Does Aperture Benefit from Thunderbolt over USB3?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by jbg232, Dec 6, 2013.

  1. jbg232 macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #1
    Long time aperture use but finally updating my setup. Going to a new rMBP and am going to move my referenced library (currently on a USB 2 drive) to a new external hard drive and keep my main database on the internal SSD. I have the money for a new setup, but don't want to waste money if there will only be marginal benefit to my workflow.

    Here are my options:
    1. Free - 4TB G-Tech USB 3 drive (I already have this one as a gift that can't be returned... long story)
    2. Purchase a Lacie 2big Thunderbolt 4TB drive

    From reviews I've been reading the G-Tech gets about 150MB/s sequential read/write and the Lacie gets about 323MB/s read/write when running in Raid-0 which I would do. Obviously that's a big difference on paper but will aperture actually SEE those benefits in real world performance?

    I currently sort through 35MB 5D Mark III images, so the way I'm thinking, even if I click through pretty quickly the G-Tech would be able to keep up.

    Please let me know your thoughts/real world experiences with USB 3 vs thunderbolt for a referenced aperture library.
     
  2. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #2
    Both USB3 and Thunderbolt can transmit data far faster than a single 7200rpm hdd can read or write it.

    It sounds as if your g-tech drive is a single 4tb drive in the enclosure (as opposed to 2x2tb). Is this correct?

    If so, this speed difference is nothing to do with USB3 vs Thunderbolt. As you said, the lacie drive is in fact 2 drives working in raid 0, so it's only writing half the data to each drive. That's why it's twice as fast.

    Would you see a difference in real world performance? Yes.

    Is that important? Probably not. It really depends on your circumstances. Unless you feel like your current g-drive is too slow then how important is it really to have double the speed?

    Personally I don't use referenced aperture libraries, but I do run entire managed libraries off an external USB3 HDD (a WD red in an Icy Box caddy) and absolutely have no issues with the performance.

    Hope that helps.
     
  3. MCAsan macrumors 601

    MCAsan

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2012
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #3
    Use the LaCie in RAID 0 mode for speed at 4TB or RAID 1 for high availability at 2TB mirrored. And use the Gtech for Time Machine backups of the internal SSD and the LaCie drives.
     
  4. jbg232 thread starter macrumors 65816

    jbg232

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2007
    #4
    I already have a slow 6TB Time Machine Drive so these drives are purely for the photo library. I would buy the Lacie if it would really make a performance difference in real world as opposed to just knowing it is faster based off of sequential read stats. That's what I'm trying to gauge from the community - does it help to have higher than 150mb/s drive speeds in terms of real world performance or is there a cut off above which higher speeds are not noticeable?
     
  5. swordio777 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2013
    Location:
    Scotland, UK
    #5
    I haven't used one, so I can't speak from experience, but I think the real world results will be fairly minimal for the kind of work you're doing.

    If you were a videographer and were regularly transferring individual files that were terabytes in size then you'd really notice a difference. The difference between a transfer taking 4 hours and taking 2 hours is obviously massive.

    However when you're rendering single photos the differences will be tiny. If it takes 0.5 of a second to render a raw preview in aperture then doubling the read speed will mean it can render in half the time - 0.25 seconds. Is that extra quarter second per image really worth the expense? Only you can answer that.

    One time you might notice a difference is when transferring files from your memory cards onto the external disc. You'd need USB3 card reader as well though.

    Cheers!
     

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