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Old November 30th, 2009, 02:13 AM   #31
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Harm, yes I am :p

Most people will do what I did and glance over "Common" and then assume you meant "All". However, many people do assume all Highpoint cards are software based so I like to help clarify for those that have reading skills like me.

John:

I found THE article for you at tomshardware where they test the Adaptec 5805 vs Highpoint 2640x4. The 5805 is better then the 3405(and 3805), and the Highpoint matched the Adaptec 5805 in MB/s in every Raid level besides Raid 10 (note to Harm: this is what I meant by good controllers being able to read from all 4 drives in Raid 10). Therefore, the 2640x4 will perform as good or better as the 3405 in Raid 0.

RAID 0, 10, 5 Throughput - Review Tom's Hardware : Highpoint Takes On Adaptec's SAS Controller
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 06:51 PM   #32
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Highpoint 2640 is on its way! Along with a fourth Samsung drive. So next week I'll set up the 4x1TB RAID 0 on it and hopefully everything will be fine.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 07:11 PM   #33
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Great news John,

I really hope this improves your score and your editing experience. I only hope you won't beat me... I have already lost my first place on the PassMark test, and to lose again would not be good for my confidence.

38.0 s is your target.
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Old December 3rd, 2009, 09:12 PM   #34
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I don't think you'll have to worry about me catching up.

I still have a long way to go with my processor score.

I get such strange results - the best of which so far have been in Vista with no tweaking whatsoever! 23 second render time compared to 30 seconds in a finely tuned Win7. Comparable numbers for MPEG encoding too. Strange.

EDIT:

Good news - the controller arrived today!

Bad news: It took about three hours for me to get it working. First of all, the power supply is too big to allow the thing to fit properly in the only slot it will fit in. And in that slot, it doesn't even reach the gap in the rear wall - not that it needs to. Then I plugged it in and had to play around in the BIOS for ages to get the right combination of SATA RAID, Enhanced/Compatible/AHCI options that would let it load without blue screening as it got to Windows... I still don't know if I've done it correctly...

Worst news: I just don't know if there's any real significant improvement.

At this stage, there are three 1TB drives in RAID 0.

PPBM:
68, secs Total Benchmark Time
2.6, secs AVI Encoding Time
35.4, secs MPEG Elapsed Time
30, secs Rendering Time

I've attached the HD Tach score and the screen grab from Disk Management where it asked me how I wanted to format the disk. I chose the second one as advised given that the volume size is over 2TB. Is that right? And how about Sector Size? It defaults to 512B. Is that what I want? It says if I change that it may have adverse effects... Should I try a few BIOS combinations?
Attached Thumbnails
Help Needed Improving my PP4 Benchmark Results-raid.jpg   Help Needed Improving my PP4 Benchmark Results-raid2.jpg  

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Last edited by John Hewat; December 4th, 2009 at 03:24 AM.
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Old December 4th, 2009, 12:43 PM   #35
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John, did you get the PCI Express "x4" or "x1" - I think the model #s are 2640x4 and 2640x1.

What stripe size did you use? 128, 64, 32?

Harm and anyone else: I remember reading that either HD Tach or HD Tune has a max size it can test, either 1TB or 2TB. I am trying to find more info in the mean time.

EDIT: Its HD Tune and random access. "It is becoming clear that HDTune is getting long in the tooth. HDTune's random access test appears to use 32 bit signed integers, meaning it only accesses the first 2^31 sectors when performing its test. This means it treats a 2 TB drive as a 1024 GB drive" from pcper.com
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Old December 4th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #36
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I got the x4 card.

At no point was I asked to configure stripe size - I am asked for Block Size, but it forces me to use 64. Are they the same thing? I can also select Sector Size, which defaults to 512B. I tried that as well as 4K. Don't know which is better...
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Help Needed Improving my PP4 Benchmark Results-hpr0.jpg  
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Old December 4th, 2009, 10:21 PM   #37
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Another problem...

Installing this card has disabled my SATA Blu Ray drive.

It isn't even seen in Device Manager.

Some research dug this up from the Microsoft site:

Quote:
Serial Advanced Technology Attachment (SATA) optical drives, such as a CD or a DVD drive, may not be available after you start a Windows Vista-based computer.

This problem may occur if the computer uses an Advanced Host Controller Interface (AHCI) chipset. The problem does not occur if the AHCI chipset uses Parallel Advanced Technology Attachment (PATA) emulation mode.
So what the heck do I do to resolve this?? I've diabled AHCI in the BIOS, but there's still no access to my optical drive.

The site mentions a "hot fix" which I've downloaded, unzipped, tried to install, but it says "This does not suit your computer" or something...
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Old December 5th, 2009, 06:05 PM   #38
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John, try this Your CD drive or DVD drive is missing or is not recognized by Windows or other programs

Its from here New I7 built computer does not see optical drive
He said its very easy by clicking the "Fix It" and then "Run Now"
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Old December 5th, 2009, 06:27 PM   #39
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I'll give it a shot. I assume I can just use the Vista one in Windows 7?

I'll have to wait 'til tomorrow. I tried to do it but I've already exceeded my download limit for the month (which changes over tomorrow) and the connection keeps timing out.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 12:38 AM   #40
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Tried the fix from Microsoft but it flat out doesn't work in Win7. It just says to use my Troubleshooting within Win7 which is a joke.

