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Right way to install dedicated video drive.

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Alan C
Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Nov 26, 2004 at 8:05:18 pm

I just bought a WD 160gig 8mg cache 7200rpm drive to serve as a dedicated video drive. What is the best configuration (EIDE channels/slaves whatever) to use for the following drives? I have heard that you should use seperate cables for each drive or else the hard drive will default to the slower speed of the slave CDROM??? Any advice on the right way to set it up would be appreciated.
Thanks, Alan

Dell 8250
Win XP Pro SP2
P4 2.53ghz 533mhz FSB
512mg 1066mhz RDRAM
16x DVD ROM
48X CD Burner (will be replaced by DVD Burner soon)
120gig WD 8mg cache 7200rpm system drive
160gig WD 8mg cache 7200rpm video drive (ready to install)
Video capture device (soon)


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John Q
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Nov 27, 2004 at 12:53:25 am

Make it master on your secondary IDE channel to avoid conflict with your system drive. Windows XP is smart enough to handle the speed differences between devices.


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Alan C
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Nov 27, 2004 at 6:01:46 am

Thanks John. Seems to be working good. It took a trip to Radio Shack to do it the way you said. Dell used custom ribbons that won't reach from the hard drive area to the CD ROM area.
Thanks.


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Mary Ann
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Dec 8, 2004 at 9:52:01 pm

Sorry to but into the conversation but how do you change these settings? I'm helpless when it comes to the hardware part of all this. Thanks


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Alan C
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Dec 13, 2004 at 4:00:50 am

Mary Ann,
Looks like you have the same PC as me. (Dell 8250)There are two IDE ports on the motherboard. I believe the one on the left (when you open the tower standing up) is marked primary. The ribbon from there should go first to your main drive and then to your burner. The secondary should have the ribbon go first to your video drive and then to your DVD Rom. There are little pins that look like fuses that you pull out and stick in that are marked master/slave and something else. Each harddrive should be set to master, and the CD/DVD drives should be set to slave. That should be all you need to do. Yours is probably like mine where you need to buy new ribbons in order for them to stretch from the harddrive to the CDROM area. Make sure you have "40 pin 80 conductor" ribbons or else you wont get ATA 100 speeds. Does that make sense?
Thanks, Alan


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John Q
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Dec 14, 2004 at 4:58:27 am

Actually, Dell configures their drives at the factory using the Cable Select (CS) setting. You should try Cable Select on the video drive, and only manually set the master/slave jumpers if cable select doesn't work properly.


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Alan C
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Dec 14, 2004 at 11:18:37 pm

John,
Could that be why I'm not getting ATA 100 on the video drive?

Do you think that will cost me time rendering?

I'm getting ATA 100 on the system drive and ATA 33 on the video drive. Sombody at work told me that the secondary IDE usually runs slower than the primary. According to the utility from Pinnacle both drives read/write about the same (20-25,000/20-23,000) in their current configuration.


Thanks, Alan


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John Q
Re: Right way to install dedicated video drive.
on Dec 15, 2004 at 4:00:46 am

The jumper settings shouldn't affect the interface configuration. Firmware does. I have a Plextor 708 DVD burner. The previous bios version caused it to be detected by my system as supporting PIO mode only, which slowed it down considerably. The newest version corrected the problem, so it's back to DMA mode.

I'd look for a motherboard bios update. Dell does update theirs regularly. Go to http://support.dell.com and input your support ID number to find the latest firmware and driver updates for your system. Of course, the particular hard drive may only support ATA33. There should be no difference between the primary and secondary interface speed ... with the same drive.

The interface isn't the true limiting factor in drive throughput, though. As you discovered, it's the ability of the drive to physically stream the data to the discs that is the real limiting factor. The results of your tests are the typical physical performance limits of ATA 7200 rpm hard drives. The good news is that you only need 3.6 MB/sec per channel of DV, so your drives will support multiple simultaneous channels of DV, even over an ATA33 interface. A faster interface only helps for short bursts of data that can be cached in the buffer memory.

The only way to dramatically improve the drive performance is to create a striped RAID with multiple drives. That being said, a 2-drive RAID doesn't help much. If you use two drives on the same IDE port, the performance isn't improved, because only one drive on an IDE port can communicate at a time. If you have one on each IDE port, then the boot drive interferes, as Windows always takes priority. In my experience, the only effective RAID controller is a board with its own cpu and buffer memory, which start at $500 and up. Looking at the performance numbers, DV editing just doesn't require RAID.


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