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Fastest Hard drive Setup possible

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November 6, 2004 8:11:09 PM

Ok so i am looking to build a second computer for my home recording studio and the problem that most often plagues the home studio computer is the hard disk, with all the information being sent ot my firewire audio card(edirol 101) the hard drive has a hard time recording it. So i have a couple questions.
here is my setup.
P4 3.0@3.8
2 GB ultra pc4000 ram 3-4-4-8 or something close to that.
abit ic7 max 3

I want to maximize this system the best i can, right nowi am just running a seagate 80 gig sata drive. With or without scsi what is a good option? ive been looking at dual 74 gig raptors? anyone got any suggestions?

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November 6, 2004 9:15:31 PM

The fastest hard drive setup possible would probably be to get a huge ramdrive. But that's way too expensive. It's all a matter of cost really. Dual 74 GB raptors is a good cost effective way to do it for sure. Check out storagereview.com

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November 6, 2004 10:31:26 PM

I think a RAID 5 with 4 or 5 drives would be a great choice, of course a RAID50 with 6-10 drives might be even faster. And you'd need a very powerfull RAID processor to take the load, rather than the CPU.

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November 6, 2004 10:41:47 PM

What kind of a budget are you on? For random read/writes get a raptor or SCSI drive. For sustained transfer rates look into RAID arrays.
4 Raptor drives in RAID 10 or 0+1 would give you great sustained transfer rates and good data security at the cost of seek times (and a bit of CPU time if you are using a software controller).
November 7, 2004 12:14:42 AM

You simply need a dedicated hard disk to send your audio-stream to. The reason is simply that you can't continuously stream effectively to the same disk that the OS/pagefile is on. I very much doubt your audio stream is more than 10MB/s and any modern hard drive can handle that easily - provided it's not got anything else to do. Fancy RAID setups sound sexy but aren't necessary for audio, for video.. yes, so if you think you might want video in the future, then maybe go with RAID. I'd recommend you get as big as you can afford, saya 250GB+ drive. Should work just fine, then if you want to make a RAID0 just get another identical one sometime in the future and a controller card. Oh, and remove that overclock from the PCI bus, that's just asking to [-peep-] up your data transfer.

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November 7, 2004 4:43:02 AM

If your budget for hds is less than $500+ go for raptors, they are just inexpensive scsi drives. If you DO have a high budget for hds definatly go with a scsi array, you can't get better hd speed than that.

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November 7, 2004 10:51:56 AM

I would say get one 74 GB raptor and one 200 GB 7200 rpm drive. Do all of your work with the 74 GB drive and then save your finished product to the 200.

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November 7, 2004 10:57:35 AM

The IC7 will let you lock your PCI/AGP frequencies so he probably isnt overclocked.

The important thing is to keep the OS and page file on a seperate drive to the one you are using for saving the audio.
November 9, 2004 10:59:33 PM

Running 2x74 GB Raptors in RAID 0. I get around 85 MB sustained write, and 112 MB sustained read. These drives are wicked. I use them for video editing, and it cuts through huge files like butter. My 80 GB Western Digital used to take forever working with large files, but the Raptors are a lot faster. I am sure the Raptors could handle audio, as I use mine for video editing, which takes a lot more bandwidth.
November 10, 2004 3:04:40 PM

Get a RAID card like <A HREF="http://www.netcell.com/products_overview.html" target="_new">] NetCell (favorite) </A> and add as many drives you can afford with RAID 0, up to 8 per card, and this will give you fastest performance.

You will not get fastest performance using onboard RAID controllers like you will using RAID card with onboard XOR engine and cache.

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November 10, 2004 6:30:49 PM

Balderdash! After adding 2-3 drives his PCI bus will be maxed out, unless you are suggesting he buys a new MOBO with PCI-X slots. Oh, and RAID0 doesn't use XOR calculations so the CPU load will be similar whatever card he buys and continuous read/writes can't make use of cache. In any event RAID is a total overkill for his requirements.

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November 10, 2004 6:47:46 PM

daisy chain your RAID card, if thoroughput is so critical, and increase bandwidth. [/partially humor]

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January 18, 2005 11:13:30 AM

Nothing can beat a quality RAID 5 setup, but before you spend that kind of money, i think we all need to look at your firewire input. If i understand the situation correctly -which i may not :p  - you have a bottleneck of 400 megs right there. So a RAID setup over 3 or 4 drives isnt going to do you much good. Id say pick up a decent (not too spendy, shouldnt run too much over 50) SATA controller card, 3 SATA drives (you can pick up an 80gb for $60), and just make one big RAID 0 out of them.
I wasnt aware that audio files got this big either...but if write times are truly the bottleneck, id suggest the above setup. Total, you should be able to keep the cost under 250, and if you arent moving onto video later, the above setup should work well.
January 18, 2005 12:38:15 PM

He is concerned with the time needed to edit large raw avi files, where hard drive performance is ofter the bottleneck.

Any hard drive is going to be faster than his firewire port!
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