My new setup is coming and I need input

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by adn rcd dly, Nov 30, 2016.

  1. adn rcd dly macrumors 6502

    adn rcd dly

    Nov 23, 2004
    Salt Lake City, UT

    I have been a video editor for many years, most of them without my own machine. A couple years ago I bought my roommates upgraded late '09 27" iMac and it has been time to upgrade for a while.

    I pulled the trigger on a new 5K iMac with 4.0 GHz QC i7, 8GB RAM (2x4GB), M395X 4GB, and the 3TB Fusion drive. With the primary focus being video editing I know I need some more RAM, but I am also looking for a bus powered SSD for when I am moving from my home setup to my work setup. I want bus powered because I am sick of all the space extra cables and adapters take up. I am hesitant on choosing between some of the ones I've seen simply because I don't know if there is a difference on how they handle video editing (I use FCPX).

    I've edited off a FW800/ USB 3.0 drive with a bit of lag but no failures. I was editing off a flash drive and I ended up frying it due to the auto render being on and it kept trying to write when it was low on space. That thumb drive is lost now. I thought 128GB would be okay, but it just didn't manage the files well and I didn't turn off auto render sequences. Here are the ones I have been recommended:

    • Lexar 512GB USB 3.0 External Portable SSD - What's nice about this is the Lexar Professional Workflow HR2 Hub that can combine up to 4 of the drives or other same sized peripherals using external power and Thunderbolt. That would be great to eject a drive to take on the go and bring back and slide back in.
    • Samsung 1TB T3 Portable Solid State Drive - I've only heard personal testimony from the friend I bought the iMac from, and that was on the Samsung T1, now discontinued. So I don't have anything besides reviews which haven't answered my concerns about video editing.
    • OWC Envoy Pro - I have the OWC Mercury Elite Pro 4TB external that I have used with FW800/USB3. It is a nice external that is HDD and AC powered. It's a great backup drive but not great for on the go. With the OWC Envoy Pro, it's a bus powered enclosure, so I can put in seemingly any PCIe SSD and run off of USB3.0

    Next is an external drive for physical media. I do have to rip media from CDs / DVDs often enough and I would like a Blu Ray option. Considering the new machine has nothing, external is key.

    • OWC Mercury Pro 16X External USB 3.0 Blu-ray Burner - Might be sensing an OWC theme here. They are what I've had most experience with, so some of this is double checking that I'm not overlooking a better option. This is fine to be external power because it gives it better reading and writing speeds. Not much else to say.
    • LG Electronics Blu-ray DVD Writer - Amazon has it for $119 which means a great $20 at Best Buy locally for a price match. This means I could get it today. A bit of a plus.

    Last is the RAM. I've always been told not to get RAM from , simply because it's overpriced compared to third-party suppliers and an idiot proof self-install. I only have OWC to go off of because I can be sure of compatibility. This is where I think having the help from people on here who have been doing this on their own for enough time to know what to look for and what to avoid.

    • 32GB (4x8GB) or 32GB (2x16GB) - Obviously there is the price difference based on the amount of sticks you're getting. I know it can go up to 64GB, but as I'm starting out and trying to get more work, I'll wait on that for a bit. They do give you a $20 credit if you turn in your RAM from . That being said, would it work with an odd number of slots filled? Could I do the 2 16GB sticks and keep the 8GB in there for a total of 40GB? Or does it have to be evenly paired? If that's the case, I'd probably want to go with the 16GB for easier future upgrade versus filling in 4 slots and then trying to re-sell the 4 8GB sticks once I'm ready to go higher.

    I appreciate all who take the time to read this and respond. I've been bugging my photog friends about this and searching online, whether it be YouTube or Amazon reviews or even tech type blogs ( for the help with some of the external Blu Ray options).

    I truly value the input from not just the MR community, but the videography / editor community. Much love to all of you.
  2. Boyd01 macrumors 68040


    Feb 21, 2012
    New Jersey Pine Barrens
    I just got a 500gb T3 this afternoon, it's actually for a computer I'm setting up for my daughter's family for Christmas. But was anxious to see how it performed with video. I copied a 200gb FCP project to the ssd (am still using legacy FCP on this project which is a documentary from SD footage I shot 15 years ago).

    The project loads about twice as fast as it does from a 5TB external hard drive, which is as expected since the SSD is about twice as fast. Saving the project is great, instead of a few seconds delay and lots of disk activity, it's silent and instantaneous. Haven't spent any serious time with it yet, but so far I'm impressed. Will probably get either another 500GB or the 1TB version for myself.

    Here are the results from the Blackmagic test on a 2012 2.6ghz quad i7 Mini. For comparison, I have a number of 2TB, 3TB and 5TB external hard drives that all clock around 180MB/sec.


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