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georgeze

Which drives overclock best?

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I’m in the process of building a video surveillance system. According the mfg of the surveillance cards (4 total), in order to achieve the best possible FPS (frames-per-second), I need to overclock the PCI bus to 44MHz or higher. Currently I have tested a GXP 180 w/ Abit BE7-Raid (HPT374) @ 44MHz with no issues.

Any other contenders, Maxtor/WD 7200RPM 250GBs? And does anyone know how the Promise controllers overclock?

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No. You don't.

Nor do you need "best possible FPS" from a security camera. In fact, you can get away with a lot less.

If your target is to survey human beings, you may only need to capture 1 ouf every 3 or 5 frames (people don't move very fast, when your timeslice is 1/30th of a second) on each of 4 cameras, even at modest bit-rates. That's hardly a load for any modern hard disk.

Your camera is going to record video at a specific framerate, probably at 25/29.997 frames/sec. or some fraction thereof. Put in that context, your question doesn't even make sense.

Your bigger problem will be integrating vidcap hardware for four camera (or finding hardware that can integrate four images into one screen to capture) and achieving decent clarity from the data you're getting from the camera.

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O please. "The big bad boogyman PCI speed is going to end life as we know it!" lol. Out of spec PCI speed has long been made out to be the end-all be-all of overclocking limitations and mis-haps. It simply isn't so. What everyone experiences, and then blames on the PCI, is instablility. This has many sources, usually the chipset, CPU, or memory reaching its limits, not the PCI rate dictated. I have long run 41-44MHz PCI speed without issue, IF, the board, chip, and ram are stable at the clock rates that correspond to it.

This is a big if. When you exceed the limits of the CPU, chipset, or ram the first tip off is it corrupts the data on the hard drive. This DOES NOT mean the PCI rate scrambled the data. This means the system is unstable, the PCI rate is just everyone's favorite scapegoat.

Boards like the BE-7 allow setting the PCI/AGP rates independant of the FSB. This allows PCI speed to evaluated in isolation, rather than confused for the limitations imposed by the other (overclocked) components in the machine. When evaluated in a meaningful manner it is easibly proven (as the poster already has) that PCI rates of 44MHz are not the devil himself, in fact being workable for the vast majority of PCI devices. SCSI cards are notorious (for good reason) for disliking out of spec PCI, but most of the devices that end up on the PCI bus will operate happily on a 44MHz PCI bus.

Back to the original question, I think you are running as much PCI as is wise. If you are happy with your HPT/GXP180 combo, just use it. It is proven to accomodate the PCI rate you desire. Promise cards do handle high PCI speeds well, as they are certified for use on 66MHz PCI busses.

People always wish to believe their CPU, motherboard, or stick of ram would clock to the moon "if it weren't for the PCI speed". Wishful thinking, repeated enough times to obscure the truth about PCI speeds and their place in the optimization of high performance systems. Strangely enough those same people think that when then buy a board like the BE-7 with a locked PCI bus that their other components will now clock to unheard of heights... only to find that stability evaporates at the same rates it did when they had that demon out of spec PCI bus to "hold them back".

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'o please' yourself.

there's a gigantic difference between a manufacturer recommending to all users to overclock and an individual taking it upon himself to do it, understanding the risks. this is the thing with which we are taking task.

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does this manufacturer derive most of its income from warranty support of abit motherboards?

Yeah, Abit puts those adjustments in their BIOS'es because using them incurrs warranty support obligation. O please.

What you are taking to task, is as usual, any notion that did not originate in the space between your own ears.

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abit will replace in-warranty fried-from-overclocking peripherals, refurbish them, and place them back on the market as such.

would you like an rma number so you can phone them for proof? a friend of mine recently blew up an abit siluro 128mb geforce4 ti4200 running it over 300/600 and they replaced it.

any for-the-unwashed-masses company (e.g. a video surveillance vendor) that requests its customers to take their pci bus over 44mhz is completely nuts.

perhaps you should admonish big buck hunter and qawsedrtfgzxcvb as well?

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I've built video security systems like this and have NEVER run across any manufacturer advising that the PCI bus be overclocked. I can get cards that will do 120fps over 16 cameras, or 240fps using 2 cards....and this is on a regular 32bit 33mhz pci bus. The compression is normally on the card, so PCI bandwidth is not a problem. I wouldn't take a card from these guys if it were free.

