Editing on External HDD question

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by 321estrellas, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. 321estrellas macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2007
    I know an external scratch drive should be 7200rpm, FW400/800/eSATA and so forth (I've been using an OWC Mercury Elite Pro for several years and love it)...

    But I'm going to start editing on a PC soon and was wondering about the following questions:

    - Does it matter if the external enclosure doesn't have its own power supply? It's just a USB 3.0 plug and the end that plugs is nothing I've seen before - I don't know if it's proprietary or what.

    Image of the enclosure and cable can be seen here -http://www.patriotmemory.com/product/specs/gauntlet_pkg.jpg (couldn't find a front picture of the cable)

    - Are there any disadvantages editing on a 2.5" drive vs. 3.5"? It will be 7200rpm either way.

    - Will I see any improvements in editing over USB 3.0 vs. eSATA or FW?

    Thanks in advance for your input guys.
  2. aarond12 macrumors 65816


    May 20, 2002
    Dallas, TX USA
    If you're using USB 3.0, there is enough power to run a small, laptop-form-factor drive. You likely don't have enough power to run a full-sized 3.5" drive without an external power supply. Right there, you will take a hit on performance. I typically see ~60MB/second with a laptop drive and ~100MB/second with a standard 3.5" drive.

    You will see a decrease in performance going to USB 3.0. USB is not a bus mastering solution, so having time-sensitive data delivery isn't an option. In human speak that means it will be slower.

    If you can, use eSATA or Firewire. Even better, use a drive attached to an internal connector on your computer. With a laptop that isn't an option in many cases...

    You will also notice that PC video editing solutions suck compared to Mac-based ones. That was the last straw for me in switching to Mac: Video editing is so much more fluid and usable on the Mac. It all comes down to Windows poor time slicing.
  3. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    USB 3 is superior to both FW400 and FW800...eSATA is a mixed bag as many so called enclosure with eSATA are actually eSATA II and not III. This includes many of OWC's products. I am a big fan of OWC and they get a great deal of business from me when I need small items.

    For PC - its easy to get a good card that handles external raid units that are not overly expensive where you can stripe the drives. The alternative is get 1-2 SSD drives and those will run well with just USB3 and no additional power required. 3.5" drives in general are faster than their 2.5" counterparts even at the same rotational speed. A nice set up would be 2 1tb raptor drives (10,000 rpm) drives striped and use USB3 or eSATA III or Tbolt.

    Just some thoughts.
  4. 321estrellas thread starter macrumors 6502


    Sep 28, 2007
    Thanks guys for your input.

    I just got an Asus G75VW...somewhat a blind purchase because of how sexy it looks (despite it being massive and heavy) and the specs were great. Unfortunately, no eSATA or thunderbolt ports (regardless what you see/read on this model, it's actually a mini-display port, not thunderbolt).

    But the good thing is, there are TWO internal 2.5" HDD bays. Obviously bay 1 will be an SSD for OS and programs, and I'm planning to use bay 2 for raw footage/scratch disc. Which brings me to one of my questions I asked in the original thread...

    Is it okay to edit on a 2.5" hard drive, even if it's 7200rpm? Should be okay, right? I don't see why not but I just need some reassurance from people that have experience. :)

    PS. On a somewhat-off-topic note, what are peoples' experiences with Hybrid SSD/HDD drives as your main drive? Does it speed up more the bootup - such as opening editing programs and such?
  5. matteusclement macrumors 65816


    Jan 26, 2008
    The 2nd internal drive will work, 7200rpm would be better.

    I completely disagree with the idea of a USB3 drive. It's slow to output and write. BUT that's with a hard drive, not SSD. You might have better luck with that.

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