Good Advice CV!

1 reply [Last post]
Joined: Jul 7 1999

I am a newcomer to computer video editing with a small hobby budget. After reading a few issues of your computer video I decided to take the plunge. I had a PII 266, Intel AL440LX motherboard, with 128Mb SD100 RAM and a 3.2Gb Hard Drive (HD), W98 + Sony TRV110E (Digital8) camcorder.

After reading various CV lab tests on sub £300 capture cards I decided to go for the DC10+.
My system met the requirements for RAM and processor all I had to do was upgrade my HD if I wanted to store any more than 7 minutes of VHS footage!

But this was not all… My current HD had the capacity to store 7 minutes of video footage, didn't realise it had to be fast as well. I was dropping frames everywhere and when I did get a good capture, rendering two minutes of video playback would be jerky and sound would be dropping out.

Refer back to CV's Q's & A's for some advice, which was: -

a) Make sure all non critical TSR's were not in use, i.e. virus guard, clock in taskbar remove all items in the 'start up' folder & MS Office shortcut bar, or use Alt+Ctrl+Del to see what is running, close all non critical applications.
b) Disable write-behind caching for all drives.
c) Virtual memory set to i.e. 128MB min + 128MB max

My findings were for my system that 'a&b' were the most rewarding, c did not make the slightest difference.

My quest to edit a full 60mins of holiday footage began…

I decided to add a further 128MB of SD100 RAM, which is compatible with the 66/100MHz-bus speed (future proofing!) which gave me a total of 256MB RAM.

Hard drives, confusion set in…. ATA-33 or ATA-66?

A few weeks surfing the net was required…

1) I needed to find out if my motherboard was up to the ATA-66.
2) If I went for the ATA-66 I would need a PCI ATA-66 interface?
3) Would the ATA-33 be adequate?

My findings are: -

1) My Motherboard was not adequate for ATA-66. - Intel do not have an ATA-66 MB yet, due out soon.
2) I would need the PCI ATA-66 interface, which I didn't want to do.
3) The ATA-33 was adequate if I went for a 7200RPM-spindle speed drive!

I have ended up with an IBM Deskstar 14GXP ATA-33 @ 7200RPM, which works very well & very hot!
I achieve at least 11833kB/s write & 12968kB/s read transfer rate, which is adequate for the Hi8 DC10+ rate of 6144kB/s. No frames dropped.

I also found that the DMA setting under Hard disk controller in the device manager needed to be selected to achieve the max transfer rates. This is not selected by default due to some HD's not being compatible or DMA being disabled in the BIOS.

Budget of £400
Hard Drive £189inc. VAT
128SD100 RAM £65inc. VAT
Pub money £146

Thanks to Computer Video / Bob Crabtree for publishing all those Q's & A's!

Matt Jackson

[This message has been edited by Mjacks23 (edited 07 July 1999).]

Joined: Mar 8 1999


That wouldn't cause a problem with dropped frames. And I'm in a good position to know that :)