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5400rpm okay for video recording?

Last response: in Storage
December 3, 2002 9:37:53 AM

Hi everybody;

I am planning to buy a tv tuner card to record tv-shows or to copy my VHS cassettes to CD.

I really dislike the high-pitched noise that 7200rpm drives make, so I would really prefer to buy a new 5400rpm "no-noise" harddisk,
like the new Spinpoint 16s from Maxtor.

But I have 1 question: Are todays 5400rpm disks fast enough to do MPEG2-recording without any hiccups in the video?

I will use that disk in the following machine:
- Celeron 1200
- 440BX mobo 100Mhz
- 448Mb RAM 100Mhz
- Kyro 1 video card with 64Mb video RAM.

So could this kind of machine do video RECORDING with a 5400rpm drive without any hiccups?
Anybody has any experience to share?

Many thanks;
December 3, 2002 10:26:26 AM

Assmuming your mpeg2 stream is compressed to about 4 GB/hr. you will have about 1.1 MB/s of data. Even the slowest harddrive should be able to handle that.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
<A HREF="" target="_new">My systems</A>
December 3, 2002 12:29:56 PM

Thank you for the information.
But I have a question about this:
You wrote "assuming that your MPEG2 stream is compressed to about 4Gb/hour..."

What is 4Gb/hour? Is that DVD quality or not?
I do not know the streaming standard of DVDs in Gb/h.

Thank you!
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December 3, 2002 12:38:29 PM

4 GByte/hr is about DVD quality. Typically a DVD movie is about 6-7 GByte. There is no standard on the bandwidth, since this entirely depends on how much the stream is compressed.
I suggest you look at the specification for you mpeg encoder. That should give you a hint about the maximum amount of data.
However, even doubling the amount of data to 2 MByte/s is still relatively little compared to HD performance.

But note: Obviously you resulting quality is never better than your source. Since you intend to record TV and/or VHS the stream can be compressed to well below 1MByte/s without loss of quality.

<i><b>Engineering is the fine art of making what you want from things you can get</b></i>
<A HREF="" target="_new">My systems</A><P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1><EM>Edited by HammerBot on 12/03/02 03:41 PM.</EM></FONT></P>
December 3, 2002 6:24:36 PM

Many thanks for the info.

I am a little surprised about all this though.
I remember that one of the reasons why many people won't use 5400rpm harddisks, is because they are "not fast enough for video recording". They also stated that for video recording, a 30Mbyte/s are needed. I suppose that this is for "non-compressed" video? What else could possibly need 30Mb/s to record?

Once again, thanks!
I'll go buy that tv card now.

Greetings from Belgium;
a b G Storage
December 3, 2002 6:45:21 PM

You probably mean video EDITING not RECORDING requires the superfast drives. As stated video recording requires relatively small amounts of memory bandwidth. Video editing on the other handwould require infinite bandwidth in the limit to allow for instantaneous work completion.

Think of it like this: if for example you decide your video turned out a bit too red (hued), you could implement some software technique of removing or reducing the effect, but to do that all the video data must be accessed decompressed, operated upon, recompressed and restored. As you can see there are many more things happenning during editing.
December 3, 2002 10:16:00 PM

Have you considered a Seagate Baracuda V?
7200rpm and low noise thanks to fluid bearings.

<b>Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk. <i>Terry Pratchett</i></b>
December 4, 2002 10:11:29 AM

To be perfectly honest, I actually find my 7200 rpm IBM harddrive quieter than the 5400 rpm IBM one!
HD #1: <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM 120GXP IC35L080AVVA07</A>, 7200 rpm, 80gb
HD #2: <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM 40GV DTLA-305020</A>, 5400 rpm, 20gb

In contradication to all the rumors I have seen flying about the internet about IBM harddrives, my IBMs have probably hiccuped once. This usually happens when stressing them.

Considering I have mine on 24/7 with data being constantly written to them, I think they are doing quite well! Not bad for badly named drives!

*Hopes HDs don't pack in after sending this message :frown: *

December 4, 2002 1:19:29 PM


Strange that your 5400rpm is louder than your 7200rpm drive.
Maybe the 5400rpm is of an older generation?

At home, we have 2 drives of the same generation:
- a 40Gb Maxtor 720x 7200rpm
- a 40Gb Maxtor 540 5400rpm
I can tell you, the 7200rpm drive makes this annoying whine, while the 5400rpm one is inaudible. I have to put my head inside the case in order to hear the 540!
December 4, 2002 9:21:50 PM

my 60gxp hiccuped killing my OS... then hiccuped again killing random data. then once more killing nothing in particular but still requiring a DFT format to make it betta.

Noise wise it was good too. but reliability? pffft

<b>Just because someone's a member of an ethnic minority doesn't mean they're not a nasty small-minded little jerk. <i>Terry Pratchett</i></b>
December 8, 2002 1:43:37 PM

Reliability: That's another reason to go for a 5400rpm drive.

BTW, I read a test on harddisks yesterday.
The test had some weird results!
It concluded that:
a. The much hyped 7200rpm Barracuda IV has lower average read and write scores than the 5400rpm Maxtor Fireball III.
b. Western Digital's "JB = special edition" drives also have lower average read and write scores than their non-special edition brothers. And they were not much faster than the Fireball III either.

So what's the deal about 7200rpm? Their "peak" scores may be much better, but isn't it the average score which is the most important?
a b G Storage
December 9, 2002 7:09:10 PM

Lower read write scores are better, as they are a measure of the time it takes to complete the task.