Final Cut Pro X: SSD 1TB vs. SSD 500GB + FW800 Drive

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by ciarals, May 8, 2015.

  1. ciarals macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    #1
    Hello guys! I'm a videomaker and I use Final Cut Pro X for my editings. I'm close to change for the third time the hard drive on my glorious MacBook Pro Late 2008 (an HGST Travelstar 1TB) with a Samsung SSD 850 EVO.

    The only doubt I have is the size of the SSD. Actualy I'm using only 300GB of the 1TB hard drive: that's because I don't have any big project on, but when I have them the used space increases very fast.

    So, here are the 3 solutions that I've found: I'd like to receive your help to find the right one :)
    1. Put a 1TB SSD in my Mac and use it for everything: the old HDD will not be used
    2. Put a 500GB SSD in my Mac and put the 1TB HDD in a FireWire 800 case (like this one) and use the 1TB HDD to store all (and only) the FCPX files - This is the less expensive solution
    3. Put a 1TB SSD in my Mac and put the 1TB HDD in a FireWire 800 case and use the 1TB HDD to store all (and only) the FCPX files - Most expensive solution and (for me) non-sense solution
    I'm preferring the second solution, not only for the cost but also because, without the FCPX files, I will never go above 400GB used: I'll keep only the FCPX app on the SDD and all the FCPX projects and files on the FW800 drive. What do you think? Will I have any speed problems or you think that the first solution is better?

    Thank you for your help! :)
     
  2. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #2
    Placing everything on on internal SSD is the fastest solution. FW800 is not as fast is the internal interface.
     
  3. ciarals, May 9, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015

    ciarals thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    #3
    Thank you for your reply. I was asking this because I've read in many places (also in this forum) that it could be better to separate the FCPX app from the project files (renderings, media, etc.). That's why I was thinking of Option #2...
     
  4. RCAFBrat macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2013
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #4
    Important when using HDD since not only is the disk slow relative to SSD, but more importantly there is unavoidable latency as the disk drive repositions its heads to read from or write to the next sector.

    Like ChrisA says, if you can afford a single internal SSD that fits everything and eliminates HDD from workflow, that is hands down the best solution.

    PS: alternative to the Samsung 850 EVO is Crucial MX200 (very good reviews and usually a little less expensive)

    Cheers
     
  5. sevoneone macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 16, 2010
    #5
    You did not mention what Mac you are using. If you have USB 3.0 and depending on your needs, it is likely a better choice than FW800. FireWire is better at sustained streams of data than USB, but USB 3.0 at 5 Gbps has enough overhead that it is fine for single external drive solutions. If you want an external RAID or to use multiple drives at once, Thunderbolt is probably the way to go.
     
  6. e1me5 macrumors member

    e1me5

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2013
    #6
    Yes, it is always better to have them separated on different drives. Option 2 is the best one.
     
  7. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #7
    Put in the 1 TB SSD, the old adage of putting the files on a different drive from the main drive applies for spinning drives (where you have 2 or more processes contending for control of the head, plus seek latency) , and also assumes that both drives are on a fast bus (for example, a Mac Pro with SATA connections for 4 drives) for parallel access.

    You will get more performance out of an SSD on the SATA bus (300 MB/sec with virtually zero latency) then you will on the Firewire bus (80 MB/sec plus drive latency). With 3x the performance from the SSD and with the speed limitation of the Firewire bus, there is no rationale to splitting the data onto the slower drive on the slower bus.

    For economy, you can put the 1 TB spinning drive in a USB 3.0 enclosure for $25 or so, and use it for backup where speed is not critical.

    Note: Your 2009 MBP is limited to SATA II (3.0 Gbps) performance on the SATA bus. This means you don't have to choose the fastest SSD on the market because almost all SSDs will saturate the bus of the machine.

    Yours also may be among the machines with a nVidia SATA chipset that does not properly negotiate the SATA speed with a 6 Gbps SSD drive, leading to poor performance. The solution is to stick with a drive that is either locked to 3 Gbps (OWC Mercury Electra 3G) or choose a drive that does not use the SandForce controller
    (Crucial and Samsung are the most often recommended drives)
     
  8. ciarals, May 10, 2015
    Last edited: May 10, 2015

    ciarals thread starter macrumors member

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    Mar 26, 2010
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    Italy
    #8
    Thank you for all your answers... Here are my replies :)

    Perfect, thank you for your advices!

