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Old March 19th, 2010, 01:43 PM   #1
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Hard drive config suggestions

Doing less SD DV and more AVCHD lately, as is the trend, and running out of space on my editing machine. CS4 is my prime suite on this machine and I'm down to about 50GB free space (10%). Time to pick up a new 1TB drive. But how should I configure it all?

Setup: (1) WD 1TB/32MB SATA Black edition, (2) WD 250GB/16MB 2500KS SATA (fast in their time), external 320GB and 200GB eSATA, mobo has onboard RAID 0/1/5 available.

Looking for suggestions on OS/apps/scratch/media/project file locations and such for the best performance with what I have. Don't have a whole lot of money left after the HMC-150. Note that I use Cineform Neoscene for file conversion so there's lots of media to shift around.

Thanks for any input. I'll try to fill in the blanks if anyone needs more info.
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Old March 19th, 2010, 02:11 PM   #2
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My system is 250G boot drive, 250G temp drive, 2x 750 in a RAID 0 as working drive, 2x 1T drives. Also have a Thermaltake eSata/USB dock for bare drives and Quantum DLT tape backup unit. I put my AVCHD on one of the 1T drives then convert to the RAID for editing. Backup source AVCHD files to the LTO3 tape drive and then remove from the RAID when I am finished and leave on the 1T for a while in case I need them. Finished projects go to the other 1T drive and are backedup to tape in the same way as the AVCHD files. Have the temp directories for all programs on the temp hard drive. I never bother with RAID when I was editing DV and HDV but with converting( in my case to Canopus HQ for editing in Edius) the file sizes and data rate are better on a RAID.

Ron Evans
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Old March 21st, 2010, 05:35 PM   #3
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That's quite a lot to take in. Thanks for posting up Ron.
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Old March 24th, 2010, 09:01 AM   #4
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Wow, Ron! Nice setup. I haven't used a separate temp drive since the IDE66 days. I sometimes think about trying it again to see if I notice a performance increase.

David, based on the hardware you have and assuming you're getting a second TB drive, I'd think about setting up a raid0 with the two TB drives. I'd run OS and software off the 250gb and use the two eSata drives for archiving. That's it. Simple.

If you had an extra $100 the only thing I'd do differently is increase the size of your system drive to a TB and stick the 250gb in another external enclosure. These days a 250gb system drive will fill up fast even if it's just for OS and software.

I store my media and project files on the raid0. I also use a data sync software that backs all that up to an eSata drive after each session. Some would argue that a separate drive for project files is a good idea and it probably is, but since I sync to a backup I feel pretty safe.

Personally, I don't archive my raw footage. Once I convert to Cineform I figure that's all I need. That's just me. If I were to archive my AVCHD files I'd do what my buddy does and burn them to DVD. Cheap and effective.
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Old March 28th, 2010, 07:35 PM   #5
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I received my 1TB SATA drive today (WD Caviar Black) and benchmarked all three (two 250s and the 1TB) using the HD Tune trial. The new 1TB avg speed is 131MB/s with bursts to 189MB/s. The two 250s came in about half that in both tests.

So now that I've seen how fast the 1TB is, I might have to replace the 250s as well. Unless someone reckons there's still a use for relatively small drives where maximum throughput isn't all that important.
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Old March 31st, 2010, 09:23 PM   #6
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I have a 1TB Caviar Black as OS drive and love it, except I can't keep it alive - no matter the Windows settings, it's a 'green' drive and it takes long naps.

The OS drive will not play a significant role in speeding up your system once it's up and running. You will experience faster boot times and large programs will load faster, but that will not help them run faster - RAM and especially the processor is what makes software run faster.

I would keep a 250GB for OS, not load it over 35-40% and clean it up, defrag it often.
Ervin Farkas
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Old April 1st, 2010, 10:03 AM   #7
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That's the route I've gone so far. Copied all the data from my old 250GB WD SE16 to the 1TB then formatted and clean-installed Windows 7 x64. It takes days of on again, off again work to reinstall all the applications, apply updates and patches, etc. I'm just about there. Still, the 1TB isn't playing a role yet except storing about 190GB in an eSATA enclosure. Seems like a waste considering I have 200 and 320GB drives (5400rpm) laying around everywhere which could have been used in the same way.
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