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Old November 21st, 2005, 01:26 PM   #1
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Hard Drive Setup for Video Editing

I'm setting up my new computer. I would like anyones input as to what would be the best way to set it up for HD & SD video editing. It has an AMD X2 4200 processor and 2g of Ram. I have the following hard dirves, 2 - 160g IDE and 2 - 250g SATA 150 drives. The 2 IDE drives are set up as primary and slave on the first IDE port, with DVD burner/rom on IDE 2. Is this the way IDE drives should be set?
My plan is to set up as follows:

1st 160g IDE - 2 partitions - 40g as C: drive for Win XP pro operating system and utilities, the second partition for general programs and data.

2nd 160g IDE - 2 partitions - 40g as mirror image of C: (operating system), and 2nd partition for programs and backup use.

The 2 SATA drives in Raid 0 for video capture.

Is this a good setup for the best efficiency in video editing/encoding?

Also, where should I install my editing software, does it need to be in same partition as oper. system, or on the same physical drive as the operating system?

Or would it be better on the 2nd IDE drive? (I'm thinking it wouldn't be interferring with all of Win XP's I/O traffic?

Or does it need to be on the Sata's? Is Raid 0 the way to go with the SATA drives?

Any of you computer Guru's out there, I'd sure appreciate any ideas or help on this. Thanks, PK
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Old December 1st, 2005, 12:51 PM   #2
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Aren't there any computer Guru's out there? I need someone to please enlighten me as to the best way to set up Win XP pro and my hard drives for optimum performance? Any tips, would be highly appreciated - thank you very much - PK.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 12:59 PM   #3
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Basically, you should have the programs on your boot disk. No need for partitions, but no harm either.

Have the drive you capture to on the RAID as you indicated.

I would also keep another drive for scratch files, like the rendered files and audio conforming.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 04:02 PM   #4
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My setup is as follows. Gigabyte Ultra 9, AMD Athlon 64 X2 4200, 40G boot drive on IDE1 WIN XP SP2 OS and programs( though all temp and default files are directed to 160G SATA drive), LG burner on IDE 2, 160G SATA for temp and rendered files(Temp directories for Sound Forge, Vegas, Premiere Pro and Edius) , 160G SATA for storage, 200G SATA2 for storage and an external 200G IDE in USB2 box. All drives have just the one partition, all NTSF format. I only have editing software on the machine , no virus software etc all XP firewall and helpful!!! features etc turned OFF, only time I go to internet is for updates the rest of the time link is disabled.

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Old December 1st, 2005, 07:14 PM   #5
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Thanks Steve and Ron

Steve, I didn't know it was important for the programs to be on the boot drive, thanks for the advice. You also mention another drive for scratch files, like the rendered files and audio conforming. I don't know how the software has it set up right now, or how to specify where to put it - I don't recall seeing such an option during setup. Why shouldn't the scratch be the same as the capture drive?

Should I have the programs and operating system on a SATA drive? Currently they are on an IDE drive. I was thinking that the IDE was fast enough for the program, since it seems the programs are more Processor intensive.

Ron, I see you've got your system set up with the operating system and programs on the IDE drive, but you have "all temp and default files are directed to 160G SATA drive." Again, why/how does this improve performance? How did you find all the temp+default files (what are default files?) and get them directed to your sata drives?

I currently have Premier Elements loaded, and I am trying out the demo version of Vegas and Liquid.

Thanks again, for helping a neophyte like me out - PK
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Old December 1st, 2005, 08:37 PM   #6
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It is not that important to have the programs on the boot disk, it is just important not to hae them on the disk you capture to. And most people use the boot disk for programs. Almost everybody in fact.

