balster

Raid 5 Sata Best Controller For Video Editing

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Hi all,

I'm kinda new to the raid 5 setup, thus far I'm planning on buying 3 Seagate 160GB sata hd's and running them in a raid 5 setup. So I'm looking for a fast 4x sata controller that runs on it's own processor.

I've searched the forum and have found that:

- 3ware is a good choice for servers

- Promise sucks (boot array and driver issues)

- Intel is slow in raid 5 config

- ICP Vortex is a Intel card with 64 mb more ram

I'm down to 2 candidates:

- Raidcore RC4452

- LSI Megaraid 150-4

- Raidcore is kinda new and uses the system cpu BUT is very fast.

- LSI comes out first in raid 5 in this test: http://www.tweakers.net/reviews/400/8 It's cheap and has good driver/bios support.

So all in all there is a lot to choose from. Am I right in my conclusions and is it simply a chioce between Raidcore and LSI, a choice between speed and low cpu stress? Please help me out here.

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Hi sechs,

Thanks for the reply,

Well one thing that's not new for me is video editing, working with uncompressed digital broadcast video at roughly 20 mb/s can be heavy on your array when loading 1 hour tapes and scrolling timelines. Untill now I've been working on RAID 0 but recently one drive broke down during a project and I was not so happy about that as u can imagine.

So now I'm looking for a safe but fast solution and thus far I've come to find that this is either achieved by using RAID 5 or RAID 10. I stiil don't know what the best solution is.

And again what controller is best?

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personally i would go with 3ware if you can afford it! They are exception across all aspects! Good drivers, speed, performace, support, etc. Also, you may want to have a spare 160 gig on hand, that way the raid can be rebuilt as quickly as possible. Raid 5 dont like to run in critical mode for long periods!

SCSA

P.S. if it aint 3ware, go with LSI. JUst update all of the BIOS, drivers, etc to the latest, before making the RAID 5!!!...

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a new alternative to RAIDCore would be Netcell

they employ a unique take on a RAID3

specifically designed for access like your talking about

http://www.netcell.com/technology.htm

Download SynchRAID Removing RAID Adapter Bottlenecks

(A direct link usually doesnt work)

Review @ TomsHardware

In most respects, NetCell has actually achieved its declared goal of offering the performance of a RAID 0 simultaneous with the data security of a redundant array mode such as a RAID 5. This is made possible by means of a process that is based on RAID 3 while cleverly widening its bottleneck: RAID XL.

However, first we must emphasize that these levels of performance only work on demanding desktop applications - which is exactly what NetCell wants - not on server applications. Because of the SyncRAID system used - which is based on 64-bit information units - large quantities of data can be read and written for redundancy with little effort.

But this also means that reading and writing smaller data blocks such as those often used by server applications takes more effort, because all hard drives need to be constantly accessed. The result is a considerably reduced number of I/Os per hour.

occording to the sales team the SATA version will be available this month

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Go with raid 1. REason, cuz in theory, it is faster and it can more hdd failure. Raid 5 can only have ONE hdd crash, any more, and you are screwed! However, raid 10 can take two hdd hits (in most, not all cases) and still keep functioning!

RAID 10 = no raid core. 3ware or LSI

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At the moment, most RAID assemblers are using RAID 5 for professional video editing systems. For example, Rorke standardizes on RAID 5 for their 844/x (10 bit uncompressed, up to 8 simultaneous streams) certified arrays. I also know that Rorke has gone to SATA for their Galaxy series, and either way (PATA or SATA) they pretty much stick with Hitachi 7K250 series drives. Take that for what you will, but Rorke/Bell is probably one of the best, most highly regarded assemblers for professional video arrays so personally unless I have a good reason to do otherwise, I tend to do as they do (which includes buying their products in some cases).

Depending on the system you are using and the sort of editing, I do not necessarily think that a 3 drive array will be either fast enough for professional video, nor enough storage. Even if it will work for acquisition, you may not be happy with the performance during post. With 1.7T on line, storage is still always a problem for our 844/x.

From thos that you listed, just based on overall assesment of the company itself, I would go with LSI first, 3ware second.

