Using Camtasia 2018 with a solid state and a regular hard drive

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This is a somewhat complicated question, and is aimed at Camtasia 2018 users with experience in a particular field. The tech people to whom I have access have not been able to give me a good answer, so I thought I'd try posting to this community forum.

I have just acquired a new computer, which has both a large traditional hard drive and a smaller solid state drive. I was told to run my programs on the solid state drive so that they would run faster. So I'll run Camtasia on it.

But here is my question: I am working on a series of documentary movies. I keep all relevant files in a folder, which in turn contains about 100 subfolders with all the jpgs, mp4s, etc., involved in making several feature-length films. Because they involve so many different files, each two-hour documentary is broken down into several sections, which I edit and produce separately. (I only put the produced sections together and produce the whole movie when I'm going to have a showing.) 

In order to benefit from the speed of a solid state disc, is it sufficient that Camtasia 2018 be on it, or do I need to copy all the files used in one of those sections to the ssd as well? And if the latter is the case, does Camtasia have some feature that would copy all the files used in a particular project to a particular drive?

I hope that is clear. 

Any authoritative help on this from users who have experience using Camtasia 2018 on a computer with a ssd would be greatly appreciated.

Richard M. Berrong
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rberrong

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Posted 5 months ago

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Joe Morgan

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What are the Specs of this new Computer? How much RAM, Hard Drive disk speed RPM etc.

Regards,Joe
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David Demyan

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I use Camtasia 2018 on two different windows computers, both with all SSD drives and no on-board disks. This to me, is the theoretical best approach for clip and project management for any size movie project. The arrangement works well in all circumstances and movies render quickly. Along with copious RAM and an added Graphics card--one that Camtasia is capable of using--it is probably your best shot at actually being able to produce such long-form, presumably high-res footage. It sounds like you are using a lot of individual clips from a lot of different folders. In spite of the SSDs, RAM, and graphics card I invested in, Camtasia often is overwhelmed by overly complex projects, a problem exacerbated when the timeline is longer than about 15 minutes.
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rberrong

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Good morning David,

I can't change the computer I just got, so I have the SSD and hard drive configuration that I have. When you say that you have no on-board disks, does that mean you store your files on external hard drives? I do that as well, but only for backup.

Yes, I do use a lot of clips from different folders. It's the only way I have of keeping track of things. Would it make a significant difference if I were to copy all the clips I use in a given movie into the folder for that movie as well, so that, when I produce a given section of a movie, Camtasia is working with many clips, but all from the same folder?

Some of my movie sections run almost 30 minutes in length, and yes, Camtasia really slows down with those.

Richard
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David Demyan

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I have a full terabyte of SSD in each computer and store a lot of video there. I have no hard drives on either computer. Raw video files and project backups are stored on the SSDs during project duration. Then they are transferred elsewhere (external HDs, cloud, network corporate drive) after the project has been completed. If I need to update projects later, I shuttle all the files back to the SSDs. I always use "Export as ZIP" to keep project archives. Some of these zipped files are huge.
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rberrong

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The files for my movie projects constitute, at the moment, about 250 GB, while my SSD is just over 500 GB. (Had I known, I guess I should have asked for a larger SSD, but what's done is done.)

Do I gather, then, that you are suggesting I transfer the whole 250 GB folder of my project archives to my SSD when I have Camtasia produce videos from it?

Richard
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David Demyan

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On the question about storing all files together, I am not an authority, but I will take an educated stab at it. The .tscproj file is actually XML* under the hood. They can get lengthy and complex and, IMHO, it can lead to errors and the occasional crash when they are overly long and complex. Here's a sample of a clip ID in one of my project files.



Now multiple by however many clips and locations your tscproj file needs to reference, and you get an idea.

* To view the xml content of your camproj or tscproj files, copy one and rename it with a dot XML filename. Now you can open it with Notepad or Code Writer or any other script editor.  I don't attempt to edit my project files. In my case, it would lead to disaster. :-)
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David Demyan

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On the question of transferring project files from hard drives to SSD when working on them, resounding YES. You'll suffer less heartache that way.
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rberrong

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Ok, I can transfer the folder with all the project files to the SSD when I'm working on them, and then delete them when I finish.

Would it, in addition, make a significant difference if I transferred all the files used in a particular video to one sub-folder when I work on it?

