RAID 0 for Video Editing... Good enough?

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  01 January 2006
RAID 0 for Video Editing... Good enough?

Hi guys! I hope you don't mind a few questions
about a RAID 0 setup for videoediting purposes.

RAID 0 is said to be a risky thing, but I plan to use it as a temporary storage
in video editing sessions, where I place the footage on my RAID 0 drive to work faster (+cheaper)

Can RAID 0 give me (frequent) headaches during this sessions?
(I wouldn't mind loosing footage data once a month,
since I'd have backed it up on another drive anyway)


I can imagine it depends on your RAID controller and the HDD's.
I looked around and found a 4 channel Raid controller. The Highpoint 1820.
I plan to use 4 Raptors (each 36 GB) drives in RAID 0.

Is this overkill for 16-32 bit work,
mostly in SD resolutions?

Must I get a motherboard that has a 133 MHz PCI-X slot
for controllers that don't support generic PCI

Can I use an SLI motherboard, for Raid controller cards
that plug into an PCI-express slot?

What about software RAID as found on the nForce4 motherboards?
Will I be disappointed with the RAID 0 performance

THX a lot for any info.
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  01 January 2006
A RAID 0 isn't much more risky than a regular harddrive, you wont be losing data monthly or even yearly. The only extra risk is that you have 2 harddrives which might fail instead of 1, thats it.
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  01 January 2006
Hmm.. why not get two 74GB Raptors instead of four 36GB? Seems like it'd be faster (the 74GB line apparently got a lot of features missing in the 36GB), cheaper, and less prone to failure (two drives versus four).
 
  01 January 2006
Are 2 74GB Raptors really faster than 4 X 36 GB ones? If that's true, than I definately would go for it.
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Last edited by mustique : 01 January 2006 at 05:17 PM.
 
  01 January 2006
I doubt that the 74GB Raptor is twice as fast as the 36. Thus getting two 74s in RAID0 vs 4 36s in RAID0 would probably not be faster.. Then again I havnt looked at benchmarks of this type in a while, since HD speed is of little conciquence to what I do.
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  01 January 2006
Hmm... good question re: 4x36 versus 2x74. I suppose it's a question of how well performance scales with the RAID0 setup. If I were you, I'd post this exact question over at the Storage Review forums: www.storagereview.com.
 
  01 January 2006
I do agree that the 74GB raptor is faster than the 36GB, its just probably not twice as fast.
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  01 January 2006
If you have four drives then you don't need raptors. A four-drive set of good 7200RPM SATA drives will give you much more bang for the buck and transfers of over 200MB/s, almost enough to work with uncompressed 1080 HD footage. And the more space you have the better, especially with 32-bit uncompressed footage. Drives slow down as they fill up, so the more space you have, the longer your read/write speed can be maintained.

I'd get four of these: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...N82E16822144425
The diamondmax drives are rated for 24/7 use in servers and as such are highly reliable. SO for $240 you get a 320GB RAID 0 set with over 200MB/s read and write speeds.
You could also go with eight 7200RPM 40-gig drives and get transfers of over 500MB/s for the same price as four raptor drives.
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  01 January 2006
I would say use a RAID0 for editting and temp footage storage only when you are editting them, at the same time have a huge HD like 400GB or so to act as your real storage. As most of the video editing software out there these days are using "non-destructive" mechanism, the actual saved "project" file is small. So this is how i would do it:
store your footage at your regular media (could be dvd's, or single reliable HD's). when you start editting, copy the footage you need onto the RAID0 drives in order to increase the performance. and save the "project" files on your regualr HD. since the actual "project" files are relavtively small, it wouldnt effect the profermance much even if its not on the RAID0 HDs.
and once you are done with all the editting and output them to RAID0 and copy over to a more reliable media, or simply just output to that media directly.

although i have never done video editting this way (i dont have a 400GB HD yet :P), this is how i would set up my system if i have the all the equipments.

hope this helps!
 
  01 January 2006
maX_Andrews thanks for your help.

nessus, I was thinking to use the RAID 0 setup exactly the way you described it. Thx.

