External HDD for photo storage working with LR

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by 147798, Jul 28, 2009.

  1. 147798 Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I am looking at getting a 1 or 1.5TB HDD for external storage, and for working with LR photos. The idea is that I'll access the RAW files from the external HDD.

    I'm looking at the Western Digital green drives, but I understand they are a bit slower than some of the other drives.

    Right now, I have an older 20" iMac with only FW400. Will I notice any difference in speed using the WD Green drive vs. others? My guess is that the bottle neck is likely in the FW400, so I wouldn't know the difference.

    But, my plan is to move to a newer iMac in the fall. Would I notice a performance over FW800 in the WD Green drives vs, say, WD Black drive?
  2. toxic macrumors 68000

    Nov 9, 2008
    the slowest of modern hard drives are much faster than FW400. and 800, for that matter.

    i would stick to 2 or 3 500GB drives, unless you want to buy two 1TB drives. they'll run cooler and you won't lose as much when one fails.
  3. 147798 thread starter Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I'm also looking at RAID 1 solutions. Is there a performance hit in RAID 1? Maybe I should ask this question in the hardware section of macrumors, but I don't see a forum for this kind of question.

    Does anyone know a recommended RAID 1 HW solution?
  4. Mr.Noisy macrumors 65816


    May 5, 2007
    this is a great Raid 1 storage solution im looking for something similar for RAW file storage, there are a few media vaults on the market, I want at least 1tb for RAW file storage & hopefully a media vault will be the answer :)
  5. 147798 thread starter Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Thanks for the link. I have heard about that HP solution (though I had forgotten it). My issue is I want a drive that is my working drive, and not just a backup vault. The media vault is USB (too slow) or ethernet (no idea if that would be quick enough or not).

    Has anyone else used such a drive as a working/scratch disk, and found the transfer speeds to be adequate?
  6. jampat macrumors 6502a

    Mar 17, 2008
    I run RAID 1 at the office, no obvious performance hit but I've never benchmarked it. For pictures, I have a pair of external 1TB drives. I work off one and the second always lives at home in a safe place disconnected. Whenever I go home, I mirror the drives. Raid 1 with one enclosure can still be wiped out by a power surge or physical damage.

    I don't know what you're doing with photos, but USB 2.0 is fast enough (with HFS, with NTFS it's dog slow), the computer moves pictures around faster than I can do whatever I need to do with them. Of course FW400 and 800 are faster, but that's pretty much a non-issue.

    If your working disk is going to be that external drive, I would use the internal drive as a scratch disk for more speed (or a second FW external).
  7. TenPoundMonkey macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2007
    I use external primary storage for most of my work files...

    I have tried all sorts of solutions, but my current (and favorite BY FAR) is my DROBO... it works with 2 to 4 drives, alerts you when reaching capacity or having disk problems... it is FW800 so for image files, it's very fast.
  8. 147798 thread starter Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Someone else I was talking with today mentioned the Drobo. How quiet is it?

    Also, is it easy to turn on/turn off if not needed? Is there much of a boot/spin up delay when turning it on?
  9. TenPoundMonkey macrumors member

    Aug 23, 2007
    I have mine up on my desk next to me... and I don't notice excessive noise.

    It's a "disk robot" so it manages itself as far as disk spin and standby/powerdown. I notice much more of a delay from my internal drives when they spin down.
    It's an awesome system... you can start with 2 disks (of any capacity) and it seamlessly manages the storage space and let's you know when you are getting low. Then you just add another drive of whatever capacity you want and it starts incorporating that space... on and on until it's full, then it tells you which drive is the smallest and asks you to replace this. It runs a fully automated version of RAID and lets you know if/when any of the disks are having problems. very cool.
  10. Eddyisgreat macrumors 601

    Oct 24, 2007
    I have the g-tech drives. Pretty good in my opinion, especially the mini/mini-raid series.
  11. 147798 thread starter Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    Thanks. I got spooked, though, on all the reviews on-line claiming so many Drobo failures. THe internet is both blessing and curse in terms of too much information!
  12. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Jan 5, 2006
    Redondo Beach, California
    Really? FW400 is 400M bits per second

    The SATA cable that connects a disk drive to an IDE controller runs at 300M bits per second. I don't see how a SATA drive can be faster then a FW400 cable. The SATA standard goes only to 300.

    The speed bottle neck the is the rate which the bits on the disk fly under the read/write head. This is the bit density times the tangential speed of the disk. It is well under the cable speed.

    That said. The current best buy on disks is 1.5TB. This size currently gives best bang per buck, very fast and lostest cost per gigabyte. Get a drive this size in an FW800 enclosure. It will work fine with your FW400 Mac. (It slowes to 400 speed) and will ready for any new Mac you buy later that has FW800
  13. 147798 thread starter Suspended

    Dec 29, 2007
    I ended up ordering a 1TB drive because the only 1.5 I could find is the Seagate Barracuda, with an internet history of drive failures. I do have an external enclosure, though, that is both FW400/800.
  14. PhilipR macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2009
    Apple Share Ethernet Transfer Speed

    Just as a network speed guide I am transferring 25 meg RAW photo files at a rate of 28 megs per second from a G5 tower with green 1T WD drive to a G4 933 2002 with Seagate 500 drives over Gigabit Ethernet.

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