Fastest Way to Shuttle Files to Server From Two Video Stations

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ShMac, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    We need to shuttle files of about 4GB from our two video editing stations
    to a playing device such as a Mac Mini. We are open to all kinds of possibilities.

    Is it possible to use a hub and connect the two stations to one player computer using thunderbolt and a hub?

    Possible with FireWire 800?

    What is the best option?
  2. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    Do your editing stations have ethernet? Specifically Gigabit speed? Apple computers, afaik, use Gigabit speed ethernet if they have an ethernet port.

    You will likely need Gigabit speed router/switch/hub as well to hook up devices to each other. These are bit more expensive than the usual consumer level - but the consumer level routers/switch/hubs run at 1/10 the speed.

    Please forgive the vagueness of the terms used, but it's been a while since I researched this for my own needs. I got what I needed, and then decided I needed the room in my brain for other things... but.... I am photographer that deals in files that are sometimes 1 or 2 GB in size. Transferring across my network is measured in seconds.

    It was dead easy to set up. Ethernet cable is cheap. Good Cat5 is usually good enough, but you may need Cat5E. Cable lengths can be long, so you have flexibility on where you physically locate your stations.

    If all your systems are Macs, you can use Screen Sharing across the network... for instance, you don't know what the file is called and you don't want to get up and look at the station? You can Screen Share to the other station and fire up the application and look at the Recent Files.... for example.

    If you go this route get better advice than I can give... but if I can set it up I'm sure you can. It has also been rock solid for me.
  3. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Fire wire tops out at 100Mb/s (but usually more like 80Mb/s).

    Gigabit Ethernet tops at a 125Mb/s (but usually more like 100Mb/s).

    Technically going with 10gb would be faster (which your editing stations may have or could be added), but the ethernet on the mini would be your bottleneck. I haven't seen any thunderbolt to 10gb "dongles" yet. You could theoretically go with 2 - 1GB ports by using the Mini's onboard NIC and adding one of the $29 Apple Thunderbolt GB ports. That would give you a max of about 250Mb/s. That's called Link Aggregation.



    Caveat here though, you won't get even gigabit speeds if you just use mechanical hard drives (especially not the slow 2.5" mechanical drives found in the Mini). To truly max out all of the speed, you will need Solid State Drives or a RAID arrays. Further, you will only be able to use the HDMI port for video connection if you use the Apple Thunderbolt to Ethernet dongle. This might be what you had planned all along, but I thought it worth mentioning.
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    Well, our leases for all our computers end in April so everything will be new.

    To make it more clear, we have two video stations where people edit at the same time. We take turns playing one customer video and matching set of photos for customers in the next room on two large side-by-side monitors.

    The video must be played from a separate computer because of the audio. So, we need a super fast and reliable way to send 4GB to the player computer.

    It seems the Mac Pro towers are not upgraded to Thunderbolt or USB 3.0 so unless they come out with a card soon, we are left with gigabit ethernet or Firewire 800.

    Thanks! Anymore info or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
  5. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    So, with Gigabit ethernet, a quality cable, we would be approximately looking at 4,000MB/100Mbsec=4000MB/12.5MBsec=320 seconds?

    5.3 minutes is too long!

    This sucks, we have the budget for whatever but I suppose there is no faster solution for Apple machines :eek:(
  6. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 3, 2007
    So, another option is for us to try editing on max'ed out SSD equipped Mac minis and also use them to play photos and video.

    If we had an all mini system with thunderbolt, can one machine receive video files from two separate other computers through a thunderbolt hub?
  7. macrumors 603

    Oct 22, 2007
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    125 MBytes/sec (in theory) so 32 seconds. A little longer in practice.

    New Minis have the Gigabit connection - which is also called 1000Base-T, while most consumer devices are 100Base-T - and TB. Current Mac Pros each have two Gigabit ethernet connections.

    For the record iMacs appear to have both Gigabit ethernet and TB as well.
  8. macrumors 68040

    Dec 17, 2009
    Yep and with link aggregation of two gigabit adapters that would cut it to about 20 seconds (theoretically).....
  9. macrumors newbie

    Nov 8, 2012
    Columbus, OH
    Another idea

    So, the statement was the FASTEST - right?

    Then wouldn't that be a fiber channel connection? That would be a 4GB connection and using FC over thunderbolt (8 sec), you could offload all of the storage to a SAN.

    Just a thought. Then you could buy laptops :)


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