Recommend me an external hdd for Final Cut Pro X

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by njmitchel0, Nov 8, 2012.

  1. njmitchel0 macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    Ive engrossed myself in trying to learn what all these hard drives are about. Im looking to edit video from a Canon t3i and so far I've gathered that I need 7200 RPM and USB 3.0 My head is spinning from looking at so many of these things. Please recommend one for me, I would like to be as budget conscious as possible. Thanks everyone in advance!!!!
  2. Alag28 macrumors 6502

    Aug 23, 2006
    do what i do...go on newegg...go to hard drives and pick top sellers on the left column and start narrowing down from there :cool:
  3. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    In the long run, it's going to be cheaper to buy a good USB3 enclosure and then buy a bare drive to install in it.

    The initial cost will probably be more than that of a package drive, but when you need a bigger drive, or the drive fails, you just replace the drive, not the whole package.

    If you can use a screwdriver you can assemble enclosure+drive in a few minutes.

    If that interests you, and you want specific recommendations, then just say so. You'll get plenty of them.
  4. njmitchel0, Nov 9, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2012

    njmitchel0 thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    @monokakata ... definitely interested. Please school me, and for my sake please assume I dont know too much
  5. monokakata macrumors 68000


    May 8, 2008
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    Here's how I'd go about it.

    Decide whether you want to use 2.5" or 3.5" drives. If you're looking for portability, and/or if you don't want to be plugging your drive into the AC outlet, then you'll be looking at 2.5" setups. But if you want high capacity and high speed at high capacity, then you go 3.5".

    Example. The largest-capacity 2.5" drive I know about is 1 TB, but if you want it to spin at 7200 RPM you're going to pay well over $200 for it. The last time I bought a 750 gig 7200 2.5" drive it was something like $140.

    With a 3.5" drive there are many to choose from and they are all well under $100 for 7200 rpm.

    For a given speed and capacity, a 2.5" drive is going to cost you more. And as far as I know, you'll be capped at 1 TB.

    Oyen Digital has 2.5" enclosures, and I've used two of them and they are just fine. $60 or so for a USB3 / FW800 enclosure. They aren't the only manufacturer, but I've used them so I'm mentioning them.

    You also have to decide on capacity. As above, if you go 2.5" you're limited. If you go 3.5" then you can have anything up to 4 TB. In practice there are a lot of 1-2 TB 7200 rpm drives out there and you can buy by price or manufacturer, as you prefer.

    With a 3.5" enclosure you have a lot to choose from. Lately I've been using a Macally NSA S350U3 ($50) and a Seagate 3 TB drive (about $120). The Macally is USB3 only -- no Firewire. Other companies make USB3 drive enclosures, of course. I've used Macally stuff for a few years and it's just fine.

    So you could get the Macally for $50, choose a 1 TB drive for maybe $80, or a 2 TB drive for maybe $100, or the 3 TB.

    It's up to you. Just remember that a 2.5" solution is going to be more expensive than an equivalent 3.5" solution.

    It might be that you want an external you can stick in your pocket. But if you want capacity over 1 TB there is no 2.5" solution at all (someone will correct me if I'm wrong).

    What I meant by "in the long run" is this. Suppose you do a 3.5" 1 TB setup, which will cost you around $130. But then, as your video storage needs go up and up, you need 2 TB or even 3 TB. Take out the 1 TB drive and replace it. It's still good, so you can slap it in a cheap enclosure or get a SATA-USB emergency adapter, and then you can use that drive if and when you need it.
  6. joepunk macrumors 68030


    Aug 5, 2004
    a profane existence
    You could also consider a docking station.

    You can use multiple SATA drives by switching them in and out.
  7. dmw16 macrumors regular

    May 14, 2011
    Is your intention to store videos on the external drive or actually edit videos that are stored on the external drive?

    If you are just storing them there then I'd agree that buying an enclosure and the largest bare drive you can afford is the most cost-effective route. Either USB 2.0 or 3.0 would be fine for storage.

    However, if you want to actively edit videos that are stored on an external drive you'll want USB 3.0 for sure (or Thunderbolt if you can swing it and have the port on your computer). If you can find an enclosure that will let you (via hardware or software) setup 2 drives in RAID0 you'd see a boost in performance (but increased risk of losing data if a drive fails).
  8. njmitchel0 thread starter macrumors member

    May 21, 2008
    thanks for the input dmw, my plan is to actively edit on the external drive. I ended up going with the 1tb caviar black wd drive and thisstartech enclosure, its usb 3.0 so according to your post it should work for me. Do you recommend any thunderbolt enclosures? I have 15 rMBP so it has thunderbolt. You recommend definitely making that upgrade? thanks
  9. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816


    Nov 13, 2008

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