External vs. Internal iBook HDs

ibidiem

macrumors member
Original poster
Aug 27, 2005
70
0
Portland, OR
If wanting to run Final Cut Pro (which takes up, what, 45 G's of space) would it be best, do you think, to purchase the iBook 1.42 100G hard drive upgrade (about $200 more than the stock 60G), or to spend that money on a firewire external hard drive, both faster and vaster?

Basically, is it feasible to expect to run bigger programs off of a faster external drive, or is that risky?
 

tikibangout

macrumors regular
Jul 20, 2005
222
0
Philadelphia, PA
Well, with an external, you could get like a 300GB one for like $100. Although, the downside to that is you'd have to lug it around if you're constantly needing your iBook in different places.

The 100GB should be fine though, lets see, about 45GB for Final Cut, so that leaves about 45GB left over for music, apps, movies, etc. It depends though, how much editing you'll be doing. If you're a heavy editor, with lots of movies, etc, then you should go with an external. Either that, or i'd buy an iMac or PowerMac. If you're serious about editing, then the iBook doesn't really seem like the best choice.

With the iMac or PowerMac, you could upgrade to like 400GB if you needed to.

Though, if you want a laptop, i'd go with the PowerBook rather than the iBook. Let me know if you need further assistance.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
Even the fastest external firewire hard drives are slower than internal drives. If you get an external drive, it will increase your storage capacity, but plan on running your programs off the internal drive.

For instance, you may want to use an external firewire drive as your capture and render disks for Final Cut, but you will be better off with the program itself installed on the internal drive.
 

20rogersc

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2005
1,144
0
Brighton, UK
I would have a think about the option to run FCP on an iBook. If you're looking to spend that much money on a pro editing software, I would really spend more on a better mac. However if you do chose the iBook, I would put all the apps on an internal HD, and then all other files on the external.

::20ROGERSC::
 

Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2005
170
0
tikibangout said:
I don't know what that meant, but internal are faster than external.
An internal 4200RPM or 5400RPM 2.5" drive versus a 7200RPM 3.5" drive? Benchmarks please.
 

PlaceofDis

macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
19,238
4
mpw said:
Is the FW or USB2 a bottleneck?

ok i booted off an external FW drive for months.... i saw no slow down at all. only downside of course was that my powerbook wasn't a laptop anymore.

USB 2.0 is not a feasible option if you are going to be doing a lot of work off an external, it has a limit of 480mbps, but its not a sustainable rate, FW is at 400mbps, but it can reach that speed and stay there with no problem.

you could go the external route, but i would probably look into something more along the lines of a 15" powerbook, because then you have the option of FW800 which flies.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
Lazyhound said:
An internal 4200RPM or 5400RPM 2.5" drive versus a 7200RPM 3.5" drive? Benchmarks please.
My FW 800 drive gets 52-54 Mbps
FW 400 gets 30-32 Mbps

My internal 4200 drive gets 80Mbps

Those are read speeds. Firewire drives are not as fast as internal drives, no matter what the spindle speed.
 

Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2005
170
0
mpw said:
Is the FW or USB2 a bottleneck?
What PlaceofDis said, plus even if it saturated the FireWire bus (~50MBps), it would still be faster than a notebook drive (my 5400RPM one gets ~27MBps IIRC), not to mention the improved seek times.
 

Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2005
170
0
Heb1228 said:
My FW 800 drive gets 52-54 Mbps
FW 400 gets 30-32 Mbps

My internal 4200 drive gets 80Mbps
You're sure you aren't getting mixed up between megabits and megabytes?
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
You were right on that should have been a captial "B." Sorry about that. But here are the test results, I just ran them again.

Read speeds:
FW 800: 40,178 KB/sec (7200 RPM)
FW 400: 30,397 KB/sec (7200 RPM)
Internal: 86,116 KB/sec (4200 RPM)

so my internal read speeds are over twice as fast as FW 800, and the OP was talking about an iBook, which only have FW 400. So, like I've said a few times already, internal drives are faster than external FW drives.
 

TheMonarch

macrumors 65816
May 6, 2005
1,467
1
Bay Area
Final cut itself is sooo not 45GB. Its the final cut studio which includes Motion (the biggest of them all I think), DVD studio pro, soundtrack pro, and of course, FCP

EDIT: FCP on my computer is only about 145MB, you should be fine if thats all you're installing. Get an external for video capture, thats where tons of GB will be used.
 

Lazyhound

macrumors regular
Jul 19, 2005
170
0
Heb1228 said:
You were right on that should have been a captial "B." Sorry about that. But here are the test results, I just ran them again.

Read speeds:
FW 800: 40,178 KB/sec (7200 RPM)
FW 400: 30,397 KB/sec (7200 RPM)
Internal: 86,116 KB/sec (4200 RPM)

so my internal read speeds are over twice as fast as FW 800, and the OP was talking about an iBook, which only have FW 400. So, like I've said a few times already, internal drives are faster than external FW drives.
My 5400RPM Hitachi scores as following against a 7200RPM FW400 drive, according to HDTach:



There is no way you are getting 86MBps off a 4200RPM drive unless you're looking at the burst speed (meaningless), or swapping byte for bit (that would be a bit slow, though).

