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Old March 21st, 2005, 06:54 PM   #1
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Hard Drive size?

Right now, I am currently using my laptop's 80g hard drive. I quickly found out, this isn't enough space with all my other apps. It's just not enough room for any kind of video. Does anyone have any suggestions on type and size of a external usb hard drive? Any reasons why you would recommend are, as always, very helpful. Thanks
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Old March 21st, 2005, 09:37 PM   #2
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13GB = 1 hour DV footage. Allow extra room for workspace. How many hours of footage do you want to have online at one time?
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:34 PM   #3
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Well, I'm not sure. I recently just bought a new dv camera and probably will put some hours into it (well, more than that...but you know what I mean). I am thinking of just getting a 300 gig usb hard drive. This would allow me to take my time and get to editing whenever I can. Is there a better option for this?
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 06:44 PM   #4
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I can assure you that a few months from now you will never say "I wish I'd bought a smaller hard drive." :-)

Just be certain the drive is fast enough (7200RPM) and has sufficient transfer speed for editing. I've only worked with firewire drives personally, although I understand that USB 2 is OK.

I recently got a Seagate 300 GB 7200 RPM drive with 8MB cache and USB2/firewire interfaces. It works fine on my Mac with firewire. Price was about $235 on sale a couple months ago at a local "big box" store.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 08:57 PM   #5
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good point. I don't think i'd wish for anything smaller. I have a best buy gift card burning a hole in my pocket.
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Old March 22nd, 2005, 10:51 PM   #6
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I was looking at external hard drives and came up with a question. What is cache buffer? I've seen 4mb, 8mb and 16mb. What does all that mean?
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:09 AM   #7
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cache is RAM between two devices (your disk and your computer in this case). It helps with bus timing issues to get extra thruput.

One option is to get an IDE swappable chassis that has firewire or USB2 connections. Then you can add cheap IDE (internal) drives as needed, but only one at a time. If you have a lot of active projects at once, this would be a good idea. SInc eyou don't know, just get something in the 200GB - 300Gb range. I would just base it on cost per GB, since you will want more later no matter what you do and they get cheaper every few months. 300GB gives you 20 hours on line plus some nice amount of workspace. at 10:1 ratio, 20 hours of footage would yield 2 hour final product.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 09:50 AM   #8
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Get 2 200GB external drives (firewire or USB or whatever) and you'll be good to go. When you run out of room, pick up another 200GB.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 04:54 PM   #9
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is it better to go with the 8mb buffer or the 16mb? I would guess 16mb, but I don't really know.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 06:55 PM   #10
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For video there's really no practical difference.

For desktop usage with lots of repeated disk accesses for the same file, a larger buffer will improve performance. For sequential reads (i.e. video applications reading video files), a buffer does not help at all.

storagereview.com has lots of information, but you really don't need to go there. All the 7200rpm hard drives nowadays are more than fast enough for DV. You might get problems with the USB2 or firewire interface. Other devices sharing those interfaces can slow things down enough that you get dropped frames. There are also some products that have issues (i.e. prolific chipsets for usb2/firewire combo devices).

What I'd do is wait until Best Buy is running a loss leader deally on an external or internal drive. If it doesn't work, get a refund. Be sure to test the item quickly and to send in the rebate.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:16 PM   #11
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thanks a lot guys, but glenn....What is a "loss leader deally"? I can't figure out what you mean.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:32 PM   #12
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Loss leaders are things a store sells at a loss just to get you in the doors on the hopes you'll buy a bunch of other stuff while you're there.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 07:53 PM   #13
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Yep, what Boyd said.

In the States, try some of the various hot deals sites around. Fatwallet.com, gotapex.com are two that come to mind but I can't really vouch for their quality. The forums tend to be really useful, as people will discuss whether or not the deal is good and the merits of the product. Front page deals on hot deals sites may be sponsored and not that great a deal.

Loss leader items might be a hassle to deal with, as they tend to go out of stock quickly and after that you have to mess around with rebates. Some people just order online, so they don't waste time going to a store and they get free shipping anyways.

*I'm not sure what happens with gift cards online.
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Old March 23rd, 2005, 11:20 PM   #14
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ahhhh....ok. thanks guys.
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Old March 24th, 2005, 04:42 PM   #15
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I have two external Maxtor 300 Gig hard drives. Work great. Love 'em...
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