Are faster boot disks or scratch disks better when video editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by DoNoHarm, Jun 1, 2009.

  1. DoNoHarm macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #1
    Hello Everyone,

    If I have one 500gb hd (with faster data access speeds) and one slower 200gb hard drive, which one should I use as the scratch disk to optimize video editing? Is the bottleneck when editing videos in the main disk or the scratch disk?
     
  2. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #2
    Scratch disk, as the editing software is already loaded into the RAM.

    The boot disk will also write some data to swap files, if the RAM is to full.
     
  3. DoNoHarm thread starter macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #3
    Hmm... so then instead of getting a 500gb 2.5" form factor drive, it's better to get a 3.5" form factor 1TB 7200 rpm disk (at the same price), correct?

    also if I have the old MBP, which firewire version will provide the optimum data transfer speeds?
     
  4. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #4
    3.5" drives should be better, but I don't have exact transfer (write and read at random or in sequence) speeds in my head, so I might be wrong.


    We at work use 3.5" 1TB Western Digital Studio drives for storing Digi Beta and DV material onto them.

    They are connected via Firewire 800 on the newer machine and FW400 on the older.

    I don't see a downside even on the Firewire 400 port when the video has a data rate of 26.7MB/s (byte, not bit), but it's only one stream.

    Two or more would cripple even the FW800 port, when editing in 1:1 resolution, therefore we edit with a lower resolution and then capture only the material for the end product. But that's only because we have hundreds of tapes for one project (6-12 shows).
     
  5. ChrisA macrumors G4

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    #5
    If buying an external disk buy the FW800 even if your computer only does FW400. It will work if you have the correct cable and if you ever upgrade the computer you will then be able to use the faster interface. FW800 is noticeably faster but is compatible with FW400
     
  6. DoNoHarm thread starter macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #6
    so are you guys saying that when buying a new hard drive (500gb 5400rpm seagate momentus), it's better to keep the new drive as a scratch disk rather than replace the stock hard disk (200gb hitachi travelstar)?
     
  7. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #7
    yes, but don't use a 5400rpm drive as a scratch disk
     
  8. DoNoHarm thread starter macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #8
    man, it seems crazy to get this brand new fast hard drive and NOT have it utilized inside my MBP.... Is it really that critical to have the fast drive as the scratch disk and not my main hard disk? What kind of speed difference are we talking about here? This is a mixed use machine, so I will be doing word processing, web development, etc. as well as video editing...
     
  9. DoNoHarm thread starter macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #9
    talking to my friends, it seems that the rpm of the scratch disk is not where the bottleneck is. It's what connection you use. firewire 800 seems to be the best connection, but also where the bottleneck is.... Does anyone have any benchmark tests that looked at hard drive speed using the same connection when encoding video? Any real world numbers?
     
  10. Macmaniac macrumors 68040

    Macmaniac

    #10
    Just a piece of advice, never ever use your internal Hard Drive as a scratch disk. Its a great way to shred your drive.

    Just invest in a good Firewire 800 7200RPM external drive (3.5in)

    I edited a huge 150gb HDV project off a Firewire 800 drive and it did fine scrubbing through hours of source material. Just make sure you have plenty of RAM allocated.
     
  11. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #11
    If you mean encoding to a more compressed format like an .mp4 with the .h264 codec, the FW800 will more than suffice.
    FW800 will give you 50-65MB/s transfer speeds, so there is plenty of room for proper encoding.

    You also could SATA with an eSATA express card, as that will offer more speed, but then you really have to use fast 7200rpm drives or even raid to fully exhaust that port.

    What kind of video are planning to edit and encode? DV, HDV, Digi Beta, 1080i/p,....?
    The more resolution the material and the less compression you use, the more speed you're going to need.
    DV - 3.25MB/s
    HDV - approx. 17 to 20MB/s
    Digi Beta 1:1 - 26MB/s
    1080i/p - depending on the lossless codec you use.
     
  12. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #12
    spinnerlys, HDV and DV have the same data rate.... they are both 3.5MB/s
     
  13. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #13
    On tape they have, as HDV is an MPEG-2 stream, but once captured with FCP and converted to AIC, HDV takes up 5 times more space.

    Or do you save HDV as MPEG-2 stream on your HDD and edit it in MPEG-2?
     
  14. knello macrumors member

    knello

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    #14
    Why do you use AIC and not ProRes? (curious)
     
  15. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #15
    ^I don't know, I only used HDV once in my life, and I choose AIC then.

    What would be the advantage of ProRes over AIC?
     
  16. DoNoHarm thread starter macrumors 65816

    DoNoHarm

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    #16
    I'm working with 720p avchd encoded files.
     
  17. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #17
    The faster scratch disks should be your way to go, as AVCHD imported into FCP (and converted to AIC or ProRes) will take up space and needs good read speeds.

    [​IMG]
    ProRes chart from AppleInsider
     
  18. lca355 macrumors member

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    #18
    Hi, sorry to hijack the thread, but I have similar questions. I was thinking of going the esata route and getting an external enclosure to put a couple of 320 GB WD 7200 RPM drives from my desktop in a raid 0 then import the footage from a sony dv camcorder using the firewire port. I'm getting a 17 MBP. Also, be working w/ 720P clips from nikon D90. I'm just trying to figure out the correct expresscard 34 esata to get that will work w/ the new mbp. There's a question in here somewhere. Is this going to work as smoothly as I am thinking it will? This is just for home use, i'm not making a living off of it or anything, but I'm a first time switcher so I've got a lot to learn. . .

    *again sorry for the hijack*
     
  19. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #19
  20. lca355 macrumors member

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    #20
    Yeah, i've picked up on Mroogle and have been using it. There's a few expresscard esata threads and a main one, it's a mess the only card that seems to work flawlessly is a sonnet pro version for $280. What a headache. I thought if I went esata then I could leave the fw 800 port open to connect my dv camcorder to and just import directly to the esata drives? Would that not save a step of importing to the boot drive and then copying over to the esata drive? or do I just not understand what I'm trying to do :)
    Thanks for the advice/input. I haven't even got the 17 MBP yet, it should be here by june 25th I hope.
     
  21. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #21
    As you can daisy chain FW devices (up to 63 in a row), you could connect the HDD via a FW800 cable to the MBP, and the camera via a FW (4pin to 9pin) cable to the HDD.

    An example for daisy chaining below:
    [​IMG]
     
  22. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

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    #22
    Spinner, Big Boss was right, you don't need to transcode HDV to AIC or anything else in FCP. You can capture, edit, and export native if you choose. You still retain the 3.5 MB bitrate but it puts more pressure on the CPU.
     
  23. spinnerlys Guest

    spinnerlys

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    #23
    How can I capture HDV in FCP without transcoding?

    And even the transcoded HDV video I once did (AIC), put some pressure on my 2.0GHz Alu iMac with 4GB RAM, the CPU was always above 50%.
     
  24. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #24
    Select the appropriate HDV easy setup. We edit HDV daily mainly on G5's so it shouldn't be too much of a struggle for an intel machine.


    Lethal
     
  25. lca355 macrumors member

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    #25
    Thanks for the graphic Spinnerlys. I will give that a try. I had read in one of the other forums that people had problems daisychaining, and it would slow down my interface to the firewire 400 speed, but that's still fast enough for DV right?

    Thanks,

    Ryan
     

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