I did it. I finally did it. I’ve been threatening for a long time to do it. I’ve finally, completely, totally gone off the deep end. And I like it.
I just ordered an 18-gig, 10,000-RPM Maxtor (formerly Quantum) Atlas III hard drive. I ordered an Adaptec Ultra160 host adapter to go with it, since this drive would pretty much saturate my old Adaptec 2940UW. And of course since I’m spending this obnoxious amount of money on a drive–around $200, when a mainstream drive of this size would go for 50 bucks–I’m protecting the investment with a $25 drive cooler. The cooler also deadens the drive’s sound, which is good. I’m a bit nervous about having a 10,000-rpm helicopter in my dining room-turned-office. Hey, where else was I going to put my desk?

I didn’t just get this drive so I could play Civ 3 or compile Linux kernels at blazing speed. I had another reason for this purchase. I also bought a Pinnacle DV500+ video capture/editing card. It’s not a cheap toy, but considering the capabilities it gives you, it’s a steal for the money. I could edit full-length movies with this thing. Well, I could with a capable hard drive. It needs a 25 MB/sec stream to spit out video, and, well, the fastest drive I have won’t do that. Ramdisks? Nice idea, but you can assume a minute of video will chew up a gig of disk, so I’d need 4 GB RAM for most of the projects I have in mind. None of my motherboards will take that much memory.

So my Duron-750 is going to become a video editing workstation. I’ll have to buy or scrounge a bit more memory–Pinnacle recommends 256 MB; I might as well do them a little better and go 384–but then I’ll have the ability to edit video in my dining room. A Duron-750 isn’t much CPU by today’s standards, but Pinnacle lists a P3-500 as the minimum, and the reviews I’ve read do fine with a 500 or 550 MHz CPU. You can assume a Duron runs at a similar speed to a P3 or an Athlon that runs 100 MHz slower, so my Duron-750 should perform like a P3-650. If that proves inadequate, hey, a 1.1 GHz Duron runs $89 these days.

The DV500+ is supposed to be a real bear to set up. We’ll see how it likes my FIC AZ11. I’ve made tricky hardware play before, so I’m not too afraid of this. Every review I’ve read complained about the setup, but once the reviewer got it running, each raved about its abilities.

I can’t wait.