iMac with Drobo - transfer speeds?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by Black Diesel, Jun 8, 2018.

  1. Black Diesel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #1
    All, I have an old 2011 iMac 27" 3.4ghz i7 with 32gb of RAM connected to a Drobo 5D via Thunderbolt 1. The drives inside the Drobo 5D are Western Digital 4TB Purple 3.5" Hard Drives (WD40PURX). I can't even play a 4k video file that's located on the Drobo 5D (it freezes and is very choppy). My 2011 iMac even struggles with simply playing a 4K file located on the desktop.

    If I were to buy a 2017 iMac i7 and upgrade the Drobo to the 5D3 version that has a TB3 connection, can someone tell me if I would be able to edit the 4K video files located on the Drobo 5D3? Or, would it have to be on the iMac SSD to edit the 4K video file?

    If someone could try to put in laymen's terms about how much faster my data transfer would be with the iMac/Drobo upgrade I would appreciate it. I know the new setup would be faster, but I always thought the transfer speed was limited by the 7200rpm hard drives in the Drobo?

    Please explain to a newbie...

    And, if there is any other solution out there like a drobo that's a better solution please provide information. I currently have 10TB of data and growing. It would have to be a user friendly setup because computers are not my forte. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. pier macrumors 6502a

    pier

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #2
    First things first: you need to measure your current speed. Use Blackmagic Speed Test on the Mac App Store to test your drive.

    If you get a new iMac with TB3 and a Drobo 5D3 with 7200 drives you could get about 600MB/s of peak read speed. Check this video for more info. This could be enough for you or not depending on your source material (RAW?).

    If you want to best editing speed (without selling an arm and a leg) I would either work with proxies (low resolution files) or use a Drobo only for backup but work on the internal SSD of the iMac which would give you +2000MB/s of read speed.
     
  3. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2011
    #3
    I'm assuming my video footage is RAW. It was provided to me from a Panasonic GH5 camera and they are .MOV files....i'm looking at a :47 second long clip and it's a 564MB file size....is this RAW?
     
  4. pier macrumors 6502a

    pier

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #4
    I doubt it... in QT you can open the inspector with CMD+i and see the codec.
     
  5. Black Diesel, Jun 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2018

    Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

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    Mar 15, 2011
    #5
    Okay, I just did that, what do I have here?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 8, 2018 ---
    Here's the screen shot from the inspector Screen Shot 2018-06-08 at 4.53.45 PM.png


    And I'm guessing this h.264 isn't RAW, so is this the similar to photography where the h.264 is like a jpeg and not easily edited for color and exposure when compared to a RAW file?
     
  6. pier macrumors 6502a

    pier

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #6
    Indeed, it's not RAW.

    The data rate is about 79Mbits / 11MBytes per second which isn't much. If you measure your disk speed with Blackmagic as I told you earlier you should be well above that, unless you have a hardware problem.

    Your bottleneck seems to be the CPU and/or GPU.
     
  7. rjtiedeman macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    #7
    I have a DROBO 5N for may office team. Do you have the latest Drobo Dashboard software installed? If not install it. After backup! Check and Update the DROBO drivers and firmware. AGAIN After backup!
     
  8. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #8
    yes, I have the latest firmware and drobo dashboard installed. Are you able to edit 4K footage from your Drobo?
    --- Post Merged, Jun 10, 2018 ---
    I just did the blackmagic test on my drobo 5D:
    Screen Shot 2018-06-10 at 10.36.30 PM.png
     
  9. rjtiedeman, Jun 12, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2018

    rjtiedeman macrumors 6502

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    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    #9
    Our Drobo 5N is a network (ethernet) connected server. we have never used it for movies. The only time it was tested was when it was installed. it was running way faster than yours over the network. So check your cables. Then is it all drives external or just the Drobo? Then try drobo tech. Ours had a bad ssd card which I replaced twice. I finally removed it all together. Has been working fine split between 5 workstations for over 6 years. When our warranty period was up tech support would not help (your really done) so good luck.
     
  10. pier macrumors 6502a

    pier

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2009
    #10
    There is definitely something very wrong here.

    Does Drobo provide a way to test drive integrity?
     
  11. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #11
    Sadly, Drobo won't help me because my drobo is now out of warranty and they want me to buy a new one....I think the drives are fine, there's 5 of them in there and they are not too old. It's got to be something with the drobo or my iMac
     
  12. joema2 macrumors 68000

    joema2

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2013
    #12
    There are several possible issues:

    (1) Your 2011 iMac can't smoothly play a 4k (presumably) H264 video file from the desktop. That has nothing to do with the Drobo external drive. Normally I'd think a 2011 i7 iMac could do this, but it could vary based on the codec. E.g, if it's a 4k H265/HEVC file from an iPhone it might not play smoothly.

    (2) The 2011 iMac doesn't have USB 3.0 so you don't even have the option of using a USB 3.0 hard drive.

    (3) Even Thunderbolt 1 should be much faster than your Black Magic speed of 88 MB/sec write, 44 MB/sec read. There may be something wrong with the Drobo, or it's configured wrong.

    If your goal is smoothly editing 4k H264 video, the 2011 iMac is not a good machine. A 2017 i7 iMac 27 is vastly faster for this. These are frequently available on the Apple refurbished site, however I suggest not getting one with a 1TB Fusion Drive. Ideally get one with SSD, although the 3TB Fusion Drive can also work well.

    Editing 4k H264 is computationally difficult but it's not an I/O challenge. The I/O rate for 100 megabit/sec 4k H264 4:2:0 video is about 12.5 megabytes per second. So while your 2011 iMac might have an I/O issue, improving that is unlikely to solve your current issues.

    What you need is a 2017 i7 iMac 27, and either solve the issue with your old Drobo, get a new one or get some other Thunderbolt RAID system like an OWC Thunderbay, G-Tech or Promise Pegasus. The new iMac also gives you the option of various USB 3.0 drives.
     
  13. rjtiedeman macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    #13
    Did you check your Drobo to see if it has a mSATA card. It was behind a door on the bottom of our Drobo. Ours went bad twice. We finally gave up and removed it. Our DN works fine without it. But if the mSATA card is bad it will slow you down. There is also a list of compatible mSATA cards on DROBO web page. Only some work.

    We got the same response from Drobo support after our WARRANTY expired. They had a extended service plan which would have helped but if you didn’t sign up you are out of luck. They do have a good user group on their web site that may help. Did you hook it up to another mac to see if is a mac issue or drobo issue?
     
  14. Black Diesel thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2011
    #14
    Thanks for the detailed response. I'm hoping to get a new iMac but want to wait to see if they release a new one later this year. I'll take a look at the RAID systems you mentioned above since I'm not getting support from Drobo.
    --- Post Merged, Jun 13, 2018 ---
    My mSATA card is showing good on the drobo dashboard....do you think it could be bad while still showing good below? I did not hook it up to another mac yet but I will find one soon. Until then, it's frustrating that drobo can't support this especially considering the drobo exports a diagnostic file that they can read on their end:
     

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  15. rjtiedeman, Jun 13, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2018

    rjtiedeman macrumors 6502

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    Nov 29, 2010
    Location:
    Stamford, CT
    #15
    back up your information first then you have to test it on a second mac with different cables. The speeds you are showing are very low. Buying a new computer may not solve the issue. You need to eliminate problem sources first. Even a new drobo may not fix the issue if it mac related. Could be a bad thunderbolt port in your mac. The easy way is to test it on another Mac. After seeing you drobo report I am betting you have a Mac hardware issue. Test it.
     

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