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  1. The combination of hardware / software / drivers is still something of a black box...

    Thank god for firewire...

    Regards.
    Michael Tam
    w: Morsels of Evidence
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  2. Member
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    I had PIII 800-256 MB RAM- 20 GB 5400 rpm HD-3 partitions-virtual memory setting to max and min 600(2.5x256)-had vdub on 3rd partition-capturing to any partition with space using MJPEG codec at 720x576-25fps-never defragged.
    Have PIV 2.4 GHz-256 MB RAM-40 GB 7200 rpm HD-4 partitions-dual boot 98 and XP-98 virtual memory set as above -XP seems to be working with fixed virtual memory. Tuner card no change-Pixelview TV Pro. Use Vdub as above with Btwincap drivers and the WDM wrapper instead of the OEM VFW drivers in both XP and 98 no problem. On clean channel capture directly to 720x576 PAL at highest quality setting and 8000kbps max VBR with ULead DVD movie Factory. Capture to any partition with space. No problems. Do not defrag.
    From the posts here, I should be dropping frames galore-I don't.
    Rituals I meticulously follow are rebooting before any capture and rebooting every second commercial.

    Do my rituals have anything to do with not dropping frames?
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    I seem to have stopped postings on this issue.
    To me the most important issue seems to be to stop Windows from doing unnecessary activities-by fixing virtual memory to a fixed value + the regular rebooting. Windows has known problems with memory leakage-that is supposed to be the main issue- not stupid things like reformatting etc. Came across the windows memory problem in one of the vdub help guides.
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  4. According to ATI MMC configuration utility my sound card is not stable enough. I went out and bought an inexpensive sound card (phillips Diamond Edge, on sale for 19.99). There was no change. Still dropping frames and the utility still says the sound card is not stable enough.

    This card was cheap but it claims to be for gamers and boasts all sorts of wonderful features. How do I tell a good card from a bad one?
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  5. Originally Posted by txpharoah
    Rather than repeat this over and over again to posted questions, I thought I'd lay out a few quick ground rules:

    1. Video is demanding. Multi-tasking can cause dropped frames. Either learn to do one thing at a time or buy an extra system. Close all TSR programs (like anti-virus and other items in your system tray).

    2. LAN/Internet accesses your system's 65,535 ports and you rarely know it. Unplug yourself from the network and Internet so your usage is solely used on the video and the task at hand.

    3. Heat. An overheated system can drop frames. P4 processors will slow themselves up and hard drives will act erratic when overheated. AMD processors can melt down and/or deteriorate (no safety device like the P4). Be sure you system is cooled with good fans/heat-synchs and that your room is cooled. Know that 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the room is not optimum working temperature, try 70-75 if you can run the A/C.

    4. Is your program setup properly for capturing? Rarely is the out-of-the-box setting worth anything. Tweak.

    5. If a card always dropped, the manufacturer would have never shipped it. It's on your end. Figure it out. Quit blaming XYZ's "horrible" card and then praising ABC's "wonderful" card because your luck/knowledge changed after replacement. (When a driver is speeding down the road, nearly running you over, you don't blame the car - it's the user's fault.) If there really was a problem, there'd be a recall or update. Have you checked the Web site for updates? ...And yes, I know this doesn't always apply, but it does most of the time.

    6. Software vs. hardware. If your device is a software capturing device and not a hardware capturing device, these issues become even more important.

    7. Slow computers. P4 or AMD+ systems can do great. PIII and below is asking for trouble, especially users operating off the stripped-down Duron and Celeron processors.

    8. Computers are like humans. They need rest too. Reset your system before giving it a hearty video workout. I'm still amazed at the number of people that run the computer for weeks on end without rebooting and wonder why it's acting up. Because of the way Windows works, you lose resources after time, especially opening/closing programs. They never truly close. Maybe even consider letting it stay powered down for an hour or so before using for captures or encodes (as it helps to minimize heat too).

    FYI: These rules apply to anything in general. Encoding, capturing, and just any overall piss-poor system performance. These simple tricks work wonders.

    ADDENDUM! Since this post is now a sticky, I feel a bit obliged to update it. The next few issues are either new things I've run across, things I forgot to add the first time, or things other people have pointed out to me. Thanks ya'll.

    9. VHS source. Garbage in, garbage out. It's that easy. Often, VHS and VHS-C tapes can cause your system to drop frames. This is usually confined to old tapes that have seen better days, but it can also apply to newer tapes. The information being fed into your video card is corrupt, and it will throw off your system. Unfortunately, there is no fix for this. A TBC (time-base corrector) may correct the issues, but even then, that is not fool-proof. The number of frames dropped for this reason should be a rather small number (maybe 10 per hour) and will probably happen close together because of a bad spot on the tape.

