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Old February 5th, 2004, 03:03 AM   #1
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Two or more hard drives -- how?

I was wondering how to go about on installing seperate hard drives for perhaps OS/Applications, then Games/Video/Multimedia, etc, etc. I heard its a complicated process which involves RAID and must have a motherboard/chipset that supports this feature and a whole a lot of complications that can arise if you don't know how to do it correctly. Are there any other ways? A friend of mine told me just to plug in the HDs and set one to master/slave or something... Would the RAID benefit any? Pros/cons of each?

And typically, how much % should you have left free for your HD so that it remains stable and crash-free? Like, if I have a 80GB HD. And I used up about 30GB already and 50GB left. Would I need to be able to save at least 10 or 5GB left of free space for the computer to be stable? Therefore, I could only use up a max of 40GB?
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Old February 5th, 2004, 03:37 AM   #2
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David,

Raid is mainly used for redundancy - i.e. if a drive fails then you can still use the others. There are 5 levels of raid.

You don't really need it in most cases.

What I would say is, don't place any applications or games on your media drive - that will slow the machine down and take up space for video. Generally speaking when you have filled your video/media drive with only 20% free, thatís when you might start to see more errors occur.

Cheers,

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Old February 5th, 2004, 09:20 AM   #3
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Hi,

You have good advice - use more drives for editing content and such.

You *might* use removable trays for O/S for gaming and Video - that would make sense. You could also have more drives in trays - if you do a lot of projects.

RAIDs are nice - I have two - but for editing DV, likely more than you need.

Best of luck.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 12:10 PM   #4
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I have two 80 GB drives. I have one with my OS and apps on, and one that I use for data and DV backups. It really doesn't matter where you dump the DV to or which drive you do the editing on, BUT when it comes time to render you always go from one drive to the other.

I personally think RAID is a waste for home use, speaking as a guy who has been in "the biz" for about 15 years. I use RAID 5 on my file and ERP servers at work, but that is more for redundancy than speed. If one of the drives fails, I can hot-swap a new one in and the OS will rebuild it from the data off the other drives.

My advice would be to forget raid, and just have two drives that you render to and from - that is where the real speed savings comes in (it basically halves your time, since you don't have one drive writing to and from itself!).

One last thing - you really don't need to care about keeping a huge amount of space free on your drives, but I wouldn't cram them until there is no more physical space left. A few gigs free should suffice. More important for doing DV work is having at least a half gig of RAM, a fast processor, and Windows XP if you're a Windows user.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 12:21 PM   #5
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This thread got me to thinking.

I have two internal drives in my pc right now. One 80 gig and one 120 gig. I use the 80 gig as a boot drive and applications. The 120 is used for storing all of my video clips. So basically when I render I'm using the same 120 drive to render to and from. Wouldn't it be a good idea to purchase an external firewire drive to render to? I noticed Best Buy sells external Maxtor firewire drives for pretty cheap. Anybody used these before?
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Old February 5th, 2004, 01:42 PM   #6
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I haven't used one myself, but am salivating over the thought of one at home (I'm a programmer, and can't really justify an expensive external HD for work use.. lol). Sam's Club has a 120 gig for $130, but man, that is still $130 for something I *really* don't need.

I don't know Firewire's exact specs, but it should be fast enough to render to... most rendering is CPU bottlenecked anyway, so it's not like you're constantly maxxing out the drive's capabilities. Even if it didn't work and I dropped frames like a madman, it would still be great to have a portable HD with all your important data on it. I had a motherboard go south last year and take both my hard drives with it (IDE controller flaked out and nuked both 40 giggers I had... that's the only time I've ever seen that happen, and of course it happened on my own PC!). Thankfully I had just gotten a DVD burner, and was playing around with backing up my important data on DVD+R. Yikes.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 04:50 PM   #7
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OK. But how do I go on doing it? I am a computer illiterate and if I just purchase another HD, would I have to install any software ... Do I just plug it into the motherboard and set the BIOS options to one being master, and one being slave?
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Old February 5th, 2004, 04:55 PM   #8
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Presumably if firewire is fast enough to allow print to tape it's fast enough to render to an external disk!