Many thanks for the input.
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David Demyan

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Call me overly cautious, but training people to use Camtasia and using it myself since version 1, I have learned caution. I follow all TechSmith recommendations on file management. While not stated that SSD is superior to HD for working projects, it is implied in the less restrictive recommendation to not use network or cloud storage for working projects. I **always** shuttle files to working on board drives and in my case they are SSD. I can report that I have far fewer heartaches in practicing this workflow. I could get started with stories about days prior to widely available SSD and lost projects and hours of lost billable time.... HDs crash more frequently than SSDs.
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David Demyan

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I do transfer complete sub-folders. It doesn't seem to make a difference in my projects.
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rberrong

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I know not to try to use files on an external hard drive when producing a video. As you say, Camtasia warns against doing that. This will be my first experience using a computer that has two internal drives, one a traditional hard drive and the other an SSD.
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kayakman, Champion

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I have a laptop that has 2 internal drives; one is a SSD, the other a normal HD; I have not had issues linking to source files on the HD, either for editing, or for producing

but if you have the space on your SSD, after editing, zip the project, then import that zip onto the SSD for production; that should give you the best performance
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rberrong

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Good morning Joe,

It has 32 GB of RAM, with a 7200 RPM hard drive.  What other info do you need?

Many thanks,

Richard
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Joe Morgan

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Is this a laptop or a desktop computer?
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rberrong

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Desktop, with the specifications I listed above.
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Joe Morgan

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Okay Great, I realized that as soon as I asked. Laptops don’t come with 7200rpm drives that I’m aware of, battery life would go up in smoke.

I would be adding or replacing the 7200rpm drive with a SSD at the drop of a hat if possible. A Samsung EVO would be my choice.

 A 1TB is warrantied for 5 years and/or 600TB of re-writes. So there more durable than the warrantee covers. Replacing a HD or adding one will not normally void a new computer manufactures warrantees.

When I bought my Dell XPS it had 1. 7200rpm HDD. I added 2 with rebates and a few extra bucks. I’ve since replaced all of them with 3 Samsung SSD’s. https://www.amazon.com/s?k=Samsung+860+EVO+1TB+2.5+Inch+SATA+III+Internal+SSD&i=electronics&ref=nb_sb_noss

You could go larger but they cost twice as much per TB. Re-writing 600TB would take a very long time. That’s 614,400 GB. 1TB was large enough for me. If enough clients force me to burn through these HD’s sooner. I won’t grumble as I purchase more. Installing them or replacing them is a piece of cake. There’s more You tube videos then you can shake a stick at. I don’t know if you have IT guy’s? They can deal with installations in a few minutes.

32GB of RAM works in your favor. 2GB or so is required for the operation system and Camtasia. Leaving you a ton of headroom for the timeline. But 250GB projects are another story. Not your typical Camtasia project.

As you edit, the CPU is doing all its thinking based on what is stored in RAM memory. As you’re scrubbing through a clip, cutting out bits and pieces. Perhaps adding a callout. Moving the playhead back and forth over short durations in time. The CPU can do a pretty good job of keeping up. Provided it’s a strong CPU. And all of the media is loaded into RAM memory.

 If the entire project is only 3GB. Which is actually large or normal for some Camtasia users. The only thing that matters is “How much RAM does my computer have?”. A 5400rpm disk would load the 3GB project slowly. But once all those files are loaded into RAM. How long it took to get started? Doesn’t matter.

32GB of RAM isn’t nowhere near a 250GB project. So, as the playhead moves to a point in the timeline that media isn’t contained in RAM. It must be loaded. The CPU still needs to think; Camtasia needs to think. An SSD can only transfer “X amount” of information at any given moment.  This is a bottleneck. Storing your media on a separate SSD from the operating system and Camtasia is how you alleviate this.  

If you were editing the start of the video. Moved the playhead to the end somewhere. RAM memory would need to be pretty much replaced.You don’t want to share resources. You want the CPU and Camtasia to hum along unfettered. While drive “B?” is replacing RAM.

This slight upgrade could save you enough time and frustration to pay for itself. 

Or go with what you got. Place all your media on the C drive.  Yikes!  That’s my opinion.

A 250GB timeline at 7200rpm would take forever to load projects and update RAM.A Non-Starter. Very Slow.

Regards, Joe 

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rberrong

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There's a misunderstanding here. My entire project, files from which I draw when making my movies, is about 250 GB. No one video that I make and edit is anywhere nearly that large.
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Joe Morgan

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Would you say your average project loads less than say 20GB of media in total?
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rberrong

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I don't have any way of knowing. Once the video - I'm not going to call it a project, because I use that word to describe my project, all the files I have from which I draw my movies, which caused the confusion above - is produced, it usually runs around one GB.
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Joe Morgan

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Well, heres the  rub.
You could probably load a 25GB project in about 2+or- mins. from your 7200rpm drive. From there theres some headroom for some modest performance gains. From the way I understand things to be. 

If you had the files on your SSD you could probably load the same project in under 20 or 30 seconds.

With that much RAM. And "Most" projects.  Other than load time. It doesn't make all that much difference which drive you've stored the media on.

You could contact TechSmith support yourself. For your own peace of mind.

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I talked to them just now about your configuration and in the past as well about this subject.
They told me the same thing today as in the past. Store your media on the Spinning disk HD/Secondary Drive.
Run Camtasia and your programs on the SSD/C-Drive.

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rberrong

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Ok, many  thanks!