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Hard Drive

Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 12:36am

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Ryan

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Hi.

I am getting a new external hard drive for my computer. Does this one look good, and is eXtreme PC Gear a trustworthy company?
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 1:04am

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Gibs

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http://www.resellerratings.com/seller2703.html

Seems like the company is pretty good. The drive looks good too, but I'm not totally sure on all the specifics.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 1:40am

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PhLogan

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good drive, good place. I have bought from them before.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 4:54am

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Ice_Man

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doesn't say what the cache is on the hard drive, but it has good potential.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 10:29am

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Mellifluous

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If you plan to use the HD for video storage, get one with a firewire connection instead of/or as well as USB
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 11:17am

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PhLogan

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True, Mell. I didnt read into it much. Firewire would be pretty important in this case. Also, it would be very nice to have an 8mb cache. It can make all the difference between 2mb.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 5:18pm

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DigiSm89

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Just out of curiosity, what specs would you guys recommend (besides high capacity HDs)?
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 5:21pm

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Mellifluous

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high speed, at least 7,500 rpm. at least 8mb mermory cache. & firewire if you're using it for video
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 5:23pm

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DigiSm89

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how about connectivity? ide, serial ata, scsi....etc.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 5:27pm

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Mellifluous

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the connectivity would be the firewire or usb, if it's external.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 5:31pm

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DigiSm89

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I was referring to internal.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 10:41pm

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PhLogan

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Serial ATA makes a big difference from IDE. Thats what I have.
Posted: Tue, 15th Jun 2004, 11:38pm

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DigiSm89

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I heard SCSI was a better.
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2004, 1:01am

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PhLogan

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Yes SCSI is better. But also very expensive and very complicated, and in the end not worth it. A 7,500rpm or 10,000rpm SATA hard drive is defiently fast enough. If your mobo doesnt support SATA then find out if you can set up a RAID system on it for IDE, if not then just use your IDE, youll be fine.
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2004, 1:10am

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DigiSm89

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cool, thanks. How will a raid help IDE?
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2004, 1:19am

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PhLogan

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A RAID is a collection of drives which all act as a single storage system, which can tolerate the failure of a drive without losing data, and which can operate independently of each other.

Basically all drives work together as one big one so.

It can use 2 or more disks at once to be able to read/write to the drive faster then a normal IDE system would. This also insure the security of failure of one drive, because the other drives are there to back up the data immidiately.

RAID of course will only be used if you have more then one HDD.

There are 5 levels of RAID. For video editing/storage I would say that level 0 (not technically a Redundancy Array Independent Disks, because there is no redundancy in this level). Redundancy is the ability for the HDDs to backup one another. If you really need the backup option then level 1 of RAID would be better, but you would lose some speed.

Level 0 is used when any application needs high speed read/write times (such as in capture video to your HDD).

I think I am babling on now. smile
Posted: Wed, 16th Jun 2004, 1:25am

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DigiSm89

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So that's what RAID 0 was. I thought it was something different. I knew what RAID 1 was. Thanks for the info PhLogan!
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2004, 6:48pm

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DigiSm89

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Just one more question, I'm thinking of buying a new motherboard and it says it has "on board 2 channel Serial ATA 150MB/s data transfer rate and supports RAID 0". How many HDs will I be able to attach in this case? I was thinking of having one boot drive on regular EIDE interface and use the RAID for my video drives. I wasn't sure how many I could connect. And if I can connect more than two, is it possible to connect HDs later on?

Thanks!
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2004, 7:00pm

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Kid

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Dunno how many it'll take, prolly 4.

Having a raid0 isnt necessarily a good idea since you dont need it for dv and if one drive fails it means you lose the data across all the drives. Prolly better to just use the drives individually.

You can add drives later but to have them in the same raid set you need to reformat and so have somewhere to temporarily move the existing data. Otherwise you can simply have the new drive on its own or start a new raid set with more than one new drive.
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2004, 7:05pm

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PhLogan

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Most IDE controllers support 2 drives on one controller...now SATA ill have to look up...hold on.

