Should I get a 5400rpm or 7200rpm external for HD FCP editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by jmeaux6, Mar 22, 2009.

  1. jmeaux6 macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2009
    I just got a 17" MBP with a internal 5400rpm HD and I am looking at external hard drives.

    Does anyone know if using a 7200rpm external instead of a 5400rpm external as the scratch drive makes a big difference in render speed?

    Also, if my internal is not 7200 will that decrease the overall speed of the rendering?
  2. Macpropro80 macrumors 6502

    Jan 31, 2009
    Get a raid 0 7200RPM firewire 800 external hard drive.
  3. jmeaux6 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 22, 2009

    thanks for the info, what does raid 0 mean?
  4. MrLatte23 macrumors regular

    Jul 18, 2007
    HD speed doesn't determine rendering...

    Your hard drive just stores and plays back your footage. "Rendering" time is determined more so by processor speed and your graphics card's vram.

    Normally 7200 RPM drives are better at writing and reading footage than 5400 rpm drives. There are some instances where 5400 RPM drives have outperformed 7200 RPM HDs, but that's when the 7200 RPM drive is more than half full and other similar conditions.

    It's better to use a 7200 RPM Firewire (NOT USB) drive as a scratch disk. If you're using ProRes or DVCProHD codecs you could probably get away with a single drive, FW800. But if you're using 10-bit uncompressed HD or something like that you'll need a RAID, which is two or more hard drives in a case, single enclosure or MacPro's internal bays that work together to spread the footage over the multiple drives for increased read/write speeds. There are a few different RAID configurations, RAID 0 is probably the easiest, most common one for increased performance.

    The more layers you're compositing with filters and effects that you're trying to play back in realtime out of Final Cut Pro can tax even the most robust systems.
  5. dagomike macrumors 65816

    Jun 22, 2007
    For a few bucks more get FW800 7200 RPM. Should be more than fine with ingested compressed HD, which is very typical. A RAID is nifty still when copying stuff, but that's a very minor overall performance gain.

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