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TOPIC: External Drive: Which Would You Buy?

External Drive: Which Would You Buy? 11 Apr 2015 06:49 #62482

  • rvgeeks
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OK... if you were looking for an external drive to store your FCPX media and libraries on, for optimally-fast editing, etc from your MacBook Pro, which would you choose:

  1. A USB3.0 SSD Drive (like this Samsung F1)?
  2. A Thunderbolt HDD RAID drive (like this WD My Passport Pro)?

I was originally thinking I'd go with the Thunderbolt RAID drive for the I/O throughput of Thunderbolt... but maybe the Read/Write speeds of the USB3.0 SSD Drive would be as good or better?

Appreciate everyone's thoughts!
Last Edit: 11 Apr 2015 06:49 by rvgeeks.
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External Drive: Which Would You Buy? 11 Apr 2015 12:49 #62493

  • BenB
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RAID will outperform a single drive, be it T'bolt or USB 3.

That said, how big are your Libraries? How long are you Projects? What sort of work load do you have? What codec/camera are you shooting with?
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External Drive: Which Would You Buy? 11 Apr 2015 18:53 #62509

  • rvgeeks
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BenB wrote:
RAID will outperform a single drive, be it T'bolt or USB 3.

That said, how big are your Libraries? How long are you Projects? What sort of work load do you have? What codec/camera are you shooting with?
Thanks, Ben. That's what I thought, but figured I'd check with the experts! I'm intrigued by the small form factor of the Samsung SSD drive, but if the Thunderbolt RAID would be faster (and more reliable), I'm fine with that, too!

Typical library sizes are between 5 and 20GB (i.e. not very large).

Projects are typically about 3-10 minutes long.

Not sure if this is what you mean by "work load", but typically I'm working on one project a week (this is not my primary job... yet ;) ).

I shoot with a Canon EOS 7D and a GoPro Hero 3+, both recording H.264 1080 video at 30fps.
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External Drive: Which Would You Buy? 12 Apr 2015 15:29 #62553

  • VidGreg
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Hi RV,
Of the two models of external drives you listed, the ssd will outperform the hdd 2 drive RAID. It takes 3 to 5 hdds configured as RAID 0, to equal the transfer speeds of a ssd. But that is a over simplified explanation.
For read/write of large sequential files (read most video files) then a typical ssd can output around 450MB/s and the fastest hdd is around 200MB/s. (typically only 100/150MB/s for most drives and drives that are getting full). 2.5 - 5 times faster for the ssd.
For small random files, the difference is 100s or even thousands of times faster transfer speed.
So, a RAID 0 array with at least 3(5) hdds will equal 1 ssd.
Both USB3(with UASP, not BOT protocol) or Thunderbolt 1 or 2 willl not become saturated and there is no real world speed difference using only a couple of drives. It takes about 4/5 ssd or 10/12 hdds to fill a USB3 bus and twice that for USB3.1/TB1 and 4 times for TB2.
Larry Jordan does a good job of explaining some of this, and especially important is his statement that you should start with what you need to configure your system to meet your editing demands. Spending more $$$ will not necessarily gain you anything.
www.larryjordan.biz/app_bin/wordpress/archives/2559
Larry is redoing his site, so some links no longer work.
And for another take in understanding throughput/latency/IOPS of ssds vs hdds…
www.thessdreview.com/featured/ssd-throug...tency-iopsexplained/

Either of the listed drives will most likely meet your current editing needs. Multi-cam and effects will add to demands.

Hope this helps, Greg
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External Drive: Which Would You Buy? 12 Apr 2015 19:23 #62561

  • rvgeeks
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Thanks, Greg. Both those links were very helpful... and certainly turn the tables back in favor of an SSD. For the same price, I'll get half the storage space. But I'm not that worried about portable storage as I have a NAS system (RAID5) that I use for the bulk of my long-term storage. I just need something portable (and fast) for whatever current work I've got going on.

Appreciate the help!
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External Drive: Which Would You Buy? 09 Jul 2015 20:51 #66340

  • labalbi
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What about this one from Amazon. My next camera will be the Panasonic GH4 , 4k 100mbits . I ll buy the new mac book pro retina 15".

Transcend SSD Thunderbolt for MAC
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