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Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?

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Peter Vandall
Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 4:28:29 pm

Hi all,

I am trying to learn more about the thunderbolt workflow and would love some help. I just upgraded to FCP X and like it, but the program gets excruciatingly slow when working on projects.

First off, I am using a 2.6 core i7 mac mini with a 1TB fusion drive and 16 gigs of ram. I am working on a project now with a gtech 1TB drive raid 0 connected via firewire 800.

In the past, this set up worked fine with final cut 7. performance cutting together shortform projects with pro res 422 was totally fine. I never had any complaints.

Now that I switched to X, the same hard drive I am using with that program is horrible. I am trying to troubleshoot and isolate what the problem is. I have already tried turning on and off waveforms, turning off background rendering. The only thing I haven't tried is using proxy media, but I never had to cut with low res footage in the past, and I would like to avoid that now.

So I decided to go thunderbolt, copy my project over to a thunderbolt drive, and see if there is a difference in speed and performance of x, connected with thunderbolt.

The project is currently copying over to a lacie rugged thunderbolt 1TB drive.

Before I made the copy, I dragged a folder of 5 gigs of material from the thunderbolt drive to my desktop. it took about 55 seconds.

I then dragged that same media from my firewire 800 drive to my desktop and it took slightly longer at 1 minute.

All in all, I wasn't impressed with the transfer speed at all. I have read that it is blazingly fast, but my test showed me that it really isn't that much different than FW 800.

I have done some research and read that in order to take full advantage of thunderbolt, it isn't just the IO. It is also the speed of the drive. I have read that the real speed happens when you use a raided system via thunderbolt. Is this true?

And if it is, I am wondering if a lacie raid 0 thunderbolt drive is a gimmick, because if it isn't raided, it really isn't much faster than 800, and not worth the extra cost. Am I right or wrong on this?

I would love your thoughts. I always appreciate greatly the brilliant minds on CC here. All the best,

Pete V



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Alan Stephens
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:11:46 pm
Last Edited By Alan Stephens on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:08:11 pm

I am using a MacBook Pro 2.6 quad with a Promise Pegasus R4 4TB thunderbolt raid 10. It uses 4 7200rpm drives.
I copied 5.2 GB and it took 28 seconds. One thing to consider is the speed of the drive itself. Thunderbolt is only the pipeline. The drive has to exceed the speed of FW800.
Check to find out is if the lacie have 2 drives and what speed are they.
7200rpm drives are almost twice as fast as 5400rpm.

Something I forgot about is your mac hard drive speed. Most MacBooks used to come with a 5400rpm drive. I replaced mine with an SSD and it flies. I can open PS CS6 in 4 seconds flat.
Alan Stephens

Mac Book Pro 2.6, quad i7, 8 GB Ram, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB, OS X Lion 10.7.5
Thunderbolt Promise raid drive


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Peter Vandall
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:24:55 pm

Yeah the lacie thunderbolt is 5400. That explains it.



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Peter Vandall
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 5:27:10 pm

I checked my gtech firewire 800 drive. It is 7200 RPM, but bus powered. Does BUS power make a difference in speed which will effect FCP X performance?

All I know is I would use that gtech drive with final cut 7 using proress and never have any performance issues. Using the same drive with X is horrible. The more complex the project is the slower it gets. I don't understand it.



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Alan Stephens
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:32:24 pm

I doubt the bus power has anything to do with it.
That is just where the drive gets it's power.
You probably need a raid 0 7200 rpm using (2 or more drives) with thunderbolt.
USB 3.0 is pretty fast too, but thunderbolt is better.
Another option is a thunderbolt drive with an SSD drive. They really bump up the speed.
Drive speed may only be a part of your issue. You need to find out if your mac fully supports the latest version of software.
The FCPX is supposed to use the newer video replay card to do the heavy lifting.
I moved from FCP7 to Adobe Premiere CS6 and it works great with the new Nvidia card.
When FCPX came out I checked out the demo and it didn't perform very well at the time with the hardware.
I need to try it out agin sometime.

Alan Stephens

Mac Book Pro 2.6, quad i7, 8 GB Ram, NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M 1024 MB, OS X Lion 10.7.5
Thunderbolt Promise raid drive


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Peter Vandall
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:27:06 pm

Thanks Alan,

Very helpful. Appreciate it a lot.

Pete



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Mark Smith
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 6:37:32 pm

I have edited short form HD video with the same mac mini set up you have using USB 3 drives, occasionally Firewire 800 and thunderbolt based drives and have had a decent time of it in most cases, but clearly the FW800 drives are the slowest. Don't forget that when you are making transfers that the slowest drive in the chain will be the overall driver of transfer speed or lack there of. If you had 2 TB drives and were transferring between those two drives then you transfer speed would reflect that. If you are transferring from your boot drive to the external drives, the system drive might be the limiter.

Have you checked/repaired permissions on the drives you are using?


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Peter Vandall
Re: Thunderbolt transfer speeds not faster than firewire 800?
on Apr 15, 2014 at 7:27:31 pm

Hi Mark,

I haven't. I will give that a shot.

Thanks!

Pete



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