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What's the best external harddrive for video editing?


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#1 Jeremy Drake

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 01:28 AM

I'm editing footage right now using a WD MyBook and it is incredibly slow going. I never formatted it directly for Mac (I have too much on it now to do so) and have it connected via firewire 400.


Anyway I was wondering what you editors out there would recommend. I've been looking into buying an eSATA adapter and hard drive but a friend told me its about the same speed as firewire 400. What about an 800 speed drive?
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 02:10 AM

I've used a WD drive with Firewire 800 and it worked great. They've performed great in my experience. I also have a 2 year old LaCie with Firewire 800 that's still running like a champ.
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#3 Jason Sikorski

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:03 AM

If you're unable to format the drive, you should at least do your best to confirm that it's not trying to index all of your files, make automatic backups of your internal HD, or any other craziness like that.

..and if you really want to find out if you're hitting the upper limits of Firewire 400, you can see exactly how much data is being transferred by following these steps:

  • Open your Terminal (in /Applications/Utilities - or just use Spotlight to find it).
  • Type the command "iostat -w1 -d", and let it run in the background while you're editing.
Once you've done a bit of work and you feel that everything is moving slower than it should be, go back and examine the output in your Terminal window. Each line represents one second, and each disk will be represented by three columns (with a heading of diskN over all three, repeating every 15 lines or so). "disk0" is your internal HD, so "disk1" should be your WD MyBook if that's the only external drive you have hooked up.

The column you'll be most interested in is the right-most "MB/s" for your external disk (e.g., disk1). Firewire 400 can theoretically transfer 400Mbits/s, which translates to roughly 50MBytes/s. Look back and see if you ever came close to that maximum transfer rate - my guess would be "no".

If you do eventually decide to try another external HD, I would personally try to find one without any of the bells & whistles found on the WD MyBook, as they will only slow things down in most cases.
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#4 timHealy

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 08:52 AM

while I do have a LaCie external drive as well, I would stay away from them. I have heard a lot if instances where they have crapped out. I would talk to the sales department at a company like Tekserve in NYC for hard drive recommendations and anything Mac.

best

Tim
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#5 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 25 February 2008 - 05:32 PM

while I do have a LaCie external drive as well, I would stay away from them.


I've read all those Apple.com reviews too. Guess I got lucky :)
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#6 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 08:19 PM

I'd go with G Raid. I've used many over the years and they have never once let me down. They come highly recommended for video because they are built with the video applications in mind. The "pro" line has built-in redundancy.

http://www.g-technol...s/G-RAIDpro.cfm
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#7 Christopher Arata

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 10:34 PM

I second that, G Raid is the way to go. Used it for RED footage and it worked great.
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#8 James Baker

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Posted 26 February 2008 - 11:48 PM

My personal flavor/preference:

http://www.CalDigit.com/index.asp
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Visual Products

FJS International, LLC

Ritter Battery

Rig Wheels Passport

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

Opal

rebotnix Technologies

Technodolly

Abel Cine

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Paralinx LLC

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

CineTape

Willys Widgets

Tai Audio

Aerial Filmworks