Internal HD Expansion for FCP Editing

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by H. Flower, Mar 26, 2009.

  1. H. Flower macrumors 6502

    Jul 23, 2008
    Hi guys,

    I just purchased a new Nehalem 2.66 mac pro. I was looking to add internal drives that would allow for HD editing in FCP.

    I understand I have to configure a RAID. What level would be most efficient for editing video? Someone recommended a Raid 5 to me.

    Which formats could this handle? As high as DVCProHD? XDcam? How about HDCam compressed to ProRes?

    Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thank you!
  2. ChemiosMurphy macrumors 6502

    Sep 25, 2007
    Warminster, PA
    I already responded in the other thread in the Mac Pro section..
  3. CaptainChunk macrumors 68020


    Apr 16, 2008
    Phoenix, AZ
    Well, it really depends. To do RAID-5, you need a hardware RAID card (like Apple's $700 card or a third-party one like an Areca or Highpoint). Also, you need a minimum of 3 physical drives to do a RAID-5 (primary and mirror plus a drive for parity) and you'll still want one separate volume for your boot/apps disk, separate from your scratch. Counting for a boot drive and a minimal RAID-5, you fill up all your bays if you're doing this internally.

    Plus, doing hardware RAID with the stock HDD bays in the new Mac Pro makes things difficult if you don't use Apple's RAID card, because the SATA port backplane for the HDD bays is now soldered to the logic board, making an interface cable bypass to a third-party RAID card impossible at the moment.

    Another option of course, is to get a RAID card that has external SATA/SAS ports, use an external enclosure and configure a RAID-5. This method is more expensive, but it works and it offers more future flexibility.

    Personally, I think RAID-5 is overkill for single-workstation scratch disks. I run a software RAID-0 on 1TB Seagate drives in Bays 3-4 (08 Mac Pro, but it's the same concept) as my scratch disk. This config pulls about 225MB/sec throughput, which is plenty fast for HD ProRes. About the only real benefit you'll get with a RAID-5 is on-the-fly data redundancy. Although RAID-0 offers no redundancy, I'm pretty good about copying finished renders over to external storage for archiving. My project files sit on a separate drive and get backed up to CD/DVD and/or flash drives.

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