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Old February 23rd, 2004, 01:36 PM   #1
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Some questions related to HDs & NLE programs

I have some basic questions regarding computer hardware, NLE editing systems, and the programs or software associated with video editing.

1. Now, I know that one 80GB HD is not enough, especially since I have used up about 20GB already just for OS/apps/games. I am most likely going to get either another 80GB or 120GB HD dedicated to video editing/and possibly multimedia (sound, music?). Or is this not good? I mean, I will definately put video editing into another HD, but is it ok to include other multimedia files like sound? I am thinking the main HD for games, apps/OS... the second HD for multimedia/video editing. Dunno if this is recommended or not. Please do offer advice.

2. This question refers to the computer HDs. Since I will be getting one or two more HDs... I will use RAID (My motherboard supports it, but I don't know how it works/how to set it up, but when I do actually get another HD, I'll get some help)... I want to know if I can mix and match HDs brands and buffer speeds. My current HD is a Western Digital 2MB buffer 7200rpm 80GB HD. Now I think I will be getting either another 80GB or 120GB HD with 2mb buffer, but still Western Digital brand and 7200rpm. Now , will this conflict or is this okay? Will I notice any performance improvements? I also, might not even use WD brand and use something like Maxtor.... mixing brands/models/buffer speed = ok? I will of course stay 7200rpm.

Please help, if possible. Thanks!
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 01:40 PM   #2
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A separate drive for video and related media is good. It's best to keep video and related media off the system drive.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 09:51 PM   #3
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You can use any drives and 'mix' them - doesn't matter what brand, IDE or SATA, 7200 or 5400rpm, 2 or 8MB buffer.

If you use raid though the drives should be same size - better identical make.

But I don't think you really need raid - it's not said that if you have the option you must use it.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 10:01 PM   #4
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RAID 0, which is probably what your motherboard supports takes two drives and 'stripes' them as one large drive. You benefit from increased performance due to the fact that throughput is increased but the downside is if one drive failes your will use everything on both drives. Drive failures are not that common these days but they do happen. RAID will work with mismatched drives but it will be limited to the spped of the slowest drives.

If you are just going to buy 1 drive then I'd be looking at a 120GB 7200rpm drive with an 8MB buffer to use as your video drive. I use a Seagate version of this drive and it's very good and not much slower than my 18.2 SCSI drive was. If you go for two drives then either two 80/7200/8MB or two 120/7200/8MB and stripe them into one drive using RAID 0. Matched is better for max performance but not necessary.

On the other hand though, for non-commercial work with a GL2 a single 120GB/8MB drive would probably be plenty and save the money and time setting up the RAID.
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Old February 23rd, 2004, 11:38 PM   #5
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You don't need to bother with RAID. For DV it doesn't help much.

I'd recommend you get the biggest drive you can. The extra space is always useful (you can archive old projects), bigger drives are slightly faster (may actually be faster than RAIDing two smaller drives...), and bigger drives are more futureproof.

DV is 13GB/hour. Always keep a few extra hours around.

2- Promax (VAR for video editing systems) like IBM/Hitachi drives because they are most reliable. The latest Hitachi drives (PATA and SATA versions) are the top performers for your OS + applications, according to storagereview.com. For video stuff, that doesn't apply. Actually I think all drives are pretty much equal in terms of video performance. Faster drives will let you get more streams of DV at once or be able to capture/play back more intensive formats like uncompressed.

3- If you had to buy a new system drive, go for the 8MB version. They are better for OS + applications use.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 12:41 AM   #6
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Thanks... anymore suggestions/tips?
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Old February 25th, 2004, 07:20 PM   #7
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Do you guys know if I am able to just buy another HD, install it, and set one in the BIOS as "master" and one as "slave" ? You say... RAID will be better in this situation b/c of more performance and such, right?
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Old February 25th, 2004, 08:06 PM   #8
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On your hard drive, there are jumpers than indicate what mode the hard drive will be in. Leave it on cable select. If that doesn't work then you need to change the jumper. When the drive is on cable select, master/slave configuration is handled automatically (the drive on the end of the IDE ribbon will be master). You set master/slave physically with the jumpers, not in the BIOS.

There really isn't a difference between master/slave. The master drive might show up first in lists. I believe that's the only practical difference.

