A hard drive setup question?

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    • #36723

      I found a pretty good deal on a Sony RA842G computer brand new. These are the specs in brief:

      Pentium Dual Core 3.0 processsor

      1 gig of PC-4200 ram

      Geforce 6600 PCI x16 dual monitor video card

      All the usual ports and connectors which also include analog input connectors on the front of the computer for video capture (I personally like this because of the “clean” factor as opposed to a breakout box attached to a firewire port).

      A 500 gig HD which is setup as 2, 250 gig hard drives in a RAID 0 configuration.

      My question is this, shouldn’t my OS be on a separate drive that is not part of this RAID O configuration?
      Are there any major drawbacks to this setup?
      And lastly, if this is not an ideal setup, would it be a good idea to install an additional hard drive, put my OS and files on the newly installed drive, and store all my video files on the preconfigured 500GB RAID O drive?

      BTW I can get this comp. for $1400.
      Again, thanks again for your help.

    • #163171

      You CAN’T possible have a RAID drive on a single hard disk drive. RAIDs of any variety require multiple hard disk drives. RAID stands for Redundant Array of Inexpensive Drives.

      You might have a RAID controller on that machine. However, it is most likely that the BIOS will not support a single 500 GB drive and so it has been logically split into two drives. I have an 80 GB SATA drive loaded with my OS and programs on my DEDICATED video editing machine. I have 2 200 GB SATA drives striped together (This REQUIRES XP Professional as this feature is not supported by XP Home) to give a single drive letter and about 380 GB of storage. This allows the computer to write to both drives at once, effectively double my hard drive speed. Your processor is always WAY, WAY faster than you hard drive. Use SATA drives and combine them.

      If you can install hardware yourself, I would get a Western Digital SATA Hard Drive in the 80 to 160 GB range and make that my boot disk. If your case will hold it, I would get a second 500 GB drive, same model number, install it and then stripe it. You will have a very large fast sysems will lots of online storage.

    • #163172


      You mean “Independant Disks” not “Inexpensive Drives” in your definition of RAID right?

    • #163173

      Yeah I probably didn’t make myself clear. In this setup IT IS 2-250 GB hard drives. Hope that clears it up. I am still looking at it but the general consensus here seems to be to go ahead and have a custom system built for me at a local shop (thanks compusolver). If I go ahead and build a system for myself I will post what I am looking at here and get some feedback.
      Thanks again everyone.

    • #163174

      Add another drive for the OS if you can. I learned the hard way many years ago about having everything one one drive. If the OS crashes then you lose everything! Having storage drives is a life saver. But be sure to make back ups to DVD’s every now and then to protect against those drives failing too.

      In my new PC I’m only running a 60GB drive for my OS and programs. That should be more than enough for the Adobe Video Collection and maybe a few more programs. I have two 250GB SATA drives that will run independent of each other. One for capture, the other for final rendering.

    • #163175

      Jackal has the right idea. Shoot! Do they even make 60 GB HD’s? Usually 80 is the default.

      Anyway… keep in mind that you don’t really need a striped RAID configuration to work with normal SD video. Going with two independant SATA drives will work for capturing plus it gives you plenty of room for the raw footage and for scratch disk and rendering space.

      However… if you are or thinking about getting into HD, then you will HAVE to strip two drives together because HD data comes in way faster then a normal SATA HD can handle and you would run the risk of dropped frames and so forth. In fact, I’m not even sure it would work at all.

      pauleveritt: Am I understanding you correctly in that XP Professional is the only one out of the two XP OS’s that can handle a striped RAID configuration? I guess I never heard of that before. I was under the impression that as long as your MoBo and bios supported SATA RAID configs that either XP Home or XP Professional would work. Sometimes there might be a small utility app needed but a RAID setup would work on either OS.

      Humm ?????


    • #163176

      The 60 GB dives is an old one that I was using in my PlayStation 2. I just upgraded that one to a 200 GB. πŸ˜€

    • #163177

      compusolver Wrote:

      Having owned several computer stores in the DFW area, some years back, I would advise as I always do – buy from a local computer shop and have them build your PC.

      $1400 looks high. I would put system & programs on a 250 gig drive and use that 500gig for video files.

      I agree that 1400 looks high. If you are just a little brave, you can quite easily learn enough to build a system for yourself. It really isn’t that hard if you get your feet wet. And you will save 40-50% over what one of those “local computer shops” will scalp…uh…charge you for. Here’s a great article on what you need to know (there are many others like it too):
      Anyone with a moderate amount of tech knowledge should not be paying for someone else to stick a few chips in a box (that’s really all you’re doing). Not to mention when you do it yourself, you know you aren’t getting leftover parts (like Dell and HP and so on use to save themselves money). It’s really worth spending an hour or so learning how. No offense Hank!

