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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:32 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
Just to let you know, I recently helped a guy who had a firewire audio card and had trouble capturing over firewire with CS4. This firewire card was causing his problems. After he removed the card and switched to on-board sound, his problems disappeared. He used a RME card, so maybe you will not encounter his difficulties. Let's hope so, but at least you will know where to look first.
Thanks for the data. I'm sure I'll have lots of questions regarding my music apps because I don't know how well or if they will operate in a Vista 64 bit environment. I've heard good things about the RME cards.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:35 PM   #17
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I would suggest against that, for a couple of reasons.

1. The cable mesh you get with externals.
2. The lack of external connectors.
3. The lack of using a decent raid controller.
4. The often bad cooling of external disks.
5. The extra sound that externals come with.

If you have a decent case you can easily fit in 15+ hard disks in hot swappable bays without temperature problems (I have 17 internals plus 2 BR burners and the highest temperature I have measured was 30 degrees C with a room temperature of 28), that clearly indicate if one has failed by LED lights and it is cheaper and easier to replace a failed internal than an external disk.
That's good to know. Thanks. I was figuring on internal drives and using one of those 5 bay cases that will let me provide some air space between the drives.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:50 PM   #18
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Harm, your a brave sole. I am all about convenience, and anytime I have to open up my case to get at anything, well..I'd prefer not. You get conveniences with externals as well. Still hot-swappable.. I've not heard any sound except when I put it on my desk with no rubber feet and the speeds sometimes vibrate the case and my desk..but that's my own fault. External cables are really not that hard to take care of.. it's not like the montior, power supply, keyboard, mouse, network, USB hub and external sound card don't have them.. but that's really a matter of preference.

If you have 17 drives in one enclosure, I am guessing you have a 1500+watt power supply? How do you turn the drives off when not in use? To me the added ability to avoid extra electrical costs running that many drives when most of the time most of them wouldn't be in use is worth the external benefits. Plus the externals you can plug into other computers, bring them with you if need be, etc. Again it is all a matter of how you plan to work and how much money you got to play with. For me, the externals work out better because with most having network connection built in, I can put the enclosures anywhere, connect to the network with 1GB connection and use it when needed. For backup/home media users, it's fantastic. I'd go either way on the "work" raid1 drives.. inside is fine, depends on your case you get, how much room to work with, power supply, etc. I'd highly recommend the expensive good power supplies tho. I paid $150 for my 600 watt which isn't too bad.

You sound like with 17 drives that you do all your backups of all your video work right there in the case. Personally for me, if I am running a business where I am expected to keep backups for a period of time, I am either paying for storage like at S3 to keep backups or I am putting removable drives in a fire safe. Not that it will happen, but if a fire broke out and your computer went with it.. you'd lose a huge investment not just in drive cost, but potentially far more in all that data you're backing up in one spot. I can't claim to know that you don't backup elsewhere either.. just from what you've said..with 17 drives in one uber large tower case, I am taking a guess.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #19
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If you have a decent case you can easily fit in 15+ hard disks
I didn't know they made 'em that big. We're getting into the small garden shed size. (Just kidding).
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Old July 11th, 2009, 02:56 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
I would suggest against that, for a couple of reasons.

1. The cable mesh you get with externals.
2. The lack of external connectors.
3. The lack of using a decent raid controller.
4. The often bad cooling of external disks.
5. The extra sound that externals come with.

If you have a decent case you can easily fit in 15+ hard disks in hot swappable bays without temperature problems (I have 17 internals plus 2 BR burners and the highest temperature I have measured was 30 degrees C with a room temperature of 28), that clearly indicate if one has failed by LED lights and it is cheaper and easier to replace a failed internal than an external disk.
1. Cables are easily contained and kept out of sight.. lease of the worries when your in a studio.

2. This can be an issue..depending on the motherboard, but it really depends on how many external enclosures your planning on. 1 4-drive nice one with drives for about $1K should do most people good for quite some time. Maybe not for backups down the road, but plenty good for working with video and music production.

3. The few external setups I've seen use good controllers in their external bay setup. No worse than using SATA raid that comes with the motherboard. Probably better. Neither would be as good as a $300+ raid card with memory slots for caching.

4. I think you've either not looked recently or had some bad experiences. You get what you pay for here. If you buy a $100 2-bay enclosure, with a cheap loud fan, sure..I would agree with you. But most of the $600+ 4 bay enclosures (that's without drives) that have Raid 0, 1, 5 and sometimes 6, usually have pretty good cooling and aren't loud.