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Ok, a media 100 user. I'm planning on a 3x 200 gb array in RAID 5 with an option for 200 gb extra. with the RAIDcore controller on a PCI-X board. It writes about 50 mb/s what do you think?

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If it will really do it - and I mean minimum, not average, you need to watch that - then it should be OK for acquisition. But how much content, and what sort of editing? Space may be an issue. You might be overall more satisfied with just striping - that's more like a Medea solution than a Rorke. Unless you are doing a lot of compositing, etc. if a drive fails you just re-acquire (store your project files on another drive, just use the RAID for data) - probably a better trade off than losing 200G of space in a 600G set and the performance will be better, IMHO.

What card are you using? AJA?

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I'm using a media 100 card I think it's a 2000 series card. And yes I will be doing a lot of after effects work and I am pretty serious about not losing any data.

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Ah, OK, then that is a frame buffer M-JPEG board, right? I think you'll be fine for performance, then, so long as you do not have the OS on the RAID. I think as long as the minimum does not drop below 40 you're OK with that generation of board. The space/safety thing really is up to you. You may well find that overall backing up to make space takes more time than it would to re-render in the event of a data loss.

For our MJPEG system (an iFinsh) we use Medea RAIDs. Most of them are older, 40M (35?) drives and they work fine.

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Hi Balster,

I'm new to this forum, but like you I'm also a broadcast engineer/sys admin. I've been working with various methods/drives/tests in order to achieve exactly what you are trying to do. Here's my recommendations:

1. The Raid-Core RC-4852 ( PCI-X ) is one of the fastest raid 5 controllers, but pricey at $ 350.00. The other card I was looking at is the new HIGHPOINT ( PCI-X ) controller, however, it did not preform anywhere as fast as the Raid-core. HighPoint has good support though, compared to Raid-core which is fairly new, and really dosen't have any except "call us". For a comparison look to TomsHardware.com under the heading MASS STORAGE.

2. My test system uses an ASUS A7N8X-Deluxe ( Agressive Settings ) with an AMD 2800+, a HIGHPOINT Rocket Raid 404 card, and an ATI Radeon 7500 in order to input S-VHS. It also has 1 gig of CORSAIR matched ram. I currently have ( 6 ) Western Digitial WD2000JB set into a RAID 1/0 for Preformance and Safety. I currently run the lastest versions of SONIC FOUNDRY ( Now Sony Digital Pictures ) VEGAS+DVD Architect with the 5.1 Dolby AC-3 surround plug-in. And I use .PNG files to insert scanned photographs, etc. as it is 24-bit lossless. I master to DVD-R using the maximum bitrate possible ( 9716 Meg/Sec. ).

3. As for the FASTEST drives, the Western Digital RAPTOR 74 gig SATA beats them all !!! However, it's only 74 Gig. The Western Digital 120, 200, 250 gig drives are very fast and reliable. Seagate just released a drive that actually beats the 200 and 250 gig WD's......it's called SEAGATE BARACUDA 7200.7 - part # ST3200822A for the Ultra 100 ATA model. It's only around 135.00 !!!!

In my speed tests using HD TACH ( Search for it on the web ) and other benchmarking programs, a single Western digital 80 gig ( WD800JB ) is actually FASTER than my RAID 1/0 !!!!! This is also true during video capture. As you probally know dropped frames are the major problem during capture. My recommendation is to take ( 2 ) or ( 4 ) of the 200 gig SEAGATE drives or WD drives and using WinXP Pro ( due to it being the fastest drive access time ) create a Mirrored setup using the windows Storage Management. The capture time is the fastest it can be, and safe because I can't see both drives going out at the same time. If a drive goes out, have it in a hot-swap drive bay , switch it out with a new one, copy the data over from the good drive using diskcopy or SYMANTEC GHOST software, and you're done. SATA is definately faster than ATA-100 or 133, however, remember that the drives are simply not capable of that transfer rate anyway. Most top out at around 40-50 MBytes/per second. You do gain with SATA when you are writing multiple packets quickly, which is why I say its better than ATA/PATA. Also remember to set your BLOCK SIZE correctly !!! save a few sample projects and see what their size is, then set your BLOCK SIZE of the RAID to as close to that as possible. If the BLOCK SIZE is set too big or too small, data won't be written across all of the drives, and preformance will be down even more. Since we both want to try and capture as close to uncompressed as possible ( I've setteled for a compression ratio of about 1.5:1 or 2:1 - like Digital Betacam ) drive speed and processor speed should be at their fastest. For you I feel you'll only do good with the RAPTOR or SEAGATES. In my tests memory did not make a huge difference once you got beyond 512 Meg. If anything the processor was maxed-out during rendering. I tried a RAID 5, but gave up on it due to the dropped frames problem during recording.

