Safest HD for RAID in video editing pc

I am close to putting together hardware for a video editing build. I will be editing AVCHD video of the grandkids (Canon HFS100) and think I've got the right setup. I will be using Sony Vegas Platinum Pro 9 and Photoshop Elements 8 for now. This is not for business. The longest completed video should typically be under 10 minutes, although there might be 30 minutes of footage to edit. I do not play any games.

CASE: Cooler Master HAF932 High Air Flow Full Tower
MOBO: Asus Computer P6X58D PREMIUM
CPU: I7-920
PSU: Corsair CMPSU-W750TX
GPU: PNY Nvidia Quadro FX 580 512MB PCIe
COOLER: Cooler Master V8
HDD 2 (RAID 5): W/D RE3 WD1002FBYS 1TB 7200 RPM SATA x3
RAM: G.SKILL 6GB (3 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) F3-12800CL8TU-6GBPI
OPTICAL 1: LITE-ON 24X DVD Writer SATA Model iHAS424-98
OPTICAL 2: Sony Optiarc 24X DVD/CD SATA Model AD-7240S-0B

Specific questions I want answered:

The W/D RE3's are expensive but seem to be the best insurance against RAID disaster. Is there a less expensive but equally reliable solution?

Would I get overall better performance out of RAID 0+1 rather than RAID 5?

If I'm diligent about backing up, could I save money by downsizing the RE3's from 1Tb to 750Mb, or even 500?

Thanks to all for advice
6 answers Last reply
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  1. Even the RE3's can fail just like any other drive. Only insurance against data loss is backing up. Raid 5 will protect your data from drive loss, but wont if the controller fails.
    I have used non-raid edition WD drives and have had good luck with them. Some 5+ years with no problems.
    I would get what you can afford and make backups of the backups.
  2. Sturm's right - figure out how you're going to do backups FIRST, then take what budget you have left and decide how equip the system. RAID will NOT protect your data from all risks, so you're going to need to back up anyway. You may not need to back up EVERYTHING - for example you might decide to save backup time and space by only backing up the finished videos and not the raw material.

    I recommend two or more external drives which you use to do alternating backups. It would be nice if the external drives have enough space to hold multiple generations of backups.

    Don't leave the drives connected to your computer - good backup strategy is to have at least two OFFLINE backups, with one of them stored OFFSITE. This protects against pretty much all risks short of a widespread disaster.

    In performance terms RAID 0 will be best, but also has the least data reliability. But of course that isn't such a big issue if you have backups.
  3. I thought the whole idea of RAID 5 or 0+1 is the that there is mirroring and therefore, redundancy.

    It just sounds like so much of a crapshoot to knowingly run RAID 0, especially since Western Digital has intentionally disabled (as of roughly November, 2009) the TLER function that prevents a drive from dropping out of a RAID.

    However, if I were to follow your advice, would you suggest Caviar Black 1Tb drives in RAID 0 and regular backup to alternating, external mirrored backups? Do I even need 1Tb drives under that scenario? Cutting down to two 750's ($70 x 2+ $140) versus three 1Tb RE3's ($160 x 3= $480) leaves $340 for external backup resources. I might even have enough to upgrade from the velociraptor to Intel 80gb SSD as the boot drive.

    This all works within the budget, but does it really accomplish what I set out to do?
  4. >I thought the whole idea of RAID 5 or 0+1 is the that there is mirroring and therefore, redundancy. <

    Redundancy is great .... except after the fire you will have multiple charred and water logged drives. :)

    I would drop the Raptors.....they are slower in all but access times than today's current 500 GB per platter drives. For reliability, check out what the NAS vendors are using, I figure since they selling security, they can afford to put a lot more investigation time into what HD to buy than I can....I'm seeing mostly 7200.12's in the ones I have looked at. My guess is that one of the reasons....well two of them really is that they are both cooler and quieter than the "performance class" (as opposed to "green" drives) competition.

    As for performance, check out the performance charts and pick whatever 500 GB per platter drive performs best under your usage patterns. The WD Black 2 TB is a good choice but at smaller capacities, you are limited to the Seagate 7200.12 or the Spinpoint F3. The 7200.12 excels in gaming, multimedia and pictures whereas the F3 wins at music and movie maker. See the comparisons here (copy past link in manually, link won't work in forum):


    I keep a local drive on each work station then use this as my NAS .... X-RAID works great and w/ the handle and small form factor.... in case of fire I can grab w/ one hand and run out ..... get the data and then go back in house for wife and kids :0 ! (kidding)

    I then use one of these for off site storage
  5. innkeeper_nj said:
    I thought the whole idea of RAID 5 or 0+1 is the that there is mirroring and therefore, redundancy.
    There is redundancy, and it does protect you from a drive failure. But it doesn't protect against theft of your computer, viruses, accidental deletion, controller malfunction, electrical hit, disaster, etc. etc.

    You still need backups. What redundant RAID does for you is to eliminate the down time required to replace a failed drive, restore the latest backup and redo the changes since that backup. If you have backups and can spare the time, then redundant RAID doesn't really do much for you.

    I've never used RAID in my home system, and in almost 30 years of use (more than 25 of them using hard drives) I've never lost anything important.
  6. Agreed.....I have a home office with 7 office PC's and 5 Home PC's .... the NV+ makes a great media server (iTunes) and serves to back up everything on all 12 boxes. Fast access to the data and the file serving capabilities are the reason it's there. Still backups get done to external HD's, laptops and DVD's on a regular basis.
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