View Full Version : powerbook 5400 drive with dv

May 3, 2004, 09:15 AM
Im wondering why everybody says not to get a 5400 hard drive for digital video. How would it effect capturing, editing, and exporting back to tape? Is a 7200 going to perform that much better? I really dont feel like buying an external hard drive... But just incase i 'have' to, what would be a good one for me? I plan on using it for mainly digital video, dont need to much more then 80gb's, dont want something that costs to much $$$, and want it to be small and easily portable. Is there anything out there to suit my needs? :) thanks

May 3, 2004, 12:06 PM
Im wondering why everybody says not to get a 5400 hard drive for digital video.

You don't have to have a 7200rpm drive to work with digital video. I've used iMovie on a 500MHz Powerbook with just a 4200rpm drive and it works just fine. The drive speed does make a difference though... since with digital video you're accessing the drive a lot. I'd suggest buying as fast a drive as you can afford.

If you're getting an external drive, and don't need it to be portable, go for the 7200rpm one since they're really not that more expensive than the slower drives.

May 3, 2004, 01:17 PM
Get an external. Editing video fragments you hard drive, slowing it way down. With an external, you can wipe and reformat the drive quite easily. I have a 1.33ghz 17" with a 4200 internal and a 7200 120gig external LaCie and it works superbly.

May 3, 2004, 02:26 PM
Before you start looking for faster drives, make sure you max out your RAM. If you have already done that, then your next consideration is how big your projects get. If they are small go for the internal, if they are really big then external is the right fit for you.

May 3, 2004, 02:49 PM
Thanks for the help. So the only difference from changing the hard drives is the speed right? about the defragmenting: A pc comes with a program to defragment the hard drive. Is there something like that for a mac?

I actually got lucky with my ram! i ordered my 17" powerbook with 1gb of ram (in one slot). The day i got it, i checked everything to make sure everything was put together correctly. On the about this mac menu it only shows 512mb's of ram. So i called them up with the intention to complain, and after i explained what happend, right away they told me they will send me the 1gb stick of ram and let me keep the 512mb stick! They definatly have great service.

May 3, 2004, 04:47 PM
If you are working with one layer, the drive speed won't matter too much at DV25 (5:1) which is what standard miniDV transcodes at. When you work with multiple layers, you need the faster drive so that it can read multiple files concurrently and keep up to speed so that everything is in sync and running at standard fps. If you can't keep the sustained rate fast enough, the video editor will slow down the fps to keep things in sync using a buffer for the frames. So it is still workable, it's just that it's a bit annoying to work out of real-time. You can always render layers together (the equivalent of an audio mixdown) if you need to, thereby making it a one-stream read-back. If you are doing simple stuff (maybe just piecing video around and maybe some titling) you'll be fine at 5400rpm.

The other thing is since miniDV at DV25 is already compressed on tape, you don't have to worry about frames being dropped during capturing because you aren't really capturing, you're transcoding. The difference is during capturing/digitizing, you're actually sampling and compressing (or not) the media as it is coming off of tape and placing it on the hard drive. If the hard drive isn't fast enough, then frames will be dropped from the capture since the computer is dealing with an onslaught of information coming off of the tape. Since DV is already in its final compressed format, it is only trasferring the media during the "capture" process.

May 3, 2004, 05:04 PM
I thought OS X's HFS+ Journaling mode made fragmented files a void issue? Maybe I'm wrong, but I've never defragmented my computer and have no problems (though i regulary run the chron scripts as well as repair permissions).