Hope this helps. If you have any other questions let me know.

By the way, what kind of capture card and system do you use.

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I am also looking for a Serial ATA Raid soloution for DV video editing. How is the following card in Raid 5:

HighPoint 64-bit PCI-X to SATA RAID Controller Card, Model "RocketRAID 1820"

I need at least a terabyte, so I'm looking for a 6-8 port SATA raid. (and a cost effective one also!). My main convern is not speed, but storage - long as it's as fast a a single 7200RPM drive at the min. I would be satisfied.

The highpoint controller doesn't have its own processor/mem, so will it be fast enough for video editing?

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Hey, you just said you no care about speed, but now you ask for it. No, anything from highpoint aint got no mem on it. So you get them for storage capacity, not speed. Go with IBM drives, and also make sure you have good backups! OR else, if the raid 5 fails cuz of one disk, then you are screwed! Always have a spare one on hand!!!...

SCSA

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To balster,

Thanks for the link !!!!! Yes, it appears that Tom's Hardware apparently only tested the Highpoint controller in a RAID 5 configuration. The Highpoint controller is the fastest - EXCEPT for a RAID 5 configuration. If you want RAID-5 then go for the 3ware or the RaidCore controller. As i said though, if you're pulling in analog/digital UNCOMPRESSED, then a RAID-5 may not be for you, due to the problems of dropped frames due to the striping the drive will be doing. The quickest setup would be a Highpoint 1820 SATA controller, several Seagate 7200.7 200 GIG drives ( or possibly the new Hitachi 400 gig - if its as fast or faster then the Seagate's - watch Tom's Hardware ) configured as a raid 0/1 ( Mirroring/striping - hot swappable ). In my tests last week I've determined that capturing UNCOMPRESSED video at 720x480 at a 9.8 MegaBytes/sec ( the DVD Maximum ) in a 4:2:2 color space equates to basically 100 GIG per Hour of video. If all your doing is pulling in from a DV format then you definately won't have any problems. However, the problem I see with your setup is that by recording your source material in the DV format, and then using ifinish to re-render the video up to MPEG-2 or Digital Betacam in 4:2:2 color space is useless, due to the fact that you've already introduced video compression errors and color space/resloution loss by recording in the DV format in the first place; it dosen't matter which DV format you use ( DV, MiniDV, DVCAM, DVCPRO, Etc. ), they're ALL compressed to 5:1 in 4:1:1 color space, so by using ANY of those formats as your source, you've automatically caused problems that you can't fix.

Can you tell why I hate DV ??? ;-) Pulling in video thru FireWire is no problem at all with anything, my biggest problem is finding a video card which will capture analog video in fast enough not to drop frames. Canopus makes a very nice rack-mount unit with Component in's in addition to the standard S-VHS and Composite ones, but right now it's about $ 1500.00 :-( So, I'll be trying an ATI Radeon All-In-Wonder 9600 Pro soon, as I've had very good luck with ATI cards so far, so I'll post the results here when I get them. Based on my many frustrations in getting Uncompressed video editing to work, I've thought about writing a column for Tom's Hardware....when I have all the answers, maybe I'll do it. Thanks again for the Info !!!

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I'm in Pakistan - the only decent Hard drives available here in bulk with a warranty are the 7200.7 SATA 160gig drives... thats why I was thinking of a raid array of 5-6 of them to get some decent sized storage. The reason I was looking at the Highpoint is that its by far the cheapest - less than half the others. If I also use a fast processor and put in lots of memory on the host pc, then would the highpoint do?

Hey, you just said you no care about speed, but now you ask for it.
I will need enough speed to work with DV. I'm usining Premiere pro. Can someone confirm if the highpoint is fast to not drop frames? i.e It's as fast if not more than a single 7200.7 harddrive??

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