Programs on the IDE drive are fine.
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Old December 1st, 2005, 09:07 PM   #7
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I don't have Premiere Elements but in Premiere under properties you can set up what type of capture control, where the video files will be stored and where audio files and temp/rendered files will be stored. The NLE's have similar setups in their properties too, they just all have them in different places!!!! With all you will need to specify where the captured files are stored and all have a properties menu item that will at least allow you to specify where the preview files are stored. I mainly do two camera shoots and then mix afterwards. I tconsequently put one cameras files on one drive and the other on the other drive. This way each drive is only ever writing or reading one file at a time. My main editor is EDius from Canopus which has a capture utiliy that can capture 3 streams at a time so I capture from both cameras to the two drives at the same time. In this same light, files that have to be rendered by the NLE for colour correction or transitions end up on the third temp/preview drive. In this way each drive has a very light load for todays drives. DV only needs 3.5MBs where each of my SATA drives easily sustains over 40MBs. Drives are relativeley cheap and most MB these days have at least 4 SATA and 2 IDE connectors making this configuration easy. HDV is much more demanding on the system but not neccesarily on the hard drives. Capture rate is still like DV at 25mbs and if converted to intermediate codec will lead to files that are potentially three times the size. A single stream is still well within the specs of a modern hard drive. Problems may arise when more than one stream is read from the same hard drive in a random order and this is where either distributing files across different drives or using a RAID is needed. Using a RAID may make management a little easier, just one big drive with everything on it, but it has the downside of just one problem results in loss of everything( for a RAID 0 ). I have just chosen to use the multiple drive approach since a single stream of even DVCPro HD is still only 100mbs ( 12.5MBs ) still less than a quarter of the speed of my SATA drives.

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Old December 2nd, 2005, 07:43 PM   #8
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Thanks Again Steve and Ron

I sure do appreciate your help and info.
Last night while editing-color correction and Transitions -I kept having Adobe Premier Elements freeze up on me.

I thought with the new AMD 4200 X2, motherboard, 2-gig ram, and lots of hard drive space, that I would have overcome this problem.

Basically, after editing for a while ( making further cuts in some Tennis footage of my son at the state tournament ) I would go back to check the smoothness of the cut and transition. Then I would rapidly go on to the next point that needed further refining of the edit. After 10 min. of doing this, while checking the playback over the edit, the video would freeze, but the sound would continue playing. Sometimes instead of just freezing, the video playback window would go black, as wouldthe little icons of the clip on the time line. Sometimes, leaving the machine alone for 10 minutes, things would go back to normal for awhile. Other times you could still exit Premiere, yet other times she would be frozen and need the ctrl-alt-delete taskmanager to exit. Usually after saving and exiting, then restarting, would bring everything back up normal for a while, then the above would happen again.

This is just with DV footage, not HD footage. I have a Sony HC-1 on the way, but how will this setup hold up under HDV footage? Yes, I know Elements won't do HDV, but still I seem to have some sort of "bottleneck" here!
I have the program - Premiere, on a the same IDE hard drive as operating system - boot drive, except diff. partition. The following are all on the Sate Raid O array: Premiere Auto save, Premiere Preview, Premiere Project, and the raw avi files.
Do I have to adjust some other settings in Win XP ? I just have a new "virgin install" of the default Win XP Pro - from a week ago.
From what I had read, I thought that the new AMD X2 would "fly" through this stuff. Am I expecting too much?
My projects are ofteb 30-60 min. long, and it always seems thing go smoothly until all the editing and color correction start to add up! ie. a 10 min project, or raw edit without collor coorection go smoothly. With tweaking, my panny GS-400 footage can truly look as good as commercial DVD footage, but it needs sharpeness/saturation/contrast/black level tweaking.
Am I asking too much???? How do you guys do it? I'm lost without your help, so I do sincerely appreciate your time and efforts, Thank you very much again for any help/suggestions you have.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 01:44 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paul Kepen
This is just with DV footage, not HD footage. I have a Sony HC-1 on the way, but how will this setup hold up under HDV footage? Yes, I know Elements won't do HDV, but still I seem to have some sort of "bottleneck" here!
since you started this thread wrt hard drives, we should probably clarify that issue right off the bat.

