Editing set-up: Am I doing this correctly?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by TheBeastman13, Aug 21, 2013.

  1. TheBeastman13 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #1
    As the title suggests, I'm looking for clarification on whether or not my workflow is the most efficient for the hardware I have. Currently, I edit on my Intel Core 2 Duo 2.4 GHz; 4 GB of RAM (upgraded from 2 GB) MacBook4.1 with Final Cut Express 4 as my editing program. I have an external Seagate 1 TB HDD where I store the media and FCE4 caches, and FCE4 is run off the Macbook's HDD. Is this the most efficient way to edit my video, best method to promote the fastest rendering time with the hardware I have?

    Thanks for the help, and all tips are welcomed.


    Regards,

    B.
     
  2. chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #2
    The only thing I'd suggest is putting your caches, media source files, and project files on your fastest drive. These are the things that get read and written the most when you're working, so putting them somewhere fast is your best upgrade. Let the OS, apps, and all your other stuff be on a slow drive like the spinning disk that came with the machine. You could get a 128gb SSD pretty cheap, and run that through a good USB 3 or thunderbolt enclosure (do they exist yet?). Then just copy your project to it when you start working each day. If you can afford a bigger one, you can get more stuff on it and you won't need to move things around as much.
     
  3. handsome pete macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #3
    He's limited to USB 2 or Firewire 400 on that Macbook.
     
  4. chaos86, Aug 21, 2013
    Last edited: Aug 21, 2013

    chaos86 macrumors 65816

    chaos86

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2003
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #4
    Good point. I guess it has to be internal then, and I'm guessing the SATA bus is SATA 2, the old 3gbps one. You'll get about 250-300mb/s from an SSD on that bus, compared to the 80-100mb/s you get now from your spinning drive. Good news is you can buy the older SSDs that only run at SATA 2 speed and save some money, bad news is you get half the speed the SATA 3 ones get.

    Unfortunately this also means you pretty much have to put the OS and apps on the SSD because it's your only internal drive, the only drive you'll have when you're on the road. That is unless you want to replace your optical drive with a second storage drive (with a kit like this: OptiBay).

    ----------

    Of course, my suggestions are pretty drastic, and that's an old machine. You have to weigh the cost of upgrades against just saving up for a new mac.
     
  5. squeeks macrumors 68040

    squeeks

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2007
    Location:
    Florida
    #5
  6. TheBeastman13 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2012
    #6
    Thanks, all, for the input. As much as I'd like to upgrade my current hardware, I think it best to save up for a new set-up. :/
     
  7. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #7
    A suggestion would be to move your files to the internal drive and use the external solely as TM backup; it is assumed that the external drive is connected via USB 2 and it is probably half as fast as your internal drive.

    Run BlackMagic speed tests to know for certain.

    Like chaos86 said, put your files on your fastest drive!
     
  8. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #8
    Do not store your media and the applications on the same drive. Rule of thumb has always been to keep them separate, as your machine will have to read and write data for both the program and media at the same time on the same drive.. better to keep them separate.

    Sharing a drive between all the stuff a Mac does and reading a media file means the drive heads will bounce around all over the platter and the disk drive is not productive when the heads are in motion betreen tracks.

    Your best bet is to hook up to an external drive via firewire 400, has that is the preferred connection for video. Some may argue that it has slower transfer times than usb 2, but firewire is proven to be the winner.

    Keep your autosave on your machine, as there has been issues with saving the autosaves to an external.
     
  9. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #9
    Thanks for the clarification:

    I have been wondering why the emphasis on using external drive for media while at the same time threads stress using fastest drive.

    Couple of quick questions then:

    Does this hold true regardless of installed RAM (ie if you have 16GB RAM for example, would it still be necessary for the program to access program files the drive on a regular basis)?

    Also, is this an issue of speed only or can this back and forth degrade the HDD?
     
  10. Chad3eleven macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2012
    #10
    Yes having media on your fastest drive is important, but to me its not as important as the actual program.. especially in your case. Programs should be separated from the media, if not there will be more wear and tear on the drives.

    I've been editing projects that sat on external drives (firewire 800, on my sig machine below, 2011 imac i7 with 12 gbs of ram) and it has been fine.. then I've moved the media to the main drive and noticed hiccups and choppy playback.. so keep that media off the main.

    Also, regarding ram and affecting performance of a program.. it doesnt matter how much you have, the program still has to check back to the drive and the OS when you give it commands.. ram helps other performance features (rendering, caching, etc)

    Keep in mind that FCP 7 and FCPE are not 64bit, so they cant truly use more then 3-4 gbs of ram.. but more ram is good to have as programs will share it.
     

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