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RENDERING video fast with MacbookPro: RAID or NOT?

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David Hidalgo
RENDERING video fast with MacbookPro: RAID or NOT?
on Apr 4, 2017 at 8:32:04 pm

I want to have somewhere to save my files and also that will give me some more performance when reendering video.

I have: MacbookPro Retina with MacOs Sierra, 2,3 GHz Intel Core i7, 16 GB 1600 MHz DDR3, NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2048 MB, Intel Iris Pro 1536 MB

And I work with video from CANON 550D, 5D (in raw) and sometimes from Canon C300, Black Magic and similar.
It takes a long time when rendering files with lots of effects. (I use FCPX)

The question is the following: Should I make a RAID0 or buy a single external hdd.
Somewhere I read its not worth to make a RAID for rendering if you dont have 4 HDDs or more...
My budget right now would be for something like a RAID with two WD Blue or Black of 1 or 2TB.
The good thing is that in the future I could get better HDDs and use the same RAID tower, maybe I could buy one with 4 slots and use just 2 at the moment.

In the other hand, I dont know if this would worth the money in terms of increase of performace, or should I just go the other simpler option and buy something like LaCie 2TB Rugged with USB3.0 and Thunderbolt, or something a bit more expensive like LaCie d2 Thunderbolt 2 3TB 3000 GB Thunderbolt. And this would be more expensive than the RAID but maybe have better performance (Although I couldnt expand the storage in the future)

In summary... Has anyone tried this options and has any advices? ☺


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Mike Smith
Re: RENDERING video fast with MacbookPro: RAID or NOT?
on Apr 6, 2017 at 12:29:54 pm

It seems likely that your bottlenecks for rendering might be better addressed through faster CPU and GPU and more RAM - it's not likely that disc performance is your current limiting factor, unless you are seeing failures in realtime playback in your editing application. Rendering multiple effects on video can be time consuming, and some effects are more processor-intensive than others. If you are rendering out to H.264 then that in itself can be a slow render on some machines.

For storage, RAID can offer you speed in writing to and reading from disc, and also some data security if you opt for a RAID5 configuration. If you are experiencing difficulties in copying files to disc or in realtime editing playback (without heavy effects) then disc perfomance might be a key factor for you. Are you considering the use of SSDs, either as RAID drives or in direct usage?

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