5. My external 1 bay and 2 bay make no noise at all with fans. To be fair, a cheap enclosure probably does use cheaper fans that are noisy. You can sound dampen quite easily tho, and most come with rubber grommets/washers to offset any vibration noise you may pick up.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:02 PM   #21
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To me the added ability to avoid extra electrical costs running that many drives when most of the time most of them wouldn't be in use is worth the external benefits. Plus the externals you can plug into other computers, bring them with you if need be, etc.
I like that. I'm not using this for business so I'm trying to keep it simple yet effective. I'm figuring 3 internal and a 1 TB external for storage.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:12 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by Kevin Duffey View Post
Harm, your a brave sole. I am all about convenience, and anytime I have to open up my case to get at anything, well..I'd prefer not. You get conveniences with externals as well. Still hot-swappable.. I've not heard any sound except when I put it on my desk with no rubber feet and the speeds sometimes vibrate the case and my desk..but that's my own fault. External cables are really not that hard to take care of.. it's not like the montior, power supply, keyboard, mouse, network, USB hub and external sound card don't have them.. but that's really a matter of preference.

If you have 17 drives in one enclosure, I am guessing you have a 1500+watt power supply? How do you turn the drives off when not in use? To me the added ability to avoid extra electrical costs running that many drives when most of the time most of them wouldn't be in use is worth the external benefits. Plus the externals you can plug into other computers, bring them with you if need be, etc. Again it is all a matter of how you plan to work and how much money you got to play with. For me, the externals work out better because with most having network connection built in, I can put the enclosures anywhere, connect to the network with 1GB connection and use it when needed. For backup/home media users, it's fantastic. I'd go either way on the "work" raid1 drives.. inside is fine, depends on your case you get, how much room to work with, power supply, etc. I'd highly recommend the expensive good power supplies tho. I paid $150 for my 600 watt which isn't too bad.

You sound like with 17 drives that you do all your backups of all your video work right there in the case. Personally for me, if I am running a business where I am expected to keep backups for a period of time, I am either paying for storage like at S3 to keep backups or I am putting removable drives in a fire safe. Not that it will happen, but if a fire broke out and your computer went with it.. you'd lose a huge investment not just in drive cost, but potentially far more in all that data you're backing up in one spot. I can't claim to know that you don't backup elsewhere either.. just from what you've said..with 17 drives in one uber large tower case, I am taking a guess.
1 disk is for OS & programs, 2 in a raid0 for pagefile and scratch, 1 for audio & stock footage, 1 for final projects and 12 in a raid30 for media and projects.

Backups are done to server 1, which backups to server 2 over VPN, with a final backup to a NAS. The practical problem is however that the NAS only has 10+ TB and there is more than just my machine to backup.

In the case you are portretting, hot swappable bays may be just your solution. You have a finished project for client A. You take out the disk with all the source material, the project, and final delivery and store it. When the client somewhere in the future returns and wants any modifications, just plop in the drive for client A and there you go.

Look at this setup:
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diy computer build??-dsc00039.jpg  
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:17 PM   #23
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Keep in mind Raid-0 is NEVER a solution for any sort of long term storage. You use it for performance, not for storage. Ideally you have all your original source/projects on a RAID1 or RAID5 setup. RAID1 is probably simplest it uses 2 drives and basically duplicates what is on one to the other..so if one does die, you can recover from the other. Raid 5 I think requires 3 or 4 drives.. 3 for Raid 1 like performance, 4 for Raid 0+1 or something like that lol..been a while since I set that up. But.. point is, don't shy away from Raid 0 using SATA 2 drives. Buy a m/b that has it built in, and use it for your editing drive. You'd set this up in the CS4 suite (really only AE and Premiere.. oh and photoshop if you use it), to use this drive as your cache/scratch drive. You could move a "copy" of a project over to it while you edit on it.. then when you save.. have some script that you can run to copy it back for backup purposes on your raid1/5 setup. You'd be looking at 6 HDs, 1 main one, one for your music stuff, 2 for raid0 cache/scratch, 2 for Raid1 backup/storage. The main drive and the raid1 drives can be 500GB or 320GB drives.. save on cost. The main OS doesn't need that much room, and to keep it performant you use something like OO Defrag on it. The Raid0 drives will double capacity so 2 500GBs will give you 1TB of faster read/write. Very few projects will use 500GBs of space. The backup drives I'd consder 1.5TB drives, as you'll only get 1.5TB with two of them in Raid1 setup.. since they duplicate one another.
Tell me if I'm wrong but here's the way I'm looking at it.
1. I'm not a computer geek so I don't want a complex system.
2. With a i7 Vista 64 bit system I don't think I'll require a Raid 0 set up, especially if I use a CineForm codec.
3. Trying to keep costs down.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 03:33 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Harm Millaard View Post
1 disk is for OS & programs, 2 in a raid0 for pagefile and scratch, 1 for audio & stock footage, 1 for final projects and 12 in a raid30 for media and projects.

