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RAID v. nonRAID for video conversion

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November 27, 2003 3:14:25 AM

Anybody out there familiar w/RAID setups vis a vis video editing and conversion? I want to upgrade my motherboard for my P4 1.7 Ghz CPU, and I've read some other sites that say installing a RAID configuration with two hard drives greatly improves conversion time - My Dell with Pinnacle Studio DV currently takes over 3 hours to make a 15 minute DVD. I want to shorten this time considerably and am willing to spend a few bucks on a decent motherboard with better FSB than I have now and a switch to DDRAM as opposed to the SDRam I have now. Perhaps a better question is: is it my computer or the software that makes it take so long?
December 1, 2003 3:51:17 AM

You won't see much improvment in conversion time if you go for RAID. Instead, you should consider upgrading your CPU which is the number 1 factor of video editing.
December 2, 2003 1:26:55 AM

Thanks for your reply. I agree that RAID is not the way to go - the more I learn about it the more I see that it's a memory tool - not a processing aid. I have a P4 running at 1.7 Ghz (1683 Mhz) but a crappy motherboard for my Dell Dimension 4300 - I think the FSB is 100 Mhz or something like that - and I'm fairly certain the chipset is SIS 730. Would I be better off getting a faster motherboard (which I'm leaning towards) or a faster CPU? Or both?
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December 3, 2003 3:14:12 AM

I can't say which option you should go for. It depends on your budget and other concerns, eg. how fast the video conversion you want, etc. So I'll just list what each major component does in video editing and let you decide which one to upgrade.

CPU - Since most software video conversion and rendering are done here, the faster the CPU is, the shorter time it takes to get the job done. Note that the motherboard or FSB speed isn't a major factor here.

Hard Disk - Fast hard disk is needed only during capturing of video from camcorder to avoid frame dropping. So any hard disk with at least 5400rpm will do the job fine. Nevertheless, today's RAID-0 solution is quite inexpensive, I don't see anything wrong if you go for it.

RAM - At least 512MB. The amount of memory will affect the stability and smoothness of software operations. In fact, many video editing software require lots of RAM. The speed of RAM is not a big issue here, but again with the price of today's high-speed RAM dropping, it's not a bad idea to go for it. Keep in mind that you will need to get a new motherboard if you decided to switch to DDRAM.

CD or DVD Writer - Great if you want put your masterpiece on discs.

Graphics Card - Any decent one will be sufficient. It's nice to have a card with TV-out port so that you can view your works on a TV set during editing.

Sound Card - Either the inexpensive onboard or add-on is fine. You don't need a high-end sound card unless you're a pro working in a studio, I guess.

Monitor - Either a CRT or LCD with fast response time (< 25ms) should be used. Monitors with at least 17" display size are desirable as they give you more viewing area during video editing.

The above are just my opinions which I hope you find them helpful.
December 3, 2003 6:13:03 AM

Excellent post
No point me replying now :smile:

Opel Superboss, now that was a car!
January 10, 2004 10:55:26 PM

Using DVD2SVCD takes almost twice as long to convert a DVD on my father's computer without a RAID (Soyo KT600 Dragon Light with an Athlon XP 2400+ @ 166 FSB @ 2100 MHz and 512 MB of PC2700 ram) as it does on my computer with a RAID (Soyo KT333 Dragon Ultra with a Barton 2500+ @ 133FSB[no typo, for my board does not have a 1/5 divider] @ 2211MHz and 512MB of PC2700 ram). My RAID with two ATA133 80BG Maxtor HDDs rocks...

I build his computer, and at the time, my DVD player went out, so I used DVD2SVCD several times on his computer, and it took a LOT longer...

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
January 10, 2004 11:04:23 PM

BTW, I can convert a 2 hour DVD to 2 SVCD files to burn to CD in 2 hours... or close to that... maybe a bit less.

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
January 25, 2004 9:52:21 AM

You must have made some mistake.
a RAID configuartion can never reduce DVD conversion by half or in fact by any significant amount.

In now way is this possible. Ripping a DVD to hard disk can never be faster than the speed of the DVD drive, currently there are no DVD readers out there that can read faster than an IDE drive, so that does not make sense.

The CPU does all the compression and can never work fast enough to compress images so that a drive will not keep up.

The only time an IDE drive might battle is if you were capturing VIDEO in RAW format, which is like a few hundred Megs per second.

But DVD to divx or vcd will never be made to run faster by running RAID or SCSI disks in any configuration.




Opel Superboss, now that was a car!
January 26, 2004 8:39:54 PM

Hmm, I have not tested ripping time... and that was not what I was talking about... it was the conversion time for all the steps between having several large VOB files on a hard drive and ending up with 2 or 3 SVCD files ready to burn to CD...

Mine truely does this way faster than the computer I built for my father-in-law...

Is this conversion truly limited by the cpu speed and not affected by HDD speed? I do not think I left him with an ineffecient system...

My total cpu speed 2211 MHz with 134fsb
His 2100~ MHz with 167fsb

both have 512 MB of PC2700 ram...
XP Pro SP1

Both are VIA Soyo boards... mine is KT333 and his is KT600

My three 80BG HDDs are Maxtor ATA133, and so is his

I noticed the time difference both when I had it at my house and then when I used it over Christmas...

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
January 26, 2004 9:23:56 PM

That does seem strange too be such a big difference.
Might something to look into.
But conversions take place frame by frame, in other
words each image or frame is compressed by the CPU as compression algorythms are run, like WINZIP in a way.

The only time RAID will help is if you have a centralized storage and you have say 5 different PC's all converting DVD to VCD and storing on the centralized PC, then RAID will make a difference, but RAID on a local machine as far as compression or converting DVD to VCD will not make a difference. Damn, if it does it will be so minimal you will not notice it.

Ofcourse I am speaking entirely theoretical, whereas you have physically tested it. Either my theories are wrong, or there is a hardware issue or a performance issue on your fathers PC?

Hmm I would be very interested if you could test this on another PC not running RAID with the same DVD etc etc to confirm everything,

cheers




Opel Superboss, now that was a car!
January 27, 2004 4:30:46 PM

My OS is not on the RAID... I can change my default folders to the non RAID HDD and time it, then do the same opperation on the RAID... if I get some free time, I will do it just to see...

<font color=red><b>To reign is worth ambition though in Hell:
Better to reign in Hell, than serve in Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, II 262-263
January 27, 2004 6:44:37 PM

Good Idea.
Keep me posted,
cheers

Opel Superboss, now that was a car!
March 26, 2004 6:50:32 PM

I have not done a times test yet, but i did figure out that I had used a newer version of DVD2SVCD on my dad's computer... i just reformatted my drive and rebuilt my system, and now, using the newer version as well, it "seems" longer for me as well... so that could be it...

<font color=red><b>The mind is in its own place, and in itself
Can make a Heav'n of Hell, a Hell of Heav'n.</b></font color=red>
John Milton, <i>Paradise Lost</i>, Book II
March 28, 2004 8:10:51 PM

Yip, probably. :-)

thanks for the update!

Opel Superboss, now that was a car!
!