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Storage recommendations



This section provides you with some important information to help you choose the right storage device to use with your RT.X100 Xtreme Pro product.

Choose from the following categories:
Data transfer rate requirements
General storage considerations
Dedicated Audio/Video (A/V) and export drives
Planning your connections
Using ATA RAID controllers
Using Serial ATA controllers and drives
Use the NTFS file system
Disk defragmentation
Portable digital video recorders

Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro data transfer rate requirements
To be compatible with the dual-stream operation of Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro, the storage device you use must sustain a data transfer rate of at least 12 MB/sec.

Note  Our tests have shown that 1394 hard drives are not capable of sustaining the data transfer rates that are needed for video editing with RT.X100 Xtreme Pro.

General storage considerations
Storage plays a vital role in the overall performance of your Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro system. Without adequate storage for your audio and video clips, your system will not work properly.

Certain issues, such as what to store on your A/V drives, use of the NTFS file system, and disk defragmentation, are important to the use of both EIDE and SCSI storage devices with Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro.

Dedicated Audio/Video (A/V) and export drives
To use Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro, you must store your audio, video, and graphics files on an A/V drive reserved solely for this purpose. If you want to perform realtime exports to disk, you'll also need an additional drive dedicated to perform exports. Windows frequently needs to access your system drive for various reasons, so attempting to store your audio/video files on your system drive will provide unacceptable performance.

Unless you're using a Serial ATA (SATA) drive, you'll need an additional drive dedicated to perform realtime exports to disk. Due to the advanced transfer rates of Serial ATA (SATA) drives, a single SATA drive can be used for both the A/V and export drives.

Your system's virtual memory paging (swap) file must be stored on your system drive and not on your A/V drive. By default, Windows stores this file on your system drive. For information on how to configure your system's virtual memory, see your Windows documentation.

Note   Do not create multiple partitions on your A/V drives. Doing so can reduce performance leading to dropped frames in your projects. Make sure you have only one partition per A/V drive.

Planning your connections
In addition to most SCSI devices, almost all recent EIDE storage devices are able to meet the data throughput requirements of your Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro system. You can have only two EIDE devices on each of the two controller connections found in most PCs. When you connect your EIDE devices, you must connect your A/V drive and your dedicated export drive to separate controllers.

The following diagram provides a typical EIDE device configuration for your system:





Using ATA RAID controllers
If you are using an ATA RAID controller to create a striped volume consisting of two or more drives, the volume can be used for both the A/V and export drives. Please refer to your RAID controller's documentation for information on how to create and configure striped volumes.

Important  If you are using an ATA/133 RAID controller, make sure that you stripe your EIDE drives using Windows Disk Management. Failure to do so may result in erratic behavior of your RT.X system.

Using Serial ATA controllers and drives
Matrox has tested Serial ATA (SATA) controllers (onboard and PCI devices) for use with an RT.X system using Intel 875P and 865 chipsets. The Promise FastTrak S150 TX2plus and S150 TX4 PCI SATA controllers have been tested and certified for use with an RT.X system.
For proper usage of onboard SATA controllers on an RT.X system, we recommend that you install Matrox X.tools build 6122 for use with Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 (available here). If you are using Matrox X.tools build 5078 or earlier, you must install the Matrox PCI Optimizer (available here). For comments about specific onboard SATA devices that have been tested with RT.X100 Xtreme Pro, see the validated motherboards and validated systems pages.
Due to the advanced transfer rates of SATA drives, a single drive can be used for both the A/V and export drives

Use the NTFS file system
Your A/V drives must be formatted using NTFS for use with Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro because NTFS overcomes FAT32 file size limitations. When a hard drive is formatted using FAT32, files saved to this drive cannot exceed 4 gigabytes in size. This translates to approximately 20 minutes of DV video, which poses a serious limitation to a nonlinear editing platform like your Matrox RT.X100 Xtreme Pro system.

With NTFS, you also have the option of creating a striped volume, which consists of multiple hard drives formatted as a single partition. This allows you to work with multiple drives as a single large drive, which offers more disk space and enhances hard drive performance. NTFS also provides better audio and video synchronization than FAT32 when you play back your clips.

If you already have Windows installed on your computer, you can check the format of your drives. In Windows Explorer, right-click the drive letter (such as D:), then choose Properties. Under General, check the format of your drive next to File system.

If you need to format a drive using NTFS, right-click My Computer, then choose Manage. Under Computer Management > Storage, select Disk Management. In the Disk Management utility, right-click the appropriate drive and choose Format. In the provided dialog box, specify a volume label for the partition you are creating. From the File System list, select NTFS. Leave the Allocation unit size at Default. Do not select the Enable file and folder compression option. If you are formatting the drive for the first time, do not select the Perform a quick format option either.

Important  All information on the designated drive will be lost.

For more information on how to format your storage devices using NTFS, see your Windows documentation.

Disk defragmentation
It's important to make sure that your storage does not become too fragmented. Overly fragmented drives will lead to a major reduction in your system's performance, which will in turn seriously reduce the RT.X100 Xtreme Pro's ability to work properly.

Important   To ensure that your storage is operating at optimal levels, defragment your hard drives regularly (once a month at least).

For information on how to defragment your storage devices, see your Windows documentation

Portable digital video recorders (DVRs)
A DVR allows you to capture from a DV-1394 device directly to a portable hard disk drive. The following portable DVR has been tested and certified for use with an RT.X system:
nNovia QuickCapture


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