I tried the "Fix it yourself" path by deleting two files from the registry but nothing changed...

I don't know what's going on.

I have four computers at home. My editing rig (which has multiple system drives), a secondary editing machine and two HTPCs.

And this weekend, the HD DVD/Blu Ray drives in my editing rig and one of the HTPCs stopped being detected. For the editing rig, it's gone regardless of the system drive (and operating system I run). The other two still see the HD DVD drive just fine.

What gives? They are all new installs with Win7 on the editing rig and week old Vista installs on the others.

Interestingly, the Vista machines that lost all HD DVD playback are Vista Ultimate, the ones that still recognise the HD DVD drive are Home Premium. The problems on them all seemed to occur after downloading the update to service pack 1. I'm not sure though. And it wouldn't explain why I've lost the HD DVD/Blu Ray drive on my Win7 editing machine.

Whatever the cause, be it RAID driver/AHCI conflicts or plain old weirdness... I can't get rid of it.

I even system restored and the problem is still there...

EDIT:

OK: The good news: It's resolved. I unplugged all my SATA connections and reconnected them, monitoring where they went and what weas plugged in to them. There's six ports on the motherboard. 4 main ones to the left and two separated to the right.

The bad news is that the disc drive does not work when plugged in to the two on the right. In fact, nothing does! They don't respond to any devices, whether hot-swapped or plugged in at boot... Is that strange?
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:03 PM   #41
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John,

Maybe Bill will enhance the PPBM4 results with a RPI (Relative Performance Index) and add some readability enhancements that I suggested.

In essence it adds a more balanced index to view your results in comparison to other systems.

An overview is attached for your information. Again, Bill likes the idea but no guarantees that he will implement the changes I proposed.

With these enhancements you can see that your system performs in the upper quartile of all the results submitted on both the AVI test and the MPEG encoding test (as shown by the upward sloping arrow), but performs around the median on the Render test, and the same applies to both the Total Time and the RPI.

The cause of this result may be the relatively limited RAM for a dual CPU system, but still is pretty decent. If you look for instance at Jim Simon's results, you see that his RPI is significantly lower and mostly suffers from inadequate disk setup.

Hope this helps you in putting things in perspective. And I am glad you sorted out the DVD burner issue.
Attached Thumbnails
Help Needed Improving my PP4 Benchmark Results-ppbm-index.jpg  
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Old December 7th, 2009, 03:45 PM   #42
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John--

I have basically the same machine you do.

This may not be your issue, but if you look back in the threads, you'll find one about RAIDs in which I had problems adding SATA drives and getting them all seen by the system. Turns out to see more than four drives (even though there are six ports on your MB) you must have AHCI enabled, and you need to tweak the registry to do this without resulting in a BSOD if your OS is already installed.

This may not be your issue but worth a try. I detail all my trials and tribulations in the thread. Otherwise the only other alternative is to enable AHCI before installing your OS, which means reformatting your system drive and re-installing Windows after setting up your drives.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 04:08 PM   #43
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Adam,

When are you going to upgrade to CS4 and submitting your results to Bill? And did you update your Areca drivers to the latest version? It was, at least for Bill and me, quite an improvement, although there still are a couple of wrinkles to be ironed out.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 05:34 PM   #44
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Hi Adam,

I'd say that almost certainly is my issue - I had to do as you say: disable AHCI in order to get Windows booted without BSOD.

I've found your thread - lucky you were so thorough. I owe you big time for your work.

I'm not at home at the moment to test, but presumably that page in the registry is easy to find?

Ham, I must admit I am as confused as I've ever been by your version of the benchmark results. I like the colours! But the performance index and the arrows are over my head. My performance index is 200 - does that mean it's exactly half as good as yours? ;)

I can't believe how much I've had to learn about computers just to be a video editor - most of it from Harm's endless advice. Filmmaking is my interest - and when I first got an editing computer, I had absolutely no idea what was inside it - it was just a box that enabled me to edit my footage. But since I've started editing, I've done five times the computer building & troubleshooting than I have editing. And I've done a lot of editing! I can't complain though - frustrating as it is, I do so enjoy tinkering around.
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Old December 7th, 2009, 06:15 PM   #45
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John,

That is correct, if your index is 200 where my index is 100, your system is half as fast as my system under the assumption that your work reflects about 40% MPEG encoding, 40% rendering and 20% exporting or disk intensive work. These weights are an assumption on the average workload, but if you never render your time line for preview use, and hardly use disk intensive operations like exporting AVI files to Encore for example, you should give more weight to the Time Total ratio (71.3/38.0 = 1.88) to compare with my system.

Are you familiar with the terms upper decile, upper quartile, median, lower quartile etc.?

If you have a number of observations, for instance like the AVI test results and you rank them from fastest to slowest, the top 10% are at or above the upper decile (green up-arrow), the ones between 10 (upper decile) and 25% (upper quartile) from the top are shown with the upward sloping arrow, the ones between 25 (upper quartile) and 50% (median) are shown with the right arrow, the ones between 50 (median) and 75% (lower quartile) are shown with the downward sloping arrow and those below 75% (lower quartile) are shown with the downward red arrow.
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