Backups are done to server 1, which backups to server 2 over VPN, with a final backup to a NAS. The practical problem is however that the NAS only has 10+ TB and there is more than just my machine to backup.

In the case you are portretting, hot swappable bays may be just your solution. You have a finished project for client A. You take out the disk with all the source material, the project, and final delivery and store it. When the client somewhere in the future returns and wants any modifications, just plop in the drive for client A and there you go.

Look at this setup:
Now that's impressive! I mean that. It really is impressive. But I wouldn't even understand what I had under the hood. I just want to get from A to B smoothly and effectively. Lamborghini's are really cool but I can't afford one.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:00 PM   #25
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Dang Harm, that is some serious gear you got going! Nice stuff!

David, I think what Harm and I have done is giving you are geeky knowledge of building a kick ass solution and you're looking for less geek and something simple.

1. I'm not a computer geek so I don't want a complex system.

For easy of use, I'd suggest a 2-bay or 4-bay exsternal device then. You basically install the HDs, plug it in and it shows up as drive letters on your computer. You may have to install drivers..but I am hoping you know how to do that since you got CineForm and such. Shouldn't be hard. I'd tell you like Harm was saying.. get hot-swappable enclosure.

Something like:

External 2-Bay Hot-Swap SATA RAID Case Kit

might be up your alley. That's a 2-bay hotswap, USB2 connector. I'd really recommend e-sata tho because it's a much faster interconnect between external and the computer. Harm, correct me if I am wrong on that.. I've only used the USB setup so far.. I tought e-sata was 3Gbps to the computer from external drives.. even tho most HDs can only churn out 100mb or so anyway.


2. With a i7 Vista 64 bit system I don't think I'll require a Raid 0 set up, especially if I use a CineForm codec.

Remember, RAID 0 is purely for speed at the expense of losing ALL data on both drives involved if one dies. Hence why I say, if you're going to be working with HD content or higher (2K/3K/4K.. not sure what camera you are using), you'll want RAID 0 for storing the footage on while you edit it. A single 7200rpm drive may not be fast enough for larger projects with lots of HD or greater footage in it. I don't know for sure. I am actually just getting in to HD footage and haven't yet started.. and I don't have RAID0 right now, but plan to use it in my next computer build. If you plan to do mostly SD and perhaps some HD content, then I don't think you need RAID at all. Only reason I bring it up is because most good motherboards have it built in now.. so it's easy to add 2 SATAII drives and set up the RAID to get more performance.

3. Trying to keep costs down.
In that case, if your m/b supports it, you can use it later, but start out without it. To me the importance in the system is memory #1.. more memory is better but only if you're using 64-bit. I should say 64-bit is #1.. since you really can't utilize the memory without it. I've heard that with quad core cpus and 32-bit, each cpu can use 4GB of ram, but I don't know how that works to be honest. I've been using 64-bit windows Vista and 64-bit Ubuntu for both my quad cores. #2 (or 3) would be a good mother/board with room to grow, be it memory slots, Raid onboard, heat pipes throughout and so forth, you want a good mother/board. I've not gone wrong with Asus boards, and Gigabyte have been good to me too. I'd look at the $200+ m/bs for core 7. If you can afford it, you may even consider a dual-cpu board and just use one cpu for now until you can afford 2 of the same cpus. I think they are about $600 or more for the dual-cpu board.. until I have the money I wont be looking because prices always come down. I plan on building a dual-cpu system next tho, and the sooner I can, I'll start with a single cpu and add the 2nd later. Next up would be the video card. I'd opt for bare minimum an ATI/NVidia with 1GB ram and DirectX10 with probably their higher end cards. I'd say tho..if you are going to do a lot of editing, the matrox is the way to go for this system. It may not play video games well tho.. but I have 360/PS3 for that. :D So if you've got more money, grab a good Matrox video editing card. They range in all kinds of prices. NVidia Quatros and such are good too, just a matter of choice. The rest is really speculation.. faster HDs, dvd/blu ray, etc.. all your choice.

