LaCie RAID - Any thoughts

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by surfmadison, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. surfmadison macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    LaCie just came out with a new RAID enclosure:

    The 4big Quadra which has Firewire 800 and eSata connections, along with 4 drives and can do a RAID 5.

    I am wondering if anyone has any experience with LaCie RAIDS?

    I currently shoot with a Canon GL2 and edit on Intel MBP. I will be getting a MacPro next year. I am fairly new to Mac and FCP but have a lot of editing and capturing to do.

    I am currently editing a 40 hour two camera shoot, have another 40 hour one camera shoot done, and starting another 40 hour shoot next week. My current hard drive system is about full, so I need something that is dependable, and I can grow with (I would just buy new drives when they get full).

    Any thoughts and suggestions would be great.
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2004
    You do not need RAID for DV footage. The only reason you'd need it is for redundancy and if you are logging and capturing properly, you can always recapture the tapes if a drive fails. Your master tapes are your best backup. And when a project is finished, you just delete the captured media and re-capture if you need to come back to it for some reason.

    This is really over-priced and overkill for DV projects...

    I'd get a 2-drive enclosure and throw a couple of 1TB or 1.5TB drives in there without RAID. That'd be plenty of space for a 40-50 hour project (including renders).
  3. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Any suggestions

    Thanks for the input. Do you have a suggestion for a good two drive enclosure. The problem I see, is that I am working on these and other projects at the same time. Due to how the projects are structured, I will need to keep over 160 hours of video on the drives before I could even consider deleting it. Plus, 1 TB drives are fairly cheap, so I think I would end up keeping the data on the drives for a while.

    I currently have two 1 TB FW 800 drives set up as a RAID 0. Every once in a while they freeze up and I have to do a hard boot on the Mac as I can't eject the RAID.

    Also, I would like to go with eSata as it is faster, and I have high Encoding times converting hours of video into Flash.
  4. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    about the LaCie 4big Quadra

    Thanks for your post. I was looking for a 4 disk external hardware RAID drive that would work with a MacBook Pro. I did not know they existed, and this looks like just what I want.
  5. mtfield macrumors 6502

    Jan 9, 2008
    If anyone picks one of these up please post about your experience, I'm interested in this model as well... and maybe a comparison to a drobo (I know that it has esata while drobo doesn't, but beside that...
  6. Thiol macrumors 6502a


    Jan 26, 2008
    These are indeed cool. I think, though am not certain, that they are the first external raid5 drives that don't require a separate controller. I'm getting one soon for work. If it's any help, the reviews for the Lacie 2Big drives on Newegg have been generally positive.
  7. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Just got a LaCie 2big - My experience

    Well as the original poster, I took the recommendations and didn't get the new 4big because someone said I didn't need all that for SD DV editing. So I purchased the 2big Dual with eSata. It is hard to say if the first drive the sent was bad, keep reading, but I am on my second drive in 48 hours. I had them overnight another because I have way to much work to do.

    I attached the first drive as recommended using their ExpressCard eSata card. Immediately I started getting dropped frames during capture and it crashed my MBP several times (had to hit the power button to restart). After over 30 minutes on tech hold (LaCie's hold times are high) the tech determined that I had a bad hard drive or controller.

    So today my new 2big showed up. On hour four of capture, FCP popped the lost frames warning. Of course I blew a gasket and called Sales because there were 11 people in the tech phone line. Working with the Sales girl, who was helpful, but had no clue on support, I think I determined that their ExpressCard has a faulty design. The eSata cord connection doesn't plug all the way into the ExpressCard. Since the eSata cord is thick and doesn't bend well, I think the stress of the cable over time causes a loose connection.

    I haven't confirmed this yet. I will go to Fry's tomorrow and get a new eSata ExpressCard. So maybe the first RAID was fine. Since figuring out the problem, I moved the RAID and changed the angle of the cable to keep the stress off and I have captured an additional 5 hours of video with no issue.

    Problems aside, the 2big looks pretty cool, is easy to change between RAID settings (I am using RAID 1/Striped) or what they call Fast. The drive is quiet as far as I can tell, I do have to laptops side by side both on top of laptop coolers, so I can hear those and not the LaCie. The enclosure is only slightly warm with 5 hours of constant use. Much cooler then my WD enclosures I was using before.

    Using Activity Monitor the Disk Activity monitor (does it monitor the RAID?) is showing Data written/sec. at 3.57 MB with a peak of around 4.0. This is while I am capturing video.

    I have talked to at least four different LaCie employees during purchase, tech support, shipping me a new one, etc. and all the employees were friendly. I even talked them down on the price on the 2 TB because the cost per GB on the 2 TB is higher then the cost per GB on the 1.5 which was out of stock.
  8. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    DV has a bitrate of 3.5 MByte/s, so the reading you got from Activity Monitor is about right.

    1 hour of DV encoded material takes up to 12.5 GB on your hard drive, so 160 hours take about 2 TB of space.

    May I know what kind of projects you're going to edit that need up to 40 hours of source material? That's quite a big shot ratio, even if you get one hour of final edit out of it.
  9. Chris7 macrumors 6502

    Aug 8, 2008
    Lost in Thought
    I was very interested in one of these but another person here (Lethal) posted elsewhere that LaCie has a reputation of being unreliable. I'm going Caldigit this time around.
  10. kingkezz macrumors regular

    Mar 22, 2006
    I've never had an issue with any of my lacie drives.
  11. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Answer about video hours

    I am currently working on a number of video projects. We shoot seminars that we convert to Flash that we sell on the web.

    Project 1. 34 hour two camera shoot. So that is 80 hours to capture and convert to about 30 hours of video.

    Project 2. 25 hour one camera shoot. Will equal about 25 hours of video.

    Project 3. 40 hour one camera shoot. Will equal about 38 hours of video.

    Misc shoots: About 5 one to two hour - two camera shoots.

    As you can imagine I spend a lot of time capturing video and encoding. I burn final versions to DVD and render for Flash too. I pretty much spend all my time with the MBP fired up. I can't wait until I get all these done in the next few months.
  12. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You could use a Mac Mini for capture and encoding, if you need your Mac on the go, and if you have the dough.
  13. surfmadison thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 10, 2008
    Video Capture

    The big seminar shoots aren't something that will make up most of video. We typically shoot one to two hour seminars. Also the footage came from other locations from people we hired to shoot for us. Can't afford to sit and shoot 8 hours a day for 5 days in a row. Have the rest of the biz to worry about.

    Considering getting a digital video capture device that connects to the camera via firewire. I hear you can record to tape and hard drive at the same time. Does anyone have experience with this? That way you have tape for backup and you have it on disk, which means you don't have to waste time capturing to the computer.
  14. thewright1 macrumors regular


    Apr 3, 2008
    A buddy of mine just had his LaCie crash on him completely without the ability to recover after having it for less than a year. Then again, the same thing happened to my wifes HD in her MacBook so it's just one of those things. Just remember to backup whatever drive you get.
  15. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN
    I never had a Lacie RAID, but I have had two Lacie drives fail within 18 months of purchase.

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