    10. Check your hard drive settings. (For WinNT/2K/XP: right-click on MyComputer-> Properties-> Hardware-> DeviceManager -> IDE-> Primary IDE channel -> Advanced Settings-> Current Transfer Mode) and (For Win95/98/ME: right-click on MyComputer-> Properties-> DeviceManager-> DiskDrives-> IDE-> Properties). Your system should be set on ULTRA DMA or DMA. Note: Some Ultra ATA cards (example: Promise card that comes with Western Digital drives) will not show DMA as an option, but the feature is turned on.

    11. Hard drive usage. Defrag your hard drive on a regular basis. And use a dedicated hard drive for capturing (meaning a physically separate drive, not just a partition). Capturing to the same drive where your OS is housed can cause conflicts as that drive is always being used by the Windows or Apple swap files. You want to use a drive that is not doing anything else at all. RAID drives may or may not help, and there are reports that both support and reject the use of RAID for video.

    12. CPU usage. If you are using an NT based OS, like Windows NT/2K/XP, or an Apple, check to make sure the CPU usage is not max'ing out. If so, that may mean your system is too slow, improperly configured, or that you codec is too demanding on your system. It cannot keep up, and hence drops frames. Non-NT systems, like Windows 95/98/ME, can use Norton System Doctor to monitor usage.

    13. Capture software and codecs. In most cases, the software that comes with your card will work. It is the software supported by the card, and what was tested to give the optimal results. However, other alternatives include VirtualDub, VirtualVCR, PowerVCR, iuVCR, AVI_IO, WinDVR, and NeoDVD4... just to name a few. Try a freebie or a trial edition of any of these packages to see if you can get better results. If capturing AVI, consider the HuffyUV codec or an MJPEG codec. Capturing MPEG1 or MPEG2 works great on some cards, but not all. Not all cards will cooperate with all software and all codecs, at least from a dropped-frames point-of-view.

    14. Desktop settings. Is your computer system set to use a 1600x1200 resolution at 32-bit color? If so, that may too much for your system to handle, in conjunction with capturing. Try 16-bit or 24-bit color with 1024x768 desktop. This error is normally found with on-board video cards used jointly with a cheap capture card. Change your overlay settings, and try it both with and without overlay activated.

    15. Sound cards. It appears that some sound cards can cause you to drop frames. Typically confined to ISA soundcards, cheap PCI soundcards, and onboard sound (your soundcard is part of your motherboard). This is not a common problem, but has been known to happen.
    Great points. Not sure if they all ring true. I realize I'm quoting on an earlier post but I'm curious if the original poster feels if this is still good advice?

    I wish I was still in the game. So much of this is so wrong.
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  6. Hi,

    I'm capturing from VHS and have been getting prety good results.

    Although I am having trouble with different VHS tapes... It seems I drop a lot of frames with some tapes while others I don't drop any frames at all.

    The tapes I do drop frames aren't old and bad quality either infact they are fairly new?

    Any ideas as to why and how I can stop this?

    Any help would be appreciated.
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  7. Hi all,
    I'm not sure if this is the topic I should post my problem. however it is regarding capturing video. I'm not getting drop frames...well 1 maybe 2 frames over one hour footage.
    My problem is with the quality of the captured footage. The image is a little bit "jumpy" I mean it doesn't have a smooth moving and it gets worst when the movie involve high speed movement.
    My system is a Pentium IV. 1.3GHz, AGP 32MB video card, dedicated 120GB HDD with 8MB buffer, Windows Advanced Server. 384 RAM
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  8. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    Typical Field order problem. The solution is really easy: Just reverse the field order on TMPGenc.
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  9. How are you folks determining how many frames have been dropped during a capture?
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  10. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    The software tells us how many are dropped. iuVCR, Virtual Dub and ATI MMC all do it.

    You can also use ReStream to correct field order. No re-encode required! Only works if the error is not compounded. But worth a try.
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    Restream deals with MPEG2, if you are doing MPEG1 I am not sure, short of recoding, if you can change the field order. BTW, last time I checked I had a problem with the ReStream link. Might be on my end.
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  12. I have been working on video for months finding the right hardware and trying different software and settings to get where I wanted to be. I thought I was there.

    I have just tried to capture my first movie and for the first time am getting dropped frames. I use WinDV for capture because it is such a small program that I can do almost any other task and not get a single dropped frame.

