External Hard Drive for Video Editing

LillieDesigns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 18, 2005
323
56
Los Angeles
I am currently editing my projects using iMovie on my 20 inch Intel iMac with 1gig of ram and I think 160gig hard drive. Anyway, I am looking for more storage and heard editing programs run faster if you have them on the external hard drive. I am looking for a decent amount of space for a decent price.

Does the speed of the drive make a difference? Any suggestions? Maybe white to match my Mac? :)

Thanks.

Edit: I don't know if it matters, but I connect directly form my Sony HDR-HC3 via firewire - if I attach a new hard drive do I choose to save the clips to that drive? Is this even worth it? Thanks again.
 

bigandy

macrumors G3
Apr 30, 2004
8,852
0
Murka
Ensure your drive has the following checked off:

  • 7200rpm
  • Firewire 400 or 800

And you pretty much can't go wrong.

Drop over to OWC, they've got some nice stuff..
 

ppc_michael

Guest
Apr 26, 2005
1,498
2
Los Angeles, CA
I am looking for more storage and heard editing programs run faster if you have them on the external hard drive.
Not exactly. Editing programs run faster if you have the assets on another drive (called a "scratch disk"). Like the project file and all the clips in your project. This is so that you have a hard drive doing nothing but reading/writing your clips, instead of doing that along with running other programs and OS, and all that.
 

LillieDesigns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 18, 2005
323
56
Los Angeles
I knew when I wrote that it might be misinterpreted. I meant the files, but thanks for clearing it up because tbh I was 100% sure. Thanks for all the suggestions, keep them coming if you have them.

And are the "My Book" hard drives ok? They seem to be the only decent looking ones at Best Buy.
 

theBB

macrumors 68020
Jan 3, 2006
2,453
3
And are the "My Book" hard drives ok? They seem to be the only decent looking ones at Best Buy.
Macworld had very good speed test results on Firewire MyBooks. I think it was for FW400, but it could be 800 as well, not sure. However, I have also seen posts that claimed that you cannot daisy chain more than one of them even if you use Firewire. I guess they have some sort of bug.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
I'd stay away from the my books, I've not had good experiences with Western Digital hard drives. Although I would highly suggest that you get a FireWire external hard drive as they are noticeably faster than USB hard drives. Frys usually has good prices on hard drives.
 

Texas04

macrumors 6502a
Jul 2, 2005
879
0
Texas
Also to note:

I use Final Cut Express and all my media and assets for FCE, Soundtrack and Livetype reside on my external HD and it is connected via USB 2.0. It works great! Firewire I do agree is preferred, but USB 2.0 is an option if you choose to go that route. And if it is just for iMovie, you should be fine.
 

bimmzy

macrumors regular
Dec 29, 2006
140
0
London
We use the Mybooks (Firewire 400) at work for editing and storing edits for future transmission. we've not had a problem yet. that's not to say that they are perfect either. having said that, they are very fast for the money, and we use 3:1 compression (remember DV and HDV is only 5:1) on our Avids, and the Mybooks seem to sing!
 

swwack91

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2007
735
23
New Jersey
Also to note:

I use Final Cut Express and all my media and assets for FCE, Soundtrack and Livetype reside on my external HD and it is connected via USB 2.0. It works great! Firewire I do agree is preferred, but USB 2.0 is an option if you choose to go that route. And if it is just for iMovie, you should be fine.
it's really important to keep all the project assets together on the drive. Having like random LiveType or Soundtrack files on your internal HD can cause some files to go offline. It's not a guarantee but sometimes it randomly happens.

And another thing - buy a big HD! Don't think just cuz you don't need the space now that you'll never need it. Being also involved with digital video i know that it's always a good idea to keep all your raw footage on the computer so make sure you have the room to expand!
 

mac's my homie

macrumors newbie
Sep 14, 2006
27
0
South Carolina
And another thing - buy a big HD!
Agree 100%! If you can, try to go with at least a terabyte. I wish I would have invested the extra money. When you start running out of space on your HD, you'll probably start deleting anything you "think" you don't need just to save space. Then your worst nightmare happens and you deleted something you REALLY needed! Or something you needed later.
 

iBookG4user

macrumors 604
Jun 27, 2006
6,596
2
Seattle, WA
So when Leopard hits will I be able to use Time Machine with one of these too?
You will be able to use Time Machine with any external hard drive that has enough space for it to back up all that you want it to. Time Machine will not be able to back up any data that is on the same external hard drive that you are using for Time Machine though.
 

