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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
Discussing the editing of all formats with Matrox, Pinnacle and more.

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Old August 19th, 2002, 10:31 PM   #16
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Here's what I suggest everyone do... head over to Canopus' site [ http://www.justedit.com ] and grab the file they made available for people considering their products. One such program was called RAPTOR TEST. A small windows utility (200k) that could run within it's own folder (or even a floppy).

This program tested things like Video Overlay, Machine Info, and pertinent to this thread: Hard Drive Performance.

Specifically, what it tested was the SUSTAINED TRANSFER RATE of a chosen drive. While the Hard Drive marketing weenies are busy BS'ing the public with the BURST transfer rate, it's the SUSTAINED transfer rate that matters for video work.

True, a single 7200rpm IDE drive should be adequate nowadays for DV work, but as a drive reaches it's storage limits, performance is affected. This is why I chose to use an IDE RAID as my primary video drive.

My system consists of a 10gig C: drive for the OS and programs, a new 120gig D: drive for video clip storage, and a 60gig RAID for current video projects on E. The RAID is made up of a FastTrack66 with a pair of Maxtor 30gig 7200rpms. Here's a result of the Canopus test:

C: 10gig Seagate IDE around 90% filled
Read 3.9mb/s
Write 3.6mb/s

D: 120gig WesternDigital IDE around 45% filled
Read 26mb/s
Write 20mb/s

E: 60gig FastTrack IDE RAID around 15% filled
Read 32mb/s
Write 29mb/s

The 120gig D: drive is about 2 weeks new. It was previously occupied by a 40gig 7200rpm WesternDigital and I can assure you as a single drive, it's performance was nothing like the new 120gig. It was a while since I last ran the test, but the 40gig turned numbers like 18 for the Read and less than 15 for the Write. I attribute this to the newer 120gig probably having more platters... and more platters concurrently being read by more drive heads should bring up the numbers as expected.

For pair of drives still using the ATA66 interface, that RAID is no slouch.

As for the issue of sound, I wouldn't hold any one company to be better or worse than others. I've built PLENTY of computers over the past decade to report that noise will vary from one hard drive model to another. I've had IBM drives that were whisper-quiet and others that emitted a painful high-pitched whine... I SWEAR that I must have lost 5% of my hearing from being subjected to a pair of those for a year before I got fed up.
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Old August 20th, 2002, 11:29 AM   #17
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Other software which enables you to test your drives, include Pinnacles DV expert.

Can someone explain what a RAID system is and how it benefits computer editing?


Ed Smith
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Old August 20th, 2002, 12:53 PM   #18
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Here's a cute little piece of freeware that does quite an adequate job of looking at hard drive thruput speeds. This is free and rivals the $50 HDTACH used as a benchmark by many consumer websites. I've used it with very good results. One of the nice things about this diagnostic is that is shows you your hard drive performance as the data location varies across the disk platter. You can see for yourself how much loss in thruput occurs as you move towards the center of the platter and linear speed is lost due to the decreasing radius.


A quick and dirty explanation of RAID....RAID comes in RAID 0, 1, 2, etc. The most useful for video editors is RAID 0 which allows two hard drives to be ganged together such that data files are written in blocks that alternate from one drive to the other. The advantage is that since you're writing to two HD's at once, the thruput is increased, altho' not quite doubled. The disadvantage is that if one drive fails, all your data is lost....reliability is approximately halved. These reliability concerns are addressed by things like RAID 0+1, which provides for a 4 disk array in which two disks are mirror images of the other two. In order for RAID to be implemented, you have a choice between software RAID, which is included in Windows 2000 disk management tools, or hardware RAID controller cards such as PROMISE, HIGHPOINT, etc. For a video editor, the increased thruput of RAID systems can make uncompressed video a reality....check out www.medea.com for pre-packaged video RAID system add-ons.
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Old August 23rd, 2002, 04:25 AM   #19
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Cheers Bill for the info on RAID.

All the best,

Ed Smith
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Old August 23rd, 2002, 05:24 AM   #20
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Adaptec has a hardware raid card too. Promise has very nice
products for not much money. Keep in mind that windows
2000 software raid is *ONLY* available in the SERVER editions!!
(Windows 2000 Server, Advanced Server & Datacenter Server).
Not in professional! So XP at the moment has not support as well.
Oh. And to enable software raid you need to upgrade the
harddisks you wanna raid to DYNAMIC disks (default is BASIC

Good luck.

Rob Lohman, visuar@iname.com
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Old August 24th, 2002, 12:59 AM   #21
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Not sure about the Adaptec, but the Promise card is effectively a software RAID after the system boots into Windows because of how the drivers work. It's hardware RAID in dos though.

ALL flavors of NT (NT4/2K/XP) support software RAID.

The "SERVER" versions allows the added feature of being able to MIRROR the boot drive.

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Old August 24th, 2002, 07:55 AM   #22
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Sorry to disagree, Rob, but, my Win 2000 Pro(not server) has software RAID.
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Old August 24th, 2002, 04:32 PM   #23
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other reasons why persons choose SCSI over EDIE has nothing to do with speed. on a SCSI drive it can be reading and writing at the SAME moment in time. EDIE can only write or read at the same moment in time it cannot do BOTH ...

also when SCSI drives on on a dasiy chain - any drive in the chain can be reading and writing at the same MONENT other drives in the chain are reading/writing. on a EDIE channel , master -slave, only one drive can be doing a read/write at a time. so if you need to copy files from master to slave - it must 1st read data off master and then write that data to slave ... on a SCSI chain while the 1st drives is reading the data the 2nd drive is writing it at the same time.
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Old August 24th, 2002, 06:15 PM   #24
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Bought an IBM deskstar and Sarotech enclosure

Just like to update the rest of the DVInfo.net peeps on my purchase decisions.

I decided to buy a Sarotech Firewire enclosure from a local Chinese shop and an IBM 120gb Deskstar drive from a different local shop. So far so good.

The Sarotech is a Korean brand. The enclosure is moulded plastic. It was easy to get the drive screwed into it. It has a fan, power switch and includes power cable and FireWire link. It is not quiet. In setting it up I came across only a couple bumps. The default jumper settings were set to a 16 head Master not the 15 that other pages online suggested.

Also, being a dumbass, I did not format the drive and I wondered why it was being detected but didn't show up as a drive letter. :)

So far so good.
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