*5 minutes later* Didnt find anything sad I would imagine 2 as well for SATA. But your boot drive has to be IDE (from what I understand).
And if you use SATA, you have to have SATA HDDs (or get an IDE to SATA converter for about 35 bucks I think). If you really want some GOOD computer help the go to these forums:

www.sysopt.com

These guys will have you answered within 30 minutes of your post usually. Good luck.
Posted: Thu, 17th Jun 2004, 7:08pm

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DigiSm89

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Oh, so are you saying that the drives work in unison so that you need both drives to be able to read the data?

So if I wanted to set aside drives to store all my video files, would you suggest I just get regular separate SATA drives instead of setting them up as a RAID?

Also, is there a limit to how many HDs you can have in a system? Can you expand the limit in any way?
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2004, 12:36am

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GeeksGoneBad

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Yes you'd need both drives...

raid 0 is a lot faster than just one drive alone. BUT you add the risk if one drive goes bad you loose everything. I prefer seperate drives myself for storing the files, but I boot from a raid 0 with two drives. My system boots and runs very fast because of that. but I do that because I can always reload my OS and programs. I can't replace some of the datafiles that I have stored, so I don't take the chance (I did have a raid 0 array go bad once, lost a ton of stuff)

also, Serial ATA connectors will take one drive each, so if that MOBO says it has two SATA connectors, then that would support two drives... Raid 0 that and you'd have a rediculously fast HD! smile

You can boot to SATA... and the SATA drives are about the same price as a regular ATA drive... Check out TigerDirect for prices, they're by far the best... (no I don't work for them) LOL

I have a Promise Raid card (IDE) that gives me two more IDE channels... with the two that are already on my MOBO, I can have a total of 8 drives in my system (and I actually have 6) smile but you'll want to beef up your power supply with that many drives... So there is a way to expand on the number of drives... Same goes with SATA, you could get a SATA controller card and expand you system by two drives (they have cards with more connections, but they're way too expensive)

OK, I'm done! no more rambling! smile LOL
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2004, 1:05pm

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DigiSm89

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This was the MOBO I was looking at:
http://www.gameve.com/gve/store/productdetails.aspx?sku=MB-ABIT-022

So I guess I can only have 2 SATA HDs set up on the RAID. If you can boot from an SATA drive, then I just might try using RAID 0 to boot. For the other drives, I might just boot from regular separate SATA drives.

Thanks so much!!


Just one more thing, what are your opinions on the on board audio of this MOBO? Should I still get another sound card or could I rely on this?
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2004, 4:09pm

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Ice_Man

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nice board. I trust Abit explicitly.
and I'd say just use the onboard audio. Abit's boards have kickin' audio, and you've got an optical out option if you want to use a digital reciever anyway.
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2004, 5:08pm

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Kid

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Theres no point using raid0 for your boot drive because you want to seperate your system files from data files to reduce fragmentation problems. You would need either very small drives or be wasting a lot of space. Fragmentation slows down access much more than raid0 speeds it up.
Posted: Fri, 18th Jun 2004, 5:14pm

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GeeksGoneBad

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I do have a some extra space on my boot drive, but I don't see that as a negative thing... plus to have my programs load so quickly it's worth it for me, the computer just plain runs faster... and hard drives are so cheap these days, it's just not worth it to hunt down smaller drives for it...

and you're right, you HAVE to seperate your data files. Always...
Posted: Sat, 19th Jun 2004, 12:06am

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DigiSm89

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Kid wrote:

Fragmentation slows down access much more than raid0 speeds it up.
Couldn't I just defrag?

I currently have only one 80GB HD and I barely have problems with fragmentation. I only have to run defrag every 6 months with as little as 4% fragmentation, mainly due to my Halo game saves.

I will only need around 80GB anyways which would mean 2 40GB HDs. I'm setting up a file sharing server later on so my files will soon be stored remotely on that server.