I was just given (yeehar!) a 250gb Western Digital firewire drive to add to my 120 and 80 internals. I'm just trying to figure out the best place for everything. The 120gb was the first disk so all my apps are installed there and the 80gb I plan to use as a "workbench" before transferring archives and finished projects to the external. All my stock images and audio are now on the external although it means I have to go through the annoyance of locating missing clips each time I load up an old project.

How does one determine the speed of a specific drive (in terms of rpm etc)? I ran the web based tune up thing (sorry, can't remember what it's called) and I got serious alerts for my two internal drives - despite defragging and switching off NAV.

I read somewhere that the master/slave jumpers and the position on the IDE cable are possible factors in poor performance. Anyone got any good sites they could point me to with a few performance walkthroughs?

Ian . . .
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Old February 5th, 2004, 06:12 PM   #9
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Ed is right, no applications (including games) should go on the media drive...of course, when you are installing software, the default is to the C: drive, which is the system drive.

My D: drive is called "Storage" and it is just that, all media storage, no apps.

Ian, the box should have had the speed printed on it. I like 7200 RPM personally.
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Old February 5th, 2004, 06:46 PM   #10
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www.storagereview.com has great information on hard drives, but not all of it is relevant. They don't have much video editing information in terms of hard drives (but neither do other sites).

Quote:
I read somewhere that the master/slave jumpers and the position on the IDE cable are possible factors in poor performance. Anyone got any good sites they could point me to with a few performance walkthroughs?
I've done some tests and hard drive speed for DV doesn't really make a difference for Vegas with DV. Practically, there really isn't much reason to tweak your hard drives unless they are a bottleneck. 7200rpm drives are more than enough for DV and will only bottleneck when configured incorrectly. Causes:
- you're using PIO mode instead of DMA mode.
- some other device on the same channel/ribbon is slowing your hard drive down?
- crappy hardware (certain RAID controllers don't do RAID well)
- fragmentation (seen it happen on a slow laptop drive, normally this shouldn't be a problem though)

Keep about 10% of your system/applications drive free to avoid fragmentation. Once you have little space left it's hard to shuffle data around to avoid fragmentation. For your video drive I don't think fragmentation will be a problem, although the last bit of a hard drive is the slowest part of a hard drive. For DV that isn't a problem.

Master/slave: cable select instead of master/slave makes your life easier, but both ways work.

But seriously, I wouldn't worry about this stuff. Just edit already.
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Old February 6th, 2004, 02:40 AM   #11
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If only I still had the boxes <sigh>.

Glenn, some interesting stuff there, thanks. I think I should take it seriously though, as according to the comparison done by www.pitstop.com, both the internal drives are running at less than 20% of the performance of comparable systems.

That doesn't sound right to me! I don't know how safe Pitstop's analysis is, but because the result was SO low I think I should investigate.

I read somewhere that very slow boot times may have something to do with the configuration of hard disks. I have about a 3 minute boot which is frustrating.

Thanks again for the pointers.

Ian . . .
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Old February 9th, 2004, 03:14 AM   #12
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I was thinking about using a two or four disk RAID for my uncompressed video files. For about $500
(after rebates), I can do a four 250 GB 7200 RPM drives setup.
If it's not worth it for DV editing and MPEG2 encoding, I'd like to know. My local store is selling Western Digital 250 GB drives for around $120.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 07:32 AM   #13
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Uncompressed or DV?

You'd be fine with the four 250GB drives as single drives on channels for DV - which is already compressed 5:1.

Uncompressed video would be different.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 09:47 AM   #14
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Matrox recommends to have 3 drives in their system specs for the RTX 100 extreme. 1 for capture 1 for exporting/ rendering and 1 for system/ programs. It sure is easier to locate your video clips :)

You only really need to worry about raid or faster drives if you are capturing in Beta SP/ sx via SDI.

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Old February 9th, 2004, 02:22 PM   #15
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Mike, I'd do both uncompressed and DV video editing. I'm primarily interested in accelerating the read/write of uncompressed files with a 2-4 disk RAID (striped ).
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