View Full Version : To RAID or not to...

01-18-2002, 09:55 PM

I have a hardware migration question.

I currently do not do video editing professionally, however, I would like to provide an adequate hard disk system in case a large project came along. The machine would be mainly used for my web design business and Maya (I own a seat on NT and can't wait for the PLE to be released), but I would be doing church and personal projects.

I'm migrating from a maxed out 9600 with:

Initio Miles2
two 18G 15K drives
XLR8 G3 450
XLR8 Firewire PCI
Fuse PCI

Since the Miles2 is supposedly iffy with OSX and SoftRAID is unsupported, I bought an OEM LVD card (2940U2B) that Apple was installing and use that for the 15K's. I also decided to go with the Acard hardware RAID card and two Seagate ATA100 Barracuda 40G drives at RAID 0.

This was all going into a DP 450, however, I am now selling the DP450 in order to get the extra PCI slot available in the DP800.

So.....since the DP800 comes with an 80G drive, should/can I:

a) use the 80G as Master and the two 40's as capture/scratch only
b) add another 80G IBM, another Acard and send the Barracudas back

And as a subset to these hypothetics...

Does it make sense to keep the 15K's and migrate them over?I will be capturing video via firewire on the camcorder, DCRTRV310, and probably not using the Fuse, since I now have a DV camera. I can't RAID the 15K's without spending much more than I have budgeted and it seems like the Acard RAID should provide all the speed I need since I'm not doing Broadcast or capturing via SVideo. I certainly could use the money from selling the 15K's as I'm way over budget at this point. :-)

Now after I get this settled, would a 40G firewire drive be a good method for backup? I would only be backing up my FCP scene files (Premiere ppj's), documents, web stuff, system folder etc...

Am I missing anything?

Your assistance in my edification would be so very much appreciated!


01-18-2002, 10:50 PM
Hey Eiseman,
A new 800DP, absolutely awesome. Congrats.

I set up a Acard raid on my 867 and was quite happy with it. I moved it over to my B&W and have been running a ATTO UL3D raid in the QS. The SCSI is faster and can be boosted to wicked speed with additional drives (and dollars)

For the money the ATA133 raid can't be beat. Its been 100% reliable for me over the last months, in fact as far as I can tell it's just one drive. I have no idea at this time if four drives get better performance on the ATA raid than 2 drives. I know there are inherent limitations to a single channels throughput with IDE drives, I have never seen any numbers to quantify what would happen with four on a raid.

The Seagate drives are probably the highest quality IDE drives on the market as far as warranty time and failure rate. There is nothing wrong with the IBM drive being duplicated though, it would perform well. I would not buy lesser drives for all the tea in China, if you lose one you lose all.

Your two X15 Cheetahs have the distiction of being able to blow the doors off any other drives if you install them on a ATTO card for your Quicksilver. As you have read, the Miles2 has issues with the QS and the 2940U2B, even though without too many issues will be saturated (as will the Miles2) well before you run out of capability from the 2 Cheetahs.

Can't go wrong with the ATTO UL3S or UL3D and the Acard is great, either will make Eiseman a very happy guy.

01-18-2002, 11:22 PM
Thanks Rick,

I can't wait to get it in the house...

I know the x15's will blow doors, but as indicated in my post, do I really need that much speed with what I've outlined as my needs.

What requires that much speed other than capturing at broadcast quality? Initially when I bought the x15's it was to capture from a Fuse card, as well as run scratch disk and apps, but now I'll be sourcing DV via firewire.

It's my thought to use either a) or b) and sell the x15's to finance it. Get another Acard and an EZquest firewire drive for perennial backup.

Anyone working with Final Cut Pro2 or 3?

01-18-2002, 11:32 PM
It would take a very small piece of paper for me to write down eveything I know about Video. Your ATA133 raid though will outperform any Firewire device(1394a). Today 1394a is good for roughly 50MB/sec, 1394b is good for double that.

You should get around mid 70MB/s with the Acard, most likely plenty. You can always upgrade the drives to the new IBM 120GXPs or a even faster speed pair of drives from another manufacturer if you need to up the performance in the future.

Speed's fun.

01-19-2002, 12:19 AM
The firewire external drive would only be for backup with Retrospect. Since RAID 1 appears to be nearly impossible without hemorrhaging more cash I thought to automate backup to an external firewire drive....and not complete backup...only system and files..no apps or source files.

Seems to make sense for now as it should take a long time to fill up a 20 Gig back up drive....plus I'll backup to DVD every month.

01-19-2002, 12:30 AM
I've been using Switchback, a file syncronization utility. It lets me 'clone' any files every night to my other computer. For shareware it works great and is getting OSX compatible. (runs in OSX now) http://webnz.com/glendower/switchback.html

I found switchback compares my picture folders and data files for my business and copies them as well as anything costing 10x as much. Look into it if you don't already own Retrospect.

01-20-2002, 09:16 AM
Ok here is something I do not see mentioned

You will not need to spend any more $ to raid those cheetahs of you use OS X It comes with built in raid software

I have a pair of G2 X15 cheetahs on an ATTO Dually card and they deliver about 125-130MB a sec. I also do some video work, mostly putting my VHS onto DVD. I used to use a FUSE card but the drivers were Buggy with the latest versions of OS 9 and Aurora is not ever going to write OS X drivers for the FUSE. When using the fuse I had no problem capturing acceptable video to a 7200rpm IBM ata drive (dedicated with nothing else on the drive and no slave present) this was before I got the Cheetahs

I now have a ForMac Studio which is very nice as it makes iMovie think it is a camera so that any analog device (SVideo vhs deck or composite camera) appears to iMovie as if it was a digital movie camera It is completely OS transparent in this regard. Quality seems good so far but I have only had it a couple days.