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creechrr

What do you guys think about the new USB 2.0 HD enclosures?

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Yes, a USB2 drive is generally capable of capturing video. At least the MPEG-based stuff I typically use.

USB2 is really rough on processor utilitzation, though, so whatever capping solution you're using needs to not be eating all your CPU time. Experimenting to find the limits of your PC is key to doing this.

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We have been buying the Lacie drives with USB 2.0 and firewire ports and love the flexibility. Hopefully these drives will be available in 7200RPM speeds soon. I have not looked in a while so they may already have upgraded drives. I also like the USB enclosures that you put your own drive into. I play movies off these drives often and have zero problems. Can not answer your question about editing though.

Later

Andy

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One caveat - I bought a combined usb/1394 external enclosure to use for HD backups and have found that the 7200rpm (WD 100 gb special edition) drive I put in it runs pretty darn hot. I would be very leary to use it for extended use unless it had a fan. Maybe just the enclosure I got as it's all plastic and thus won't radiate much heat, but they all seem to be that way and I haven't seen any with fans.

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Three things you have to watch for in video capture hardware;

#1: Is this device sharing an IRQ on the PCI bus. The PCI bus only supports 133mb/second shared by every device linked to it. Sharing an IRQ can reduce this by 33% for that chip alone.

#2: Is this USB2.0 device sharing the or stand alone. Sharing is a bad word in video capture.

#3: I do not know what overhead is requied in USB2.0. Most network cards use 10% or more and wireless uses 40% or more just to make sure each packet has arrived safley.

You can see how this could cause dropped frames in a run-time capture.

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They seem to be a means of transferring data. I wonder if the interface would be fast enough to capture video.

Any experiences would be appreciated.

Well, to put it in the most simple terms:

Considering that digital cameras have an interface with an absolute maximum speed of 400Mbps (FireWire/i.Link/IEEE-1394a,) USB 2.0 can support 480Mbps. So, unless you're using more than one FireWire channel's worth of bandwidth, it should be plenty fast. (In reality, DV video doesn't even consume anywhere near 400Mbps. It consumes about 30Mbps.) Not to mention the fact that USB 2.0's speed (480Mbps) equates to 60 Megabytes per second, and the fastest ATA drive in SR's database can barely muster 60.2 Megabytes per second in it's inner track (Maxtor DiamondMax Plus 8 - 40GB ATA133,) it should be able to handle it with no problem.

Of course, as others have mentioned, you do want to make sure that you don't have alot of USB 2.0 devices running on the same USB bus at the same time, as they all share the bandwidth.

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I've been using an Iomega 80GB external USB 2.0 drive for video editing and it works fine. The transfer rates are really much better than I thought. About 80-90% of what I get with IDE drive.

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i think that firewire is better suited to external hard drives.

i have done many tests comparing different enclosures, and the firewire ones always win out, always.

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You're correct that firewire is a better choice. USB2 has the slight advantage of ubiquity, however. Lots of computers are now coming with high-speed USB interfaces. Very few have firewire. Still.

It's probably worth the $15 extra to get one of the external enclosures that does both.

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Can boot from firewire drives on the Mac, so it should also be possible to do so on PCs, assuming the BIOS has the support added.

I have not heard of a PC with such support however.

Ian

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The FireWire bridge should then be integrated to the motherboard and BIOS must support booting from it to make it work. You'll actually need BIOS support to boot from USB too. All new BIOSes should be able to boot from USB HDD/FDD/CDROM device. I think You could boot from the "key-chain" USB devices too.

Or the add-on FireWire card must have boot ROM, like all bootable SCSI cards and NICs have. I haven't seen any, though I haven't even looked for one. :wink:

Cheers,

Jan

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