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Old February 8th, 2004, 02:37 PM   #1
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Two Hard Drives Needed?

Hello.

I am considering the purchase of a new Dell Demension 4600 but Dell tells me it only has room for one internal HD. My current system (old and slow) has two drives and I can see the benefit.

The question: Can I get away with editing on one drive?

The new set-up would be as follows:

Premier 6.0
XP Home

Pentium IV HT 3GHz 500MHz FSB
120 GB Serial ATA HD
512MB Dual Channel SDRAM
($759.00 online - not bad)

Any input would help.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 02:59 PM   #2
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Hi Alex
I edited for a time using Premiere 6.0 with one hard drive. It worked OK. But if I were looking to acquire a new computer, I would be looking for at least 2 drives--plus room inside for other things I might want to add in the future. I don't think I'd (personally) look at a computer I couldn't add more "stuff" to. It seems a roadblock that can be avoided with just a little more money. Easy for me to say, eh? ;^)

Have you thought of adding an external drive to this computer? I don't have a lot of experience with them, but I've seen them used to good effect...
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Old February 8th, 2004, 03:08 PM   #3
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Point well taken.

I can avoid this road block by steppping up to the Deminsion 8300 for about $190, so it seems like a no brainer since an external drive would be at least that much and if I step up I'll install one of my existing drives.

Is it true that Premier Pro needs a dedicated drive?

If so, that is one more reason to go with the 8300.

Thanks,
Alex
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Old February 8th, 2004, 03:35 PM   #4
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No it doesn't need it. But it will definitely work better.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 03:38 PM   #5
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Hmm I got down to $728 for a barebones Dell with 2.8ghz HT 800FSB processor 120GB SATA drive, but then you have to add things. A 40GB drive + a 250GB drive off newegg.com is a better idea (or better yet, there are some really good deals on hard drives if you check hot deals sites).

(to get the best deal, keep searching for "subtract" on the small business page. Leave the hard drive alone, you don't want the value HD.)

Right now the Dell costs slightly more than buying your own parts and putting your own computer together. $929 for a Dell (with install-it-yourself DVD burner, floppy, firewire card, $15 optical mouse, dual head video card from newegg.com) versus $859 for an equivalent system with newegg parts. $70 difference. Both ways have free shipping.

Hmm I just noticed something, you might want 2X512MB of RAM with Premiere Pro. That's the recommended amount. I don't use the program much though, because Vegas Video is much better ;) Dell's upgrade option for 2X512MB of RAM is overpriced. It costs $184 for 2X512MB PC3200 off crucial.com (free shipping, that's good RAM), while the Dell upgrade costs $210. You can auction off the old sticks on eBay (~$80 value, should fetch half that?) and you come out ahead.

The Dell 4600 should be able to take at least 2HDs. On their site, there is an option for a second HD. Also, you can get enclosures and use the 5 1/2" bays too, or jury rig your own setup. A 40GB system drive and a 250GB drive should be good enough. You should be able to get more drives into there.
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Old February 8th, 2004, 05:24 PM   #6
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Thanks Glenn. Lots to consider. Although it sounds like fun I don't want to build this thing myself. But I do like your idea to check out the small business page on Dell.

Alex
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Old February 8th, 2004, 10:26 PM   #7
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I just got a new Dimension 4600 and it does have room for a second drive. I don't understand unless you've got something configured differently.

I've already put the second drive in.

In addition to those, I run at least 2 external firewire drives at all times, depending on the project.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 12:51 AM   #8
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Bryan,

Interesting. Cnet said it was expandable to hold two internal drives but I called Dell twice just to be sure and both times they told me no-can-do. Maybe they meant I couldn't have them install a second drive for me, which I wasn't asking them to do anyway - I was planning to install a drive I already have myself.

