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Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?

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Dustin Parsons
Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 6, 2013 at 11:40:00 pm

I'm thinking of moving to an iMac as my primary system but I'd rather not keep my project files on the OS/Applications drive so I'll have to cut from an external source.

Thunderbolt is too new and expensive for me to really go down that road and since the iMac doesn't have eSATA it looks like USB3 might be the best option but, not having used it before, I don't know how well it works with multiple streams of HD video.

I was thinking something simple like the the G-Tech 2TB USB3 drive. I could get 2 for $460 and just backup one to the other every night.

Alternatively I could get the Lacie eSATA to Thunderbolt adaptor and an approved drive like this bundle which is nearly twice as much.

Would there be any advantage of going the adaptor/eSATA route rather than straight USB3?


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James Cude
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 6, 2013 at 11:55:36 pm

Are you saying getting an iMac with TBolt is too expensive? There are plenty of drives from LaCie and G-Tech to name a few that are comparably priced with their USB3 equivalents. I'd suggest going that route before USB3 and definitely before using an eSATA adapter.


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Dustin Parsons
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 12:39:01 am

[James Cude] "Are you saying getting an iMac with TBolt is too expensive?"

No, the iMac I'm looking at getting will support Thunderbolt but the drives themselves are more than I'm looking to pay.

For example, this Lacie Little Big Disk cost $419 and if configured in a Raid 1 will give me 1TB of working drive space. Compair that to the G-Drive I listed above which would give me 2TB of space for $460 and the TBolt is a little under twice as much.

[James Cude] "There are plenty of drives from LaCie and G-Tech to name a few that are comparably priced with their USB3 equivalents."

That's awesome! I haven't found any myself, if possible can you provide a link?

[James Cude] "I'd suggest going that route before USB3 and definitely before using an eSATA adapter."

Yeah, eSATA doesn't makes sense, with the adaptor it's roughly the same price as TBolt, not as fast, and not as reliable. So long eSATA.


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Darren Roark
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 12:59:25 am

I have the Lacie sata to thunderbolt hub. It comes in very handy with the much cheaper G-Raid sata drives. If it didn't have thunderbolt pass through it would be a bust.


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Charlie Austin
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 12:30:31 am

[Dustin Parsons] "I'm thinking of moving to an iMac as my primary system but I'd rather not keep my project files on the OS/Applications drive so I'll have to cut from an external source."

I cut on an iMac with events and projects on the internal drive, but all media is referenced from an external server. Nothing copied to the event. So, databases and render files local, everything else external. Works just fine. :-)

edit: FWIW, media is served from T-Bolt Promise boxes by a mac mini server over GB Ethernet. Most sources are HD ProRes
-------------------------------------------------------------


~"It is a poor craftsman who blames his tools."~
~"The function you just attempted is not yet implemented"~


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James Cude
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 1:33:12 am

So RAID 1 is a requirement. Haven't used a drive in that config for years but of course I see the use. What about:

http://www.amazon.com/LaCie-Thunderbolt-Series-External-9000303/dp/B00AJJIV...

LaCie d2 USB 3.0 Thunderbolt Series 4TB External Hard Drive $389.00.

So now you don't even have to choose which interface. Personally I've found TBOLT faster than USB3 and it's no secret Macs are Thunderbolt first, USB3 second in terms of preferred interface.

Also if you end up daisy-chaining multiple USB3 it cuts the speed down a lot. Thunderbolt drives don't have this issue.


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Tony Brittan
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 3:16:27 am

I use the LaCie eSATA to TB and its awesome! The eSATA drives are much more affordable so the $199 for the LaCie is well worth it!

Tony Brittan
Island Shore Productions
Kill Devil Hills, NC


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Paul Neumann
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 5:41:37 am

Earlier this week (just for grins and field readiness) I cut a 45minute P2 piece working solely off a Western Digital My Passport 1TB USB 3.0 drive and had no problems at all. I was quite surprised. I didn't cut it in FCPX though. PPro. But still, I was quite pleased with the performance. RGB Curves and Fast Color Corrector on every shot plus about 40 jpeg stills. Rendered all the audio out as .aiff and mixed and sweetened in Audition as well. I cached media files to LaCie Quadro USB 2.0, but I rendered out the final .MOV to the WD right next to the source footage. No problems at all.

