Ultra ATA66 good for DV?

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Can anyone answer this question; If I get a B&W G3 400 and add 2 25gig Ultra ATA66 drives will there be any problem with transfer speeds when I composite several tracks of sound, and the video signal as well out to my VTR? Please help. Brian Meade

-- Brian Meade (brianmeade@yahoo.com), June 05, 1999


I'm looking into this exact same issue, but for a 400 MHz box with NT 4.0. Here's what I've come up with so far:

Ultra ATA drives are plenty good enough for DV editing. The data rate is very high (especially on the 7200 RPM drives), rivaling SCSI drives, but are much less expensive than SCSI. 20 GB 7200 RPM Western Digital Caviar drives will run you a bit over $300.

Downside to Ultra ATA drives? The only one I've found so far is that you will eventually run out of room in your box. I can fit two inside mine (maybe three if I take my CD-ROM drive out and make it external), yielding a total of 40-60 GB of space with the big 20 GB drives. If I had the money, I'd go with SCSI and just stack them in a RAID (NT has built-in RAID-0 capabilities).

SCSI drives are the fastest (obviously), but very expensive. Cheapest I've found is Viking UW 7200 RPM drives for $199 (4.5 GB). These are bare drives only, meaning that you get a drive, literally in a box and that's it. An external case runs about $60 or so. But, I'm going to give these new ATA drives a chance. The option of 60 GB of storage for under $1000 is very appealing.

However, if I were you (if I were on a Mac), I'd take a serious look at the new firewire hard drives. These things are amazing. Data transfer rates up to 400 Mbps; 22 GB external, stackable/chainable drives for $799. Seems too good to be true, but they're generating some good buzz.

Hope this helps.

Chris Jolly cjolly@mindspring.com

-- Chris Jolly (cjolly@mindspring.com), June 26, 1999.

Ultra ATA 66 hard drives are not necessary on a Mac. In fact, the Mac bus only supports 33 transfers. Though your drives would work, they'd only work at 33. Even in a pc you'd need a pci add on card (like the Promise Technology ultra 66 card) to enable 66 because most motherboards do not yet support 66; they're still moving at 33. Also, as all DV only transfers at 3+mbps, a Mac with a 7200rpm Ultra ATA/ Ultra DMA hard drive and a compatible NLE software (like EditDV) would be sufficient.

-- Steve Bailey (Stebai@worldnet.att.net), August 14, 1999.

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