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External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?

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Ryan Brown
External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 6, 2008 at 7:38:17 pm

I am going to be heading oversees to shoot and edit a music video to be shot with the Sony EX3 and I plan to edit on my Macbook Pro 17' 2.6ghz, 4gb ram.

I have a few questions?

Is my Macbook good enough to edit in either Premiere Pro CS4 or FCP6?

What's a good solution to offload the SxS cards in the field?

What's a good external harddrive to edit multiple streams of high quality XDCam footage(example having 5 picture in picture video layers like in the TV show 24)?

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Don Greening
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 6:54:54 am

[Ryan Brown] "Is my Macbook good enough to edit in either Premiere Pro CS4 or FCP6?"

Absolutely.

[Ryan Brown] "What's a good solution to offload the SxS cards in the field? "

Probably Sony's Clip Browser v.2 (with error checking enabled) to copy the BPAV folders directly to an external hard drive.

[Ryan Brown] "What's a good external harddrive to edit multiple streams of high quality XDCam footage(example having 5 picture in picture video layers like in the TV show 24)?"

For firewire my recommendation would be a G-RAID Mini because it's small, fairly fast, reliable and will use the FW BUS for power. But for 5 streams of native EX footage? You'll probably need a SATA array for that. Which means you offload to a FW drive because you'll be using the laptop's express slot for the EX card transfers and you can't use the SATA array at the same time. For laptops SATA drives need an adapter interface that uses the Express 34 slot.

Choose what's right for you.

- Don



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Ryan Brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 7:02:18 am

Thanks for the reply.

I thought about getting some Quad Interface External drive. That way I could download the clips via the express slot and offload w/firewire. Then once the clips are all offloaded and I'm ready to edit I could then just switch to ESATA...

I found a cool Quad box that will except a Velociraptor. This seems like the fastest single drive set up.

Here take a look and let me know what you think?!

http://oyendigital.com/hard-drives/store/EB3F-S.html

They also have Quad Bus Powered enclosures too in the smaller 2.5 drive flavor.

http://oyendigital.com/portable-combo-hard-drive.html

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Don Greening
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 7:14:43 am

[Ryan Brown] "I thought about getting some Quad Interface External drive. That way I could download the clips via the express slot and offload w/firewire. Then once the clips are all offloaded and I'm ready to edit I could then just switch to ESATA... "

Yes, that's a great idea. But the fact remains that even when you switch from FW800 to SATA using the same external one or two drive array (like the G-RAID Mini) I still don't think it would be fast enough to edit 5 streams of EX footage. I'd say a 5 drive SATA array would be minimum.

There are some nice drives at your link, though.

- Don



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Ryan Brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 8:34:54 am

I have a Sata I Raptor 10k drive laying around I want to try w/out enclosure in a SIIG protector sleeve and 3.5 Power Adapter. Unfortionately my SATA II Express card I bought doesn't work on OSX even though it says it does. So as soon as I get a working one I'll use AJA to test the speed with a raptor spinning at 10k instead of most using only 7200 rpm 16 or 32mb cache. If those test go well then the Velociraptor would be worth trying. I know in the past a single Raptor spinning at 10K could be as good as multiple drives in raid. Though this might have been a few years back with 8mb cache and less efficient drives...

Other external I recently say was F2 from Sonnet.

http://www.sonnettech.com/product/fusionf2.html

It's 5400 rpm and they claim some pretty good specs from a single drive set up. Still a 2.5 inch Velociraptor spinning at 10K would have to be better. I saw one company at NAB last year that had like 16 SATA II drives in RAID and I couldn't figure out why they'd use the little drives...maybe because the platter is smaller it can access faster.

Like the F2 maybe one can use two SATA II Velociraptors 300GB-10k rpm drives(are actually 2.5 inch drive mounted in a 3.5 inch shell/heat sink)in RAID 0 via a two port SATA II Express Card Adapter for editing...and have another lil' 2.5 bus powered ext. drive for the main offload. I have 8gb cards so I thought about backing up each card to a DL dvd-9 disk as well.

Thanks for the input!

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Rafael Amador
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 4:36:19 pm

I bought two LaCie Little Big Disk 500GB eSata/FW/USB. Inside there are two HDs striped as Raid 0 and spinning at 5.400 RPMs. You can power them through the FW bus.
I haven't tried to work with them editing 5 ex-1 streams but in the AJA System Test they show a 80/90 MBps read/write. I connect them through a LaCie eSATA Express card (1.5 Gbs). Works really well.
I wonder what they can do with the CalDigit Fasta-1x Express Card (3Gbs).
Cheers,
Rafael


http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ryan Brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 9:43:34 pm

Rafael-

Thanks for the response!

So you have two lacie big disk units correct. One unit(two drives in Raid 0) test at 80-90mb/s.

I have two Maxtor One Touch III's each have two drives inside connected via Firewire 800 and I've set both units up(Total of 4 drives between two ext. units) RAID 0. It get's about 60-70mb/s.

So one units gets 80-90mb/s. Have you tried setting up all 4 drives in RAID 0(two units married together)? Probably don't need the speed but curious if the speed would double.

Overall it sounds like ESATA is a bit faster. With a drive spinning at 10K it might be even a bit faster. If I can find a local Express Card SATA II adapter I'll hook up a single and maybe a two drive Raptor 10K I have laying around and report back results fyi.

Thanks again for the feedback!

btw what settings did you use in AJA speed test?