I did this on a new 15" MPB Retina. 512 SSD and 16 gig of ram. I have a 7200 rpm Seagate drive on a Thunderbolt adapter and the WD returns slightly better speeds on a Black Magic test.

Your mileage may vary of course, but USB 3.0 worked pretty seamless for me.

It's a solid option from what I can tell.


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Bret Williams
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 6:18:05 am

Yes. I have a 500 GB toshiba USB 3 portable drive from costco that clocks in at 110mb/sec. PLENTY fast. In fact, that's about what you'll get from eSATA unless you have a multiplier something or other and a card capable of utilizing a eSATA raid. Then you'd get about 200+ MB/sec.

I also have a $15 USB3 to eSATA adapter cable from Amazon. Works like a charm. Get the usual 100-120 MB/sec from my Gtech raid on it.

I also have a mirrored gardian maximus raid hooked up to USB 3 that I use to archive stuff to. When I speed test it, it reads in at about 165-170MB/sec. And that's RAID 1, not 0. If I had a RAID 0 I'm sure it'd clock much higher. I think USB 3 can hit 300MB/sec if the drive can.

Lately, I can't get more than 250MB/sec from my Pegasus R4 Raid 5. I've even had the chassis replaced and gotten a new iMac. So if that's all I'm going to get from a thunderbolt raid that cost $1600 for 8TB, then perhaps it's time to move on to a couple more Guardian Maximus drives from OWC and just set them up Raid 1 for security. Better than Raid 5 for that and half the price.

So far, I love USB 3 on the new iMac. Solid.


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Mark Dobson
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 8:07:59 am

I suppose my question would be - why buy this really fast computer and then decide to not benefit from it's thunderbolt connectivity.

It's similar to buying an expensive sports car and filling it with low grade fuel.

Smaller 1TB thunderbolt drives are really not that expensive.

The new iMacs together with thunderbolt drives are astoundingly fast and stable.


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Daniel Frome
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 12:34:36 pm

Hi Dustin,
I'm in the unique position of owning two RAID5 systems: one of them is a Pegasus thunderbolt RAID, while the other is a Sans Digital USB3/eSATA enclosure. Both setups have 4 7200rpm disks inside.

Benchmark wise, there's no question, the Pegasus unit wins. But do I "feel" that difference while I'm editing? Hardly, if ever.

The Pegasus will do about 450MB/sec read, 300MB/sec write. The Sans Digital will do 170MB/sec read and 100MB/sec write with USB3. When I connect it with eSATA (via my lacie thunderbolt/eSATA adapter) it will do about 230MB/sec read, 140MB/sec write.

Of course, both the Promise and Sans Digital systems slow down substantially as they fill up, so remember that those numbers are with at least 60% free space. Hope this helps.

It should also be noted that I could buy 3 Sans Digital enclosures (including hard drives) for the price of 1 Pegasus RAID. At least those were the prices when I purchased them.


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Nick Toth
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 7, 2013 at 3:38:24 pm

Have you seen this?

http://www.barefeats.com/hard161.html

The enclosure is $99 I believe

anickt


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Ethan Duffy
Re: Anybody cutting on an external USB3 drive?
on Jun 8, 2013 at 6:50:47 pm

I'm editing off an external usb 3 drive. I'm working off a macbook air, so that rather necessitates having the footage somewhere else, and to save on precious ports on my usb hub, I wanted a 2-in-1 enclosure so I could have data redundancy without having another cable to put somewhere.

So I bought a dual-bay usb 3 enclosure from a company called dynamode, which was crap. It usually connected as a usb 2 device, and even then it would have dropouts on large data transfers. Very bad. Bought another one from Startech, and luckily that one works perfectly. I have 2 Seagate Barracuda drives in there, you can have the enclosure build the raid but I prefered to have disk utility handle it.

I hadn't benchmarked it until I read this thread, it seemed to be working very well, but it copies a 32GB cf card in about 6 minutes. I just did a speed test, it reads at 97MB/s and reads at 137MB/s. I think I might have set the block size too small on the Raid. All in all, I paid about £220 accounting for the dud model and drives, and I don't feel that I'd be getting more for my money, though the thunderbolt enclosures are clearly better and I would have had a lot less hassle.

I post my stuff at ethanduffy.wordpress.com


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