Love this discussion tho.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:29 PM   #26
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Kevin,

USB2 will achieve somewhere around 20-25 MB/s sustained tranfer rate, depending on the number of devices sharing the USB port.

FW400 will achieve around 30-35 MB/s, FW800 around 50-55 MB/s. SATA and eSATA are equally fast and will achieve in the best case around 80-110 MB/s depending on fill rate, buffer size and RPM's. A 2 disk SATA raid0 will show around 170 MB/s and my weird 12 disk raid30 over 800 MB/s.

Look at these results:
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Old July 11th, 2009, 04:47 PM   #27
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David,

To parrot Kevin, keep it simple. A simple case with 1 or 2 BR/DVD burners, 4 disks internally, one Velociraptor 150 GB for OS & programs C, one 500 GB SATA for pagefile and scratch disks D, one 1 TB SATA for media and projects E and one SATA for final projects F.

All X58 mobo's support that number of disks, there is no need yet to go to raid configurations but if your case is large enough, you can add that at a later date. In my Guide I have given suggestions for video cards as well. My personal favorite at this moment would be the ATI 4890 (or 4870 with a smaller budget) with at least 512 MB.

For a simple setup like this I don't see the advantage of the more expensive externals.

Kevin made a point of the electricity bill, which is an understandable and valid concern, but if you take into consideration that the average disk nowadays will consume around 8-10 Watts under load, I think that is a rather meek point. Specially if your CPU will consume up to 150 W and your video card will not be far behind in power consumption or even surpass it.

Oh, Kevin, I only have a 1000 W PSU.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 05:22 PM   #28
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Nice Harm. 1000watt for 17 drives + cpus and video? How do you have enough connectors for all them.. OR did I see that image earlier and you have an external drive bay with most of your HDs thru eSata into your computer?

So I want to make sure I got this right.. eSata is around 100 to 150mbs or so.. yet your getting 800mbs? How are you getting that speed? Sorry.. your first image you posted it looked like you had a rack of HDs and not one computer with HDs in it. It may be the angle or something, but it looked like a full rack of hardware, and not a rack computer.

I am guessing you do something in the hardware/software field since you have this kind of gear. You do realize that most editors have a dual cpu quad core with a couple HDs or even less to work with lol. You have a serious setup that no doubt kicks arse.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 06:10 PM   #29
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Harm,

Could you explain "pagefile". I looked it up but still don't quite understand. And "scratch disk" is where CS4 would be creating temp files? The original clips from memory cards should go on which drive? Sorry, I'm getting better though at understanding these terms.
I won't have a need to swap drives in and out so I'll probably keep it all internal.

So you like the ATI 4890 over the Nvidia cards like GeForce GTX 285? I was going to ask you what you thought about the "Elemental Accellerator" plug for CS4 but just noticed it's $1,800.

I was reading some of the comments and your answers in the Adobe Forums and now I'm wondering if I should wait until later in the year when Windows 7 comes out.

Last edited by David Merrill; July 11th, 2009 at 07:49 PM.
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Old July 11th, 2009, 08:00 PM   #30
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Page file is what the OS uses when it's out of memory. You specify a location for this in Windows. When you put in a 2nd (or more) drive, it's best to put this on a driver OTHER than the main OS drive as it adds a minor bump in performance.. or sometimes a nice bump depending on cpu speed and memory speed. Using your scratch disk for the page file should be fine. Scratch disk is a similar concept for Adobe product.. they store temporary files among other things on this disk. Each SATA hd is on a separate controller, so by using different HDs for different things you speed up your system a little bit. I got an ATI 4870, wish I had got the 4890. It's a great card and for the price is faster than the nvidia stuff right now. They go back and forth every generation. I'd opt for the ATI right now.

The case is nice. I really like my CollerMaster COSMOS case. It's a really solid built case, has room for 8 or 10 drives, all with slide rails, + 5 or so dvd drives. and has a ton of room inside, easy to move around, plenty of cooling, and the side doors are screwless as well as the drive bays.. so very easy access. It's a tall case, but well worth $175 or so I paid for it. I would have bought a 2nd one, but found a decent "gamer" case for $100 that also had good room and a huge fan on top and fans in front of the HDs. For $100 it's a better deal, but the COSMOS is just the best case I've ever owned.
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