EDIT: The 10,000RPM SATA WD Raptor doesn't even come close to an 86MBps read speed. Your results are absurd.
 

tuartboy

macrumors 6502a
May 10, 2005
746
13
Lazyhound said:
My 5400RPM Hitachi scores as following against a 7200RPM FW400 drive, according to HDTach:



There is no way you are getting 86MBps off a 4200RPM drive unless you're looking at the burst speed (meaningless), or swapping byte for bit (that would be a bit slow, though).

EDIT: The 10,000RPM SATA WD Raptor doesn't even come close to an 86MBps read speed. Your results are absurd.
agreed

and my FCP install is ~150 and motion 2.0 with all the extras is about 8GB. Motion runs like crap on a G4 though... If you're serious about it get, at the minimum, a new imac and preferably a dually G5. Motion can eat up 2Gb of memory without trying.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
Alight, I ran the test again. You were right about the 86 MB/sec being too high. I was actually testing the interface bandwidth. So i ran the test again. Here are the results. (The tests run 20 times in a row and these are the averages).

Powerbook is the internal 4200 RPM Hitachi drive
250 LaCie is the external FW 800
Seagate 200 is the FW 400

Summary of Read Speeds:
Internal: 51 MB/sec
FW 800: 40 MB/sec
FW 400: 33 MB/sec


Summary of write speeds:
Internal: 22 MB.sec
FW 800: 57 MB/sec
FW 400: 34 MB/sec
 

Attachments

faintember

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,363
0
the ruins of the Cherokee nation
Do not go with the 100gb HD unless you just want to throw away money. The 80gb HD is much more economical for the $ per gig than the 100gb.
80gigs should be plenty for your apps, your necessary files and the like. Then do as everyone else has suggested and buy an external HD. Make sure to get an external drive that is at least FW 400 and USB 2.0, just in case you ever need the USB 2.0 in the future. FW 400 will be the fastest way for you to write to the external, and, as others have stated, is much more reliable as far as continuous read/write speed.

As far as read/write speed of external FW HD's, it is not an issue. There is a reason that many, many audio/visual people use externals. If can record 8 channels of audio, live, onto my external with no problems, then you should not have any problems with FCP.

As others have hit on, the more ram you have, the better experience you will have with FCP.
 

Heb1228

macrumors 68020
Feb 3, 2004
2,215
0
Virginia Beach, VA
faintember said:
As far as read/write speed of external FW HD's, it is not an issue. There is a reason that many, many audio/visual people use externals.
Serious AV people use things like SCSI RAID configurations, not just plain FW 400 or 800 drives.
 

faintember

macrumors 65816
Jun 6, 2005
1,363
0
the ruins of the Cherokee nation
Heb1228 said:
Serious AV people use things like SCSI RAID configurations, not just plain FW 400 or 800 drives.
I partially disagree.

A SCSI RAID array does not work well for portability.
My PB gets a lot of action in live situations, so a portable drive is my best option. Carrying a PM with a monitor, keyboard and a mouse, plus all of my other audio gear is just a pain in the butt.

If you are working at a stationary computer, like an iMac or a PM, then yes, a SCSI RAID array makes sense, but the OP has an iBook.

Oh, fyi, i am a "serious" audio person, that being a 2nd year masters student in Music Composition that works extensively with electronic music. ;) Even with audio, a RAID array is not necessary.
 

Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,432
50
London, UK
Heb1228 said:
My FW 800 drive gets 52-54 Mbps
FW 400 gets 30-32 Mbps

My internal 4200 drive gets 80Mbps

Those are read speeds. Firewire drives are not as fast as internal drives, no matter what the spindle speed.
There's no way your internal 2.5" 4200RPM IDE hard drive reads at 80MB/s. That's flat out impossible. Even the fastest 7200RPM 3.5" drives only sustain 60MB/s. The 2.5" might have lower seek times due to the smaller diameter, but the read bandwidth is a combination of data density and spindle speed, neither of which is very impressive on the current generation of 2.5" hard drives.
 

Hattig

macrumors 65816
Jan 3, 2003
1,432
50
London, UK
Okay, I used XBench for these benchmarks:

iBook Internal Hard Drive:

Results 25.76
Drive Type TOSHIBA MK4025GAS
Disk Test 25.76
Sequential 42.29
Uncached Write 36.13 22.19 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 38.95 22.04 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 61.72 18.06 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 39.93 20.07 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 18.52
Uncached Write 6.56 0.69 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 35.49 11.36 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 51.32 0.36 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 63.06 11.70 MB/sec [256K blocks]

iBook Firewire Hard Drive:

Results 41.63
Drive Type ST320082 2A
Disk Test 41.63
Sequential 52.30
Uncached Write 55.05 33.80 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 58.06 32.85 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 36.29 10.62 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 73.84 37.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Random 34.58
Uncached Write 12.03 1.27 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Write 76.25 24.41 MB/sec [256K blocks]
Uncached Read 94.00 0.67 MB/sec [4K blocks]
Uncached Read 113.61 21.08 MB/sec [256K blocks]

Configurations:

System Info
Xbench Version 1.2
System Version 10.4.2 (8D37)
Physical RAM 1536 MB
Model PowerBook6,7
Processor PowerPC G4 @ 1.33 GHz
L1 Cache 32K (instruction), 32K (data)
L2 Cache 512K @ 1.33 GHz
Bus Frequency 134 MHz
Video Card ATY,M12

40GB iBook 12" 1.33GHz Standard Configuration
200GB Seagate Barracuda 7200.7 in IcyBox Firewire enclosure

The firewire is twice as fast as the internal.
 
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