first off, if i remember correctly, dv and hdv have similar bitrates, so the load on the hard drive should be the same for both formats... forget the concept that hdv requires more hard drive capability than dv does... i would guess that your 2 sata drives on raid 0 are overkill for both formats.

one thing you can do is to learn how to read the hard drive indicator light... if your drives are getting hammered, the light(s) will be lit up solid, indicating that the drive is being constantly accessed.

i would love to be able to edit on a computer with the kind of cpu and ram that you have... you could start the troubleshooting by examining the background processes that you have running on the computer, i.e., stupid anti-virus programs like norton, that take over your computer... with winxp, you'd like to be in the neighborhood of 25 processes or less running in the background, and most especially, no application that virus-scans every single file that is created as part of the editing process.

finally, get over the fixation of tweaking every inch of footage that you shoot... if it wasn't shot right, fix your skills as a shooter, at the camera, not in post, because all that re-encoding before it goes out to it's final codec will not improve things like resolution... you can't ever improve picture quality by re-rendering, the best that you can hope for is to make defective footage more viewable.
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 06:19 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan Euritt
since you started this thread wrt hard drives, we should probably clarify that issue right off the bat.

first off, if i remember correctly, dv and hdv have similar bitrates, so the load on the hard drive should be the same for both formats... forget the concept that hdv requires more hard drive capability than dv does... i would guess that your 2 sata drives on raid 0 are overkill for both formats.

one thing you can do is to learn how to read the hard drive indicator light... if your drives are getting hammered, the light(s) will be lit up solid, indicating that the drive is being constantly accessed.

i would love to be able to edit on a computer with the kind of cpu and ram that you have... you could start the troubleshooting by examining the background processes that you have running on the computer, i.e., stupid anti-virus programs like norton, that take over your computer... with winxp, you'd like to be in the neighborhood of 25 processes or less running in the background, and most especially, no application that virus-scans every single file that is created as part of the editing process.

finally, get over the fixation of tweaking every inch of footage that you shoot... if it wasn't shot right, fix your skills as a shooter, at the camera, not in post, because all that re-encoding before it goes out to it's final codec will not improve things like resolution... you can't ever improve picture quality by re-rendering, the best that you can hope for is to make defective footage more viewable.
I'm sure there's a number of forum members/guests who read the initial post and wondered what the problem was... and decided not to add a reply, because it just felt irrelevant to do so.

Yeah: there's gonna be tips and tricks a-plenty that'll extract that tiny little bit extra from the OS, HD setup, RAM and mainboard. All of them applied to the sorts of systems we were using over 5 years ago, and unless one really hasn't been keeping up with the technology and it's current capabilities, there is really no excuse for thinking that 'hiccups' are the hardware, or software's fault.

If they are tangibly real faults that one is experiencing with DV video editing on a system that should have little to no difficulty in dealing with DV... then you need to learn how to logically track down the fault.

I'm also convinced that the way some of the newer computing hardware is promoted as having "such unbelievable power" and can deal with "R/T playback of multiple edited HD streams", lulls the more susceptible to believe they'll never see any frame drops or stuttering of video - no matter how hard they try to get their system too.

It's a shame reality has to intervene sometimes. The reality is - push a computing system hard enough... and it'll begin to fall over. You want to run as many processing functions on HDV m2t as those mentioned as being used on DV; and the system is gonna fall over even quicker.

If anyone got the idea that Dual-core, and RAID arrays meant there's no need for HDV proxies, or intermediate editing CODECs like CFHD - they'd better think again!!
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Old December 3rd, 2005, 06:23 PM   #11
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Hi Dan

