Recomendation external storage for direct editing (Photo or Video) + Media Storage for latest iMac

Discussion in 'iMac' started by LVEB, Nov 12, 2015.

  1. LVEB macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2011

    I recently just purchased latest iMac 5K with
    i7 , M395X + 512SSD.

    So storage media and editing is my main problem due to limited storage on the main drive (512SSD).
    My question is :

    Do you guy's edit photos or video (h.264 / 4k) through external storage drive directly ?
    will this coz any issue for lagging or life span for the external drive ?


    Just transfer the media to main SSD for editing , once completed then store in external storage ?

    So which way is your guy's preferred ? an d why ?
    Any recommendation for the external drive for particular usage (editing directly / storage only ?)

    Thank you very much.
  2. phrehdd macrumors 68040


    Oct 25, 2008
    There are folks that do both edit and storage on the same external drives. I would imagine that working with an external SSD makes sense but then again so does working with RAID 0 for shear size of the volume that can be created.

    If I was doing this for myself, I might look at something like the Areca DAS offerings for Thunderbolt 2 where perhaps 3-4 drives would be RAID 0 (for work purposes) and the other drives set up for RAID 10 (requires 4 drives minimum) for storage or simply RAID 1 and a couple of larger drives.
  3. iemcj macrumors 6502


    Oct 31, 2015

    This is what I use as a professional photographer. Hooks up through thunderbolt (10gbs, you can work on uncompressed 4k video no problem at that speed, it's nearly the same as working off an internal sata drive).

    I have it set in RAID1, what this means is the drives mirror each other. So if a harddrive fails, I have a complete carbon copy at all times right there to still work off. I can then put in a replacement for the failed drive and it automatically fills that new drive to match the working one. Some enterprise type businesses go more crazy with 4 or more drives being backed up but honestly that's overkill for 95% of professionals (and quite expensive).

    For workflow, we copy the raw files to the external drive. Then I can access those files through lightroom/photoshop/bridge, work on them, then save the jpgs to folders on my ssd. Every once in a while I move those jpgs off the ssd and onto this external drive but there's no real need, jpgs are quite small and you can fit a crap ton of them before you need to really worry about space.

    International wedding photographer in business for 10 years, this is what I do for a living. So that should tell you how well this system works. Yes it's more expensive than buying some 100 dollar segate usb drive from bestbuy but if this is going to be paying your mortgage, you gotta be willing to invest. ;)
  4. brokeneck macrumors member

    Jul 6, 2010
    Boston, MA
    You've received some good advice already. Just want to add to iemcj's comments that external RAID thunderbolt is a great option. I use the WD My Book Thunderbolt Duo for a RAID0 (striped) config that is near SSD fast and of course much much cheaper (I think I paid around $400 for 4TB). Because it's not mirrored I have a big fat Time Machine drive and I don't delete photos off my memory card until I know it's made it to the second location (Time Machine).

    One important key to good performance is to keep your catalog and caches on your iMac's SSD. I use Lightroom and reference my photos from the external disk, but my catalog (and preview images) are on my blazing fast SSD. Same goes for Lightroom cache.
  5. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    I use a raid 4tb Seagate backup fast for external storage and 4k media. Amazing price performance. You only need thunderbolt for raid ssd-- which is generally not practical. Also bus powered and small. Get two, one for redundancy.
  6. mfouks macrumors member

    Dec 10, 2012
    I'm not an expert or a pro photographer but I do a lot of photography with large files (Nikon D810). What I am doing with the new IMAC ( 1 TB SSD drive) is editing the photos on the fast drive (where the catalogue is as well). Once the photos have been edited in LR, PS etc. the plan is to move them over to my external Pegasus drive set up as raid 5. I have a Lacie backup drive that backs up the Pegasus. Ideally this Lacie drive should be offsite and updated every couple of weeks.

    My old way (fusion drive before) was to edit the files on the Pegasus drive. I don't know if it is because of the new, faster computer that I'm using or the method of editing the photos but the new system is super fast in every way. Zooming into the files and developing in LR is instantaneous which was not the case with the old system.

  7. AppleNewton macrumors 68000


    Apr 3, 2007
    1 Finite Place
    You could edit off a RAID Thunderbolt system, but that SSD should fast enough and shouldn't wear any more than a mechanical drive.

    If you go external and RAID, i opt for a Pegasus, theyve been more robust then OWC and other offerings for consumers.

    I'd say have a local library you edit from and then transfer to your master library on the RAID to store and do touch ups and cataloging later. you can automate it through applescripts or other means if you want to get that detailed
  8. twilexia macrumors 6502

    Oct 16, 2015
    Curious, how do you setup your RAID1 configuration using the Seagate Backup drive? I've been thinking about getting one of these myself (after seeing how you and user joema highly recommend it), and am curious how to setup RAID1. apologies in advance as I have very little experience with this kind of thing.
  9. Sirmausalot macrumors 6502a


    Sep 1, 2007
    The Seagate comes formatted as RAID 0 for performance, not redundancy. I don't think it can be reformatted. It would be more cost effective to get two separate slim 2TB drives -- and set one as a TimeMachine backup.

Share This Page

8 November 12, 2015