Thunderbolt RAID or Thunderbolt SSD for video editing?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by Siderz, Dec 13, 2012.

  1. Siderz macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Now that I have Thunderbolt, I might as well use it.

    Should I get a Thunderbolt RAID or Thunderbolt SSD?

    I like the look of the G-Tech G-RAID, but a review claimed that Blackmagic found it reads at ~100MB/s, which, while faster than my current drive, isn't the fastest I've seen.

    For instance, LaCie claim the Rugged drive reads at ~380MB/s.

    Would it be better to buy the Rugged drive for video editing?

    I also saw the LaCie Little Big Disk with SSDs in a RAID configuration, which reads at a whopping ~600MB/s.

    Obviously the G-RAID has a lot more storage, but that's not a big deal as I could just use an SSD for current projects, and when I'm done, move them over to the hard drive I have right now.
  2. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
  3. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    "video editing' doesn't say much. Are you doing multi-stream uncompressed HD video or editing avchd in imovie.....?

    In general video data is so large as to practically preclude SSD as primary storage at least at this point unless you have a lot of cash on hand.
  4. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Several different formats, in Premiere Pro and After Effects. Almost always plenty of layers.

    Mainly AVCHD, but I might sell the camera with AVCHD and get the Canon 650D using MOV I believe.

    I already said "I could just use an SSD for current projects, and when I'm done, move them over to the [1TB] hard drive I have right now.", so the storage isn't a big deal to me.

    I just want to know what's better for video editing; HDD RAID, SSD, or SSD RAID.
  5. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    You're asking simple questions, not the right ones.

    "better" means different things to different people. If you're storing original footage then to me better means raid-6 with some redundancy and decent speeds. Others that are better at keeping backups updated may always prefer a smaller raid-0 SSD array. "raid" is a nonspecific term - are we talking raid-0, raid-1, 5, 6, 10, etc....

    In general if you can fit your video on SSD, it will definitely be faster. Every workflow is different, I prefer to keep all my video on a larger raid-6 array, currently 6 TB.

    I personally prefer not to always be moving video from one drive to another, but that's personal preference.

    consider these two discussions:
  6. Siderz thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 10, 2012
    Thanks, but those refer to Windows, and not people using external drives.

    When I say 'better', I'm talking about how it works; you can't use USB 2.0 (480Mbps) over FireWire 400 (400Mbps)...because they work differently, even though USB 2.0 is slightly faster.

    Hard drives work differently from solid state drives, for instance, you can't just overwrite data on an SSD, it needs to delete the data, then write something there (Without 'TRIM', which I think is only on Windows).

    Do you get what I'm saying? Without 'TRIM', there could be some problems with video editing.

    I'm a student so I can't afford some $2k Pegasus array. I found the LaCie drive on eBay for a decent price and I have the money.

    I'd pretty much be putting all the resources on the SSD in RAID 0 (Project files, video files, preview files), then archive them to my 1TB FireWire 800 HDD when I'm done with the project.

    EDIT: Looks like 'TRIM' is available on OSX as well - - but it says something below that with issues on RAID.
  7. Ifti macrumors 68000

    Dec 14, 2010
    I also use a Canon 650D for video recording, with the STM Lens kit ;)
    Great camera.

    Nevertheless, I currently use FCPX to edit the video (iMovie gave crap output) and use an external 2TB My Passport Studio drive connected via FireWire800. I have my video library on it as well as using it as my scratch disk for render files etc, and it works fine with FCPX - I don't get any beach balls or slowdowns at all.

    Obviously SSD via TB would be awesome for editing, but it probably wouldn't give you any extra advantage over a HDD RAID array IMO. The program is able to send and retrieve data fast enough to a HDD connected via a high speed connection just fine.
  8. floh macrumors 6502

    Nov 28, 2011
    Stuttgart, Germany
    It is correct that with so little information, we can not wholeheartedly recommend one or the other thing.

    That being said: You should definitely go with an HDD Raid. SSD is very fast, but unless you only edit very short projects, you will not get enough storage room. Video editing needs disk space, and SSD wil sooner or later run out of it (unless you are insanely wealthy, but then: Just buy both. :) ).

    Premiere edits in the codec your footage is imported in, it doesn't convert. If you have AVCHD or H-264-compressed .MOV files from camcorders or DSLRs, you will not need an incredibly fast disk, since the amount of data to be streamed from it is really nowhere in the range of the disk speed. Even the greatest camcorders will not record at more than 80 Mb/s, which means that with the mentioned 100 MB/s from the HDD raid, you can smoothly edit a multicam project with 8 clips. The disk speed will not be your bottleneck anymore. Getting a more powerful graphics chip or more memory would be a step that makes more sense.
  9. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
  10. LastQuadrant macrumors member

    Sep 22, 2013
    I've been looking at a good RAID box that I can use SSD. Obviously the SSDs that you choose will make a difference and I've been told by many sources that the Samsung 840 Pros are the best on the market at this time and they are pricey. The biggest problem I see with something like the LaCie Little Big Disk is that it only has 2 drives. I don't feel too safe with only a RAID 0 or RAID 1 system, I always liked RAID 5 or 6 as it has a parity drive or a parity with a hot spare (RAID 6). And both do striping.

    With Thunderbolt, there are a LOT of different RAID boxes we have to choose from so I think there will be more coming out, especially due to TB 2 changing the landscape.

    I would also look at Drobo 5D as that can be used with either HDDs or SSDs (not Sandforce, they won't work with the Drobos), but they have the mSATA SSD option for HDDs. The other cool thing about the Drobo is that it has a battery inside for battery backup, which is a nice feature to have. Also, there is the Promise devices, NetStore, and the other LaCIe models that don't use SSDs.

    The problem with SSDs is price. to get the good ones, they are expensive. The Drobo mini might be a good option. It's small, relatively inexpensive (they sell for about $330 and you can add 4 drives (SSD or HDD) and mSATA SSD. It's also super quiet and relatively small box to carry around. The LaCie's aren't quiet, they are pretty loud. I don't know how the others are, but that might be a consideration.
  11. pprior macrumors 65816

    Aug 1, 2007
    Just for clarification raid 6 does not have a hot spare (well it can, but that is optional). Raid6 has parity across 2 disks so you can have two disks fail and still have your data intact.

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