    Yes, I did, exactly in my first post: MacBook Pro Late 2008. USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt weren't available/invented yet.

    I was thinking of this too, but all the other guys (ChrisA, RCAFBrat, CanadaRAM) explained that this is correct only when talking of HDDs, not SDDs.

    Thank you, you've been very clear. I know that my Mac is limited to SATA II, but looking at all the little problems that Samsung 840 EVO are having with firmware updates, I was thinking of buying the 850 EVO, event if it's "useless" for my Mac: it seems to be less "buggy".

    Regarding the negotiation of the SATA speed, since the SDD I'm thinking of buying is a Samsung, do you think it should be ok? It should't use the SandForce controller, am I right? I don't like Crucial very much (previous experience) so that's why I was thinking of Samsung: do you think that the 850 EVO would be a good choice, even if it's more than my Mac supports?

    Thank you for all your replies :)
     
  9. ColdCase, May 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2015

    ColdCase macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Feb 10, 2008
    Location:
    NH
    #9
    Once you start using FPX with a SSD, even SATAII, you will wonder how you lived all those years without it. So much more responsive, especially when scrubbing.

    Editing from a FCPX library on a disk enclosure is agonizing slow in comparison unless you use a couple drives in RAID0, which is probably impractical with your machine. It will be slower than using your current internal drive. If you go multibay enclosure, you may want to think about something with TB and USB or FW ports, so when upgrade the computer you will be able to take advantage of TB performance.

    Buy as much internal SSD as you can afford. Buy external drives for archived libraries. Backup all to another external drive.

    The old adage of separating OS and Data stemmed from recovery from disk corruption/failure and the backup mechanisms at the time. Doesn't make much if any difference today, especially with SDDs.

    As far as SSDs, I use a couple Samsung pro models. Nice warranty, great performance. Probably beyond your price range.
     
  10. ciarals thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    #10
    Thank you :) I will surely buy a 1TB SSD and definitely close the chapter regarding HDDs (except for Time Machine backup).

    I'd just like to know if I could have any problem with SATA negotiation speed using a samsung 850 EVO, as CanadaRAM was saying.
     
  11. MSastre macrumors regular

    MSastre

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2014
    #11
    I've had nothing but good experiences with Crucial. I've always used their RAM in all my Macs, and now have an M200 1TB installed in my Early 2009 MBP 17". I'm very satisfied with its performance using FCPX.
     
  12. Unami, May 11, 2015
    Last edited: May 11, 2015

    Unami macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2010
    Location:
    Austria
    #12
    it also depends on your type of projects. running a project with multiclips with a lot of angles won't work very well on the external hd - but when you only got one "track" on the storyline and only use prores proxy at 45 mbps (< 6 MB/s) you should have no problem with a fw800 hd that should deliver at least between 40-50 MB/s. i've not run into a lot of latency with fcpx myself, but there's probably more of it on a hdd.

    i once had to edit for a few weeks on a laptop with projects and app on the same internal ssd, and it often gave me the spinning beach ball without doing anything apparently. i thought this was because of the data and the app being on the same drive. but it was in the early versions of fcpx (summer 2013) and also native xdcam-footage that might have caused the problem, so i don't know for sure.

    i'd go for option 3, btw. unless you will get a new computer over the next year. better safe than sorry - and 500 gb seems not a lot, if you need to cut a bigger project with multiclips on your ssd. i'm usually working on multiple projects and often need around 1 tb of "active" space. a 500gb ssd will only leave you about 350 gb after you've installed fcpx, adobecc, davinci,...
     
  13. ciarals thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2010
    Location:
    Italy
    #13
    Thank you for your comments :) I'll surely buy a 1TB SSD, I just don't know if I will have any problem with SATA negotiation speed using a Samsung 850 EVO on my Mac. Maybe the best thing I can do is try it and, if it goes wrong, take it back to the store...
     
  14. steveash macrumors 6502

    steveash

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    Did you know that you can fit a second hard drive in the Superdrive bay on this Macbook Pro? You can buy mounting kits to do it but it does mean you loose the CD/DVD drive. You could also potentially use the Express Card slot for an additional SSD drive. I have a Wintec FileMate SSD in my Early 2008 MBP Express Card slot as the startup drive and it has run without fault for 3 years.
     

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