    I noticed the sound of my hard drive spinning up at the time of the dropped frames. I checked both the BIOS and XP so that the hard drives are always on. I believe that the hard drives may have built into them a feature where they may automatically spin down. I have a 120 GB C: drive. It seemed like such a waste to use it only for the OS and critical files. I like to keep it as small as possible as I do Ghost image backups. So I partitioned it to give me a large partition for video work. I wonder if the C: drive is not seeing any activity so it shuts off while the video partition is still very active?

    Anyone have any ideas here?

    Thanks.
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  13. I have had some problems capturing from a SHARP VL-NZ100 Digital Viewcam. Using FireWire and the capture utility in MainConcept's MainAtor program I get more dropped frames than captured frames. Using the Dazzle Bridge and FireWire with VHS I get almost no dropped frames. I expect its something simple but its driving me nuts. I thought the dirrect link with FireWire would be almost trouble free. The Dazzle uses a 6 to 6 conductor for FireWire but the Viewcam has a 4 lead interface so I use a 4 to 4 conductor FireWire cable. I'm wondering if this could make a difference. Any help would be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    D. E.
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  14. Member FulciLives's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by neo
    I have been working on video for months finding the right hardware and trying different software and settings to get where I wanted to be. I thought I was there.

    I have just tried to capture my first movie and for the first time am getting dropped frames. I use WinDV for capture because it is such a small program that I can do almost any other task and not get a single dropped frame.

    I noticed the sound of my hard drive spinning up at the time of the dropped frames. I checked both the BIOS and XP so that the hard drives are always on. I believe that the hard drives may have built into them a feature where they may automatically spin down. I have a 120 GB C: drive. It seemed like such a waste to use it only for the OS and critical files. I like to keep it as small as possible as I do Ghost image backups. So I partitioned it to give me a large partition for video work. I wonder if the C: drive is not seeing any activity so it shuts off while the video partition is still very active?

    Anyone have any ideas here?

    Thanks.
    Many people have found that using a second physical HDD for video capture works best. When you only have one physical drive you can run into problems such as dropped frames.

    I would THINK that doing a partition would solve the problem but it very well might not and it does seem in your case that it isn't working.

    So try to get another HDD for just video capture.

    In short never capture to the same drive that is your boot drive (the one with the OS on it).

    - John "FulciLives" Coleman
    "The eyes are the first thing that you have to destroy ... because they have seen too many bad things" - Lucio Fulci
    EXPLORE THE FILMS OF LUCIO FULCI - THE MAESTRO OF GORE
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  15. I have several drives. I am just trying to optimize usage. The C: drive has 2 partitions. Whenever I would try to capture on either partition the drive would shut down and then start up causing me to lose about 80 frames. I think the drive itself would see one partition as inactive and try to close it.

    I tried capturing on another drive (an external) and 0 dropped frames. Interesting new twist.
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  16. Partitioning your hard drive does NOT add a second input/output channel, and therefore does NOTHING to solve the frame-drop problem.
    The hardware does not know and does not care how you have divided the drive, it simply puts data where the OS tells it. Reading or writing to drive 0 is traffic, partitions do not matter. A second physical drive ON A SEPERATE CHANNEL is the best way to solve this problem.

    Neo - many drives do a periodic "thermal calibration", however the periodic spin-up you describe is also a possible sign of impending drive failure. I have RMA'd numerous drives for just this symptom.
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  17. Actually I was not trying to fix a dropped frame problem. I have a very fast system and have never dropped frames. It was not until I partitioned the drive that I created the drop frame problem.

    I believe that the drive shuts down automatically with 30 minutes of inactivity on either partition. I have 1 GB of memory so the hard drives are not accessed for programs but only for data exchange.

    All is well. Thanks.
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  18. I don't know why I'm still dropping 150 - 250 frames per 1:00:19 and getting colored pixels but I think I narrowed it down to a bad case of EMP or hardware or some setting I still haven't tweeeeked...kind a generaly obvious. I think I've spent the patience of the wise ones on my postings but if I ever figure this one out I'll be sure to let others know.
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  19. I put my CPU speed back to 100 from 133 and now things work much better. Only 94 dropped frames in 1 hr of DV instead of 1 minute.
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  20. When I use programs like Virtual VCR, Virtual Dub, Free VCR etc... I get terrible frame droppage but when I use Ulead Video Studio 6 or 7 I rarely ever get frame droppage unless I'm using other programs at the same time. So I guess these small capture programs with the exception of AVI Edit simply are prone to frame droppage. I've played with the above 3 small capture programs and they really gave me the shits as I had so many frames dropped and the stats indicated variable frame rate between 9 fps and 25 fps. Oh well at least I got the fabulous Ulead Video Studio 7 now .