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Personally I haven't had anyone that needed to test that....knock on wood. However I know that may large security organizations are starting to use things like IP cameras, and as far as I know there isn't any distinction between different types of "electronic" recording....that is analog tape vs digital. I think I'll go and check to subdue my paranoia though.

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abit will replace in-warranty fried-from-overclocking peripherals, refurbish them, and place them back on the market as such.

would you like an rma number so you can phone them for proof?  a friend of mine recently blew up an abit siluro 128mb geforce4 ti4200 running it over 300/600 and they replaced it.

any for-the-unwashed-masses company (e.g. a video surveillance vendor) that requests its customers to take their pci bus over 44mhz is completely nuts.

Abit replaces anything in warranty without asking the cause of the failure. It the strictest terms, overclocking violates their warranty as well, but they are not in the habit of enforcing this notion.

The user never said the company requested that he advance the PCI beyond 44MHz, only that they note that the best results can be achieved by elevation the PCI bus speed. There's a difference there. If they advised him to run a 50MHz PCI rate that would be extremely poor, but noting the effect of PCI speed on the performance of their product is merely describing the product completely.

The hysteria, along with people insinuating that the poster lied because he said he is already running a 44MHz PCI rate is what I admonish. What he said was the truth, all histrionics aside. The pertinant response would be to point out that 44MHz is plenty, and his components are obviously tolerant or they wouldn't be functing there. There isn't much point to pursuing different drives or controllers, if 44MHz on the PCI bus won't get the job done it isn't going to get done.

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i knew a developer that did codec work on proprietary cam stuff, and they had to go through all sorts of really dumb-sounding hoops to get legal (involving key-based crypto where the keys were actually located in plaintext on the system itself). let us know what you find :)

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My question: does the manufacturer advocate this as part of the instruction manual, or did some techie on phone support for the manufacturer advocate overclocking your PCI bus?? I mean, did you ask what woud be the effect if you DIDN'T? On visual quality, dropped frames, etc? Not "that it would be lower," but what would it BE? Because let's face it - most surveillance video is pretty low bandwidth stuff, with limited resolution cameras. I would think that your 4 surveillance cameras probably have less bandwidth than a single good DV-quality feed, especially if they are black and white.

Regardless, I think your question is mis-phrased: the DRIVE should not a limiting factor of the overclock, the CONTROLLER is the limiting factor AFAIK. The drive just sees what is being presented on the interface, which is much higher bandwidth than any overclocked PCI bus. However, I've got an Adaptec 2940UW SCSI controller that limits my PCI overclocking on a system to 112% of nominal. Take the controller out and the system overclocks higher than that - with it in no dice.

Given that, the research that I've done diagnosing that and reading about other's experience tells me that many SCSI controllers don't OC very well, while IDE controllers do a bit better. This seems to be borne out in your testing...

Future Shock

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The CGate 15K drives combined with an optimum power of 20V will kreate a purfek cinergy of oc goodness.

You may be tempted to go straight to 24V. This takes big brass ones.

Yes, but in order to handle this, you need to bypass your power supply and connect house current to your motherboard's ATX connector.

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Wait! Where my HPT370 controller go in all this?!?!

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The hysteria, along with people insinuating that the poster lied because he said he is already running a 44MHz PCI rate is what I admonish.  What he said was the truth, all  histrionics aside.  The pertinant response would be to point out that 44MHz is plenty, and his components are obviously tolerant or they wouldn't be functing there.  There isn't much point to pursuing different drives or controllers, if 44MHz on the PCI bus won't get the job done it isn't going to get done.

The hysteria comes from the fact that the manufacturer is telling a customer to run a production system far outside of it's specification. Say bye-bye to WHQL. Say bye-bye to any other support, and some warranties.

I have built out systems with 4xOsprey 100 cards which did not saturate the PCI bus running at full resolution (640x480 in a YUV'ish colorspace). Tweaks were necessary though, and the HDD's were not on the PCI bus (was over V-link). The only time I have managed to saturate a PCI bus with vidcap was using the older Futuretel MPEG2 encoders, where an 8Mbit/sec stream would eat up 20MBytes/sec of PCI bandwidth for no aparent reason (Testing done on an IBM PC-SERVER 325 in 1999).

A dual PCI bus system would be better suited for the intended application, but they tend to be expensive (Serverworks chipsets and such). As far as the 44Mhz thing goes, I'm not saying it's impossible (done it myself), I'm just saying it's horse-stinker (for a mfr to say that).

