Mercury Elite AL pro or wait for Thunderbolt?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Dr Strangelove, Jun 3, 2011.

  1. Dr Strangelove macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #1
    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/hard-drives/RAID/Desktop/

    I have the drives but looking for an enclosure to do some video editing on my 2011 iMAC with. Right now I edit AVCHD 720/1080 in Final Cut. Would I be a fool to pull the trigger on this enclosure now. How far off are we from Thunderbolt enclosures arriving?

    And I guess the most important question is, does my current workflow even need Thunderbolt or is FW800 enough?
     
  2. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #2
    ProRes runs great on FW800... you don't need Thunderbolt for ProRes work. Get what you need for now and start working :p
     
  3. Dr Strangelove thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #3
    Then what's all the hoopla about thunderbolt?
     
  4. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    Australia
  5. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #5
    he has an iMac... so no... always put your media/scratch on a separate drive from your OS.

    the hoopla around Thunderbolt is for the video Pros that need bandwidth that exceeds FW800 and have multiple drive RAID configurations. It's also a simple connection for full video I/O on a MBP/iMac. There are a lot of applications at the higher end, but it doesn't appear to have much promise on the consumer/prosumer levels.
     
  6. LethalWolfe macrumors G3

    LethalWolfe

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    #6
    I actually think ThB will have it's greatest impact at the prosumer level. The iMac w/two ThB ports, for example, does things that up until recently only a Mac Pro could do. You can hang a fast RAID off one port, a video I/O connected to a broadcast monitor off the other and have a complete setup capable of onlining/finishing a show.


    Lethal
     
  7. Dr Strangelove thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #7
    I have been searching around for benchmarks to figure out what kind of bandwidth avchd saturates on the bus with little luck. I understand USB is around 40Mbps and fw800 is double but what does that really mean if I'm hanging a raid10 or raid5 enterprise array off of it?
     
  8. bigbossbmb macrumors 68000

    bigbossbmb

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    #8
    Yeah, Lethal... I was thinking in terms of higher level peripherals. But I can see how that would effect the prosumer market by making higher end products usable on lower level (price-wise) computers. It is pretty amazing the horsepower Apple has packed into the newer iMacs.

    1080i60 AVCHD after log and transfer to ProRes would be approx 18 MB/s IIRC. Hanging a RAID off of a FW800 port means that the port would be the bottleneck in disk I/O, however it might not be the bottleneck in your overall workflow (if your media won't fully saturate the port's max).
     
  9. martinX macrumors 6502a

    martinX

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    #9
    Yeah, I'm going to have to probe this one...

    What's the problem (in real life) with media/scratch on the same drive as the OS. Actually, I know what the problem is, but I think it's important to establish the approximate performance limits.

    Imagine this 2011 iMac:
    • 8 GB RAM
    • FCP is the only app running
    • TM off
    FCP will be using 3 or 4 GB of RAM. FCP will be pretty well loaded up in RAM - assuming you're not calling up things that use FCP as a host like FX Factory, Boris things etc - so not much will be pulled in from the HD (even if things do get called up, you're not performing a playback of your timeline at the same time anyway). The OS has 4 GB of RAM to play with so there shouldn't be any virtual memory swapping.

    So at what point do you say "man, all my media needs to be on a separate disk because playback performance is suffering". Also, is their any conceivable scenario where you would be saying that and playback performance would be improved by using a FW800 disk (which has a practical limit of ~600 Mbps), as opposed to using your internal disk (which has a theoretical speed of 6Gbps or a practical one, from what I have read, of ~4.8 Gbps).

    Apple measures IO performance by the number of concurrent streams (p.16 and 17) and I can get 4 or 5 HD AIC streams (about 100 Mbps per stream, the same-ish as ProRes LT) on my nearly 3 year old iMac - I can only imagine that a 2011 iMac would be doing much better.

    Comments?
     
  10. Dr Strangelove thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #10
    So reading that apple document it looks like prores lt would be sufficient for my needs and fw800 is plenty fast to handle even multiple camera angles?
     

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