Some basics to check first:
1. Indexing and compression are disabled on all disks.
2. Sidebar is turned off.
3. No defragger active.
4. Services have been tuned. Windows 7 Service Configurations by Black Viper
Can you post a screen shot from Process Explorer.
4. Yes (thanks for that tip)..
I'd like to make a few comments and observations.
As far as encodes and render times, i can't control that. I realize my older Opterons are old donkeys.
But nonetheless, i've used third party Mpeg encoders in the past, and i've absolutely smoked these speeds that AME is using..
As far as the .AVI's being saved out from "Preview files", i find it totally unacceptable that 40 seconds is average..Any software i've used in the past (including CS2.0 and VirtualDub), allowed for a direct stream copy of pre-rendered footage. It's simply a matter of file muxing, and shouldn't have anything to do with HDD bottlenecking. It's a matter of file transfer.
Harm, i've gone as far as i can go without stripping my system to the bone. All results are within 2% of each other, regardless of disk management.
The tweaks you mention are great for an athelete looking to shave another 1kilo of body fat, but i'm working with a 1 tonne elephant that doesn't want to move!!!
And while i'm on the subject of disk locations, scratch, cache files etc..
I've noticed lots of suggestions about disk speeds and such. Unless i'm working with uncompressed HD material, how can a DV clip that has only 25mbps output, have any negative effect on disk to disk output? I'm working with HDV, DV and Matrox .AVI formats, and my data rates don't come anywhere near bottlenecking HDD output speeds? I'm of the opinion, that as long as data is not being read/wrote on the same drive, file transferring shouldn't be an issue...
I'm starting to develop the opinion, that unless there's a setting that i've totally overlooked, AME has some huge overhead issues. Especially with imported sequences..
I'll fight the good fight, but i'm starting to think it's over...
While editing, turn off AVG. That is a major obstacle.
Do you need all that Matrox stuff? People know I am not fond of Matrox, but I have seen people improve their benchmark results significantly by running without Matrox. For the rest, compliments on a well kept system. Not too many processes running. It would make life so much easier if more followed your example.