Is the 4600 doing the job to your satisfaction?
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Old February 9th, 2004, 04:26 AM   #9
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The interesting thing with a system from DELL is that you can
decide what kind of support options you want (which can be
very benifitial if you are running a business). You don't have
that with a home built system. Ofcourse if you are good at
homebuilding this probably won't be an issue.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 06:48 AM   #10
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Dell support from what I hear sucks if you're a home user. It's good if you have a large contract with them but home users are more likely to get support from people in India. You could check out resellerratings.com, Dell has a pretty dismal rating there. Not to mention, Dell's service plans cost a lot.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 07:27 AM   #11
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Alex,
if you can't add a second drive then I'd at least partition the single drive. For DV projects a 100GB partition for your video files should be ample. If you need to store a number of projects then external firewire drives are a good option.

Glen,
I don't know what Dell is like in your neck of the woods but here in Japan they are great. I've got an Inspiron 3800 laptop that's 3 years old and it had a keyboard problem about a year ago. The first time Dell picked it up, replaced the faulty keys, and a broken HHD mount, and delivered it back to my door in 48hrs. A few months later the same problem was back, again within 48hrs they had it back to me this time they had replaced the entire keyboard and even the power adapter that was looking a little tatty. If that's not good service then I don't know what is.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 07:57 AM   #12
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Hi,

The Dell at 800fsb sounds nice, but I would call and get the motherboard specifications and maker and model number and post it here.

There are enough folks with hardware experience to look at the mobo, chipset, and other features to give a fair evaluation of the hardware.

It sounds like a P4 mobo with an Intel 865P chipset - that's good - but I have heard some report that the Intel 865PE chipset isn't great.

You'd want to check available PCI slots, too. Any mobo that has too few to add any PCI devices will be a disappointment down the road. You can, for example, add a PCI IDE card and use it to control 4 additional drives in regular or RAID for the cost of the drives and the controller - usually around $50-75.

There are a lot of NLE choices out there, too. Some like particular hardware, some don't care.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 09:35 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by Alex Geschke :
Bryan,

Interesting. Cnet said it was expandable to hold two internal drives but I called Dell twice just to be sure and both times they told me no-can-do. Maybe they meant I couldn't have them install a second drive for me, which I wasn't asking them to do anyway - I was planning to install a drive I already have myself.

Is the 4600 doing the job to your satisfaction?
Alex,

The 4600 does fine. I just got it last week, it replaces a Dimension 4550 machine that was my editor. That machine is now used exclusively for DVD authoring.

The 4600 I got is a 2.8, with 1.12GB of RAM.

I'm running Premiere Pro (in addition to about every other Adobe product) on it and it's fine. I very routinely have Premiere, After Effects, and Photoshop running at the same time with no trouble.

Here are some pictures. The first is of the entire computer, the hard drives are vertical at the front of the machine.

http://www.617pg.com/images/4600_wide.jpg

The second is a close up of the HDs.

http://www.617pg.com/images/HD.jpg

When I got the machine, the main HD was in the left slot, not the one nearest the front of the computer. This made it difficult to install the second drive in the right slot. I could have done it, but it would have really twisted up the cables. So I took out the original HD and moved it forward to the right slot, and put the second drive in the left.

Hope that helps. Unless you're getting a odd ball configuration, I can't see why they'd be telling you that you can only have one HD.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 06:11 PM   #14
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Quote:
Glen,
I don't know what Dell is like in your neck of the woods but here in Japan they are great.
My personal experience with Dell was in my high school, which was part of University of Toronto and had a large contract with Dell. Service was excellent. However, from what I hear, home users do not get the same level of service since Dell outsourced to India. There are press reports on that, and Dell's resellerratings.com rating is pretty dismal. Dell is a large company and there might be overreporting from people who have problems, but with so many reports I'd say Dell does have a problem.
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Old February 9th, 2004, 10:44 PM   #15
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Thanks Brian. Very helpful.

I just can't figure out why they told me one drive only. I really think it had to do with their assembly line being set up to only put one drive in that modle.

Anyway, thanks again.
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