You don't need to bother with RAID, as I said already. Get a bigger drive instead of 2 small ones.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 09:03 PM   #9
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Hmm... but I've read that its best to keep everything into seperate HDs?
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Old February 25th, 2004, 10:05 PM   #10
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When people say it's best to keep everything on seperate drives they are talking about your OS/Applications on one drive and youur media, avi, QT, etc on another. For example my machine has a 15GB drive that has Win XP, all my applications, Premiere, Vegas, Avid, Photoshop, Sound Forge, AE, etc, and the swap file. The second drive is 120GB that has all my media files on it, both video and audio. This system is running a DV500/Premiere 6.5 as my primary editing apps and it's overclocked as far as it can go. It's fast, for a single PIII, smooth, and most importantly very stable. It's taken a lot to get it there but it runs perfectly and has yet to let me down.

The bottom line is for DV you don't need to spend a fortune on terrabyte RAID and dual Xeon systems unless you plan on doing feature length, effects heavy, work. If you were planning that then you wouldn't be using miniDV!!! For someone who has a good camera, like your GL2, and wants to do some short films, maybe a wedding or two, and even some commercials for your local hardware store or something a single P4 with two good sized HDDs(80GB+) and a GB or so of RAM and maybe a DVD burner is more than enough.

Good luck David, keep the questions coming.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 10:10 PM   #11
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Err..what I am saying that is my motherboard CURRENTLY SUPPORTS RAID and I do not need to go get another expensive RAID card or hardware.. I am asking that with TWO or MORE HDs, it is BEST to use RAID for better performance THAN just setting the master/slave options, correct?
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Old February 25th, 2004, 11:18 PM   #12
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With two drives you wouldn't want to use RAID as it creates one big drive. With more than two drives your can keep your OS on one drive and stripe the other two drives using RAID 0 to create a single large high performance media drive. But as Glenn said earlier for DV your don't really need to set up RAID as a single large drive will be sufficient and cost less than buying two drives.

If you really want to go and buy two drives then yes use RAID to stripe them together, you will get a performance increase but you may not even notice it.
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Old February 25th, 2004, 11:53 PM   #13
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David, I assume you're working with DV and want to decide between:
A- Keeping your existing system drive (80GB WD 2mb cache) and buying one large drive.
B- Keeping your existing system drive and buy two drives, and RAIDing those.

and not:
C- Buying another 80GB WD 2mb cache drive, and RAIDing that with your system drive. (your drive data gets deleted when you stripe)
D- (just plain bad) Buying a second drive, and RAIDing that with your system drive. You lose capacity if the other drive is not 80GB, you may see a performance hit, and you might get dropped frames if two programs are trying to access the RAID at once.

Quote:
Err..what I am saying that is my motherboard CURRENTLY SUPPORTS RAID and I do not need to go get another expensive RAID card or hardware..
Well for DV you never need RAID, but assuming you want some form of RAID then the answer is maybe. The RAID controller on your motherboard has to have the right connectors (normal ATA or SATA). If you don't have the right connectors you can get PATA <--> SATA adapters (they give practically the same performance). You also shouldn't/can't put the system drive on the RAID controller. Lastly, you need to make sure the RAID controller doesn't suck. RAID controllers vary highly in their quality and some can hurt performance. VIA RAID controllers on the P4P800 deluxe for example have a CPU utilization of something like 40%.

The most common RAID controller is Intel's ICH5 RAID controller that's on a lot of motherboards with the 865/875 chipset. You need 2 SATA drives for it.

Now assuming you were deciding between A and B (above), here's my take:
It doesn't make much sense to go with A. You won't see much if any performance difference in rendering (my own tests indicate no difference in long renders, a few % for non-intensive renders). On the other hand, it'll cost you more, smaller drives are less future-proof, they take more power, generate twice the heat, and take up more channels (limiting your upgrades), and costs more. The RAID is also twice as likely to fail.

For certain specific tasks, RAID can be close to twice as fast. Duplicating large files and exporting your whole movie into one file would be two things I can come up with.
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Old February 26th, 2004, 12:17 AM   #14
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Well... what do you suggest then Glenn? From what I've read, I guess A was what I intended to do then... I mean, I wanna just have two HDs. One 80GB HD for my OS/apps/games, and I guess ANOTHER HD for storage (DV/short films) and this process does not require any RAID, correct?
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Old February 26th, 2004, 12:54 AM   #15
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That's right. You don't need RAID. Just buy a second drive and only put media files on it. Everything else can go on your WD 80GB drive, which already has your OS and applications on it.
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