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Old July 11th, 2006, 08:19 AM   #16
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Disks

The two Sata disks are Hitachi Sata150 7200rpms btw.

Nothing to stop you putting in a couple of 10k Raptor units in though, Mmmm, now that's a thought....!

http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Produ...oductID=346043


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Old September 6th, 2006, 04:59 PM   #18
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Well, now that the Core 2 Duos have arrived I'm seriously looking at my options... and I've come across two that will do what I'm hoping for.

One is the Alienware Area-51 m5750 outfitted with:
Core 2 Duo T7200
2 GB of RAM
200 GB 7200 rpm RAID 0

The other is the Toshiba Qosmio G35 with similar specs and an HD-DVD drive.

I've been looking about online and have run across quite a number of dissatisfied Alienware customers, and am a little concerned about buying a laptop from them. People seem either to be happy or morbidly disatisfied. In terms of pricing the Alienware is only marginally better... However I live in Canada and for any service it would have to be shipped to and from Florida, which is pretty ridiculous.

Anyone have thoughts or recommendations on either system? I'm getting tempted to just abandon the notion of RAID in a laptop altogether, except that I anticpate the laptop to be more powerful than my desktop (2.8 GHz P4, 1 GB RAM, 500 GB RAID 0), which doesn't really edit my Cineform HDV particularly smoothly. I either do a lot of flopping between systems, or get one that does it all.

-Steve
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Old September 7th, 2006, 01:11 AM   #19
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Steven,

If you intend to make the laptop your primary editing machine I'd recommend a RAID 0 internally. Another solution is to use an external drive - Firewire 800 preferred - for your media store.

I've recently been using a Sony AR190 with a T2600 processor and a 160GB RAID0. It does a great job on two streams of 10-bit 1920 x 1080 with Prospect HD. Drive stuttering begins at three streams. Aspect HD files are slightly smaller horizontally so you may get three streams at times depending on what other effects you have applied.

In quick summary, laptops now have adequate CPUs for (at least) two streams of RT editing, even with Prospect HD, but you need to choose a proper media storage configuration to feed the CPUs.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 01:24 PM   #20
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Well, I have officially abandoned my search for internal RAID hard disks on a laptop under the jurisdiction of being too pricey.

However, I have just run into a different option, and I was curious as to what you guys thought the performance would be like if I used an ExpressCard RAID controller and the eSATA format. Something like this fellow here:

http://www.siig.com/product.asp?pid=1037&catid=128

with an enclosure:

http://www.cooldrives.com/saiidudrmien.html

And a couple of oomphy SATA II drives like these?

http://www.canadacomputers.com/index...7311&cid=HD.96

-Steve
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Old September 14th, 2006, 01:44 PM   #21
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Those devices should work fine.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 01:47 PM   #22
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Steve,

This seems like a great solution. While we haven't tested it specifically, I'll be it does an excellent job. If you go this way let us know the results you see.
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Old September 14th, 2006, 03:12 PM   #23
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I have another question...

What exactly is the advantage of something like RAID 0 compared to say 2 discrete hard drives with the files distributed over them?

For example, if I'm editing a project with shots: A, B, C, and D. And I put shots A and C on one drive and shots B and D on another, couldn't the computer access those 4 files more rapidly in this configuration than in the stripe? Sure the read time on a single shot would be higher on RAID 0, but the seek times would be a lot faster on the other configuration...

What is the main limitation?

-Steve
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Old September 21st, 2006, 02:55 PM   #24
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Just a fyi after some research on expresscard/34:

MBPro Compatible: Vydeo esata, Firmtek Seritek esata, Nitro 1394

not MBPro Compatible: SIIG, Sabrent

If anyone has more info on this please post your experiences.
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 01:51 PM   #25
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Well, I've got a laptop now... It's a:

Dell Inspiron 9400
Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 2.16 Ghz
2 GB DDR2-667 RAM
1920x1200 UXGA 17" display
120 GB SATA 5400 rpm primary hard drive
256 MB GeForce Go 7900 GS
SIIG eSATA II ExpressCard RAID
2x 250 GB 7200 rpm SATA Western Digital drives

I haven't set up the RAID yet... I've spent most of my time cleaning up excess Dell crud. Now that it's all cleaned up and defragged N times, the machine is already faster than my previous desktop (a Pentium 4 2.8 GHz based machine). All Cineform files play perfectly off of the 5400 rpm main drive... and it's awesome to be able to playback my footage at full resolution with no scaling.

I'll come back and report on the RAID configuration once it goes. It's certainly seems like a better option for those interested in laptop editing who don't mind lugging a bit of stuff around... and you get much higher performance hard drives than notebooks support.

-Steve
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Old September 22nd, 2006, 02:08 PM   #26
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Steve, sounds like a great machine! I think that machine will do an awesome job for you. Amazing how fast these laptops are these days. First with Yonah (T2xxx) series processors and now with Merom (T7xxx) series processors you can easily do multi-stream editing on 1920 x 1080 source footage. The CPU/memory combo gets you the arithmetic, but your RAID will give you the sustained bandwidth.

My Sony AR190 Vaio with T2600 (2.16GHz Yonah) is awesome because it has an internal RAID allowing multi-stream performance, although the RAID is somewhat small in size.

You external RAID will be much more functional in an editing environment.

Yes, please do follow up on your final RAID configuration and the performance you see.

David.
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Old September 26th, 2006, 09:01 AM   #27
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Well, the RAID drive works like a charm. Playback of Cineform files off the hard drive in external applications like media player has never been better... I'm pretty sure my old system was CPU and memory limited.

In my main project I am still not getting continuous playback on the Premiere Timeline... (I'm running Aspect 3.4.0.43d). I haven't been able to figure out why though. There are a lot of edits, but no effects at all (I removed them to see if playback would improve).

This is what the timeline looks like:
http://phispace.net/spiffyprod/Eclipse/screenshot.png

The playback is fine for a while, and then it just stops. Watching the system performance one can see the increase in page file usage to ~2 GB, the CPU levels are never maxed out, both cores are piddling along less than 20%. In the processes menu, the CFplayProc.exe takes up about 500 MB of RAM (no more than that) and is responsible for most of the CPU load... And then the video playback just stops on a frame. The RAID drives stop being accessed continually, but the pagefile, CPU loads and RAM allocation to CFPlayProc.exe stay about the same.

Any suggestions?

-Steve
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