I just want my system to be as fast as possible. cool
Posted: Sat, 19th Jun 2004, 12:56am

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GeeksGoneBad

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Well, what it boils down to is that you'll have to figure out for yourself what's going to work best for you... the best senario would be to have a raid 0 boot array and then a raid 0 data array smile but that would require at least four drives... wink

If you are working with a lot of big files (like video) then you'll probably benefit better by doing a raid 0 on your data drive.

Regardless of where you put anything, everything should be defraged once in a while...

by the way, I seen 80GB SATA drives for $85... Pretty cheap! and I just noticed that they've come out with a 10k rpm SATA drive! Woohoo! (that's like $500 though! ouch!)
Posted: Sat, 19th Jun 2004, 2:05am

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DigiSm89

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I don't care about 4 drives. I'm getting a big pay check this summer wink .

I can't seem to find a 40GB SATA drive.

Anyways, will a 500w power system be good enough to power 4 drives?
Posted: Sat, 19th Jun 2004, 3:32am

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Amadeus0

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SATA only allows 1 drive per Channel. So that 2 channel board will allow you to hook up 2 drives. You can boot from the SATA drive/controller.

http://www.pricewatch.com

Don't use RAID0 for your system drive. It isn't any faster.

If your concern about not using RAID0 is that "you'll have 2 drives to keep track" (as in drive letters and/or worrying about filling a drive) you can use Spanning in WinNT/2k/XP Pro, or you can mount 1 drive under another. (Please read the Disk Manager Help for more info.)

Personally I run 5x160GB SATA in Software RAID5 (might move to 6) on my Linux Box and on my WinXP box I run 3x80GB PATA in Software RAID0. Linux box for File storage and Video editing, WinXP for Video editing, 3D and Compositing.

As for Size the smallest you'll find is about 80GB (for SATA), but unless you really need a lot of speed (as in editing uncompressed D1) getting 1x160GB SATA drive is cheaper (per GB) (and better IMO) then getting 2x80GB drives.

If your data is really important, then going with RAID1 (if speed isn't), RAID 10 (if Speed is and you have the money for all those Hard Drives -at least 4- and a big enough case/power supply), or RAID 5 (kinda sits in between everything) would be the way to go.
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 2:59am

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GeeksGoneBad

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Amadeus0 wrote:

"Don't use RAID0 for your system drive. It isn't any faster.
smile Sorry but you're wrong about that. I built two nearly identical computers a week or so ago, one with raid 0 on the system drive and it boots twice as fast, loads programs twice as fast, and everytime windows has to read/write to the system drive (which is ALWAYS) it's twice as fast... I didn't believe it myself, until I saw it, but that raid 0 system runs faster all around. smile I've seen it with my own two eyes... wink
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 6:04am

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Ice_Man

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HARDWARE Raid0 is faster. if you're using software to simulate a raid setup, you're going to sacrifice performance.
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 12:30pm

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Kid

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DigiSm89 wrote:

Kid wrote:

Fragmentation slows down access much more than raid0 speeds it up.
Couldn't I just defrag?

I currently have only one 80GB HD and I barely have problems with fragmentation. I only have to run defrag every 6 months with as little as 4% fragmentation, mainly due to my Halo game saves.

I will only need around 80GB anyways which would mean 2 40GB HDs. I'm setting up a file sharing server later on so my files will soon be stored remotely on that server.

I just want my system to be as fast as possible. cool
You obviously don't understand how fragmentation effects video work. 4% is a huge amount of fragmentation and you can have problems with as little as 1%. The problem happens because your system is reading and writing little files all the time you get lots of little gaps between files. When you go to capture some video it has to write it in these little gaps and split the file up. This means that the read/write takes much longer because for each gap it has to seek and seeking is much slower than reading or writing continuously.

The effect this has can be from simply slowing rendering down to causeing lost frames in captures. As you start to fill up your disk the problem gets worse and worse.

The overall percentage is low because all the little files are there as whole files but your one big file could be in hundreds of pieces.