    • #163178

      Building your own is the only way to go. It is actually kind of fun and you learn a lot on the way. The challange is to pick your components and to shop around over the Inet to find the best deal. (Now I know why my wife likes shopping so much. πŸ™‚ )

      Short story is that I built one about 2 years ago and when I did the math, I figured that I saved about $400.00 building my own. I couldn’t believe it! I then built another one with the same results. I’ll never buy complete off the shelf again. Internet prices are WAAAAY cheaper than retail prices and that’s for name brand components.

      You do need a little knowledge only because you won’t have any support to back your “Mutt” PC up but as long as you’re careful you’ll be OK.

      The bottom line is you save alot money, you have the components that you wanted… but the BEST part is when you’re all done and you fire it up… and it works, you feel like you created life from lifelessness!


    • #163179

      Believe it or not, most small computer shops make only $100 or so on a new computer sale. The hope is to gain a customer, sell accessories, upgrades and get service business.

      I’m involved in a website geared for computer shops (rs-kit.com) and most agree that $100 to $200 is the most they can make on a new computer.

      Yeah, but that’s $100-$200 over the manufacturers cost who is also charging you for building it. I’ve figured you can save easily up to 50% by building your own over any pre-configured price. And you get the good parts. Of course there’s no warranty but if you learn to build it yourself you probably don’t need a warranty.

    • #163180

      I sold computers for several years and have built several of my own computers (and other peoples) and therefore, also have some knowledge on the topic. The other thing is, that may have been the case in the past, but as time goes by, you can save more and more money building your own.

    • #163181

      Alright. First off thanks everyone for your help. I decided to go ahead and build my own. This is what I got so far:

      Asus P5WD2 Premium motherboard
      Intel Pentium D 820 2.8Ghz chip
      Antec Sonata II case
      2 gig corsair PC4200 – 533fsb memory
      Pioneer DVR100 Optical Dr.
      nvidia geforce 6600 256mb dual video out PCI x16 video card
      WD 250 gig HD w/16mb cache
      Windows XP Pro

      I think this is enough to get my basic system going. Once I get this system up and running then I will buy 2 additional 250GB hard drives and install them in a RAID 0 setup. (Another project for later).
      I bought everything from local computer shops to save myself from money. So far I have spent just a little over 1K for everything. I am going to assemble it this weekend. I do have some basic computer knowledge and I will take my time, read the motherboard manual and make sure I connect everything correctly. This I am sure I can do.
      The part that concerns me is firing it up and having to configure the BIOS. This is all new to me. So, be prepared to see a new thread from me asking what my screen means when it says………… πŸ™‚ .
      Thanks for all your help so far and thanks in advance for the help in the future!!

    • #163182

      Glad you are not afraid to take the plunge! Setting up the bios is not difficult at all. If you’re smart enough to know that there is a bios, you will have no problem. Feel free to ask if you have any questions!

    • #163183


      It looks like you did a good job on components. You probaly would have saved more money buying everything over the internet but that’s OK. The store you bought everything from will be more willing to help you with problems if they come up because you dropped some serious money there.

      All you have to do is follow the manual with regards to your MOBO. You’ll do fine with that. The only part that you HAVE to be carefull with is attaching your heatsink to the CPU. If you don’t do it correctly you could burn that up and then will have to get another one. πŸ™

      If you get by that hump the BIOS is usually a piece of cake. Most of the MOBO’s today ship with BIOS that have auto settings that detect and set themselves. They also come with a lot of the correct settings already set as a default.

      Bring on your questions if you get stuck. Have fun!


    • #163184

      I don’t think I will be moving to Vista anytime soon. Actually, next upgrade may be an intel mac.

    • #163185

      Is vista available yet? I hate microsoft, how they don’t ever give the important information on their website. All I want to know is a realease date for vista. Anyway, just wondering if anyone knew when it would be shipping.


    • #163186

      I don’t think they’ve released a release date.

    • #163187

      Just wanted to throw in a few money saving and sanity saving tips, for building a pc.

      Get the 3 main parts together. From one vendor.
      Those parts being:
      -cpu + fan
      – RAM

      I’ve built pc’s for over 10 years now.
      I have the high dollar software that is used for system burn-in and component failure detection.

      So it is easy for me, to contact a vendor and tell them THEIR mobo, or RAM, or CPU is bad. And how my DIAG software determined it, plus which exact errors were encountered.

      But TIME IS MONEY. Waiting onhold for RMA #’s and such bites!
      I would STILL have to wait on hold for RMA’s.
      (can be an hour or more, of lost time)
      Then they’ll want me to go thru "their" tech support so THEY can verify their part is really defective. Only after all that do they usually give the RMA # and return instructions.

