iMovie and external hdd firewire 800 - slow?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by d82k, Feb 8, 2012.

  1. d82k macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Dear all,

    I just got a MyBook Studio II ( and connect it to my iMac via Firewire800.

    It is configured RAID 1 .. but i just discovered that for video editing it is too slow. I have both project and event iMovie folder on it but, each action i do on the project the rainbow ball games up.
    I tried to copy on the iMac hdd the project folder but nothing changes.

    Can anyone confirm me that this is because of the RAID 1 and if I configure it as RAID 0 it should be fine?

    having all my files locally on the hdd of my iMac I have no such delays.

    Thank you for your advices.
  2. fox10078 macrumors 6502


    Nov 6, 2009
    Well, doing a bit of research, and the drive you have is using a western digital green drive, which has a slower RPM than the needed 7200 rpm, even though it does have FW800 the drive isn't using it to its potential, I'm quite sure it isn't the RAID and it is this, but if anyone else has more knowledge please feel free to make me look a fool :D

    Also, are your files in prores? I'm not sure if iMovie is the same as final cut 7 but if you're clips are in Apple ProRes codec its easier on the machine aswell so that may help you out in the need for speed.
  3. cgbier macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2011
    iMovie is using AIC that has a lower bandwidth than ProRes.
    Caviar has to be black. The green one sucks for video. ;)
  4. d82k thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 24, 2011
    Thank you for your replies..

    but actually WD writes in its website

    RAID0: Speed -> Editing DV or HD video and want a smooth work flow with no dropped frames.

    tomorrow i'll try to switch to raid 0.. and see what happens..
    Anyone else with this experience?

  5. WRP macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
    Green drives run at essentially 5400RPM. You technically want 7200. And those drives also throttle down to save energy so they take a while to "wake up". Even one of those in my macpro connected esata takes a while to open the drive via the finder.

    In a RAID1 you are writing to both disks at the same time and making exact copies so you can only go as fast as either drive will allow.

    With RAID0 it will write across some data to each drive. This is what makes them faster. Only issue with this is that if either drive goes down, all your data is gone.

    RAID0 = fast
    RAID1 = safe
    RAID5 (need 3 or more drives for this) = nice mix of semi-safe and semi-fast.

    The only way this setup could work without tons of frustration is in RAID0. And I wouldn't even count on that.

Share This Page