External vs. Internal iBook HDs

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by ibidiem, Aug 27, 2005.

  1. ibidiem macrumors member

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    Aug 27, 2005
    Location:
    Portland, OR
    #1
    If wanting to run Final Cut Pro (which takes up, what, 45 G's of space) would it be best, do you think, to purchase the iBook 1.42 100G hard drive upgrade (about $200 more than the stock 60G), or to spend that money on a firewire external hard drive, both faster and vaster?

    Basically, is it feasible to expect to run bigger programs off of a faster external drive, or is that risky?
     
  2. tikibangout macrumors regular

    tikibangout

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    Philadelphia, PA
    #2
    Well, with an external, you could get like a 300GB one for like $100. Although, the downside to that is you'd have to lug it around if you're constantly needing your iBook in different places.

    The 100GB should be fine though, lets see, about 45GB for Final Cut, so that leaves about 45GB left over for music, apps, movies, etc. It depends though, how much editing you'll be doing. If you're a heavy editor, with lots of movies, etc, then you should go with an external. Either that, or i'd buy an iMac or PowerMac. If you're serious about editing, then the iBook doesn't really seem like the best choice.

    With the iMac or PowerMac, you could upgrade to like 400GB if you needed to.

    Though, if you want a laptop, i'd go with the PowerBook rather than the iBook. Let me know if you need further assistance.
     
  3. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #3
    Even the fastest external firewire hard drives are slower than internal drives. If you get an external drive, it will increase your storage capacity, but plan on running your programs off the internal drive.

    For instance, you may want to use an external firewire drive as your capture and render disks for Final Cut, but you will be better off with the program itself installed on the internal drive.
     
  4. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

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    #4
    FCP seriously takes 45GB? Is that true, that's CRAZY.
     
  5. tikibangout macrumors regular

    tikibangout

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    #5
    Its not that crazy, its a professional editing program, if you bought it then you should already have a really good Mac to begin with.
     
  6. 20rogersc macrumors 65816

    20rogersc

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    #6
    I would have a think about the option to run FCP on an iBook. If you're looking to spend that much money on a pro editing software, I would really spend more on a better mac. However if you do chose the iBook, I would put all the apps on an internal HD, and then all other files on the external.

    ::20ROGERSC::
     
  7. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    #7
    This is doubleplusuntrue.
     
  8. tikibangout macrumors regular

    tikibangout

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    #8
    I don't know what that meant, but internal are faster than external.
     
  9. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2005
    #9
    An internal 4200RPM or 5400RPM 2.5" drive versus a 7200RPM 3.5" drive? Benchmarks please.
     
  10. mpw Guest

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    Jun 18, 2004
    #10
    Is the FW or USB2 a bottleneck?
     
  11. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

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    Jan 6, 2004
    #11

    ok i booted off an external FW drive for months.... i saw no slow down at all. only downside of course was that my powerbook wasn't a laptop anymore.

    USB 2.0 is not a feasible option if you are going to be doing a lot of work off an external, it has a limit of 480mbps, but its not a sustainable rate, FW is at 400mbps, but it can reach that speed and stay there with no problem.

    you could go the external route, but i would probably look into something more along the lines of a 15" powerbook, because then you have the option of FW800 which flies.
     
  12. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #12
    My FW 800 drive gets 52-54 Mbps
    FW 400 gets 30-32 Mbps

    My internal 4200 drive gets 80Mbps

    Those are read speeds. Firewire drives are not as fast as internal drives, no matter what the spindle speed.
     
  13. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2005
    #13
    What PlaceofDis said, plus even if it saturated the FireWire bus (~50MBps), it would still be faster than a notebook drive (my 5400RPM one gets ~27MBps IIRC), not to mention the improved seek times.
     
  14. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    #14
    You're sure you aren't getting mixed up between megabits and megabytes?
     
  15. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #15
    No, those are benchmarks off the drive speed test utility that came with my LaCie FW 800 drive.
     
  16. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #16
    You were right on that should have been a captial "B." Sorry about that. But here are the test results, I just ran them again.

    Read speeds:
    FW 800: 40,178 KB/sec (7200 RPM)
    FW 400: 30,397 KB/sec (7200 RPM)
    Internal: 86,116 KB/sec (4200 RPM)

    so my internal read speeds are over twice as fast as FW 800, and the OP was talking about an iBook, which only have FW 400. So, like I've said a few times already, internal drives are faster than external FW drives.
     
  17. TheMonarch macrumors 65816

    TheMonarch

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    Bay Area
    #17
    Final cut itself is sooo not 45GB. Its the final cut studio which includes Motion (the biggest of them all I think), DVD studio pro, soundtrack pro, and of course, FCP

    EDIT: FCP on my computer is only about 145MB, you should be fine if thats all you're installing. Get an external for video capture, thats where tons of GB will be used.
     
