Hard Drive 32MB or 64MB Cache?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by illegalprelude, Feb 27, 2012.

  1. illegalprelude macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    Hey guys and gals,

    I'm in need of a new external hard drive and all I need is the drive really, I have the case already. I've been looking at some WD Black drives and there is a 1TB for around $110 with 32MB cache and a 1TB (newer) Black 1TB for $140 with 64MB cache.

    Now I'm not doing crazy editing but still, would like the best bang. Is the $30 extra really worth the jump to 64MB cache? I'm plugged in via Firewire 400, running FCPX on a i7 iMac with 16GB ram.
  2. resmypc macrumors newbie

    Mar 9, 2010
  3. Zwhaler macrumors 604


    Jun 10, 2006
    I opted for 64MB drives and performance is very good. I don't know much about the 32MB models so I can't offer a comparison only that the 64's are great.
  4. Richardthe4th macrumors regular

    Jan 4, 2008
    Below Sealevel
    I think your Firewire 400 will be the bottleneck. The $30 is better invested in FW800 housing IMHO.
  5. coolspot18 macrumors 65816

    Aug 16, 2010
    The extra cache will yield maybe 5% difference? Just check some hard drive benchmarks online (i.e. Toms Hardware Storage Charts).

    Like the previous poster said, the main bottleneck however is your Firewire 400 interface.
  6. illegalprelude thread starter macrumors 68000


    Mar 10, 2005
    Los Angeles, California
    And you are right, between the new enclosure I just purchased, there was a $30 price difference between mine and the unit with Firewire 800. The question I guess is then still the same. I'm not editing in a professional environment so to speak (videos are going on my YouTube channel) and are not being shot with $1,000+ cameras, instead $200 Bloggie's. Is the $30 still worth it? I will be soon purchasing a Sony NEX-5N for video so that will be a bump in quality but for me, ever half a second gained doesn't do much for me.
  7. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    It definitively is worth it. You are not talking about half seconds here, but for fluid working. It can be frustrating to just scroll the storyline and have a beach ball for seconds until the thumbnails are loaded. Over a day's work that accumulates lost time and frustration.

    Firewire, doesn't matter if 400 or 800, is the weakest (slowest) link in your workflow.
  8. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    IMO, spend the extra to get FW800 but don't spend extra to get the 64MB cache.

  9. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    I have two thoughts for you:

    First, upgrading from 32MB to 64MB Cache is not really that relevant in speed for cutting movies. The Cache becomes interesting if you are accessing a certain amount of data (up to 32 or 64 MB) very frequently. This data can be stored in the Cache and accessed quicker than if you had to read it from disk. This is very advantageous if you are working with files or programs that are rather small, but it is not going to help you scroll though a video faster or building thumbnails, because video files are waaay to big to fit in a Cache. So while you will see an improvement for many workflows with a Cache upgrade, it won't help you much for your editing.

    But on the other hand, waiting during editing will really annoy you. I know, a second doesn't sound very long, but if accumulated over a few hours, it might drive you crazy.
    If you can afford an i7 iMac system, try to spring for the more expensive hard drive. It will probably save you many a frustrating day. You might even think about getting a completely new one, not in an exchangable external case. I have had very bad experience (concerning speed and reliability) with those, as neat as the upgrade-option might seem now.

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