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Rafael Amador
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 8, 2008 at 2:46:18 am

[Ryan Brown] "Have you tried setting up all 4 drives in RAID 0(two units married together)? Probably don't need the speed but curious if the speed would double. "
That would be interesting to try but I need to have the two HDs separated to have two copies of the EX-1 rushes on the field.

[Ryan Brown] "Overall it sounds like ESATA is a bit faster."
Is really much faster.

[Ryan Brown] "With a drive spinning at 10K it might be even a bit faste"
The problem is that faster HDs need more power and also gets much hotter. With 5.400 in Raid 0 you avoid those problems. Also slower HDs last more time.

[Ryan Brown] "btw what settings did you use in AJA speed test?"
Yes, is what I use to test the speed.
What I recommend you is to rebuild the HDs directories as often as you can. After a couple of days copying and deleting media, the speed falls like a 25%. Run DiskWarrior and again 80/90MBps.
Cheers,
rafael




http://www.nagavideo.com


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Ryan Brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 8, 2008 at 6:53:56 pm

rafael-

Thanks for the feedback!

I know what you mean about needing more power to run faster HD. In this case I'd be editing with those drives plugged in and would not worry about it. Also I believe the Raptors have a 5 year warranty when others are less(except for Seagate-but I have had about 4 bad ones in the say 40-50 I've bought over the last 4-5 years). Maybe that's not bad.

Don-

I'll have to try lower settings. I also run Premiere Pro CS4(Master Collection) so I'll have to try it in there as well. Also it's native in PPro. Not that it will help but with all the integration between apps. is a big reason I think I'll cut this in PPro CS4. Also they are coming out with an update for a FCP Importer & OMF!

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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rene hazekamp
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 9:59:00 pm

You can edit with your Mac Book Pro, no problem

but it's not likely that any core2 chip can decompress 5 hd-mpeg streams at once, i'am not even sure if it could do 5 stream of prores at once.

So the answer might be, no. what you want should be done with a serious mac-pro system, mighty fine drives and some serious monitors.

However you can make a good rough cut with your gear.

hope it helps

René A. Hazekamp
portfolio http://www.renehazekamp.com



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Ryan Brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 7, 2008 at 10:34:01 pm

So basically your saying the drive speeds are less of an issue editing multi-streams of XDCam codec. The overall reason I won't be able to keep up to multi-streams is the speed and amount of cores (2.6ghz and 4gb of ram, 7200 rpm internal drive in my Macbook Pro)?

I own a Mac Pro 8 core 8 GB Ram, 3870 GPU, Raid 5 Host card w/8 drives 32mb cache it speed checks at 500-600mb/s read and write.

Unfortunately I can't really haul it around with me oversees.

What is the best a top end Macbook Pro realistically be able to handle. One, Two streams...? I've never tried to edit a project of this size on a laptop before but I can remember seeing adds a few years back from apple talking about editing HD on a Laptop in the field. Not sure what type of HD they were talking about. Maybe I was mistaken.

Appreciate the feedback!

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Don Greening
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 8, 2008 at 12:26:25 am

[Ryan Brown] "What is the best a top end Macbook Pro realistically be able to handle. One, Two streams...?"

Do you have the Macbook Pro now? You can test it out with a FW800 drive you have laying around before you take off for overseas. Put your EX footage on it and try editing 5 streams of video. It's not going to happen unless you configure FCP to play everything back at a lower quality. See how many streams you can play back when you set your RT playback to "unlimited". Then set the picture quality and frame rate to "dynamic". Now you're telling FCP you want it to play as many streams as it can get but at a much lower quality. There should be no problem for your Macbook Pro to process and play multiple streams. Set up this way you can more easily do your rough edits on the road. Now the speed of your external hard drive(s) is the only limiting factor in how many streams you can actually play back at once.

A 7200 RPM 2 drive eSATA array will play back a data stream of around 135 Mbits/sec. This is theoretically good enough to play back 5 streams of HDV@25Mbits/sec. So if you shot your EX footage using one of the SQ modes you could maybe play back 5 streams at once. It won't work for HQ footage because of the higher data rate which is 35 Mbits/sec. VBR. That's why I mentioned a 5 drive SATA RAID minimum requirement for editing on the road if you want to use 5 streams.

- Don



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rene hazekamp
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 8, 2008 at 2:07:51 am

that's right
you might be able to edit three streams at a time, but four would be pushing it,
5 seems impossible with a 2 core chip. (unless they change their code)

hope this helps (sorry I know it won't)

René A. Hazekamp

portfolio http://www.renehazekamp.com



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ryan brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 8, 2008 at 10:15:24 pm

Ok I just got my ESATA II adapter working. It's some generic brand and cost me $29.99. I called to try and buy a diff. one and they said it's now only $10 at my local Frys.

So what I ended up doing was I figured out the chipset and found some other manufactures sites drivers. I read there troubleshooting guide which led me to figure out I had the same chipset(probably any Express Card Sata II does).

So anyway it's working now!

Report back with speed test!

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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Ryan Brown
Re: External harddrive and Macbook Pro recommendations for editing?
on Nov 14, 2008 at 6:06:41 am

Ok I did a speed test and it basically avg. around 130 mb/s with two samsung 1TB drives raided in RAID 0 via the Express Card ESATA. Two Velociraptors was only about 10-15 mb/s faster. The Samsung was about $250 for two drives vs. around $600. So that wasn't enough of a speed jump to spend the extra doe.

Ryan Brown
DowntownBrownEnt.


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