12Gig is better... 3sticks x 4Gig, to allow growth to 24Gig, if you can afford, or 6sticks x 2Gig
Most people opt for Win7 64bit Pro, since Ultimate has extra "stuff" that you only need if you are in a managed work group situation
The Western Digital have a problem with RAID.
I will let someone else comment on why.
I don't know why (maybe Harm will stop by) but I have seen the Samsung F3 recommended a LOT
Take a look at the test results in PPBM5 and you will see that for Premiere Pro CS5 the biggest problem I see is your opinion on RAM. Look at where 6 GB will get you, about 75th place--mediocre performance. I actually believe you should end up with more than 12 GB or at least as been suggested get 4 GB modules so you can upgrade beyond 12 GB easily. Also I agree that there is no value in Windows Ultimate for video editing, Windows 7 Pro 64 bit is fine.
I agree on memory - am changing to: CORSAIR DOMINATOR 12GB (3 x 4GB) 240-Pin DDR3 SDRAM DDR3 1600 (PC3 12800) Desktop Memory Model CMP12GX3M3A1600C9 ($249.99).
I will stick with Windows 7 ultimate as I was able to get it for $50 - cannot get Pro for this cost. I agree it is overkill, but at this price, this was the only one I could get (already purchased) - my friend dumped his PC to go to the dark side (Apple) and he only wanted $50 for his orig copy just a few months old.
I was enlightened by the comments on the WD black drives and inability for raid. I did not realize this. In further research, I am uncomfortable using WD for raid. I will look into alternatives, including the suggested Samsung F3 or WD RE4 as Harm listed in a previous post and Mr. Smith recommends the Samsung also (thanks to all for this information - any recommendations will be greatly appreciated on replacement hard drives). Here is my follow up questions on this topic:
1.) I am planning on raid 1+0 as I understand this is the best for data integrity. As for speed (read vs. write) I think I understand the differenced between raid 1+0 and 5 (read many posts on this). Does anyone disagree with my decision on 1+0 over 5? Again, I do want speed, however, data integrity is the most important. I do not want to have to manually back up data as I do today with two eSATA external HDs.
2.) I was planning on using the Intel raid controller supplied on the MOBO for my raid 1+0. It does SATA RAID (0/1/5/10). What risk does using the onboard MOBO raid controller pose and what can I expect in decreased performance (I believe it consumes CPU time) vs. a separate hardware raid controller card (internal PCI 2.0 card vs. raid controller onboard the MOBO)? I am not sure what raid information is stored in the OS vs. BIOS when using the onboard solution, but I will by using Acronis backup to backup an image of my OS every month so I can recover my OS drive if it fails (just in case any raid info is indeed stored in the OS). Commens? If hardware is advised, and suggestions? I have seen posts on Areca, but would like guidance on this for 1+0. One of the IT folks where I work previously workied for Atto Technologies and highly recommends their stuff (ExpressSAS R30F) but it seems expensive (>$1K - ouch!). If I did buy one, is a 6 GB card backward compatible with the 3 GB drives (I would buy for future expansion).
Thanks to all for reading and responding.
The Western Digital Caviar drives should NOT be used in a RAID application due to the problem with Time-Limited Error Recovery, TLER. See the following application note from WD: http://www.wdc.com/wdproducts/library/other/2579-001098.pdf
I made the mistake of ordering 5 Caviar Blacks for a RAID application before I understood the issues with TLER in WD Caviar drives and had to return and exchange them for RE4 drives - a lesson well-learned - primarily due to the shipping and restocking fees.
I think you're on-track with WD RE4's or Samsung SpinPoint F3 drives. I believe the SpinPoints are"comparable" in price to the Caviar Blacks - and many report they work well in RAID applications. I opted for staying with WD and got a few RE4's - I have just too much GOOD history across time with WD drives in all of my computers that I am inclined to stay with them, albeit at a price! I have 3 x 2TB RE4's in a RAID3 on an Areca 1880ix-16 controller.
if using onboard raid 0, or 1+0 (10) then the WD's are 100% ok. parity raid is where the WDs can be an issue.
raid 10 is not recommended only 3,5,6 are good redundant raids and require a controller
10 can be an issue.
with onboard the only thing i reccomend is raid 0 and back up your work to an external. (should do this with raid 3,5,6 as well anyway)
Scott - can you please elaborate on:
"raid 10 is not recommended only 3,5,6 are good redundant raids and require a controller
10 can be an issue."
What issues will 10 cause me? I am looking for an inexpensive back-up / striping method which 10 seems to do. What should I be concerned about specifically with your concerns. I do not want the additional expense of Raid 3,5,etc, but understand basically what the advantages are of these. My first concern is data integrity (backup) with speed being secondary.
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Raid 10 will work fine off the onboard controller. Speed however won't be great for a 4 drive raid but it will be better than a single drive. Any more Raid 10 is a cheap solution where the raid card is beyond the budget. If you can get a raid card then the parity raids are better performance for the drives used.
Thanks for the response - much appreciated.