Best storage option for video editing

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Jfernandez, Aug 3, 2016.

  1. Jfernandez macrumors newbie

    Jfernandez

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    #1
    Hi. I just sold my Early 2009 Imac, and now I,m waiting for news of the Imac upgrade in fall (if finally happens).
    But i have a question. I want the Imac basically for video editing. But I'm not sure which is the best storage option.
    My budget options are 512SSD (+usb3 externas HDD, like Western Digital Passport Ultra), or 2TB FusionDrive
    Anyone editing with the media files in the FusionDrive? Works well?

    Thanks. And sorry for my english.
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    Go pure Flash to ensure system longevity. The read/write speeds, performance, and reliability of SSDs are more than enough to justify that.
     
  3. Jfernandez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jfernandez

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    #3
    Yeah! That's what i think, but then, the transfer speed in USB3 was enough for editing 4K files... That's my fear...
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    'Enough' means 'could always be better' ;)

    Especially as video content gets larger -- for instance, if you begin working with really high def stuff or even 4K -- you'll definitely notice the difference on the PCI-e SSDs when importing/editing/exporting/encoding. We're talking longevity; it's better to go for a little more powerful than you think you might need, than buying something that you know is currently good enough.

    Just my $0.02 of course!
     
  5. IngerMan, Aug 3, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016

    IngerMan macrumors 6502a

    IngerMan

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2011
    Location:
    Michigan
    #5
    It would be nice to hear from some one that has 2TB or 3TB doing video editing. You won't get the 1800 mb/s reads like the 500GB SSD but I am getting 1300 mb/s reads and 600 mb/s writes on a few disk speed tests apps on my 2TB.

    What's the real world feel of the larger Fusion doing video?
     
  6. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #6
    Use a 512GB SSD for boot/OS/apps/cache. Do the video work from a library drive that is a RAID 0 pair of drives connected via Thunderbolt. Naturally, you also way a nice large backup drive connected via TB. And if you are a professional with revenue attached to the files, you also want another backup in another location (bank vault, cloud). If you are a pro, always have two backups...in two locations.
     
  7. Jfernandez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jfernandez

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    #7
    I haven't budget for 2 HDD external Thunderbolt. Usb3 works fine?
    What's is better. Do the media in SO (FusiónDrive) or in a Usb3 esternal drive?
    Thanks
     
  8. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    USB3 enclosures that do UASP works just fine for single HD. UASP greatly improves transport speed to/from HD. Faster still would be two 7200rpm drives configured as RAID 0 mirrored with TB as transport. Next step up might a single HD over TB. Fastest should be RAID 0 over TB.

    Start with two HD via USB-3 and USAP. One HD for library and the other for backup. As budget allows you may want a third drive to make a RAID-0 mirrored pair with the existing library drive.

    Remember that very likely we will start to see the end of USB 3 ports on all Macs. Apple will be moving to USC-C ports that do USB-3.1 Gen 2 high speed, TB3/2/1, ethernet, FW.......etc. So wait until you have decided on the new iMac before purchasing the external HD units.
     
  9. joema2, Aug 3, 2016
    Last edited: Aug 3, 2016

    joema2 macrumors 65816

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #9
    In general the main challenge with 4K editing is not I/O but CPU. Whether your I/O is SSD vs HDD RAID makes very little difference. The second challenge is GPU, not for editing per se but for effects. However I/O can become a factor if you must transcode the 4K to get good editing performance, but then that often won't fit on any SSD you can afford.

    4K is so CPU intensive to edit that you generally must transcode to a lower compression codec for smoothest performance, and definitely when editing multicam. This is even using FCPX which performs better than Premiere CC and even on a top-spec 2015 iMac 27.

    When you transcode to proxy -- not optimized ProRes, just proxy -- this roughly doubles the media size. Add in scratch files, cache files, render files, etc, and your space requirement can easily be 5x the initial out-of-camera H264 media size.

    This means few people could afford SSD storage of sufficient size to hold all that -- it's just too big at transcoded 4k resolution. Also you don't need the extra SSD performance. About 500 megabytes/sec would be great and that's easily attainable by a 4-drive RAID-5 array. If you pay 8x as much and get an SSD array which supports >= 1,000 megabytes/sec, it will make very little difference in the overall editing performance.

    I have six Macs, three are Fusion Drive and three are SSD. I have done lots of side-by-side testing with my 2013 iMac 27 with 3TB Fusion vs my 2015 iMac 27 with 1TB SSD. There just isn't that much difference in boot time, app loading time, etc. SSD can be a little better and is a little more consistent but it's typically not a huge difference in real world performance. Your media must often be on an external drive anyway, so in that case you may as well have an SSD boot drive even though it doesn't help real-world editing performance much.

    A fast 7200 rpm 3.5-inch USB drive is fine for editing a single stream of H264 1080p video. I would not recommend editing with media on a 5400 rpm bus-powered drive, and even a 7200 rpm 2.5-inch bus-powered USB drive like the 1TB HGST Touro S is marginal: https://amzn.com/B00IVFDQ48

    The Seagate Backup Plus Fast is one of the fastest USB 3.0 bus-powered drives. It is internally RAID-0 and you could probably edit some 4k from that: https://amzn.com/B00HXAV0X6

    For 4k you ideally need at least a two-drive RAID-0 array, like the G-Tech G-RAID: https://amzn.com/B00846Z4YY

    One of the least expensive of this type is the 6TB USB 3.0 WD Mybook Duo: https://amzn.com/B00KU686JQ I have tested the 8TB Thunderbolt version vs the USB 3.0 version and they are equally fast. However Thunderbolt is nice and convenient and due to Mac firmware limitations you cannot boot from a USB hard drive over 2TB in size. So if you need to clone it then boot from it, the drive must be Thunderbolt.

    Another issue is perceived durability. I have several of the MyBook Duos I use for backup, but they get pretty hot and I'm not sure if I'd trust them for 24x7 production use, month after month. The G-Tech has a cooling fan and metal frame and is probably better suited for continuous production.

    The biggest challenge in 4K is CPU not I/O. You will need the fastest machine you can possibly afford, and even a top-spec 2015 iMac 27 can bog down under that load. If you are editing 5 minute long 4k iPhone videos, almost anything will work, including a MacBook Air. If you are editing significant amounts of material, the fastest possible machine is needed, and if you must transcode that in turn requires lots of disk space and higher I/O performance, but not SSD-level performance.

    Remember whatever storage solution you get, whether HDD, SSD, internal or external should be backed on on separate physical storage.
     
  10. tjwilliams25 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2014
    Location:
    Montana
    #10
    I have done some 4k editing and I've found that USB 3.0 speeds are definitely up to the challenge when moving the large files around. The bottleneck we've had is our SSD dock is USB 2.0, so it's slow as molasses, but our editing drive is 3.0 and it's been great. Of course, Thunderbolt is quite a bit faster on paper, but it's still really expensive and the real-world benefit isn't really enough for me to invest a lot into it.
     
  11. Jfernandez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jfernandez

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2016
    #11
    Uoo. Thanks a lot for the answers.
    Firts of all. I'll be waiting for the Imac update in fall. And then decide.
    I think for my budget the best option is buy the Imac whith i7, and Fusion Drive. And keep the media in a external device. Better Thunderbolt HDD.
     
  12. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #12
    If you are going for external media storage an SSD will be a better bet than fusion giving you more space for all your apps on the flash storage.
     

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