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Old February 12th, 2004, 02:50 PM   #1
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Hard drive configuration?

I have recently purchased a 2nd hard drive for my PC which I will use for capturing/editing video using Vegas 4 +DVD. I have not yet purchased Vegas but will do so soon. The drive capacity is 250GB. Does anyone and/or everyone have any suggestions on partitioning this drive? Is there a reason to split it into two drives or 3 or whatever. I am brand new to NL video editing and have been slowly adding hardware to my home PC to make it an editing suite. The information I have so far I have read on these forums and in D.S.E.'s book on Vegas

Also, I currently have 512MB of Ram. Is it worth it, and if so how, to add another 512MB.

I think that's it for now.

Thanks in advance!

Bret Corbin
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Old February 12th, 2004, 02:52 PM   #2
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No reason to partition that capture drive---particularly if thats all you are going to use. Vegas loves memory so the more the merrier----it will help with dynamic ram previews although 512 certainly is enough to run Vegas without a hitch.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 02:54 PM   #3
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I'm partitioning my drives to keep things organized, but it isn't
demanded by anything as long as you use NTFS filesystem.
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Old February 12th, 2004, 03:04 PM   #4
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I see absolutely no reason to partition the drive. In fact, partitioning CAN slow you down - especially when accessing files from two different partitions. Just leave it as one big drive and use folders for organization.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 08:37 AM   #5
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Thanks for the input. I will install the drive as a single drive this weekend and buy Vegas within the next couple of weeks.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:16 PM   #6
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Optimaly you'd want 3 drives- one with the program (Vegas), one for your raw footage, and one for your output/render drive.

Ram limits the length of ram renders you can achieve. Also high performance ull (ultra low latency) definitly helps speed up ram rendering. I'm running a gig of dual channel Corsair PC3200 ull Ram...however, like others haven mentioned, it's by no means necessary. Thats one of the great things about Vegas- it's scalability.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:35 PM   #7
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Glen, I've tested lowering memory timings on my RAM and it makes no measurable difference! Even assuming there is a 1% performance boost, it definitely isn't worth it to get low latency RAM.

Memory bandwidth does make a slight difference (2-3%), but you need to overclock to take advantage of it (or get a 800FSB instead of 533FSB processor) and PC4000/4200 RAM is quite expensive. It's much more bang for your buck to spend more on cooling, get a 2.4 or 2.6"C" to overclock (not the faster grades), and get normal RAM and run at a memory divider.

Quote:
Optimaly you'd want 3 drives- one with the program (Vegas), one for your raw footage, and one for your output/render drive.
I tested this out, hard drive speed doesn't make much of a difference. The best way to improve performance is to not have a hard drive bottleneck. Use internals, check that they aren't in PIO mode, and maybe watch out for fragmentation. And have enough space- not enough will drop performance significantly.

2- Don't partition the drive unless it helps you to organize. Store only video on that drive and fragmentation shouldn't be a problem.

3- More RAM? You don't really need more RAM, but it can help out RAM rendering. You don't need to use RAM rendering though.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 01:52 PM   #8
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PC 3200 matches the bus of the P4 3.0ghz...and surely dual channel ull ram will produce the ram render in shorter time than much slower ram.

I agree that hardrive speed doesn't affect video editing too much unless it's so slow that it affects the read and write performance that Vegas needs to display all the footage correctly on the timeline. Though...once rendered that doesn't matter.
The idea of 3 drives is the cpu's ability to access all drives simultaneously. Instead of having to read, write, seek, etc on one drive- there is a drive for each. While drive 1 is being used to run the app, drive 2 is being used by drive 1 for source material, and drive 3 will be open and ready for any writing of new files.
Hardrive speeds *do* however have a negligable effect on all programs- thus the fact a Raid 0 will load aps faster than a single drive.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:35 PM   #9
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>I see absolutely no reason to partition the drive. In fact, >partitioning CAN slow you down

I'm experimenting with making a faster drive using partitions.
The outer portions of the disk offer greater bandwidth. Partitions are located from outer to inner, so the outer partitions will have a higher data transfer rate. I'll post my results when I'm done.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 04:58 PM   #10
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I think it's actually the otherway around. Harddisks drop off in
their speed the futher you get on the drive (and the futher
outwards you go), so I'd say it beging on the inside and then
moves outside?