---

As for raid0, you don't need it. You would be much better off simply getting 1 80Gb drive to add to your system than two 40Gb in a raid.

Raid0 isn't twice as fast, JamieC7 is talking rubbish. The seek time is slightly longer than with a single drive and reading continuously is heading towards twice as fast. The effect is that most of the time it is about the same speed as a single drive but sometimes it is a bit faster. Hardware vs software striping has no effect when comparing the onboard raid controllers you can get as they are quite rubbish. A proper hardware raid card would be a bit faster and take load off of your cpu but as I said before you do not need that for DV.

I expect most of JamieC7s speed increase is because he didn't have his single drive set up properly. Booting is the time when a raid0 has least effect because reading lots of little files is more seeking than continuous reading.

---

Just as a final point cos you don't seem to have taken it onboard before. You don't need raid0 for DV. Using it simply makes you twice as likely to lose whatever is on that drive. I doubt you will find 40Gb drives anyway. So all in all using it just for the sake of it is a bit pointless.
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 2:29pm

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DigiSm89

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So, what is RAID 0 good for then?
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 2:32pm

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GeeksGoneBad

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Yes to clarify it's hardware raid0, you cannot boot to a software raid0.

and have you actually done a raid0 on your boot drive? I don't think so, otherwise you'd have seen what I'm talking about. Like I said, I have two practically identical systems and the one with raid0 is faster. until you do that yourself you can't say... ;p

and also to clarify, at work, I don't work on video files... at home I don't have a raid0 on any of my drives, but I am going to raid0 on my boot drive the next time I take my system apart and buy a hardware raid card.

of course everyone's mileage may vary... but my EXPERIENCE is thus smile smile smile
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 2:57pm

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Kid

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Well I make video editing systems so i know quite well the difference it makes. You only really need to use raid if you are trying to use uncompressed or lossless compressed video.
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 4:54pm

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Amadeus0

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Kid is 100% right about the RAID0 for your system hard drive. Don't do it.

Software RAID is actually faster in most cases then hardware based raid. (The only case when HW Raid is faster is with SCSI drives doing RDB look-up or something similar...like serving a dynamically generated webpage.)

For the record most "RAID" controllers are just a card with a simple BIOS. The work is still done by your CPU (which is the same as Software-based RAID.)
Posted: Sun, 20th Jun 2004, 5:50pm

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DigiSm89

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Just out of curiosity, how easy could Hard Drives breakdown with a RAID set up? I have a really old Hard Drive onmy old VAIO and it still hasn't come close to deteriorating (although I'm not quite sure of that claim, all I know it hasn't broke down yet, bought in 1997).

I don't plan on using my HD to store my video files permanently, I only need them to store the video temporarily for editing for one to two weeks and then extract the final video to DVD or some other form of media. Then once I've reached the stage of final production, then I'll most likely delete the video files from my HD. If I wanted to backup or store my files, then I'd go through the extra step of storing everything onto an external drive.


Kid: What would you suggest for an incredibly fast PC setup? I'm not just talking about HDs but everything. Money matters could be discussed later... I need to create a video editing system that I could use in the digital video editing branch I'm planning of starting later in my small biz.
Posted: Mon, 21st Jun 2004, 3:32am

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GeeksGoneBad

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me? I'd use a little older drive that I thought was perfect as a working drive. as long as it was up to speed and not something like a 5400 rpm drive or anything...but that's just my call... you'd have to make that call yourself... smile

Amadeus0 wrote:

Software RAID is actually faster in most cases then hardware based raid.
again I have to disagree, sorry... smile
but don't take my word for it, here's the issue according to Adaptec, who, I think, know what they're talking about better than me... They also mention that the Raid card takes the load off of the CPU. so I believe your statement that raid cards don't is incorrect as well

http://graphics.adaptec.com/pdfs/raid_soft_v_hard.pdf

here's another link that might explain some RAID things too, so check this out and again, decide for yourself...

http://tech-report.com/reviews/2002q4/ideraid/index.x?pg=1