  18. Lazyhound macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2005
    #18
    My 5400RPM Hitachi scores as following against a 7200RPM FW400 drive, according to HDTach:

    [​IMG]

    There is no way you are getting 86MBps off a 4200RPM drive unless you're looking at the burst speed (meaningless), or swapping byte for bit (that would be a bit slow, though).

    EDIT: The 10,000RPM SATA WD Raptor doesn't even come close to an 86MBps read speed. Your results are absurd.
     
  19. tuartboy macrumors 6502a

    tuartboy

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    May 10, 2005
    #19
    agreed

    and my FCP install is ~150 and motion 2.0 with all the extras is about 8GB. Motion runs like crap on a G4 though... If you're serious about it get, at the minimum, a new imac and preferably a dually G5. Motion can eat up 2Gb of memory without trying.
     
  20. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #20
    Alight, I ran the test again. You were right about the 86 MB/sec being too high. I was actually testing the interface bandwidth. So i ran the test again. Here are the results. (The tests run 20 times in a row and these are the averages).

    Powerbook is the internal 4200 RPM Hitachi drive
    250 LaCie is the external FW 800
    Seagate 200 is the FW 400

    Summary of Read Speeds:
    Internal: 51 MB/sec
    FW 800: 40 MB/sec
    FW 400: 33 MB/sec


    Summary of write speeds:
    Internal: 22 MB.sec
    FW 800: 57 MB/sec
    FW 400: 34 MB/sec
     

    Attached Files:

  21. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #21
    Do not go with the 100gb HD unless you just want to throw away money. The 80gb HD is much more economical for the $ per gig than the 100gb.
    80gigs should be plenty for your apps, your necessary files and the like. Then do as everyone else has suggested and buy an external HD. Make sure to get an external drive that is at least FW 400 and USB 2.0, just in case you ever need the USB 2.0 in the future. FW 400 will be the fastest way for you to write to the external, and, as others have stated, is much more reliable as far as continuous read/write speed.

    As far as read/write speed of external FW HD's, it is not an issue. There is a reason that many, many audio/visual people use externals. If can record 8 channels of audio, live, onto my external with no problems, then you should not have any problems with FCP.

    As others have hit on, the more ram you have, the better experience you will have with FCP.
     
  22. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

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    #22
    Serious AV people use things like SCSI RAID configurations, not just plain FW 400 or 800 drives.
     
  23. faintember macrumors 65816

    faintember

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    #23
    I partially disagree.

    A SCSI RAID array does not work well for portability.
    My PB gets a lot of action in live situations, so a portable drive is my best option. Carrying a PM with a monitor, keyboard and a mouse, plus all of my other audio gear is just a pain in the butt.

    If you are working at a stationary computer, like an iMac or a PM, then yes, a SCSI RAID array makes sense, but the OP has an iBook.

    Oh, fyi, i am a "serious" audio person, that being a 2nd year masters student in Music Composition that works extensively with electronic music. ;) Even with audio, a RAID array is not necessary.
     
  24. Hattig macrumors 65816

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    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #24
    There's no way your internal 2.5" 4200RPM IDE hard drive reads at 80MB/s. That's flat out impossible. Even the fastest 7200RPM 3.5" drives only sustain 60MB/s. The 2.5" might have lower seek times due to the smaller diameter, but the read bandwidth is a combination of data density and spindle speed, neither of which is very impressive on the current generation of 2.5" hard drives.
     
  25. Hattig macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2003
    Location:
    London, UK
    #25
    Okay, I used XBench for these benchmarks:

    iBook Internal Hard Drive:

    Results 25.76
    Drive Type TOSHIBA MK4025GAS
    Disk Test 25.76
    Sequential 42.29
    Uncached Write 36.13 22.19 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 38.95 22.04 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 61.72 18.06 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 39.93 20.07 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 18.52
    Uncached Write 6.56 0.69 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 35.49 11.36 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 51.32 0.36 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 63.06 11.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    iBook Firewire Hard Drive:

    Results 41.63
    Drive Type ST320082 2A
    Disk Test 41.63
    Sequential 52.30
    Uncached Write 55.05 33.80 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 58.06 32.85 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 36.29 10.62 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 73.84 37.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Random 34.58
    Uncached Write 12.03 1.27 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Write 76.25 24.41 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    Uncached Read 94.00 0.67 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    Uncached Read 113.61 21.08 MB/sec [256K blocks]

    Configurations:

    System Info
    Xbench Version 1.2
    System Version 10.4.2 (8D37)
    Physical RAM 1536 MB
    Model PowerBook6,7
    Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.33 GHz
    L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
    L2 Cache 512K @ 1.33 GHz
    Bus Frequency 134 MHz
    Video Card ATY,M12

    40GB iBook 12" 1.33GHz Standard Configuration
    200GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 in IcyBox Firewire enclosure

    The firewire is twice as fast as the internal.
     

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