Thanks for the input. I agree, I hate what a hog Norton is. Unfortunatly, I have Norton and Spy Sweeper on my system. Is Macafee less of a hog?
I try to use this machine as little as possible for the internet and i use Mozilla FireFox - except for a few secure sites that require IE. I don't know if I mentioned, but I've been playing with the demo version of Vegas. It won't let you make a dvd from the demo version, so I output it as an avi, imported into premiere, added a menu and chapters.. (the other day strangely Premiere would freeze if I shut dowm Spy sweeper) Usually I disconnect my internet cable, shutdown norton and spy sweeper. Last night I left it all on I came back 3 hours later and it had completely rendered and burned the best looking 52minute DVD I have yet made. (I must add that Vegas took 2 1/2 hours to render out to avi.)
It was all shot with a panny GS-400 and looked as rich and detailed as commercial DVD movies. I have a 123" Sony G-90 front projection system, so that is why I'm so obsessed with the quality. Raw gs400 footage looks like broadcast quality on a 32 sd TV, but on the big screen, it need a bit of help in saturation and black level. Anyways, go figure?, it seemed to work like a charm when i forgot to turn off Antivirus + spy sweeper!
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Old December 4th, 2005, 06:57 PM   #12
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if you have your computer set up right, there will be an icon in the bottom right hand corner of the computer that tells you if you are connected to the 'net... click on it, and you can then turn 'net access on or off with a second click... real simple.

there used to be a website that was created by a guy called black viper, and he went into all the overhead garbage on winxp... don't know if it ever came back online, but you'll need to learn how winxp works, if you want to get the most out of your computer.

as steve indicated, hdv requires massive computing power; if you are having problems with dv, you could be in deep caca trying to edit hdv.

to repeat, always re-rendering every second of dv footage only shows that it was not shot correctly to begin with... you can't overcome that with re-rendering... i'd suggest really getting into the setup menu of the camcorder; for instance, some cams will let you adjust the sharpening.
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Old December 5th, 2005, 10:06 AM   #13
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If you really always need to alter every clip in some way then switch to Canopus Edius Pro3 which will allow realtime output for just about everything ( I usually render titles). I would also advise you to get another really cheap PC just to use for mail and the internet and take ALL virus scanning etc off your editing PC. You can still use the same keyboard , mouse and monitor just get a KVM switch and a router/switch. That way you can download to this cheap PC and scan before transfering to the editing PC if you have to. Just check the editing PC every so often with Trend Micro's free internet virus scanning service. Norton and McAfee are both terrible, for virus scanning get the free( for home use ) Avast virus scanner( its better and its free and doesn't mess up Firefox or Thunderbird.).

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Old December 5th, 2005, 07:27 PM   #14
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Thanks Everyone

I appreciate everyones help immensly, Thank you all!
To the cinamatographers out there, I'm just a home video enthusiast that's trying to get better. I don't have a "set" where I can control the lighting and my friends and family don't always wait to do there catch-worthy acts when they are in the right lighting. They don't even know when they are in the right position/lighting. I've been into photography for years, so I understand lighting. However, with video you don't have as much latitude and with moving subjects and moving pictures it is more complex. We shoot snow/water skiing, snowmobiling, tennis, flying, travel, family, etc. stuff. Often, a lot of places (skiing) don't allow bring a bunch of equipment. I have uv+polarizing filters, and a small 10w light for assistance, that's about it.
The DV footage we have looks great on a 32" TV. When blown up on the 123" HDTV system, DV footage, and regular SD broadcast is pale and lacking in saturation and black level. Commercial DVD's and HDTV look stunning on the 123" screen, hence, I mess around with color, gama, saturation, etc. to get "the look." If someone has an easier-less time consuming way to accomplish this, I'm all ears! Someone mentioned playing with the camera menu controls, and I have to a limited extent, and they do help.
Our good friends are getting married on a Windjammer cruise and have designated me to shoot the video.. I have the panny gs400 and a sony hc-1 that I ordered last week. I know that mixing footage with these 2 will require quite a bit of color balancing. Also syncronizing them should be fun. So if ther is an easier way, I'd love to know. Thanks again, and hope everyone has a wonderful Holiday Season - PK
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Old December 13th, 2005, 09:19 PM   #15
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other AMD/hd questions

sorry, I posted a reply on the wrong thread. Well, actually my post relates to both http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...881#post394881
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