I took a shot a building my first machine last summer and got it done. I wound up with an MSI mobo with a western digital 120 GB system drive running win XP pro and 512MB of PC2100 DDR. The machine has been great but I would like to make use of the on board raid controller or get an additional drive for video storage and rendering.
I am considering putting to use my onboard raid controller with a matching 120 GB Caviar. I can get one for about $120. Would the raid array truly enhance my DV editing performance or would I be better off spending a few more bucks and getting a larger drive for storage? Any advice/suggestion/criticism is welcome. Thanks.
RAID usually causes more problems than it cures, especially since you don't need RAID to do DV editing. A single stream of DV video requires 3.6 MB/sec of data bandwidth. Any 7200 rpm IDE drive can sustain a continuous throughput of about 27 MB/sec.
RAID is great when it works, but I would agree that the money is better spent on RAM. Also, keep your video drive separate from your system files. So if you only have two drives, put video on one, and the system and program files on the other.
I have used a RAID configuration as the encode-to drive, not the capture drive. I've found that encoding to two ATA133 drives in RAID-0 can decrease the MPEG encoding time for a 1 hour DV clip by as much as 30 minutes - of course the render times seem to significantly be affected by the type of video; MiniDV captured video takes a lot longer to encode than say old VHS, I assume because of the color contrast and detail....
The only downside of course is the loss of one drive means the loss of all data... I had 2 120GB drives in RAID-0 and one of them failed within about 30 minutes of the "clicks of death"... Nearly 200GB of rendered data lost. Wicked bummer. :)