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Old July 31st, 2002, 10:17 AM   #1
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To Array (RAID) or not to array? Help a new guy...

Ok,
I'm new at this and I'm gathering equipment. Unfortunately, I don't have much of a budget. I just bought a GL-1 and a Pioneer A-04 (Great deal on www.pro-tape.com btw) I have a G3 blue and white and I'm looking into a kick ass hard drive. Now, I'm receiving different advice. My friends at apple are telling me that with their firewire setup, I will only need a single big hard drive and only need to download a signal from my GL-1. Then, after using FCP3, I can use iDVD and burn my footage. I'll be doing weddings, so there will be about 3 hours of footage edited down to about 1 hour and 15 minutes approximately. Now, I was looking at the Maxtor external HD 160GB. It advertises 400mb/sec. and runs at 5400rpm's.

Just as I was about to do that, I start getting serious warnings from some of my old skool video buddies from other factions of the Silicon Valley. They say that a single hard drive is going to be problematic. They say I will have a problem with dropped frames and other issues. They say I need to invest in a Disc Array (RAID) system with each disk running at a minimum of 7200rpm's.

Now, with all of that said, NONE of these guys are running mini DV, which is already compressed. (right?) I can probably get my employeer to spring for the disk array, but I'm not going to get 2 chances at this. I need to do it right, so that means I have to research on every piece of equipment I talk this guy into springing for.

Thanks guys and gals,
-Kyle
ps, what disks do you like? What kind should I buy? I like the external feature...
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Old July 31st, 2002, 10:35 AM   #2
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The general concensus is that you do NOT need raid. 7200 RPM is generally preferred but many people are running fine with 5400 RPM drives.

It IS advisable to have separate drives for your video capture and operating system. Just get a 20 Gig for your OS and miscellaneous files and a 120 Gig for video.
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Old July 31st, 2002, 10:45 AM   #3
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I second EdwardTR's remarks, Kyle. You really don't need the high-speed and high-expense of a RAID configuration for the 3.5Mbs transfer rates of DV. (It will be a different story if you ever start editing uncompressed footage.)

If you have space inside your G3's chassis I recommend adding a good -internal- drive first. The IBM Deskstar 120Gb would be perfect. This would become your capture/scratch drive for editing.

If you eventually need a Firewire drive the Maxtor 160Gb is a fine unit. For about the same price, if not a bit less, you might look at one of the 120Gb / 7200rpm Firewire drives such as the one made by EZQuest.
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Old July 31st, 2002, 11:52 AM   #4
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Raids have come down considerably in price. However, if your only doing DV and not HD or analog with a seperate capture card, FireWire is fine. Also the bus on the G3 is fairly slow and I'm not sure you would get the full benefit of the raid. I would look at upgrading or replacing the G3 soon.

Jeff
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Old July 31st, 2002, 01:03 PM   #5
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I would suggest a little more drive space, raid is not necessary. They just came out with a 200 gig.
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Old July 31st, 2002, 01:25 PM   #6
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YOU GUYS RULE! Thanks! I will look into the internal big drive first and hold off on the external big one for now. I do not plan to do any uncompressed footage... just Mini DV. The beauty of the DV cameras is that I can record compressed information from a VCR onto a DV tape. I understand that this will cause a loss in quality with another generation, but who cares? As long as I can do it and get away with it. I don't plan to do much of this as you can imagine.

I do plan to upgrade this G3, but I need to make some $ first. I've got my eye on that super letterbox mac monitor as well!

Thanks
-Kyle
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Old July 31st, 2002, 08:28 PM   #7
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I agree

7200 spin HD for capture, and make sure it doesn't have your OS residing on it. I'm happy with the Segate Baracuda's 7200/ATA 100 right now(intel based system)
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