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Brian Thomas
External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Mar 31, 2014 at 1:48:41 pm

The Mac on which I prefer to do my FCPX editing is a MacBook Pro 17-inch, Early 2011 8GB. It has a Thunderbolt port and thanks to my two Caldigit 2TB AV drives I also have a Caldigit Express Card which allows me to use all sorts of USB3 drives.

I’ve only recently been using FCPX (converting from Premiere Pro but WOW! am I enjoying it!) and my problem is that FCPX uses up an alarming amount of HDD space. A recent multicam project of two performances of a two hour play for which I used four camcorders has ended up by using 1.69 TB of HDD space. In a few weeks I’ll be tackling a project maybe twice the size and I need to invest in a new external drive.

I think I’m looking for a 3+TB drive running at 7200 rpm, ideally not weighing more than 2 kgs. Should I go for USB3 or Thunderbolt? Any specific recommendations, please?

I practically always run this MacBook off the mains electricity so I’d always be plugging this new HDD into the mains too - I mention this in case that is an issue with performance etc.

I’m not so bothered about the cost as it will be amortised over lots of projects.

Many thanks in advance for any help here.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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James Cude
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Mar 31, 2014 at 5:16:58 pm

GTech or Promise would be my suggestions. I.e.:

http://www.promise.com/storage/raid_series.aspx?m=192®ion=en-global&rsn1...

or

http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-raid-thunderbolt

If interchangeability with other systems i.e. older Mac and PCs is not a big need, go with Thunderbolt instead of USB3.


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Bob Woodhead
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Mar 31, 2014 at 11:49:14 pm

Been using the 2 drive 8TB G-Raid for about 6 months, and it's excellent. No complaints.

Don't forget to prune out unneeded proxy & render files once a project is finalized. Lots of room to be saved there.


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Kannan Raghavan
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 1:39:25 am

I've been using the 2 drive 8TB GRaid Thunderbolt for a while now. It's been great, no complaints. I use only RAID 0 though as it's used primarily for on-site edits for sports events. At home/office, I use a bigger Promise R6 12TB (RAID 5) which is awesome.

Kannan Raghavan
The Big Toad Films Pte. Ltd.


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Dave Jenkins
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 3:16:40 am

[Kannan Raghavan] "Promise R6 12TB (RAID 5) which is awesome."

Same as above, super happy with the Promise R6

Dajen Productions, Santa Barbara, CA
Mac Pro 3.5MHz 6-Core Late 2013
FCP X


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Claude Lyneis
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 3:26:16 am

I am using a Lacie 2 Big (6 TB, Thurnderbolt) in Raid 0 configuration for about 3 months. Seems to work well and I back up onto both firewire 800and USB disks at night. So far so good. The transfer rate on the LACIE is much faster than FW800 and very useful in FCPX.


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Brian Thomas
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:52:39 am

Many thanks for those great ideas and timely advice, MUCH appreciated!

Semi portable drives are what I'm considering (2 kgs or less, fits in a backpack) so that seems to narrow things down to the Lacie and G-Tech range.

I've only one machine with a Thunderbolt port and if I had a problem with it then I'd be back on my earlier-made iMac which only has USB 2 and Firewire 800. If I had only Thunderbolt connections on my chosen HDD then I'd need some sort of adapter which would let me plug a Thunderbolt disk into my USB/Firewire iMac such as, maybe, the soon-to-be-released Kanex http://www.kanexlive.com/article/thunderbolt-adapters - or have I misunderstood something here?

According to the G-tech specs their HDD 4TB Thunderbolt/USB3 drive (http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-drive-thunderbolt) is significantly slower than their dedicated Thunderbolt drives. Same slower speed irrespective of how it is connected...?

However, the Lacie looks like it might well fulfil my requirements: http://www.lacie.com/intl/products/product.htm?id=10600 It boasts speeds up to 215MB/s for both Thunderbolt and USB3. Is there a downside?

Last question (for now): in the circumstances, RAID 0 would be a good idea for a 4 TB drive and FCPX? Makes it go even faster..?

Thanks for reading all this!

