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Pxp
03-16-2004, 11:13 PM
I am in the process of reconfiguring systems. I could use some advise.

Would you use the P4DC6+ onboard U160 Scsi controller with 4 (or 5) drives or a Raidcore(or similiar) controller with 4 10k-rpm SATA drives?

I think the drive costs are not that far apart.

Currently use a 3ware escalade PATA based RAID. Works fine but barely two streams.

Is the P4DC6+ onboard dual scsi good for RAID 0 usage?

Can I even find U160 drives? Or do I have to go for U320?

SBowie
03-17-2004, 06:04 AM
That's a tough call -- so I'll just offer a few comments:

I've installed SATA as 'bulk storage' on several client systems with surprisingly good results, throughput well above what you will get with a single channel U160. That said, you've got two U160 channels onboard, and could stripe drives across them both, ultimately getting better speed with less system overhead than you will get with SATA.

Then again, SATA is 'big,' 'cheap,' and probably adequate performance-wise for many purposes. Note I am not really sold yet on the 10k Raptors. They're pretty pricey, not much cheaper than SCSI really. I got perfectly acceptable speeds from a paltry 4x 7200RPM JD series drives, in the 180 megs per second range on an Escalade in a 64bit slot.

Yes you can do RAID 0 off that motherboard, and no - you likely won't find U160 drives .... but it won't matter. The U320's are no more expensive, are backwards compatible, and you might be glad to have them later if you upgrade your system anyway.

PIZAZZ
03-17-2004, 09:49 AM
Depends on whether you want a seriously large amount of storage space.
That would be SATA and a controller.

I prefer to run 6 SCSI drives on the P4DC6+ -- 3 on ChA and 3 on ChB. Plenty of throughput and never have to worry about maxing the number of streams out.

After you add the cost of the SATA controller with the drives you might find it not much better in price compared to the SCSI solution. Only big advantage would be more storage space for the dollar or pound or yen or ??

Depends if you are like my editors that basically do a job and clean the raid off afterwards or you may work like others that keep several projects on the raid at all times.

I would really suggest to do BOTH! Scsi for performance editing and the SATA for archiving and backup. Best of both worlds.

Scott Bates
03-17-2004, 10:56 AM
Jef, I recall this being discussed here or elsewhere, but ... I'm running 4 SCSI U160 drives (36GB each) on channel A on my P4D6C+; autoconfig shows that stripe set running at about 106. Would I get better results if I moved two of the drives to channel B which is not being used at present? And then stripe both channels together as one set or leave them as two?

Thanks,
Scott

PIZAZZ
03-17-2004, 11:04 AM
Been a while since I played music drives.

If you have the time and don't have anything on the drive that you need then it will not hurt to try it.

Put 2 drives on ChA
Put 2 drives on ChB
Then stripe all of them together in disc management as one volume. Check your throughput with Autoconfigure and see what you get.

If you can find 2 more 36 gig drives to add to the system then definitely do it. That will put your disk speed around 230megs/sec on your system. That works really well for us on ours. We have 6 73gig drives but the 36gigs are exactly the same speed.

ted
03-17-2004, 04:20 PM
Since we're talking about the guy thingy of "I can get a bazillion MPS", what is the most that VT can benefit from?

I seem to remember a comment from Paul, or someone, that VT can only do so many layers and take advantage of so many MPS.

Is there a limit?

If I didn't need multiple sets, I'd love to take advantage of the dual channel like you guys are talking about. But I'm now trying to make the most of my system by having 3 drive sets. 2 Internal and 1 external.

Paul, Andrew, anyone know what the VT is capable of and what it's limits are?

PIZAZZ
03-17-2004, 04:48 PM
The most I have ever topped out at is 10 layers of video and overlays.

Not bad for something that costs less than a quarter of the Media100 844x.

There definitely is a limit. PCI buss will get saturated at one point or another.

Scott Bates
03-17-2004, 08:26 PM
If you can find 2 more 36 gig drives to add to the system then definitely do it.
Thanks Jef. My biggest problem might be finding a place to put two more drives even if I could find them. My box is maxed out right now unless I pull two of the four drives from my IDE stripe set, but would hate to loose half of the capacity on that set (400GB now). I've got a break coming up so might try splitting my SCSI drives between the two channels as you suggested and see what happens.

bradl
03-18-2004, 12:12 AM
Jef,

I also have a P4DC6+ which originally came 2 on A and 2 on B. I moved all 4 to A and planned on piping B to external SCSI box for a second stripe set. Auto config report between 110 and 120 with winrtme running usually. If I turn off background rendering I start studdering at 3 layers. That seems low?

Anyway, I still would like to hook up the external box but do not have the cable to go from the Motherboard to external. Do you know a good source for this cable? U160 is fine but I guess U320 would be even finer. Does this cable typically go out a slot opening or through a optional pre-punched cutout near the other connectors?

Thanks,

PIZAZZ
03-18-2004, 12:16 AM
Anyway, I still would like to hook up the external box but do not have the cable to go from the Motherboard to external. Do you know a good source for this cable? U160 is fine but I guess U320 would be even finer. Does this cable typically go out a slot opening or through a optional pre-punched cutout near the other connectors?

I believe I have one of those cables here in stock. It can go out an empty slot or a cutout your choice.

I will check the shelves tomorrow. Give me a call around noon.

409-860-9283 Texas Time Zone ;)

bradl
03-18-2004, 12:45 AM
Cool...

I may not even go to the office tomorrow as we spent 17 hours today getting sunburned on a remote (very remote :) ) shoot in west Texas for a new Randy Travis music video. Fridays is my day off sooooo I may call you tomorrow or more likely Monday.

Thanks,

PIZAZZ
03-18-2004, 08:20 AM
I passed through West Texas last week on the way to Vegas and back. I swear I was driving off the edge of the world when we were in the stretch from SA to ElPaso.

So I can see where Remote in West Texas can mean VERY Remote.

Give me a shout when you get a chance. L8R

Scott Bates
03-18-2004, 09:20 AM
I also have a P4DC6+ which originally came 2 on A and 2 on B. I moved all 4 to A and planned on piping B to external SCSI box for a second stripe set. Auto config report between 110 and 120 with winrtme running usually. If I turn off background rendering I start studdering at 3 layers.
Brad, were those autoconfig speeds with all four drives on one channel or when they were split between the two channels? If it's the latter it doesn't sound like it's worth me messing with it without adding more drives as Jef suggests.

bradl
03-18-2004, 07:08 PM
Scott,

That was after I moved all 4 (36GB Barracuda) to bus A. It was not a lot higher with A and B though, but the real test is how many streams and like I said I don't get so many in real-time.

I read where someone said you must do a low level format once and a while to regain top performance but that sounds fishy to me. It may eliminate any bad sectors but beyond that I don't see how it could make much difference?

Scott Bates
03-18-2004, 07:42 PM
Thanks Brad. It's working, I'm not going to try to "fix" it. Don't know about low level formatting the drives. I used to get slightly higher speeds out of this set, but nothing significantly more so I'm not going to mess with it at this point.