external Hard Drive or Linux box for storage?

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by cb911, Aug 21, 2004.

  1. macrumors 601



    since i've got a video camera, i've found that i need some extra storage. :p

    i'm just looking for some opions as to what kind of storage i should be using. i've got a PowerBook, so i'm thinking of getting a 250GB external HD, that ought to be enough space and last me for a while. (i'm planning to keep most of the footage backed up on tape.)

    or the other option is to build a box, and just put Linux on it, networked to my PB either directly or through a GigaBit switch. my bro says i should get a motherboard with PCI-express, SATA etc. what do you guys think? of course the 'box' method would have a higher cost up front, but adding more storage would be alot cheaper.

    i'm probably going to be capturing footage to the external HD or 'box', editing it from my PB. or is that a good idea? it's possible, right? the main concern i have with a 'box' is that if i'm editing from it, will it lag or the data rates be too slow? i'm not much of a PC tech head, but my bro says that PCI-Express will solve that.

    i'm only a student at the moment, so i'm not after world-class storage solutions. just something that can do the job and not have me living on bread and water for the rest of my student days. :p

    any comments, input and discussion on the subject would be much appreciated. :)
  2. macrumors 6502

    i would go with the extrnal firewire box for external stowage!

    i use to do a fair bit with digital video (professionally) and found that a firewire box was the way to go (i use to use 4 120gig's as a raid).

    the problem with the linux box is it can have quite a bit of latency across the network (even gigabit) which can cause dropped frames / lower data rates depending on the program used (this will also add more cost, more power, less portability ect).

    but you can fill up 250gig real quick! maybe wait a month or so until 400gig hard drives come out.
  3. macrumors 601


    thanks for the advice. i was worried about the latency, i think i'll go with the external HD...

    wow, 400GB? :eek: but that'll be expensive won't it?

    right now i can get a Maxtor 250GB external HD for $394, and a Maxtor 200GB for $360 (prices in AUD of course). any ideas how much an external 400GB drive would be? or how much those 250 & 200GB drives would drop in price?

    i might just be able to hang out if the price per GB will be worth it...
  4. macrumors 6502

    i can get 200gig for about 170ish AUD, 250 190ish AUD, the 400gigs are only guesses at the moment at around the 320 - 350 ish mark. plus the case.

    i think epowermac / mac shack are one of the best prices at the moment for the cases and well hard drives. i am not really sure where you come from for the best prices. with hard drives i find that for myself price is not the issue, it is more reliability (i am awful at backups).

    i am just waiting for 400gigs to come out to make 2x400 raid cause i run out of rom quite often

  5. macrumors 601


    well i got those Maxtor prices from GameDude (.com.au, i think).

    ePowerMac sure looks good. Icecube Gen II enclosure for $118. i paid more than that for a crappy plastic enclosure... i wish i'd know about these places long before. well thanks for those links, i'm sure they'll save me some money this time around.

    Mac Shack doesn't seem to have alot of drives and i didn't even see any enclosures? the biggest drive i saw there was a Western Digital 200GB...

    actually, on ePowerMac, a Maxtor FW400 250GB external HD is $625! :eek: but the same drive on GameDude.com.au is only $397?? what's up with that? :confused:

    well, looks like i've still got a bit of searching around to do, but i'll try and clear out my old 80GB drive and see if i can hang out until the 400GB drives get here. :p
  6. 7on
    macrumors 601


    personally I just bought a G3 B&W for file storage (see sig). It has a FW drive on it, but I needed to access it from a network. Anyhoo, you need me to check to see how video captures to it? Video only needs 3.5MB/sec so theoretically it should work. Dunno though.
  7. macrumors 68030


    if you use a Linux box, you have the option of doing Raid level 2 which is mirroring. this increases your cost by buying two hard drives and the raid card, but you have a realtime backup of ALL your data on that hard drive. probably isn't worth it unless you make a living of the data though. On the network latency part with a gigabit ethernet on a small network, latency won't be a problem. The hard drive writing speed will be the bottleneck because it only be able to write between 40-50 mb/s.
  8. macrumors 68000


    I'd have to say to use RAID 5, because he could use 3 or more drives, with a RAID 1 your limited to two.

    And, btw, RAID 1 is data mirroring, not 2. ;)
    RAID 0 is stripping.

    I'd have to ask you two questions for me to tell you what to do:
    1)how important is the data (if it is verry important, I'd reccomend a Linux box with some type of RAID)
    2)how much space do you see needing in the next year? 5 years? 15 years?
  9. macrumors 601


    okay, so the latency wouldn't be a problem on a small network? you really only need 3.6MB/s for video work...?

    the data is moderately important, after all this is going to be my portfolio stuff... but it's not so important that i'm going to spend a heap of money on it. i'm pretty good with backups, so that doesn't really worry me.

    as for how much space i'll be needing, i dont' really know?

    i don't plan to store the captured footage on the hard drive, i'm going to keep most of it on tape for storage, i'm just going to need some HD space for editing the stuff. i only really planned to be working on a couple of hours of footage at the most.

    i just quickly did the calculatons, with 4.5 minutes of DV footage taking up 1GB, that works out to about 26-27GB for 2 hours of footage. so it would seem like a single 250GB drive would be heaps for me...

    i can't say how much i'm going to need in the future, but then i'd have a job (hopefully :p) so money wouldn't be so much of an issue.

    even if a linux box wouldn't have any problems with latency, i'm still inclined to go with an external 250GB FW drive, since it'd be handy to be able to take it with my PB. also, the initial set-up cost of a linux box is another thing holding me back.

    but thanks for your comments everyone. :) much appreciated, and if you have anything else to add, please do.
  10. macrumors G3


    I didn't know hard drives wore any clothes at all :p
  11. macrumors 601


    well then i'll definitely stay away from a 'box'. i don't want that crazy kind of stuff going on in there. :eek:

    at least with external drives set-up as RAID i can see exactly what they're up to. :p
  12. macrumors 68000


    When I got my iMac, I got an 80GB dive in it (moving up from a 10GB one) And I though that would last me years.

    Low and behold, 6 months later (now) I currently have 5.67GB free.

    I think 250GB should be fine, but remember, you can fill up 250GB real easy.
  13. macrumors 68030


    my bad, i forgot it started at Zero.
  14. macrumors 68000


    I say go for the external firewire hard drive, and throw a 250GB drive in there. It'll do everything you want, and be sooo much easier than setting up a linux box.

    Lee Tom
  15. macrumors 601


    okay - it's going to be an external HD.

    i'm just wondering about a passively cooled enclosure (no fans, metal case acts as a heat sink) or an enclosure that has an internal fan?

    the HD will probably be on almost 24/7, so i don't want a passively cooled enclosure blowing up on me. :p

    any thoughts on this? are external hard drives even meant to be on continuously?
  16. macrumors 601


    okay i did get a Maxtor "One Touch" 250GB external HD. it seems to be going fine so far...

    but after i formatted it and tried to capture soem video through FCP, it just jammed Finder and FCP. :confused: then for some reason my drive showed that it was full, all 233GB in a matter of 10 minutes. well, i think i've got that problem sorted out...

    but what about leaving the drive on all the time? it's not going to explode into flames will it?

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