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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Geoff Addis
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 9:48:02 am

I had two Lacie RAIDs fail; one after one month the other after nine. Now using a Promise 4 disk RAID, so far, so good!


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Brian Thomas
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 12:26:09 pm

That's what worries me - I've masses of HDDs accumulated over the years and only one has ever let me down, the one Lacie I had...

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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Mark Suszko
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 2:18:45 pm

lacie enclosures can hold any OEM maker's drives. It's the drives they chose to put in those units that failed, and based on the market conditions, they probably change drive brands all the time.

As far as your multicam project, using optimized media is always going to inflate the file sizes. You might want to look at a workflow based on proxy media and being patient for the big re-render at the end of the project.


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James Cude
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 4:37:30 pm

I haven't seen the Kanex adaptor in action but I'd be kinda surprised if performance and reliability didn't take a major hit going through that. If you really want to have USB and Thunderbolt connectivity- get a drive that has both. LaCie and GTECH both have some models with both interfaces.


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Mitch Ives
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 3:43:07 pm

[Kannan Raghavan] "Promise R6 12TB (RAID 5) which is awesome."

Yep, second that...

Mitch Ives
Insight Productions Corp.

"Criticism may not be agreeable, but it is necessary. It fulfills the same function as pain in the human body. It calls attention to an unhealthy state of things." - Winston Churchill


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Eric Santiago
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 1, 2014 at 7:12:43 pm

Just ordered two empty Pegasus 2 4-Bay TB2 enclosures.
We have a few Mac Pro's that have extra SATA drives to use.
I also successfully placed a few Apple Internal SSDs onto a Sonnet Tempo PCI SSD card which sits in a Magma ExpressBox 3RT chassis.
Have to remove the SSDs from the Apple SSD frame/rail system.
With the new Mac Pro's, we needed to find homes for all them extra drives.


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Brian Thomas
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 2, 2014 at 2:04:28 pm

Many thanks again for all the advice. I've read enough negative things about Lacie, Promise is the wrong shape for me and I like the flexibility of both Thunderbolt and USB3. At a reasonable price (at the Apple Store) that seems to boil down to a G-Tech g-drive 4TB

http://www.g-technology.com/products/g-drive-thunderbolt

I'll be back after a few good-sized multicam projects to share my experiences. Thanks again all.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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Brian Thomas
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 4, 2014 at 8:04:13 am

Just in case it's of interest: the G-drive was delivered in less than 24 hours and then I ran the DiskSpeedTest app to see what I've actually got:

HDD/connection Write Read
-------------- -----------------
G-Drive 4TB/Thunderbolt 165MB/s 163MB/s
G-Drive 4TB/USB3 152MB/s 151MB/s
Cadigit AVDrive 2TB/USB3 66 63
Buffalo MiniStation 1TB/Thunderbolt 51 54
Buffalo MiniStation 1TB/USB3 45 51

Guess where my 'fcpbundle' will be located from now on...

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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gary adcock
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 4, 2014 at 3:36:00 pm

[Brian Thomas] "G-Drive 4TB/Thunderbolt 165MB/s 163MB/s
G-Drive 4TB/USB3 152MB/s 151MB/s
Cadigit AVDrive 2TB/USB3 66 63"


Brian,
which Speed app did you test with? Those numbers seem pretty low across the board,except for the Buffalo units as they use really inexpensive drives in their enclosures.

I really like to remind people that you get what you pay for with Drives. Cheapest is not always the best thing.

gary adcock
Studio37

Post and Production Workflow Consultant
Production and Post Stereographer
Chicago, IL


Follow my blog at http://www.garyadcock.com

Or follow me on Twitter
@garyadcock




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Brian Thomas
Re: External Hard Disk Drive choice
on Apr 4, 2014 at 3:44:33 pm

It was the BlackMagicDesign disk speed test. I just let it run for a minute or two before writing down the figures.

Anyway, I just thought I'd post those numbers as there are probably all sorts of people in my position who don't want or need the very top tech but want to know what works lower down the scale.

FCPX and PPro 6. iMac 24 + MBP 17". Near Geneva, Switzerland


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