I've read reviews on RAID controllers here and there. But does anybody have
real-world experiences from a video editor POV with SATA-Raid controllers?

Can I plug a PCI-EXP compatible RAID controller into one of the PCI-EXP slots
of an nForce SLI Mainboard?

What kinds of experiences do you have with software RAID as found on the nForce4 boards?
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  01 January 2006
I have been using two SATA 160GB barracuda's in RAID0 for two years as main system drive on my main workstation. Never had a problem. I had it setup this way just to test what the fuzz of RAID was and got stuck with it. Only had to reinstall windows once and it had nothing to do with the RAID array. I worked with Premiere with this RAID and the difference from one disk vs two-disk array was huge. The RAID Controller is the (on-board) FastTrack 378.

IMO, the number one reason people experience harddrive failures is they underestimate the importance of adequate cooling of the drives. With poor cooling (specially in raid, when they often are stacked next to eachother) a drive will happilly tug along not showing any problem and then suddenly go byebye a year later.
 
  01 January 2006
imashination states:
Quote: A RAID 0 isn't much more risky than a regular harddrive, you wont be losing data monthly or even yearly. The only extra risk is that you have 2 harddrives which might fail instead of 1, thats it.

This is one of the great myths of RAID 0. The potential for disaster with RAID 0 is much greater than a simple ratio of disks.

PC Guide has a nice explanation for it. I used to have a link to IBM that had this much more in depth but I seem to have lost it.
 
  01 January 2006
Originally Posted by Tarrbot: imashination states:
This is one of the great myths of RAID 0. The potential for disaster with RAID 0 is much greater than a simple ratio of disks.

PC Guide has a nice explanation for it. I used to have a link to IBM that had this much more in depth but I seem to have lost it.


That article says exactly what I stated, although it does make some very fundamental maths mistakes:

"The implications of this are clear. If you create a RAID array with four drives, each of which has an MTBF figure of 500,000 hours, the MTBF of the array is only 125,000 hours!"


If you have two drives, you have double the chance of a drive failing, if you have 4 drives, you have 4 times as much chance of the drives failing. But the chances of a drive failing are still very slim, and they will still last for years, not months. The article's mistake is assuming that the estimated time til failiure is linear, it isnt. The drives dont last between 0 and 500,000 hours, the failure rate increases at the upper end of the curve, a typical lifespan might be 450,000 to 550,000, with 2% failing before 450,000.

Thus having a 10 drive raid wouldnt give 500,000/10 = 50,000 hours, it would give something in the region of 400,000 hours. Obviously I dont have the manufacturer's numbers so cannot give an accurate result.

Basically the article has the right idea and makes a valid point, but it has been grossly oversimplified to the point that it is misleading. If you have 4 drives in a system, they are 4 times more likely to have one fail, but that is not the same as reducing the average run time by a factor of 4, because the using the mean is meaningless. Take the mode and you will have something more useful.
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  01 January 2006
By that logic, if I have a 1 in 15,000,000 chance of winning the lottery and buy 2 tickets, I will have a 1 in 7,500,000 change in winning which just isn't the case.

You would have a 2 in 15,000,000 chance of winning and nothing more.

I think your math is a bit off.
 
  01 January 2006
It's all wrong.

You have to multiply the probability of each drive failing. Let's say 2% of drives fail before 500,000 hours, which is about 3.5 years of continuous operation. Let's say you have a four-drive raid set. The probability of each single drive failing is 2%, so multiply 2x2x2x2=16% chance of the system failing before 3.5 years of use. For a two-year period, let's say 1.3% of drives have failed. 1.3x1.3x1.3x1.3=about 3% chance of failure in two years, i'll take those odds.
You can't "rate" it in hours because it just doesn't make sense. You can only look at the probaility of failure of the system by evaluating each drive. There is a large possibility that your system will work for six years with no issues. It's not any more prone to failure than a normal single drive, the risk is that of one part fails the whole thing must be wiped.
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