View Full Version : Optimal Hard Drive Configuration for Handbrake

Feb 18, 2011, 06:17 PM
If I was going to use two separate hard drives with one faster than the other, for example hard drive A > hard drive B, which should be used for reading and which for writing to?

Basically both are traditional technology platter drives, and one will be storing the raw unencoded file, and the other will be the destination drive. I am basically wondering if all other things are equal, and not considering cpu, memory, etc, where the faster drive should be for optimal encoding time.

Does anyone know if reading the raw file or writing the encoded file is more hard drive intensive? Would it be dependent on file size, e.g. would a 6gb raw file being transcoded to a 2gb file be more drive intensive on the reading end simply because it is a bigger file with more information? And vice versa?

Feb 18, 2011, 06:25 PM
What machine are you encoding on?

I do my encoding on an 8 core Mac Pro. I've tried going from DVD to disk, or disk to disk. Frankly, most encodes are CPU limited (even with 8 cores all being used) and I haven't seen too much difference between the different disk setups (even using DVD as a source).

Feb 18, 2011, 06:34 PM
Right now its on a 2.4 C2D MB. I'm going to add another computer to act as a permanent iTunes server on my home network. Not sure if it's going to be a mac mini or something else, but I was pondering the possibilities in the case of having a FW800 drive and and internal drive, or something similar. Just wondering if there were any differences. I figured that it was probably going to be processor limited either way.

However, I do notice a difference in total speed when I'm using my USB 2.0 drive vs. the internal drive, so I feel that the USB in this case is the limiting factor.

Feb 18, 2011, 06:39 PM
Yes, USB2 pretty well sucks for speed.

I think the best thing to concentrate on when ripping a lot of DVDs is more the workflow than the actual compression.

I find it a lot faster to grab a lot of DVDs onto the HDD using something like RipIt - then queue these up in HandBrake and let it compress them over night. That way, you can get through a lot more disks a lot quicker, since RipIt is pretty speedy.