I have started a new thread about this discussion in this thread: http://www.magix.info/us/using-last-templates.forum.1119765.html
This is copied from discussions I had with Ralf from support, a little while ago that stemmed from his comment: Your CPU is still where the power really comes from and maybe you already have or you haven't invested into other ways of boosting the general performance of your system. I'm thinking mostly of operating from SSD drives instead of conventional HDDs.
To which I replied:
I am interested in your comment about performance improvements with SSD’s. In what configuration would I expect to see a benefit? Most of the forum members have seen little improvement in MEP when using these as C: drives and that would seem to be logical given the fact that my performance monitors show little activity on this drive during preview (I have my video data on a separate HDD and my pagefile / swapfile on another HDD, however). There seems to be a lot of reading and writing to the Page file though and so I assume this is where MEP creates a cache, so would I benefit from just using a small SSD to place the page file on?
Performance boost through SSD use: If you can get your swapfile onto your SSD capacities as well, you should definitely do so. I would never really consider this a separate entity from the OS itself. If you want good OS performance, make the swapping fast as well. Naturally, the more goes onto SSD, the better. But I understand that most people would consider it a luxury at this point to also have the projects/source material on SSD. If you're willing to do a lot of moving of files etc. when you're about to start a new project or have finished a project, you could completely work from the SSD, of course.
SSD performance boost during preview - I guess my point/question here is :- would the greatest gain be from the swapfile residing on the SSD, if the C:\ drive has the O/S, program and swapfile on it (ie a standard Windows configuration) and is an SSD?
I suggest this because I think that the program is creating a cache in virtual memory where the files are preloaded from say the E:\ source data HDD prior to processing during preview, causing a lot of simultaneous reading and writing to this virtual memory cache that would be helped by the SSD’s fast read and write performance. Is this correct? An SSD video data drive would seem to be of lesser benefit because the data read rate for compressed AVCHD (even 50P) source material would seem to be well within an HDD’s capability without causing a bottleneck. Am I correct in assuming this? Following on from this train of thought I was suggesting that MEP’s preview performance might benefit on an existing system already configured with HDD’s by just adding a small SSD as a new drive and transferring the swapfile to that drive after disabling it on the C:\ HDD. What do you think?
Regarding the whole SSD thing: Having just the swapfile on an SSD drive when everything else in that setup is still on conventional hard drives sounds like an awfully strange and unlikely configuration. Would it bring some kind of performance boost? Probably. It's a very theoretical scenario - certainly not one I have tested. And as far as the topic of source material on conventional hard drives goes - this will definitely add another performance boost to your experience. Keep in mind, it's not just the actual reading speeds and constant data throughput that can be reached in a good or average reading situation that matters. There are also relevant factors here like the much faster seeking and reaction time (e.g. relevant when transitioning from one video file to another one) that positively contribute in an SSD setup. But, as I said, the source material is really the last thing that you would put on SSD - luxury. :-)
After that discussion I still feel there may be a benefit purely due to improved paging speed with the Pagefile on the SSD although Ralf may have overstated the benefit of SSD's in general for MEP. Unfortunately I have not yet been able to test the theories having not upgraded my system.
My opimion is that if your system can not read and write to an HDD when rendering at 1/2 or less real time during export then it is unlikely to be previewing in realtime given the shennanigans that it requires of your system to achieve smooth playback.