Mr B

macrumors member
Oct 16, 2006
62
0
Washington DC
Agree 100%! If you can, try to go with at least a terabyte. I wish I would have invested the extra money. When you start running out of space on your HD, you'll probably start deleting anything you "think" you don't need just to save space. Then your worst nightmare happens and you deleted something you REALLY needed! Or something you needed later.
just to be devil's advocate. It is also nice to have 2 500g drives rather than 1 terabyte drive. One drive fails? You lose half, rather than all of your information. really important files can be backed up on both. And if you need to take one somewhere, you still have one at home! ;P
 

LillieDesigns

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Oct 18, 2005
323
56
Los Angeles
I wish I had the bottomless pockets of everyone else here :p

I went from wanting a simple MAYBE 250gb hard drive and now you all have me craving terabytes!

It's ok, I'll just have to give in :D
 

looking4anotebo

macrumors 6502
Jul 9, 2007
295
30
Can anyone clear this up? If I buy an external hard drive, what do I need to load on it or do to it to optimize my video editing? Or do I just save everything video editing related on it?

Is there a downside to using usb 2.0 external hard drive while transferring footage from a camcorder to computer?
 

jpvideo

macrumors newbie
Jul 21, 2009
1
0
need another firewire port?

so if i want to import from a dv camera and store on my firewire external hard drive how do i do that if my g4 laptop has only one port? can one buy a firewire hub? thanks, Jp
 

AVR2

macrumors 6502
Jan 16, 2006
391
6
can one buy a firewire hub?
You might want to try Googling "firewire hub" ;)

But it's worth remembering that although a Firewire hard drive is preferred, it's not essential by any means. Any modern USB2 hard drive will be more than fast enough to handle capture and playback of DV footage. I frequently use a 4200rpm USB2 HD with FCP on my 2.16 MacBook Pro.
 

bearcatrp

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2008
1,604
3
Boon Docks USA
If your tight on cash, a 250 or 500gb external will do. If you go firewire, get the 800. OWC has a great selection. If you have the cash, snag a 2 drive enclosure and 1 drive for now. Add a second one later. Try to plan for the future. Leave your program files on your desktop. Use the external to write your project to. Time it before using the external, then after to see your time difference (use the same file your working on). Should cut down processing time by 1/3 or more.
 

CaptainChunk

macrumors 68020
Apr 16, 2008
2,142
6
Phoenix, AZ
It's been my experience that the WD MyBook Studio drives are actually very good externals for the money. I have 4 of them, and none of them have failed. I use these for less-demanding projects, like editing DV, HDV and DVCPRO-HD footage.

They have quad interfaces (USB2/FW400/FW800/eSATA) and come pre-formatted for Mac.

For more demanding video codecs (ProRes, REDCODE, uncompressed, etc.) you'll want RAID disks.
 

spinnerlys

Guest
Sep 7, 2008
14,335
7
forlod bygningen
so if i want to import from a dv camera and store on my firewire external hard drive how do i do that if my g4 laptop has only one port? can one buy a firewire hub? thanks, Jp
As you have a G4 iBook or PowerBook, USB might still a be a bit slow, even though it can sustain the 3.125 MB/s DV material needs.

You can daisy chain Firewire devices, which mean most Firewire drives have a second Firewire port, to which another Firewire device like an HDD or a camera can be connected.

The following image might not be the best example, but may give you a better understanding.


Also, what G4 laptop do you have, as some of the larger PowerBooks had a FW400 and a FW800 port?

15-inch model


12-inch model



iBook
 

PhixionFilms

macrumors 6502
Dec 6, 2008
348
0
Deployed atm
7200 RPM external Drive - Firewire 400/800
Store your scratch on your EXTERNAL Drive.
Store your project logs on your INTERNAL Drive.
Do this, and you will be very efficient in your coming days as a video editor.