCAD | Autodesk Knowledge Network

    Getting the best (graphics speed) out of Autocad graphics seemed to revolve around the 'best' card for the job which was usually Nvida Quadro and the AMD Firepro. Specifically designed for CAD application rather than gaming graphics
    NVIDIA Quadro Graphics, GRID Technology and Iray Rendering for Autodesk
    Workstation Graphics Solutions for CAD and Engineering | AMD

    I would certainly go with the SSD suggested for OS and applications. Not sure of Autocad scratch requirements but a dedicated disk may help if your run out of memory? I do not expect that any RAID will do anything for graphics display rendering speed.

    Perhaps IT would accept increase to 32 if you could provide objective evidence of performance increase perhaps with your own system?

    It has been a long time since I touched Autocad and things will probably have changed quite a lot so take my post as a guess (hopefully educated :) ) as to the requirements
  5. Baywing


    Feb 22, 2005
    CT USA
    Thanks, we just installed Autocad 2018 on the subject computer and it has slowed to the point of being unusable. It would seem that the system requirements have increased with this new version. The other factor is all the rest of the junk they have loading these machines down.
    For another application we have, I did a test by installing some spare RAM that I removed from my machine in our current machines and while the increase was modest (from 16 to 24 Gb RAM) we noticed a decent increase in access speed. I think that alone is enough to justify going to 32 Gb. Given what I have seen to date, I think we'll spec the machine with a nominal amount of RAM and install extra on our own. I was quoted a price of $500 extra to go from 16Gb to 32Gb by a vendor. I can buy a pair of 8's for under $200.
    Thanks again for the links, gives me some ideas......
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