edit: removed some nonsense...
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Old February 18th, 2004, 07:03 PM   #11
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Given that the platter has a constant density and a constant spin rate, the disk bits on the outer tracks travel faster. The angular velocity is the same at every point on a disk radius, but the outer points are traveling a greater distance in the same amount of time. However, the hard drive makers manipulate sector size in zones, as you'll notice in the stepped response from a disk speed
tool. Have you ever noticed that the hard drive sustained read and write tests aren't constant ? That's because different parts of the disk are faster than others. My plan is to use this tool to identify the disk zones and allocate partitions accordingly on some disks.

Anyway, partitions are allocated from outer tracks to inner tracks,
unlike CDs and DVDs which are inner to outer. I notice that my disks seem to vary in read bandwidth by a factor of two over the disks I've tested.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 07:05 PM   #12
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Check out a disk speed tool such as HD Tach. I have a registered version of 2.61, but here is 2.70 that will provide free read speed tests, both bandwidth and access time.

http://www.simplisoftware.com/Public...request=HdTach

You'll notice a stepped response on the graphs. The steps identify the disk zones.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 07:28 PM   #13
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HD Tach 2.61 draws a read speed graph with greater detail than 2.70, the version currently available on the web site. On 2.61, It's much easier to see the stepped response that identifies the disk zones.
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Old February 18th, 2004, 07:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
PC 3200 matches the bus of the P4 3.0ghz...and surely dual channel ull ram will produce the ram render in shorter time than much slower ram.
I tried this out. My system is a 2.6C 800FSB with *single channel* 1X512MB PMI RAM (no heatspreader). There is no measurable different between the RAM timings 3-4-4-8 and 2-3-2-5.

RAM bandwidth makes a small difference, but applies only when overclocking.

Quote:
I agree that hardrive speed doesn't affect video editing too much unless it's so slow that it affects the read and write performance that Vegas needs to display all the footage correctly on the timeline. Though...once rendered that doesn't matter.
The idea of 3 drives is the cpu's ability to access all drives simultaneously. Instead of having to read, write, seek, etc on one drive- there is a drive for each. While drive 1 is being used to run the app, drive 2 is being used by drive 1 for source material, and drive 3 will be open and ready for any writing of new files.
Hardrive speeds *do* however have a negligable effect on all programs- thus the fact a Raid 0 will load aps faster than a single drive.
Tried this out too. 2% difference with having more drives in a good case scenario, 0% on long complicated renders. On renders where the CPU is not a bottleneck (my test was turning JPEGs into DV and applying color correction), I tried a RAM disk (use RAM as hard drive) and performance bumped up 9%. A RAM disk is extraordinarily fast and should indicate the best performance you could hope to achieve.

RAID performance should be less than 9% a RAM disk gives. In real world renders (reading DV footage, not JPEG) the difference would be even less. On a long render I measured no difference between a RAM disk and a normal hard drive.

Links:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18841 Memory timings and bandwidth

Hard drive speed tests:
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=15637
http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...threadid=18784

The one tweak that DOES work is overclocking, and it works well. It's somewhat involved, but if you're going to tweak then what else would you expect?

My computer (which isn't a great setup for overclocking) can overclock 20% but I have to disable hyperthreading so that it doesn't reboot/freeze. Performance gains should be about 16% most of the time (depends on render).
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Old February 18th, 2004, 07:48 PM   #15
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Glenn, Thanks for the detailed response. It sounds like you've put in a lot of good research. In particular, I liked the RAM disk idea.

Anyway, I'm trying to speed up the processing of multigigabyte
uncompressed video files: DV -> uncompressed, uncompressed->uncompressed, DV->MPEG2 and uncompressed->MPEG2. The RAM disk is quite expensive at currently $170 or so per *quality* PC3200 DDR Gigabyte, but would be quite useful on smaller MPEG2 encodes. I went with a RAID array with a $100 controller and several $50 (after two rebates) 120 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital drives.
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