Best external HD for video editing on MBP?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Houmidity, Jun 23, 2006.

  1. Houmidity macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2006
    Location:
    Houston, TX
    #1
    Hey everyone, I just got Final Cut Express HD and ordered some RAM to max out my 15.4" MBP, and now I just need to get an external drive to hold all the content I'm going to be using. I think I'll also use it to hold my iTunes library and iPhoto as well.

    Any suggestions as for the best drive to get for video editing? I'm thinking about the LaCie 300728U 250GB USB 2.0 7200 RPM.
     
  2. Fleetwood Mac macrumors 65816

    Fleetwood Mac

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2006
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    Canada
    #2
    I don't have any great suggestions, because I've only bad experiences with external drives and editing.

    I'd definitley reccomond something in the firewire variety.
     
  3. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

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    Nelson, BC. Canada
    #3
    G-Tech does a good range of drives. I have the 250Gb Quad interface, no problems with using it as my vid-editing scratch disk.
     
  4. Houmidity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jun 1, 2006
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    Houston, TX
    #4
    So would you pros recommend going Firewire 400 instead of USB 2.0? I can only do FW400, I believe on my MBP.

    Does Firewire rock that hard that the speed increase of USB 2.0 doesn't matter?

    EDIT: ChrisA, I posted this before I had gotten to your reply. Thanks for the info on FW vs. USB.
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    Jan 5, 2006
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    Redondo Beach, California
    #5
    You need huge amounts of space and you want "fast". The brand name matters little

    You want "fire wire" not USB. Yes USB 2.0 on paper has a few more bits per second but with fire wire there is less overhaed. You might want to concider a firewire enclosure that can hold more then one drive. With all the stuff you are going to put on that drive you may want either more space or to make a mirror. You will likely want to think up some kind of a backup plan too.

    Look at this http://tinyurl.com/n8495
     
  6. Danksi macrumors 68000

    Danksi

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    #6
    FW400 is better than USB2. I understand it's the way Firewire can handle the connection itself, where as USB2 requires the CPU to handle the connection, slowing things down at times.

    If you needed to, you could expand your MBP with an ExpressSlot Firewire 400, 800 or even eSATA card.

    As previously posted you'll want a big drive... and building yourown using an enclosure will save you some money or allow you to buy a bigger hard drive unit for the same money.
     
  7. ChrisBrightwell macrumors 68020

    ChrisBrightwell

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    Huntsville, AL
    #7
    That's part of it, but it's mostly due to USB being designed to perform well for short "bursts" of data whereas firewire is used to maintain heavy data streams (such as capturing and editing digital video).
     
  8. Houmidity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Houston, TX
    #8
    OK so a DIY approach would be better, since I'm on a shoestring budget. So I guess the question now is, anyone got any suggestions on what the best enclosure and HD combo would be? I guess my priorities would be:

    1. Performance
    2. Portability
    3. Low noise
    4. Low heat
     
  9. Philberttheduck macrumors 6502a

    Philberttheduck

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    Mar 15, 2006
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    HB, CA
    #9
    My local Fry's had a 500GB Seagate 7200RPM 8MB (16'd cost you a bit more) so you should call up yours and see if they're in stock. As for my enclosure, I purchased a lowprofile'd "apple-y" look, by the name of "Metal Gear Box" which came with a Firewire (+USB). It looks good next to my white iMac but because you have a MBP, I'd go for the G-Drive. On one of the G6 iPod mocks, there was an external enclosure that showed off a damn good look next to the PowerMac.
     
  10. Houmidity thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Houston, TX
    #10
    Thanks for all the tips!

    I think I'm going to take your advice and go with the G-Drive Q. Hopefully it'll perform as good as it looks.
     
  11. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    #11
    Also, a USB drive would have to share the USB bus with almost everything in your MBP (iSight, trackpad, keyboard, bluetooth, IR receiver) whereas a FW drive would have exclusive use of the FW bus.

    I don't know if you bought it already, but have you thought about buying a FW enclosure and a separate drive? It would make it more flexible if you wanted to buy a larger drive in the future.
     
  12. mmmcheese macrumors 6502a

    mmmcheese

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    Feb 17, 2006
    #12
    My next external drive will be a Lacie, or other reputable brand (for external hard drives). I've put together my own before, and the enclosures have turned out to just end up dying, or sucking in general. Next time I won't cheap out and I'll just buy a proper one.

    I would suggest getting on with both Firewire AND USB if possible...then you can plug it into any machine you want, anywhere...even if USB1 (sure, it'll be slow, but it's better than nothing in a pinch when you need to get some data off of it).
     
  13. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    Really? I bought a cheap-o $20 FW enclosure 2 years ago and it's still my main external drive. I also got an Adaptec ($30) USB2/FW enclosure and an Ultra (Free after rebate) USB2 enclosure, both of which work great. Neither brand is that reputable (more on the cheap-o side).
     
  14. kevin.rivers macrumors 6502a

    kevin.rivers

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  15. OutThere macrumors 603

    OutThere

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    Location:
    NYC
    #15
    I've had great experience editing with LaCie drives...never a problem with 1000s of hours editing straight off of them and using them as scratch. Nice to have a warranty as well, as opposed to cheapo enclosures.
     
  16. SheriffParker macrumors 6502a

    SheriffParker

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    The land of love
    #16
    Get a lacie drive. You have to have firewire 400 or better to capture video... preferably at 7200 rpm. USB drives cannot capture streams of video from your camera very well, so don't get one. They are too slow anyways, and when you're transferring GBs at a time, every minute counts. LaCie are my brand of choice.
     
  17. w8ing4intelmacs macrumors 6502a

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    East Coast, US
    #17
    A Lacie FW400 160GB drive goes for $120 + s/h. I put together a cheap 160GB FW400 drive for under $50 with the ability to upgrade the hard drive. Plus, my enclosure has a fan which the Lacie drive i'm looking at does not:
    http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10383
     
  18. OldCorpse macrumors 65816

    OldCorpse

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    #18
    Another reason to get FW instead of USB (or better yet, a dual FW/USB enclosure), is that with FW, you can daisy chain your drives... and you can't do that with USB.

    I'm in the middle of editing a 2 hour documentary using FCP 4.5 HD, and I'm doing it on a G4 iBook! No problems at all. I'm using a Seagate 300GB external drive in a Metal Gear FW/USB enclosure. Make sure the drive has at least 8mb cache (16mb is better)... and 7200RPM (this is almost standard on 3.5" drives these days).

    And I'm sure you know, the key to editing is having a good monitor (I bought the 20.1" Dell 2001FP). However, what people sometimes forget, is that editing involves SOUND as well as PICTURE, so I'd pay attention to your speakers. The built in speakers on all laptops are garbage. They are worse than the speakers on most TVs, not to mention any kind of fancy system like surround-sound etc., that most folks hook their TVs to nowadays... if your work is meant to be seen on a TV, you're really handicapped editing the audio using the lappy speakers. Personally, I've sprung for studio speakers which I connect to my iBook (M-Audio Bx8a, self-powered, got a good deal on them through Amazon). You may also want to get an external soundcard that's higher quality than what you get out of your laptop, and hook your speakers through that, but if you're on a budget, you can skip that step. I understand you're on a budget, so maybe at least hook up your stereo to your MBP (I'm assuming you have a stereo!), that way you get better sound than from the crappy built in speakers. Good luck!
     
  19. kingcrowing macrumors 6502a

    kingcrowing

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    Location:
    Burlington, VT
    #19
    a bit off topic, but any reccomendations for a FW800 external HD for a 17" MBP? They all seem to be really expensive, but I'd like to spend like $300ish at most
     

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