Ultimately, hat I would like is to see a link to the survalence mfr's web site so that I could better evaluate what the poster is trying to accomplish, and make a more informed suggestion.

Thank you for your time,

BBH

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I can appreciate terming the suggestion as questionable, but the hysteria focused around the mere notion of a PCI bus being out of spec, and it is unwarranted. I would liken it to running more refresh rate on a monitor than the manufacturers spec allows. Not exactly the end of the world. When folks go as far as to intimate the guy is lying because he says he's running at 44MHz PCI, it clearly shows how misunderstood and villified this particular aspect to PC configuration is. I don't feel it should be necessary, but nonetheless PCI speeds of 44 PCI can and will work in the vast majority of configurations, even though many will tell you otherwise in order to preserve the false devil they have created in their own mind.

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The user never said the company requested that he advance the PCI beyond 44MHz, only that they note that the best results can be achieved by elevation the PCI bus speed.  There's a difference there.  If they advised him to run a 50MHz PCI rate that would be extremely poor, but noting the effect of PCI speed on the performance of their product is merely describing the product completely.

if vw told me i should overinflate my low-profile tires for optimum performance, they would be completely out of line. if directv recommended to run max contrast/brightness on a rear-projection hdtv for best clarity, they would be completely out of line. it's not their stuff. they're not supporting it, and what they're claiming goes against the manufacturer's recommendations.

this is fine to me if you're selling ecu chips to motorheads who want to get better performance out of their engine. this is fine to me if you're selling peltier water blocks to extreme overclockers. they know the risks. ntire demographic is founded on risk.

i would bet on the motorheads to win an episode of fear factor against the small business owners seeking surveillance.

the hysteria, along with people insinuating that the poster lied because he said he is already running a 44MHz PCI rate is what I admonish.  What he said was the truth, all  histrionics aside.  The pertinant response would be to point out that 44MHz is plenty, and his components are obviously tolerant or they wouldn't be functing there.  There isn't much point to pursuing different drives or controllers, if 44MHz on the PCI bus won't get the job done it isn't going to get done.

while i haven't reviewed the thread again, i only saw people expressing disbelief at the idea of an end-user vendor recommending to laypeople that they overclock. i don't remember a single instance of people not believing 44mhz was possible.

it is still my contention that this should be absolutely unnecessary to begin with, and the company is retarded for suggesting it.

so, care to fly off the handle again? :)

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One poster questioned the 44MHz operation, the others questioned the manufacturers claim. There's little doubt that 44MHz PCI operation is possible, it is the fact that it is claimed to be a requirement that is hard to believe.

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This is a 16-channel camera system. FPS are 30 per camera (480 FPS total). I cannot slow down the display frame rate (but can on the record). The issue is not writing to the disk. It’s processing (compressing) the frames. According to the mfg, 16 channels will saturate the PCI bus. This capture card is processor intensive, that is, it off-loads quite a bit of the work to the CPU. Also, the card is optimized for Intel CPUs.

No. You don't.

Nor do you need "best possible FPS" from a security camera. In fact, you can get away with a lot less. 

If your target is to survey human beings, you may only need to capture 1 ouf every 3 or 5 frames (people don't move very fast, when your timeslice is 1/30th of a second) on each of 4 cameras, even at modest bit-rates. That's hardly a load for any modern hard disk.

Your camera is going to record video at a specific framerate, probably at 25/29.997 frames/sec. or some fraction thereof. Put in that context, your question doesn't even make sense.

Your bigger problem will be integrating vidcap hardware for four camera (or finding hardware that can integrate four images into one screen to capture) and achieving decent clarity from the data you're getting from the camera.

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The (real) manufacture does not say to overclock the PCI bus. But the secondary mfg (it’s a rebranded card) recommeneds it for 12 or more channels. I don’t think it would be a good idea to disclose the card/mfg based on the skeptical remarks I’m reading so far. I’d hate to see my rep’s email box get filled with hate mail.

georgeze,

Please link the mfr.  I have got to see this...

Thank you for your time,

BBH

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Some people still think the world is flat. The controller/drive work fine at that 44MHz, but if I increase it to 48MHz my network card says, “nolikena”. It’s the integrated ReakTek. Maybe a 3COM or Intel will do better.

<<Currently I have tested a GXP 180 w/ Abit BE7-Raid (HPT374) @ 44MHz with no issues.>>

rofl!!

i find this a little hard to believe

lol

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