    Cheers
    Troy
    AUSSIE!!! AUSSIE!!! AUSSIE!!! OI!!! OI!!! OI!!!
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  21. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    The reason you can't make those programs work for you, is because some other elements (like drivers...) are not well set up in your system.
    Commercial software like Ulead Video Studio have there own drives built in, so you don't have to deal with this issue...

    So don't blame those excellent freeware programs...
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  22. Okay I take back what I said about Ulead 7 not dropping frames, it is dropping frames as when I play the clips back they are jerky intermittently!!! I've tried closing all bottom task bar programs, I've gotten rid of most of the startup shit, there is a number of processes open from explorer.exe to SVChost.exe etc. I want to close the ones I don't need but not sure which ones to close without stuffing up Windows. Anyhow I've tried adjusting the virtual memory setting from (768Mb Initital & 1536Mb Maxmimum) to (1000Mb Initital & 4096Mb Maxmimum) it did squat shit !!!

    Now it may be a possibility that my PC might be running hot because in Australia right now is summertime so while Americans are having winter freezing their arses off wearing thick woolen clothes and beanies, us Aussies are in our singlets, stubby shorts and feet thongs are bloody sweatin' our arses off and temperatures of 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Farenheit) and above are expected during the summer season. Unfortunately I've got no air conditioner so I'm wondering how I can keep the PC cool, the fan I have is on me constantly as I'm bloody hot as I type.

    Also I've only got 7.5 Gb left on my hard disk out of 60Gb which is adequate enough to record a few hours of mpeg 2 video. Though I wonder if that might be the cause of the frame droppage?

    Anyhow here's the details of my PC:
    Pentium IV 2.4Ghz
    512Mb RAM
    60Gb hard drive
    Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200 128Mb video/capture card

    Now here's what I need to know:

    Is my PC adequate enough to capture video 720x576 without frame droppage when the amount of free memory resources are set correctly?

    For those lucky people who have hardly any or no frame droppage capturing 720x576, could you's tell me what sort of system you's are using, what sort of captur card, what sort of RAM size, hard disk size etc.???

    I basically want to match my PC up to an ideal PC for video editing. I'm seriously thinking of buying another hard disk that's above 100Gb especially for video editing and possibly look into doubling the RAM size too.

    Lastly the weird thing is when I use to use Ulead Video Studio 6 DVD SE, I rarely ever got frame droppage when capturing at any resolution using any compressions, however I couldn't get a horizontal resolution higher than 480 lines (NTSC standard). But I wonder if because I'm using 576 lines on Ulead 7 I'm all of a sudden gonna have frame droppage?

    Anyhow if anyone could help me I'd most appreciate it.

    Cheers
    Troy
    AUSSIE!!! AUSSIE!!! AUSSIE!!! OI!!! OI!!! OI!!!
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  23. Frame loss posts are all over the place however they didn't solve my particular case and there seems to be numerous reasons for it. I can only highlight some of you questions much of what I learned come from posts here, hours of reading.

    HEAT
    The CPU is the most important part of a capture system and heat really messes it up. I don't know what a water-cooled CPU set up costs but if the minimum temp in the room is close to 40 C then that CPU must be melting. I've seen many a post on the Pentium CPUs getting hotter than AMD's when under heavy loads but they stay more stable or last longer. Either aircondition the room or the CPU, your pocket of coin of course.

    MEMORY
    People looking for the "perfect" system gets old from what I've read and posts tend to get slammed a bit. I found out that if all you have running is the capture program that you're barely using half of that 512 ram and there's plenty left over for the capturing process since it's CPU intensive not memory. I have read many a debate that 1gb ram is over kill but some claim to have a slightly better performance but only slightly. Again your dollar.

    HARD DRIVE
    It seems to be imperative to have 2 hard drives and they be on separate cables (only way I can describe it, I have yet to rearrange my cables and my 2 80gb HDs are master/slave still) 7200rpm and maybe a HD fan if need be. I also gathered that having both HDs being massive is overkill as well. You only need so much room for all the programs and working files for the main disk but the dedicated video HD needs to be BIG. Weather it is 80gb or closer to 200 depends on some styles of usage. Some people reformat the video drive often so obviously projects don't stay on it long and 80gb would seem plenty. I'm on the other end and have multiple projects from backups to authoring and wish I had at least 120 if not over 150gb. In any case at the very least many people defrag often and some reboot the system before capturing.