      (But a one-time home builder is NOT going to buy the $500 software package,like I use, for system diags and burn-in testing).

      1. If you are going to build a pc, at LEAST get buy your mobo, CPU, cpu-fan and RAM together from one vendor.

      Even if it costs $25 or $40 bucks more.

      I cannot begin to tell you of the horror stories I have had, and that some friends have had, if you don’t.

      Example: using 2 or 3 DIFFERENT vendors just to save $20 bucks.

      One vendor has the cheapest price on a mobo, another on the CPU/cpu-fan and 3rd on RAM.

      There is NO WAY a system burn-in can be done by any of the 3 vendors;
      as each is selling you only a "part" of the complete basic system.

      You will be combining these 3 items yourself.

      One Problem I’ve encountered:
      The new mobo won’t POST.

      Now the blame-game starts:
      – mobo seller will blame problem on CPU or RAM (other vendor’s).
      – cpu seller will blame it on mobo or RAM.
      – Ram seller will blame in on mobo or CPU.

      Most of the other parts involved are easy to troubleshoot:
      -chassis with power supply
      -video card
      -modem and/or LAN, if not already built-in to mobo

      Personally, if a "PC newbie" type friend wants to go and get a new pc, I direct them to a mass-marketer like dell or hp.
      (I avoid encouraging PC newbies to build a pc)

      1. And tell them to explain to a sales person WHAT they will be doing with the pc.
      2. And to get it with everything on it they anticipate needing
      (I’ve opened up too many dell’s in the past year or two. The reason they are cheaper is there aren’t any, or many, "extra features" on the mobo that aren’t already being used.
      You most likely will not find "extra" slots, ports or connectors for "future expansion").

      3. Let dell or HP tech support answer your friend’s questions.
      (newbie owner’s will be calling and asking IF they can add more of this, or more of that. Or calling me for tech-support, after they buy something and now it won’t work, or fit , or whatever).

      For myself, I’ve seen the inside of the store pc’s and they won’t work for my needs. I want non-vendor faceplates on my DVD drives.
      More expansion chassis slots, etc.

      I still somewhat "shop price" but only on quality parts.
      My early years of building pc’s taught me not to throw good money at
      unknown parts, just to save 5 or 10%.
      I’ll get a name brand mobo, with higher quality parts on it.
      With EXTRA controller ports, extra DIMM expansion slots, a chassis with extra bays.

    • #163188

      Windows sucks! We all know that. Unfortunately it is a nessecary evil in this world. Bill Gates rules the Earth. But there are only 2 alternatives for consumers.
      1. Linux – which no video editing software is written for and is very difficult for the typical user to figure out.
      2. Mac – which does not really have very good computing applications for everyday use. By this I mean, most people use their computers for word processing, games, internet, networking, etc. Their versions of MS office are not as advanced as Microsoft. And 99% (not actual figures but seems like it) of the businesses in this world use Windows making the others uncompatible for its consumption. And most games are not written for a mac.
      VIDEO EDITING AND SOUND EDITING ARE GRRREAT ON A MAC! I can’t wait to get one in my home for just that.

      So that leaves us with Windows. Most software, no matter what facet of computing you are into, there is probably a high end brand written only for Windows.

      That being said… We all know that when Windows 95 debuted long ago, there were horror stories about it not working so they had to sell a nearly complete patch for it before it would work correctly. Then again with Windows 98. We all remember the fiasco with Windows 98 2nd Edition. Windows 2000 wasn’t as big a problem. Actually the 2000 Pro edition is considered, by many, the most stable of all of the Windows OS’s.

      When Windows ME was released, the best thing you could do was to turn your computer off, leave it in a corner and wait a few years until their next OS’s was released and hope to gosh that it was better than what you already had. ME crashed so often that it was a chore just turning it on.

      When XP was rushed to market there were so many bugs that Microsoft put out press releases immediately following its release telling everyone to turn many feature off until they could write patches for them.

      My point in all of this rambling…In the last 10 years, microsoft has put out 5 or so new OS’s. That’s about 1 every 2 years. They have a history of rushing things to market when they are not ready.
      I have to applaud Microsoft for the care they are taking in releasing VISTA. Instead of having 5 different departments work on different areas of the OS and then gluing them all together, putting them on a CD and hoping they work, then mass producing it for Retail sale, they have taken a different approach.

      There have been multiple release dates, all of which have been changed because Microsoft keeps saying, "it is not ready yet."

      Instead of chastising them, we should be congratulating them for realizing the errors of their past and trying to rectify those past flops with the care they are taking in developing VISTA. I for one am impressed that they are not just saying, "The heck with it!" and just pushing it to market. Then creating patches over the next few years while we continue to lose precious data and personal information to hackers.

      Congratulation Microsoft for doing it right this time!

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