How much storage for HD video editing

Hi there,

I'm buying a new PC set and the last question is how much hard disc do I need for video editing and storage (I have an i7 920 with 6GB DDR3 RAM, 64 bit Vista, ATI 4850, 26'' screen). Is 1TB enough, or do I need 1.5TB or a RAID 0 (2x 1TB)? My movies will be usually around 30 min (out of 120 min raw material, HDV or AVCHD). I would want to store the final movies (but not all the material as such) on the harddisc (as well as on an external backup). I will use Pinnacle or Magix as editing software. Within the next two years I will probably produce around 8 to 10 movies (each 20 to 30 min long).

thanks a lot
11 answers Last reply
More about storage video editing
  1. 1080p at 24fps = 9 gigs per minute uncompressed. 120 minutes of raw footage is right at 1 gig.

    i always recommend a separate drive ( or array ) just for import/export.
    i'd suggest a pair of 1tb drives for input ( raid 0) and then another drive for your os and storing the compressed final result.
  2. HDV is around 13GB per hour, so 1TB should be plenty for the kind of movies you're talking about.
  3. Ignatowski might be right, it depends on the size of the "raw material". We are all used to see HD content @ ~26GB/120min, but this is with basic compression. A single "raw" BMP frame is close to 8MB, the image 24 per seconds for 120minutes ... between 1 and 1.5TB.
  4. If you do any sort of FX, you'll want as much space and speed as you can muster. When I'm editing standard DV footage in premiere and After Effects, my project size for a 30-minute video can exceed 120gb. This, however, includes raw footage (since you almost always shoot waaayy more than you need), render files, composite effects, etc.

    My video editing station has 4x500gb 7200rpm SATAII's in a RAID-0 as my scratch disk and a 15k rpm velociraptor as my OS and program drive.

    I have a friend in Florida who edits for Blu-ray with a similar setup, and he's burned through several drives due to (as he puts it) the amount of load on the drives. I'm not sure how much weight that carries since I still edit mainly in SD, but it's worth contemplation :)

    check out http://www.dvc.uk.com/guides/lev1.php?subnav=DVCHDV&lev1=hdvfaq for a list of how much space you'll be looking at eating up.
  5. Zenthar said:
    Ignatowski might be right, it depends on the size of the "raw material".


    And one-hour HDV tapes hold 13GB of data, so that's the amount of space you need on the disk for the raw material. Certainly if the editing program transcodes it to a less compressed format you'll need more, but all the HDV editing programs I've used edit natively unless you render effects.
  6. Well actually u cannot calculate beforehand how much storage is needed...
    For now go wit the 1TB and later down the road as and when u need space, add more storage...
    And the HDD prices will only go down...so u wil get more storage for less each time...
  7. MarkG said:
    And one-hour HDV tapes hold 13GB of data, so that's the amount of space you need on the disk for the raw material. Certainly if the editing program transcodes it to a less compressed format you'll need more, but all the HDV editing programs I've used edit natively unless you render effects.


    sorry didnt note the hdv requirement.
    13 gigs is about right for 720p ( 4k bit rate)
    26 gigs per hour for 1080p ( 8k bit rate)

    file sizes jump considerably once you leave consumer camera market.
  8. Thanks a lot for all suggestions. I'm thinking now to go with 3 hard discs, main one to store all valuable stuff, final movies, photos , music, operating system etc. which I would back up with an external drive and 2 working drives with RAID 0, i.e
    Drive 1 1 TB (backed up externally)
    Drive 2 500 GB RAID 0
    Drive 3 500 GB RAID 0

    does this make sense? Also all drives are 7200, some 16 MB cache , some 32 MB cache, does this matter?
  9. that setup should run fine.

    the cache differences shouldnt really hurt you. while ideal raid setups use identical drives in a single stripe it still works if they are different.
  10. My editing machine has a RAID5 1TB data array and a 147gb RAID0 15k scsi array (os, programs, working storage), the system is about 2 years old now and has been upgraded processor/memory wise (now dual dual core with 8gb) but the drive configuration is still plenty snappy.

    AVCHD is a nice compressed standard and isn't too bad on drive space (I've got a sony hd camcorder and can often edit right off it's 60gb internal drive). BUT... if you have to convert another format you'll end up going through A LOT of disk space doing a 20 minute film.

    My last large project (large for an amature) was about 14 minutes long, required about 120 minutes of raw footage and IIRC took up several hundred gigabytes of storage all decompressed (and the footage was all SD).
  11. thanks, I did edit sofar only in DV with Pinnacle/Magix but now have a HDV camcorder (Canon HV 20). I do want to build a system that can also deal with AVCHD in case I will buy a new camcorder within the next 3 years.

    From the above I understand that HDV does not use more space than DV and sofar I only had about 300GB hard disc space (but this meant I had to delete most of the prefinal stuff)
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