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I'd start with another two drives at a minimum. Get a smaller one for the System drive. Mine is only 75 GB and is still half empty. Reinstall Windows and all your programs on that smaller drive. Use the current 250GB drive for project files and scratch disks. Get a third drive, maybe 500GB or more and use that for captured media.
Personally, I'd keep the 250GB with System & Programs. It is over-sized for that purpose, but I'm not one who enjoys uninstalling and re-installing either their OS, or their programs. If you've got it set up that way already, you do not have to do a mirror/image/Ghost and hope that you get everything over to the new drive. Chalk this up to my laziness. You can also use some of this space for seldom used Assets, like SFX, or music, that you want to keep handy, but will not be accessing that often. I do this on one storage HDD, and then copy over these Assets to the Project, as they are used, on the big, fast Media HDD, when needed.
Add 2 new HDDs, if you have the controller connections. You will be limited, with this choice, to what controller you have in your system. Right now, the 750GB units are selling at some low prices, as the 1TBs are really coming on line. Two 500GBs would be cheaper, still.
If you have an open PCI/PCIe slot, you could get a speed boost by adding a good SATA II controller card and going that route with the HDDs. The SATA's are running a bit more expensive, than ATA-100/ATA-300s, but you will get a little I/O boost.
There are several good threads already, on how best to use your new HDDs with PP. The ideas may vary a bit, but the folk responding are stating how they find it best to configure Scratch Disks, etc., for their particular workflow. I'd search these forums (do not exclude the PP2 forum in your search, even though you have CS3).
Last considerations will be the cooling of your case and the capability of your power supply. Within *practical* terms, you cannot run your system too cool, and can never have too beefy a PS. If you have minimal cooling, look for more efficient fans, or more fans. If your case is close to you, and you edit with the speakers, quiet cooling will be a benefit. Do check the output from your PS, to make sure it can handle additional HDDs, or you may have to upgrade that, as well. When I'm commissioning a new system, I go with the most powerful and coolest (I'm talking thermal here, not flashing LEDs) PS, that I can get. If I can get it up to about 2.5x my immediate needs, I know that I can add "stuff," and not have to worry. Overheating systems and inadequate PS's are a big reason for system crashes, especially while rendering.
Thanks for your help. I didn't get much info with a quick search here before I started this thread. I'll do a more thorough search on this topic.
Bill when you said two hard drives are you referring to a raid configuration for scratch disks? Does hard drive speed matter much? 7200, 10,000, 15,000? Memory is so cheap these days I saw 1TB SATA II's as low as $180. I think I can add three more internal drives.
I'll have to read up on SATA control cards...I don't really know much about them or how much of a performance boost they would provide.
I recently upgraded my PSU to a 700W Thermaltake WO105RU which doubled my power because I thought it was contributing to Premier crashes I was experiencing...but after checking my hard drive space I believe that lack of free hard drve space was likely the culprit.
Unless you are doing HD editing, I'd not do RAID. To be set up for both speed and redundency you'd need more HDDs. If you are doing HD, then Harm Millard has had several good suggestions on I/O configurations in other threads. He gives the +/-'s of each choice.
Above 7,200 speed probably matters most with the OS/program HDD. Again, this is for SD. If you do go with a smaller, faster HDD for your boot drive, Jim's suggestion is the better one.
What is the HDD controller on your MoBo, or on your system now? Harm and Jim have made some suggestions for SATA II controllers. I'd look up those, and check the mfgrs. and specs out, should you want to add one.
I'd say that you are good to go on the PS. Check your case cooling though. This can shut down a system in a hurry. Some of the newer liquid cooling systems are starting to look pretty good. Older ones had some real problems.
I purchased three 750GB SATA2 Drives. My system now has a total of four HDD's.
How should I utilize them? I will not be using any captured media at this time.
Drive 1: OS & apps (250GB)(my current drive)
Drive 2: media files (750GB)
Drive 3: Scratchdisk (750GB)
Drive 4: Scratchdisk (750GB
Does this set up look OK...should I set it up differently? I've read several posts that dissed Vista as an OS for Premier...should I install XP Pro 32/64-bit and run it instead? Any suggestions for a <$150 Graphics card to replace my nVidia 7300GS?
Vista Home Premium 32-bit
XFX 680i LT SLI MB (supports six SATA2)(eSATA ready)
250GB SATA HDD
3x 750GB Samsung F1 SATA2 HDD's
nVidia 7300 GS
Thermaltake 700W PSU
Looks good. I would prefer XP32. Look at the ATI Radeon 4850.
I'd use Drive 4 for Exports. You won't need two for scratch. And keep the project files on drive 3, not the System drive.
OK, so...drive 3 is scratch and projects?