HDD and SSD for video editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jerryj14, Apr 12, 2013.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2013

    First of all, I am new to this whole industry. Please forgive my ignorance.

    I am looking at replacing the optical drive in my MacBook Pro 13" with a Samsung 840 120GB SSD. I am getting into HD video editing and I want my system to run as fast as I can get it without having to buy a whole new computer.

    So my question is this: would it be better to run my OS and editing applications on the SSD and leave my media on my HDD that has a rotational rate of 5400 or would it be better to move my media files to the SSD along with the OS and applications during editing?

    Also, as a side question: is 120GB enough space to have both my OS and all my applications work well or should I go for a 200-250GB SSD?
  2. jobush, Apr 13, 2013
    Last edited: Apr 13, 2013

    macrumors newbie

    Jan 10, 2013
    To my understanding, Video editting involves constantly tapping into the Hard Drive in order to retrieve information in the source video file, so getting an SSD will definitely be worth it.

    Consider making a 'cache' folder where you copy all the assets you need for your current project(s) within your SSD while having the original copy and other assets of no immediate need in the 5,400rpm HDD. Once you're done with the project, you can just clear the cache and start fresh on a new project.

    I do not know how big of files you are working with, but 120GB may not be enough depending on what you do. Mountain lion alone takes up about 20GB. Different software takes up different space, but you should give at least 50Gb as a bare minimum for your Applications and your OS. Once Applications start caching things in, things can get ugly. It really depends on how big your assets and finished product will be. If you are working with rather long full HD footages, 120GB may not cut it.
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Oct 6, 2005
    There are a lot of factors like jobush mentioned. I currently have a 128GB SSD + 750GB HDD (5400 rpm). I'm going to guess that since you mention HD editing and your asking this question that the answer is yes. This setup will work for HD editing. If you keep all your operating system and apps on the main ssd and place all your videos, pictures, and music on the HDD it should be enough. I've ran into space issues a few times on my SSD but that is because I've had several long videos and other temporary files on the computer. I also have several programs/plugins as well. Basically, if you manage your files well, I think 120 would work. If I were to do it again I'd go with a bigger drive.

    A 5400 rpm drive has no problem reading the files and writing for your consumer product HD videos. Meaning, any iPhone, DSLR of that sort doesn't tax the hard drive. I'm guessing this is the type of footage you'll be using, Not raw 5k or any uncompressed footage.

    The other thing to consider is if your computer is fast enough to handle. You need at least 8GB of memory for it to run smoothly. If you are running an old macbook pro, it may be more trouble than it's worth.
  4. macrumors G3


    May 25, 2004
    You need an external drive FW800 or faster. HDD is fine no need for an SDD.
    All your footage and rendered files go on this scratch drive so your internal drive can run FCP or your editing program of choice.
  5. macrumors 65816

    Dec 14, 2010
    The internal SSD will run the program nicely. The external drive is known as the scratch disk, and will store the render files etc. Works well for me.
  6. macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2007
    I run a 256GB M4 as my main drive and installed a 128GB 840pro as my scratch in the ODD space. Add max RAM and you're good to go.

    I know some folk like external options, (prob cheaper), but I like the edit anywhere anytime all-in-one convenience. Works for me.
  7. macrumors member

    Jun 8, 2010
    So basically should all of the source files then be on the scratch drive? Having a 'Project-1" folder that has all of the AE, Premiere, Audition, etc. files while the projects are being worked on? And then migrating it all to more definitive storage (such as the internal drive) for archiving?
  8. macrumors 65816


    Nov 20, 2007
    That's how I run things, but then I'm no pro so there may well be varying trains of thought. My archive is always to an external RAID though.

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