    You mentioned having just over 7gb on your disk, this is not much at all even though you can store a lot of video, capturing and running programs with such few gigs is a problem.

    THE SYSTEM
    Having the latest and greatest is not always best from what I've read so you can definitely save some time and money there. Changing the bus speeds is what solved a lot of my frame loss.

    Good luck
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  24. Hi slnorth. Thanks for the advice. I've recently discovered that I can record 720x480 on any compression using Ulead without frame droppage but at 720x576 drops frames. So I'm guessing it might be my 128Mb Nvidia GeForce 4 Ti 4200 video/capture card as I've read something about it being only capable of doing 720x480 max. Anyhow just recently discovered that I can safely convert 720x480 to 720x576 without the risk of blending the fields (which makes the studio video look like a movie) so I'll stick with doing DVDs that way until I solve the problem. As for my 7.6Gb space free, that's adequate enough for recording straight to 720x480 mpeg for me at the present time. I'm seriously considering getting another hard drive anyway as me and my brothers also play a lot of games too and games really suck up hard disk space.

    Cheers
    AUSSIE!!! AUSSIE!!! AUSSIE!!! OI!!! OI!!! OI!!!
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  25. The Old One SatStorm's Avatar
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    You have mess up the set up of your PC. Also, search for the correct drivers of your cobo.

    Your card is more than excellent for capturing full framesize analogue.
    But why you do this and you don't prefer other framesizes like 704 x 576 or - the best solution - 352 x 576? Using a program like windvr 3.0 the results are more than excellent. Search to the net and download the trial to see your self.
    Also, set up your audio card. If it is bult in on mobo, search for the latest drivers.
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  26. Well, I'm glad to say that I don't drop frames. I got my ATI 9800 AIW Pro yesterday, and haven't dropped a (reported) frame yet.

    I have a P4P800-Deluxe P4 2.4 (OCed to 2.8 ) with 1 GB PC3500 RAM 1:1.
    I have a 45GB WD HD and a 120 GB WD SE on the Primary.
    My DVD and CD writers are on the secondary.

    Both of my drives have less than 10 GB left on them. They haven't been defragged in at least a month or so.

    I am capturing at NTSC Full D1 (256kbps audio) at bitrates as high as 6 Mbps. I am able to capture at VBR or CBR with writes to my HDD as high as ~32MB/s, and I haven't dropped a single frame, at least not that MMC 8.x has reported to me under that option.

    I just wanted to post that I'm having NO problems to all those that haven't yet got their capture cards. I read this thread and thought I might have to do a lot of adjusting to my system, but it was pretty much plug-n-play for me. I'd hate to see you guys go through so much work in preparation if you really didn't need to.
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  27. Ok, I give, what is MMC?
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  28. Sorry. I meant ATI MMC (MultiMedia Center). It's the free software that comes with an ATI capture card (retail, I suppose). LordSmurf seems to swear by it. It's pretty darn easy to use.
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  29. There is another possibility which I'm a victim right now.

    Look here:

    http://groups.google.ca/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&threadm=c9830v8ps4r9qjdekev...com%26rnum%3D1

    It's the problem of the hourly drops in windows XP. If the link doesn't work I'll try to explain.

    The problem only occurs with Windows XP, not with win 2000

    Please take this one seriously as probably many of you has this problem and you simply ignore the drops thinking it's normal.

    Thanks.

    Pitou.
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  30. Member
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    This is my first message and hope i am in the right forum.I am currently transferring my european holiday onto dvd.My computer is a p4 2.4 gig 800 Mhz fsb, 1gig ram dual channel ddr 400 with 2 hard drives (1x 40gig seagate windows xp pro, and my spare drive 120 gig seagate) both 7200 rpm on seperate IDE controllers. I am transferring my movies from a panasonic dv camera using firewire and am dropping a few frames( 161/63000) Now that is not bad but my question is this. Does anyone know or have experience with serial ata hard drives? Are they better than IDE controlled hard drives?
    As a side issue I am using Sonic's My DVD to put them onto dvd and is this particular program written for Hyperthreading? as for the first time I was using between 70% and 93% CPU while Transcoding my movie and my original 2x 256 ddr 400 dual channel was reduced to 5 meg left over at one stage( that was my reason for upgrading to a gig of memory)
    I am just curious if anyone else noticed this?
    I just hope this has been put in the right forum.
    TIA for any replies
    Regards Sparkie( Bundaberg QLD Aus)
    I had a dream!!!!!!!!!! Bugger me if i can remember what it was though.
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