quick question about onboard RAID controllers

Discussion in 'Professional Video Production' started by Matthew, Aug 13, 2008.

  1. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Are the onboard RAID controllers on motherboards considered software
    controllers? I have someone telling me in another forum that they do not
    perform as well as an add on third party card because they are only software
    based and thus use the CPU to controll the RAID. I always thought they were
    hardware controlled because there is a chip for them on the motherboard...
    but I've been known to be wrong most of the time :)

    This would be for a HD edit suite and every little bit of processing power
    Matthew, Aug 13, 2008
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  2. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Sorry... wrong group... I have too many windows open and it's too early in
    the morning! :)
    Matthew, Aug 13, 2008
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  3. Matthew

    jerem Guest

    does anybody really feel that RAID is worth it, at least the data
    striping versions, for all the hassle and problems connected with
    them? Data striping is a seductive concept, but the faff more than
    cancels out any advantages. For a start, the crawling lousy pace at
    which it tries to recover from anomalies is totally crap and makes a
    joke of any idea your computer life will have any long term net time/
    speed gain. And the recovery process, which is meant to be the whole
    point, is fraught with arcane difficulty, look at any forum on this
    subject. On top of that, it's probably a screw-up with RAID itself
    that caused you to need to go through recovery anyway. Disks are
    reliable now, forget it.
    jerem, Aug 14, 2008
  4. Matthew

    David McCall Guest

    I'm very fond of my Raid-5. It runs 24/7 and I've lost drives a few times,
    but it has always managed to rebuild itself.

    I used to use a Raid-0 to capture analog video at up to 15MB/sec..
    I was a little scary.

    Would you be able to use standard drives to ingest 1080i
    with little to no compression.

    David McCall, Aug 14, 2008
  5. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Wait... are you all saying that RAID isn't needed to edit HDV footage? I'm
    spec'ing out a new system just for that purpose and was told by Blackmagic
    that not only would I need a RAID0 array to edit the footage but that it
    should be a 4 drive array.
    Matthew, Aug 14, 2008
  6. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Thanks for the information! Just one question.... is that a typo where you
    say "modern dual-core process in the 4-5 GHz range"? I can't find anything
    above 3.2GHz on any of Intel's or AMD's chips.
    Matthew, Aug 14, 2008
  7. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Although those are nice skills to have, they don't exactly apply to my
    current workflow. We are extremely last minute production that has to be
    turned out as fast as possible. And I am not 100% concerned with having the
    fastest processor out there... I was simply doing a little research based on
    a reply I got from a Creative Cow post where another user said I was crazy
    to use an onboard RAID controller as it would slow down my system quite a
    bit and create inconsistent performance across the RAID. My comment about
    needing every bit of processing power was geard for the newsgroup I actually
    intended this post to go to in the first place... in that group they would
    have said something to the effect of "who cares if it utilizes your
    processor and slows the system down".
    Matthew, Aug 14, 2008
  8. Matthew

    Smarty Guest

    Hi Spex,

    Welcome back!! I've been looking at the WD 1TB Black drive, and am impressed
    with your comment as well as those on Newegg. Do you see the high transfer
    rates (80MB/sec) using the onboard SATA controller chip of your motherboard,
    or do you need to use a higher performance SATA controller PCI Express card
    to get that type of rate? Do you find the noise level of the drive to be an
    issue in any way?

    Many thanks for your comments.

    Smarty, Aug 14, 2008
  9. Matthew

    Smarty Guest

    Really impressive! I am ordering one!
    Smarty, Aug 15, 2008
  10. Matthew

    Matthew Guest

    Well if that's the case then I would think the ideal situaliton would be to
    mirror 2 of the WD 1TB Black drives... would this be the case?
    Matthew, Aug 15, 2008
  11. Matthew

    Tony Guest

    It is definitely a necessity for me otherwise I would never be able to play 4 video tracks, a bunch
    of stills, audio, sound effects, etc in real time with a single drive.

    Tony, Aug 17, 2008
  12. OK. Let's review the stated application.

    1) Playing "4 video tracks, a bunch of stills, audio, sound effects,
    etc. in real time". We won't even address whether this is something
    within the design parameters of a typical consumer computer OS,
    since the venue was not stated. If it is just for the OP's own amusement
    at home, that's one thing. If this is for a heavy-duty museum installation,
    or a community theatre performance, or a theme park, etc. that's quite
    something else again. But we just don't know in this case.

    2) We can assume that the content (video, audio, images, etc.) are
    too big (and/or the RAM too small) to be cached, since it is implied
    that the application is disk-bound, which was the reason for trying

    3) Since we are spooling out the contents of many (qty unknown)
    files in parallel, the mass storage device must switch back and forth
    between the physical locations of these files in real time as they are
    being played out.

    4) Apparently all this head thrashing between files being read in
    parallel was too much for a single hard drive. (Inferred from the
    very brief statement by the OP.)

    5) We will assume that this is some sort of striped set, since
    simple mirroring would not appear to increase (and might even
    decrease) the throughput.

    6) If we assume that the RAID array is some sort of striped set,
    then ALL the hard drives in the RAID array are now *thrashing*
    back and forth accessing all the (unknown qty) files as they are
    being played out. This simply seems crazy to me, but maybe that is
    just a flaw in my reasoning.

    7) OTOH, if each of the RAID drives was configured as a separate
    OS volume, you could put one (or at most, two) of the high-bandwidth
    files (video) on each volume and read them *in parallel*. Literally.
    Yes, both prime examples of where RAID sets are the ideal solution.
    No argument.
    I fear that many (most?) of those RAID arrays people get from Dell,
    et.al. are whizzy (but risky) RAID 0.
    Richard Crowley, Aug 18, 2008
  13. "Spex" wrote ...
    Agreed, but "Tony" appeared to describe a multi-media exhibition
    It was the OP (Tony)'s scenario that I was saying didn't sound
    like a good fit for a RAID solution. This is annother drawback
    of RAID, that people think it is a cure-all without regard to fitness
    for a particular application.

    OTOH, as the old (1950s) IBM repair handbook says:
    "Never attempt to repair or replace equipment which is
    operating to the customer's satisfaction."
    I thought you were kidding. :))
    Richard Crowley, Aug 18, 2008
  14. Depends on the read/write mix, and how large the files are, and how
    clever the controller is. For writes, you've got to write the same data
    to both drives, so it takes about the same time as if you were using a
    single un-mirrored drive. But for reads, you have the same data already
    on both drives, and you can split up large reads (or long streams of
    reads) so they alternate between the two drives. And *that* allows the
    two drives to be reading different data in parallel, giving you read
    throughput that is up to double what you'd get from an un-mirrored
    single drive.

    Dave Martindale, Aug 18, 2008
  15. Matthew

    Tony Guest

    6) If we assume that the RAID array is some sort of striped set,
    What dont you understand. My original Newtek Toaster NT (Later VT2, 3, 4 and now 5) absolutely
    require 3 0r more Striped SCSI (U320) drives otherwise one cannot be able to capture uncompressed
    video and play them back in real time. Add to that 4,5,6 or more video tracks, audio, pics,
    titles,etc and you tell me how one edits this (in real time) on a single drive that is available in
    the 21 century thus far. I use 10,000 rpm Seagate Cheetahs myself with no problems.

    Tony, Sep 8, 2008
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