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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old September 30th, 2003, 02:03 PM   #16
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I've been using software raids for about 5 years now with never a problem. Massive video files, days of editing, nothing fazes them.

In fact the only RAID problem I had was with a Promise card before I switched to the soft route.

The nice thing about software RAID is that all of the disk utility software companies develop their software with Soft RAID in mind because it's built by Microsoft. Add a hardware controller in the mix and now you have 3 companies involved.

That's exactly how I lost data on my Promise'd RAID. Norton didn't exactly and completely support the hardware.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 02:40 PM   #17
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Mike,

I am VERY interested in this soft-RAID thing, I've always been told I had to get a card. How do you physically connect the drives to your IDE? Say I want six 200GB drives, will WinXP Prof handle that?

To everyone else,

Please check out SaferSeas.com. They have some custom built turnkey systems that are better than anything I've seen. They take the best boards, drives, video cards, etc, and piece together a system that will blow your mind.
They even package together the audio editing components that were mentioned.

I am not affliated with them, but I've been shopping for two years and I am going to go with them when my budget is approved. I can't wait!!
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Old September 30th, 2003, 03:46 PM   #18
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Yes, you can hook up many drives although I've only had 4 going at once. Normal IDE controller connections. I've had 4 channels of IDE controller and 2 channels of SCSI operating at the same time with 11 disks. Plus a CD burner and a DVD player.

Right Click on My Computer, click on Manage, Click on Disk Management.

Make each drive a Dynamic volume by right clicking on the gray box at the left of each drives line. Then under the Action menu, tell the system what you want to do.

Oh, you can also mirror drives in software if you need to.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 04:04 PM   #19
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Thanks! But more specific to the hardware, do they have IDE cables with 4 or more plugs on them? Do you just daisy chain them or what?
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Old September 30th, 2003, 05:58 PM   #20
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You can only attach 2 drives to an IDE ribbon (although performance will be degraded since you can't access both at once). Most motherboards will have 2 IDE channels (supports 4 drives). The optimal setup is one drive per channel. You can add more channels with IDE controller cards- these come with some of the >137GB hard drives and hardware RAID controllers will also have multiple channels- anywhere from 2 to 8 and maybe even more.

But anyways, once you have all the drives plugged in (they should all be the same model) you use software (i.e. winXP) to RAID them together.
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Old September 30th, 2003, 11:20 PM   #21
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performance?
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Old October 1st, 2003, 10:47 AM   #22
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Glenn, your statements and Mike Rehmus' are contradictary. Mike says he is able to run >4 drives without hardware RAID controllers. Also, the other two ports are usually occupied by DVD burners/CD-ROMs etc., so we're really talking about 2, unless Mike has found a way to wire more. That's what I'm hoping he'll respond to.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 11:30 AM   #23
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You can run more than 4 drives by adding in IDE/ATA controller cards. A RAID controller can also act as a (very expensive) IDE controller card.

With SCSI (which is what Mike has) you can have lots of drives per channel. On some motherboards this is built in, otherwise you have to get a SCSI controller. If your motherboard has SATA controllers too then you can put in 1 drive for each SATA controller.
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Old October 1st, 2003, 11:46 AM   #24
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You will notice I said I had 4 channels of IDE and a 2-channel SCSI controller in a single computer.

More detail:
I had 5 SCSI drives RAIDed at once and 2 IDE drives RAIDed per channel pair.

The speeds were way more than is necessary for real time computing. Sustained read & write speeds with 66 mhz IDE channels and drives (5400 rpm) was as good as the 10,000 rpm Seagate Cheetah SCSI drive (75 gig, standalone, not RAIDed).

For most of my work, the SATA (Seagate) and 133 Mhz ATA drives (Western Digital 8 meg buffer, 7200 rpm) are fast enough when they are running in DMA mode.

Since reliability without mirroring on RAID drives is not as good (although I've only had the single problem on the Promise RAID) as separate drives, I haven't installed RAID in the latest version of my main editing computer.

Since the motherboard has a built-in Promise controller for 2 SATA and 2 ATA drives, I will probably add to them later.

This motherboard, BTW, has 7 IDE channels if you count the conventional 2-channel IDE setup (2 drives per cable), the 2 SATA, 2 SATA RAID & single ATA RAID (2 drives, one cable)

I didn't find much difference between Master and Slave positions for the RAIDed drives. I did avoid placing a pair on a single channel. Obviously Promise & Asus don't consider that a big problem since the Promise controller offers only a single channel for the ATA RAID setup.

Bottom line - Software RAIDs are more than fast enough for normal real-time video editing. Only if I were to start working with a significant amount of uncompressed or HD video would I go to a faster setup. Then that would be the fastest SCSI RAID, not ATA.
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