Best external raid/storage option for video editor

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Ben1l, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. Ben1l macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2006
    I work as a video editor on a Mac Pro 4,1 in FCPX. I have a huge video project coming up and will need some seriously storage. I was thinking of going for a Drobo, but just saw that the new Drobos don't come with firewire 800. Being on a older Mac Pro am I right in thinking that connecting it via the Drobo's USB 3 port to my Mac Pros USB 2 port would be a considerable slower connection than the older firewire 800 drives?

    If so, I would really appreciate people suggestions for a small(ish) raided (for safety) storage solution and setup. As I said i'll be editing HD video, so it has to be connected to the fastest port, or in the fastest way possible.

    Many thanks!!
  2. slughead macrumors 68040


    Apr 28, 2004
    Do you have any available PCIe slots? There's a thread around here somewhere about inexpensive aftermarket USB 3 cards.

    Depending on your budget, you could also consider SAS, which would rock your bananas.

    A cheap and very effective way would be eSATA. If you only need 4 drives, you could probably get a whole setup going for <$125 and it would be way faster than FW800 and USB 3.
  3. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007

    If you seriously just mentioned editing video on a drobo over a USB connection you need to STEP AWAY FROM THE KEYBOARD and PUT YOUR WALLET DOWN.

    Even FW800 is TOO SLOW for video editing and that will be 3-4 times faster in real world vs. a drobo on usb2

    There is ZERO possibility of being satisfied editing HD video on a drobo over USB.

    I would advise a mini-SAS box hooked externally via an internal RAID Card. this gives you ability to migrate to a TB based solution in the future. That's what I do (raid6) for my video footage.

    But seriously, just totally forget the drobo idea. It's ok (maybe) for backup, but not at all for active work. I had one on FW800 and it routinely gave me 20-30mb/sec data rates at best.
  4. jonnymo5 macrumors 6502

    Jan 21, 2008
    Completely agree. I have a Drobo for backup and I love it but I couldn't recommend it as a workspace.
  5. wonderspark macrumors 68040


    Feb 4, 2010
    Look into Areca or Atto for PCIe RAID cards. I use a slightly-older Areca 1880ix-12 with an 8-bay Sans Digital box and two mini-SAS cables, which provide speeds of about 800MB/sec speeds in a 12TB RAID 6 volume using 8x2TB WD RE-4 HDDs. There are many using even more disks for more speed and space.

    I edit HD footage with no issues, and can even edit 4K footage at 1/4 resolution perfectly smooth. (Bumping up to 1/2 resolution will play, but with occasional little stutters.) If you're serious about editing, you need very fast storage. I don't know what 'huge' means for you, but this system has been used for two feature-length films, both of which started off being initially cut over two hours long in 1080p before being cut down to about 90 minutes. The film I'm editing now fills eight video tracks and 12 audio tracks, using effects and such. I have FCP X, but don't like it, so I've done these projects using Adobe (CS5, CS5.5 and CS6) suites.

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