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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
To up the storage potential of my HTPC, I'm considering using either Maxtor or Western Digital 120GB 5400rpm drives. Will this have any kind of adverse impact to the overall HTPC? I will be using the HTPC to do the video processing on an ATI Radeon 8500 and at some point in time will be doing the audio DA conversion using an MAudio or other such card. Will have an HDTV card onboard and doing timeshifting with that programming while accepting SDI feed from DirecTivo and Panasonic RV-30 player. I'm looking for maximum space.


I'm also considering keeping all drives external to the HTPC (via firewire)but for the primary hard drive so as to provide me the ability to take hard drive and plug it into a different PC.
 

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If the word "video" is used anywhere in your description of use (video capturing, video editing, video compression, etc.), you'd be hard pressed to find a recommendation on a 5400rpm drive.


Robert
 

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First of all, I do not know what I am talking about. However, I did read that 5400 is fine for video speed and that it is also a little quieter in general. Have no idea if it is true but make sure your get a couple of opinions before you completely discount the 5400 speed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Well, I know that they work wonderfully well in DirecTivo units. They are cooler than the 7200 rpm units and work just fine for video playback. However, I do understand that the Tivo is a completely different beast from an HTPC.


I didn't imagine anyone would give me a glowing recommendation, just need to know how it would adversely affect anything that's going on in the HTPC.
 

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I use a 5400 rpm WD drive in my HTPC, for use in capturing and playing back HDTV from my MyHD card (formerly using an ADTV card) and I've never had any performance issues.


Also, very quiet, and runs quite cool.


cheers,


Rich
 

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Hi Llogan:


___You more than likely won’t notice a thing … Some high end video processing situations are more a CPU/Chipset bottleneck than the HD and even HD recording is ~ 15 – 20X below the throughput from latest 5400 RPM drives that you are considering. If you use your HTPC for more than just an HTPC however, the faster 7200’s or even RAID setups can easily be felt in access times if that helps …


___Good Luck


___Wayne R. Gerdes

___Hunt Club Farms Landscaping Ltd.

___ [email protected]
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I guess it would help to provide a little more info as well.


I'm not planning to use any 5400 rpm drive as the primary, only as storage for timeshifted HD and other recordings.


I will be building a separate machine for web surfing/gaming. I'm not at all interested in my HTPC becoming unstable.
 

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If quiet is important to you, I'd get the Seagate Barracuda IV series. They are the quietest IDE hard drives around, albeit a little slower than their 7200rpm competitors. However, its faster than all the 5400rpm drives out there without being any louder.


That is what I use in my HTPC, and several others here too.


Robert
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Actually, I was anticipating buying such a hard drive to utilize as the primary. I'm basically trying to keep heat and noise to a minimum (one of the reasons why I'm still considering external firewire drives for storage instead of the internal IDE 5400 rpm drives.)
 

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If you're only going to be using it for video capture and timeshifting, you should be fine. As mentioned previously, the disk is quieter and runs quite a bit cooler. You'll also get better performance for video files if you format it NTFS with a large (16k or more) cluster size.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
yes was planning to format NTFS for stability's sake...thanks
 

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I was playing VOBs off of a 5400RPM drive using PowerDVD. Frames would be dropped so I then switched to a 7200RPM drive thinking the RPMs was the reason for the dropped frames. I still get an occasional dropped frame with the 7200RPM drive. I have now concluded that my version of PowerDVD (v.2.5) is the problem as when I run Zoom Player video playback is smooth as silk, even on the 5400RPM drive. Thus I think a 5400RPM drive is plenty fast enough. I just got a new 5400RPM drive and it cooks!
 

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Here in Egypt , 7200 rpm drives are 40-50 % more expensive than 5400 rpm drives , so I went 5400 rpm all the way .

The drive is WD 600AB , and it works perfectly with capturing and time shifting . I've never had a 7200 drive , but I don't think that it can be NOTICABLY faster .
 

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llogan:


If you are considering external storage enclosures, get the USB 2.0 ones. When used with a USB 2.0 controller, they are faster than firewire (480 Mbps vs 400 Mbps).
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thought I'd heard something about issues in HTPC builds and USB 2.0, might've been an isolated incident with a specific MB or something.
 

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Huh?!


Sony's SAT-T60 DirecTV with TiVo receivers use Quantum 4400 RPM drives, and they work great. At least they were using Quantum before Maxtor acquired Quantum. Not sure what the latest TiVos are using.


Quote:
Originally posted by Valnar
If the word "video" is used anywhere in your description of use (video capturing, video editing, video compression, etc.), you'd be hard pressed to find a recommendation on a 5400rpm drive.


Robert
 

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I have used Maxtor 5400 rpm drives to playback ripped DVDs. They worked fine as masters, but as slaves, I had a jerky-video problem (dropped frames).
 

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I use 2 Maxtor 60GB drives in my HTPC with zero problems. I play captured MPEG 2 files, very large 24/96 .wav files, DTS CD .wav files, etc, etc, etc, with no performance issues. The MPEG 2 files are played back from the primary slave drive.
 

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Well, I just ordered 8 WD 120g 5400 drives for my a home file server with a raid 5 setup.... will take a few weeks but I have no doubt it will work fine for ripped dvds and hdtv.
 

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Something has to be wrong with the buffering, etc. for 5400RPM drive to not be fast enough for VOB files.


Cut the bit-rate by a factor of 3-4 versus ATSC streams and all of sudden you have jerky playback?


Once again, sounds like a buffer issue with the software.


-Mr. Wigggles
 
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