Your approach makes sense and looks feasible, depending on the source material and the complexity of your projects. I think you are good to go.
I am curious, for future reference, what laptop has three drive bays. It sounds like a great laptop setup. Just make sure that you have a pair of the same drives and of course they should be 7200 rpm.
the one i sell... (9000 )
3 internal HDDs and a desktop (i7) CPU up to the 980x even
no mobile sissy CPU :-)
they are made by Clevo.
heavy buggers 12lbs. others sell them as well..
I travel a lot, too. I carry a physically small 500GB eSATA drive with me. It's partitioned into the same drive letters on my laptop as the RAID0s on my main system. So I just copy my current project and media between the two sets of drives and Pr never knows the difference. Might work for you, too.
I know partitioning a drive isn't an ideal solution, but laptop editing is all about getting the job done, even when compromises are involved.
12 lbs! Now you know why I have a partitioned eSATA drive and a 6 lb notebook!
Laptops are when SSD Drives really make sense due to the lower performance of the mechanical 2.5 drives and smaller volume sizes available. I would definitely go with an SSD if it's in your budget. Raid 0 on the other 2 drives would be a good config as well.
Thanks to all for the answers. For reference, I have a Lenovo W700 (Intel QX 9300, Quadro 3700M, 8GB DDR3 Ram and integrated wacom tablet) and I do not own a desktop.
What I use to shoot my footage is a Canon 5D mrkII and so far I didn't have any problems working under Premiere CS5 and MPE on a couple of tests. Projects will be no longer than 10-20 minutes.
I'll go to Akihabara this weekend and see for how much they are selling the Intel X-25m G2 80GB. I might take a look at the Seagate Momentus XT as well. I will only use the system drive for the OS and programs and even though the Momentus XT is not as fast as an SSD, is way faster than regular 7.200rpm drives for boot up and load the applications, let alone the extra 400GB that can come in handy compared to the Intel SSD drive and the price. As for the raid0 set up, I'm still undecided. It seems the fastest 2.5" drive is the WD Scorpio Black for I/O but its performance is not that great... do you guys know of a better drive for notebooks? I wish I could use a VelociRaptor (300GB). The space and temperature is not a problem but my machine doesn't have a 12v power sata connection.
As far as I know, SSDs are not good for editing or am I wrong?
Now that Premiere CS5 let us play and scroll through the time line in real time with MPE, how much would you think a raid0 is needed? I'll be using AE so I might have answered my own question but Harm's allocation advice for 3 HDDs is:
C: OS & programs
D: page file, media cache and renders/previews plus miscellaneous
E: media and exports
...no raid in here. Depending on the answer and if that answer is raid0, how should I allocate the page file, disc cache, source footage, renders, etc?
You don't have a desktop/workstation, so this notebook has to do it all on it's own. Your 5D MII material is taxing on the CPU, not so much on the disks.
Losing a page file, previews and media cache due to disk failure is bothersome, but not disastrous. It can all be easily recreated. Indexing, conforming and generating peak files will all be done automatically. Rendering a time line to recreate preview files is a single key press, Enter.
Media however, depending on your backups, can mean disaster if you lose that, because after transfer, you normally use your cards again for new recordings and gone are your originals.
A 2 disk raid0 doubles the risk of losing data due to disk failure over a single disk. That is a severe disadvantage. You gain some performance, but you double your risks, and as stated above AVCHD is mainly CPU intensive, not disk intensive. Disk failure happens more often on a notebook than in a workstation, because of temperature and humidity changes that a notebook is exposed to and the bumps and shocks they are exposed to.
By not using a raid you lower the risk of data loss and the performance penalty will be marginal if you adhere to media on one disk and the pagefile, previews and media cache on another disk. You could possibly consider using one drive for your projects and a save as version on the other disk. A duplication of data, but a guarantee that you do not lose your projects. For the media I suggest you back them up ASAP on an external disk.
Not sure who told you SSD drives are not good for editing but they are wrong. The consideration with SSD drives is size versus cost. In Desktop units standard 3.5 drives volume size is so much higher than SSD drives that the cost differential makes the SSD drives not really worth it accept for an OS drive. Even with the OS drive as an SSD, the performance gain is not significant enough to justify the cost most of the time. In laptops however the story changes. Laptop 2.5 drives do not have nearly the volume size options that the 3.5 drives do. Also the performance on the 2.5 drives is significantly lower than their Desktop 3.5 counterparts. This means the extra cost in an SSD drive even of the 160GB flavor is worth it for the performance gain. The current laptops main choke point for editing is the drives. Using an SSD drive to help alleviate that is a good way to bring the laptop closer to the desktop performance level. Raiding laptop drives in a 2 drive raid 0 has no more risk than doing so in a desktop. If you would raid desktop drives in a raid 0 then doing so in a laptop is the same. The performance gain is worth it as shown in benchmarks. I am not sure why the concern here when most recommend a 2 drive raid 0 for this kind of work.
I think Harm's way on not having a raid0 on my setup makes more sense, specially now that footage from DSLRs like the Canon 5D, 7D, 1D... can be played and edited at real time thanks to MPE. As a little correction, the 5D's codec is not AVCHD but H.264 yet both are CPU intensive as you pointed out. Depending on the prices I find these weekend for the HDDs I'll make up my mind but would be interesting to see the performance on these 2 different setups for laptops. One having the raid0, the other allocating the files in 2 drives and both of these with the OS and programs in a separate drive. Even having another 2 more setup with only 2 HDDs and a single drive with everything on it. What benchmark do you recommend testing (not synthetic) to stress the HDDs performance?
The notion of SSDs not being faster to edit as regular HDDs got it from several posts in this same forum. I believe was Bill Gehrke who tested SSD raid himself and didn't notice any big difference on performance. You are right to point out that laptop mechanical HDDs are weaker than 3.5" drives though but the prices for SSD are still a little high for my pocket right now.
Ya I was kind of wondering why Harm was so hesitant on the raid 0 since he normally recommends it for desktops. I can tell you though after testing our 9000 laptop which has 3 internal drives, the disk performance is definitely part if not most of the performance gap with the desktops. That laptop uses a Desktop I7 CPU and I tested it with a 980X with 12 GB of ram. That was the same configuration as the desktop system we used for these benchmarks http://www.adkvideoediting.com/benchmarks.asp. It took 90 Minutes to export the same project that the desktop did in 36 minutes with 2 raid 0's. That was project material on 1 drive and exporting to another. I tested with the temp and media cache files on each of the 3 drives and that did not change the time at all. Granted the 285GTX Mobile has allot less Cuda cores so that will account for atleast some of the time difference but not all of it.
I exported AVCHD to H264 1080P24 frame btw so you get an idea of how similar this will be to your material. That would be the easiest way to test it. Create a project with a couple of layers of set time material with 4 effects per layer. Then export to H264 1080 and see what the time differences are if any between the single drive setup or raid 0. That will give you a good idea of what to expect for each configuration.