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Austin Baur
Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 14, 2013 at 9:09:54 pm

Hello. I am a film student at Florida State and looking into upgrading my 2012 MacBook Pro before the school year starts as we will start to work with RED Epic footage. Obviously I can't afford a Red Rocket so don't even mention that. But I am looking into upgrading my laptop to as nice as I can really get it within my budget. I currently have the standard hard drive that comes with all macbook pros. It is 5400 rpm's I believe. I am looking into getting an SSD. I have also considered trying to remove my optical drive and use that space to set up a RAID 0 array and turn my current 750GB internal into an external media storage drive. (As a side note, removing my optical drive would probably encourage me to get an external blu ray drive which would be nice...) I also have a 1TB Western Digital "My Passport" which is basically a 1TB USB 3.0 Flash Drive. You can plug it into any system and go right away.

So... the questions.
First, the reviews online are bipolar. Should I go for the Samsung 840 Pro or the new OCZ Vector? Or even a OCZ Vertex 4? Read/Write Speeds seem to be better on the OCZ's but I see a lot of reviews saying they're unreliable.. but then I see a lot of reviews saying that they are the holy grail of drives... I only switched away from Mini DV less than two years ago so this is all new ground for me.
Second, would it be worth the extra $100-$150 to buy two smaller SSD's and setting them up in a RAID 0 or would the difference be barely noticeable? Also are RAID 0's safe? What are the consequences if my RAID array fails if all my files are stored on an external media drive?
That brings me to my third and final question, RAID or no raid, what should I look for in an external media drive? Should I use my current 750GB 5200rpm drive and just buy an external casing or should I use the Western Digital 1TB I already have? The WD Read/Writes at about 100Mb/s and it's USB 3.0 so it has fast transfer. Everyone that has a standard MacBook Pro already knows how the Apple HHD performs.

Any advice? I really value all of your opinions. Thank you so much!

Austin

----------------------------------

What does "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" even mean?


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 14, 2013 at 9:58:02 pm

[Austin Baur] "First, the reviews online are bipolar. Should I go for the Samsung 840 Pro or the new OCZ Vector? Or even a OCZ Vertex 4?"

Not gonna make much of a difference unless you spring for yet a newer model that supports NVMe SSDs - those run at close to 1GB/s. Even then - the SSD as a boot/OS/apps drive makes a HUGE (several orders of magnitude) difference in response times compared to spinning drives - and significant but not so huge - in transfer speeds. Any of the top tier SSDs will work, and the difference between them won't be all that noticeable.

I'd look for reliability and longevity: Intel 520 and S3500, Samsung 840 Pro. Downtime is way costlier than a slight difference in performance.


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Jon Schilling
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 14, 2013 at 10:08:48 pm

Austin,

I'd go with Alex advice, he knows his stuff. OCZ SSD's aren't all that great from I understand.

Jonathan Schilling
Vertical Sales Manager
Proavio Storage by Enhance Technology Inc.
12221 Florence Ave.
Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670
Dir: 562-777-3498
Main: 562-777-3488 X106
Fax: 562-777-3499
Email: jon@proavio.com





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Austin Baur
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 15, 2013 at 3:00:00 am

So it seems to me like all signs are pointing to the 840 Pro...

So in regards to my third question, how should I deal with external media storage? Will storing all of my raw files on a USB 3.0 drive really slow me down in editing, even if offline?


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:51:51 am

[Austin Baur] "So in regards to my third question, how should I deal with external media storage? Will storing all of my raw files on a USB 3.0 drive really slow me down in editing, even if offline?"

Epic camera up to 5K resolutions, correct? There's a variety of frame rates and compression levels starting from under 100MB/s (that's megabytes/s) all the way to 450MB/s. A single spinning drive, USB3.0 or not will only work with a small subset of these datarates.

You'd probably need a ProAvio EB400CR for that, or even something heftier.


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Austin Baur
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 15, 2013 at 3:19:14 pm

Okay. I will look into solutions like that. What about for 1080p media? In all honesty I will probably be doing most of my online editing of the red footage at the film school on their super workstations (for lack of a better term). I can foresee myself making 1080 proxies to edit at home on my laptop offline. Will a single disk USB 3.0 work well then?


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 15, 2013 at 7:06:56 pm

[Austin Baur] "What about for 1080p media?"

Can you find out what the datarates of that 1080p media will be?

Another thing to look at, is the nesting complexity of your timelines (number of video tracks at any point on the timeline), and whether you will be encoding or exporting a lot.

Yet another factor to look at, is your personal sensitivity to system's responsiveness. Mine is fairly high, so I have to have a fast system (and fast storage) no matter what. :)


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Austin Baur
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:11:11 pm

[Alex Gerulaitis] "Yet another factor to look at, is your personal sensitivity to system's responsiveness. Mine is fairly high, so I have to have a fast system (and fast storage) no matter what. :)"

Haha. A good point... It's just that the more I educate myself on all of this stuff the more I realize how much more power I could be utilizing from my machine. Three or four years ago I had NO idea what I was doing and I was looking at 3+ hour render times for 5 minutes at 480p! But the more I learn the less happy I get with my current workflow, even though I hardly even have to render anymore and my 1080p exports take like 10 minutes! Just the nature of the beast haha.

[Alex Gerulaitis] "Can you find out what the datarates of that 1080p media will be?
"


I don't really know what that means... it's at this point I pull out my "student" card and throw my hands up. I can tell you though that I know I'll be working a lot with Sony EX's and DSLR's.

Austin Baur
Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts
Class of 2016
---
What does "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" even mean?


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Alex Gerulaitis
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 15, 2013 at 10:42:31 pm

[Austin Baur] "I don't really know what that means... it's at this point I pull out my "student" card and throw my hands up. I can tell you though that I know I'll be working a lot with Sony EX's and DSLR's."

Go to manufacturer specs for the camera and look at recording rates, usually in Mbit/s. For EX and dSLRs, I believe the numbers are around 35Mbit/s (same as Mb/s but not the same as MB/s - confusing, eh?). Divide that Mb/s number by 8, and you get a rough data rate in MBs (MegaBytes per second) - more common with hard drives. 35Mbs translates to about 4-5MB/s so there's plenty of headroom in terms of transfer rates, with most external and internal drives.

In other words, you should be fine with any software (Adobe Premiere Pro, FCPX) that doesn't have to convert the media into another, higher bandwidth format (like ProRes). Alhtough even when it does, like FCP7, the data rates are still low enough for a single drive to handle them.

HTH.


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Austin Baur
Re: Upgrading machine to SSD, online reviews are bipolar, looking for advice
on Aug 16, 2013 at 4:19:55 pm

Okay. I'm starting to understand now. What if I do transcode to ProRes or something like that though? I have been getting into color grading lately and I've learned that neither speed grade nor davinci resolve like compressed file formats. Do you think it would be fine to store ProRes files on an external drive? Sorry for all these questions, thanks again for all your help!

Austin Baur
Florida State University College of Motion Picture Arts
Class of 2016
---
What does "I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve" even mean?


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