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Advice please external hard drive

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Stephen Cordes
Advice please external hard drive
on May 16, 2010 at 10:10:29 am

Fellow forum users I am in need of advice.

I'm using a mid-high end laptop. 8 gigs ram and a good gpu with a gig of video ram.

I need to invest in an external hard drive and I have an esata port in my laoptop which will give me good transfer speed. Will this be ok to use as my basis to hold all my footage from and use for compositing in AE? Should I also be using this as my scratch disks? I've read that you shouldn't be using you main hard drive to run footage from for speed purposes.

One more question. Would a all in one hard drive like a mybook or seagate with a esata connection be fine for this or should I be buying a fast internal drive and using a dock.

Grateful for advice.

Steve


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Stephen Cordes
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 16, 2010 at 10:23:00 am

I should also point out that I currently have a 500gb drive split into 2 partitions with the first partition for OS (win 7 64 bit) and programms (cs5 master) and the second partition for bootable backup and files/scratch


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Kevin Camp
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 16, 2010 at 3:17:08 pm

here's a bencmarkingof several 2tb drives. from this it looks like western digital has the best overall drive, at least for 2tb models... results can be different for other models.

i found a bare drive at owc for $300, you could pop that into one of their sata enclosures, relatively cheap. if you want to use bus power, there are some enclosures that can pull power from available usb/firewire ports, though you may want a less power hungry drive.


Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Kevin Camp
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 16, 2010 at 3:27:53 pm

also, for your question about where to put the disk cache....

generally, if you only have one drive, you'll want to disable the disk cache for performance reasons.

if you have two drives (on separate buses), you'd want your cache to be separate from your media, so put the media on the external, and set the cache to the internal drive.

also, you can boost performance by replacing the internal hd with a ssd drive... compare some of these numberswith the sata drive bencmarks. ssd drives excel at small random read/writes making them exceptional boot and cache drives.

Kevin Camp
Senior Designer
KCPQ, KMYQ & KRCW


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Stephen Cordes
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 16, 2010 at 7:07:17 pm

Many thanks for your reply. Is it better to buy one already made like a mybook or a seagate or similar or best to buy a standard internal drive and an enclosure or dock. I'm thinking performance terms here and will only be using esata connection.


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Ben Müller
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 17, 2010 at 8:43:56 am

Hi there,

in terms of performance it depends on what you want - most of the already assambled externel hard drives use 5400 rpm hard drives in their enclosures.
This means they consume less power and are more silent.

a 7200rpm drive on the other hand would have faster access times.

so if you want to have fast access to the external drive i would suggest building your own drive with an enclosure and a hard drive.

an additional benefit is that you can use the external enclosure with multiple hard drives by just exchanging the drive . so there ould be no need for an additional enclosure (exchanging the hdd in a pre-assambled external hard drive can be tricky or even impossible because the enclosures of these are sometimes glued together.

as for the external enclosure i can recommend the ones by Icy Dock -

for examaple the MB559US:

http://icydock.com/product/mb559us-1sb.html

should you go for a 2.5" drive which has the benefit that it is more portable and does not require an additional power brick i would suggest the MB668US:

http://icydock.com/product/mb668us-1sb.html


regards



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Stephen Cordes
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 17, 2010 at 9:35:48 am

Many thanks for all your replies. It has helped me to make up my mind which is to build my own. In terms of the smaller 2.5" drive which doesn't require a power source, where would it get it's power from? Would it be the esata cable?

Thanks and sorry to sounds dumb!


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Ben Müller
Re: Advice please external hard drive
on May 17, 2010 at 11:23:49 am

Hi,

here again it depends on the drive.

most standard 2.5" drives are using the power supplied by the USB port.

if you connect it via esata it will use an additional usb cable for power.

some more power hungry drives might need two usb ports to provide enough power. in this case the enclosure would use one usb cable for data and power plus one usb cable for additional power. in case of esata it would use esata for data and for example a usb y-cable for power (has two usb connectors on one side).

regards


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